Daily Archives: February 17, 2016

God’s providence and inheritance

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

11 Ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἐκληρώθημεν προορισθέντες κατὰ πρόθεσιν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐνεργοῦντος κατὰ τὴν βουλὴν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ 12 εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἡμᾶς εἰς ἔπαινον δόξης αὐτοῦ τοὺς προηλπικότας ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ. (Ephesians 1:11-12 NA28)

11 In whom also we were made an inheritance, having been predestined according to the plan of the one working all things according to the counsel of His will. 12 For us to be to the praise of His glory, having previously hoped in Christ. (Ephesians 1:11-12 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Most modern Bible translations undoubtedly render v11 a bit differently than I did above. The words “we were made an inheritance” translates one verb, ἐκληρώθημεν, which is the Aorist tense, Indicative mood, Passive voice of κληρόω or klēroō, “obtain an inheritance. The passive voice is the key. Paul is saying that Christians are made an inheritance by…

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President Obama Promotes Islam at Controversial Mosque

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

baltimore mosque speech obamaSpeaking at the Islamic Society of Baltimore the day before the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama again sent an ideological message in need of fact-checking to Americans as he called for tolerance toward Muslims and unity of all faiths.

Obama’s visit to the U.S. mosque was controversial because its former imam, Mohamad Adam el-Sheikh, was accused of terrorist connections and the mosque is a Muslim site with deep ties to extremist elements, including the Muslim Brotherhood. El-Sheikh formed a group whose parent organization provided funds to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

For those who are informed and understand the president’s worldview, nothing he said was surprising. He thanked Muslim-Americans for helping to build this country (you read that right), said Islam is not to blame for terrorist attacks, and added, “We are one American family…”

For more than a thousand…

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February 17, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 17, 2016

BLOOMBERG

President Obama said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in the Syrian civil war hasn’t resulted in significant gains for his ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and threatens to bog down Russia’s military and economy.

President Obama said the Constitution requires the Senate to consider his nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court and cast Republican leader’s initial refusal to do so as a test of “fair play.”

U.S. manufacturing output rose in January by the most since July 2015, a sign the industry was starting to stabilize at the beginning of the year. The 0.5 percent advance at factories make up 75 percent of all production.

Wholesale prices in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in January as higher food costs more than made up for the plunge in energy. The 0.1 percent gain in the producer-price index followed a 0.2 percent decline in December.

Tumult in global stocks and high-yield debt has helped boost gold prices by 13 percent this year through Tuesday. Yet investors are stashing most of their cash in exchange-traded funds investing in Treasuries, even as gains of 2.4 percent lag behind those of the precious metal. The dash into U.S. debt may continue, with banks including Deutsche Bank AG still recommending clients load up on Treasuries.

This is urban mining, the business of getting back all those expensive materials that go into making our gadgets. A notebook computer can yield as much as a gram of gold. Taoyuan-based Super Dragon extracts more than 50 kilograms of the precious metal each month from the must-have electronic toys of yesteryear and the equipment that makes them.

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries in December fell to a 10-month low, a government report showed in Washington, as the world’s second-largest economy reduced foreign-exchange reserves to support a weakening yuan. The biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt had $1.25 trillion in bonds, notes and bills in December, down $18.4 billion from a month earlier and little changed from a year earlier.

AP Top Stories

Apple CEO Tim Cook says his company will fight a federal magistrate’s order to help the FBI hack into an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino, California shooters. The company said that could potentially undermine encryption for millions of other users.

The rapid advance of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, taking advantage of Russian air strikes to seize territory near the Turkish border, has infuriated Ankara and threatened to drive a wedge between NATO allies.

Four U.S. F-22 stealth fighters flew low over South Korea on Wednesday in a clear show of force against North Korea, a day after South Korea’s president warned of the North’s collapse amid a festering standoff over its nuclear and missile ambitions.

A magnitude 4.8earthquake that rattled remote towns high in California’s Sierra Nevada on Tuesday afternoon startled residents for miles around California, but caused no serious damage or injuries, authorities said.

Last year the number of Americans who thought they were protected by the world’s strongest military was 59 percent, but this year that number has dropped to 49 percent – the lowest figure in the 23 years Gallup has recorded the trend.

The Chinese military has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of its contested islands in the South China Sea, Fox News reported on Tuesday, citing civilian satellite imagery.

Turkish warplanes repeatedly entered Greek airspace on Monday, the state ANA news agency said, as NATO prepared to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea against migrant smugglers.

A Texas prisoner has been executed for the shotgun slaying of a Dallas-area liquor store clerk during a robbery more than 25 years ago. Gustavo Garcia’s lethal injection Tuesday was the third this year in Texas, which carries out capital punishment more than any other state.

Former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers has called for the $100 bill’s execution, just as the Financial Times reported that the European Central Bank is planning on killing another big bill overseas, the €500.

BBC

The first of several convoys carrying badly-needed aid to besieged areas of Syria has arrived at its destination. Thirty-five trucks have entered the rebel-held town of Muadhamiya, near the Syrian capital Damascus. Almost 500,000 people live in besieged areas in Syria, according to the UN.

The number of missing or murdered indigenous women in Canada since 1980 may be as high as 4,000 – far more than previous estimates of 1,200, the federal government has said. The minister for the status of women said there were no accurate figures because of a lack of hard data.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says he will set up a new special prison for violent extremist offenders. The facility would prevent jihadists from spreading their extremist ideology to the rest of society, he said.

Three American citizens who were abducted in Iraq last month have been freed and handed over to the US embassy, US and Iraqi officials say. All three men were said to be in good health.

WND

South Dakota is a governor’s signature away from becoming the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring transgender students to use the bathrooms that correspond to the gender they were born with, rather than the one they identify with or choose.

A hospital in Hollywood has been hit by hackers who say they’ll restore electronic service if authorities will pay them $3.6 million.

A “spectacular” 404.2-carat diamond – which is almost three inches long – has been found in Angola. It is the 27th biggest ever discovered.


Top News – 2/17/2016

China sends missiles to contested South China Sea island
China has deployed anti-aircraft missiles on a disputed South China Sea island in a major escalation of tensions with the United States over the world’s most lucrative shipping lanes. Taiwan’s defence ministry told The Telegraph that it has confirmed the existence of the missiles on an island in the Paracel chain that are occupied by Beijing but also claimed by Taipei and Vietnam.

Earthquake Prediction California: New Quake Strikes Fears Of The Big Thing To Come
The quake was “high up there, even for California standards,” said Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist of the USGS Earthquake Information Center in Colorado. In the last 10 days, there have been two earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 nearby. The earthquake has raked up the fears of a major earthquake hitting California as predicted by scientists last year.

Latest Version of Monopoly is Called “Ultimate Banking” and is Completely Cashless
The war on cash has been in the works for a very, very long time, but the propaganda campaign to convince an always gullible public to accept the scheme seems to have been hatched in earnest late last spring. For example, here are a few excerpts from the post, Martin Armstrong Reports on a Secret Meeting in London to Ban Cash:

Eagles of Death Metal Singer: French Gun Control Saved No One in Paris Attacks
Jesse Hughes, singer for the Eagles of Death Metal and survivor of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, is finally speaking out against the French gun control laws he said not only failed to protect French citizens, but actually aided the attackers. “Did your French gun control stop a single […] person from dying at the Bataclan?”

Hezbollah Threatens It Can Hit Israel With a Low-Tech Weapon That Will Pack the Punch of a Nuclear Bomb
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to attack an ammonia storage facility in northern Israel, a move he said would pack the punch of a nuclear weapon, resulting in hundreds of thousands of fatalities.

Moscow’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah threatens strategic Israeli interests
GOVERNMENTS AND pundits were stunned last September when Russia sent an expeditionary force into Syria. The immediate goal seemed to be to safeguard the survival of the beleaguered Bashar Assad regime and Russian naval assets in the port of Tartus. But it soon became clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin had other major strategic goals.

Knesset Defense Committee Chairman in Brussels: Talks Need Brave Palestinian Leader
“there is not one Israeli who does not want peace with the Palestinians, but this calls for a return to the negotiating table in order to discuss all the disputes, with a brave leader on the other side who openly agrees to relinquish the Palestinians’ right of return to the State of Israel’s territory.”

Cheney calls Trump ‘a liberal Democrat’
Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Donald Trump “sounds like a liberal Democrat” following the billionaire’s recent claims that the George W. Bush administration lied to start the Iraq War and failed to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

700,000+ CIA docs close to release as ‘national security geek’ nears Kickstarter goal
Known as CREST, the CIA Records Search Tool allows anyone to search the documents, but only if they wish to make the trip there. Even then the only way to share any findings is to print, scan, and upload, which so far has only happened with about 1 million out of the total 11 million pages in the archive.

Obama in wonderland? US ‘schizophrenic’ on Syria as Kurds, govt forces advance
The US president has claimed that Russian involvement in Syria is a sign of weakness and has pressed for regime change in Damascus, brushing aside ongoing peace talks and ignoring steady gains by the Syrian army and Kurdish forces against terrorists.

Austria tightens border control in an attempt to deal with migrant crisis
Austria announced that the country is returning its border control and inspection along its borders with Italy, Slovenia and Hungary, in an attempt to control the flow of migrants entering its territories.

How a 300-Year-Old Vision Predicted a Global Economic Crisis That Could Bring Messiah
His teachings are still studied in depth and his book, the Tanya, is widely read by Jews around the world. Chabad is exceptional in that it emphasizes the concept of Messiah in a manner generally eschewed by other branches of Judaism.

Hezbollah Leader Irked by Growing Sunni Arab Ties with Israel
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah appeared upset with reports that Sunni Arab leaders are increasingly viewing Israel as an ally in the fight against Iran.

Kurds’ advance in Syria divides U.S. and Turkey as Russia bombs
The rapid advance of U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, taking advantage of Russian air strikes to seize territory near the Turkish border, has infuriated Ankara and threatened to drive a wedge between NATO allies.

Donald Trump Is Still Planned Parenthood’s Favorite Republican
In August, Planned Parenthood released a statement applauding Donald Trump. The abortion industry made nice to Trump because he first made nice to them.

UK Latest Nation to Boycott BDS
New British government directives are aiming to prevent public bodies, universities, and student unions from boycotting Israeli products, The Independent reported Sunday. According to The Sunday Times, the move “follows mounting concern among Jewish leaders about anti-Semitism.”

Magnitude 4.8 Quake Strikes Near Big Pine, California, East of Fresno
Police and fire departments in Bishop said they felt the quake, describing it as a “big boom and some rattling.” So far, there have been no reports of significant damage or calls for service, Bishop police said.

Syria crisis: Aid lorries set off for besieged areas
Aid convoys are preparing to deliver desperately-needed food and medicine to five besieged towns in Syria. A spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) told the BBC lorries had begun leaving Damascus. They will head to rebel-held Madaya, Zabadani and Muadhamiya, near the capital, and to the pro-government northern villages of Foah and Kefraya.

China ‘has deployed missiles in South China Sea’ – Taiwan
China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea, Taiwan says. Satellite images taken on 14 February appear to show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on Woody or Yongxing Island in the Paracels. The presence of missiles would significantly increase tensions in the acrimonious South China Sea dispute.

Report: Russia will send first S-300 missile system to Iran on Thursday
Russia will send the first S-300 air defense missile system to Iran on Thursday… The missile system will be delivered under the terms of an earlier contract. RIA reported earlier on Wednesday that Russia will sign this year a contract with Iran to supply a batch of its Sukhoi Su-30SM multi-role fighter jets to the Islamic Republic.

Archaeologists discover 7,000-year-old Jerusalem settlement
Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority recently unearthed the remains of a well-preserved 7,000-year-old settlement in northern Jerusalem from the Chalcolithic period, dating back to the 5th millennium BCE. The discovery was made by the Authority prior to the laying of a road in the Shu’fat neighborhood, the IAA said on Wednesday.

Russia, Iran coordinate moves on Syria
The Iranian defense minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan left Tehran on Monday on a visit to Russia at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. In an arrival statement in Moscow, he said, We are seriously with the Syrian government and nation and we have had decisive cooperation with Russia, which has resulted in a change of power balance and creation of a new situation for Syria.

The Obama administration enables anti-Semitism at the United Nations
The Times of Israel reports that United States ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power is in Israel: “Bias has extended well beyond Israel as a country, Israel as an idea,” she said of the UN and particularly the UN Human Rights Council. “Israel is just not treated like other countries,” she added during a Q&A session, while also maintaining that there are legitimate criticisms of the Jewish state.

Why is America losing faith in its military?
As the United States military recovers from two decade-long wars – neither of which were won decisively – and endures significant downsizing, do Americans think it’s still the best in the world? The answer is increasingly ‘no,’ according to a new Gallup poll. Last year the number of Americans who thought they were protected by the world’s strongest military was 59 percent, but this year that number has dropped to 49 percent – the lowest figure in the 23 years Gallup has recorded the trend.

China sends missiles to contested South China Sea island: Taiwan
China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, Taiwan and U.S. officials said, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region.

Cracking down on Pyongyang is difficult. Here’s why
Repeatedly over the past six weeks, since the morning North Korea surprised the world with its fourth nuclear test, the United States, South Korea, Japan and their allies have vowed to get tough on Pyongyang.

This is the beginning of the end for US shale oil
We’re witnessing the slow death of US shale oil production. Shale oil producers have long been seen as the most vulnerable group in the oil crash, but have proven far more resilient than markets expected. And in the last 18 months oil prices have crashed about 70% while US-based production in 2014 led the global oil market.


Top Headlines – 2/17/2016

France presents Israel, Palestinians with peace plan

French ultimatum to Israel: Accept PA demands or else

Israel’s Netanyahu pans ‘baffling’ French peace proposal

Netanyahu in Berlin calls French plan ‘surprising’ as Merkel puts brakes on diplomatic efforts

Merkel: Germany won’t normalize ties with Iran unless it recognizes Israel

Israel’s rash behavior blew operation to sabotage Iran’s computers, US officials say

PA: Palestinians to ‘never’ again negotiate directly with Israel

Senior Palestinian official calls on Jews to ‘return to country of origin’

In a first, new Egyptian schoolbook teaches peace deal with Israel

Rivlin to Samantha Power: Tell Abbas direct talks are urgent

Samantha Power gets bird’s-eye view of Israeli security threats

Elliott Abrams: US Mideast policy will be more assertive under next president

Netanyahu said worried Obama may go against Israel as term expires

Obama to reluctantly sign trade bill that lumps together Israel and settlements

Israeli group accuses US of labeling settlement products

Amid BDS protest, Jordanian parliament holds decisive discussion on Israeli gas deal

11% of terrorists in current wave of violence were women

Nasrallah threatens ‘nuclear attack’ on Haifa ammonia tank

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah outraged by Sunni states’ warming Israel ties

Nasrallah begs Arab leaders: Don’t ally with Israel against Iran

‘Hezbollah is covertly watching us, waiting for the day of battle’

The Latest: Hezbollah Leader Slams Turkey, Saudi Arabia

Turkey wants Syria ground operation, but says no consensus among allies

Dutch fighter jets strike ISIS in Syria for the first time

3 Americans Missing in Iraq Are ‘Back Under U.S. Control’: Official

Assad casts doubt on Syria ceasefire prospects amid intensifying campaign

Report: Assad built seven-story underground war bunker

Russia rejects Syria war crimes claim over hospital attacks

Russia killed more Syrian civilians than Assad or ISIS in January, watchdog says

Defiant Iran ignores UN ban, hits up Putin for high-tech tanks, fighter jets

Russia, Iran ready to ‘reinforce’ military cooperation

Sniper Decapitates ISIS Leader Teaching Beheading Class

UN Says a ‘Humanitarian Catastrophe’ Is Unfolding in Yemen

U.N. to Deliver Humanitarian Aid To Besieged Parts of Syria

ISIS, facing cash shortage, cuts back on perks and salaries

Spring could bring a fresh surge of refugees. But Europe isn’t ready for them.

Man Arrested in Scotland for “Offensive” Facebook Posts About Refugees

Arabic banner mysteriously appears on Texas building

Muslim Woman Leads Prayer to Allah on Wisconsin Assembly Floor

John Kerry Meets With Hollywood Studio Chiefs to Discuss ISIS

Apple ordered to break into San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

FCC commissioner: U.S. tradition of free expression slipping away

Hackers demand $3.4 million in Hollywood hospital data attack

Hospital hack reveals digital risk in medical world

Why protecting critical infrastructure from cyberattacks is a global emergency

What Israel Could Teach the U.S. about Cybersecurity

US Marshals arresting people for not paying their federal student loans

Mapped: Negative central bank interest rates now herald new danger for the world

Fed’s Kashkari Floats Breaking Up Big Banks to Avert Meltdown

Saudis and Russia agree oil output freeze, Iran still an obstacle

Oil falls despite Saudi-Russian output deal

Brazil could waive US dollar to bolster Iran trade – minister

First Chinese train arrives in Tehran to revive Silk Road

China sends surface-to-air missiles to contested island in provocative move

China uproots 9,000 people for huge telescope in search for aliens

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Camana, Peru

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern East Pacific Rise

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

4.8-magnitude earthquake shakes Sierra Nevada communities

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 11,000ft

Tengger Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Doctors 3D-print ‘living’ body parts

Israel’s abortion law now among world’s most liberal

8 Times Justice Scalia Affirmed There is No Right to Abortion in the Constitution

Detectives question lack of autopsy in Scalia death

Harry Reid to GOP: Blocking Scalia Replacement Means ‘Surrendering’ to Cruz and Trump

GOP showing signs of backing down from vow to block Obama SCOTUS pick

Obama to nominate ‘indisputably’ qualified Supreme Court candidate

South Dakota Becomes First State To Pass Anti-Transgender Student Restroom Bill

Manny Pacquiao sorry for saying gays are ‘worse than animals’

Doctors prescribe drugs to tackle Britain’s gambling epidemic

Jesus does not want you to be hit men, pope tells Mexican youth


 

The Briefing 

1) Gender revolutionaries attempt to abandon “heteronormative” words like husband and wife

I Now Pronounce You Husband and Husband, New York Times (Henry Alford)

2) Doctors treat transgender patients according to biological gender, can’t escape design

Assisted Suicide Study Questions Its Use for Mentally Ill, New York Times (Benedict Carey)

3) Texas baptists divide on abortion demonstrating worldview runs deeper than identification

Baptists take sides in Texas abortion case, Baptist News Global (Bob Allen)

4) Brazilian baptists open to abortion connected to liberal baptists in the United States

Brazilian Baptist open to using abortion in fight against Zika virus, Baptist News Global (Bob Allen)
In other news…


Frontrunning: February 17

  • Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Read More)
  • China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Read More)
  • Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Read More)
  • China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (Read More)
  • China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (Read More)
  • China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (Read More)
  • Banks are still the weak links in the economic chain (Read More)
  • The Great Iron-Ore Flood Claims Anglo as Biggest Victim (Read More)
  • Apple CEO opposes court order to help FBI unlock iPhone (Read More)
  • Ferrari Jumps After Soros Emerges Among Top 10 Shareholders (Read More)
  • Wall Street Girds for Commercial-Property Debt It Must Invest In (Read More)
  • The eurozone can’t survive another banking crisis (Read More)
  • Glencore Wins Vote of Confidence After Signing Refinancing (Read More)
  • Japan Shelves Plan to Let Pension Fund Directly Invest in Stocks (Read More)
  • Japan automaker unions’ underwhelming pay demands challenge Abenomics (Read More)
  • Negative rate not having intended effect (Read More)
  • Minimum Wage Hikes Aren’t All Bad News for Wal-Mart (Read More)
  • Lost in translation: Wal-Mart stumbles hard in Brazil (Read More)
  • Slowing Trade Flows Jolt Asia’s Exporting Nations (Read More)
  • Greenlight Capital Exited Micron Stake in Fourth Quarter (Read More)
  • Can a Reality TV Show Help Cut America’s Power Bill? (Read More)
  • Big Media’s Fortunes Wane as Cable Operators Prosper (Read More)

Turkey Is Asking The United States To Take Part In A Ground Invasion Of Syria

Middle East MapReuters is reporting that Turkey is asking the United States and other western allies to participate in a massive ground invasion of Syria.  But of course the Turks are not exactly sitting around and waiting for their western allies to get on board.  Turkey shelled northern Syria for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, even though the Obama administration has been asking them to stop.  The targets were Kurdish and Syrian military positions, and the goal appears to be to slow down their advance toward the Turkish border.  The Sunni militants that Turkey has been supporting for five years are now being completely routed, and Turkey is in a great deal of panic about this. (Read More…)


21 New Numbers That Show That The Global Economy Is Absolutely Imploding

Earth At Night - Public DomainAfter a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment.  But that does not mean that the crisis is over.  On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams.  This is especially true when you look at global trade numbers.  The amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the planet is falling precipitously.  So don’t be fooled if stocks go up one day or down the next.  The truth is that we are in the early chapters of a brand new economic meltdown, and I believe that all of the signs indicate that it will continue to get worse in the months ahead.  The following are 21 new numbers that show that the global economy is absolutely imploding… (Read More….)


Video: “A Tribute to Communism” (Not really)

If one really wants to understand why socialism fails over and over read this book. (And he is not "right-winger")
If one really wants to understand why socialism fails over and over read this book by Forrest D. Colburn. (And he is no “right-winger”)

Communism and socialism are dead ends economically. In many cases, not all, it was/is death itself.

No other system of economics has resulted in more lives destroyed and more human spirit crushed.

Read More


UNC philosophy professor warns: ‘Progressive privilege’ abounds in academia

Some have no interest knowledge or wisdom if it makes them uncomfortable.
Some have no interest knowledge or wisdom if it doesn’t fit their worldview.

I have to say that my professors in college in the poli-sci department at Mary Washington College did a pretty good job of being fair to me and other students. Though I was often a lone voice in some conversations, I was more conservative than libertarian back then, I was always treated with respect. My opinions were valued – or at least readily tolerated.

Read More


 

Multivitamins don't all stack up

Multivitamins don’t all stack up

Posted on February 16, 2016 by World Magazine

SCIENCE | Multivitamins don’t all stack up

Read Full Article »


Daily Digest

February 17, 2016

THE FOUNDATION

“He [the president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court.” —Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

Man Who Tramples Constitution Now Pleads Its Case

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By playing political games with the pick for the next Supreme Court justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia, Democrat leaders are demonstrating their blatant hypocrisy. In response to the advice from Republican senators to let the next president make the pick, Barack Obama insisted he would still nominate a candidate. He’s merely trolling with fake concern over the Constitution. “There’s no unwritten law that says it can only be done on off years,” Obama said Tuesday. “That’s not in the constitutional text. I’m amused when I hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the Constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there.” The Constitution is also pretty clear about the president’s enumerated powers in other areas too, and that hasn’t stopped Obama from trampling it. Yes, Obama has an enumerated power to nominate Supreme Court judges, and Republican senators aren’t saying he doesn’t — they’re saying he should wait. But Obama is setting up a straw-man argument. He’s misrepresenting the senators, saying they are forbidding him from even nominating a candidate.

In order to embarrass Republican lawmakers further, Obama hinted that he would pick a “moderate” judge that Republican senators might reconsider approving — one who will be impartial, and look to precedent yet employ their “own ethics and moral bearings” in decisions. If that isn’t a dog-whistle for legislating from the bench, we don’t know what is.

Talking about misrepresenting comments, Sen. Chuck Schumer is backpedaling on comments made in 2007 during the approval process for justices nominated by President George W. Bush. Now that the tables have turned, the Democrat is saying his comments are being mischaracterized. But they’re pretty clear:

“The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance,” Schumer said at the time. “We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts; or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito. Given the track record of this President and the experience of obfuscation at the hearings, with respect to the Supreme Court, at least: I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances.”

Senators all took oaths to support and defend the Constitution. This is why they need to reject the nominee from a president whose executive actions and favored laws have again and again been unconstitutional. Obama cannot judge when someone holds constitutional values when he himself can’t judge his own actions.

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Oh, You Mean That Article II?

One of Justice Antonin Scalia’s final rulings from the bench was to block implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen states. That irony notwithstanding, the Obama administration is pledging to trudge forward with the Paris climate treaty (more on that below) with or without the power plant emissions overhaul. Todd Stern, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, said yesterday, “It is entirely premature, really premature to assume the Clean Power Plan will be struck down but, even if it were, come what may, we are sticking to our plan to sign, to join [the UN accord]. We’re going to go ahead and sign the agreement this year.”

Stern’s remarks are all the more intriguing given the timing of the rhetorical fight over Scalia’s successor. Barack Obama is barking at Republicans for daring to block any Supreme Court nominee, which is not only their right but their prerogative. Meanwhile, in a new op-ed, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid warned, “We are entering uncharted waters in the history of the U.S. system of checks and balances, with potentially momentous consequences.”

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution says that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Wait — isn’t the Paris agreement a treaty? Well, yes. So why isn’t the Senate voting on it? Because Obama, just like Reid did as majority leader, changed the rules. Knowing the agreement would never pass a Republican-majority Senate, the administration scripted the agreement as not legally binding to avoid a congressional smackdown. Obama and Reid have a lot of chutzpah accusing Republicans of contorting the Constitution when circumventing its checks and balances is all they do.

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China Saber Rattles in South China Sea

While the U.S. military may say it doesn’t know exactly what kind of message the Chinese government is trying to communicate by placing missiles in the South China Sea, it’s not one that promotes peace. According to satellite imagery, China placed 16 surface-to-air missile launchers on an island along the Paracel Island chain called Woody Island. For months, China has been developing the shallow islands that lie within disputed territory between China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. They’ve dredged the area, built artificial runways and while the country said it wouldn’t militarize the area, there sit the missiles that can strike targets 125 miles out. Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, told reporters, “We are unsure where they are taking us. So we are going to sail, fly, operate throughout these waters … like we have been doing for so long.” So while the U.S. Navy continues to sail its “freedom of navigation patrols” and fly missions over the region, the cause of China’s aggression is a power vacuum created by the Obama administration. It was not a coincidence that the missiles appeared just as Barack Obama wrapped up a California-based summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations where one of the topics of discussions was the South China Sea. Obama is perceived as a weak leader, thus China — like Russia — is doing whatever it pleases.

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FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Trump Lies, History Dies

By Arnold Ahlert

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Donald Trump has become the latest politician eager to rewrite the history of the Iraq war — a “Republican” who failed to get Iraq right. So let’s look at what actually happened.

First, the vote on the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Iraq. On Oct. 10, 2002, the House voted 296-133 with three abstentions in favor of H.J.Res. 114. Eighty-one Democrats supported the measure. A day later, the Senate followed suit with a 77-23 margin of approval and 29 Democrats on board, including Sens. Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden and John Edwards. Former Obama Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also voted in favor of the resolution.

Those votes were amplified by the unanimous passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 on Nov. 8, 2002. It gave Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations” that had been set out in 10 previous resolutions. On March 23, 2003, four days after the war began, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll revealed a whopping 72% of the American public favored the war.

In June 2003, just three months after the war began, the Democrat National Committee launched its first ad accusing George W. Bush of lying about Hussein’s determination to build WMDs. The ad focused on 16 words Bush included in his State of the Union address in reference to the accurate British report that Hussein had attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium in Niger. The allegations of lies came courtesy of Joe Wilson IV, former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, whose wife was CIA case officer Valerie Plame. Unsurprisingly, Democrats demanded a hearing into those allegations, as well as the allegations the Bush administration had “cherry-picked” intel to justify the invasion.

Democrats got two hearings: In 2004, the Robb-Silberman Commission concluded that no one in the Bush administration had sought to pressure the intelligence community into its findings. Moreover, as report co-author Laurence H. Silberman explained last year, “presidential daily briefs from the CIA dating back to the Clinton administration were, if anything, more alarmist about Iraq’s WMD than the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate” of Saddam’s capabilities. In 2005, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously concluded Wilson lied when he said Vice President Dick Cheney had sent him on the mission to Niger in 2002 to determine if Saddam had tried to buy uranium there, lied when he denied his wife had recommended him for the job, and lied when he said he’d found no evidence Saddam had tried to buy uranium from Niger.

To this day, most Americans remain unaware that 550 metric tons of yellowcake was discovered in Iraq, or the reality that the Islamic State controls the Al Muthanna Chemicals Weapons Complex, which the CIA characterized as “a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities.” (By the way, ISIL used those weapons — the weapons “Iraq didn’t have” — just last year.)

Americans also remain largely unaware of why Democrats worked so feverishly to turn the nation against the war. It was “because an anti-war activist named Howard Dean was poised to win the Democrat presidential primary — which happened to coincide with the invasion — by a wide margin,” explains author David Horowitz. “It was Dean’s surge in the polls that caused John Kerry and John Edwards who eventually became the Democratic standard bearers to do an about face, repudiate their previous support of the war, and turn on the president as the chief culprit in the conflict rather than the sadistic tyrant Saddam Hussein.”

In short, Democrats put party before country even as American soldiers remained in harm’s way. And when Bush decided to pursue the 2007 surge that turned the tide of the war in America’s favor, the despicable Harry Reid declared the conflict “lost” — before the surge was fully realized.

Make no mistake: It wasn’t the removal of Saddam Hussein that precipitated the rise of the Islamic State, the resurgence of al-Qaida and the ascendance of Iran in that war-torn nation. It was the feckless political machinations of Barack Obama, who decided to completely remove American troops from Iraq in 2011, ignoring the advice of his military experts. It was Obama who told the nation he left behind “an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant,” and Joe Biden who characterized that withdrawal as “one of the great achievements of this administration.” It was Obama who thoroughly underestimated ISIL, labeling them a “JV team.” It was Obama who threw away the sacrifices of American troops, even as he has been forced to put at least 3,500 of them back in country, despite 16 separate pronouncements assuring Americans there would be no more “boots on the ground” in that nation.

As for those who insist the attempt to build a democracy in that nation was a fatal mistake, maybe it was. On the other hand, some of the brightest minds the world has ever produced took from 1776 until 1789 to establish the United States of America. We will never know if 13 years of shepherding a far more fractious populace in Iraq would have succeeded, much as did Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s seven-year democratic reformation of Japan — backed by 430,000 American troops.

What we do know is this: No one with an ounce of integrity can assert that, even if we had killed bin Laden during our initial foray into the “good” war in Afghanistan (or if Bill Clinton had done the job when he had the chances), the war on terror would have been over. Thus the real argument about prosecuting a war on terror in the Middle East — as opposed to Lower Manhattan or Washington, DC again — is about location. If not Iraq, where? If not at all, how does one prevent the procurement of nuclear bombs or other WMDs by terrorists with no qualms whatsoever about sacrificing a few jihadist lives in exchange for millions of innocent Western ones?

Democrats knew the answer to those questions once. Here is a damning list of quotes by leading members of that party about the pressing need to remove Saddam Hussein from power that only underscore their subsequent hypocrisy with regard to the war. If Donald Trump wishes to embrace the political viewpoints of Code Pink and the despicable Democrat disinformation campaign aimed at undermining a wartime president for political gain, he is free to do so. Republican voters should also be free to support someone else.

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BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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TOP HEADLINES

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OPINION IN BRIEF

Jim DeMint: “Anyone nominated by President Barack Obama will represent an administration on its way out the door. He or she will be put in a lifetime job, possibly for decades, by a president with only a few months left to govern. It would be far better to wait until the Americans elect a new president to consider such an important replacement. Less than two years ago, Americans upended control of the Senate as a rejection of Obama’s policies. It is unthinkable that this same Senate would use that mandate to give a lifetime appointment to another Obama justice. The voters have pushed back in the courts and in state legislatures across the country. They don’t need a judge who represents this old order: They need a judge who represents their future. … The American people deserve a Supreme Court justice who reflects their convictions, and not those of a lame duck president whose administration has so flagrantly disregarded our Constitution and disappointed many millions of Americans. The Senate can and should withhold its consent — as it has every right to do — until the people have chosen a new leader for our country.”

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SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Socialism is the fantastic younger brother of despotism, which it wants to inherit. Socialism wants to have the fullness of state force which before only existed in despotism.” —Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

For the record: “He’s a smart guy that knows what’s going on really big league. … I think pretty strongly that he’ll end up being a good mayor, maybe a very good mayor. … I think he is going to want to make New York great.” —Donald Trump two years ago endorsing Socialist Bill de Blasio for New York mayor

The BIG lie: “Keep in mind, the people that perpetrated that travesty in San Bernardino had never been to the Middle East. They were converted over the social media.” —Bill Clinton (Says the guy who refused to take out Osama bin Laden.)

The truth hurts: “[T]here is … a double standard with Hillary Clinton, and we have to be honest about it. She’s being judged by a double standard, I will admit. And it’s this: If Hillary Clinton were a man, with her identical record, she would not even be running for president. She would have been laughed out of it.” —Rush Limbaugh

Speaking of double standards… “We are entering uncharted waters in the history of the U.S. system of checks and balances, with potentially momentous consequences. Having gridlocked the Senate for years, Republicans now want to gridlock the Supreme Court with a campaign of partisan sabotage aimed at denying the president’s constitutional duty to pick nominees. Republicans should not insult the American people’s intelligence by pretending there is historical precedent for what they are about to do. There is not.” —Harry Reid

Alpha Jackass: “In a nation built on slavery, white men propose denying the first black president his constitutional right to name Supreme Court nominee.” —New York Times editorialist Brent Staples (“Never mind that this would be Obama’s third such appointment; Staples’ tweet is but a drop in the river of poison to come.” —Jonah Goldberg)

And last… “Hillary suggests that lie-detecting dogs be used at all political speeches. The remainder of her speech was drowned-out by barking.” —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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Are You a Victim of Emotional Abuse?

Are You a Victim of Emotional Abuse?

Posted on February 16, 2016 by Crosswalk

Cry out and the Lord will hear you and aid you in your struggles. Speak out. Know that emotional abuse is wrong and hurtful and can only perpetuate in silence.

Read Full Article »


Wheaton debacle indicative of larger problem – Robert Jeffress

Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at First Baptist Church-Dallas, has some concern about Wheaton’s decision – but mostly about the influence it might have elsewhere in the Christian community.

Jeffress, Rev. Robert (FBC Dallas)”I’m afraid they may have created a martyr in this scholarship fund, but that’s their business,” he tells OneNewsNow. “I just hope that Wheaton and all … Christian institutions – and mostly Christian churches, for sure – will not waffle and waiver on this foundational issue of the Christian faith.”

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Ken Ham: The State Has Created ‘The Church of Evolution With Darwin As The High Priest’

Ken Ham, a biologist and supporter of young Earth creationism, said evolution is a “belief,” not a “theory” — a “fairy tale” for people who “try to explain life without God” — and he added that the secular State has established a church, the “Church of Evolution, with Darwin as the High Priest,” and teachers and professors as “priests” who push the Darwin religion in the schools.

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Settling for Socialism

By David Fiorazo

Less than seventy-five years ago, six-time candidate for the Socialist Party of America, Norman Thomas, stated:

“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”

Today however, signs point to the unsettling fact that many Americans have been seduced by socialist ideology resulting in a more secular society where man is god and manipulates outcomes.

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The Daily Discovery (February 17, 2016)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Cognitive Dissonance and the Followers of Donald Trump – “When the legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum was challenged about the veracity of one of his past statements, he famously replied, ‘Yesterday I was lying, today I am telling the truth.’ This leads to the obvious question, ‘But Mr. Arum, what will you tell us tomorrow?’ There is something about Arum’s line that reminds me of Donald Trump, except that…”

Free Resources from the Master’s Seminary – “The Master’s Seminary exists to advance the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping godly men to be pastors and/or trainers of pastors for excellence in service to Christ in strategic fields of Christian ministry. This is to be accomplished through an educational program and an environment of spiritual fellowship and relationships which emphasize unreserved commitment to the worship of God, submission to the authority of the Scriptures, a life of personal holiness, the priority of the local church, and the mission of penetrating the world with the Truth. TMS offers graduate-level biblical, theological, and professional education designed to equip men for effectiveness in Christian ministry to the universal body of Christ, primarily through the local church.”

Our Pro-Woman, Complementarian Jesus – “We often hear that those who don’t affirm modern feminism are “anti-woman.” Christians are no exception. We sometimes get tagged with this epithet, and once the label sticks we’re either total sellouts (the women) or knuckle-dragging Neanderthals (the men). In light of this claim, it’s remarkable to consider how the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, interacted with women in his own day. I don’t exaggerate when I say that Jesus’s approach to women was nothing less than revolutionary. Affirming true God-designed complementarity has almost always challenged the status quo.”

Labels, Accusations & Judgements – “Last week we witnessed a bit of a storm in our circles based on an online exchange between Phil Johnson of Grace To You and Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church & contributor to The Gospel Coalition. First let me say I have great respect and have benefited from both of these men and their faithful ministries. Thabiti’s handbook ‘What is A Healthy Church Member’ is my go to source on this subject and Phil’s contributions to Pyromaniacs and his Biblical critique of the Charismatic movement have helped me immensely. I do not personally know either of these men, though I did have a Twitter exchange with Thabiti back in 2014 regarding the events surrounding Ferguson, Missouri. Though we were in disagreement, Thabiti was gracious and cordial in his responses to me.”

Rhymes With Bruise – “I want to begin what I say here by honoring the memory of Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a man who understood himself, who understood the Constitution, and who understood the enemies of constitutional liberty — whose name unfortunately is Legion. Here is Scalia on the reason for this.”


SERMON:

rosebrough

Chris Rosebrough – Those Who Murderously Desire to Silence Jesus


VIDEOS:

Hollywood Condemns Muhammad

St. Patrick’s Bad Closed Captioning


“All death can do to the believer is deliver him to Jesus.  It brings us into the eternal presence of our Savior.” – John MacArthur

The post The Daily Discovery (February 17, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


Forgiveness

It can leave you a lonely, grumpy old man. It can take away your love, joy and peace. It can keep you enslaved. It can be like being behind bars in a jail cell, separated and cut off from the rest of the world. What is it? Bitterness. Sounds like a grim reality for many. I know of persons who have gone to their grave like this and it is a sad and tragic story. But there is a solution. It is called forgiveness.

And that is why the Bible so closely links the two together. We are commanded to put away all bitterness and we are commanded to forgive as God in Christ forgave us(Ephesians 4:31-32).

So how did God in Christ forgive us? Let’s look at some word pictures the Old Testament writers paint for us to help us understand how God in Christ forgave us.

1) God has cast all our sins behind his back(Isaiah 38:17). Note that is not just some of our sins, but all our sins, which includes the most heinous sins. Note also that it is God’s initiative to cast them behind his back. And he doesn’t turn His head as we would every so often to look at them behind His back.

2) God remembers our sins no more(Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12).

“Forgetting is passive and is something that we as human beings, not being omniscient, do. Not remembering is active; it is a promise whereby one person, in this case God, determines not to remember the sins of another against Him. To not remember is simply a graphic way of saying, “I will not bring up these matters to you or others in the future.””

-Jay Adams(From Forgiven to Forgiving)

3) God has hurled all our sins into depths of the sea(Micah 7:19). They did not accidentally fall over. He intentionally hurled them. And they are not on the surface of the water, but in the depths of the sea, where they cannot be seen.

Despite our obstinance and rebellion, God is ready to forgive, because He is gracious and merciful.

“They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.”

Nehemiah 9:17

I mean, think about it for a moment, if God were to keep a record of our sins, we would be doomed.

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.”

Psalm 130:3-4

In the parable of the unforgiving servant(Matthew 18:21-35), Jesus shows us the stark contrast between how large a debt we owe God, yet in His mercy He has granted forgiveness, and how small a debt others owe us, yet we refuse to grant forgiveness. To understand the weight of Jesus’ argument here, you must understand the 10,000 talents the first servant owed to his master. One talent was equal to 20 years of wages. So this servant owed 20 years times 10,000, namely 200,000 years worth of work. Furthermore, to give you some more perspective on this, the total revenue collected by the Roman government every year was 900 talents. Yet his master was merciful and cancelled his debt, one that he owed but clearly could never pay. The other servant owed 100 denarii, equivalent to 3 months of wages. Yet the first servant who was forgiven such an incalculable debt, hardened his heart and withheld forgiveness.

Only when we see the gravity of our sin before the holiness of God and consider how much we’ve been forgiven do we then realize that any offense someone else has caused us is like a drop in the bucket compared to how we’ve offended a thrice holy God.

I say to the glory of God and in utter humility that whenever I see myself before God and realize even something of what my blessed Lord has done for me, I am ready to forgive anybody anything.”

Martin Lloyd-Jones

You see, the axiom is true, forgiven people forgive. Are you forgiven by God? You can be and you can know that you are forgiven, but only through Jesus Christ. God is so holy, so pure, so righteous, without sin, stain or blemish, that He requires sinless perfection. So much so that he will hold you accountable for breaking his entire law and commandments even if you just disobey once(James 2:10). Today, won’t you turn to Jesus Christ alone who died to pay the penalty for sin and in whom there is redemption, the forgiveness of sin(Ephesian 1:7)? If you believe on Christ, God will forgive you all your sins by cancelling the record of debt that stands against you(Colossians 2:13-14).

“To be forgiven is such sweetness that honey is tasteless in comparison with it. But there is one thing sweeter still and that is to forgive.”

-Charles Spurgeon


Don’t Mistake Slacktivism for Christianity

In the age of social media, political and social activism has taken on a whole new shape. While the old practices of picketing and marching still exist, a far milder form of activism has swept throughout the culture. In fact, it is such a large phenomenon that a whole new word had to be created for it: Slacktivism. If you look up its definition on dictionary.com, you’ll find that it describes a type of activism that requires little commitment or effort or risk on the part of the participant.

Just within the past few years I can think of several popular examples of this. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge blew up YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites as participants were challenged to either dump a bucket of ice on their head within 24 hours of being challenged or donate to ALS research. While there was widespread participation and even an uptick in awareness and donations to the ALS, for the large majority of participants, this challenge allowed them to “support” the cause without really putting any time and money into it themselves.

Following Jesus begins with a reshaping of our priorities.

TWEET

Or perhaps a more prominent and recent example was the response of solidarity with the French people after the horrific bombings in Paris last November. If you went on Facebook in the days after the attack, you were given the option to place an overlay of the French flag onto your profile picture. Again, with minimal time or effort being put into a cause, you could take political or social action.

Slacktivism or Costly Action?

My point is not that these things are inherently bad. But they do provide people with a false sense of involvement. Imagine if the support of those showing solidarity with France on social media was actually testing. I doubt that anyone who overlaid their profile picture with the French flag would respond as readily to a call-to-arms from the French president François Hollande. When challenged with real, costly action for a cause, slacktivists shrink back from taking any substantial action.

That type of thinking becomes downright dangerous when it comes to following Jesus. Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus calling people to a discipleship that is absolutely incompatible with the slacktivism of that defines our culture.

Jesus constantly told people what it would cost to follow him. One such occasion is found in Luke 9:23. Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

And so, Jesus gives us three insights into what following him will mean.

Three Traits of Activist Disciples

1. Disciples deny themselves.

Firstly, he says that we must deny ourselves. We must put our me-focused dreams and desires in the backseat (or, in some cases, throw them out of the car). Following Jesus begins with a reshaping of our priorities. It’s no longer what I want, but what Jesus wants. Not only that, but denying yourself also means denying all that you had previously found worth and value in, considering Jesus of the utmost value in your life, instead (Philippians 3:8-11).

2. Disciples daily take up their crosses.

Secondly, he says that we must take up our cross daily. Even as Christians, we can often diminish this to anything that we may be struggling with in a given day. Maybe not having had coffee this morning was “my cross to bear” or even some flaw in your character can become “my cross to bear.” But the cross was a symbol of shame and death.

Jesus is telling his followers exactly what it will mean to follow him. They will have to endure shame daily. Just like Jesus endured ridicule and persecution for following the Father’s will, so we will face ridicule and shame for following God’s will. They will also have to experience a kind of death daily: death to themselves and death to the world around them. In the eyes of the world, we look condemned to death. We live a life that is foolish, pointless, and worthless according to the world’s values.

3. Disciples follow Jesus anywhere.

Finally, Jesus says that discipleship is following him. We must go where he calls and do what he says. To follow Jesus is to obey. This is what it costs to be a follower of Jesus. It means denying ourselves, bearing the shame and death that comes with submitting ourselves to God’s will, and following after Jesus wherever he may lead.

We cannot be true disciples of Jesus and be mere slacktivists. Following Jesus doesn’t consist merely in retweeting, liking, or sharing something on social media. Rather, it requires real sacrifice and submission. It doesn’t require minimal effort, commitment, or risk, but demands our entire lives.

Even in Jesus’ day there were people who walked around with him and ate with him, but never truly followed him. They were the mere slacktivists of their day. And to them he will say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

How is Christ calling you to be an active disciple today? What other temptations are there to be slacktivist Christians?

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The post Don’t Mistake Slacktivism for Christianity appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.


Check Out

Blogs

What Are We Aiming At? | Pat Quinn, TGC
“‘What are we aiming at in the people we minister to?’ Four biblical verbs–know, pray, trust, walk–came to mind that seemed to capture what all biblical counseling, preaching, teaching, evangelism, and discipling aim at leading people to do in their process of spiritual growth. Notice that these four verbs are not so much our ministry methodology but our ministry outcomes.”

The Blessing of Teaching the Children | Nick Batzig, The Christward Collective
“Several months ago, I began teaching some of the 7-12 year olds at New Covenant through The Westminster Shorter Catechism. As I have done so, I have been reminded of the multitude of blessings that accrue from teaching the children of the church the precious doctrines of the Christian faith. Here are four of the blessings that pastors and congregants can glean from working to bring the deep truths of the Scriptures to the ears of the next generation of those in the church.”

Puritan Preaching: Westminster’s Directory  | Bob McKelvey, Meet the Puritans
“While the Directory was not intended to be an exhaustive guide to homiletics (the art and science of preaching), it still provides helpful guidance for the preacher in the twenty-first century. ”

On My Shelf: Life and Books with Marvin Olasky | TGC
“On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. ”

50 Years of Sex Changes, Mental Disorders, and Too Many Suicides | Walt Heyer, Public Discourse
“Early pioneers in gender-reassignment surgery and recent clinical studies agree that a majority of transgender people suffer from co-occurring psychological disorders, leading tragically high numbers to commit suicide. Outlawing psychotherapy for transgender people may be politically correct, but it shows a reckless disregard for human lives.”

What the Church Can Learn From Justice Scalia’s Life | Russell Moore, Reformation21 Blog
“Justice Scalia stood up persistently for the permanent things. Moreover, there are aspects of his life that even those who completely disagree with him legally or politically could do well to emulate. Most of us will not serve as justices or judges or attorneys, but we can still glean some lessons from this life. Here are a few of them.”

Kindle Deals

A Biblical Home Education: Building Your Homeschool on the Foundation of God’s Word by Ruth Beechick ($2.99)
Homeschooling Methods: Seasoned Advice on Learning Styles by Paul and Gena Suarez ($0.99)
NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible, eBook published by Thomas Nelson ($4.99)
B & H Perspectives Series on sale ranging from $0.99 to $2.99. Titles such as Perspectives on Israel and the ChurchPerspectives on Tithing, and Perspectives on Family Ministry.
The Test Of Courage: Michel Thomas: A Biography Of The Holocaust Survivor And Nazi-Hunter by Christopher Robbins ($0.99)


A La Carte (February 17)

Today’s Kindle deals include The Expected One by Scott James ($0.99); Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell ($1.99); Interpreting Gospel Narratives by Timothy Wiarda ($2.99); It’s All In How You Tell It by Haddon Robinson ($1.99). Also, the Kindle Fire device is on sale today. Finally, Crossway will give you a free copy of Augustine on the Christian Life if you fill out a quick survey.

I know some people appreciated yesterday’s Logos deals, so here are a few more. Two study Bibles: ESV Study Bible and Reformation Study Bible are on sale. Two commentaries on Isaiah are discounted a little deeper: Ray Ortlund and Alec Motyer. Also consider Cranfield on Romans at a 61% discount.

In Defense of Date Night

Stacey Reaoch defends date nights: “While it’s true that a good marriage is built in the mundane tasks of everyday life rather than on romantic getaways and mountaintop experiences, it doesn’t negate the fact that intentional time together as a couple is indispensable to having a healthy marriage.”

Joseph Fiennes Talks About Playing a Skeptic in ‘Risen’

Christian Today interviews Joseph Fiennes about playing the lead role in the new film Risen. They also talk about his upcoming role as Eric Liddell.

Beware the Black Hole of Time

Here’s a good warning for all church-goers. “Oh, yes, the black hole of time. This is that period of time following the service when the visitor is standing around awkwardly, knowing not a soul. As the church bustles about, clumped together in their familiar groups, catching up and fellowshipping, the new family nervously gathers their stuff, looks about the room and waits.”

Reading the Challenging PG-13 Bible Passages

There is some good guidance here on reading those PG-13 passages with your children.

This Day in 1912 and 2001. 104 and 15 years ago today respectively, missionary to India John Nelson “Praying” Hyde and Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrandt both died. *

Is a Surrogate a Mother?

This article discusses one of the complexities inherent in this “brave new world.”

A Short Remembrance of Dr. Charles Ryrie

I enjoyed reading Denny Burk’s short remembrance of Charles Ryrie who died just two days ago.

How the FBI Took Down FIFA

This longform article explains how the FBI got on the track of FIFA and how they eventually began to take it down.

Flavel

Every man loves the mercies of God, but a saint loves the God of his mercies. —John Flavel


Are We About To See The Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom?

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 06:10 AM PST

For half a century, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the linchpin of U.S. Mideast policy. A guaranteed supply of oil has bought a guaranteed supply of security. Ignoring autocratic practices and the export of Wahhabi extremism, Washington stubbornly dubs its ally “moderate.” So tight is the trust that U.S. special operators dip into Saudi petrodollars as a counterterrorism slush fund without a second thought. In a sea of chaos, goes the refrain, the kingdom is one state that’s stable.

But is it? In fact, Saudi Arabia is no state at all. There are two ways to describe it: as a political enterprise with a clever but ultimately unsustainable business model, or so corrupt as to resemble in its functioning a vertically and horizontally integrated criminal organization. Either way, it can’t last. It’s past time U.S. decision-makers began planning for the collapse of the Saudi kingdom. READ MORE

The post Are We About To See The Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom? appeared first on End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: S-300 Was Just the Beginning: Iran Plans Huge Arms Deals With Russia

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 06:02 AM PST

During the visit, a number of issues were discussed, including global security, the war on terrorism, the situation in Syria and in the Middle East as well as military and technical cooperation between Moscow and Tehran. Iran has traditionally been a major buyer of Russian-made weapons. Moscow and Tehran avidly cooperated in the military-technical field after the Iranian revolution and until the introduction of anti-Iranian sanctions. Last year, the final agreement of the Iranian nuclear program was reached and the easing of sanctions was announced. The landmark deal has given a fresh impetus to military cooperation between Russia and Iran.

In September 2015, a new agreement was signed to deliver S-300PMU-2 air defense systems to Iran. The implementation of the contract is expected to start in early-2016 and be completed in autumn. An S-300 system unit comprises a regiment command point and two divisions with four missile launchers in each. The price tag for two S-300PMU-2 units will be over $1 billion. After the deal was signed the first shipment was sent to Russia’s Kapustin Yar military range. Currently, the systems are undergoing tests of their capabilities, and then they will be delivered by sea to Iran. READ MORE

 

The post BREAKING NEWS: S-300 Was Just the Beginning: Iran Plans Huge Arms Deals With Russia appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Israeli outrage over US Judea-Samaria labeling ‘deception’

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:59 AM PST

Israeli officials expressed outrage late Tuesday, after the International Legal Forum (ILF) argued that the US Customs’ January 23 “reissuing” of orders to importers to label all products from Judea and Samaria as not being from “Israel” was a covert policy change. Slamming the move as deceiving Congress, as well as the American and Israeli public, the Israeli group International Law Forum told Channel 2 that American claims of merely “reissuing” policies from 1995 are in fact false.

The group noted that the 1995 guidelines only applied to goods from the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria, which was newly established in the 1994 Oslo Accords. The guidelines were meant to distinguish PA goods as not being Israeli. However, the new orders call for all goods from Judea and Samaria to be labeled as non-Israeli, including those produced by Israeli Jews living in the region. READ MORE

The post Israeli outrage over US Judea-Samaria labeling ‘deception’ appeared first on End Time Headlines.

Will Obama Appoint a Hindu to Replace Scalia?

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:49 AM PST

Hindus around the world are wondering whether Sri Srinivasan — the name atop many a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees — will be the first Hindu to serve on the high court. The India-born Srinivasan put his hand on the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, held by his mother, when he was sworn in to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2013. The Senate had confirmed him to the court — often a launching pad to the Supreme Court — by a 97-0 vote.

Now the Times of India, The Hindu and other Indian newspapers — as well as scores of American legal pundits — are speculating that Srinivasan could be Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death was announced Saturday (Feb. 13). The appeal of Srinivasan, who clerked for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and argued more than two dozen cases before the high court as a deputy solicitor general, lies in his reputation as a moderate and the ease with which the Senate confirmed him to the appeals court. READ MORE

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Arabic banner mysteriously appears on Texas building

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:45 AM PST

A Texas mayor wants federal agents to investigate after a black banner with Arabic-style writing was seen mysteriously hanging from the top of a government-owned building on Monday. The banner, draped from the roof of Citizens Tower in Lubbock, was black with a red heart in the center and the words “alhab lljamie” printed in white. An Arabic-speaking source translated that to “love all,” according to FOX34. The flag was stabilized with two cinder blocks, Lubbock Online reported.

Mayor Glen Robertson asked City Manager James Loomis to have the flag removed from the building, which was formerly known as the Omni Building. “I have sent Mr. Loomis an email requesting that we remove the Arabic flag from the Omni building, that we take all steps necessary to secure the building and that Chief [Greg] Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and the Lubbock Sheriff’s Office,” Robertson said in a public statement. READ MORE

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Nasrallah threatens to bomb chemical facility, kill thousands of Israelis

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:30 AM PST

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday insisted that although his group isn’t currently seeking war with Israel, it could defeat the Jewish state in a future conflict by targeting Haifa’s ammonia storage tanks, resulting in massive fatalities. Dismissing recent reports of a possible outbreak of hostilities with Israel, Nasrallah said deterrence established by the terror organization in the first and second Lebanon wars was keeping Israeli aggression at bay.

“Israel’s psychological warfare is of no use against us,” he said in a speech that was broadcast by the Lebanese Naharnet news site. As an example, Nasrallah said Israel “feared” the group’s cache of rockets capable of striking the ammonia facilities in Haifa, an attack that he said would result in casualties equivalent to those that would be caused by a nuclear attack. READ MORE

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21 New Numbers That Show That The Global Economy Is Absolutely Imploding

Posted: 17 Feb 2016 05:26 AM PST

(Michael Snyder) After a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment. But that does not mean that the crisis is over. On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams.

This is especially true when you look at global trade numbers. The amount of stuff that is being bought, sold and shipped around the planet is falling precipitously. So don’t be fooled if stocks go up one day or down the next. The truth is that we are in the early chapters of a brand new economic meltdown, and I believe that all of the signs indicate that it will continue to get worse in the months ahead. The following are 21 new numbers that show that the global economy is absolutely imploding…READ MORE

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Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


What is The Gospel?

God made everything out of nothing, including you and me. His main purpose in creation was to bring him pleasure.

The chief way in which we as humanity do this is through loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

Instead of this, we have sinned against our loving Creator and acted in high-handed rebellion.

God has vowed that he will righteously and lovingly judge sinners with eternal death.

But God, being merciful, loving, gracious, and just, sent his own son, Jesus Christ, in the likeness of man to live as a man; fulfilling his perfect requirements in the place of sinners; loving, obeying, and enjoying him perfectly.

And further, his son bore the eternal judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary, as he satisfied the eternal anger of God, standing in the place of sinners. God treated Jesus as a sinner, though he was perfectly sinless, that he might declare sinners as perfect.

This glorious transaction occurs as the sinner puts their faith (dependence, trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute. God then charges Christ’s perfection to the sinner, and no longer views him as an enemy but instead an adopted son covered in the perfect righteousness of his son.

God furnished proof that this sacrifice was accepted by raising Jesus from the dead.

God will judge the world in righteousness and all of those who are not covered in the righteousness of Christ, depending on him for forgiveness, will be forced to stand on their own to bear the eternal anger of God.

Therefore, all must turn from sin and receive Christ Jesus as Lord.


What Is the Gospel?

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel.

The gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God, and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness–or lack of it –or the righteousness of another. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.

The great misconception in our day is this: that God isn’t concerned to protect His own integrity. He’s a kind of wishy-washy deity, who just waves a wand of forgiveness over everybody. No. For God to forgive you is a very costly matter. It cost the sacrifice of His own Son. So valuable was that sacrifice that God pronounced it valuable by raising Him from the dead – so that Christ died for us, He was raised for our justification. So the gospel is something objective. It is the message of who Jesus is and what He did. And it also has a subjective dimension. How are the benefits of Jesus subjectively appropriated to us? How do I get it? The Bible makes it clear that we are justified not by our works, not by our efforts, not by our deeds, but by faith–and by faith alone. The only way you can receive the benefit of Christ’s life and death is by putting your trust in Him–and in Him alone. You do that, you’re declared just by God, you’re adopted into His family, you’re forgiven of all of your sins, and you have begun your pilgrimage for eternity.


The Gospel In A Nutshell

Now, with regard to this rule of faith—that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend—it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth; that this Word is called His Son, and, under the name of God, was seen “in diverse manners” by the patriarchs, heard at all times in the prophets, at last brought down by the Spirit and Power of the Father into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and, being born of her, went forth as Jesus Christ; thenceforth He preached the new law and the new promise of the kingdom of heaven, worked miracles; having been crucified, He rose again the third day; (then) having ascended into the heavens, He sat at the right hand of the Father; sent instead of Himself the Power of the Holy Ghost to lead such as believe; will come with glory to take the saints to the enjoyment of everlasting life and of the heavenly promises, and to condemn the wicked to everlasting fire, after the resurrection of both these classes shall have happened, together with the restoration of their flesh. This rule, as it will be proved, was taught by Christ, and raises amongst ourselves no other questions than those which heresies introduce, and which make men heretics.

Tertullian, “On Prescription Against Heretics,” Chapter XIIl


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

If you picked up a hitchhiker (not that I recommend doing that) and he saw a Bible on your car seat and said, “I’ve heard about this thing called the Gospel – can you explain it to me before you drop me off in one minute up the street?” What would you say?

Can you explain the gospel in 30 seconds? In one minute? In five minutes?

Here’s one way I have found helpful. The five main components of the gospel can be remembered on 5 fingers of one hand. Here they are:

1) Jesus’ birth
2) Jesus’ life
3) Jesus’ death
4) Jesus’ resurrection
5) Jesus’ ascension

Obviously each point can be elaborated on depending on how much time you have. Here’s the short version:

1) Jesus’ birth – Jesus, God himself, the creator of the universe, the Messiah, became a human being – took on flesh, and was born of a virgin.

2) Jesus’ life – Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience to his Father. Though he was tempted in every way as we are, he never once sinned.

3) Jesus’ death – on the cross, Jesus himself took all our sins and paid for them. God the father counted all our sins to Jesus as if he himself had personally committed them. Then Jesus bore God’s wrath towards sin – the punishment we deserved – as a substitute for us.

4) Jesus’ resurrection – within 3 days, Jesus rose physically from the dead, proving that his sacrifice for sins have been accepted by God, since the punishment for sin was death. Jesus was seen by numerous people after he rose including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15).

5) Jesus’ ascension – Jesus ascended physically into heaven where he reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. And someday he will return to the earth.

That’s the gospel, the good news, and if we believe in Jesus Christ and this good news and call upon him he will save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

That’s a simple way to remember the gospel – five fingers. Even a child can do it. So ask God to give you opportunities to share his good news today.


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Resource Links

CanIKnowGod.com is a website inspired by LifesGreatestQuestion.com, with new content, images, audio and video that will help you understand more about who God is and how to know Him. The site is mobile responsive and has an infinite scroll which makes for a very user-friendly experience. After you indicate a decision on CanIKnowGod.com, you are directed to a page that details what it means to have a new and transformed life through Jesus Christ. There’s even a Facebook page for daily updates, encouragement and scripture sharing.

Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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— Augustine

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Who are the blessed?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:18-19 NASB)

The truly discerning, obedient, Christian who is seeking God’s will in his or her relationship with all in the Body of Christ is not one seeking a fight over every difference. Instead, the stronger brother or sister is to always be about seeking the defense of the conscience of the weaker brethren. In fact, those who are mature in Christ will not seek to have that known among the brethren at all, but are of lowly spirit, but always ready to teach and encourage those willing to be discipled. However, even in this, they know that what they are teaching is what they have received from their Lord and is not of themselves.

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“The Nature of These Covenants Is So Much Perverted By Some”

The Reformed Reader

The Whole Works of Thomas Boston, Vol. 11: Discourses on Prayer One of the major threads of theology in the Reformed tradition is the covenant of works.  The Westminster Standards define and discuss the covenant of works, and the leading Reformed theologians in the past have spent quite a bit of time discussing it as well.  One example is Thomas Boston, who wrote a treatise called A View of the Covenant of Works from the Sacred Records(“Sacred Records” means “Holy Scripture”).  The rest of the descriptive (!) title is as follows:

“The parties in that covenant, the making of it, its parts, conditionary and promissory, and minatory [threatening]; our father Adam’s breaking of it; the imputation of that breach to his posterity; and the state of man under that broken covenant, and under the course thereof, are distinctly considered: together with a particular application of the subject, for the conviction both of saints and sinners.”

Here are the main parts…

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Wagner’s foreword to book exposing the NAR taking over Australian churches

The next few articles looking at the Hillsong’s origin in the New Order of the Latter Rain, will have us examine the work of David Cartledge. Mr Cartledge wrote the below book, ‘The Apostolic Revolution: The restoration of Apostles and Prophets in the Assemblies of God Australia’ and was published in the year 2000. This book is a must for all avid apologists and researchers on Hillsong and the dangers of the New Order of the Latter Rain and the New Apostolic Reformation cult.

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In this article we will look at the foreword, written by the head New Apostolic Reformation (aka Christian Taliban) leader Charles Peter Wagner. If you are not familiar with his cult teachings in forming the New Apostolic Reformation, click here to find out more.

This book and foreword absolutely cements the fact that Hillsong is driven by the New Order of the Latter Rain and the New Apostolic…

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