Daily Archives: December 5, 2016

December 5, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 5, 2016 |

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Los Angeles County and two police officers must pay a $4 million award to a couple shot during a search for someone else. The case, which comes at a time of heightened national attention to shootings by police, will test whether law enforcement officials can be held liable when they needlessly provoke a violent confrontation.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether religious hospitals and schools must abide by the federal rules that govern most private pension plans, taking up an issue at the heart of dozens of lawsuits that seek potentially billions of dollars.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick of retired General James Mattis as defense secretary has some lawmakers warning that his Cabinet shouldn’t be stocked with military brass at the expense of civilian leadership.

Italy fell into political limbo after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation, with rival parties jockeying to fill the power vacuum following his crushing defeat in a constitutional referendum.

Monsanto Co., a lightning rod for critics of modern agricultural techniques, is introducing a new feature next year for its genetically modified corn seeds that it says will not only boost yields but cut down on fertilizer use and carbon-dioxide emissions. The seed giant, together with Danish company Novozymes A/S, has developed a coating for seeds made from a friendly fungus that helps corn plants in their earliest growth stages.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama at the end of this month, becoming the first leader of his country to go to the site of the Japanese attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

SL Green Realty Corp. is set to announce today that 1 Vanderbilt, the office skyscraper it’s building just west of Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, will have an indoor-outdoor observation deck more than 1,000 feet above the street. Foundation work has begun for the Midtown tower, set to be New York’s second-tallest at 1,401 feet and slated for completion in 2020.

China is already moving to replace the U.S. as trade champion. “Despite its recent setbacks, globalization remains an irreversible trend of our times,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Nov. 3 at a meeting where he and counterparts from Russia and four Central Asian countries discussed the possibility of a free-trade area.

AP Top Stories

Police are investigating a possible bias incident in which an off-duty New York City police officer who is Muslim says she and her 16-year-old son were harassed.

The Syrian regime’s advances in war-torn east Aleppo do not represent a “victory for Assad” or his Russian ally Vladimir Putin, British foreign minister Boris Johnson said Sunday.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is taking her bid for a statewide recount of Pennsylvania’s Nov. 8 presidential election to federal court.

Authorities in Ghana have busted a fake U.S. embassy in the capital Accra run by a criminal network that for a decade issued illegally obtained authentic visas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was moving towards allowing trade with Russia, China and Iran to be conducted in local currencies, as he continues his efforts to strengthen the falling lira.

U.S. military veterans spoke with tribal leaders on Saturday about their shared interest in blocking a multibillion-dollar pipeline project near a Native American reservation, with as many as 3,500 veterans joining protests at the site.

Venezuela will introduce six new notes and three new coins starting in mid-December to help alleviate practical problems in doing business with the world’s most inflationary currency, according to the central bank. The largest new bill, according to a central bank communique, will be worth 20,000 bolivars, just under $5 on the streets. It will be accompanied by notes of 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 bolivars and three coins of smaller value.

Brent crude oil rose above $55 a barrel on Monday, trading at a 16-month high, on rising prospects of a tightening market after OPEC agreed a landmark deal to cut production last week.

BBC

Officials have opened a criminal inquiry into a fire that killed at least 36 people at a warehouse party in Oakland, California.

Fidel Castro’s ashes have been laid to rest in the Cuban city of Santiago, nine days after his death at 90.

Five countries in West Africa have decided to stop importing “dirty fuels” from Europe, the UN Environment Program said.

Police have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of doctors striking in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Dozens of mental health patients were said to have walked out of a hospital in Nairobi during the strike.

WND

Islamic State is planning a ‘Bloody Friday’ assault on the SAME DAY as Donald Trump is inaugurated as US president, it can be revealed.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that despite Democrats losing the House, Senate, and almost two-thirds of state houses, the American people don’t want a new direction.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first black Muslim ever to be elected to Congress, emerged as the leading candidate as chairman for The Democratic National Committee, but is entangled in a controversy over recent and older anti-Semitic public statements caught on recordings.

Uber can now track their passengers’ locations after they are dropped off and even when their app has been closed.


Top News – 12/5/2016

Women of the Wall: Warring Against Torah
I oppose feminism and the proponents of this subversive ideology, be it the standard secular version, or the supposed Jewish version which even draws religious women to their ranks. “Women’s rights” is the purported desire, but in truth, it is an ideology opposed to the most basic constructs of a Torah life.

83 Percent of Israelis See Trump As ‘Pro-Israel Leader’, But Only 3 Percent Think He’ll Move Embassy
An overwhelming majority of Israelis – 83 percent – believe President-elect Donald Trump will be a pro-Israel leader, found a recent poll released by the Ruderman Family Foundation on Monday, despite the fact that most do not expect him to fulfill his campaign promise of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Flash floods turn Costa del Sol into red alert disaster zone
A red danger warning, the highest possible, has been issued by Spanish meteorological service Aemet for the region after a massive 200 litres of water per cubic metre fell in just 12 hours.

Trump Could Appoint Someone Totally Unexpected To Head EPA
Van der Vaart is a PhD chemical engineer who currently heads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. If appointed and approved by Congress, Van der Vaart would be the first PhD scientist to head EPA. He also holds a law degree.

Pelosi Says Democratic Party Doesn’t Want New Direction
Pelosi said she doesn’t believe people in the Democratic party want to take a new direction during an appearance on “Face the Nation” Sunday. Despite the Democrats underwhelming results on election night, Pelosi said the party is not questioning its identity.

EU’s Syria Plan B sees Assad staying, Brussels paying for it – Times
The EU is reportedly planning to offer Damascus financial aid in exchange for allowing rebel forces stay in power in some regions of Syria. Brussels is no longer insisting on the retirement of Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to the Times.

American Jews: Rethink Worship of Democratic Party!
There’s some totally illogical worship of the Democratic Party by American Jewry which goes against logic and history. And even worse is the fact that in today’s policies it’s a hotbed of the support of BDS, Palestine and other causes/ideologies that delegitimatize the State of Israel and support its destruction, Gd forbid. I am not exaggerating one iota here.

“Syrian 5th Corps” is new Shiite foreign legion
..the winning forces have begun building a military outfit modeled on the format of the victorious coalition. It is designated the “Fifth Corps” of the Syrian army, but debkafile’s military and intelligence sources can identity the new unit as the framework for an international Shiite brigade or foreign legion.

Vatican weighs in on power, limits of artificial intelligence
Among the scheduled speakers were several prestigious scientists, including Stephen Hawkins, a prominent British professor at the University of Cambridge and a self-proclaimed atheist…Werner Arber, a Protestant and president of the academy who works in the field of evolutionary biology..

Biblical Pillar of Cloud Protects Israel From ISIS Over Golan Heights [VIDEO]
A startling video which has been shared over 140,000 times on Facebook reveals without a doubt the hand of God protecting Israel against her enemies. The video, posted on Thursday by Israel News Online, shows what appears to be an enormous pillar of cloud, dust and rain hovering over the dangerous border between Israel and Syria

3.9-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Near Pawnee
PAWNEE, Oklahoma – An earthquake rattled Sunday night near Pawnee, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The earthquake was originally reported as a 4.2-magnitude earthquake, but was later downgraded to a 3.9 magnitude

Magnitude 5.5 quake shakes New Zealand
Just three weeks since the last one, another earthquake has struck central New Zealand, with this one centred 20 kilometres east of Seddon.

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck under the Flores Sea in East Nusa Tenggara on Monday morning (05/12).
An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck under the Flores Sea in East Nusa Tenggara on Monday morning (05/12). No tsunami warning was issued by authorities.

6.0-magnitude undersea quake hits eastern Indonesia
A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of eastern Indonesia on Monday, U.S. seismologists said. However, no tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

China’s Tibetian region hit by earthquake measuring 5.1 magnitude
A magnitude of 5.1 quake on Monday shivered a county in south-west China’s Tibet Region, no casualties and major damage reported. According to China Earthquake Networks Centre, a moderate quake was recorded in Nyainrong County at 5:34 am and the epicentre was at a depth of about five kms.

Obama administration fails to check immigrants against FBI databases, approves citizenship
Some 175 immigrants were approved for citizenship even though their names weren’t properly run through the FBI’s name-check databases, potentially missing red flags that may have disqualified them from naturalization, the Obama administration admitted this weekend. Homeland Security officials blamed computer code for the problem, which affected about 15,000 applications in total.

Trump attacks China in Twitter outburst
US President-elect Donald Trump has posted a series of tweets criticising China for its monetary policy and its operations in the South China Sea. “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency” and “build a massive military complex?” he asked. “I don’t think so!” China said both sides should “stick to basic principles” of the relationship.

Brazil: Thousands marches against ‘watered down anti-corruption bill’
Tens of thousands of Brazilians have joined street protests against a vote which they say threatens to undermine a major anti-corruption investigation. The biggest marches have taken place in Sao Paulo’s business district and along Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach. Demonstrators were angry after the lower house of Congress on Tuesday passed a number of amendments to a landmark anti-corruption bill.

Kerry: ‘Israel heading to a place of danger’ over settlements
…John Kerry appeared frustrated Sunday that more than 130 hours of conversation have failed to slow Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank. Israel is “heading to a place of danger,” Kerry told the Saban Forum in Washington, warning of “an erosion over a period of time” of the chances for a real and lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace “by virtue of this continued settlement process.”

Bennett, Netanyahu, Kahlon break settlement impasse, wait for A-G’s OK
…Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu …would only allow his party to vote in favor of the settlement bill if it doesn’t harm the high court, meaning that the “Amona article,” overturning longstanding High Court of Justice rulings, thus postponing the outpost’s demolition, slated for December 25, would have to be removed. Bennett would only agree to remove the article if another solution was found for the outpost’s residents.

Erdogan wants trade with Russia, China in local currencies
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was moving towards allowing trade with Russia, China and Iran to be conducted in local currencies, as he continues his efforts to strengthen the falling lira.

Tens of thousands march in Indonesia to support first Christian governor after ‘blasphemy’ protests
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, to show national unity and call for tolerance after a 200,000-strong Muslim rally demanded the arrest of the city’s first Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Snowden says Petraeus disclosed ‘far more highly classified’ secrets ‘than I ever did’
n an exclusive interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric, Edward Snowden says that former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus — who is under consideration to become President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state — disclosed “information that was far more highly classified than I ever did” and yet never “spent a single day in jail.”

Italy’s prime minister resigns after landslide defeat in referendum vote
Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation in Rome shortly after midnight on Monday, after losing a critical referendum battle on which he staked his political career.

Social media ads to hit $50 billion by 2019 -Zenith
The amount of money spent on advertising on social media is set to catch up with newspaper ad revenues by 2020, a leading forecaster said on Monday. The rapid expansion of social media platforms on mobile devices, as well as faster internet connectivity and more sophisticated technology, has triggered a huge shift in the way many people get their news.

Small quakes hit New Madrid fault recently
The New Madrid Fault has had a fair amount of minor seismic activity in recent weeks. There’ve been no reports of damage or injuries. The Daily American Republic reports (http://j.mp/2g0qFbW) that the latest was a magnitude-2.9 earthquake Friday centered near Caruthersville.


The United Nations General Assembly Passes 6 Outrageous Anti-Israel Resolutions

united-nations-general-assembly-hall-in-the-un-headquarters-photo-by-basil-d-soufiLast Wednesday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to adopt 6 outrageous anti-Israel resolutions. These resolutions address a wide variety of issues including “a two state solution”, the status of the Golan Heights and a “lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem”. Unlike UN Security Council resolutions, these UN General Assembly resolutions are not considered to be legally binding upon the parties, but they do show that virtually the entire planet is in favor of dividing the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. In addition, even though the U.S. voted against each of these resolutions, there is still a tremendous amount of buzz that the Obama administration may decide to go along with a UN Security Council resolution that would set the parameters for a “two state solution” before the end of Barack Obama’s term comes on January 20th. (Read More…)


The Briefing 12-05-16

Moral outrage over currency? Bank of England apologizes for including animal product in new £5 note

By our outrage we reveal ourselves: France bans commercial showing happy children with Down syndrome

You’ll know them by their outrage: Fury over Texas requiring fetal remains be treated as human remains

The post The Briefing 12-05-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top Headlines – 12/5/2016

  • Italy Sinks Into Political Limbo as Defeat Sweeps Renzi Away (Read More)
  • Investors Shrug Off Italy Referendum Result (Read More); Markets Rise After Italy Turns Down Referendum (BBG)
  • Italy’s ‘No’ Poses Trouble for Eurozone (Read More)
  • Oil tops $55 for first time in 16 months as OPEC deal fuels buying (Read More)
  • Merkel regrets Renzi resignation but will work with new Italy government (Read More)
  • Rescue of Italian bank Monte Paschi in danger after Renzi’s defeat (Read More)
  • Euro rebounds after hitting 21-month low on Italian referendum defeat (Read More)
  • New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Resigns (Read More)
  • Trump has broad power to implement immigration policies: legal experts (Read More)
  • Trump Takes On China in Tweets on Currency, South China Sea (Read More)
  • China says Trump clear about Taiwan, in touch with his team (Read More)
  • Don’t Hold Your Breath on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Read More)
  • Greenspan’s Irrational Exuberance Looks Entrenched, 20 Years On (Read More)
  • Dakota Pipeline Project Halted as Permit for Last Leg Is Denied (Read More)
  • Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations  (Read More)
  • Credit Restrictions Cost Home Buyers ‘Deal of a Lifetime’ (Read More)
  • Fake US embassy in Ghana shut down after 10 years issuing visas (Read More)
  • Airbnb Ends Fight With New York City Over Fines (Read More)
  • Never-Trump Senate Republicans Grapple With His Upset Victory (Read More)
  • Brussels ‘close’ to free-trade deal with Japan (Read More)
  • SFO Probes Israeli Billionaire, Ex-ENRC Directors on Congo Deals (Read More)
  • Rich Colleges’ Endowments Targeted by Trump Backer in U.S. House (Read More)

Kerry, in stinging rebuke of settlements, doesn’t rule out UN action

Kerry: Israel ‘Heading to a Place of Danger’

In Harsh Terms, Kerry Says Israel Is Undermining Peace Efforts

Kerry’s parting conclusion on peace: It’s Netanyahu’s fault

Netanyahu: Notwithstanding Obama or Trump, Israel does ‘what it wants’ on settlements

Palestinian leader Abbas consolidates power and ousts rivals

Most Democrats consider Israel ‘a burden’ on US, has too much influence on policy, poll claims

Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ‘bad’ Iran nuclear deal with Donald Trump

New controversy hits Israel sub deal over Iran link

Ontario passes motion rejecting Israel boycott movement

PMO chief to Diaspora journalists: Israel can’t separate religion and state

French man sent to prison for visiting pro-ISIS websites

Russian security service reportedly kills head of regional ISIS branch

Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die

US and UK explore possibility of aid airdrops in Syria

Malaysian PM: ‘enough is enough’ on Muslim killings in Myanmar as he calls the crisis a ‘genocide’

Islamists March in Jakarta, Demanding Christian Governor Be Jailed

Dutch police arrest jihadists who planned synagogue attack

Erdogan wants trade with Russia, China in local currencies

Trump rails against China’s currency, military policies

Venezuela to issue larger bill as currency continues to melt

Cuba buries Castro, entering post-Fidel era

Cuba’s Raul Castro vows to defend brother’s legacy in final tribute

After Castro’s death, dissidents see changes ahead

UN makes biggest ever aid appeal amid fears of compassion fatigue

Italian prime minister resigns in populist revolt

Italian ‘No’ Vote Poses Test for European Central Bank

German FM: Defeat of Austrian far-right candidate a ‘good omen’

Relief and anger after bitter Austrian election

US Green Party taking bid for election recount to federal court

Should California secede? How the state is politically out-of-step with the rest of the country

Nancy Pelosi: I Don’t Think Democrats ‘Want A New Direction’

Police: Man fires shots in D.C. restaurant tied to fake Clinton conspiracy

Subdued enthusiasm, protest surround Trump inauguration planning

Conway: Trump’s talk with Taiwan leader ‘just a call,’ not a sign of policy shift

Harry Reid’s ‘nuclear option’ clears path for Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees

Trump expands secretary of state search; more interviews this week

Snowden: Petraeus disclosed more ‘highly classified’ information than I did

Apple shows ambition to get into self-driving car race

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Palue, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Segong, China

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits West of Macquarie Island

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 34,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 19,000ft

Dukono volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

More than 13 killed in fatal Vietnam floods

Hawaii braces for another foot of snow

Rain aids Smoky Mountains wildfire battle; death toll rises to 14

600,000 risk losing water in war-scarred Ukraine

“The Shack” to be the next blasphemous blockbuster film

Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine Lead Women to “Activate” and be “Propelled” Into their “God Given Purpose”

Sister of false Prophet Amanda Wells speaks out on her lies and plagiarism

Clayton Jennings, Money, Sex, and Cover-ups – The Story From Beginning to End

Discernment speaker, author Caryl Matrisciana Has Gone to Be With the Lord

Doug Addison Announces New Revelation from God-Sells Last Year’s Prophecy at a Discount

Christian “Leaders” (including Doug Addison) Honor Life of False Prophet Kim Clement


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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The Myth of “Fake News”

hipandthigh

fakenews

There is not a “fake news” crisis. There is an idiot crisis.

Ever since Hillary Clinton was soundly trounced by Donald Trump in the latest presidential election, the cultural gate keepers on the two coasts have been navel gazing for an explanation as to how an individual who, in their minds, is the equivalent of a Jersey Shore Bro with money, could become the most powerful man in the world. They have offered a number of reasons, the most popular being that it was a “whitelash” of sexist, homophobic, racist Redneck Gomer Pyles from Hicksville, USA, who hate Obama.

Recently, the newest, popular excuse they have embraced is the influence of fake news. The idea is that thousands of fake news stories about Hillary having Parkinson’s, or her space mumu outfits were made by ISIS terrorists, or Huma runs a sex cult out of her apartment, etc, became so prolific on…

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December 5, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 5 Christ Remained God

“Although He existed in the form of God, [Christ] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself.”

Philippians 2:6–7

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Christ emptied Himself without ever surrendering His deity.

Note the contrast in Philippians 2 between verses 6 and 7: Christ didn’t think equality something to be grasped but instead emptied Himself. Paul used the contrasting connective “but” to show that being equal with God didn’t lead Christ to fill Himself up but instead to empty Himself.

The Greek verb translated “emptied” (kenoo) is where we get the theological term kenosis—the doctrine of Christ’s self–emptying as part of His incarnation. The verb expresses Christ’s self–renunciation, His refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges as God.

What did Christ empty Himself of? Certainly not His deity. He coexists with the Father and the Spirit. For Him to become less than God would mean the Trinity would cease to exist. Christ could not become less than who He truly is.

Professor Paul Enns, in his Moody Handbook of Theology, explains the emptying of Christ this way: “The emptying was not a subtraction but an addition. The four following phrases (Phil. 2:7–8) explain the emptying: ‘(a) taking the form of a bond–servant, and (b) being made in the likeness of men. And (c) being found in appearance as a man, (d) He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death.’ The ‘emptying’ of Christ was taking on an additional nature, a human nature with its limitations. His deity was never surrendered.” Christ didn’t exchange deity for humanity; He retained His divine nature.

In his hymn “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Charles Wesley correctly presented the truths of Christ’s deity when he wrote:

Veiled in flesh the God–head see;

Hail th’ incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with men to dwell,

Jesus, our Emmanuel.

May those words be the song of your heart as well.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for emptying Himself for your sake.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 8:9. Why did Christ become “poor”? ✧ Look at Romans 8:3. Why did God send “His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”?[1]


December 5

Seeing the Reality of a Transformed Life

Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Acts 28:30–31

Today’s verse shows that while Paul was under house arrest “in his own rented house,” he continued to minister. In spite of the circumstances, Paul continued to do what he had been called to do.

You may find yourself thinking, I can’t go and preach the gospel. I can’t be an evangelist, or a Bible teacher. I’m stuck with my job. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re chained to a desk, an assembly line, a classroom, a car, or a sales position—they all provide opportunities for you to further the gospel. The worse your confinement, the greater the opportunity for a godly life to shine.

People often tell me how hard it is to witness where they work. My response is that it is generally harder to witness under ideal conditions than in a more difficult situation. That’s because in difficult situations the reality of a transformed life is more apparent, and that can’t help but be attractive to those who haven’t experienced it.[2]


DECEMBER 5

ADMIRING AWE AND SINCERE HUMILITY

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

—1 Peter 5:6

Those of us who have been blessed within our own beings would not join in any crusade to “follow your feelings.” On the other hand, if there is no feeling at all in our hearts, then we are dead! …

Real worship is, among other things, a feeling about the Lord our God. It is in our hearts. And we must be willing to express it in an appropriate manner.

We can express our worship to God in many ways. But if we love the Lord and are led by His Holy Spirit, our worship will always bring a delighted sense of admiring awe and a sincere humility on our part.

The proud and lofty man or woman cannot worship God any more acceptably than can the proud devil himself. There must be humility in the heart of the person who would worship God in spirit and in truth. WHT084

Lord, I bring to You a heart filled with adoration and humility. Accept my worship as something that brings joy to You. Amen. [3]


December 5

Measuring Progress: Revealing and Concealing

For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.—Matt. 13:12

Just prior to this statement, Jesus told the disciples the twofold reason for His using parables: “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted” (Matt. 13:11). To believers, parables reveal kingdom truth; to unbelievers, they conceal it.

Those to whom God has sovereignly given eternal life through Christ are the true citizens of His kingdom. Of such persons Jesus says, “to him more shall be given.” Believers receive additional light of truth as they grow in obedience and maturity in the Lord. As believers remain faithful, God reveals more and more light until they “have an abundance.”

In contrast, false citizens of the kingdom, because of their unbelief, have whatever amount of divine truth that is nearby concealed from them. Thousands heard Jesus’ teachings (including the parables) and saw His miracles, but most did not recognize Him as Messiah or receive Him as Lord and Savior. Because such unbelievers refuse God’s light as it shines on them, He conceals it from them and they drift further into spiritual darkness.

All people are either progressing or regressing spiritually—there is no such thing as remaining static. The longer that believers serve Christ, the more He reveals His truth and power to them. And the longer unbelievers reject what little knowledge they may have of the gospel, the less of God’s truth they will understand. It’s vitally important to be on the right side of the revealing/concealing equation.

ASK YOURSELF
When have you experienced the exponential blessing of seeing your small amount of knowledge and insight transformed into increasing quantities? What does this tell you about the value of even small strides in study and learning?[4]


December 5 God’s Final Revelation

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1–2).

✧✧✧

Jesus not only brought but in fact was God’s full and final revelation.

A Samaritan woman declared, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us” (John 4:25). The expectation of that day, even among the Samaritans, was that Messiah would unfold the full and final revelation of God. The Holy Spirit, through the writer of Hebrews, affirms that to be true: “God … in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1–2).

The Old Testament had given divine revelation in bits and pieces. Every piece was true, yet incomplete. But when Jesus came, the whole picture became clear; and though rejected by His own people, He was, in fact, the fulfillment of the messianic hope they had cherished for so many centuries.

The Old Testament age of promise ended when Jesus arrived. He is God’s final word: “As many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20).

God fully expressed Himself in His Son. That’s why John said, “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. … No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:14, 18). Paul added that in Christ “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).

The practical implications of that truth are staggering. Since Christ is the fullness of divine revelation, you need nothing more. In Him you have been made “complete” (Col. 2:10) and have been granted “everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). His Word is sufficient, needing no additions or amendments.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to teach you how to rely more fully on your resources in Christ.

For Further Study: Read John 1:1–18 as a reminder of the fullness of God’s revelation in His Son.[5]


DECEMBER 5

LET THE DAY DAWN

The path of the just…shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Proverbs 4:18

The Bible tells us that when a person becomes a Christian, it is as though the sun has come up and the day has dawned. Then his experience along the path should be like the glowing light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day!

This brings us to a question: If all Christians are alike in standing and state, why did Jesus point out three distinctions in the Christian life—“some thirty, some sixty and some a hundredfold” (Matthew 13:23)?

If we are all alike and have all “arrived” at the same place and state, why did the Apostle Paul tell the Philippian Christians—“I have suffered the loss of all things, that I may know Him and if by any means, I might attain unto that superior resurrection” (see 3:7–11)?

I am of the opinion that we cannot experience that which we have not believed. I still think we must instruct and urge men and women, toiling along in average and common Christian ways, to move forward and claim spiritual victory they have not yet known.

Lord, thank You for Your Spirit’s ever-present encouragement, teaching and guidance as I attempt to grow more like You each day of my Christian life.[6]


DECEMBER 5

GOD WAS NEVER THE AUTHOR OF DISORDER

For by him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible…and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

COLOSSIANS 1:16, 17

Everywhere I look in the created world I see God—and my soul is delighted!

I look into a dry, old book that looks like a telephone directory gone mad—we call it a lexicon—and I find that in the New Testament the word “world” means “an orderly arranged system, highly decorative, which is tended, cared for and provided for.”

Anyone who knows God, even slightly, would expect God to make an orderly world because God Himself is the essence of order. God was never the author of disorder—whether it be in society, in the home, or in the mind or body of man.

I have noticed that some people let themselves go to seed in a number of ways, thinking it makes them more spiritual—but I disagree. I think it is proper to comb your hair, if you have any! I do not think it is a mark of deep inward spirituality for a man to forget that a soiled shirt is easily cleaned and that baggy trousers were originally meant to have an orderly crease. God is not grieved when His Christian children take a little time every day for neatness and cleanness.

Neither do I think that our Lord is grieved by a service of worship in which we know what we are going to sing and what we are going to preach—because God is a God of order![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. 366). 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. 348). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 352). 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.

December 5, 2016: Daily Quotation Collection

The Best Doctor.

Time is generally the best doctor.

Ovid.


Living Backward.

No man is at liberty to live backward. If the prophets underwent misjudgment and torment by reason of having to live in the future, what shall be said of those poor rickety creatures who are always trying to go back into the dim past, to exhume the prophets, and to live three or four centuries behind their privileges?

Joseph Parker.


I Wish!

I wish — that friends were always true And motives always pure; I wish the good were not so few, I wish the bad were fewer.

J. G. Saxe.


Troubling Trouble.

Don’t trouble trouble till trouble troubles you.

Anon.


The Great Bell of Moscow.

The great bell of Moscow is too large to be hung: the question arises, what was the use of making it? Some preachers are so learned that they cannot make themselves understood, or else cannot bring their minds to preach plain, gospel sermons; here, too, the same question might be asked.

C. H. Spurgeon.


The Gods See Everywhere.

In the elder days of Art Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part, For the gods see everywhere.

H. W. Longfellow.


CHOICE QUOTATIONS IN  POETRY AND PROSE

(From the Master Minds of all Ages)

ARRANGED FOR DAILY USE BY THOMAS W. HANFORD (“ELMO”) copyright c. 1895

“Ten minutes each morning spent in the perusal of the page for the day will supply the mind with material for wise musings through all the day.”

“Great thoughts are valuable not only for the truth they contain, but for the truth they suggest. The thought that provokes thought is much more valuable than the thought that is only the echo of an accepted truth.”