Daily Archives: December 2, 2016

December 2, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 2, 2016 |

December 1, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — It’s often said “personnel is policy” when it comes to an incoming president’s Cabinet selections, and that’s what has some of Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters asking, “Why THESE people?” In fact, Americans on both the left and right of the political aisle are expressing concern over the president-elect’s recent choices for key positions in his administration…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Donald Trump loyalists have been outspoken about the risks of making Mitt Romney secretary of state, but the last 48 hours have shown how useful the former Massachusetts governor can be to the president-elect…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President-elect Trump went on a “dinner date summit” with Mitt Romney Tuesday evening in New York City, and were greeted by a round of applause. The dinner at french restaurant Jean-Georges marked the second time the two have met in recent weeks, as Romney, a former critic of Trump during the campaign, is now being considered for secretary of state…. (more)

December 1, 2016
CHELSEA SCHILLING — The political world is abuzz with speculation about President-elect Donald Trump’s consideration of former CIA Director David Petraeus as his choice for secretary of state – – but Petraeus’ positions on a variety of issues, including gun control, could upset conservatives if he is indeed selected for the slot… (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON POST — President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to be secretary of defense, according to people familiar with the decision, nominating a former senior military officer who led operations across the Middle East to run the Pentagon less than four years after he hung up his uniform…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Buoyed by the election of President-elect Trump, Americans are expressing the most confidence in the U.S. economy since the 2008 recession, according to a new survey…. (more)

December 1, 2016
NEWSMAX — Veteran financial guru Larry Kudlow, who served as the Donald Trump campaign’s senior economic adviser, tells Newsmax TV that the president-elect’s tax-overhaul blueprint will benefit every economic class in America…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — “Lyndon Johnson was always to maintain that his wife’s radio interests were totally divorced from politics,” biographer Robert Caro wrote, “and that he, the politician in the family, had absolutely nothing to do either with acquiring KTBC’s license or, once it was licensed, with its operations.”… (more)

December 1, 2016
NEWSMAX — The national debt moved deeper into the red, surpassing $19 trillion, and staying above that dreadful number ironically on “Black Friday.” CNSNews.com reported that the federal debt moved above $19.9 trillion for the first time as of the close of business, Nov. 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, according to data released by the Treasury…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — Congress has backed away from its plan requiring young women to register with Selective Service for the military draft and will, instead, review the system to determine whether a draft makes sense any longer…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — House Democrats renewed Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s lease on power Wednesday, voting to keep her as party leader and insisting she bears no blame for her party’s staggering electoral losses over the past six years. She faced her toughest challenge yet in her 14 years at the helm, ceding more than 60 votes to Rep. Tim Ryan, a 43-year-old Ohio Democrat who said the party had lost touch with middle America and needed a shake-up to begin connecting – – and winning – – again…. (more)

December 1, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — As Democrats hold their House leadership elections today, they are met with the stinging reality that they are now a party lost in the wilderness in search of an identity. The losses under President Obama have been brutal. In 2017, Republicans will hold the White House, the House, the Senate, a majority of governor’s seats, and the most state legislatures in history…. (more)

December 1, 2016
TIMOTHY P. CARNEY — “He didn’t even carry his district for Hillary Clinton,” Nancy Pelosi dismissively said of her failed rival for minority leader, Rep. Tim Ryan. It’s harder to imagine someone missing the point more completely. Only about one in 10 House Democrats in the 115th Congress will come from Trump country, according to data from Five-Thirty-Eight’s Harry Enten. Enten tweets that about 18 Democrats are in districts Trump won or tied. Tim Ryan is one of them, and Pelosi thinks that is a negative…. (more)

December 1, 2016
PAUL BREMMER — U.S. officials say Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Somali Muslim immigrant who used his car and a butcher knife to injure 11 people at Ohio State University on Monday, may have been a “lone wolf” attacker who become “self-radicalized.”… (more)

December 1, 2016
WORLDNETDAILY — In response to Donald Trump’s tweet calling for the criminalization of flag burning, members of the Revolutionary Communist Party burned the American flag outside the Trump International Hotel in New York City on Tuesday…. (more)

November 30, 2016
CLIFF KINCAID — Donald J. Trump is labeled by CNN as a liar on a regular basis, while the dead communist tyrant Fidel Castro is lauded as a revolutionary hero. American reporters are in Havana, Cuba, to film people crying on their way to honor a dictator who had recommended that the Soviets launch a nuclear attack on the United States…. (more)

November 30, 2016
PHILIP KLEIN — By tapping House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price to serve as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, President-elect Trump has added to his team one of the most serious and knowledgeable Republicans on healthcare policy, and in the process pressed his finger on the scales of the internal GOP debate over how specifically to replace Obamacare…. (more)

November 30, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Obama administration sees no problem with the low numbers of persecuted Christian refugees getting into the United States, and likely won’t pardon the millions of illegals seeking protection from President-elect Donald Trump…. (more)

November 30, 2016

WASHINGTON TIMES — The Islamic State’s media arm claimed Tuesday that the Ohio State University student who carried out an attack on campus that injured 11 people was aligned with the terror group. The group’s news agency, Amaq, labeled Abdul Razak Ali Artan “a soldier of the Islamic State” who “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries,” according to the Site Intelligence Group…. (more)


November 30, 2016
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Last Wednesday, in Albuquerque, NM, a pro-life pregnancy center sponsored by Project Defending Life, a Catholic ministry, was burglarized and set on fire. The arsonist ignited the altar and pews in the onsite Holy Innocents chapel, then set a rack of anti-abortion pamphlets ablaze…. (more)

November 29, 2016
PJ MEDIA — Pomona College is paying students to protest the new president-elect. That chilling detail trumps all the news about frantic college students who require safe spaces with Play-Doh and puppies to recover from the election. According to the Claremont Independent, Pomona College’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships advertised a November 9th anti-Trump rally in Los Angeles on Facebook. It wasn’t enough, however, for the center to promote a partisan political event…. (more)

November 28, 2016
ALAN KEYES — When the administration of government is grounded upon principles, clearly communicated and understood, all that is lacking is to appoint individuals firmly committed to respecting and implementing them. In such context, it can truthfully be said that nothing is more pertinent than the old maxim “Personnel is policy.” Clear purposes and goals are just so much lip service unless people are assigned to the positions most critical to putting them into action…. (more)

November 28, 2016
USA TODAY — The Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed Monday to begin a recount of the presidential election on Thursday but was sued by Green Party candidate Jill Stein after the agency declined to require county officials to recount the votes by hand…. (more)

November 28, 2016

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Jill Stein has everything she needs to launch a presidential recount. She’s got the cash, the grassroots fervor and the spotlight of an adoring media. But there’s one thing she needs to overturn Trump’s victory: a calendar…. (more)


November 28, 2016
WASHINGTON TIMES — The IRS is plowing ahead with controversial plans to use its files to try to prod more people to sign up for Obamacare – – but the tax agency has promised Congress it won’t break any privacy laws. The letters are set to go out beginning next week, and are aimed at Americans who are paying the tax penalty rather than obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The IRS says the 2010 law requires it to inform those individuals they could do better by signing up for the embattled program…. (more)

The Briefing 12-02-16

A clash of civilizations? Exploring the nature of the conflict between Islam and the West

Moral evil and the danger of moral exhaustion: What 9/11’s mastermind can teach us about terrorism

BuzzFeed piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines a shot at all “guilty” of holding to historic Christianity

For many around the world, Hollywood is America’s sole ambassador. What message is being communicated?

The post The Briefing 12-02-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 12/2/2016

Wikileaks bombshell could DESTROY Merkel’s plans for EU domination, Julian Assange warns
A 90GB cache containing almost 2,500 top-secret documents, now made public by the whistleblowing website, sheds light on the murky relationship between Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and America’s National Security Agency (NSA). Amongst them are administrative documents, correspondence, agreements and press reactions, WikiLeaks said.

Senate Renews Iran Sanctions Law, Leaving Door Open For Trump Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/79510/senate-renews-iran-sanctions-law-l
The US Senate voted on Thursday to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for ten years, leaving the option open for President elect Donald Trump to reinstate sanctions against Iran if it violates the deal concerning its nuclear program.

Obama Vetoes Jerusalem Embassy for Last Time Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/79503/obama-vetoes-jerusalem-embassy-last-time/#iKH01q5gW
Citing security concerns,… Obama vetoed for final time the law to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Minor Earthquake Near the Kineret
A minor earthquake, registering 3.8 on the Richter scale struck northern Israel at 6:35 AM. The epicenter was just 5 kilometers north of the Sea of Galilee and the city of Teveria (Tiberias). No damage or injuries were reported.

Celebration, Challenges as Ethiopian Community Celebrates Sigd Festival
thousands of Israelis, including President Reuven Rivlin, gathered Wednesday at the Hass Promenade in southern Jerusalem to celebrate Sigd, a traditional Ethiopian-Jewish festival that marks the 50th day after Yom Kippur and brings together a variety of Jewish prayer customs, religious themes and especially communal bonding.Ethiopian-Israelis say the holiday dates back at least 2,500 years, to a time when Jews first arrived in Ethiopia following the destruction of the First Temple.

ADL’s 2nd-thoughts about Muslim DNC chief
On Thursday, Anti-Defamation League Chief Executive Jonathan Greenblatt called Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., disqualified for the position he is seeking as Democratic National Committee chief. Only a week earlier, Greenblatt had defended Ellison’s past association with Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. What changed?

Trump says he’ll nominate retired Marine Gen. Mattis as secretary of defense
At a rally in Cincinnati, Trump described Mattis as “one of our great, great generals” and added that a formal announcement would be made Monday, “so don’t tell anybody.” “They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have,” Trump told the crowd, “and it’s about time. It’s about time.”

Thick toxic smog clouds engulf London and Paris
A toxic smog cloud has engulfed London and Paris amid warnings of high pollution levels in the two capitals effecting millions of people. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan issued warnings for the first time at bus stops, Tube stations and roadsides in the capital because of what he described as “high pollution levels”. Meanwhile in Paris, a potentially more dangerous smog cloud has engulfed the city for two days.

Tennessee wildfires: Death toll rises to 11
The death toll from wildfires across the US state of Tennessee has risen to 11 as search and rescue continues. The cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have suffered the worst damage. On Thursday, country music legend Dolly Parton said her charity would donate $1,000 (£797) a month to families affected by the fires.

IS group to step up attacks on Europe – Europol
Europol has warned that militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) will aim to step up attacks on European targets, as they face defeat in the Middle East. The European police force says more foreign fighters will try to come back to Europe, and “several dozen” capable of attacks could already be there. Their tactics could include car bombs, kidnappings and extortion, it said.

Mass prayer rally in Jakarta against governor ‘Ahok’
At least 200,000 conservative Muslims have gathered for Friday prayers and to protest against Jakarta’s governor, at a rally in the Indonesian capital. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as “Ahok”, is accused of insulting Islam during election campaigning. On Wednesday, Indonesian prosecutors confirmed his case could go to trial. Mr Purnama is Christian and ethnic Chinese – a double-minority in Muslim-majority Indonesia…

Stormy weather pours over Israel
Heavy flooding was seen throughout Israel Friday due to intense rainfall since Thursday afternoon. Crews on Mount Hermon reported snowfall on Israel’s northern peak. At least 10 people had to be rescued from extreme rains which poured off hills in the Galilee and Golan Heights.

Iran says extension of sanctions act by US Congress violates nuclear deal
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the US Senate’s vote to extend sanctions against the Islamic Republic for 10 years violated a historic nuclear deal… “The extension of sanctions by the US congress is a violation of the deal. We will report it to Iran’s committee, assigned for monitoring the implementation of the deal,” according to a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi…

Vatican Reports Surge in Exorcisms Worldwide
The Catholic Church reported a meteoric uptick in the number of demonic possessions its priests are encountering. To tackle the surge, the Vatican is offering what they call “a week-long course on how to perform exorcisms, expounding on the nature of angels and demons,” News Target reported. The course has attracted over 1,000 students and claims to educate them on the difference between genuine demonic possession and psychological disorder.

Kellogg’s Pulls Ads From Breitbart for ‘Not Aligning’ With Their Values
Let’s be clear, placing ads on pro Trump site is not conducive with Kellogg’s corporate image, but buying palm oil from a slave plantation that works 8 year old children is.

Alone and unpopular, France’s Hollande throws in the towel
French President François Hollande said on Thursday he would not seek re-election next year, bowing to historically low approval ratings after a troubled term in power.

Obama laments ‘fake news’ — to rape hoax peddler Rolling Stone!
If the Democrats didn’t have chutzpah, they wouldn’t have anything at all. President Obama gave an interview to Rolling Stone magazine and lamented the impact he believes so-called “fake news” had on the presidential election.

Twitter Threatens Trump Ban Over “Harassment And Hateful Conduct”
Since November 8th, the mainstream media and the social media giants of Silicon Valley have launched an all-out crusade against so-called “fake news” sources (of which we’re apparently one). Twitter has gone so far as to purge dozens of “alt-right” accounts and just yesterday Reddit CEO, Steve Huffman, announced that he too would ban the “most toxic” Trump supporters who had the audacity to call him names after he abused his administrative privileges to alter other people text threads.

North Korea pledges ‘tough’ response to UN sanctions
North Korea warned of “tougher countermeasures for self-defence” after the UN Security Council unanimously imposed its strongest-ever sanctions on Pyongyang.


Top Headlines – 12/2/2016

  • Jobs Report to Give Federal Reserve Final Data Points (Read More)
  • Futures fall ahead of jobs report (Read More)
  • Obama to Block Second Chinese Deal on Security Concerns (Read More)
  • Trump Exults in Victory and Mocks Critics at Ohio Rally (Read More)
  • China’s Central Bank Is Facing a Major New Headache (Read More)
  • Trump considering Goldman Sachs COO Cohn for energy secretary (Read More)
  • Trump considering Senator Heitkamp of North Dakota for Cabinet (Read More)
  • Italy Referendum to Set Renzi’s Fate (Read More)
  • OPEC Deal Hinged on 2 a.m. Phone Call and It Nearly Failed (Read More)
  • Trump camp moves to block Michigan recount (Read More)
  • Iran says U.S. extension of sanctions act violates nuclear deal (Read More)
  • Russia Says Foreign Spy Agencies Preparing Cyberattacks on Banks (Read More)
  • Trump team looks at new non-nuclear sanctions on Iran (Read More)
  • Italian Banks Flirt With Disaster Again as Renzi Teeters (Read More)
  • French presidential race centers on ‘top cop’ Valls after Hollande bow-out (Read More)
  • Air strikes kill 54 civilians in Iraq, Syria (Read More)
  • Fed Should Lead Global Rate Rise, Former BOC Governor Says (Read More)
  • Gross Warns That Trump Rally Built on False Promise of Growth (Read More)
  • As winter nears, Dakota Access faces frigid weather and costly delays (Read More)
  • Abu Dhabi Sovereign-Wealth Fund Gets Entangled in Sprawling Scandal (Read More)
  • Swiss Economy Unexpectedly Stalls on Weak Domestic Demand (Read More)
  • A year after San Bernardino attack, investigators still seek answers (Read More)
  • Johnson & Johnson hit with over $1 billion verdict on hip implants (Read More)
  • Honda outselling Toyota in China, sets up photo finish for 2016 (Read More)

Is UN The Anti-Christ? No, But Settlements Are Detrimental To Peace

Ex-general and settlements critic Mattis named new US defense secretary

Trump’s top Pentagon pick said settlements were creating ‘apartheid’

Mattis Pick Would Risk Confirmation Fight with Pro-Israel Groups

Mattis appointment as Defense secretary would signal wartime posture

US officials: Obama has nearly ruled out UN action on Israel – Sources say Trump’s victory put kibosh on internal discussions about last-ditch peace attempt

Hamas to hold war preparation drill in Gaza

Israeli government plans mandatory biometric ID

UK pledges $17 million to protect Jewish institutions

2 Iranians charged with plan to attack Israeli Embassy in Kenya

Senate unanimously OKs 10-year extension of Iran sanctions law

Iran: US renewal of sanctions violates nuclear deal

IS conflict: 1,950 Iraq security forces killed in November

Fifty-four civilians killed in air strikes in Iraq, Syria: US military

Russians talk with Syrian rebels as eastern Aleppo runs out of food

ISIS tells supporters to quit messaging apps for fear of US bombs

Erdogan backtracks on Syria goals after call with Putin, says terrorists are only target

South Sudanese flee as country edges closer to ‘genocide’

A German Father of Four Berates Merkel Over Her Refugee Policy

EU police report highlights ongoing IS threat to Europe

Australia to keep convicted ‘high-risk’ terrorists in prison indefinitely

Rep. Keith Ellison faces renewed scrutiny over past ties to Nation of Islam, defense of anti-Semitic figures

Keith Ellison’s Saudi Arabia Trip Included Meetings With Radical Cleric, Bank That Funds Suicide Bombings

Anti-Defamation League: Ellison’s past remarks about Israel ‘disqualifying’

After ADL rebuke, DNC hopeful Ellison says Israel criticism misunderstood

Trump vows to ‘stop dead’ Mideast immigration: ‘We have no idea who they are’

Many Muslim-Americans suggest Trump presidency could help anti-terror fight

South Korea, Japan announce new sanctions on North Korea

Satellite photos spot secret North Korean prisons where thousands tortured

Detained Cuban artist who mocked Castro’s death ‘was badly beaten,’ family says

The revolution that gave us Brexit and Trump could be about to hit France

Alone and unpopular, France’s Hollande throws in the towel

Donald Trump touts jobs-saving deal in Indiana and warns companies will face ‘consequences’ for leaving US

Mexico’s central bank chief resigns amid Trump turmoil

Donald Trump Celebrates Saved Carrier Jobs While Nearby Company Plans Mexico Move

Trump’s Carrier deal worthy of ‘banana’ republic: Mexico official

Flashback: Obama Mocks Trump’s Promise To Save Factory Jobs: “Your Jobs Aren’t Coming Back”

Electoral College voter: I’m getting death threats

Shouting match erupts between Clinton and Trump aides

Clinton team hunts for volunteers to help with recount efforts

Twitter Threatens Trump Ban Over “Harassment And Hateful Conduct”

A Subdued Vladimir Putin Calls for ‘Mutually Beneficial’ Ties With U.S.

Russia Warns of Planned Cyber Attacks on Its Banks

Worldwide cyber-crime network hit in coordinated raids

Cyberattacks Strike Saudi Arabia, Harming Aviation Agency

Destructive Hacks Strike Saudi Arabia, Posing Challenge to Trump

Hacked in just six seconds: How criminals only need moments to guess card number and security code

Facebook developing artificial intelligence to flag offensive live videos

Apple Said to Fly Drones to Improve Maps Data and Catch Google

3 Months After Explosion, SpaceX Plans to Launch Rocket Bearing Satellites

Oil refinery in Italy erupts in flames, black smoke

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Huarichancara, Peru

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Southwest Indian Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Dharchula, India

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Honiara, Solomon Islands

Small earthquake felt in northern Israel

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Copahu volcano in Argentina erupts to 14,000ft

Tornado Outbreaks Are On The Rise, And Scientists Don’t Know Why

November was driest on record, Israel Water Authority says

Heavy rains finally fall on Israel

Air Pollution Becomes Israel-Palestinian Wedge Issue

Israel shuts down polluting charcoal plants in West Bank

Why arson-terror cases in Israel warn of danger ahead for America

Statue of Jesus only thing left standing in house burned by Tennessee wildfire

Pope Francis Meets Atheist Physicist Stephen Hawking at Vatican to Discuss Climate Change

Obama races to impose tougher greenhouse gas rules, and much more

Australia to Spend Billions to Save Great Barrier Reef

Blood, flies, agony: inside Venezuela’s hospital hell

UN apologizes for Haiti cholera spread, not for causing it

Mizzou Students Urged to Cancel Social Events as Mumps Spread

VA may have infected 600 veterans with HIV and Hepatitis

Funeral directors anxious over Texas fetal remains rules

HGTV responds to ‘Fixer Upper’ controversy: ‘We don’t discriminate against’ LGBT community

Chicago tops 700 homicides – with a month to go in violent 2016

Sheriff David Clarke: ‘This is a war, and Black Lives Matter is the enemy’

The Bethel Church Upgrade – Unholy Signs & Cash Flows

Rick Warren: Forget Sola Scriptura, But There is “Plus Scriptura”

Pastor says car salesman swiped wife’s nude photos from his iPhone, sent them to swingers’ site

1,000 “Faith Leaders” Ask Obama to Pardon All Illegal Aliens

Fake news and war party lies: Leaders have been misleading Americans into conflicts for decades

Jonathan Cahn and Muslim Authorities Have Prophetic Showdown at Temple Mount

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:37 AM PST

(Reported by Jennifer Leclaire) You probably didn’t hear of it, but it could have caused an international incident, and it was a major sign of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Tennessee Wildfires Were Act of Arson

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:34 AM PST

  Fires that raged across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee for the past week and which have claimed the lives of 11…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Muslims Rally in Jakarta, Demanding Christian Governor Be Punished for Blasphemy

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:26 AM PST

The capital of the world’s biggest Islamic country was the scene Friday of the latest in a series of mass demonstrations by Muslims demanding that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

School district bans Santa Claus, religious imagery before Christmas

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:22 AM PST

In a move to show respect to all religions, a school district in Oregon has decided to ban religious-themed decorations in the classrooms during the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Underground Church in Iran is exploding despite opposition!

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:15 AM PST

Despite the Iranian regime’s best efforts to stop the spread of Christianity, a large underground church movement is growing. Hundreds of Iranian citizens have been…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Could Israel be blacked out from an EMP Attack?

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:11 AM PST

Israel and other countries have focused significant energy on nuclear, chemical weapons and cyber doomsday threats – but are we ready for an electronic magnetic…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UN General Assembly supports resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount

Posted: 02 Dec 2016 06:06 AM PST

The UN General Assembly overwhelming voted to support a resolution that used solely Muslim language to describe the Temple Mount. Out of the United Nation’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Black Death ‘plague pit’ with 48 skeletons uncovered in England

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 08:20 PM PST

A mass grave of bubonic plague victims has been uncovered at a medieval monastery in what archaeologists are calling an “extremely rare” example of a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Israel Struck With Fires Now Come the Floods

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 04:47 PM PST

Following a parched summer and fall, Israel was ravaged by wildfires a week ago, some of them deliberately set by terrorists.   Now the Jewish…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

2,000 Year Old Jesus Tablets: Fake, or Real?

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 04:40 PM PST

Biblical archaeological discoveries are often controversial. One of the latest finds is no exception. Recent tests conducted on some lead tablets found in 2008 in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This Deadly Sin Squashes the Next Generation of World Changers

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 04:30 PM PST

(By Ryan Lestrange) “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:21, MEV). I have read this verse many times…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Strong 6.3-magnitude strikes Peru

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 04:21 PM PST

An earthquake of 6.3 magnitude has hit southern Peru, the US Geological Survey reports. Several seismological reports have put the depth of the earthquake in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Come to Jesus’: Faith Hill Releases Cover of Christian Song That Her Mom Asked Her to Sing Before She Passed Away

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 02:17 PM PST

After more than a decade, Faith Hill has finally come out with her cover of Mindy Smith’s “Come to Jesus.” And it could not have…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tennis ball-size hailstones & 6,000 lightning strikes pummel Australia

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 02:05 PM PST

Australia’s east coast has been blitzed with a barrage of intense weather phenomena, including more than 6,000 lightning strikes and hailstones the size of tennis…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Two million pounds of dead fish in New York’s wealthy Southampton shore

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 02:01 PM PST

About 2 million pounds of smelly, dead fish that died in a massive fish kill have found a new resting place in Shinnecock Bay. Many…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Militant LGBT Agenda on Warpath Against Beloved HGTV Stars

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 01:12 PM PST

One of my guilty pleasures in life is watching Fixer Upper marathons on HGTV. Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines have not only made Waco, Texas…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Statue of Jesus only thing left standing in house burned by TN wildfire…

Posted: 01 Dec 2016 11:49 AM PST

The pictures coming out of the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, wildfires are just devastating. Acres of woodland blackened. Row upon row of homes and businesses reduced to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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.


Do You Know Him?


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


What Is the Gospel?

This post is adapted from the tract “What Is the Gospel?” by Greg Gilbert.


A Message from God

What exactly do Christians mean when they talk about the “gospel of Jesus Christ”? Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” when Christians talk about the gospel, they’re simply telling the good news about Jesus! It’s a message from God saying, “Good news! Here is how you can be saved from my judgment!” That’s an announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

Why Is the Gospel Good News?

So, what is the good news about Jesus Christ?

Since the earliest Christians announced the good news about Jesus, it has been organized around these questions:

  1. Who made us, and to whom are we accountable?
  2. What is our problem?
  3. What is God’s solution to our problem?
  4. How can I be included in his solution?

Christians through the centuries since Christ have answered those questions with the same truth from the Bible.

  1. We are accountable to God.
  2. Our problem is our sin against him.
  3. God’s solution is salvation through Jesus Christ.
  4. We come to be included in that salvation by faith and repentance.

Let’s summarize those points like this: God, Mankind, Jesus Christ, and Our Response.

God

The first thing to know about the good news of Jesus is that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything starts from that point, so if you get that point wrong then everything else that follows will be wrong. Because God created everything—including us—he has the right to tell us how to live. You have to understand that in order to understand the good news about Jesus. To understand just how glorious and life-giving the gospel of Jesus Christ is, we have to understand that God is also holy and righteous. He is determined never to ignore or tolerate sin. Including ours!

Mankind

When God created the first human beings, Adam and Eve, he intended for them to live under his righteous rule in perfect joy—obeying him and living in fellowship with him. When Adam disobeyed God, though, and ate the one fruit that God had told him not to eat, that fellowship with God was broken. Moreover, Adam and Eve had declared rebellion against God. They were denying his authority over their lives.

It’s not just Adam and Eve who are guilty of sin. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is the rejection of God himself and his authority over those to whom he gives life.

Once you understand sin in that light, you begin to understand why “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). That’s not just physical death, but spiritual death, a forceful separating of our sinful, rebellious selves from the presence of God forever. The Bible teaches that the final destiny for unbelieving sinners is eternal, active judgment in a place called “hell.”

But . . .

Jesus Christ

The word “Christ” means “anointed one,” referring to anointing a king with oil when he is crowned. So, when we say “Jesus Christ,” we’re saying that Jesus is a King!

When Jesus began his public ministry, he told the people, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” As Jesus died on a cross, the awful weight of all our sins fell on his shoulders. The sentence of death God had pronounced against rebellious sinners struck. And Jesus died. For you and me!

But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus the Crucified is no longer dead. The Bible tells us that he rose from the grave. Jesus’s rising from the grave was God’s way of saying, “What Jesus claimed about who he is and what he came to do is true!”

Our Response

What does God expect us to do with the information that Jesus died in our place so we can be saved from God’s righteous wrath against our sins? He expects us to respond with repentance and faith.

To repent of our sins means to turn away from our rebellion against God. Repentance doesn’t mean we’ll bring an immediate end to our sinning. It does mean, though, that we’ll never again live at peace with our sins.

Not only that, but we also turn to God in faith. Faith is reliance. It’s a promise-founded trust in the risen Jesus to save you from your sins. If God is ever to count us righteous, he’ll have to do it on the basis of someone else’s record, someone who’s qualified to stand in as our substitute. And that’s what happens when a person is saved by Jesus: All our sins are credited to Jesus who took the punishment for them, and the perfect righteousness of Jesus is then credited to us when we place our trust in what he has done for us! That’s what faith means—to rely on Jesus, to trust in him alone to stand in our place and win a righteous verdict from God!


Ravi Zacharias explains the gospel in two minutes:


The Gospel on 5 Fingers

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.


Please take the time to watch this clip, so that you might understand the authentic Gospel


This is the Gospel:

Friend, God is holy. There is a God in heaven who has created you and me, and He is the authority over both of us. He is perfectly holy. “In Him is Light, and there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And the problem with that is that if we want to have fellowship with God, we have to be light and no darkness at all. And yet here’s the problem: we are darkness. We are sinful. We’ve all broken His law. We’ve all lied, stolen, we’ve all looked with lust, we’ve all been angry with our brothers in our hearts. We’ve all fallen short of the glorious standard of perfection that God requires (Rom 3:23). And there’s nothing we can do about it. No amount of works, no amount of contrition, no amount of bad feelings, no amount of church attendance, no amount of Bible reading, no amount of evangelism can earn forgiveness of our sins and the righteousness which God requires (Titus 3:5; cf. Isa 64:6).

And yet God is gracious, and He loves us, and as His creatures He wants to display His glory in us by rescuing us from that. And so He sent His Son—God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ—to be born as a helpless little baby (John 1:14; 3:16; Col 2:9). God of the universe, Sustainer of the universe, Himself being sustained in the womb of a teenage Hebrew girl, and upholding the world by the word of His power (Heb 1:3) while He is upheld by the nutrients from her own body! Unspeakable! And in great humility, He grows up with the growing pains of life in a fallen world, though He Himself never being with any sin—without sin entirely (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26). And He lives a perfectly righteous life. The way that you and I have failed to live before God—the way that we have failed in thought, word, and deed, and fallen short of God’s glory—Christ never did. Not even a thought. He loved God, His Father, perfectly. He always walked in perfect righteousness. He lived the life that you were commanded to live, that I was commanded to live, that we failed to live. He lived that perfect life that God is worthy of.

And not only did He live for us, He died for us. He went to the cross. Our sin demanded death. Our sin demanded eternal punishment. Our sin demanded wrath—just wrath exercised on us for eternity (Rom 6:23). But because of the infinite worth of Christ’s person, He was on that cross. And on that cross, God exercised upon Him the full fury of His own anger (Rom 3:24–26; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:10–14), that was rightly due to me and rightly due to you, and that you will experience if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in this Messiah. Christ was born, lived, died, and was raised (1 Cor 15:3–4). And He rose from the grave after being dead, demonstrating His victory over sin and death.

And now God promises that if you turn from your sin, if you repudiate all that you are and all that you were and all that you love, and you turn away from a life of pursuing sin—and if you repudiate not only your bad works but your good works, if you turn from trying to earn your salvation by all the good deeds that you might want to do as a moral person—if you turn away from all of that (Acts 17:30–31), and you trust in Christ alone for righteousness (Phil 3:7–8; cf. Rom 3:28; 10:4), God promises that He will forgive you. He will have treated Christ on the cross as if Christ lived your life. And He will then treat you, justly and legally and righteously, as if you lived Christ’s perfect life of righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). And you can be saved to know the God you were created to love and enjoy. You can have the fullness of joy, the eternal pleasures that are at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Ps 16:11), and begin even now, because eternal life is to know God (John 17:3).

Friend, would you repent? Would you turn from your sin and trust in this perfect Savior to avail for you before God, to pay for your sin and to provide your righteousness?


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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Information Enigma: 21-minute video explains intelligent design

WINTERY KNIGHT

Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information? Can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?

The video is here:

I have read and listened and watched a lot of material on intelligent design, but I have never seen so much value packed into such a short lecture. I really hope you’ll watch this and that it’s helpful to you.

Summary:

  • the big question when discussing the origin of life: where did the information in living systems come from?
  • Until 530 million years ago, the oceans were largely devoid of life
  • In a 10 million year period, many new forms of animal life emerged
  • New biological forms of life require new information
  • the discovery of DNA shows that living systems work because cells have information that allows them to build the components of molecular machines: cell types, proteins, etc.
  • can random mutation and natural selection create new functional information?
  • normally, random mutations tend to degrade the functionality of…

View original post 620 more words

John Owen on Mortification of Sin

In 1656 Puritan Pastor John Owen felt concerned that professing Christians were too “at peace in the world” (vii). He also believed that much of the teaching against sin in his day produced “superstition, self-righteousness and anxiety of conscience” in the hearers (viii). So, Owen wrote a little book called The Mortification (or “Putting to Death”) of Sin in Believers based on the second half of Romans 8:13. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” 

This verse outlines the duty of all believers, those who are “not in the flesh but in the Spirit” (v. 9). God encourages believers in their fight against sin. If we properly fight against sin we shall live. The means of mortification results in abundant life. But lest we become confident in our own strength we must know this, “It is a work of the Spirit, and it is by Him alone that we are to experience victory” (3). The Spirit empowers us to fight against indwelling sin in the same way that Christ crucified our former way of life in the cross (Rom. 6:6). As we put to death our sinful nature, our joy, comfort, and vigor increasingly come to life.

Principles of Mortification

Mortification is the duty of all believers (Col. 3:5; 2)

For six reasons, every believer must “Always being killing sin or it will be killing you” (5). First, believers will only be perfected in glory (Phil 3:12). We can only rest when sin is dead. Second, sin always works to produce bad fruit. “He that stands still and allows his enemies to exert double blows upon him without resistance will undoubtedly be conquered in the end” (7). Third, unchallenged sin becomes stronger and more deceitful. “Sin, if not continually mortified, will bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, and soul-destroying sins (Gal 5:19-20)” (Page Number??) Fourth, God gives us the Holy Spirit and our new nature to oppose sin and lust (Gal. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:4). We must not neglect his gifts. Fifth, believers grow weaker toward God as sin strengthens in them. Unexercised grace will languish. Sixth, our spiritual growth is our daily duty (2 Pet. 3:18). “He who does not kill sin along the way is making no progress in his [Godward] journey” (10).

Those who do not put sin to death do themselves and others great harm. They promote a form of godliness that has no power to acquire eternal life.

Mortification Is by the Spirit

Any merely outward attempt to kill sin—taking vows, imposing strict rules on our bodies (Col. 2:23), adhering to religious duties—will fail. If God has not promised to work through these means they are powerless. If we put confidence in our efforts, even in our prayers, self-discipline, and promises, we sidestep the power of the gospel.

Mortification is accomplished by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us all the blessings we have in Christ including sanctification. God gives his Spirit to conquer our sin.

The Spirit mortifies our sin in a variety of ways. The Spirit causes us to abound in grace so that his fruit restricts the fruits of the flesh. The Spirit destroys our lusts. “He is the fire that burns up the very root of lust” (18). The Spirit causes believers to commune by faith with Christ in his death and sufferings. Without the Spirit’s help we would fight against sin but with no strength for the battle.

Even though the Spirit must put sin to death we are responsible for doing it with the Spirit’s help.

Mortification Is of Great Benefit

To live a joyful spiritual life we must kill sin. Mortification of sin does not guarantees a pleasant life, as Psalm 88 makes plain. But without mortification our spirits cannot thrive. Failing to put sin to death will weaken the soul, and deprive it of its vigor. David complained of being unsound, feeble, and crushed by sins he let live (Ps. 38, 40, 51, etc.). “Sin untunes…the heart itself, by entangling its affections” (23). The soul that is entangled with worldly pursuits cannot be full of God. “Sin will also darken the soul, and deprive it of its comfort and peace” (24). Sin is like a cloud that intercepts “all the beams of God’s love…” (24). Unmortified hearts are like fields so overgrown with weeds that no good crop can grow.

Read More

December 1, 2016 This ‘n’ That

  • “Billions of people make important decisions in life based on spiritual and religious feelings and experiences.” That is also terrifying, because no matter what the MRI scan shows, we cannot trust our emotions or experiences.
  • Ah, Christmas. The time of year when unregenerate men and women resurrect long-debunked heresies. Michael Kruger responds.
  • I just downloaded this book for Kindle and am anxious to read it.
  • Ooh, another book I’m anxious to read!
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (HT to Lori for this one!).
  • Oh, Liberty University. You are nothing if not consistent…consistently foolish.
  • So, um, Perry Noble is back with a new gimmick.
  • Don’t let this happen to your children.
  • We ought to carefully measure our words.
  • Elizabeth Prata has a couple of interesting articles on the trend of “bridal mysticism.” Don’t scoff, I fear it’s far more common than many realize; lots of professing Christians tend to romanticizethe notion of a relationship with Jesus.
  • Is it sinful to use profanity? Josh Buice points us to Scripture and demonstrates the reasons (beyond mere moralism) why a Christian should not use foul language.
  • I love this short post by Denny Burk, wherein he shares his family’s advent calendar tradition. What a simple, but effective way to keep Christ central!
  • Speaking of advent calendars, I’m not so sure about this one.
  • John MacArthur on the true Christmas spirit (a short but needed message):

Source: This ‘n’ That

December 2, 2016: Verse of the day

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The Message of the Church

And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness:
He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Beheld by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. (3:16)

The Word of God is a vast, inexhaustible storehouse of spiritual truth. Out of all that truth, what is most essential for the church to uphold and proclaim? Paul gives the answer in verse 16: The message of Jesus Christ. That is the core of what we teach and preach. In Luke 24:46–47, Jesus said to the disciples, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” That became the theme of apostolic preaching. In Acts 10:37–43 Peter said,

You yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed. You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And they also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day, and granted that He should become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.

Paul, too, made Jesus Christ the central theme in his preaching. To the Corinthians he wrote, “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23), and, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). In his second epistle to them he added, “For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him” (2 Cor. 1:19), and “We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5). In Galatians 6:14 he said, “May it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Even when Christ was preached from wrong motives, he rejoiced (Phil. 1:18).

Because Paul emphasizes the person and work of Christ in 1 Timothy (cf.. 1:1; 2:5–6; 6:15–16), that truth may well have been under attack in Ephesus. In this magnificent six-line hymn, Paul rehearses in familiar terms the central truths about Jesus Christ.

Common confession comes from homologeō, which means “to say the same thing.” This is a truth upon which everyone agrees; it is the unanimous conviction of all believers that great is the mystery of godliness. That phrase may be a parallel to the common confession of the pagan worshipers in Ephesus, “Great is Artemis [Diana] of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:28).

As already noted, a mystery was a hidden, sacred truth that is revealed in the New Testament. The mystery of godliness parallels the “mystery of the faith” (v. 9). It refers to the great truth of salvation and righteousness through Christ, which produces godliness (eusebeia) in those who believe. It is also possible to understand the mystery of godliness as a reference to Jesus, who was the very revelation of true and perfect “godlikeness,” since He was God. Godliness, then, first refers to the incarnation and secondly to those who are saved and become the godly in Christ.

As already noted, the lines that follow are undoubtedly from an early church hymn. That is evident from its uniformity (The six verbs are all third person singular aorists), rhythm, and parallelism. The first parallel is between the flesh and the Spirit, the second between angels and nations (Men), and the third between the world and glory, or earth and heaven.

The Authorized Version opens the hymn with “God.” The earliest and best manuscripts, however, read hos (He who), not theos (“God”). (For a discussion of the textual issue see Bruce M. Metzger,A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament [New York: United Bible Societies, 1975], 641.) Although no antecedent for hos is given, the hymn can only be describing Jesus Christ, who is the purest mystery of godliness—the hidden God revealed perfectly. This marvelous hymn gives us six truths about our Lord.

First, Jesus Christ was revealed in the flesh. God became man in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Phaneroō (revealed) does not mean “to bring into existence,” or “to create,” but “to make visible.” It thus affirms Christ’s preexistence (cf.. John 8:58; 17:5). At the Incarnation, Jesus “although He existed in the form of God … emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and [was] made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6–7). Our Lord Jesus Christ made the invisible God visible to human eyes (cf.. 1:17; 6:16; John 14:9; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).

Flesh does not refer here to sinful, fallen human nature, as it does in Romans 7. Rather it refers merely to humanness (cf.. John 1:14; Rom. 1:3; Gal. 4:4). Jesus was “made in the likeness of men … and … found in appearance as a man” (Phil. 2:7–8). “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same” (Heb. 2:14), and therefore “is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:11). That does not mean He was sinful, but that He was fully human. “We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

It is at precisely this point that the cults and false religions of the world deceive. Satan invariably attacks the Person of Christ, denying that He is the living, eternal God in human flesh.

Second, Jesus Christ was vindicated in the Spirit. Dikaioō (vindicated) means “to justify,” or “to declare righteous.” Though the translators decided to capitalize Spirit, making it refer to the third member of the Trinity, it could also refer to Jesus. That would mean that Jesus Christ was vindicated—declared to be righteous—with respect to His spiritual nature. This reality is why the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matt. 3:17). First John 2:1 calls Him “Jesus Christ the righteous.” He was “tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). Hebrews 5:9 relates that “having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” while Hebrews 7:26 describes Him as “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens.”

Jesus Christ was a sinless sacrifice on our behalf: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14)? “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:21–22).

Our Lord was the God-Man. In His human nature, He was fully man, in His divine nature, He was fully God.

It is also possible that the translation of Spirit in the upper case is correct and is referring to Christ’s vindication by the Holy Spirit. In Romans 1:4 Paul tells us that Jesus Christ “was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness.” His resurrection by the Spirit proved His sinlessness. If He had any sin of His own, He would have stayed dead as the penalty for that sin. The affirmation of His perfect righteousness came when the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead.

It may well be that Paul here encompasses both realities. Jesus Christ was vindicated both by His sinless life of obedience to God which declared His righteousness, and by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, who affirmed His righteousness again by raising Him from the dead.

Third, Jesus Christ was beheld by angels. Horaō (beheld means “to see,” “to visit,” “to observe,” or “to be attendant to.” Throughout our Lord’s earthly ministry, the angels observed Him, and attended to Him. They were there at His birth, announcing it to Joseph and the shepherds. They ministered to Him at His temptation, and strengthened Him in Gethsamane. At His death and resurrection, which is the focal point of this passage, angels observed Him. The fallen angels saw Him. First Peter 3:18–20 describes that event:

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah.

After His death on the cross, our Lord visited the place where certain demons are kept imprisoned, and proclaimed His triumph over them (cf.. Col. 2:15).

The holy angels also were involved. An angel rolled away the stone at the door of His tomb (Matt. 28:2). Angels appeared to the women, affirming that Jesus had risen (Luke 24:4–7). Finally, two angels attended Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:10–11). Angels were involved in our Lord’s earthly life from beginning to end. That, too, signified divine approval of the incarnate Messiah.

Fourth, Jesus Christ was proclaimed among the nations. Before His ascension, He commanded the disciples to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20). In Acts 1:8 He told them, “you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” There was to be no nation left without the gospel message. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole world (cf.. John 3:16; 4:42; 2 Cor. 5:19–20; 1 John 2:2; 4:14).

Fifth, Jesus Christ was believed on in the world. The plan of God was fulfilled as the apostles’ proclamation resulted in saving faith in many lives. At the first public preaching of the gospel after Christ’s resurrection, 3,000 people were saved (Acts 2:41). In the days that followed, thousands more believed on Him. The gospel was preached throughout Judea, then to the Samaritans, to an Ethiopian eunuch, to Cornelius the Gentile, and ultimately across the Gentile world by Paul and his associates.

Finally, Jesus Christ was taken up in glory. Acts 1:9–10 describes the event:

After He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

“When He had made purification of sins,” Hebrews 1:3 says, “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” To the Philippians Paul wrote,

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:8–11).

Jesus’ ascension showed that the Father was pleased with Him and accepted His work.

In six short stanzas, this hymn summarizes the gospel. God became man, died for our sins, triumphed over death, was honored by angels and feared by demons, and ascended into heaven. This message was preached all over the world and many believed and were saved. That is the heart of the message it is our mission to proclaim to the world.

There once was an old church in England. A sign on the front of the building read “We preach Christ crucified.” After a time, ivy grew up and obscured the last word. The motto now read, “We preach Christ.” The ivy grew some more, and the motto read, “We preach.” Finally, ivy covered the entire sign, and the church died. Such is the fate of any church that fails to carry out its mission in the world.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

December 2, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 2 The Deity of Christ

“[Christ] existed in the form of God.”

Philippians 2:6

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Christ possesses the very nature of God.

In the second part of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christiana and her children travel toward the Celestial Country. During their pilgrimage, Interpreter introduces them to one of his male servants, whose name is Great–heart. When Christiana asks Great–heart to explain the nature of Christ’s forgiveness, part of his answer is: “He [Christ] has two natures in one Person, easy to distinguish but impossible to divide. There is a righteousness that belongs to both of these natures, and each righteousness is essential to that nature, so that one might as easily kill that nature as to separate its righteousness from it.” Bunyan was affirming through his character Great–heart what Scripture says of Christ: He is God.

The apostle Paul stated the same truth, saying that Christ “existed in the form of God” (Phil. 2:6). The Greek word translated “existed” (huparcho) is not the common verb for “being” (eimi). Huparcho stresses the essence of a person’s nature—his continuous state or condition. It expresses what one is, unalterably and inalienably, by nature. Paul’s point was that Jesus Christ is unalterably and continuously existing in the form of God.

Clarifying the meaning of the Greek word translated “form” (morphe) is crucial to a proper understanding of this verse. According to respected Greek scholars Moulton and Milligan, morphe “always signifies a form which truly and fully expresses the being which underlies it.” The word describes essential being or nature—in this case the essential being of God.

In using the word morphe in Philippians 2, Paul was saying Jesus possessed the unchangeable, essential nature of God. That interpretation of the first phrase of verse 6 is strengthened by the second phrase, which says Jesus was equal with God. Being in the form of God speaks of Christ’s equality with God.

Perhaps, like Great–heart, you know someone who needs to be grounded in the fundamental doctrines of God’s Word. Just as Great–heart helped Christiana, so also you can help someone learn about the deity of Christ and other great truths of God’s Word.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for an opportunity to teach someone the basic doctrine of Christ’s nature.

For Further Study: Memorize Colossians 2:9, a verse that proves the deity of Christ.[1]


December 2

The Rejoicing Apostle

My brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

Philippians 3:1

The apostle Paul’s joy was unrelated to his circumstances. If it had been tied to pleasures on earth, possessions, freedom, prestige, outward success, or a good reputation, he wouldn’t have had any joy.

Paul’s joy was centered on his ministry and was indifferent toward all other things. That’s why he could tell the Philippians, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you with all joy” (Phil. 1:3–4). He had joy in spite of trouble, as long as Christ’s cause was advanced. He had joy in spite of detractors, as long as Christ’s name was proclaimed. He had joy in spite of death, as long as Christ was exalted. And he had joy in spite of the flesh, as long as Christ’s church was assisted.[2]


DECEMBER 2

WE WERE MADE TO WORSHIP

Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?

—Jeremiah 2:5

Now we were made to worship, but the Scriptures tell us something else again. They tell us that man fell and kept not his first estate; that he forfeited the original glory of God and failed to fulfill the creative purpose, so that he is not worshiping now in the way that God meant him to worship. All else fulfills its design; flowers are still fragrant and lilies are still beautiful and the bees still search for nectar amongst the flowers; the birds still sing with their thousand-voice choir on a summer’s day, and the sun and the moon and the stars all move on their rounds doing the will of God.

And from what we can learn from the Scriptures we believe that the seraphim and cherubim and powers and dominions are still fulfilling their design—worshiping God who created them and breathed into them the breath of life. Man alone sulks in his cave. Man alone, with all of his brilliant intelligence, with all of his amazing, indescribable and wonderful equipment, still sulks in his cave. He is either silent, or if he opens his mouth at all, it is to boast and threaten and curse; or it’s nervous ill-considered laughter, or it’s humor become big business, or it’s songs without joy. WMJ006-007

Lord, somehow do today the much-needed work of bringing us out of our caves that we might be drawn to once again do what we were created to do. Amen. [3]


December 2

Meekness from Jesus, Comfort for the Weak

He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out.—Matt. 12:19–20a

The Lord Jesus did not cajole or browbeat people with the gospel like some inflammatory demagogue who stirs up his listeners by pandering to their emotions and prejudices. Christ always spoke plainly, with dignity and control—His only persuasive technique was the truth. He never resorted to the lies and scheming of His enemies. As the Son of God and Messiah, He never attempted to gain a hearing or a following by appealing to political power or using physical force.

Christ’s approach was the way of meekness, gentleness, and lowliness, because many of His hearers were like the battered reed or smoldering wick. They were people whose lives were broken or worn out, and the world wanted to discard them. An unbelieving society nearly always wants to cast off such people as useless or worthless.

The nature of sinful humanity is to destroy—people commit murder, arson, vandalism, and viciously slander one another in business, politics, the family—but God’s nature is to restore. Jesus will not “break off” or “put out” the least of those who sincerely come to Him. He also issues a strong warning to any who would cause vulnerable people to fall: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).

Our Lord will always restore the battered reed and rekindle the smoldering wick.

ASK YOURSELF
Is gentleness a trait that comes hard for you? In what way have you been aware of a hardness or coldness in your approach to other people—an insensitivity that dearly needs the restorative touch of Christ’s nature in your heart and mind?[4]


December 2 Jesus: Our Great High Priest

“The main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1).

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Since Jesus serves as our High Priest, we have access to God.

Access to God was always a problem for the Jewish people. Exodus 33:20 declares that no man can see God and live. Once each year, on the great Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the Jewish high priest entered into the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelt in a unique sense, to approach God on behalf of the people.

God’s covenant with Israel was the basis for their communion with Him. And the sacrificial system that accompanied the Old Covenant gave the people an outward act to represent their inner repentance. But their sacrifices were incessant because their sin was incessant. They needed a perfect priest and sacrifice to provide access to God permanently. That’s exactly what Jesus was and did.

Hebrews 10 says that Jesus offered His body as a sacrifice for mankind’s sins once for all, then sat down at the right hand of the Father (vv. 10, 12). That was a revolutionary concept to Jewish thinking. A priest on duty could never sit down because his work was never done. But Jesus introduced a new and wonderful element into the sacrificial system: one sacrifice, offered once, sufficient for all time. That was the basis of the New Covenant.

Our Lord’s priesthood is permanent and perpetual: “Because He abides forever, [He] holds His priesthood permanently. Hence also He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:24–25). That’s the central message of the book of Hebrews.

It wasn’t easy for the Jewish people to accept the need for a new covenant. Most rejected Christ outright. Similarly, many people today reject His priesthood, supposing they can gain access to God on their own terms. But they’re tragically mistaken. Jesus Himself said, “No one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for receiving you into His presence through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For Further Study: Read Hebrews 10:19–25, noting how God wants you to respond to Christ’s priesthood.[5]


DECEMBER 2

LIFE FLOWS FROM GOD

God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Genesis 1:31

Without doubt, we have suffered the loss of many spiritual treasures because we have let slip the simple truth that the miracle of the perpetuation of life is in God!

Be assured that God did not create life and toss it from Him like some petulant artist disappointed with his work. All life is in Him and out of Him, flowing from Him and returning to Him again, a moving indivisible sea of which He is the fountainhead.

That eternal life which was with the Father is now the possession of believing men and women, and that life is not God’s gift only—but His very Self! The regeneration of a believing soul is but a recapitulation of all His work done from the moment of creation.

So, redemption is not a strange work which God for a moment turned aside to do. Rather, it is His same work performed in a new field, the field of human catastrophe!

Father, that Your gift of eternal life flows through us is a wondrous thought for those who know You. But for those who haven’t received You as Savior, the gift will turn into an eternal nightmare. Lord, mobilize Your Church to proclaim the gospel as never before.[6]


DECEMBER 2

JESUS ASKS US TO LOVE THE UNLOVELY

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 JOHN 4:12

In his earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus loved babies, publicans, harlots and sick people—and He loved them spontaneously and individually!

The person who claims to follow Christ cannot afford to do otherwise.

A peril always confronting the minister is that he may come unconsciously to love religious and philosophic ideas rather than saints and sinners. It is altogether possible to feel for the world of lost men the same kind of detached affection that the naturalist Fabre, say, felt for a hive of bees or a hill of black ants. They are something to study, to learn from, possibly even to help, but nothing to weep over or die for!

Where this attitude prevails it soon leads to a stilted and pedantic kind of preaching. The minister assumes that his hearers are as familiar with history, philosophy and theology as he is, so he indulges in learned allusions, makes casual references to books and writers wholly unknown to the majority of people who listen to him, and mistakes the puzzled expression on the faces of his parishioners for admiration of his brilliance!

Why religious people continue to put up with this sort of thing, as well as to pay for it and support it, is beyond me. I can only add it to the long list of things I do not and probably never will understand.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 363). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[3] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 345). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 349). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[6] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.