Daily Archives: March 30, 2016

March 30, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Mar. 30, 2016

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court called for additional briefing in a divisive clash over contraceptives and Obamacare, issuing an unusual order that suggests at least one justice may be eyeing a possible compromise.

The main Brussels airport remained closed on Wednesday as officials completed work on temporary repairs more than a week after suicide bombs ripped through the departures hall.

Worldwide, animals consume more antibiotics than humans, an amount researcher’s estimate will jump 67 percent in the 20 years through 2030 as India, China, Brazil and other developing countries expand livestock production to meet unprecedented demand for animal protein. While antibiotics are helping to sustain intensive food production, doctors worry their uncontrolled use on farms is turning animals into reservoirs of hard-to-kill bacteria that can spread rapidly and globally.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp., a supplier of air-to-air missiles to Japan’s armed forces, is looking to adapt the technologies it originally developed for military use to help autonomous driving cars detect obstacles and avoid collisions.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spelled out on Tuesday what she means by data dependence, asserting her leadership of the U.S. central bank with a clear message that interest rates will be raised at a cautious pace.

AP Top Stories

Days after President Obama’s historic visit, the leaders of Cuba’s Communist Party are under highly unusual public criticism from their own ranks for imposing new levels of secrecy on the future of social and economic reforms.

A Delta Airlines employee at Palm Beach International Airport was arrested Saturday after authorities say he was caught with more than $282,000 in a backpack. He told them that he was being paid about $1,000 to hand over the backpack to an “unknown person in a bathroom inside the airport’s sterile area,” according to the affidavit. He had allegedly done similar drop-offs in the past year and had earned almost $4,000 for his work.

Seven people have been charged in the murder of a 20-year-old forklift operator who was killed in his home two months after winning nearly a half million dollars in a Georgia state lottery. The Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Monday it did not provide a motive for the killing, or whether or not Burch was singled out because of his lottery winnings.

A farmer has lost 25 tons of fish after they were sucked into a sinkhole. Tens of thousands of fish disappeared underground after the hole opened up in the pond of a farmer in China. The overnight incident rid his pond of most of its water and the loss of more than 10,000 fish.

A 50-year-old American Airlines co-pilot had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit and was having trouble with his cockpit seat just before an aborted takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport over the weekend, according to police reports.

The Philippines may invest in its first-ever submarine fleet to help protect its territory in the disputed South China Sea, President Benigno Aquino said Wednesday.

Poland’s foreign minister says the government stands by its commitment to take in 7,000 refugees, on condition they are checked for security and are willing to settle in Poland.

A New York man was charged with drug trafficking and other crimes after authorities in Vermont discovered the equivalent of more than 1,400 bags of heroin hidden in his body, state police said.

Boeing Co will eliminate about 4,000 jobs in its commercial airplanes division by the middle of this year and another roughly 550 jobs in a division that conducts flight and lab tests.

BBC

French President Francois Hollande has dropped plans to change the constitution to strip militants convicted of terror attacks of their French nationality.

The FBI is resisting calls to reveal how it identified people who used a child pornography site on the Tor anonymizing network. The agency was ordered to share details by a Judge presiding over a case involving one alleged user of the site.

Lawmakers in the US commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are moving to enact “sweeping” gun control legislation, days after a court struck down its ban on handgun possession.

The Venezuelan National Assembly has passed an amnesty bill which could free dozens of jailed opposition leaders.

A top Australian university has rejected claims it is trying to rewrite the nation’s colonial history. Students are being encouraged to use the term “invaded” rather than “settled” or “discovered”, and avoid the word “Aborigines”.

Jade Hameister has begun her mission to become the youngest person ever to complete the Polar Hat Trick. The 14-year-old is hoping to cross the North Pole, South Pole and the Greenland Crossing. It will see the Australian school girl from Melbourne trek on three separate trips over the next two years.

A senior Nigerian official has told the BBC that a would-be suicide bomber arrested in Cameroon is not one of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.

Myanmar’s new president has been sworn in, the first elected civilian leader in more than 50 years.

WND

North Korea issued a strongly worded message against the United States, saying the regime was more than ready to unleash a nuclear attack if poked – the technology is all there.

The sponsor of the Georgia religious freedom legislation vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal says he is “extremely disappointed” in Deal after lawmakers bent over backward to craft a bill to satisfy the governor and the business community and protect limited freedoms for clergy and institutions of faith. “I think the message the governor sent with the veto is that it’s open season on people of faith in Georgia.”


Top News – 3/30/2016

Three San Jose Earthquakes, Did You Feel Them?
The USGS reports Tuesday evening quakes: At 8:51 p.m. there was a 3.2 magnitude At 8:24 p.m. there was a 2.5 magnitude At 8:23 p.m., there was a 2.4 magnitude All three centered about 10 miles east of San Jose, 14 miles east of Santa Clara.

British magistrate fired for opposing gay adoption: ‘I believe we need to stand and say what is right’
Richard Page, the magistrate recently fired for preferring to place children for adoption with heterosexual couples rather than same-sex ones, has to fight not only his dismissal but insults and lies thrown at him by TV host Piers Morgan.

Why hasn’t ISIS attacked Israel?
ISIS has already attacked Europe’s soft underbelly three times; while the terrorist group has repeatedly threatened Israel, it has yet to attack Israelis on Israeli soil; Because of deterrence or perhaps a Mossad conspiracy, ISIS has held off from attacking the Jewish state.

California: ‘100 shots’ by men chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’
Deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies responded to a report of “Allahu Akbar” chanting, turban-wearing men shooting assault rifles, handguns and shotguns in a remote desert area, officials have confirmed.

Kanlaon erupts, travel restricted
THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday started imposing a travel restriction in the immediate area of Mount Kanlaon in Negros Oriental after it erupted twice on Tuesday evening.

Assad: Syria transitional govt must include regime and opposition
Bashar al-Assad says the transitional government of his war-torn country should include both the regime and opposition, according to an interview published on Wednesday, according to AFP.

Kremlin Considering Netanyahu Visit in April
The possibility of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Russia is being considered, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press on Wednesday, TASS reported. Commenting on several media reports that claimed that Netanyahu’s visit to Russia is planned for April 21, Peskov said: “The possibility of Mr Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow is being considered.

Khamenei says missiles, not just talks, key to Iran’s future
Iran’s top leader on Wednesday said missiles were key to the Islamic Republic’s future, offering support to the hardline Revolutionary Guards that have drawn criticism from the West for testing ballistic missiles. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported last year’s nuclear deal with world powers but has since called for Iran to avoid further rapprochement with the United States and its allies, and maintain its economic and military strength.

“Made Out Of Sand” – A Dramatic Look Inside A Newly Built Chinese Apartment
While real estate is all about “location, location, location,” it appears there are sometimes more prescient factors that any prospective buyer should pay attention to. Amid yet another government-fueled housing bubble, it seems in their haste to fulfil a rapacious demand for property in which to gamble their hard-grafted assets, Chinese construction companies have cut a few corners. As the following stunning video shows, a “newly constructed apartment” crumbles before the owners’ eyes as the ‘concrete’ walls turn to sand…

The Biggest Party in Brazil’s Ruling Coalition Has Quit
The biggest party in Brazil’s ruling coalition has elected to swiftly detach itself from the government of President Dilma Rousseff in what amounts to a damning vote of no confidence in the scandal-plagued leader.

Top German Journalist Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake: “We All Lie For The CIA”
With the increasing propaganda wars, we thought a reminder of just how naive many Westerners are when it comes to their news-feed. As Arjun Walia, of GlobalResearch.ca, notes, Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

Did the FBI Just Unleash a Hacker Army on Apple?
hen the tech giant wouldn’t unlock a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone, the FBI initiated legal action—then found another way to get the information it needed. In the end, the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help to extract information from a dead terrorist’s iPhone. Hackers, the FBI says, did the government’s work for it.

Obama seeks to loosen restrictions on opioid abuse medication
President Obama announced several new administration actions aimed at combating the country’s deadly opioid epidemic at the National Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta on Tuesday.


Top Headlines – 3/30/2016

  • Bad News Is Great News: Cautious Yellen drives world stocks near 2016 peaks (Read More)
  • Yellen Spurs Global Stock Rally as Oil Rebounds, Dollar Tumbles (Read More)
  • Trump drops pledge to back Republican presidential nominee other than himself (Read More)
  • Second judge says Clinton email setup may have been in ‘bad faith’ (Read More)
  • Brussels Airport Remains Shut as Police Hunt Third Attacker (Read More)
  • Europe Traders Aren’t Waiting Around to See If Rebound Holds (Read More)
  • Western Digital Bond Sale Is Test for Junk Market (Read More)
  • Owe Back Taxes? Lose Your Passport (Read More)
  • Most Americans support torture against terror suspects (Read More)
  • Europe’s Bond Shortage Means Draghi Is About to Shock the Market (Read More)
  • Tata confirms plan to sell UK steel businesses (Read More)
  • Corporate Bond Yields Touch Record Lows in Europe’s Periphery  (Read More)
  • Zuma’s Friends the Guptas Face Probe by South African Police (Read More)
  • Another Condo Bust Looms in Miami (Read More)
  • Obama Announces New Measures to Combat Heroin, Painkiller Abuse (Read More)
  • Foxconn agrees to buy Sharp after slashing original offer (Read More)
  • Hackers Breach Law Firms, Including Cravath Swaine and Weil Gotshal (Read More)

You can’t make it up. UN names democratic Israel as world’s top human rights violator

Palestinians ask UN to investigate Israel killings

International mediators said working on Hamas, Israel prisoner swap

EU Ambassador: Labeling ‘settlement’ products isn’t a boycott

Rivlin: BDS doesn’t believe in Israel’s right to exist

Shapiro: US vigorously opposes BDS

Jewish Group Prepares New Battle Against Israel Boycott

Israel and China commit to completing free-trade agreement

US, allies say Iran missile test ‘in defiance of’ UN resolutions

US and allies urge UN action against Iran for missile tests

Islamic State cell uncovered in east Jerusalem

Israel on alert for attacks by Islamic State fighters in Sinai

ISIS plans attacks on Jewish kingergardens in Turkey

Pentagon, State Dept. Orders Families of Personnel to Leave Turkey

Russia’s Putin, Iran’s Rouhani agree to cooperate closely on Syria

Top US General: ‘No Doubt’ Russia Stabilized Syrian Regime

China appoints first special envoy for Syria crisis

German rail service to roll out ‘women-only’ train cars amid fears over migrant assaults

Catholic priest’s fate unclear after reports ISIS would crucify him

EgyptAir hijacker arrested in Cyprus; officials call him an ‘idiot,’ not a terrorist

EgyptAir passenger took selfie during hijacking

Pirates hijack ship off Philippines, take 10 hostages, officials say

FBI Investigating Reports Of 17 Muslim Men Chanting “Allah Akbar,” Firing Off Shots In Apple Valley

Campaign rhetoric on Muslims harms U.S. security efforts: Homeland Security chief

Paul Ryan Tells Sean Hannity He Will Not Support Any Cuts To Muslim Immigration: ‘That’s Not Who We Are’

States’ rights advocates eye convention to bypass Congress, amend Constitution

Rubio Makes Unprecedented Bid to Keep Delegates for Contested Convention

Cubans handed cash, Social Security card, food stamps, Medicaid at U.S. border

North Korean nuclear threats spotlight US missile defense

North Korea fires short-range missile along its coast

North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare Themselves for Famine

China newspaper editor ‘resigns over media control’

Apple wants the FBI to reveal how it hacked the San Bernardino killer’s iPhone

Newspapers Gobble Each Other Up to Survive Digital Apocalypse

Fed’s Williams urges U.S. central bank to stay on track with rate rises

Yellen Says Caution in Raising Rates Is ‘Especially Warranted’

Stocks close at 2016 highs as Yellen strikes cautious tone

Negative interest rates put the global economy on a razor’s edge

States moving to restore work requirements for food stamp recipients

US nuke plant shut down after malfunction

Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work

There’s Even More Evidence Planet Nine Is Hiding in Our Solar System

Amateur Astronomer Captures Mystery Object Crashing Into Jupiter

Flyby Comet Was Way Bigger Than Thought

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Bitung, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Curup, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Mid-Indian Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Carlsberg Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Several earthquakes shake central Oklahoma

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 30,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 19,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Kanlaon volcano in the Philippines erupts to 13,000ft

Chikurachki volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

WHO downgrades Ebola health risk

‘Uber for birth control’ service to deliver HIV prevention drug Truvada

Supreme Court seeks alternative ways to deal with contraceptive coverage

Hillary Clinton: I Would Not Appoint Someone to the Supreme Court Who Didn’t Support Abortion

Utah governor signs bill requiring abortion anesthesia beginning at 20 weeks

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper won’t defend transgender law in court

Transgender Man Sues Barbershop for Discrimination

A Gateway Could Be Opened When the Temple of Baal Is Erected in Times Square

Mike Oppenheimer – Did Jesus Identify Himself as God?

Bucket collectors linked to church with history of fraud, abuse

Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Reading Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life in Prison

Catholic Author Raises Two Million to Get Souls Out of Purgatory

Teachers unions back bill allowing adult males to shower with young girls in Massachusetts


Absurd: Cuomo Bans State Travel to NC Because Transgenders Can’t Use Whichever Bathroom They Want, Encourages Travel to Cuba Where They’re Harassed and Detained

Townhall reports:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is apparently so disturbed by the fact that transgender people in North Carolina cannot choose which restroom or locker room to use based on their gender identity that he has banned all non-essential travel to the state.

The ban, which took effect upon the signing of the order Monday, requires all New York state agencies, departments, boards and commissions to review any requests for state-funded travel to North Carolina. Any such travel that is not essential to the enforcement of New York state law or public health and safety will not be allowed.

View article →


UN Condemns Israel As Worst Violator of Women’s Rights in the World

Even While the Arab world treats their women worse than animals . . .

Surely flaws could be pointed out in any country, but to single out Israel while making no mention of the dozens of other countries in the world that are serious violators of women’s rights is absurd. Just consider, for example, places like Syria, where women are being raped and tortured as a tactic of war; or Saudi Arabia, where they cannot drive a car or interact with men—the latter of which could get them charged with prostitution and jail time and/or lashes as a punishment;

View Article


A Dangerously Deluded Pope

And Francis’ response to the brutal war on Christendom and the West? He kisses the feet of people from the very religion responsible for it. Then again, this is a man who has called the Brussels bloodbath a “gesture of destruction,” thereby making it sound as if this latest Islamic terror attack was nothing more than a passing nuisance. If this is the kind of “moral infallibility” that the head of the Vatican can muster these days, his flock is doomed. Francis doesn’t just want European Christians to “turn the other cheek”; he wants them to emulate him by bending the knee to people many of whom make no secret of their desire to murder or subjugate all non-Muslims. Any minute now the pope might grab a guitar and launch into a soulful rendition of “Give Peace a Chance.”

View Article


 

April 19: Temple Of Baal In New York Is Going Up Same Day The Blood Sacrifice To The Beast Begins

Blood Sacrifice To The Beast - Public DomainI am about to share with you some absolutely astounding information.  It turns out that the exact day when reproductions of the arch that stood in front of the Temple of Baal are going to be erected in Times Square in New York City and in Trafalgar Square in London is also the exact day when a very important occult festival related to the worship of Baal begins.  April 19th is the first day of a 13 day period of time known as “the Blood Sacrifice to the Beast” that culminates on the high occult holy day of Beltane on May 1st.  In some parts of the world, Beltane is much better known as “May Day”, and it has been described as the “Illuminati’s second most sacred holiday”.  As you will see below, we have indeed witnessed a disturbing series of “blood sacrifices” during the second half of April in recent years, and many people wonder if there is a connection. (Read More…)


Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

No Thinking - Public DomainTen years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.  In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in.  Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us.  We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach.  Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television.  75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet.  It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. (Read More….)


Feel you may be losing your faith? 10 Bible verses to sustain you through hard times

Feel you may be losing your faith? 10 Bible verses to sustain you through hard times

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Christian Today

Have you found yourself wondering if God is real? And if he exists, is he good? Here are some Bible verses that may help.

Read Full Article »


Why promising God will bless you if you tithe misses the point about giving

Why promising God will bless you if you tithe misses the point about giving

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Christian Today

Perry Noble’s NewSpring church is encouraging its members to tithe by offering a 90-day money back guarantee.

Read Full Article »


The Future of Music in the Church

The Future of Music in the Church

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Christianity Today

Music changes in every generation and we should appreciate it.

Read Full Article »


 Featured Blogs


Why Don’t We Follow All of the Old Testament Laws?

It’s pretty common these days for people to dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they follow some of the rules in the Bible and ignore others.” The challenge usually sounds something like this: “When the Bible talks about certain sexual behaviors as sin, you quote that; but when it says not to eat shellfish or that you should execute people for breaking the Sabbath, you just ignore it. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what suits you best?”

I’ve found that this objection carries a lot of weight, and not just with non-Christians. Many Christians have a hard time answering it … which is why we just secretly hope it never comes up.

One of the most helpful ways to think about this is to look at the types of laws there are in the Old Testament. The 16th-century Reformer John Calvin saw that the NT seemed to treat the OT laws in three ways. There were Civil Laws, which governed the nation of Israel, encompassing not only behaviors, but also punishments for crimes. There were Ceremonial Laws about “clean” and “unclean” things, about various kinds of sacrifices, and other temple practices. And then there were the Moral Laws, which declared what God deemed right and wrong—the 10 Commandments, for instance.

For OT Israel, all three types of laws blended together. Breaking a civil or a ceremonial law was a moral problem; conversely, breaking a moral law had a civil (and often ceremonial) consequence. But they only went hand-in-hand because Israel was in a unique place historically, as both a nation and a worshiping community. “Separation of church and state” wasn’t one of their core tenets. That’s not the case for the Church today, so the way we view the Law would have to look different.

All of this helps explain what often seems contradictory about the NT view of the Law. On one hand, Jesus said the Law was perfect, that heaven and earth would pass away before the Law would fail (Matt 5:18). On the other hand, the Apostle Paul points out that those who are born again are actually released from the Law (Rom 7:1-6; Gal 3:25). As Jesus himself put it, he came to fulfill the Law (Matt 5:17).

What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled the Law? It means that every law pointed to him, and he completed everything they pointed to. Thinking of Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law helps us see why we keep some of the OT commands and “ignore” others.

The Civil Laws, for instance, were set up so the nation of Israel could thrive. Jesus actually emerged from this nation, but he started a new Israel—a spiritual Israel, the Church. We’re no longer bound by the civil codes of Leviticus because God doesn’t have a nation-state on earth anymore. Of course, we may wisely look at some of the principles in Israel’s civil laws as we think of our own societal politics (principles about public health, caring for the poor, etc.), but the specific rules were all fulfilled in Jesus.

The Ceremonial Laws illustrate for us God’s holiness, our unholiness, and what God would do about it. The entire sacrificial system should have ingrained into Israel’s minds just how large the gap was between sinful humanity and a perfect God—and just how costly it would be to bridge that gap. And as the book of Hebrews shows us, the sacrifices were all fulfilled in Jesus’ perfect life and death. If we accept Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, we don’t need the lesser sacrifices anymore. In fact, it would actually be offensive to go back to them, because that would communicate that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t sufficient.

The Moral Laws are fulfilled in Jesus as well, in that he kept all of them perfectly, every day, always, for his entire life. But unlike the civil and ceremonial laws, which were more time-bound, these laws reflected God’s assessment of good and evil, right and wrong. They reflect God’s character, and since his character doesn’t change, his views on morality don’t either. In fact, whenever Jesus mentioned the moral laws, he either reaffirmed them or intensified them! To follow Jesus is to love what he loved, including the moral law.

Now, even though we still defend the moral laws of the Old Testament, we have to keep in mind that Jesus fulfilled it all. The Christian is not under obligation to keep the moral law as a way of earning her way to God. Instead, she is changed by the presence of God’s Spirit to desire to keep God’s laws. Because God isn’t just after obedience; he’s after a whole new kind of obedience, an obedience that comes from love and delight in God. Christians keep the moral commands, not because “it’s the law,” but because they love God and want to be like him.

So the next time someone starts saying that you’re arbitrarily picking and choosing from the Bible, arm yourself with the civil/ceremonial/moral. You aren’t being arbitrary. You’re being faithful. You’re reading the Old Testament how the New Testament teaches you to. So eat your shrimp without guilt, and don’t throw away your 10 Commandments just yet.

For more, be sure to listen to the entire message here.


5 Methods for Fighting Half-Hearted Prayer

The Puritans were prone to give five methods for fighting our natural tendency to lapse into half-hearted prayer:

1. Give priority to prayer. Prayer is the first and most important thing you are called to do. “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed,” John Bunyan writes. “Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge to Satan.”

2. Give yourself—not just your time—to prayer. Remember that prayer is not an appendix to your life and your work, it is your life—your real, spiritual life—and your work. Prayer is the thermometer of your soul.

3. Give room to prayer. The Puritans did this in three ways. First, they had real prayer closets—rooms or small spaces where they habitually met with God. When one of Thomas Shepard’s parishioners showed him a floor plan of the new house he hoped to build, Shepard noticed that there was no prayer room and lamented that homes without prayer rooms would be the downfall of the church and society. Second, block out stated times for prayer in your daily life. The Puritans did this every morning and evening. Third, between those stated times of prayer, commit yourself to pray in response to the least impulse to do so. That will help you develop the “habit” of praying, so that you will pray your way through the day without ceasing. Remember that conversing with God through Christ is our most effective way of bringing glory to God and of having a ready antidote to ward off all kinds of spiritual diseases.

4. Give the Word to prayer. The way to pray, said the Puritans, is to bring God His own Word. That can be done in two ways. First, pray with Scripture. God is tender of His own handwriting. Take His promises and turn them inside out, and send them back up to God, by prayer, pleading with Him to do as He has said. Second, pray through Scripture. Pray over each thought in a specific Scripture verse.

5. Give theocentricity to prayer. Pour out your heart to your heavenly Father. Plead on the basis of Christ’s intercessions. Plead to God with the groanings of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26). Recognize that true prayer is a gift of the Father, who gives it through the Son and works it within you by the Spirit, who, in turn, enables it to ascend back to the Son, who sanctifies it and presents it acceptable to the Father. Prayer is thus a theocentric chain, if you will—moving from the Father through the Son by the Spirit back to the Son and the Father.

This excerpt is taken from Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke.


Movie Trailer: Jesus the Game Changer

The following trailer introduces a 10 episode TV/DVD series to be released in July 2016 by Olive Tree Media entitled “Jesus the Game Changer.”  This series features over 30 academics, authors, and researchers who share how the life and teachings of Jesus changed the world and why it matters.


The Daily Discovery (March 30, 2016)

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

Gay Marriage Isn’t About Justice, It’s About Selma Envy – “Why do so many young adults paint absurd caricatures of Christians who request government protection of their religious freedoms, arguing their true goal is to ban gay men from sitting at the local lunch counter? Why do they spread falsehoods about legislation, insisting that bills like the one recently signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will unleash a Republican-led Jim Crow revival aimed at the LGBT community? Why do so many people, Gen Xers and younger, invent a monster of anti-gay bigotry and keep screaming the monster is real despite a mountain of contrary facts standing before them?”

The Top 10 Books on Reconciling Divine Sovereignty and Free Will – “Trying to grasp the theological conundrum of God’s sovereignty and human free will is like pitting Batman against Superman. A standoff seems inevitable. Surely one of the two must be sacrificed. Historically, Arminians and others have answered this dilemma by positing a version of free will known as libertarianism, which sacrifices a robust view of God’s sovereignty. Some Calvinists sacrifice free will altogether in order to preserve a high view of divine sovereignty. However, many others have championed an entirely different way of making sense of human freedom without compromising the sturdiness of God’s meticulous providence. This view is known as compatibilism, and it seeks to clarify the matter from a biblical perspective.”

Pay Attention, Christians. They’re Coming After The Churches Now. – “It may be a matter of some interest to you that the American left is now openly declaring its intention to shutdown your church and outlaw your religious expression entirely. If you’ve been paying attention, you won’t be terribly shocked by this revelation. They plan to come after the churches. That’s what they’ve always wanted, and now they intend to do it.”

Schreiner, the Threefold Division, and the Law of God – “With all the discussion surrounding the legitimacy of the use of law in evangelism, one of the issues that surfaces time and again is whether the Mosaic Law should be divided into three parts. I don’t think anyone disagrees with the notion that the tripartite division of the Law into moral, civil, and ceremonial components is a helpful informal categorization of the various commandments God has given to Israel. Where theologians part ways is whether to make such categories theological constructs by which to build one’s doctrine of the Old Covenant Mosaic Law’s relationship to the New Covenant believer in Yahweh.”

Has Ken Ham Embraced Evolution? – “Yesterday Kenneth Keathley, a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, described on his blog how Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has changed his position on one key element of evolution (see ‘Ken Ham Embraces Evolution‘). He pointed to an article in the latest issue of Answers magazine, a publication of Answers in Genesis, and said, ‘The article is noteworthy because it argues for macro-evolution; the theory that the species of today evolved from prior, extinct species.’ If true, this is indeed a substantial and noteworthy shift. Not surprisingly, Dr. Keathley’s blog post was soon distributed through social media where some people reacted with more than a little surprise. But I don’t think Ken Ham or his organization have actually embraced evolution of the kind Keathley describes.”


SERMON:

THT0kxVq

Paul Luedke – The Indispensable Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)


VIDEOS:

Wretched Radio reviews the video, “Why I hate religion, but love Jesus”

The silly Muslim concept that the Bible is corrupt


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


Check out

Blogs

Hope for a Hopeless Marriage
“I don’t know what your marriage looks like. Ours looked hopeless, but it wasn’t. We were so far away from Christ that divorce seemed inevitable, but it wasn’t. We are living proof that there is hope and that God can take wreckage and build something lasting and beautiful through Christ.”

6 Great Threats to the Christian Family
“Some of the deadliest enemies of the Christian family come from within rather than from without.”

5 Ways To Protect Your Kids At Church
“There are some things your church can do to protect the kids in your care. ”

8 Great Women Of Science History
“As a public service, enjoy this selection of eight women presented in historical order as pioneers in STEM to inspire a new generation towards interest in these fields.”

Mike Rowe: ‘Free’ College A Myth That Smears Trade Schools
“The real problem with higher education is our culture’s obsession with labeling four-year college as the only respectable way to enter adult society, and the reason Democratic candidates are so keen on college is because it seems to benefit them.”

Europe at the Edge of the Abyss
Lengthy but excellent article on how America can avoid Europe’s fate.

Kindle Books

Harper Collins Atlas of Bible History $1.99.

Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in all of Scripture by Trevin Wax $2.99.

A Model of Christian Maturity by Don Carson $1.99.

Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zach Eswine $2.99.

Video

At Home in the Hebrides
Here’s where I used to live and pastor. Tears.


Links I like

links-weekday

Kindle deals for Christian readers

Has Ken Ham Embraced Evolution?

The short answer is no.

6 Great Threats to the Christian Family

Jason Helopoulos:

The Christian family is under constant assault. Western hemisphere Christians have awakened to this reality in recent years as Western nations embrace everything from homosexual union as marriage, to legally forbidding parents from disciplining their own children, to restricted parental rights regarding health care. As serious as these issues remain, some of the deadliest enemies of the Christian family come from within rather than from without.

No Boys, It’s Not A Ghost

Mark Altrogge:

It’s the middle of the night, the disciples are miles out to sea. The wind is howling and the waves are battering their little boat. They’re drenched. Rowing with all their might. Getting nowhere. Then they see something. Can barely make it out in the darkness. It looks like the faint outline of a man. Is it a man standing up in a boat? No there’s no boat. Is it someone walking along the shoreline? No, they’re 3-4 miles from shore. What is it? The apparition is coming directly toward them. In terror they cry out “It’s a ghost” (Matthew 14:26).

Kids react to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This is great:

Faithlessness Shrinks You Down To a Grasshopper

Trevin Wax:

Thinking too little of God sometimes leads you to think too little of yourself.

For years, I thought it was the other way around. I always thought that seeing God as big meant I needed to see myself as small. Or, to put it another way, the bigger my vision of God grows, the more my vision of myself will shrink.

Wrong.

While it’s true that an oversized view of yourself can be a sign that you have an undersized view of God, it’s also true that an undersized view of God can make yourself smaller.

I really, really don’t like Daredevil Season 2

Marty Duren:

Generally speaking I’m a fan of the superhero genre. I’m old enough to remember sitting enthralled at green body-painted Lou Ferrigno growling as the Hulk. I can remember Super Friends, Adam West and Burt Ward (aka, Batman and Robin), and the original Spiderman (Spiderman, friendly neighborhood, Spiderman) cartoon.

I was never a huge fan of Daredevil in the comics. My money was on Hulk, Fantastic Four and a couple of others. When Netflix released Daredevil last year I gave it a try and was mostly pleased.

Season 2? Not a fan, even though I wanted to be.

Helping the Young Engage The Sermon

Joe Thorn:

At Redeemer Fellowship we are big on expository, experiential, theologically rich, gospel-centered preaching. But for a number of reasons (perhaps I’ll explain why in a future post) we don’t provide outlines. We don’t even try to alliterate our main points. We do make the main idea of every sermon clear, and seek to unpack the passage and its implications in a natural way that helps the listener work through the entire message, rather than focusing on an outline.


A La Carte (March 30)

 

Hope for a Hopeless Marriage

This story of hope in a hopeless situation may be an encouragement to you.

The Joy and Pain of Consistent Parenting

Parenting in a nutshell: “This morning I awoke at 12:30AM to the blood-curdling screams of my two-year old daughter. She wanted a new band-aid for her toe. Her screaming fit caused her one-year old brother to wake up as well.”

6 Great Threats to the Christian Family

“The Christian family is under constant assault. Western hemisphere Christians have awakened to this reality in recent years as Western nations embrace everything from homosexual union as marriage, to legally forbidding parents from disciplining their own children, to restricted parental rights regarding health care. As serious as these issues remain, some of the deadliest enemies of the Christian family come from within rather than from without.

Preaching or Counseling?

Pastors and church leaders would do well to read and consider Ed Welch’s article on preaching and counseling.

Four Warnings for Your Twenties

“The same temptations that were murdering the believers under Moses are waging a spiritual war against believers today: entertainment, sexual immorality, impatience, and contentment. … These four warnings were lived out by Israel, but meant by God for you, and for me.”

This Day in 1661. 355 years ago today, Presbyterian preacher and author Samuel Rutherford died. *

Are You a Self-Starter, But Not a Self-Finisher?

It’s a question that well worth asking yourself. If you don’t know the answer, ask a few people who know you well. (I recently had some trusted friends tell me something very similar to this.)

5 Ways To Protect Your Kids At Church

All of these ought to be implemented in every church.

Exercising an Idle Mind

I’m really enjoying Kelly Needham’s writing these days. “Most days my mind is ready and active to tackle the challenge of overanalyzing any situation, whether it be my marriage, my children, recent conversations or exchanges I had with so-and-so, future plans, and more. There’s never a lack of things to think about. But an idle, purposeless thought life creates a downward spiral of self-focused thoughts and fantasies about problems that aren’t yet in existence. An idle mind can very often be the devil’s playground.”

Watson

One scandalous hypocrite makes the world suspect that all professors are so. —Thomas Watson


Boeing to cut 4,000 jobs by mid-2016

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 06:48 AM PDT

Boeing will eliminate about 4,000 jobs in its commercial airplanes division by the middle of this year as it looks to control costs, a company spokesman told…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘The Fosters’: Gays ‘Don’t Have a Choice’ Whether or Not to Be Gay

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 06:03 AM PDT

So, The Fosters decided to give up on their 8-10 episode run of trying to be a real drama, complete with compelling storylines and witty dialogue, and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mark Zuckerberg Says ‘Love’ Will Defeat Islamic State

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:59 AM PDT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken out against the “fear and distrust” caused by recent Islamist terror attacks and has called for more “love” as a means…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea Now Ready for ‘Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike’ on U.S.

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:55 AM PDT

North Korea has once again asserted that it will use its nuclear weapons arsenal against the United States. Unlike previous statements, however, a note from the rogue…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:48 AM PDT

(Michael Snyder) Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Meteor sightings reported from Florida Keys to Jacksonville

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:39 AM PDT

When the bright green streak of light shot across the pre-dawn sky above South Florida, Steve Reznick didn’t know what to think. “It happened it an instant,”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Over a Dozen Dead dolphins wash up on Georgia’s Black Sea coastline

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:32 AM PDT

More than a dozen dead dolphins have washed up on Georgia’s Black Sea coastline, with authorities unsure why. A total of 19 dead dolphins were spotted this…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mysterious Explosions Heard In Massachusetts

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:28 AM PDT

A series of what people described as loud explosions were heard in Agawam and Suffield, Connecticut on Saturday and Sunday night. Residents and police reported that they…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Kanlaon Volcano erupts, remains under alert level 1

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:23 AM PDT

The Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Oriental province erupted at 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday (March 29), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in an advisory….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Austrian newspaper: It’s Time To Discuss Whether Islam Should Be Banned In Europe.

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:19 AM PDT

A statement by Wolfgang Fellner in the daily Austrian newspaper “Österreich” has created outrage among local Muslims. In a recent edition the journalist stated: “Now we must…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Franklin Graham Reminds Demonized Islamists What Philippians 2 Says

Posted: 30 Mar 2016 05:10 AM PDT

(Jennifer Leclaire) Franklin Graham has never been known to mince words. The fervent, effective prayers of this righteous man are impacting the nations—and this righteous man is…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Border Fence Down: Border Patrol Union Says Breach Brings Terrorist Concerns

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 05:54 PM PDT

The head of the National Border Patrol Council says a breach in the fence along a ten-mile area in remote areas of the Mexico-Arizona border should cause…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Transgender Advocacy Groups Sue Over North Carolina Law Overturning Controversial ‘Bathroom Bill’

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 05:47 PM PDT

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and two transgender advocacy groups have filed a federal lawsuit against officials in North Carolina following the signing of a law…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

April 19: Temple Of Baal In New York Is Going Up Same Day The Blood Sacrifice To The Beast Begins

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 05:41 PM PDT

(Michael Snyder) I am about to share with you some absolutely astounding information. It turns out that the exact day when reproductions of the arch that stood…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Senate to Vote on Making Bible Official Book of Tennessee

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 05:12 PM PDT

A contentious bill seeking to declare the Holy Bible the official book of Tennessee is headed back for a vote in the full state Senate. The measure…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Washington state’s only nuclear power plant unexpectedly shut down

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 04:09 PM PDT

Washington state’s only nuclear power plant has been shut down after operators received an indication that a system used to cool equipment wasn’t working. Officials said there…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New report warns of serious earthquakes in the Midwest

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 03:57 PM PDT

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake rattked nerves in Crescent, Oklahoma Tuesday. There are no reports of damage. The quake hit just hours after the release of a disturbing new…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Capitol Shooter Declared Himself a ‘Prophet of God’

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 03:50 PM PDT

U.S. Capitol police arrested Pastor Larry Dawson after he allegedly pulled a weapon on police. Dawson was shot and wounded and is in stable, but critical, condition…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Evidence of a Mystery Object on the Periphery of Our Solar System

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 03:47 PM PDT

(Michael Snyder) An astronomer at Caltech says that new evidence has been discovered that indicates that there is a massive planet lurking somewhere on the outer edges…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Anonymous Call for President Xi to Quit Rattles Chinese Leaders

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 03:36 PM PDT

An anonymous letter calling on President Xi Jinping to resign for the good of China and his own safety seemed to be digital rumor-mongering when it appeared…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mysterious Celestial Object Slams Into Jupiter

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 03:31 PM PDT

Astronomers have captured video evidence of a collision between Jupiter and a small celestial object, likely a comet or asteroid. Though it looks like a small blip…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Image of rib steak goes viral in Mexico after horns and face of Satan were spotted in the meat

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 11:52 AM PDT

This rib steak has become the most famous in Mexico after people commented on its striking resemblance to the face and horns of the Devil. A local…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Capitol lockdown for second day

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 11:38 AM PDT

Police briefly shut down two Washington, DC streets and an entrance to the United States Congress visitor’s center on Tuesday while they investigated two suspicious packages left…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

17 Middle Eastern Men Detained After Firing Off Hundreds Of Rounds in CA.

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 11:34 AM PDT

Federal and local law enforcement authorities Tuesday are investigating after 17 men were detained for reportedly firing off hundreds of rounds in a remote part of Apple…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Pentagon Orders Military Families Out Of Southern Turkey

Posted: 29 Mar 2016 11:30 AM PDT

The State Department and Pentagon ordered the families of U.S. diplomats and military personnel Tuesday to leave posts in southern Turkey due to “increased threats from terrorist…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Top Headlines

 Village Massacres Strain Nigeria Further, as Traditional Nomads Fight Modernisation
 Franklin Graham Responds to Pakistan Attack: ‘Islam Has Reared Its Ugly Head Again’
 Georgia Governor Vetoes Religious Liberty Bill Denounced as Anti-Gay
 Church Expels Alabama Gov. and Female Staff Member over Alleged Affair
 After 33 Years, Court Rules That Malaysian Man Can Renounce Islam, Embrace Christianity
 Malaysian Court Upholds Right to Convert from Islam
 Evangelicals Least Engaged in Presidential Election, Study Finds
 Chris Pratt Installed Life-Sized Cross Over Easter
 ISIS Reportedly Crucified Priest on Good Friday
 Reba McEntire Credits God for Getting Her through Divorce

Opinion

 Why I Despair over Pakistan’s Intractable Blasphemy Laws
 3 Reasons Why Christianity Doesn’t Need to be Cool
 The NFL, the NBA, and Big Bucks
 What Does ‘Batman V Superman’ Say about Us?
 How to Pray like Jesus When Your World is Falling Apart

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

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


The Perseverance (Security) of the Saints

Notice all the Scripture references!

It is not just a handful of texts that teach the perseverance of the saints: the entire gospel sustains and confirms it. The Father has chosen them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29). This election stands (Rom. 9:11; Heb. 6:17) and in due time carries with it the calling and justification and glorification (Rom. 8:30). Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yes and Amen (2 Cor. 1:20), died for those who were given him by the Father (John 17:6, 12) in order that he might give them eternal life and not lose a single one of them (6:40; 17:2); he therefore gives them eternal life and they will never be lost in all eternity; no one will snatch them out of his hand (6:39; 10:28).

The Holy Spirit who regenerates them remains eternally with them (14:16) and seals them for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The covenant of grace is firm and confirmed with an oath (Heb. 6:16–18; 13:20), unbreakable like a marriage (Eph. 5:31–32), like a testament (Heb. 9:17), and by virtue of that covenant, God calls his elect. He inscribes the law upon their inmost being, puts his fear in their heart (Heb. 8:10; 10:14ff.), will not let them be tempted beyond their strength (1 Cor. 10:13), confirms and completes the good work he has begun in them (1 Cor. 1:9; Phil. 1:6), and keeps them for the return of Christ to receive the heavenly inheritance (1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:4–5).

In his intercession before the Father, Christ acts in such a way that their faith may not fail (Luke 22:32), that in the world they may be kept from the evil one (John 17:11, 20), that they may be saved for all times (Heb. 7:20), that their sins will be forgiven them (1 John 2:1), and that they may all be where he is to behold his glory (John 17:24). The benefits of Christ, which the Holy Spirit imparts to them, are all irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). Those who are called are also glorified (8:30). Those who are adopted as children are heirs of eternal life (8:17; Gal. 4:7). Those who believe have eternal life already here and now (John 3:16). That life itself, being eternal, cannot be lost. It cannot die since it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). Faith is a firm ground (Heb. 11:1), hope is an anchor (6:19) and does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5), and love never ends (1 Cor. 13:8).

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008), 270.


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Manipulating the Force — Herescope

MAINSTREAMING THE MYSTIC FORCE
Part 3 – Manipulating the Force 

Read Part 1: Star Wars Awakens
Read Part 2: Merchandi$ing the Force

By Gaylene Goodroad

 

“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces….
Daniel 11:38a
Exhibit: Kylo Ren (the Dark Side) and Rey
(the Light Side) engaged in lightsaber duel[62]
Almost everyone has seen karate demonstrations in which martial artists break boards, cinder blocks, or bricks with chops or kicks. I’ve done it lots of times…. I knew it served a valid purpose by giving people a dramatic and memorable demonstration of the power of ki…. It’s clear that learning a martial art involves coming into possession of a certain amount of powerful force.
~ Chuck Norris, Martial Arts Master*

JEDI TRAINING: LEARNING TO CONTROL THE KI FORCE
Another aspect of advanced martial arts training connected to the Ki Force, that is prevalent but not overt in the Star Wars saga, is a form of meditation in motion[63] called mushin, “mind of no mind”, or “no mind”. One martial artist simply states it this way: “Mushin no shin is a state into which very highly trained martial artists (e.g. samurai fighters) are said to enter during combat.”[64]

Mushin is an altered state of consciousness that enables the martial artist to harness ki and defeat the opponent. This state of mind is akin to teaching on the Presence or entering the silence in Contemplative Spirituality.[65]

By the time I became a brown belt in Okinawa Kenpo (see Part 1), I came to realize that I had been initiated into a religious pursuit, rather than just a physical sport. By that time, all of the fundamental techniques were conditioned and honed. Thereafter, the focus of my black belt training was replete with mystical mushin drills, such as sparring in the dark and grappling while blind-folded. Further advancement was not possible without deeper meditation and inner intuitive exercises. The focus shifted from seeing my opponent, to sensing him. This ability is a form of occult mysticism called clairsentience.[66]

Read more

via Manipulating the Force — Herescope

Merchandi$ing the Force — Herescope

MAINSTREAMING THE MYSTIC FORCE
Part 2 –  Merchandi$ing the Force

Read Part 1: Star Wars Awakens

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.
~ Jesus, Acts 26:18

Exhibit: Star Wars X-Wing X-mas sleigh 2015.
In the background is the Death Star moon[41]

 

The next generation of Star Wars toys, collectibles, books, and apparel is in range.
StarWars.com is thrilled to announce that Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will land in our galaxy on September 4, 2015, at 12:01 a.m. — “Force Friday” — with stores around the world opening their doors at midnight for a special celebration of all things Star Wars.
It will be a day long remembered. “Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment…”
~ StarWars.com[40] [bold added]

 

By Gaylene Goodroad
Star Wars merchandise for children, Christmas 2015

THE ‘FORCE’ ARRIVED FOR CHRISTMAS
Consumers around the globe will note how 2015 became ‘a very Star Wars Christmas’ for retail outlets everywhere, as fans piled in movie theaters in December to watch the latest Star Wars adventure, The Force Awakens, which reunited characters from the original Star Wars Trilogy and introduced new ones to the current generation. Giant Yoda dolls, Stormtrooper action figures, Millennium Falcon toy models, Darth Vader cookie jars, X-wing knife blocks, and even Death Star waffle irons filled the store shelves. “May the Force be with you,” trumped “Merry Christmas” as even greeting card vendors tapped into the Star Wars Force frenzy.

Exhibit: A very Star Wars Christmas card 2015[42]

Forbes online reported that Disney, who purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, would generate considerably more money from the licensing of Star Wars merchandise than from box office sales already over $2 billion in just three months since the release of The Force Awakens in December of 2015:

Analysts predict Star Wars merch will generate some $3 billion in sales in 2015, and $5 billion over the next 12 months. Disney kicked up its marketing to a higher level Sept. 4 with Force Friday, an engineered shopping day pegged to the launch of a new line of Star Wars toys. It produced holiday-esque sales that bettered Amazon’s Prime Day and neared Black Friday levels, even without any deals, according to Adobe. There were 15 million visits to websites selling Star Wars products between September and November, Adobe says. It helps that Disney licensees have expanded the range of merchandise to goods traditionally targeted at girls, including cosmetics (a “The Dark Side” mascara by Covergirl) and jewelry (a Stormtrooper necklace at Kay Jewelers). Even fast-fashion mainstay Forever 21 has a line of Star Wars sweatpants and shirts. “… it seems clear that Star Wars merchandise is moving millions.”[43][bold added]

The most recent estimates, put the Star Wars franchise net worth near $10 billion.[44] While moviegoers and consumers continue to tap into the Force, smart marketers have cashed in on lucrative licensing agreements with Disney.

Read more

via Merchandi$ing the Force — Herescope

Star Wars Awakens — Herescope

MAINSTREAMING THE MYSTIC FORCE
Part 1 – Star Wars Awakens

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”
Isaiah 35:8
Exhibit: The Force Awakens poster[2]
A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force Use the Force…
For my ally is the Force. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us… You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you…me…the tree… the rock…everywhere!
Concentrate… feel the Force flow. Through the Force, things you will see. Other places. The future… the past. Old friends long gone….[1]
~ Grandmaster Yoda to Jedi apprentice Luke Skywalker
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
By Gaylene Goodroad

THE FORCE AWAKENS TO ANOTHER GENERATION 
The recent phenomenal success of Disney’s record-breaking blockbuster, The Force Awakens,[3] coupled with several other popular sci-fi sagas within the Star Wars franchise for nearly four decades (with future sequels in the works), has cemented the core belief of the film’s mystical life Force into the cultural consciousness for generations to come. But few realize that the same wraithlike energy wielded by Star Wars characters like Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Rey, is also promoted, practiced, and marketed through martial artists of all stripes—even under a Christian label.

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via Star Wars Awakens — Herescope

Have We Become Our Jobs?

On what do you base your identity?

Most often, these days, our identity is associated with our work. An article in the Chicago Tribune (“Just can’t escape the daily grind” by Charles McNulty, February 21, 2016) argues that even today’s movies are all about our jobs. Spotlight, this year’s winner of the Oscar for best picture, is a prominent example of this trend. McNulty puts it this way:

Taken collectively, the somber message of these movies…is that we have become our jobs. “I think, therefore I am” has been updated to “I work, therefore I exist.”

Have we become our jobs?

Remember that God is orches­tratin­g your experiences according to his purpose.

TWEET

Technology has made employees accessible around the clock. Workplace settings are increasingly open and they encourage community, which is great, but this might also mean a narrowing of the worker’s life to fellow workers. Money and status are seen as the marks of success, so we work harder, smarter, and longer.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have a job in the traditional sense that this unsettles me. I know better, but there are days when I feel like a nobody. There are also many people who are looking for work or who are grossly underemployed. What does a society that values work as identity communicate to them? And as for the retired, they are what they used to do.

Following are three truths for a more accurate view of ourselves and our work.

Truth #1: Your job is not central to your identity.

Christians have one, and only one, marker that is central to their identity: We are children of God. That’s it. Everything else is peripheral.

Through what Jesus did on this earth, by living a perfect life and dying for the imperfections of everyone else, those who receive his offer of salvation are given the privilege of living as children of God. We can take no credit for that fact; we can only be eternally grateful that Jesus did the work and we get the reward. That is an astonishing reality.

Paul, a key figure in the early church and author of much of the New Testament, had been a diligent and zealous Pharisee until he met Jesus. He was intelligent, well-schooled, and had respectable status as a first century Pharisee.

Jesus changed all of that. Paul resigned from his post as a Pharisee and became an Apostle for Jesus. Paul is known worldwide as a pastor, a church planter, a writer, an evangelist, a brilliant theologian, and by the way, he supported himself by making tents.

Paul saw himself first as a chosen and adopted son of God; not as an Apostle or a theologian or a tent maker. He couldn’t get over it. One of Paul’s masterpieces is the eighth chapter of Romans, and in it he gives us a glimpse of what it means to be a child of God:

…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ… (Romans 8:15-17)

Our work in this frustrating and flawed world cannot be compared to our future as a child of God, a fellow heir with Christ. Imagination fails us when we think about what we will inherit, but trust me, it will be far better than any job.

How will your friends and family remember you? I hope they know that you are first a child of God.

Truth #2: God’s design for your work is perfect.

Your work will probably change several times throughout your life. My job in my twenties was different from what I did in my forties, and that was different from what I do now. I am learning that God has designed every step along the way. I have yet to figure out how it will all fit together, but I believe it will.

Moses, who by God’s design was raised in Pharaoh’s house, left Egypt at the age of 40 after having murdered an Egyptian, and he settled in Midian for forty years. Then, after Moses surely thought he was done, God called him to go back to Egypt to release the Hebrews. Moses was reluctant, to say the least. Only after God refused Moses’ resistance, offered proof, and secured the help of his brother Aaron did Moses take the job.

Moses was eighty years old when he went to Egypt and spoke to Pharaoh, and God used another forty years or so to work him into the tremendous leader that he became.

Don’t be discouraged if you are unsure of your calling at any point along the way. Imagine how Moses felt at age seventy-nine.

Truth #3: Your work is important.

Once we’re sure of our identity as God’s child, and we’re confident of his oversight, then we can concentrate on the work that God has put before us.

Jesus was a carpenter until age thirty. Can you imagine his work? If the Son of God benefited from working as a carpenter before he did what he had entered the world to do, his work was important.

Your work is important to God and to the world around you.  

Too often I get these three truths backwards.

When I place my identity in my work, God gently reminds me of my identity: Through Jesus Christ I am a child of God. That’s all that matters in the end.

When I am frustrated with finding my calling, it helps me to remember that God is orchestrating my experiences according to his purpose. Rest in that truth.

And when I am tempted to give up, I remember that my work is important.

Only from a clear identity as God’s child and a perfect trust in his oversight can I get up every day and work to the best of my ability.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Which of these truths mean the most to you? Are there others you would add?

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Who is Sunday Adelaja – and why should he be avoided?

Chris Rosebrough last year reviewed a sermon given by Sunday Adelaja.

Who is Sunday Adelaja?

Sunday Adelaja claims he founded the Embassy of Gof of at the age of 33 and “built what has become the largest church in Europe”. [Source]

Frankly, Sunday Adelaja is a fraud – not a Christian. After extensively reviewing a number of his sermons and materials, we have concluded he is a flat out fake. A wolf. He is an Apostle in the global ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ (NAR) cult and peddles their notorious false ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ and their false ‘Seven Mountian Mandate’ commission. He considers himself an Apostle and ruthlessly pushes the Prosperity gospel and Word of Faith gospel.

In this below sermon review – you will hear him peddle the CLASSIC NAR heresy and Word of Faith gospel: that believers in Christ are little gods. When you listen to this review, notice how he progresses…

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Do you posses the treasure or something else?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:32-33 NASB)

Believe it or not, there are parallels of God’s grace in remembering Abraham and thereby saving Lot from destruction and remembering Christ when at the final judgment and thereby saving all those for whom He is their propitiation. In light of this let us look at why so much of what seems so right and innovative in today’s Church is nothing more than possessing heaps of overthrow while those who refuse to compromise in worship, preaching, witnessing, and making disciples are the ones who truly possess the treasure of the Kingdom of God. 

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