Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

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

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Aug. 18, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

Ukraine isn’t ruling out a full-scale Russian invasion and may institute a military draft if the situation with its neighbor worsens, President Petro
Poroshenko said, after three soldiers were killed in the worst spate of shelling by pro-Moscow separatists in a year.

Spending on political advertising during the U.S. presidential election has dropped 60 percent from 2012, a troubling sign for local TV broadcasters that
were counting on a windfall.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Asia’s biggest international carrier, says it’s getting tougher to find premium fliers from Hong Kong. The lack of first and
business-class travelers from the Asian financial center — the worst since the global financial crisis days of 2009 — is such a dent on Cathay’s
financials that analysts are asking whether CEO Ivan Chu needs to find a Plan B.

Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone
that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved.

The percentage of women in their so-called prime working years participating in the labor market declined to 74 percent in the U.S. last year, while in
Canada it rose to 81 percent. The biggest shifts are a drop in participation by younger women in the U.S. and gains for older Canadians. Both countries are
seeing women studying more and waiting longer to start smaller families, with Canada offering more generous parental leave benefits.

AP Top Stories

In a move that could reverberate across the Middle East, Iran confirmed Wednesday that Russia is using its territory to launch airstrikes in Syria even as
a second wave of Moscow’s bombers flew out of the Islamic Republic to hit targets in the war-ravaged country.

The world’s “largest aircraft” embarked on its maiden flight on Wednesday, four days after a previous attempt was abandoned due to technical issues. The
Airlander 10 — part plane, part airship — took to the skies amid cheers and applause from crowds gathered at an airfield in Cardington, central England.
The successful flight comes 85 years after another airship — the ill-fated R101 — took off from the same airfield in October 1930 before crashing in
France, killing 48 people and effectively ending the development of airships in Britain.

Indian police say three people, including two children, have died after their throats were slashed by glass-coated kite string used in competitions to
bring down the kites of rivals.

Aetna Inc warned in July that it would exit much of the individual Obamacare health insurance market if the government challenged its deal to buy rival
Humana Inc , according to a letter it sent to the U.S. Department of Justice. The public release of the letter came after Aetna said on Monday that it
would pull out of selling individual insurance on the government-run websites in 11 states, citing financial losses on the business.

Giving no explanation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused on Monday to assemble all 28 of its active judges for a new review of the
constitutionality of California’s main gun-control laws. The high-stakes dispute is very likely to move on to the Supreme Court.

More than 500 passengers and crew were evacuated from a burning ship about a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast on Wednesday, and many required medical
care, though there were no reported fatalities or life-threatening injuries.

Two Indonesian sailors captured by Islamist extremist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines have successfully escaped from their militant abductors after
being held since early June.

The rape and beating of American and Western aid workers in the South Sudanese capital of Juba by government soldiers has struck a devastating blow against
two of President Barack Obama’s signature foreign-policy efforts: reforming the United Nations’ troubled peacekeeping program and standing up a stable
government in the world’s newest country.

N. Korea’s deputy ambassador in London defected with his family to S. Korea, making him the highest-ranking Pyongyang diplomat ever to flee the isolated
regime for the democratic South.

Five years after the housing recovery began; 5.9 million borrowers still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

BBC

The US has confirmed it is finally ready to cede power of the internet’s naming system, ending the almost 20-year process to hand over a crucial part of
the internet’s governance. The Domain Naming System, DNS, is one of the internet’s most important components. It pairs the easy-to-remember web addresses –
like bbc.com – with their relevant servers. Without DNS, you’d only be able to access websites by typing in its IP address, a series of numbers such as
“194.66.82.10”.

The Bolivian President Evo Morales has opened a new military defense academy, which he says will offer courses to counter the influence of the United
States in the developing world.

A report on female genital mutilation (FGM) in the North Caucasus has sparked a fierce debate in Russia, with some clerics defending the practice.

Nearly 18,000 people have died in government prisons in Syria since the beginning of the uprising in 2011, according to Amnesty International.

WND

A relatively obscure audit report from the Office of Inspector General of the United States Department of Defense suddenly is getting a lot of attention
for what it apparently reveals: The Pentagon can’t account for $6.5 trillion.

Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a
long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world’s most crime-ridden countries.

An official for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) told a U.S. Department of Education bullying summit on Friday that “more than 15 percent” of
high school students in DCPS identify as either gay, lesbian, bisexual or “questioning” – i.e. not sure of their sexuality.


Top News – 8/18/2016

CRISPR’s hopeful monsters: gene-editing storms evo-devo labs
“CRISPR is a revolution all across biology, but for evo-devo it’s transformative,” says Arnaud Martin, an evolutionary developmental biologist at George Washington University in Washington DC. “We can do things we were not able to do before.”

Hebrew Nation Radio: Lutheran Church’s Rejection of Israel Brought Louisiana Flooding Catastrophe
After historic flooding devastated Louisiana this week, a Hebrew Roots radio station suggested that the statewide disaster could be understood as divine retribution for anti-Israel resolutions passed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in New Orleans last weekend. “I think you can connect the dots,” wrote a news editor for Hebrew Nation Radio in an article about the flooding. “There is a measure for measure principle here.”

Leaked Board Documents: Soros Organization Tried To Buy Supreme Court Ruling On Illegal Immigration
Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros’ stated vehicle for progressive social change, orchestrated a well-funded attempt to secure a desired outcome in a U.S. Supreme Court case on illegal immigration enforcement, according to a newly discovered memo between the organization’s top U.S. officials and board members.

Ukraine President warns of conflict escalation, possible ‘martial law’
Poroshenko does not rule out a “full-scale Russian invasion” Ukraine’s president has said the likelihood of an escalation of the conflict with Russia and Russia-back separatists in eastern Ukraine “remains significant” and said he cannot rule out “a full-scale Russian invasion.”

Limbaugh: Feds thrust lesbians into farming for disturbing reason
A new federal plan encouraging lesbians to become farmers has a hidden, strategic purpose, according to radio host Rush Limbaugh, who is blasting it as “the latest Democrat scam.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture is holding a series of summits to push the role of lesbian farmers as a part of its “Rural Pride” campaign, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

Fake human sacrifice filmed at Cern, with pranking scientists suspected
The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) has launched an investigation into a video filmed at night on its Geneva campus depicting a mock ritual human sacrifice. The ceremony appears to have been staged in front of a statue of the Hindu deity Shiva that is on permanent display at the complex, home of the Large Hadron Collider.

Synagogue ruins discovered in Israel CONFIRM Jesus story in New Testament is true
He said: “This is the first synagogue discovered in the rural part of the Galilee and it confirms historical information we have about the New Testament, which says that Jesus preached at synagogues in Galilean villages.”

Russian-Iranian Cooperation in Syria is a ‘Slap in the Face to US and NATO’
Cooperation between Moscow and Tehran has been a “direct slap in the face” to the United States, the North Atlantic Alliance, as well as other countries and forces that are trying to destabilize Iran and Syria, political activist and journalist Navid Nasr told Radio Sputnik.

‘Arrogant, insensitive, wrong’: US VP Biden causes uproar with remark on Japan’s constitution
Joe Biden made a remark slamming Donald Trump, but ended up in deep water with Japan instead, saying that the US “wrote Japan’s constitution.” His comment was slammed as “arrogant”, “wrong”, and “insensitive” in Japan and beyond. “Does he not understand we wrote Japan’s constitution to say they couldn’t be a nuclear power?” he added.

Homes burn, thousands flee as out-of-control brush fire chars more than 25,600 acres in Cajon Pass
An explosive brush fire that ripped through canyons and flatlands in the Cajon Pass in less than a day continued to ravage hillsides and reduce homes to ash and rubble Wednesday, leaving even veteran firefighters bewildered. More than 80,000 people in the county’s rural communities have been forced to flee. An unknown number of homes were destroyed.

4-year-old Arkansas girl found abused told police her name was ‘idiot’
A 4-year-old Arkansas girl who was taken into protective custody after being zip-tied to her bed as punishment by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend thought her name was “idiot,” police said.

Central Oklahoma hit by 4.3-magnitude earthquake
LUTHER, Okla. – A 4.3 magnitude earthquake has struck central Oklahoma in the same area that’s been rattled by quakes over the past week. The U.S. Geological Survey says Wednesday’s quake was centered near Luther, about 28 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

4.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Chaman, surrounding areas
A moderate magnitude of 4.7 earthquake rocked Chaman, Pishin and adjoining areas on early Thursday morning. According to Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), the epicenter of the earthquake was located 51 km west of Pashin at the depth of 35 kilometre,a private news channel reporetd.

Earthquake Rattles Australia Tourist Towns
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has rocked tourist towns along more than 1,000 kilometres of Australia’s northeastern coastline.

US ready to ‘hand over’ the internet’s naming system
The US has confirmed it is finally ready to cede power of the internet’s naming system, ending the almost 20-year process to hand over a crucial part of the internet’s governance. The Domain Naming System, DNS, is one of the internet’s most important components. It pairs the easy-to-remember web addresses – like bbc.com – with their relevant servers.

Turkey car bombs: Police station attacks kill six and injure 219
Two big car bombs have hit police stations in separate cities in Turkey, killing six people and wounding at least 219 others. The first attack targeted a police station in the eastern city of Van, killing one police officer and two civilians. Some 73 people were hurt. Hours later, a police station in Elazig was hit, killing at least three police officers and wounding 146 people.

India to tap Israeli radar tech to thwart terrorism in volatile Kashmir area
India is reportedly preparing to install Israeli radar technology in the jungles of the volatile Kashmir Valley region as part of operations to prevent terrorists from infiltrating from Pakistan. Representatives from India’s Border Security Force are due to visit Israel later in August as part of the acquisition of the detection system…

Merkel says refugees didn’t bring Islamist terrorism to Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution. More than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere arrived in Germany last year.

In Leaked Doc, Germany Accuses Erdogan Of Supporting And Financing Terrorist Groups
While it will come as no surprise to readers of this site, which last year first revealed that Turkey was a key financial backer of the Islamic State, exchanging ISIS oil for cold, hard (USD) cash, it now appears that the Germans have finally caught up, after a leaked internal government document accused the Turkish government of supporting terrorist organizations such as Hamas, public broadcaster ARD reported yesterday. The leaked report, which just a year ago would have been called, what else – a tinfoil conspiracy theory – states the German government’s belief that Ankara has been deliberately financing Islamist and terror organizations with the direct consent of President Recep Erdogan.

Clinton Foundation hired cyber firm after suspected hacking: sources
Bill and Hillary Clinton’s charitable foundation hired the security firm FireEye to examine its data systems after seeing indications they might have been hacked, according to two sources familiar with the matter. So far, no message or document hacked from the New York-based Clinton Foundation has surfaced in public, the sources said.

The number of women in jail is reportedly skyrocketing, but no one knows why
Amid a fierce national debate on mass incarceration in the US, a new report has found that one population has been severely overlooked: women.

Dazzling blue lakes are forming in Antarctica — and they’ve got scientists worried
In a new study, scientists who study the largest ice mass on Earth — East Antarctica — have found that it is showing a surprising feature reminiscent of the fastest melting one: Greenland.

Iran to charge detained U.S. man with threatening country’s national security
Iran is preparing to indict a detained U.S. man, accusing him of acting against the country’s national security interests, a source familiar with the case has told The Foreign Desk. Gholamreza Shahini, 46, known to his friends as Robin, has come under the government’s radar for allegedly participating in the Green Revolution of 2009 against the government and collaborating on a TV interview with the US’ State Department-backed Voice of America, according to the indictment set to be unveiled at a Revolutionary Court.

Not Shocking: George Soros Funds Progressive War on Israel
he recent hack of George Soros’ “charitable” giving revealed nothing new. The man who told journalist Steve Kroft in a televised interview that roaming the streets of Budapest with his faux godfather to confiscate the property of his fellow Jews for the Nazis was the most exhilarating time of his life has long had a problem with both his Jewish roots and the creation of a Jewish state.

Frontrunning: August 18

  • World stocks rise, dollar weakens on divided Fed  (Read More)
  • U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners (Read More)
  • Brazil police pull U.S. swimmers from flight amid robbery probe (Read More)
  • Rio’s Latest Headache: Loads of Empty Seats (Read More)
  • Clinton Foundation hired cyber firm after suspected hacking (Read More)
  • How Lending Club’s Biggest Fanboy Uncovered Shady Loans (Read More)
  • Spain PM seeks small party support to try to snap deadlock (Read More)
  • Lawsuit Alleges Banks Manipulated Australian Rate  (Read More)
  • Brexit Means Little to British Consumers When the Sun Is Shining (Read More)
  • Welcome to the ‘Meat Casino’! The Cattle Futures Market Descends Into Chaos (Read More)
  • Cathay Says Premium Travel Slumping, Prompting Discounts (Read More)
  • Turkey ‘to seize assets of 187 Gulen-linked businessmen (Read More)
  • How Bernie Sanders Avoided Disclosing His Personal Finances (Read More)
  • Samsung Climbs to Record, Defying Sluggish Smartphone Market (Read More)
  • Merkel says refugees didn’t bring Islamist terrorism to Germany (Read More)
  • Germany Sees Tailor-Made Brexit Deal as U.K. Tests Patience (Read More)
  • Serbia intercepts over 3,000 illegal migrants in a month (Read More)

Top Headlines – 8/18/2016

Turkey to Release 38,000 Prisoners to Make Room for Coup Plotters

At least 6 dead, more than 200 wounded in bombings targeting Turkish police

Inside the secretive religious movement that is being blamed for Turkey’s attempted coup

Turkey lashes out at Germany over allegations it has become Islamist “hub”

Israel to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation after six-year rift

Hezbollah official: Israel’s demise ‘closer than ever’

Hezbollah’s new cheap and dangerous drone

IDF arrests key Hamas elections official in the West Bank

Israel hands over body of Palestinian terrorist for burial

UN: Israel may ‘forcibly transfer’ 46 West Bank Beduin communities

Barak: Netanyahu gambled over the US military aid and lost

Netanyahu moves to head off weakening of his Likud powers

Jewish Persecution Rampant on US Campuses, Israeli Activists Tell Key Knesset Committee

Olympics: How countries have disrespected Israel

Russian Military Forces Staging Near Ukraine

Russian bombers fly from Iran to bomb Syrian militants for 2nd day

Russia Takes Swipe at U.S. State Department, Defends Using Iran Bases for Syria Strikes

Russia: Our Syria strikes out of Iran do not violate UN resolution 2231

Iran acknowledges Russia using its air base to strike Syria

Iran to charge detained U.S. man with threatening country’s national security

US held $400M payment to Iran until detainees were released, report says

China steps up ‘military cooperation’ with Assad as top admiral visits Damascus

18,000 people die in Syrian custody says Amnesty International

UN Syria envoy suspends its humanitarian task force amid continued fighting

Haunting image of Syrian boy rescued from Aleppo rubble after airstrike

Kurdish militia says Syrian planes bomb Kurdish-held city

I heard my opponent say, ‘Allahu Akbar’ – Olympic medalist Uri Sasson describes his experience fighting his Egyptian opponent. “He looked at us as if he wanted to murder us.”

Trump slams Obama, Clinton for ‘politically correct’ war against ISIS, warns of more attacks

Merkel says refugees didn’t bring Islamist terrorism to Germany

Migrant crisis: Greek islands see rising numbers in camps

Australian minister admits hundreds of migrants have been ‘stranded’ on nearby islands

North Korea says it has resumed plutonium production

S. Korea holds largest artillery drills near N. Korea border

Thailand plans to track tourists using their phones

Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets

Ryan Lochte spotted in North Carolina with Playboy playmate girlfriend as authorities nab his Olympic swimming teammates trying to leave Rio

Lawyer for Lochte’s teammates says they can’t leave Brazil until they testify

US flags called ‘liability,’ ordered removed from New York fire trucks

Asian Stocks Climb on Signs US Rate Hike Off Table for Now

Tim Kaine Once Said Cheating Politicians Should Resign – Including Bill Clinton

Clinton Foundation hired cyber firm after suspected hacking: sources

Hacking group claims to have NSA cyber-weapons

‘Auction’ of NSA tools sends security companies scrambling

This temporary tattoo can control your smartphone

Fake human sacrifice filmed at Cern, with pranking scientists suspected

Thursday’s full moon: The lunar eclipse that no one will notice

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Bowen, Australia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kandrian, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Fiji region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Fiji region

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

Scientists find likely cause of 2011 Virginia earthquake, believe there may be more to come

DC National Cathedral still being repaired after 2011 earthquake

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,500ft

Suwanosejima volcano on Japan erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Storm Fiona Expected to Strengthen in the Central Atlantic

Three tropical depressions have formed in the Pacific

Tropical Depression threatens to unleash late-week flooding in China, Vietnam and Laos

Louisiana braces for flooding rain that may exacerbate ‘worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy’

‘It Turns Your Heart Upside Down’: Flooding Crisis in Louisiana Far From Over

Louisiana flood death toll reaches 13 as victims face housing shortage

California remains in severe drought, but mandatory water cuts still off

Record-breaking heat to scorch Pacific Northwest late this week

Dazzling blue lakes are forming in Antarctica – and they’ve got scientists worried

Alaskan village votes in favour of relocating due to climate change

Pesticide-resistant whitefly could ‘devastate’ many US crops

Devastating plant fungus may eradicate bananas within five years

Stop dumping your pet fish, they’re growing into monsters

Zika virus: Floridians fear ‘Pandora’s box’ of genetically altered mosquitos

Flakka: What is the ‘zombie drug’ blamed for face-eating attacks?

Duterte Slams UN for ‘Interfering’ in Philippine Drug War

Target to expand bathroom options in stores amid boycott threats over transgender policy

Meditation in virtual reality: it’s like French philosophy meets the Matrix

Don’t Get Caught With Your Head In The Clouds

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 10:17 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) One of the greatest topics of debate in the Body of Christ is the “Coming of the Lord” and the “Rapture” of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

TWITTER Suspends 235,000 Accounts Over ‘Extremism’…

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 09:15 AM PDT

Twitter one of the Social Media giants has just suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism over the last six months, as part of a continuing effort…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea Threatens to Destroy US Military Bases…

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 08:13 AM PDT

According to a new repot this morning, Pyongyang has threatened to destroy all US military bases in the Asia-Pacific Region should Washington dare to take…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

West Virginia City Reeling from 27 heroin overdoses in 4 hours

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 08:10 AM PDT

Tragic news is hitting a state that has recently seen a move of God with Revival services being reported from the region making National news…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Did The NSA just Get Hacked?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 07:27 AM PDT

An almost day-long outage of the National Security Agency’s website has raised further questions as to whether America’s most secretive surveillance agency has itself been…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Turkey considering military ties with Russia as NATO shows unwillingness to cooperate

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 07:16 AM PDT

Unbelievable! And yet another piece of the prophetic puzzle comes together before our eyes. Not only are we witnessing Iran and Russia forming an alliance…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Russia-Iran cooperation in Syria sends message to US

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 07:12 AM PDT

Russia’s use of an Iranian air base to bomb targets in Syria sends a message to Washington as it weighs a military partnership with Moscow:…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Tropical Storm Fiona forms in the Atlantic, expected to strengthen

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 07:07 AM PDT

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Fiona has formed over the central Atlantic, becoming the season’s sixth named storm. The storm’s maximum sustained…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

South Korea holds Largest Ever Artillery Drills Near North Korea Border

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 07:03 AM PDT

South Korea’s army on Thursday conducted its largest-ever artillery drills near the tense border with North Korea, but there was no immediate military response from…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Posting a Bible verse – a federal crime?

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:55 AM PDT

Are we coming to the time in America where simply posting a Bible verse could be deemed as a federal crime? She was court-martialed after…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Fourth brain-eating amoeba case of the year Strikes America

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:48 AM PDT

An unidentified patient in Florida is being treated after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba last week, according to the Florida Department of Health. It…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Chilling ‘Satanic Human Sacrifice’ Ritual at CERN Sparks Fears From Workers

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:43 AM PDT

A chilling video has surfaced displaying a group of ‘researchers’ at the CERN Large Hadron Collider staging a chilling ‘satanic human sacrifice’ ritual.  The footage…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets…

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:37 AM PDT

Not only is Venezuela collapsing from their economy plunging many into starvation but now it appears that Venezuelan police are crushing and chopping up nearly 2,000…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Princeton HR department: Don’t use word ‘man’…

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:31 AM PDT

The Princeton University HR department has largely wiped the word “man” from its vocabulary. The relatively new policy in effect at the Ivy League institution…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Threat of all-out war in Ukraine as Putin places 40,000 troops on border…

Posted: 18 Aug 2016 06:28 AM PDT

War Drums are pounding louder this morning as reports indicate that as many as 40,000 Russian troops are massing on the country’s border with Ukraine…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Wildfire Displays ferocity never seen before by veteran California firefighters

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 06:01 PM PDT

(AP) A wildfire with a ferocity never seen before by veteran California firefighters raced up and down canyon hillsides, instantly engulfing homes and forcing thousands…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea shrinks warning time for nuclear attack on America

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 05:58 PM PDT

The US government is increasingly concerned that advances in North Korea’s weapons program have dramatically decreased the warning time for a nuclear attack on America…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

MARK OF THE BEAST WATCH: Temporary tattoo can control your smartphone

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 05:26 PM PDT

Once again we are seeing technology pushing for methods that will prepare the way for the acceptance of the coming “Mark of the Beast” in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

MERKEL: Refugees didn’t bring terror…Islam belongs in Germany…

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 05:21 PM PDT

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAMAGE CONTROL: Target Now Installing “Private Bathrooms” At All Stores

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 05:16 PM PDT

Looks like Target is now changing their tune with their hard-nosed stance on “Transgender Bathroom” access. According to a report the plunging sales and a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Decadent Europe Parallels the Decline of Rome

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 05:11 PM PDT

Montaigne, Goethe and Edward Gibbon were the first to question the reasons that led the greatest empire in history, Rome, to its rapid decline and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Cisco Systems ‘Prepares To Cut 14,000 Jobs’, UK Will Feel Brunt of Cuts

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 04:34 PM PDT

The Job Cuts keep coming as now Cisco Systems is reportedly planning to lay off up to 14,000 employees, in what would be the largest…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Louisianna Floods Worst Natural Disaster Since Hurricane Sandy

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 04:26 PM PDT

Just how bad is the recent Louisianna flooding? According to a new report, The Red Cross is calling it the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

100 Thousand Jobs Gone and More Cuts Coming

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Technology is putting Americans out of work at a record pace.  According to a new report, at the same time, fiscal fourth-quarter earnings beat on…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tehran to charge detained American citizen with ‘threatening national security’…

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 03:46 PM PDT

Iran is preparing to indict a detained U.S. man, accusing him of acting against the country’s national security interests, a source familiar with the case…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Joe Biden Exposes Military Aide with Nuclear Codes During Campaign Rally for Hillary

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:55 AM PDT

Joe Biden does what he does best and that is say something crazy and controversial. A recent report indicated that Vice President Joe Biden revealed…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Large Unmarked passenger planes spotted flying from Vegas airport to top secret military base

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:44 AM PDT

We are familiar with Area 51 and the many conspiracy theories and claims that been birthed from this mysterious location and now mysterious unmarked aircraft…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Russian military massing forces near Ukraine…

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:38 AM PDT

The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Atheist Group Demands Football Coaches on ‘Last Chance U’ Stop Praying With Players

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:22 AM PDT

Here we go again with demands of football coaches to stop praying with their team! Now a report is indicating that One of America’s largest…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BBC Ignores Olympian Usain Bolt’s Commitment to Christ

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:18 AM PDT

Don’t you love when the Main Stream Media purposely goes silent regarding certain headlines? One example comes from the Olympics. The fastest man on the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Evidence of Catastrophic Biblical Flood Found in China?

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 11:15 AM PDT

If you believe in the Bible than this next report shouldn’t really shock you at all. According to a new report from CBN, Chinese scientists…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Boys Who Identify as Girls Now Allowed on Overnight Field-Trips

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 10:17 AM PDT

(By Todd Starnes) Teachers in Charlotte, North Carolina have been advised to stop calling the children “boys and girls,” according to a training presentation on…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Over 82,000 People Evacuated As California Wildfire Rages On

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 10:14 AM PDT

California has been hammered this year by Wildfires and it doesn’t seem to be letting up! Reports are indicating that as many as 82,000 people…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Obama to force women’s shelter to admit ‘Transgender’ Men

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 10:00 AM PDT

Well, the forced legislation continues to roll out from this current administration regarding the compliance of the new “Transgender Laws” that has been enforced from the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First Century Synagogue Discovered In Galilee

Posted: 17 Aug 2016 09:39 AM PDT

A site called Tel Rekhesh, which corresponds to the first-century village of Anaharath, inches underground has been discovered by Archaeologists in Israel.  It’s being called a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


Is Russia About To Invade Ukraine?

Russian Military Parade - Photo by Vitaly V. KuzminWar is coming, but unfortunately most Americans are completely oblivious to what is about to happen. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been massing at eight staging areas along Russia’s border with Ukraine, and some Pentagon officials believe that this could represent preparations for a full-scale invasion. But ultimately Russia has much bigger concerns than just Ukraine. At this point, the Russian people view the United States more negatively than they did even during the height of the Cold War, and their leading thinkers openly talk about the inevitability of a future conflict between the two superpowers. The Russians have been feverishly upgrading and modernizing their strategic nuclear forces in anticipation of that conflict, but unfortunately the U.S. military has not made similar strides under the Obama administration. As a result, the balance of power has shifted dramatically in favor of the Russians. (Read More…)


81% of Americans worse off now than 10 years ago


The Bible in America: 6-Year Trends (Barna Group)

With over 5 billion copies sold, the Bible remains earth’s most-read book. But the world in which we read and engage with the Bible is rapidly changing.


When All Seems Wrong with the World (Lianna Davis, Of Larks)

God is glorified when we leave to Him the determination of circumstances—what is right or wrong to bring into any one of our lives.


15 Questions to Keep the Gospel Central in Your Life (Kevin Halloran, Word + Life)

What do you desire more than anything else? What do you find yourself daydreaming or fantasizing about?


Is Spending Money on Entertainment and Leisure OK with God? (Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries)

…it’s not what you give but what you keep that determines your lifestyle, but giving away a lot helps what you keep to not rule you or be your idol.


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.


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Barna Update | Women Report Mixed Feelings About Social Media

Social media has fundamentally altered the way we communicate and engage with each other. But have they made our lives better or worse? Barna conducted a study among women to examine the habits and impact of their social media use.

Read more

August 17, 2016 Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Global Leadership Summit 2016 is not for teaching men to be shepherds in an assembly, rather it is there to lead more into apostasy.  Continue reading more here.
Bethel Redding and “glory clouds.”  The nonsense there never ceases.
Another false apostle and his nonsensical, unbiblical teachings to stay away from.
The false teaching coming out of SBC teachers is becoming the norm, unfortunately.
Interesting reviews of some popular church music.  I agree with what the author has said about all of them.  I think he is fair and objective.
As a follow-up to that one, here are some more interesting thoughts by the same author, responding to some charges against his reviews.  He also has some some explanations of popular charismatic false and occultic teachings which are practice by Bethel Redding.  I particularly liked this statement: If a doctrinally sound minister — John Piper, let’s say — were to favorably quote Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, or T.D. Jakes in his sermon just because one of those false teachers can manage a theologically salvageable thought every once in a while, Piper would not go unchallenged. But for whatever reason we don’t hold worship leaders to the same standard. If Bill Johnson is a grave-sucking false teacher, why is Jeremy Riddle not?
A week later, we have another in this series of examining worship songs!  Another comment I whole-heartedly agree with (reference “My Chains Are Gone”):  Should the song be sung in your church?  Why should it not? So long as a church is not replacing the Newton classic. As great as Tomlin and Giglio’s version is, there are two verses of the classic hymn that are not in My Chains Are Gone. Let them not be forgotten.  The problem is that it HAS replaced Newton’s song;  it has been a long, long time since I’ve heard Amazing Grace.
Robert Hotchkin, another false teacher with unbelievable ideas, and yet people listen to him!!!!
No one should ever send another dime to World VisionDoug Evans makes the succinct point:  Millions of dollars has been embezzled from the Christian charity World Vision and funneled into the terrorist organization Hamas. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but World Vision is standing by the terrorist in their midst. What part of Stewardship are they misunderstanding?
Cautions About Alan Hirsch.  WOW — this guy is bad news.
Jews have their own apostates and heretics.
“Jesus Calling” radio “worship” hour?
David Barton seems to think God is a patriotic American Christian who dictates who to vote for.  He needs to spend less time with NAR types and more time with Biblical Christians.
Use caution when using Bible Gateway.
You’ve got to be kidding—asking a statue to pray!?!?!
How Hillsong invades and takes over a church.

 

Source: Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Moralism & No-Lordship Antinomianism

Two great errors in the church today are 1) moralism and 2) no – lordship antinomianism. One has pride in his own goodness, and puts his hope (at least partly) in his own self-righteousness, not realizing he is spiritually bankrupt, saved by the free grace and righteousness of Christ alone. The other error acknowledges the imputation of Christ’s righteousness but ignores the impartation of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, thus rejecting the fullness of God’s grace to us in salvation. The tragic result is they see no need to yield in allegiance to Christ alone as LORD and sovereign. They end up presuming on God’s grace in justification often allowing sin to go unchecked, as if God no longer required a holy life from us as believers. But the Scriptures unambiguously declare that we are to obey, not in order to be saved or to somehow maintain our salvation … no, we are to obey BECAUSE we are saved and are the children of God. Those who are born again love God by obeying His commands and His commands are not burdensome because they have been born again.(1 John 3:9, 5:1-4)

Source: Moralism & No-Lordship Antinomianism

 

18 Marks of Gospel-Produced Humility

On December 24, 2004, I proposed to my wife. That same night, she gave me a small, antiquarian book that she had bought for me from a bookseller in England. I’m pretty sure it’s the only book that she ever bought me (since I did such a fine job of spending all of our money on a theological library)! The little book that she gave me that night is Thomas Brooks’ Unsearchable Riches of Christ. This book is of particular value to me because she gave it to me on the night I proposed to her and because it speaks to one of the most important subjects that could occupy the believer’s mind throughout his or her life. It addresses an area of my life that needs continual spiritual care–namely, Gospel-produced humility. The first half of this book contains the greatest treatment of spiritual humility that I have yet come across. In the opening chapter, Brooks set out 18 marks of a soul that has been truly humbled by the Gospel. They are as follows:

1. A humble soul under the highest spiritual discoveries, and under the greatest outward mercies, forgets not his former sinfulness and his former outward meanness. Paul had been taken up into the third heavens, and had glorious revelations and manifestations of God, 2 Cor. 12:1–4; he cries out, ‘I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious,’ 1 Tim. 1:13. Under the choicest discoveries, he remembers his former blasphemies…
2. A humble soul overlooks his own righteousness, and lives upon the righteousness of another, that is that of the Lord Jesus. So the apostle, Philip. 3:8–10, overlooks his own righteousness, and lives wholly upon the righteousness of Christ: ‘I desire to be found in him,’ saith he, ‘not having mine own righteousness’…It is a rotten righteousness, an imperfect righteousness, a weak righteousness, ‘which is of the law; but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith,’ that is a spotless righteousness, a pure righteousness, a complete righteousness, an incomparable righteousness; and, therefore, an humble soul overlooks his own righteousness, and lives upon Christ’s righteousness…Oh! but for a man now to trample upon his own righteousness, and to live wholly upon the righteousness of another, this speaks out a man to be humble indeed. There is nothing that the heart of man stands more averse to than this, of coming off from his own righteousness…
3. The lowest and the meanest good work is not below a humble soul. An humble David will dance before the ark: he enjoyed so much of God in it, that it caused him to leap and dance before it; but Michal his wife despised him for a fool, and counted him as a simple vain fellow, looking upon his carriage as vain and light, and not becoming the might, majesty, and glory of so glorious a prince. Well! says this humble soul, if this be to be vile, I will be more vile…
4. A humble heart will submit to every truth of God, that is made known to it; even to those divine truths that are most cross to flesh and blood. 1 Sam. 3:17, Eli would fain know what God had discovered to Samuel concerning him; Samuel tells him that he must break his neck, that the priesthood must be taken away from him, and his sons must be slain in the war; why ‘it is the Lord,’ saith he, ‘let him do what seems him good.’ So in Lev. 10:3, the Lord by fire from heaven destroys Aaron’s two sons. ‘Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified; and Aaron held his peace’…
5. A humble soul lives not upon himself, nor upon his own actings, but upon the Lord Jesus, and his actings. Poor men, you know, they do not live upon themselves, they live upon others; they live upon the care of others, the love of others, the provision of others. Why! thus an humble soul lives upon the care of Christ, the love of Christ, the promise of Christ, the faithfulness of Christ, the discoveries of Christ. He lives upon Christ for his justification, Philip. 3:7–10; he lives upon Christ for his sanctification…
6. A humble soul judges himself to be below the wrath and judgments of God. An humble soul looks upon himself as one not worthy that God should spend a rod upon him, in order to his reformation, edification, or salvation. As I am unworthy, says an humble soul, that God should smile upon me, so I am unworthy that he should spend a frown upon me. Job 13:25, ‘Will you break a leaf driven to and fro? And wilt you pursue the dry stubble?’ Why, I am but a leaf, I am but a little dry stubble, I am below thy wrath; I am so very, very bad, that I wonder that you should so much as spend a rod upon me. What more weak, worthless, slight, and contemptible than a leaf, than dry stubble? Why, Lord, says Job, I am a poor, weak, and worthless creature, I wonder that you should take any pains to do me good, I can’t but count and call everything a mercy that is less than hell…
7. A humble soul highly prizes the least of Christ. The least smile, the least good word, the least good look, the least truth, the least mercy, is highly valued by an humble soul…The Canaanite woman in the fifteenth of Matthew sets a high price upon a crumb of mercy. Ah, Lord, says the humble soul, if I may not have a loaf of mercy, give me a piece of mercy; if not a piece of mercy, give me a crumb of mercy. If I may not have sun-light, let me have moon-light; if not moon-light, let me have star-light; if not star-light, let me have candle-light; and for that I will bless thee…
8. A humble soul can never be good enough, it can never pray enough, nor hear enough, nor mourn enough, nor believe enough, nor love enough, nor fear enough, nor joy enough, nor repent enough, nor loathe sin enough, nor be humble enough, &c…No holiness below that matchless, peerless, spotless, perfect holiness that saints shall have in the glorious day of Christ’s appearing, will satisfy the humble soul. An humble heart is an aspiring heart; he cannot be contented to get up some rounds in Jacob’s ladder, but he must get to the very top of the ladder, to the very top of holiness. An humble heart cannot be satisfied with so much grace as will bring him to glory, with so much of heaven as will keep him from dropping into hell; he is still crying out, Give, Lord, give; give me more of thyself, more of thy Son, more of thy Spirit; give me more light, more life, more love, &c…
9. A humble soul will smite and strike for small sins as well as for great, for those the world count no sin, as well as for those that they count gross sins. An humble soul knows that little sins, if I may so call any, cost Christ his blood, and that they make way for greater; and that little sins multiplied become great, as a little sum multiplied is great; that they cloud the face of God, wound conscience, grieve the Spirit, rejoice Satan, and make work for repentance, &c. An humble soul knows that little sins, suppose them so, are very dangerous; a little leaven leavens the whole lump; a little staff may kill one; a little poison may poison one; a little leak in a ship sinks it; a little fly in the box of ointment spoils it; a little flaw in a good cause mars it; so a little sin may at once bar the door of heaven and open the gates of hell; and therefore an humble soul smites and strikes itself for the least as well as the greatest…
10. A humble soul will quietly bear burdens, and patiently take blows and knocks, and make no noise. An humble soul sees God through man; he sees God through all the actions and carriages of men: ‘I was dumb,’ saith the prophet, ‘I opened not my mouth, because you didst it.’ An humble soul looks through secondary causes, and sees the hand of God, and then lays his own hand upon his mouth. An humble soul is a mute soul, a tongue-tied soul, when he looks through secondary causes to the supreme cause.
11. In all religious duties and services, a humble soul trades with God upon the credit of Christ. Lord, says the humble soul, I need power against such and such sins: give it me upon the credit of Christ’s blood. I need strength to such and such services: give it me upon the credit of Christ’s word. I need such and such mercies for the cheering, refreshing, quickening, and strengthening of me: give them into my bosom upon the credit of Christ’s intercession. As a poor man lives and deals upon the credits of others, so does an humble soul live and deal with God for the strengthening of every grace, and for the supply of every mercy, upon the credit of the Lord Jesus…
12. humble soul endeavors more how to honor and glorify God in afflictions, than how to get out of afflictions. So Daniel, the three children, the apostles, and those worthies of whom this world was not worthy. They were not curious about getting out of affliction, but studious how to glorify God in their afflictions. They were willing to be anything, and to bear anything, that in everything God might be glorified. They made it their business to glorify God in the fire, in the prison, in the den, on the rack, and under the sword, &c…
13. A humble soul seeks not (it looks not) after great things. A little will satisfy nature, less will satisfy grace; but nothing will satisfy a proud man’s lusts. Lord, says the humble soul, ‘If you wilt but give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, you shalt be my God,’ Gen. 28:20–22. Let the men of the world, says the humble soul, take the world in all its greatness and glory, and divide it among themselves. Let me have much of Christ and heaven in my heart, and food convenient to support my natural life, and it shall be enough…
14. A humble soul can rejoice in the graces and gracious actings of others, as well as in its own. A humble Moses could say when Eldad and Medad prophesied in the camp, ‘Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them,’ Num. 11:26–30…
15. A humble soul is, he will rather bear wrongs than revenge wrongs offered. The humble soul knows that vengeance is the Lord’s, and that he will repay, &c., Ps. 94:1. The humble soul loves not to take the sword in his own hand, Rom. 12:19; he knows the day is a-coming, wherein the Lord will give his enemies two blows for one, and here he rests. An humble soul, when wrongs are offered, is like a man with a sword in one hand and a salve in the other; could wound but will heal…
16. A humble soul, though he be of never so rare abilities, yet he will not disdain to be taught what he knows not, by the least of persons, Isa. 11:6. A child shall lead the humble soul in the way that is good; he cares not how mean and contemptible the person is, if a guide or an instructor to him.
17. A humble soul will bless God, and be thankful to God, as well under misery as under mercy; as well when God frowns as when he smiles; as well when God takes as when he gives; as well under crosses and losses, as under blessings and mercies. A humble soul, in every condition, blesses God, as the apostle commands, in the 1 Thes. 5:18, ‘In every thing give thanks to God.’ So 1 Cor. 4:12, ‘Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer.’ The language of an humble soul is, If it be thy will, saith an humble soul, I should be in darkness, I will bless thee; and if it be thy will I should be again in light, I will bless thee; if you wilt comfort me, I will bless thee; and if you wilt afflict me, I will bless thee; if you will make me poor, I will bless thee; if you wilt make me rich, I will bless thee; if you wilt give me the least mercy, I will bless thee; if you wilt give me no mercy, I will bless thee…
18. A humble soul will wisely and patiently bear reproof: Prov. 25:12, “As an ear ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.’ A seasonable reproof falling upon an humble soul hath a redoubled grace with it. It is an earring of gold, and as an ornament of fine gold, or as a diamond in a diadem. A humble David can say, ‘Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness, and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head,’ Ps. 141:5…

 

  1. Brooks, T. (1866). The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks. (A. B. Grosart, Ed.) (Vol. 3, pp. 10–11). Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; G. Herbert.
  2. Ibid., pp. 11–12.
  3. Ibid., pp. 12–13.
  4. Ibid., p. 14.
  5. Ibid., pp. 14–15.
  6. Ibid., p. 15.
  7. Ibid., pp. 16.
  8. Ibid., pp. 16–17.
  9. Ibid., pp. 17–18.
  10. Ibid., p. 18.
  11. Ibid., pp. 19–20.
  12. Ibid., p. 20.
  13. Ibid., p. 21.
  14. Ibid., p. 22
  15. Ibid., p. 23.
  16. Ibid., p. 23.
  17. Ibid., p. 24.
  18. Ibid., p. 25.

The post 18 Marks of Gospel-Produced Humility appeared first on Feeding on Christ.

 

When God Seems Unfair

A co-worker receives a promotion the same week you’re laid off. The house you considered “perfect” for your family is sold to another buyer. You labor long hours at your current workplace and volunteer at numerous nonprofits, yet your dream of owning a business is squashed by a bank’s loan refusal.

Are you tempted to say, “It’s not fair”?

Peter’s Thwarted Expectations

Any time our expectations have been thwarted in some way, we’re likely to squawk about it. Complaining about perceived injustices is a natural human reaction—even among those who call themselves Christ-followers. Even among the disciples who followed Jesus for three years.

The twelve disciples were astonished when Jesus once observed that it was “hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23 NIV). Like most Jews of their era, the disciples believed riches were a sign of God’s favor. They also assumed Jesus would establish a kingdom on earth, in which they’d enjoy positions of authority, privilege, and prosperity.


God has given us more than a fair wage. He has withheld the punishment we deserve.
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So when Jesus implied that riches may not be part of their future, Peter exclaimed, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27).

Do you hear the unspoken “It’s not fair” in Peter’s tone?

Good ole Peter. He said things to Jesus we’d like to say too: “Look at all I’ve done for You, Lord. When will I start reaping the benefits of my efforts?

The Hired Workers’ Grumblings

Jesus’ answer is a parable about several groups of men who were hired to work in a landowner’s vineyards. The first group arrived early in the morning. According to Matthew 20:2, the landowner “agreed to pay them a denarius for the day” (NIV). The word agreed may suggest the workers asked for that wage—a normal day’s wage—and the landowner agreed to pay it. As the day progressed, more workers came—at 9am, noon, 3pm, and 5pm. The landowner hired them all without indicating a designated wage (Matthew 20:3-7).

At day’s end, all the workers received the same wage—a denarius. That’s when the early morning crew cried, “It’s not fair!” Matthew records, “They expected to receive more…but when they received [the denarius], they began to grumble against the landowner” (v. 11).

The landowner responded, “I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (vv. 13-15).

Three Reminders When God Doesn’t Seem Fair

Through the landowner’s words, Jesus conveyed to Peter, and to us, reminders that can help us squelch the “It’s not fair!” mindset.

First, Jesus reminds us that God never treats his servants unjustly.

The earliest workers were promised a fair wage and received it. In actuality, God has given us much more than a fair wage. He has redeemed us with the precious blood of Jesus, withholding the just punishment we deserve for our sins—eternal separation from God. What’s more, he’s given us the indwelling Spirit here and eternity in heaven after we die. The value of these gracious gifts far exceeds any earthly blessings we may or may not receive.

Second, Jesus reminds us that everything belongs to God.

What right do we have to question the way he uses his resources? Imagine an employee demanding to see his employer’s checkbook, and then saying, “You shouldn’t have purchased a new car for your son. You should’ve increased my wages!”

Ludicrous, right?

But is that any different from telling God whom he should and shouldn’t bless? God, why did you give Suzanne that job, but you didn’t give me the job I wanted? Why does Jack have a loving wife and three healthy kids, but I’m struggling as a single parent with a chronically ill child?

Questioning God’s goodness or fairness may be intrinsically human (Adam and Eve did it), but it’s also sinful. It drives a wedge of bitterness between us and God when he longs to draw near us during difficult times (Psalm 34:18; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Third, Jesus reminds us that God is trustworthy.

To the 9am crew, the landowner said: “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right” (v. 4). Those workers didn’t demand a certain wage; they trusted the landowner’s judgment.

More than anything else, God longs for us to trust him, to rely on his sovereignty and inherent goodness. Do we believe he has our best interest at heart? Do we rely on the promise of Psalm 84:11—“No good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly”?

Jesus told Peter, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). His point was this: Follow me. Your reward in this life and in the next will be greater than you can imagine.

God Does Whatever Is Right

Do we trust God enough to abandon our quest for a “fair wage”? Are we willing instead to count on him to do “whatever is right”?

Let’s replace our “It’s not fair” mindset with affirmations like these:

  • Gracious God, thank you for the blessings you’ve already given me and for those you’ve planned for my future.
  • Generous God, I believe you will do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
  • Loving God, I trust you to do “whatever is right.”

Peter must have taken this parable to heart. In 1 Peter 1:3-4, he encouraged his suffering readers to praise God for their “new birth into a living hope…and [an] inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” He also wrote that God had “given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Will we choose to embrace those truths too?

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The post When God Seems Unfair appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Trivializing Truth

Today’s article is a continuation from yesterday’s post, as Dr. MacArthur concludes his discussion on how Christians engage with social media. You can find the previous posts in this series here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Trivializing Truth

None other than National Public Radio recently lamented the growing trivialization of values in American society. In an NPR web-article entitled, “Trivialization Nation” (Feb. 2010) Linton Weeks writes, “The wide-spread trivialization of meaningful things is indisputable. Sound bites and silliness reign supreme. . . . Perhaps the tendency to trivialize is born of band-wagonism or laziness. . . . Trivializing large ideals is easier than living up to them. And it’s less scary.”

Elsewhere, the article cited an interview with the president of Harvard, Drew Faust, in which she was asked to respond to the dumbing down of American culture. “I worry about attention span,” Faust said, “because people will not listen to more than a couple of sentences or read more than a couple of sentences. Does everything have to be a sound bite? Is everything to be digested into something brief? And aren’t there complicated ideas that we ought to have the patience to give our attention to?” (Source)

One novelist-turned-blogger provides firsthand testimony of that trivialization in his own experience. He writes:

This is, I think, the real danger of social media and Twitter. . . . It changes the way I process information. Or to be more precise, I no longer process information—I merely consume it. I speed read hundreds of bits of articles a day, absorbing lots of information, but rarely actually thinking about it. . . . The difficult thoughts, the ambivalent thoughts, the repulsive thoughts, the thoughts too complicated to be reduced to a tweet. They are labeled low priority and sent to the back office of my mind.

Geoff Dyer, writing in The Guardian, echoes that concern: “Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it’s being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks.”

A CNBC article entitled, “Is Twitter Making You Stupid?” concludes with this sobering assessment: “It seems that we’ve managed, in the words of playwright Richard Foreman . . . to transform ourselves into ‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”

While scientists and social critics debate the effects of social media on how we think, one thing remains clear: Christians must guard themselves against becoming theological pancakes. Thanks to the market-driven methodologies of the seeker-sensitive movement, the dumbing down of doctrine has characterized American evangelicalism for decades. In many ways, sites like Twitter and Facebook only exarbate that problem because they provide a venue in which reductionism and extreme brevity simultaneously coincide with information overload and infinite distraction.

But not every theological truth can be adequately summarized in just a phrase or two. And not every debate can be resolved in just one blog article. Many doctrines require extended time and thought to properly process. Mature believers reflect deeply on the things of God and the truths of His Word. They are not a mile wide and an inch deep. Instead their lives are marked by rich devotion, focused study, prolonged prayer, and careful mediation. Cultivating those kinds of spiritual disciplines takes time and effort—traits that are rarely prized in the information age.

In light of that, believers must not allow blogs, tweets, and status updates to become their primary source of theological education or spiritual input. If they do, they will inevitably become doctrinally shallow and spiritually malnourished.

God’s Word repeatedly calls us to use our minds wisely. We are to think on things that are right and true (Phil. 4:8) as we test all things carefully (1 Thess. 5:21) and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Our minds are to be renewed (Rom. 12:2) as we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). We are to be sober-minded (1 Cor. 15:34) as we set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2) and prepare them for action (1 Pet. 1:13).

Clearly, God cares how we think and what we think about. Insofar as social media websites cultivate the trivialization of profound truths, while simultaneously fostering shorter attention spans, believers would do well to proceed carefully.

Something to Think about

At this point it is important to reiterate what I said at the beginning. Social networking can be a useful tool when it is used in moderation and for the right things. At the same time, however, pitfalls and temptations do exist; and believers need to arm themselves accordingly. Social media are obviously not going away any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we can be undiscerning in how we approach them.

For me, as a pastor, this issue is particularly important from a shepherding perspective. Christian leaders are called to equip their people to think through every area of life with biblical wisdom. And this is no exception.

Moreover, believers (and especially pastors) need to be careful what they communicate to the world about their lives. Once something is posted online it can be seen by anyone else. Once it’s cached, there is a permanent record of it. That means every status update and every tweet is part of the believer’s public testimony as a Christian.

As Paul told the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (2:20). Like Paul and every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.

The post Trivializing Truth appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

 

Social Media and the Me Monster

Today’s article is a continuation from yesterday’s post. In this post, Dr. MacArthur cautions believers against using social media to foster sins of pride and self-promotion.

Putting the ME in Media

If there is one word that perhaps best describes social media it is this: self-promotion. The narcissism fostered by status updates and tweets is undeniable. And cultural critics have taken notice.

Some respond with humor. A few see it as a good thing. Others are concerned that social media is ramping up society’s psychological maladies—like Narcissistic Personality Disorder. (Of course, what psychologists label “NPD” the Bible calls the sin of pride.)

Even the majority of social media users admit that self-promotion is at its core: “A national study fresh out of SDSU is confirming that Generation Y really is Generation Me. The jaw-dropping conclusion? 57% of young people believe their generation uses social networking sites for self-promotion, narcissism and attention seeking.” (Source)

In the words of one British journalist:

The Me-Man is everywhere. And so is the Me-Woman. They are the millions of men and women . . . from every class, age and profession who want to talk about themselves, expose themselves, and promote themselves in glorious and often gory detail. . . . They blog and bleat and tweet and text you all the time. The medium may vary, but the message is always the same: Me. “Me, Me, Me!” (Source)

Dr. Lauren LaPorta, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at St. Joseph’s, sees the popularity of social networking sites as a direct result of the growing narcissism in American culture (due largely to the self-esteem movement of the 90s). Writing for the Psychiatric Times, she observes,

It is my contention that these sites would not have risen to such prominence but for the fact that a generation of narcissists needed an outlet. The millennial generation needed a way to assert their uniqueness, their specialness and garner the attention and praise of the masses. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter filled the bill.” (Source)

But the me-centered world of social media is clearly at odds with the biblical call to humility and selflessness. Consider just a brief sampling of relevant Scripture passages on this subject:

Proverbs 16:18—“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”

Proverbs 27:2—“Let another man praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

Proverbs 30:2—“If you have been foolish in exalting yourself . . . put your hand over your mouth.”

Isaiah 66:2—“‘To this one I [the LORD] will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.’”

Matthew 23:11–12—“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

Philippians 2:3–5—“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. . . . Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”

To these, a host of other passages could be added. All of them make the same point: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

When so much about social media panders to pride and shameless self-exaltation, believers need to think about their motives before they jump on the bandwagon. If the goal is simply popularity or personal promotion, it’s time to do a heart check.

Our celebrity-driven culture craves for notoriety. But Christians are called to be different. We have died to ourselves. Thus, our concern should not be, “How many people can I get to follow me?” but rather, “How can I bear witness to the wonder of following Christ?”

(This article will be concluded tomorrow.)

The post Social Media and the Me Monster appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

The Briefing 08-18-16

“I’m confused”—when it comes to transgender athletes, the confusion points to a collision with reality

And now there are none: What a recent Marine Corps report tells us about reality of male and female

Peak death: When demographics point to a deadly shift in worldview

The post The Briefing 08-18-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

 

Worry not!

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς [αὐτοῦ]· διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν· μὴ μεριμνᾶτε τῇ ψυχῇ τί φάγητε, μηδὲ τῷ σώματι τί ἐνδύσησθε. 23 ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ πλεῖόν ἐστιν τῆς τροφῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα τοῦ ἐνδύματος. 24 κατανοήσατε τοὺς κόρακας ὅτι οὐ σπείρουσιν οὐδὲ θερίζουσιν, οἷς οὐκ ἔστιν ταμεῖον οὐδὲ ἀποθήκη, καὶ ὁ θεὸς τρέφει αὐτούς· πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμεῖς διαφέρετε τῶν πετεινῶν. 25 τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑμῶν μεριμνῶν δύναται ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτοῦ προσθεῖναι πῆχυν; 26 εἰ οὖν οὐδὲ ἐλάχιστον δύνασθε, τί περὶ τῶν λοιπῶν μεριμνᾶτε; 27 κατανοήσατε τὰ κρίνα πῶς αὐξάνει· οὐ κοπιᾷ οὐδὲ νήθει· λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν, οὐδὲ Σολομὼν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ περιεβάλετο ὡς ἓν τούτων. 28 εἰ δὲ ἐν ἀγρῷ τὸν χόρτον ὄντα σήμερον καὶ αὔριον εἰς κλίβανον βαλλόμενον ὁ θεὸς οὕτως ἀμφιέζει, πόσῳ μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς, ὀλιγόπιστοι. 29 καὶ ὑμεῖς μὴ ζητεῖτε τί φάγητε καὶ τί πίητε καὶ μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε· 30 ταῦτα γὰρ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη τοῦ κόσμου ἐπιζητοῦσιν, ὑμῶν δὲ…

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