Daily Archives: May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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May. 18, 2016

BLOOMBERG

The Senate passed legislation Tuesday allowing Sept. 11 victims and their families to sue other countries for their role in the attacks, defying White House objections and reported threats by Saudi Arabia to sell its U.S. debt holdings.

China’s top official for Hong Kong denounced calls for the city’s independence, urging the former British colony to instead seize the opportunity for greater integration with the mainland.

Cash-strapped Mozambique won’t be able to honor a $178 million debt-interest repayment that’s due next week for a previously undisclosed loan extended to a state-run company, Finance Minister Adriano Afonso Maleiane said.

Goldman analysts have downgraded global equities to ‘neutral’ over the next 12 months, recommending investors turn to cash instead.

Venezuela’s opposition called on its supporters to take to the streets again Wednesday as it steps up efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro, who has accused them of attempting a coup.

A Caribbean financial center favored by hedge funds is now the third-biggest foreign owner of U.S. government debt. The Cayman Islands, where more hedge funds are domiciled than anywhere else in the world, held $265 billion of Treasuries as of March, up 31 percent from a year earlier, according to data the U.S. Treasury Department.

The South Carolina Legislature passed a bill Tuesday prohibiting abortion after 19 weeks, becoming the 17th state to pass the restrictive ban.

AP Top Stories

A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Moment magnitude scale struck Ecuador early Wednesday, one month after a much larger quake killed some 660 people, the US Geological Survey said.

China is staging large-scale joint war games featuring mock beach landing, helicopter assaults and tank battles along its east coast facing Taiwan, just days before the inauguration of the self-governing island’s new independence-leaning president.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to agreeing a unity government with the main opposition leader, Israeli media said Wednesday, in a move that could help revive peace talks with the Palestinians.

Japan sidestepped a recession after its economy grew in the first quarter, preliminary data showed Wednesday, but efforts to cement recovery in the world’s number three economy were gaining little traction.

Two recreational divers in Israel recently stumbled upon one of the greatest caches of artifacts from antiquity ever discovered. The recovered treasures include bronze statues of ancient Roman deities and coins bearing the face of Constantine the Great.

The honeymoon was over before it began. A Saudi husband demanded a divorce on his wedding night because his new bride refused to get off her mobile phone, according to local reports.

A wave of bombings struck outdoor markets and a restaurant in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 69 people, officials said – the latest in deadly militant attacks far from the front lines in the country’s north and west where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State group.

The first of more than 200 schoolgirls missing for over two years after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in Chibok in northeast Nigeria has been found, a parents group and local officials said on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday accused the Islamic State group of executing dozens of people in its Libyan stronghold of Sirte, saying the killings amounted to war crimes.

Syrian rebels and government forces exchanged prisoners and dead fighters Tuesday near the divided city of Aleppo, the scene of some of the country’s fiercest fighting in recent months. Rebels released 25 prisoners and handed over 70 bodies to government forces in exchange for 12 prisoners and 11 bodies, in a deal arranged by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

BBC

The US has raised its import duties on Chinese steelmakers by more than fivefold after accusing them of selling their products below market prices. The taxes of 522% specifically apply to Chinese-made cold-rolled flat steel, which is used in car manufacturing, shipping containers and construction.

The Zika virus could spread to Europe this summer, although the likelihood of an outbreak is low to moderate, the World Health Organization has said.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will extend an olive branch to several high profile conservative figures in US politics on Wednesday.

Mexico’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto, has proposed constitutional reform to legalise same-sex marriage across the country. The decision follows a Supreme Court ruling that opened the way to such unions.

WND

President Obama is on track to double the national debt by the end of his eight years in office. Currently at $19.4 trillion, the debt is projected to hit $20 trillion by Inauguration Day 2016, up from $10.6 trillion when Obama entered the White House on Jan. 20, 2009.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a U.S. military branch.

The state of New York will allow some undocumented immigrants to teach and practice medicine after the state’s licensing board voted Tuesday to accept applications from immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

One of every five refugees resettled in Minnesota by the federal government tested positive for latent tuberculosis in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Health.


Top News – 5/18/2016

IT’S ON! Depositions Start This Week In Hillary Email Lawsuit
The watchdog group Judicial Watch will interview several Hillary Clinton aides and State Department officials over the next few weeks, it announced on Tuesday. The first interview will be conducted on Wednesday with Lewis Lukens, the former deputy assistant secretary of state and executive director of the Executive Secretariat.

Netanyahu, Herzog Welcome Egyptian Leader’s Overture for Peace
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi offered to act as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, an overture that immediately drew favorable responses from both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog.

African King in Israel to Claim Lost Tribe Status: We are All Jews Under the Kingdom of God
On Sunday, the Israeli Religious Affairs Minister, David Azulai, received an unusual visit from a member of royalty with an even more unusual request: the ruler of the Republic of Togo, King Francois A. Ayi, came to ask that the State of Israel officially recognize the people of Togo as one of the lost tribes of Israel. His mission is not only nationalistic; it is Messianic, and includes all of Africa.

Huawei Prepares for Robot Overlords and Communication with the Dead
Chinese technology giant Huawei is preparing for a world where people live forever, dead relatives linger on in computers and robots try to kill humans.

Islam and Christianity Share Roots in “Conquest”, Claims Pope Francis
Islam and Christianity share the “same idea of conquest”, and for that reason, Islam should not be viewed as a threat, said Pope Francis in a newspaper interview this week.

Israel’s Leading Rabbis Proclaim: Israel Has No Permission from God to Give Up Land
John Kerry, typically push Israel’s leaders to meet Palestinians ‘in the middle’ on the assumption that such a solution will undoubtedly bring peace to the region. Religious leaders and right-wingers, however, are appalled at the notion of giving up Israeli land, as it goes directly against God’s instructions.

5.0-magnitude earthquake jolts SW China
The quake struck Yunlong County, Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali, at 12:48 a.m., causing cracks to appear in building walls, according to the provincial civil affairs department.

Obama’s ‘propagandist’: Iran deception was business as usual
Obama’s senior White House aide Ben Rhodes on Tuesday refused to say he regrets his comments to the New York Times earlier this month, in which he revealed he and other officials misled the public on the controversial Iran nuclear deal sealed last July.

US slaps China steel imports with fivefold tax increase
The US has raised its import duties on Chinese steelmakers by more than fivefold after accusing them of selling their products below market prices. The taxes of 522% specifically apply to Chinese-made cold-rolled flat steel, which is used in car manufacturing, shipping containers and construction.

Mark Zuckerberg will meet Glenn Beck and other conservatives to talk about Facebook bias
Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet with the heads of conservative media outlets this week. The Wednesday (May 18) sit-down will address allegations that Facebook trending news curators habitually suppressed stories with a conservative bent.

Magnitude 3.9 one of 300 earthquakes near Gerlach; University of Nevada, Reno seismology lab reports no damage
The magnitude 3.9 is the largest of more than 300 earthquakes that have been located in the area since April 20.

Earthquake Reported In Western Ky. Area
The NBC affiliate in Paducah is reporting an earthquake mildly shook the area Tuesday evening. According to Local 6, The US Geological Survey reported a 2.7 magnitude in the area of Bardwell.

After April Earthquake, 6.8 Magnitude Aftershock Hits Ecuador
Ecuador was hit by an aftershock of 6.8 magnitude Wednesday at 2:57 a.m., striking the northern coast, near Rosa Zarate and Muisne. It was a result of the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 16 that cost almost 700 deaths and 12,000 injuries, with over 24,000 buildings and homes damaged.

Obama spending millions to find summer jobs — for refugees
The Obama administration wants to make sure Utica, New York’s young refugees aren’t without a job, so he’s spending millions to make sure it doesn’t happen. “Access to a job in the summer and beyond can make all the difference to a young person – especially those who don’t have access to many resources and opportunities,” President Obama said of his new Summer Opportunity Project.

Nightmare Russian facial recognition app is one step closer to the end of privacy
While facial recognition technology has a number of positive uses, such as finding missing people, an alternative form of ID, and even tagging friends on Facebook, it does have worrying implications when it comes to privacy. In Russia, a new face recognition app is becoming so popular that it could result in the end of public anonymity, according to a report in The Guardian.

More quakes rumble under Northwest volcanoes
As of 1 p.m. Monday, Oregon’s Mount Hood has seen about 40 earthquakes in close proximity over less than 18 hours. Such clusters of earthquakes are known as a swarm… Alicia Hotovec-Ellis is a volcano seismologist at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington and an expert on earthquake swarms. She says the swarms have happened in the same place before.

Yemen conflict: Houthis ‘carry out wave of detentions’
Houthi rebels in Yemen have carried out a wave of arrests of their opponents, seizing them at gunpoint and torturing some, Amnesty International says. An examination of 60 cases revealed a pattern of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances, according to a new report by the human rights group. Politicians, journalists, academics and activists have been among those held.

Sri Lanka mudslide leaves scores missing
Rescuers in Sri Lanka are searching for scores of people missing after massive landslides following days of rain. The Red Cross says more than 200 families are feared buried in the mudslides that hit three villages in central Kegalle district. At least 13 bodies have been recovered so far. Another three bodies were found elsewhere in the district.

Nigeria unions pressing ahead with strike despite court ruling
Nigeria’s main trade union federation is pressing ahead with a general strike, despite a court injunction against the action. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) announced the strike after the government raised fuel prices by 67%. It is not immediately clear how widely the strike is being observed. Public schools in Abuja remain open.

Could Egypt’s Sisi help birth a unity government in Israel?
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi could follow in the traditions of the mother and sister of Moses…by helping give birth to a national unity government in Israel… Likud and Labor officials were thankful to Sisi for aiding the effort to build a new government, both behind the scenes and in a speech he made Tuesday in which he stated his commitment to contributing toward the Israeli-Palestinian peace effort.

Iranian Officials Accuse Kim Kardashian of Being a Secret Agent Working to Corrupt Young People and Women
Iranian officials are questioning Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram popularity. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp – an organization tasked with protecting the country’s Islamic system and preventing foreign interference – has reportedly accused Kardashian West, 35, of working with Instagram as part of a complicated ploy to corrupt the Islamic republic’s lifestyle, targeting “young people and women” with provocative photos depicting a lifestyle at odds with Islam.

Authorities move to stop California highway killings
A California city has moved to install surveillance cameras along a stretch of highway as authorities investigate a spate of freeway shootings that have taken the lives of six people, including a young mother of four, in the suburbs east of San Francisco.

22% of Refugees in Minnesota Positive for TB
One of every five refugees resettled in Minnesota by the federal government tested positive for latent tuberculosis in 2014, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Russia Is Not Happy About New American Anti-Missile System
A new American anti-missile system in Romania has prompted bitter complaints from neighboring Russia. The system, designed to shoot down missiles aimed at Europe from the Middle East, is seen by Russia as a threat to its own nuclear deterrent.

Texas is ‘laying the groundwork’ for electronic gold-based money
Last year, we covered a story coming out of Texas in which the state government was planning to institute a state-controlled “gold depository” that would allow individuals to store their gold in a presumably safe place outside the United States banking system.

TSA watchdog spills secret behind long airport lines
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warns air travelers to prepare for much longer than usual airport security lines, but a Transportation Security Administration watchdog says this mess is simply a matter of the government failing to manage its resources responsibly.


Top Headlines – 5/18/2016

France delays May Israeli-Palestinian parley to allow for US to attend

Netanyahu Praises Sisi’s Calls for Talks, Says Israel Will Work with Arabs for Peace

Abbas welcomes Egyptian president’s peace push

Herzog: Egypt’s call for peace ‘a rare opportunity’

The ‘peace process’ did not fail – the Palestinian Authority did

Jordan frees preacher who criticized peace treaty with Israel

Assad’s forces have used sarin nerve gas for the first time since notorious 2013 massacre, says senior Israeli official

Syria conflict: World powers seek to revive peace talks

Assad won’t budge in Syria, Obama lacks leverage: Former diplomat

U.S., Russia stalemate on Syria frustrates European powers

In Syria Talks, U.S. and Russia Propose Airdrops if Assad Forces Block Aid

Russians building army base at Syria’s Palmyra site

Rebels and Syrian government swap prisoners outside Aleppo

At least 70 killed in Baghdad triple bombing

Turkey to take action on border town if it receives no help, Erdogan says

Saudi Arabia’s big U.S. stake finally revealed

Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia

Iran: Kim Kardashian is a secret agent to corrupt the country by posting immodest pictures to encourage women to follow her example

US military plane made ‘illegal entry’ over Venezuela: Maduro

Dems’ new fear: Sanders revolt could upend Democratic convention

Woman’s obituary says she died rather than vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump

Donald Trump Says He’d Negotiate With Kim Jong-un, Renegotiate Paris Climate Deal

China Stages War Games Days Ahead of Taiwan Inauguration

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 11,000ft

Mt Etna volcano in Italy erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Depression to bring heavy rain and flooding to India and Sri Lanka this week

Canada wildfire threatens Fort McMurray again as thousands evacuated

GMOs Are Safe, But Don’t Always Deliver On Promises, Top Scientists Say

Zika concerns mount, but Rio Olympics not moving yet

22 Percent of Resettled Refugees in Minnesota Test Positive for Tuberculosis

Record abortion levels among older women and those in relationships

South Carolina bans abortion after 19 weeks

Countries Celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto proposes legalising same sex marriage

Will Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Edict Lead to an Increase in Homeschooling and Private Schooling?

UN says it has received 44 new sex abuse allegations in 2016

Germany welcomes refugees with sex education website

Dominionism Taught By Forerunners of the NAR Since the Late 1940s

Where Are People Leaving the Church Going?

President Obama appoints United Church of Christ transgender leader to presidential council

Bathrooms are just the beginning: a scary look into the trans movement’s end goals

Peru: Nearly 100 schoolchildren ‘possessed by the devil’

22% of Resettled Reefugees in Minnesota Test Positive for Tuberculosis

80 Muslims Baptized Into Christianity Despite Attacks by Muslims in German Camps

Move of God or Movements of Men . . . Connecting the Dots

Huffington Post calls on Christians to recognize Muhammad as a prophet

Hate-cake lawsuits dropped; Preacher admits Whole Foods “did nothing wrong

City Harvest leader rebukes Singapore Diplomat, elevates Kong Hee to Messiah

BBC News Accused of Featuring Too Many Christian Programs

Study: Prayer Reduces Temptation to Drink Alcohol

$10,000 Bounty Put on Pakistani Christian Boy after He is Accused of Blasphemy

Prepping for Doomsday: Bunkers, Panic Rooms, and Going Off the Grid is Big Business

Yes, Bethel Redding and Bill Johnson are part of the New Apostolic Reformation

Eddie Long to Release New Personal Bio Book

Michelle Lesley – Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men

Kendall Jenner Says She is ‘100 Percent’ Christian, Believes God Has a Plan for Her Life

Witches Perform Ancient Ritual in Support of Bernie Sanders

Biden and Boehner, teary and grateful, receive high Catholic honor

New Indiana State Law Requires Burial or Cremation for Aborted Babies

Report: Over 300 Christians Assaulted by Muslims at Refugee Camps in Germany

Christianity on the Rise in an Unexpected Place

Pastor Jamal Bryant Allegedly Fathered Son Out of Wedlock Last Summer

World Harvest Church – Rod Parsley, can’t claim insurance coverage for boy’s beating

Why won’t Steven Furtick answer tough questions about his ministry?

Obama Issues Fatwa – Public Schools Must Allow Transgender Access to Restrooms

California right-to-die law to take effect this spring

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12 Signs That A Cloud Of Insanity Has Descended On The Land

Cloud Of Insanity - Public DomainWhat in the world is happening to America?  Recently, I was asked to describe what we are watching happen to our nation.  After thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that it is almost as if a “cloud of insanity” has descended upon the United States and much of the rest of the western world.  From our top leaders on down, people are engaged in incredibly self-destructive behavior and are making extremely irrational decisions.  Some would describe it as being given over to a depraved mind, and I would have to agree.  It is almost as if some sort of severe form of mental illness were rapidly spreading through the air and infecting everyone.  Virtually every day I am immersed in news and current events, and it can be difficult to shock me after all this time.  But lately, there have been quite a few stories that have stunned even me.  The following are a few of those stories… (Read More…)


Undeniable Evidence That The Real Economy Is Already In Recession Mode

Evidence - Public DomainYou are about to see a chart that is undeniable evidence that we have already entered a major economic slowdown.  In the “real economy”, stuff is bought and sold and shipped around the country by trucks, railroads and planes.  When more stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is growing, and when less stuff is being bought and sold and shipped around the country, the “real economy” is shrinking.  I know that might sound really basic, but I want everyone to be on the same page as we proceed in this article.  Just because stock prices are artificially high right now does not mean that the U.S. economy is in good shape.  In fact, there was a stock rally at this exact time of the year in 2008 even though the underlying economic fundamentals were rapidly deteriorating.  We all remember what happened later that year, so we should not exactly be rejoicing that precisely the same pattern that we witnessed in 2008 is happening again right in front of our eyes. (Read More….)


Working 60 Hours A Week At 3 Part-Time Jobs And Still Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Woman Face Skyline - Public DomainWhat can you do when you are working 60 hours a week at three part-time jobs and it is still not enough?  In America today, many people have taken on more than one job in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, but they still come up short at the end of the month.  And those that are actually working are the fortunate ones, because in one out of every five families in the United States nobody has a job.  There are more than 100 million working age Americans that are currently not employed (yes this is true), and as I pointed out yesterday, job cut announcements by major firms are currently running 24 percent ahead of last year’s pace.  But unemployment is just part of the overall problem.  There is this growing misconception out there that if you “have a job” that you must be doing okay.  Unfortunately for the growing number of “working poor” in America, that is not true at all. (Read More….)


The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes no bones about the fact that conservatives have lost the culture wars.  And of course the Left is gloating over our loss.  So, not surprisingly, they’re saying to the losing side, which includes conservative evangelicals, “You lost, deal with it.”  And we did lose, big […]

The post The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender appeared first on Berean Research.


Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men

Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley tackles the radical feminist agenda and its influence on the Church: I hate radical secular feminism. I really do. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply appreciate the right to vote and own property. I think that men and women with the same amount of experience and education […]

The post Feminist Infiltration and the Emasculation of Christian Men appeared first on Berean Research.


Why won’t Steven Furtick answer tough questions about his ministry?

Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service wonders why the prophet-pastor of the multi-site Elevation Church is so secretive.  I mean, aren’t pastors supposed to be transparent?  Well, yes. But according to Merritt, Pastor Steven won’t answer tough questions, especially about his lavish lifestyle.  If you haven’t heard of Steven Furtick, he’s one of the high-profile pastors that the […]

The post Why won’t Steven Furtick answer tough questions about his ministry? appeared first on Berean Research.


Lotz-a-palooza: God Circle-Prayed The Creation?

For those who haven’t heard the news, Anne Graham Lotz was chosen to succeed Shirley Dobson as the Chairman of the National Day of Prayer.  To make it official something called a “prayer mantle of leadership” was bestowed on Mrs. Lotz.   You may remember that Glenn Beck recently received a “new mantle for the […]

The post Lotz-a-palooza: God Circle-Prayed The Creation? appeared first on Berean Research.


Brain Stopper No. 5: Bill Johnson’s Book Ban

In her 5th installment of “Brain stoppers,” Holly Pivec of Spirit of Error addresses Arch Heretic Bill Johnson’s endeavor to stop critical thinking.  Pivec writes: “Brain stoppers” is a term I came up with to refer to a variety of tactics used by leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to discourage their followers from thinking […]

The post Brain Stopper No. 5: Bill Johnson’s Book Ban appeared first on Berean Research.


Behavior Modification vs. Repentance

Evangelical psychology tells us we can re-wire the brain to get rid of our “stinkin’ thinkin,” but the Bible tells us there are no such shortcuts to circumvent true repentance. Eric Davis over at Cripplegate has written a very good piece on this, and if you’ve ever been through one of those behavior modification life […]

The post Behavior Modification vs. Repentance appeared first on Berean Research.


Atheists’ ridiculous argument against the Ark Encounter

So much for “tolerance” and “free speech.” These secular leftist fools only want you to think the way THEY want you to think. Freedom is a sham in their world. They want you to NOT go to the Answers In Genesis Ark Encounter, because God is a genocidal maniac and children will be harmed or […]

The post Atheists’ ridiculous argument against the Ark Encounter appeared first on Berean Research.


Thieves and Robbers: Knowing the False Teachers

Pastor Gabriel Hughes, who is the voice and creator of the video series When We Understand the Text, reminds us that false teaching is a deadly thing and that false teachers will be destroyed — and so will those who believe and follow false teaching.  Hughes examines the teaching of some of these people and […]

The post Thieves and Robbers: Knowing the False Teachers appeared first on Berean Research.


The Daily Discovery (May 18, 2016)

headerImage-dailyDiscoveryARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)
What Can Pastors Learn from Donald Trump? – “A couple of weeks ago Donald Trump came here to Omaha before our state’s GOP Primary. True to form, his rally attracted thousands of people. His visit also prompted a number of questions in my mind about those who would support him. Political conviction aside I find it fascinating and instructive that so many support such an unconventional candidate. In their coverage of the rally the Omaha World Herald gathered a number of reasons why his supporters are so adamantly behind him. What is interesting here is the fact that so much of why they support him pivots on how he talks. People appreciate his straight talk. They like that he is not politically correct. He says what he means and means what he says. I don’t think that his supporters in Nebraska are unique in this way. The guy has made a connection with people. And, by most accounts, it is not so much what he says but how he says it that matters.”A one-legged man trapped inside a two-legged man’s body. Amputate? – “At the heart of the transgender revolution is the notion that psychological identity trumps bodily identity. In this way of thinking, a person is whatever they think themselves to be. If a girl perceives herself to be a boy, then she is one even if her biology says otherwise. If a boy perceives himself to be a girl, then he is one even if his biology says otherwise. Gender is self-determined, not determined by the sexual differences that the Creator has embedded into every cell of our bodies.”

8 Reasons to Preach through Books of the Bible – “The resurgence in commitment in many evangelical circles to expository preaching is a very encouraging sign as the contemporary church navigates so many shifting cultural trends with so many shifting stylistic trends of its own. As many younger churchmen have begun to look not at the latest preaching styles but at what evangelicalism’s elder statesmen have been doing for years — not to mention, as they’ve begun studying the homiletical practices of the gospel renewal movements throughout church history — we’ve fortunately seen a rise in expositional preaching. Many of us have maintained a commitment to this kind of explication even when our sermons happen to be topical!”

Homosexual ‘Pastor’ Who Claimed Store Wrote Slur on Cake Admits Lying, Drops Lawsuit – “A homosexual ‘pastor’ in Texas who filed a lawsuit against the health-oriented grocery chain Whole Foods after claiming that a slur had been written on a cake he ordered has admitted to lying about the matter, and has subsequently dropped his pursuit of emotional damages. ‘Today I am dismissing my lawsuit against Whole Foods Market. The company did nothing wrong,’ Jordan Brown of the Church of Open Doors said in a statement on Monday. ‘I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.’ As previously reported, Brown had filed a legal challenge against Whole Foods last month, claiming that he ordered a cake last week for one of his congregational members that was to bear the words ‘Love Wins,’ but later noticed that it read ‘Love Wins ‘F*g.’”

Denomination or Deformation? – “Baptists, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. All three claim to believe in Jesus. Yet, only one of these groups can be rightly classified as a denomination rather than a false religion. With that in mind, the question we are asking today might be stated as follows…”


SERMON:

Phil Johnson – Why I Am A Cessationist


VIDEOS:

Sye and Ryan (Part 1)

Sye and Ryan (Part 2)


“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 (May 18, 2016) appeared first on Entreating Favor.


A La Carte (May 18)

Today’s Kindle deals include Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton ($2.99); The Original Jesus by Daniel Darling ($1.99); Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); The Answers Book for Kids, Volume 5 by Ken Ham ($2.99). If you’re interested in learning about New Testament Textual Criticism, you may want to check out this course from Credo Courses.

Arguments For and Against Anxiety

Justin Taylor: “An important lesson of the Christian life is that the heart of the battle is a fight not between abstract commands (do this! don’t do that!) but rather arguments. Unbelief does not just offer dictates; it offers reasons why we don’t need to trust the Lord. And to counter that, gospel-flavored belief argues with our unbelief. In other words, it provides reasons for why trusting the Lord is always the good and wise things to do.”

10 Reasons Why the Church Gathers

Short, simple, and important.

The Spiritual Gift You Don’t Notice Until It’s Gone

“If administration feels uninspiring, here are six images for six ways God blesses his people through your gift. And if administration isn’t your thing, these images will help you recognize and celebrate God’s gift to you in these people.”

A Few Thoughts About Education

Bob Thune looks at recent developments and says, “In my opinion, these mandates place a crucial fork-in-the-road before Christian parents, Christian administrators, and Christian teachers.” I quite agree.

Who Gave Paul His Thorn?

Andrew Wilson says this: “It might sound like a slightly obscure, angels-on-a-pinhead question, but it is actually very significant, because it cuts to the heart of questions about divine sovereignty, suffering, goodness and the agency of the devil. Does God send adversity, to teach us or bring us to maturity? Do God and Satan work together, in some weird way?”

This Day in 1896. 120 years ago today, missionary Samuel Zwemer married missionary nurse Amy Wilkes in Baghdad. *

Cell Phone Tower Trees

Here, just for fun, is a look at America’s least convincing cell phone tower trees.

An Encouragement to Serve Others

I appreciated this small encouragement to serve others (and an interesting way of doing so).

Flashback: How To Backslide in 9 Easy Steps

Here’s an explanation of how people “suddenly” find themselves backsliding.

Akin

Christian character is not created in the moment of adversity. Christian character is revealed in the moment of adversity. —Daniel Akin


Check Out

Blogs

J.K. Rowling shares powerful message about Donald Trump | M. J. Franklin, Mashable
A surprisingly sane and honest liberal voice is heard in Muggle world:

If my offended feelings can constitute a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral grounds on which to argue that those offended by feminism or the fight for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes. If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand along tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.

Martin Luther On Depression | Allan Adams, More Than Coping
“I’d like to drive home the point that depression and other mental illnesses are not an indictment on the person who is experiencing them.  I’m following up words Charles Spurgeon had to say with another giant of the faith, Martin Luther.  It is a fascinating read when you consider that Martin Luther came to his conclusions hundreds of years ago!  Maybe somebody needs to nail some of his observations to a few doors.  The fact that Luther counseled those who were afflicted with a non judgmental attitude is amazing. ”

Answering This Generation’s Question of Essential Identity | Barry York, Gentle Reformation
“These cultural battles may be defining new, necessary starting points of our discussion regarding true identity. Yet the ending place of finding it in the true God-man is still the same.”

A Transgendered Thought Experiment | Kevin DeYoung, TGC
What if people treated eating disorders the same way we’re opting to treat those who identify as transgendered?

Blue-Collar Contentment | Hannah Anderson, ChristianityToday.com
“Ultimately, learning to surrender to God’s providence doesn’t mean that we won’t work hard, take opportunities when they come, or pursue the prosperity of our families and communities. But it does mean that we understand who is ultimately in control of where we (and our children) land on the socioeconomic scale. It means remembering that we must walk the path that God has called us to, not the path he has called our neighbor to or the path that we believe we deserve.”

8 Arguments for Why You Should Be Anxious Today (and How the Bible Responds) | Justin Taylor, TGC
“Unbelief does not just offer dictates; it offers reasons why we don’t need to trust the Lord. And to counter that, gospel-flavored belief argues with our unbelief. In other words, it provides reasons for why trusting the Lord is always the good and wise things to do. ”

What Can Pastors Learn from Donald Trump? | Erik Raymond, TGC
“I am not suggesting that we necessarily learn from Donald Trump in terms of homiletics or public speaking, however, I am suggesting that we as pastors can learn something from the phenomenon that is Donald Trump. We can learn about the people that we reaching and endeavoring to reach with the gospel; and we can be reminded of the pitfalls of aiming to cater to them.”

The Power of Public Prayer in the Church | Kent Hughes, Westminster Theological Seminary
“The immense importance of the corporate prayers of the body of Christ rests on Scripture’s direct accounts of the power wrought by such prayers and the apostolic dependence on the prayers of the church.”

New Book


Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing by Andy Crouch

Kindle Deals

For your non-Kindle book buying needs please consider using Reformation Heritage Books in the USA and Reformed Book Services in Canada. Good value prices and shipping.


The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins ($2.99)


Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way by J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett ($2.99)


The God Who Justifies by James R. White ($3.99)

Video

How to Balance Being a Husband and a Father | Crossway

How to Balance Being a Husband and a Father from Crossway on Vimeo.


The Push For “Chrislam” Paving the Way for the False Prophet

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:34 AM PDT

(Ricky Scaparo) EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out this piece below from the Huffington Post pushing the acceptance of a merging of Islam and Christianity, Which I…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hackers Probing National Weather Satellite System…

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:21 AM PDT

The nation’s weather satellite program over the course of a year suffered 10 data security incidents, including unauthorized access and probes by adversaries, according to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Shopper Upset Man Allowed To Use Women’s Dressing Room In Ross

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:18 AM PDT

A Forney woman says a Ross department store in Mesquite let a man into the women’s dressing room Monday. “I was in the dressing room,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson on Transgender Bathrooms: ‘Depravity Is Going Mainstream’

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:11 AM PDT

Phil Robertson, the 70-year-old patriarch of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty,” argues that removing male and female distinctions in the transgender bathroom debate in America creates a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Norway to Launch Bill Allowing 6-Year-Olds to Change Gender

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:04 AM PDT

We’re not sure how the migrant hordes of Oslo will feel about this one. A new proposed bill in Norway, lauded as one of the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Venezuela In Total Collapse As Martial Law Grips Neighborhoods

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:00 AM PDT

A week ago residents of the poorer barrios of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, woke up to find soldiers everywhere. Dressed in black helmets, military fatigues, and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Women Evolving to Become Bisexual

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:52 AM PDT

Experts believe that women are more sexually fluid than men, meaning they’re less likely to associate with a particular orientation. Psychologist Dr Satoshi Kanazawa believes…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Powerful 6.7 Earthquake Strikes Western Ecuador

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:43 AM PDT

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake has struck Ecuador, the US Geological Survey reports. The country has been recently hit by a series of devastating quakes that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NATO Risks Nuke War With Russia ‘Within 12 Months

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:39 AM PDT

Nato risks a nuclear war with Russia within a year if it does not increase its defence capabilities in the Baltic states, one of the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nearly 100 Schoolchildren ‘Possessed By The Devil’

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:29 AM PDT

Almost 100 schoolchildren are thought to have been possessed by the devil – and see visions of a man in black trying to kill them….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NYC to Fine Businesses That Don’t Use Correct Gender Pronouns

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:19 AM PDT

Businesses in New York City face fines under a new law that makes it a violation of someone’s human rights not to use their preferred…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is the World About to See Biblical Prophecy Unfold?

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:17 AM PDT

(Billy Hallowell) Is the world also about to see biblical prophecy come to fruition in Syria? Among others, Joel Rosenberg has questioned whether events inside…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hillary Clinton Vows New Gun Grab in Secret Recording

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:54 PM PDT

A secretly recorded speech at an unknown location features Hillary Clinton vowing to launch a new effort to ban assault weapons if she becomes president….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

President Obama appoints UCC transgender leader to presidential council

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:40 PM PDT

A member of the United Church of Christ’s former Executive Council and a transgender leader within the denomination has been appointed to serve on President…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

3 out of every 10 gay or bisexual men in several cities in U.S. South diagnosed with the AIDS

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:32 PM PDT

Three out of every 10 gay or bisexual men in several cities in the U.S. South have been diagnosed with the AIDS virus, three times…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Giant Earth cracks and holes swallow 150 hectares of land in Ecuador

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:26 PM PDT

They call it now the San Isidro fault and it has started opening up suddenly after the M7.8 earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

100 Meter High Sandstorm Strikes China

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:20 PM PDT

This is not computer-generated scenes for Hollywood big-money thrillers. It is a real sandstorm sweeping across the Kashgar Prefecture in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Muslim Refugees Run To Christianity In Europe

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:17 PM PDT

Many Muslim refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries are converting to Christianity once they get to Europe, various news organizations are reporting….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Major Eruption Imminent? Earthquake Swarms Reported At Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier And Mt. St. Helens

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:13 PM PDT

(Michael Snyder) Is an eruption of one or more of the major volcanoes in the northwest United States imminent? In recent days, very large earthquake…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama on track to double national debt

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:59 PM PDT

President Obama is on track to double the national debt by the end of his eight years in office. Currently at $19.4 trillion, the debt…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Army Gets First Openly ‘Gay’ Civilian Boss

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:55 PM PDT

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Eric Fanning to be secretary of the Army, making him the first openly gay secretary of a U.S. military branch….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Government wants to own copyrights on everything

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:51 PM PDT

California routinely sets the standard for progressives, adopting law after law that the rest of the country isn’t even considering. For example, California lawmakers adopted…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facial Recognition App One Step Closer To The End Of Privacy

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:45 PM PDT

While facial recognition technology has a number of positive uses, such as finding missing people, an alternative form of ID, and even tagging friends on…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama spending millions to find summer jobs — for refugees?

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:42 PM PDT

The Obama administration wants to make sure Utica, New York’s young refugees aren’t without a job, so he’s spending millions to make sure it doesn’t…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Facebook Censoring Conservative Individuals — Not Just Media…

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:39 PM PDT

The liberal media are all over one part of the Facebook scandal story – and ignoring another. Generally, media have covered the accusations that the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Japan Makes Preparations For Catastrophic Earthquake

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:34 PM PDT

A huge earthquake in the country’s industrial heartland — costing as much as 40 per cent of GDP and disrupting supply chains — is seen…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture encourages people to stock food they need for the week

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:28 PM PDT

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday tweeted out a link to a webpage that encourages people to think about the food they need for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Pray for the Rapture, but Prepare for Tribulation’

Posted: 17 May 2016 03:00 PM PDT

(Shane Idleman) There is a great deal of dispute in the area of eschatology within the church—whether there will be a pre-tribulation rapture, a mid-tribulation…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Putin Pushed to Prepare for War

Posted: 17 May 2016 02:56 PM PDT

Something significant happened in the last few days of April, but it seems the only person who noticed was Stephen Cohen, a professor emeritus of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

British Jets confront Russian warplanes threatening Estonian airspace…

Posted: 17 May 2016 02:46 PM PDT

RAF typhoons rushed to confront Russian planes posing a threat to Estonian airspace on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defence has announced. The incident saw two…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Man drives truck onto National Mall, warns of ‘dangerous substance’ inside

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:28 PM PDT

Law enforcement in Washington, DC are investigating a potential hazardous material situation on the National Mall after a man drove his pickup truck onto the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Elton John Furious Over N.C. Bathroom Law, Claims “Traumatic” For Transgenders

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:22 PM PDT

Elton John, one of pop world’s most iconic singers and musicians – and who now includes a “Sir” before his name, due to the knighthood…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

#FlushTarget campaign launches: truck to visit every Target store in Minnesota

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:16 PM PDT

A new campaign to encourage shoppers to ditch Target over their new “transgender” bathroom literally took to the streets today in Minnesota. (Photo via LifeSiteNews)…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘America Has Been Redefined’: Cultural ‘Earthquake’ Has Transformed America

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:12 PM PDT

(Billy Hallowell) The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and author of the new book “Be Light,” recently stopped by…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Russia to restore missile system after USA turns on defense shield…

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:04 PM PDT

The Soviet-era relic near Sevastopol will be used to protect Russia from rocket attacks launched from locations in the Middle East, including Turkey and Syria….

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Featured Blogs


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


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


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.


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

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

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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— Augustine

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

A headline link on this blog post doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the headline linked article. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

The Moral Revolutionaries Present Their Demands: Unconditional Surrender

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes no bones about the fact that conservatives have lost the culture wars.  And of course the Left is gloating over our loss.  So, not surprisingly, they’re saying to the losing side, which includes conservative evangelicals, “You lost, deal with it.”  And we did lose, big time.  Now liberals are preparing to rub our noses in the battle field mud.

How should Bible believers deal with this startling defeat?  According to Eph 6:10, followers of Jesus Christ must “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (See what that looks like here.)

Armor-up, brethren, because the winner’s are going to take a hard line: “No accommodation whatsoever,” urged one Harvard Law School professor. “Don’t even try to be nice to moral enemies…since their arguments have no normative authority of any kind.”

Liberals have no intention of showing any sort of kindness toward conservatives — and Bible believers are the Left’s real “moral enemies.”  As Dr. Mohler points out in his piece, these people will go all out to squash religious freedom.

Read more

Does your church have a “Macho Prince”?

MACHO PRINCE OR MACHOVILLAIN PRINCE?

The bible talks about false teachers. What do they look like? Jesus offers us help in Matthew 7:15 on this issue. While this helps us identify the wolves disguised as Christian pastors, it is still hard to spot them in today’s churches.

However, one way to spot a wolf is to see if they are peddling a worldly ideology of philosophy by wrapping it in biblical language. And one philosophy that has been barely identified in the church but has been refuted in places is Consequentialism.

This article will focusing on the type of leader we think Consequentialism produces – someone we call the “Macho Prince”. (However, Machovillain Prince sounds more appropriate.)

MACHIAVELLI’S PRINCE- THE LIAR TO WATCH OUT FOR

Ever seen a “pastor”/”apostle”/”prophet”  (PAP) operate from the philosophy of consequentialism?

A “pastor” or “apostle”operating from consequentialist thought will stress that “a morally right act (or omission from acting) is…

View original post 1,460 more words

Five Hallmarks of Being Transformed by Christ – Unlocking the Bible

Transform: “To change completely or essentially in composition or structure”[1]

Do you think that’s possible?

Maybe for a caterpillar. But what about for you and me? What about that neighbor who blares music late at night, the colleague who takes credit for your work, or the relative who belittles you every time you see him?

To the church in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2 NIV). And to the congregation in Corinth, Paul proclaimed, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).

All things have become new. Complete change. Transformation.

Really? Yes, really. The Bible tells me so.

A Transformation Appointment

If ever a person experienced transformation in the fullest sense, it was the man Jesus met on the far side of the Sea of Galilee in the region known as the Gerasenes. Luke 8:26-39 records the bulk of the story, but the prologue appears in Luke 8:22: “One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the [sea]’” (NIV).

I think Jesus deliberately crossed the sea because he had a transformation appointment with someone whom everyone else considered a hopeless case. I would’ve thought he was hopeless too—way beyond reformation, much less transformation.

Luke tells us “for a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house” (v. 27). Homeless. Naked. Stinky. Wretched. But there’s more. The man was also tortured by an evil spirit. “Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places” (v. 29).

Everyone in the town probably thought, Good riddance. He’s a danger to all of us, even to himself. He’s crazy. There’s nothing more we could have done anyway.

Then Jesus arrived.

He extended compassion to the man. Jesus commanded the demons to come out of him, allowing them to enter a herd of pigs that ran into the sea and drowned (vv. 32-33).

And what of the man?

Five Hallmarks of Being Transformed by Christ

When the townspeople came to complain about the financial loss of the drowned pigs, they encountered the transformed man “sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind” (v. 35).

Note the hallmarks of transformation: “sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind.” First, to sit at the feet of a rabbi meant that one had become his disciple—forsaking all to become a follower, to learn everything possible and to pattern one’s life after the rabbi. Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NLT)

Second, “dressed” implies a new standard of behavior: “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience … and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12,14).

Third, the phrase “right mind” suggests wholeness. All the fragments of that man’s life had been gathered, mended, and fitted together. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:17 NKJV). The man had been transformed into a complete person—the one God had designed him to be.

The transformed man then begged to go with Jesus and the disciples. He wanted to leave the people who had known his shame and the place that had brought him nothing but misery. But Jesus insisted that he stay: “Return home and tell how much God has done for you” (v. 39).

Two more marks of transformation: the hunger to be with Jesus, and the desire to tell others what he has done for us.

From hopeless and tormented to honored and commissioned. That’s complete change. That’s a transformed spirit and a renewed mind.

Five Transformation Questions

So what does transformation look like for us? The Message paraphrases Romans 12:1-2 this way:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

That’s what occurred in the demon-possessed man, and that’s the transformation God desires in you and me.

Ask yourself these transformation questions:

  • Do I truly seek to pattern my life after Jesus rather than after any cultural mirage or personal fantasy?
  • Do I clothe myself in virtues that model Jesus, or do I dress myself in attitudes that reflect my culture?
  • Do I truly desire to be the person God designed me to be—not my culture’s caricature of me or my idealistic version of me?
  • Do I hunger to know Jesus more than I hunger for any other knowledge, status, or achievement?
  • Am I willing to proclaim what God has done for me wherever I am and to whomever he places in my path?

If you squirm a little when you read those questions, don’t despair. I squirm too. So do most other Christians. That’s why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live within us. He alone has the power to complete the transformation within us. Our job is to allow him to do so—with no interference.

Is transformation possible? Absolutely. Jesus specializes in sin-chained, failure-tormented cases like you and me—and whomever you’ve put on your hopeless list.

The next time you catch yourself saying “hopeless” about yourself or someone else, read Luke 8:26-39 again. Rejoice with the transformed man. Worship your Savior. Then go tell someone “how much God has done for you.”

Can you think of other hallmarks of being transformed by Christ?

[1] Merriam-Webster online dictionary: http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/transform

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Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NASB)

In the passage above (1 Timothy 4:7-8) the Apostle Paul used the Greek word ευσεβεια in v8, which is translated here as “godliness.” What is godliness? The word ευσεβεια in this context describes the condition of devotion and piety toward God. Godliness is a good translation, though it could also have been rendered as “holiness.” Godliness is a word which encapsulates the whole of true religion and is is called “godliness” because piety toward God is the foundation and the principal part of it. In the Greek, when…

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