Daily Archives: December 15, 2016

December 15, 2016 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Dec. 15 2016 |

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Donald Trump is building a cabinet in his own image. The first billionaire U.S. president has appointed two billionaires and at least nine millionaires, with a combined net worth of about $5.6 billion, to run government departments. Two appointees to cabinet or cabinet-level positions are former generals. And fewer than half have any prior government experience. Many of Trump’s nominees have close ties to Wall Street and corporate America. Altogether, his cabinet is shaping up to look a lot different from his predecessors.

Federal Reserve officials raised interest rates for the first time this year and forecast a steeper path for borrowing costs in 2017, saying inflation expectations have increased “considerably” and suggesting the labor market is tightening.

Retail giant Amazon.com Inc. has made its first drone delivery to an actual customer, dropping off one of its Fire TV streaming devices and a bag of popcorn to a house in the English countryside 13 minutes after receiving an online order.

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, validating the Federal Reserve’s view of a vigorous labor market. Jobless claims fell by 4,000 to a three-week low of 254,000 in the period ended Dec. 10.

After almost two years of waiting, the big day is finally here for Nintendo Co. and its first game for smartphones, Super Mario Run.

As Germany wrestles with the political and economic fallout of surging immigration, one thing has become clear. The foreigners are giving the country something it needs: more babies. In 2015, Germany’s birthrate rose to 1.5 per woman, the highest in 33 years.

AP Top Stories

For the first time in 20 years, no Washington, D.C., public school marching band will perform at the inaugural parade. No local public schools submitted applications to perform in the parade.

Well, this is interesting. A new video has hit the web showing what appears to be one of Uber’s self-driving Volvos plow through a red light in San Francisco.

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline say a major oil spill in North Dakota “validates” their months-long struggle to stop pipeline construction near an important waterway. The oil spill occurred just 150 miles outside the Dakota Access protest camps near Lake Oahe on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. State officials estimate that the Belle Fourche Pipeline in western North Dakota spewed more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a creek after electronic monitoring equipment failed to detect the leak.

An executive order issued by Louisiana’s governor that was aimed at protecting the rights of LGBT people in state government was thrown out Wednesday by a judge who said the governor exceeded his authority.

A cease-fire to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from the remaining opposition-held neighborhoods of Aleppo unraveled on Wednesday, once again raising the specter of a bloody end to the battle for Syria’s largest city as residents reported the resumption of shelling and brutal bombing runs.

President Obama allowed US sanctions against Iran to be renewed on Thursday, but in a surprise move declined to actually sign the legislation that brings the sanctions into force.

The United States will confront China if it continues to stoke tensions in the disputed South China Sea region, the head of the U.S. Pacific fleet said Wednesday. Admiral Harry Harris also reassured allies Washington would not allow the contested territory to be controlled unilaterally.

Hounded to abandon Donald Trump, Republican electors appear to be in no mood for an insurrection in the presidential campaign’s last voting ritual. This most untraditional of elections is on course to produce a traditional outcome Monday – an Electoral College ticket to the White House for the president-elect. Whether they like Trump or not, and some surely don’t, scores of the Republicans chosen to cast votes in the state-capital meetings told AP they feel bound by history, duty, party loyalty or the law to rubber-stamp their state’s results and make him president. Appeals numbering in the tens of thousands – drowning inboxes, ringing cell phones, stuffing home and office mailboxes with actual handwritten letters – have not swayed them.

Yahoo warned it had uncovered yet another massive cyber-attack, saying data from more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013, making it the largest breach in history.

BBC

Traces of explosives have been found on victims of the EgyptAir plane crash over the Mediterranean in May, investigators said.

Senior US Republican senator Lindsey Graham has said his campaign email account was hacked by Russians.

Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK’s fertility regulator.

Residents of Corpus Christi Texas city have been warned by officials not to drink or bathe in the tap water because of a chemical contamination.

An 18th Century Chinese imperial seal has been sold for a record $22m – more than 20 times its estimated price.

WND

The Obama administration has issued a final rule aimed at preventing state lawmakers from cutting funding for Planned Parenthood or other clinics that provide abortions.

Celebrities are teaming up to beg Republicans in the Electoral College to vote against President-elect Donald Trump, pledging their “respect” for potential “heroes.”

OK – A 13-year-old girl was arrested and weapons seized from her home after authorities learned she had made threats against students at Tonkawa High School.

Grafting in the blazing sun, N. Korea’s Kim Jong-Un’s child slaves load heavy rocks into sacks as others mend railway tracks with hammers. Taken out of lessons and forced to carry out back-breaking work, they toil for up to 10 hours a day.


Top News – 12/15/2016

New Study Casts Doubt On A Key Metric For Predicting Global Warming
New research suggests scientists may be wrong about a key measurement for projecting man-made global warming. Meteorologist Anthony Watts and amateur scientist Willis Eschenbach released new research suggesting “global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC.”

Lets Give FBI Director Comey A Little Credit – He Refused To Co-Author CIA Speculative Report On Russian Interference Into 2016 Election – Why Not?
FBI Director Comey deserves some credit for refusing to put the name of the FBI on a CIA speculative report which had no “evidence” to back it up. It was done entirely to help Hillary Clinton win the Election. Lets step back in time to go over a few facts:

FBI: “No Evidence of Russian Interference in Election”
James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election…Comey told Trump that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment. The only member of the U.S. intelligence community who was ready to assert that the Russians sanctioned the hacking was John Brennan, the director of the CIA, “And Brennan takes his marching orders from…Obama.

Intel panel nixes briefing on alleged Russian interference in US election after resistance
The House Intelligence Committee abruptly canceled a briefing set for Thursday on alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, after the CIA declined to provide a briefer for the session, Fox News is told…lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, have backed calls for a separate congressional investigation, voicing concern that Obama’s intelligence agencies might not be able to conduct a thorough review before he leaves office.

EXCLUSIVE: FBI New York Field Office Told To Continue Clinton Foundation Probe
Officials at FBI headquarters instructed its New York field office to continue its corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation following the election of Republican candidate Donald Trump, according to a former senior law enforcement official. The instructions ordered agents to “go forward” with their ongoing inquiry into the Clinton Foundation which is focusing on issues of corruption and money laundering, according to the source.

Three parent babies: IVF clinics told they can create children with two mothers
Clinics in Britain can now apply to create three parent babies after the fertility watchdog gave the final apporval for the procedure. The fertility technique, which was developed by British scientists, allows doctors to replace an egg’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor to prevent children suffering debilitating conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

La Niña no longer likely in the coming month
La Niña thresholds have not been met. Climate models and current observations suggest these patterns will not persist. The likelihood of La Niña developing in the coming months is now low, and hence the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook has shifted from La Niña WATCH to INACTIVE.

USGS upgrades earthquake near Templeton to magnitude 4.0
The first quake, which jolted residents awake at 3:58 a.m., initially registered as a magnitude-4.2, according to the USGS. That reading soon was downgraded to 3.9 before the USGS later settled on 4.0. The temblor was centered about 5.6 miles west of Templeton, according to the USGS.

Iran sanctions extension act to become law without Obama’s signature
A bill extending U.S. sanctions against Iran for 10 years will become law without President Barack Obama’s signature, but will not affect implementation of the international accord limiting Iran’s nuclear program… “This Administration has made clear that an extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, while unnecessary, is entirely consistent with our commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

ISIS takes responsibility for launching rocket at Israel from Sinai
ISIS claimed responsibility overnight Wednesday for a rocket fired at the Nitzana border crossing separating Israel and Egypt on Tuesday, despite the fact that the rocket failed to reach Israeli territory and landed in the Sinai. The terror group claimed responsibility for the rocket by publishing photos documenting what they called “shelling across the border of occupied Palestine by two Grad rockets.”

Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails
A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by ‘disgusted’ whisteblowers – and not hacked by Russia. Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of …Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.

Brexit trade deal could take 10 years, says UK’s ambassador
A post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal might take 10 years to finalise and still fail, Britain’s ambassador to the EU has privately told the government. The BBC understands Sir Ivan Rogers warned ministers that the European consensus was that a deal might not be done until the early to mid-2020s. He also cautioned that an agreement could be rejected ultimately by other EU members’ national parliaments.

Islamists threaten ‘volcano of jihad’ against Egypt after execution
Egypt executed prominent Islamist fighter Adel Habara on Thursday, state media said, days after a top court rejected his final appeal and in defiance of militant threats to ignite “a volcano of jihad” across the country. Habara, 40, was sentenced to death in 2014 for killing 25 army conscripts in Northern Sinai in August 2013. He was hanged early on Thursday after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed off on the death sentence…

Activist told New York schoolchildren to become ‘freedom fighters for Palestine’
A case involving pro-Palestinian activists giving an anti-Israel presentation to third grade children in Ithaca, New York last year has resurfaced this week…showing the children adopting the views of the activists. The presentation, given on September 18, 2015 at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School, was meant to raise the topic of human rights with the third graders…

The Obama Family’s Christmas Card Doesn’t Mention Christmas
The Obamas sent out their last Christmas card from the White House, but some people have noticed a major problem with it.

The 3 Stage Plot to Assassinate Trump: Thirty Three Days to Armageddon
I have delayed writing this article for the past four days. It is not that I don’t believe in the analysis that I am going to offer in this article, I wholeheartedly do. My hesitation stems from the fact that if the globalists are successful in pulling off the following plot, America is headed for the darkest days in her history. This will mark the end of America and for most us, our lives will be turned upside down.

Christmas TV episode features jaw-dropping Jesus mockery, violence. Oh wait — it’s ‘Family Guy.’
Fox’s “Family Guy” has been turning mockery of Christianity and Jesus himself into big bucks for such a long time that some might say it’s pretty much become a standard menu item in a normal TV viewing diet.

Regions NORTH KOREA Drunken Kim Jong Un forces top military leaders to write apology letters — then forgets it
Kim Jong Un is not a happy drunk. The ruthless North Korean dictator overindulged on spirits this September when he ordered several top military vets to write apology and self-criticism letters, according to a Japanese media report.

U.S. NYPD: Muslim teenager who reported harassment by Trump supporters made the story up
A Muslim teenager who reported being harassed on the New York City subway by supporters of President-elect Donald Trump fabricated the story, a New York City Police Department spokesperson told Business Insider.

Yahoo suffers world’s biggest hack affecting 1 billion users
Yahoo has discovered a 3-year-old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company’s own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history.

Exclusive: China installs weapons systems on artificial islands – U.S. think tank
China appears to have installed weapons, including anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, on all seven of the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank reported on Wednesday, citing new satellite imagery.

Keith Olbermann Is More Insane than Ever
Back in the PJTV days when I was doing a show called Kruiser Control, we had a weekly segment called the “Olbermannometer.” Our job was to mock liberal media bias and Keith was an endless supply of free material. He was a loon six years ago and the time since hasn’t been good to him.

Venezuelans fight to protect their savings as government pulls bills from circulation
Venezuelans are rushing to the banks this week in a desperate attempt to protect their savings from the government’s latest spasm of reckless financial policymaking.

Ami Horowitz Went Into a Muslim No-Go Area in Sweden and Got Beat Up by 5 Men
Ami Horowitz went on a fact-finding mission to Sweden to see how much the tide of Muslim immigration has harmed the Scandinavian country. He highlights the extreme rise in rapes and violence, and shows areas that police will not go into.


The Briefing 12-15-16

“Winks and nods” from Pope Francis sow confusion in the Roman Catholic church on divorce

“Legalized medical assistance in dying”: Catholic bishops in Canada capitulate to the culture of death

In last-ditch effort, Obama issues new rule to block states from defunding Planned Parenthood

The post The Briefing 12-15-16 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top Headlines – 12/15/2016

  • Yellen, Trump on the Same Page, for Now (Read More)
  • Bond Rout Deepens After Fed Move (Read More)
  • Dollar Climbs to Strongest Since 2003 on Fed Path; Bonds Drop (Read More)
  • Trump’s $6 Billion Cabinet: Mostly Men, Mostly White and Not Much Government Experience (Read More)
  • Trump’s Foreign Partners Expect to Benefit (Read More)
  • Targeting U.S. automaker signals possible China retaliation over Trump talk (Read More)
  • Chinese ambassador to U.S.: Sovereignty not a ‘bargaining chip’ (Read More)
  • Italy ready to recapitalise ailing banks with 15 billion euros: (Read More)
  • China Halts Trading in Key Bond Futures (Read More)
  • Inside the BOJ, rate hikes are back on the radar. Really (Read More)
  • Assad’s Choice: Fight Rebels but Give Way to ISIS (Read More)
  • OPEC Threatened by a Tiny Oklahoma Town (Read More)
  • Russia says talks with U.S. over Aleppo suspended (Read More)
  • Tokyo Regains Costliest City for Expats Title as London Drops (Read More)
  • SNB Joins Draghi in Warning of Dread for Politics Next Year (Read More)
  • Google extends conservative outreach as Trump calls tech meeting (Read More)
  • Iran sanctions extension act to become law without Obama’s signature: White House (Read More)
  • Stolen Yahoo Data Includes Government Employee Information (Read More)
  • $2 Billion Gulfport Buy Shows Drillers Thirsting for Next Play (Read More)
  • Average Credit Card Debt: $16K. Total Debt: $133K. Where Do You Fit In? (Read More)

Palestinians preparing new Security Council draft – report

Netanyahu in Kazakhstan seeks help in winning Israel spot on UN Security Council

France reportedly postpones Middle East peace conference

Dershowitz: ICC will go after Israel if settlement bill passes

Amona settlers reject state’s ‘Swiss cheese’ relocation offer

Amona residents say they rejected deal due to state’s ‘lack of commitment’

Israel Vows to Protects Its Christian Soldiers

Thousands rally in Gaza for anniversary of Hamas founding

IS in Sinai claims rocket attack on Israel that missed target

Netanyahu to Iran: ‘Don’t threaten Israel, we’re a tiger not a rabbit’

Kenya deports Iranian men who plotted to attack Israeli embassy

Khamenei: The Zionist regime won’t exist in 25 years

White House: Iran’s nuclear marine vessels don’t violate deal

Iran sanctions renewal becomes law without Obama signature

Iran’s president congratulates Assad for ‘liberating Aleppo’

‘Are you truly incapable of shame?’ Samantha Power blasts Assad regime, allies

Syrian crisis altered region’s land and water resources, Stanford study finds

‘Save us’: Aleppo civilians plead for help as airstrikes resume

Aleppo battle: Raids on Syria city ‘probably war crime’ UN says

Russia, Syria preparing rebels’ exodus from Aleppo – ministry

Putin and Erdogan agree to make joint effort to evacuate east Aleppo

Isis video claims to show abandoned Russian base in Palmyra

As Aleppo falls, Trump faces test on posture toward Russia

White House: ‘Offensive’ to say US not doing enough in Aleppo

Jihadists are ‘hiding in plain sight’ among migrants, head of the Armed Forces says

Philippines President Duterte admits killing suspects

YouTube Bans North Korea’s Propaganda Channel

China installs weapons systems on artificial islands – U.S. think tank

Chinese ambassador to U.S.: Sovereignty not a ‘bargaining chip’

Drunken Kim Jong Un forces top military leaders to write apology letters – then forgets it

Dutch court rules ancient gold from Crimea ‘must be returned to Ukraine’

Brexit: EU leaders to discuss UK’s exit without Theresa May

Post-Brexit trade deal could take up to 10 years and still fail, warns UK’s EU ambassador

Brazil: Clashes as Senate approves 20-year austerity plan

Venezuelans fight to protect their savings as government pulls bills from circulation

Fed raises rates for the second time in a decade

Dollar surges after Fed raises rates, signals faster rate hike pace

Asian shares extend losses after Fed rate hike

Execs representing a whopping $3 trillion just walked into Trump Tower

Trump pledges ‘open door’ with Silicon Valley at meeting

Trump Pledges Aid to Silicon Valley During Tech Meeting

Trump to unveil Supreme Court pick close to inauguration

Donald Trump will be blamed for terror attacks if he refuses to take security briefings, says former CIA chief

NYPD: Muslim teenager who reported harassment by Trump supporters made the story up

Dems scramble to prevent their own from defecting to Trump

Populist earthquakes make 2017 the great unknown

Stein spent nearly $1 million of recount funds on consultants, staff, admin expenses

Report: Evidence of Detroit Voter Fraud, Too Many Votes in 37% of Precincts

Top US Republican senator says Russians hacked his campaign

Elector push for Russia briefing heats up after Podesta fans flames

Rep. King: Canceled intel briefing on alleged Russian interference in US election is ‘disgraceful’

Report: Putin himself involved in US election hack

Yahoo suffers world’s biggest hack affecting 1 billion users

Stolen Yahoo Data Includes Government Employee Information

Amazon completes its first drone-powered delivery

Algorthims are making us small-minded

NASA scientist warns Earth is due for ‘extinction-level’ event

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Farallon de Pajaros, Northern Mariana Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Southwest Indian Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near San Isidro, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near The Geysers, California

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

Magnitude 3.4 earthquake in Katla volcano

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 30,000ft

Bezymianny volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Copahue volcano in Argentina erupts to 12,000ft

Record-breaking wave thunders through North Atlantic

Scientists Want to Give the Atmosphere an Antacid to Relieve Climate Change

Clinging to Hairspray, Trump Casts Cloud of Fear Over Climate Scientists

If Trump skews science, researchers must raise the alarm – Obama official

NYC ‘Zombie’ Outbreak Highlights Dangers of Synthetic Drug

Study Reveals Depression, Suicidal Thoughts Not Uncommon in Airline Pilots

Pro-Abortion Researchers Falsely Claim Aborting Their Baby Has No Mental Health Impact on Women

Obama Bars States From Denying Federal Money to Planned Parenthood

Birth defects seen in 6 percent of US pregnancies with Zika

Woman gives birth to baby using ovary frozen in her childhood in ‘world first’

China rescues 36 ‘infants’ from child traffickers

Italy swaps spleen for kidney in world first

Security Council drops LGBT rights from tribute to UN chief

Affair site Ashley Madison reaches $1.6M settlement

There Have Been Over 200 School Shooting Incidents Since The Sandy Hook Massacre

Oklahoma girl, 13, accused of plotting mass attack on school

Kids As Young As 8 Suspected In Violent, Early Morning Robbery In Fort Greene

Top 10 ‘Most Sinful’ Cities in America: See Most Lustful, Wrathful Places of 2016

Christmas TV episode features jaw-dropping Jesus mockery, violence. Oh wait – it’s ‘Family Guy.’

Congress Passes Key Bill to Combat Religious Persecution

Bob DeWaay – The Gospel as the True Armor of God

Clayton Jennings Walks Out On “Restoration” Process, Says Mentor Tony Nolan

Lie of the Year: Abortion Clinics Are Safe and Planned Parenthood Cares About Women

1000 Muslims block London streets chanting Allahu Akbar to demand Islamic caliphate

American Pastor Imprisoned in Turkey on ‘Terror Threat’ Charges for Christian Faith

NASA warns Earth is Not prepared for a surprise asteroid strike

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:26 AM PST

While the possibility of a catastrophic asteroid slamming into Earth is extremely rare, it may only be a matter of time before this threat becomes…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

China Takes Action On Thousands Of Websites For ‘Harmful’ Content…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:16 AM PST

China has shut down or “dealt with” thousands of websites for sharing “harmful” erotic or obscene content since April, the state’s office for combating pornography…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Artificial intelligence creeps into daily life…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:11 AM PST

Mark Zuckerberg envisions a software system inspired by the “Iron Man” character Jarvis as a virtual butler managing his household. The Facebook founder’s dream is…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Britain agrees to license three-parent babies!

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 07:03 AM PST

Britain on Thursday became the first country to formally license an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment designed to create babies from three people. In a long-awaited…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

1000 Muslims Shut London Streets, Demand Islamic Caliphate

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:56 AM PST

The street outside the empty embassy in Belgrave Square, London, was closed off as it filled with protestors and Islamic leaders chanting loudly and calling…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Viral Story Of Boy Dying In Santa’s Arms May have Been another FAKE news story?

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:51 AM PST

It was a story many wanted to believe: A terminally ill child gets his last wish to see Santa and dies in his arms. But…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Anti-Santa Pastor Takes Message To Shopping Malls…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:47 AM PST

David Grisham, the Amarillo pastor who preaches an anti-Santa Claus message inside malls, told CBS11 he is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth to do his thing….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

250 DISNEY IT Workers Forced To Train Own Replacements From India…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:39 AM PST

A group of information technology workers laid off by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts claims they were victims of discrimination. The say they were forced…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Automated restaurant opens in NYC; No servers, no cashiers…

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:35 AM PST

Imagine going to eat and never interacting with a server or cashier. You can do that at a new restaurant in New York City. Eatsa…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Electors are being harasse and threatened in bid to stop Trump

Posted: 15 Dec 2016 06:29 AM PST

Electors around the country are being harassed with a barrage of emails, phone calls and letters — and even death threats — in an effort…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Actor Wesley Snipes Pens End-Times Spiritual Warfare Novel

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 09:13 PM PST

Think of your favorite supernatural authors: Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker and … Wesley Snipes? The actor joins the author ranks…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Franklin Graham Issues Urgent Call to Prayer

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 09:08 PM PST

Evangelist Franklin Graham issued an urgent call to prayer for a Christian governor on trial for his beliefs. “We need to pray for the Christian…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas university takes the ‘holiday’ out of parties in December

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 08:54 PM PST

Don’t call your holiday party a holiday party. That’s the recommendation from Texas Woman’s University – posting a series of tips on how to make…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dollar surges after Fed raises rates

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 08:16 PM PST

The U.S. dollar hit its highest level against a basket of major currencies in nearly 14 years on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Jordin Sparks Tells Fans to Dig Into Bible

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 02:14 PM PST

As a believer in the Bible, singer Jordin Sparks is letting over one million social media followers know the importance of spending time reading the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

IBM Announces Plan to Add 25,000 Jobs in U.S.

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 02:04 PM PST

Ahead of her scheduled meeting with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday at Trump Tower, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty had a major announcement. In an op-ed for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

U.S. ready to confront Beijing on South China Sea

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 01:59 PM PST

The United States is ready to confront China should it continue its overreaching maritime claims in the South China Sea, the head of the U.S….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ex-CIA chief says Trump risks blame for an attack if he skips briefings

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 01:56 PM PST

Former CIA director Leon Panetta said on Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump risked being blamed after any potential attack on the United States if he…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Colombian Soccer Player Survives Plane Crash With Bible in Hand

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 01:54 PM PST

Helio Neto was traveling with the Colombian soccer team and other passengers when the plane crashed, killing 71 people. Although Neto is still in the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Discernment—the Most Neglected of All Spiritual Gifts

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 10:44 AM PST

(By J.Lee Grady) Those who walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit have access to the nine “power gifts” mentioned in Paul’s first letter…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Congress Passes Key Bill to Combat Religious Persecution

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 10:38 AM PST

Both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate have passed the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, which is named after the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Genderqueer Identity Book Pushed Hard on 7-Year-Olds

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 10:28 AM PST

A book claiming the phrase “boys and girls” excludes children who are “gender diverse” is being targeted at children as young as 7. Can I…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Earthquake Swarm Shaking California over Last 12 Hours, Magnitude 5.0 Felt

Posted: 14 Dec 2016 10:25 AM PST

Several earthquakes hit various parts of California in the last 12 hours, including a swarm of minor temblors in the Mammoth Lakes area and a…

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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Worldview from Inside the Elite Bubble

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

college-girl-with-megaphoneThey declare diversity and insist they are inclusive. They tout tolerance and yet, they often refuse to put up with anyone who thinks differently than them. They raise their collective hands to silence opposing views rather than listen or participate in respectful debate. You know exactly where they stand on ‘religion and politics.’

They cannot comprehend how some folks can actually have a biblical Christian worldview. Rather than dialogue, theirs is often a monologue, having already concluded they are right about everything, others are wrong, and there is no sense in allowing diverse ideas and opposing opinions about life and the world.

‘They’ are the liberal elites and their disciples. Though we cannot place all liberals in this category, many are furious about the recent election results in which the coronation of their progressive presidential candidate was thwarted. Millions of American citizens want a much different country because we believe…

View original post 911 more words

Congress Passes ‘International Religious Freedom Act’ to Combat Persecution Worldwide

Christian News Network reports:

Congress passed a bill this week that aims to give the White House and State Department improved tools to address religious persecution worldwide.

The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act had been introduced in the House last year by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and then in the Senate this year by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The bi-partisan-backed bill first passed the House in May and then came before the Senate this month, where it passed unanimously.

It is named after former Congressman Frank Wolf, who first helmed the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998, and is stated to expand upon his work.

Read more

December 15, 2016: Verse of the day

img_0552

In describing that future event, Jesus borrowed the language of Daniel 7:13–14, where the prophet Daniel declared:

And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

Coming in the clouds as if they were a divine chariot (cf. Ps. 104:3; Isa. 19:1), the Son of Man will appear with great power and glory, returning to establish His kingdom and to destroy the ungodly. On that day, heaven will open to reveal the conquering King. Rather than riding the humble foal of a donkey, as He did at His earthly entrance to Jerusalem (Mark 11:7–10), He will be seated as the eternal Sovereign atop a royal white steed.

The apostle John described the majesty and power of Jesus’ return with these words:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Rev. 19:11–21)

With perfect righteousness and absolute authority, the Lord Jesus will enact judgment on His enemies (2 Thess. 1:7–10; cf. Isa. 11:4; 63:1–4; Rev. 1:16), including the Antichrist whom He will cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20). Satan will be bound for a period of a thousand years (20:1–3), and Christ’s millennial reign will begin (20:4–6). Seated at last upon His earthly throne, the Lord Jesus will unilaterally and perfectly rule the nations as their sole Sovereign and King (cf. Ps. 2:8–9; Rev. 12:5).

The MacArthur New Testament Commentary

December 15, 2016: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

December 15 Christ’s Coronation and Intercession

“God highly exalted Him.”

Philippians 2:9

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Christ is the Sovereign of the universe and a faithful High Priest.

Christ was exalted not only in His resurrection and ascension, but also in His coronation. Mark 16:19 says, “When the Lord Jesus had spoken to [the apostles], He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” In Scripture the right hand is a symbol of power and authority. What is the extent of Christ’s authority? Ephesians 1:20–22 says, “[God] seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” Christ is the Sovereign of the universe.

Besides His coronation, Christ is exalted in His intercession for believers. He stands before the Father as the High Priest of His people. His first act was to send the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). Our sympathetic High Priest “has been tempted in all things as we are” (Heb. 4:15), and “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for [us]” (7:25). Christ’s intercessory work grants us faith, repentance, and forgiveness (see Heb. 4–9).

Puritan minister Thomas Watson said, “Had you a friend at court, who, when you were questioned for delinquency or debt, should plead with the judge for you, and bring you off your troubles, would you not love that friend? How often does Satan put in his bills against us in the court! Now Christ is at the judge’s hand; he sits at his Father’s right hand, ever to plead for us, and to make our peace with God. Oh, how should our hearts be fired with love to Christ!”

How intense is your love for Jesus Christ, our faithful Advocate?

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: “Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that [you] may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). Pray for a fresh appreciation of this today.

For Further Study: What do 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 2:17 say about Christ as our High Priest?[1]


December 15

God with Us

For there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Luke 1:45

Isaiah 7:14 says, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” That virgin’s name was Mary.

The name Immanuel, however, is the key to this verse—and the heart of the Christmas story. It is a Hebrew name that means literally, “God with us.” It is a promise of incarnate deity, a prophecy that God Himself would appear as a human infant, Immanuel, “God with us.” This baby who was to be born would be God Himself in human form.

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: “God with us.” We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth![2]


DECEMBER 15

WHERE IS THE AWE?

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

—Isaiah 41:8

Yes, Abraham was lying face down in humility and reverence, overcome with awe in this encounter with God. He knew that he was surrounded by the world’s greatest mystery. The presence of this One who fills all things was pressing in upon him, rising above him, defeating him, taking away his natural self-confidence. God was overwhelming him and yet inviting and calling him, pleading with him and promising him a great future as a friend of God!

This is God’s way and God’s plan. This is God!

As we examine the nature of believing faith in our day, we find ourselves asking, “Where is the mystery? Where is the reverence, the awe, the true fear of God among us?” MMG021-022

Where, indeed, Oh Lord, is the awe and fear of Your power? Restore it to Your people and bring us to our knees before You, we pray. Amen. [3]


December 15

The Mustard Seed, Part 1

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.—Matt. 13:31–32

Even though the Lord Jesus in this parable speaks accurately about the size of the mustard seed and the size and use of its tree-like adult form, His purpose in the illustration is proverbial, not scientific. In context of His teachings about the kingdom of God, the parable’s meaning is self-evident—the kingdom, though now seemingly small and insignificant, will one day grow into a large body of believers.

Even with Jesus ministering on earth, God’s kingdom was almost imperceptible, both because its citizens were few and it was spiritual (invisible). Elsewhere the Lord explained it well: “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst” (Luke 17:20–21). When Christ ascended to heaven, the kingdom on earth was, figuratively and relatively speaking, very small (cf. Acts 1:15).

But the kingdom that began smaller than a mustard seed will grow larger and larger. The Old Testament writers knew that eventually the Lord would “rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Ps. 72:8). They rightly foresaw that all sorts of people, from all stations in life, would honor Messiah, bow down to Him, and serve Him (vv. 9–11). With the apostle, we will one day see the grand culmination: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

ASK YOURSELF
Are you currently involved in something for Christ that seems small in comparison with others’ ministries or talent bases? Be sure that your Lord is the master at taking the seemingly insignificant and transforming it for mighty kingdom purposes.[4]


December 15 The Lover of Righteousness

“‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His Kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions’” (Heb. 1:8–9).

✧✧✧

As the eternal God and King, Christ loves righteousness and hates lawlessness.

In these days it’s difficult for us as Christians to be totally supportive of our governmental leaders when we see so much of what God calls righteousness compromised or ridiculed. But the King of kings—Christ Himself—is the only leader who has a perfectly right attitude toward righteousness.

Christ rules from an eternal throne, and He rules eternally as God and King. The scepter He holds is symbolic of His rule, particularly as a rule of righteousness.

But there’s more to it than that. He not only acts righteously—He loves righteousness itself. How often have we obeyed without joy, expressing an attitude of willing condescension? But Jesus gives us a different model.

James 1:17 says, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” True righteousness never varies from what is true, just, and good. And 1 John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” God is total light and total righteousness. Everything Jesus did resulted from His love of righteousness.

Because Christ loves righteousness, He hates lawlessness. Since He loves what is right, He must hate what is wrong. The two are inseparable; one cannot exist without the other. You cannot truly love righteousness and also love sin. When there is true love for God, there will also be true love for righteousness and total hatred of sin.

The more you and I become conformed to Jesus Christ, the more we will love righteousness. Our attitudes toward righteousness and sin will ultimately reveal how closely we are conformed to Christ. Check out your attitudes and actions. How are you doing?

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Like the psalmist, ask God to show you “any hurtful way” in you (Ps. 139:24).

For Further Study: Read Psalm 119, and note how many times the psalmist makes reference to either his love for God’s law or righteousness.[5]


DECEMBER 15

OCCUPIED WITH PRAISE

They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.

Revelation 4:8

It is surely an erroneous supposition for humans to think or to believe that death will transform our attitude and dispositions.

This is what I mean: If in this life we are not really comfortable talking and singing about heaven and its joy, I doubt that death will transform us into enthusiasts! If the worship and adoration of God are tedious now, they will be tedious also after the hour of death.

I do not know that God is going to force any of us into His heaven. I doubt that He will say to any of us, “You were never very interested in worshiping Me while you were on earth, but in heaven I am going to make that your greatest interest and your ceaseless occupation.”

Controversial?

Perhaps, but in the heavenly scene John describes, the living creatures crying “Holy, holy, holy!” rest neither day nor night. My fear is that too many of God’s professing people down here are resting far too often between their efforts to praise and glorify the living God!

Lord, may my entire life—including this very day—be a sacrifice of worship to You so that I am well practiced in worshiping You when I arrive in heaven.[6]


DECEMBER 15

WE SHOULD YEARN TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS

Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

PSALM 140:13

There should be a holy quality, a mysterious and holy Presence within the fellowship of Christian believers! If we are what we ought to be in Christ and by His Spirit, if the whole sum of our lives beginning with the inner life is becoming more Godlike and Christlike, I believe something of God’s divine and mysterious quality and Presence will be upon us!

I have met a few of God’s saints who appeared to have this holy brightness upon them, but they did not know it because of their humility and gentleness of spirit. I do not hesitate to confess that my fellowship with them has meant more to me than all of the teaching I have ever received. I do stand deeply indebted to every Bible teacher I have had through the years, but they did little but instruct my head. The brethren I have known who had this strange and mysterious quality and awareness of God’s Person and Presence instructed my heart!

Do we understand what a gracious thing it is to be able to say of a man, a brother in the Lord, “He is truly a man of God”? He does not have to tell us that, but he lives quietly and confidently day by day with the sense of this awe-inspiring Presence that comes down on some people and means more than all the glib tongues in the world!

Oh, that we might yearn for the knowledge and Presence of God in our lives from moment to moment![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. 376). 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. 358). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 362). 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.