Daily Archives: January 11, 2017

January 11, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Jan. 11, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

President Obama blasted “zero-sum” politics as he drew a sharp contrast with his successor in his farewell address Tuesday night, acknowledging that despite his historic election eight years ago his vision for the country will exit the White House with him.

As Afghanistan reeled from a series of bombings that killed at least 60 people in a single day, the resurgent terror campaign may increase pressure on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s administration to revise troop withdrawal plans.

Germany, the first of the world’s biggest developed economies to report on its 2016 performance, probably achieved expansion of 1.8 percent, helped by a pickup toward the end of the year. The German result, forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, would be the fastest since 2011 and top expected euro-area growth of 1.6 percent.

A Trulia analysis of U.S. listings shows 3.9 percent of homes that moved from for-sale to pending moved back to for-sale again, nearly double the rate in 2015. Such “failed sales” increased in 96 of the 100 biggest U.S. metros, with big swings in areas large and small, rich and poor.

Are demographic pressures reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression? That bodes ill for achieving the 3 percent to 4 percent gains in gross domestic product envisioned by Trump’s pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Without an improvement in productivity or an influx of people into the workforce, GDP can’t accelerate.

Cash-strapped Chinese companies are ramping up sales of asset-backed securities to raise funds as they face record delays in collecting payments from customers. Structured note sales backed by assets such as receivables jumped 130 percent to $65.7 billion last year.

AP Top Stories

Flash floods in southern Thailand washed out a bridge on the country’s main north-south highway on Tuesday, backing up traffic for 125 miles as the death toll from days of unseasonable rain rose to 25, media reported.

Last month, President Obama signed his last federal defense budget for 2017, which included a provision to extend a program that provides Special Immigrant Visas to Afghan nationals who provided assistance to U.S. troops and now face retaliation from the Taliban.

Conditions for refugees on Greek islands and in other camps where they are housed in tents despite severe cold weather are “untenable,” the European Commission said Monday. Heavy snowfall has hit large swaths of Greece, including the eastern Aegean islands where thousands of refugees are stranded, with temperatures falling well below freezing. A state of emergency has been declared in some parts of the country.

The 7.3-magnitude earthquake that struck under the Celebes Sea off southern Philippines on Tuesday was far too deep to cause any damage and casualties or generate a tsunami.

US special operations troops carried out a “successful” raid in Syria against leaders of the Islamic State group in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday. The operation was “focused on ISIL leadership” and was conducted by a US special operations unit tasked with tracking down top jihadist operatives, Navy Captain Jeff Davis said. Davis said, however, that reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an independent monitor that 25 jihadists had died in the raid were “grossly exaggerated.”

Hours before his first news conference as president-elect, Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted U.S. intelligence agencies, blaming them for leaking unsubstantiated reports on his relationship with Russia and demanding, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

BBC

China’s only aircraft carrier has led several warships across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan’s defense ministry said. It did not enter Taiwanese waters but did cross its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the ministry said.

Up to a quarter of women in Europe, compared to an average of 15% in northern Europe and 18% in western Europe, born in the 1970s may remain childless Women are having fewer children, particularly in southern Europe. Factors including a precarious labor market and lack of family-friendly work policies help explain the rise in involuntary childlessness.

Germany says 280,000 asylum seekers arrived there in 2016, a drop of more than 600,000 on the previous year.

A power cut that hit part of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in December has been judged a cyber-attack by researchers investigating the incident.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said the US would not necessarily shoot down a North Korean missile, if it was not threatening. He said the US military would want to gather intelligence from the missile’s flight instead of intercepting it.

Norway is the first country in the world to start switching off its analogue radio signals. The Nordic nation will start turning off the FM signal on Wednesday, in favor of Digital Audio Broadcasting, or DAB.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed that five of its officials were killed in a bomb attack in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.

WND

A couple of months ago, Czech President Milos Zeman made an unusual request: He urged citizens to arm themselves against a possible “super-Holocaust” carried out by Muslim terrorists. Now the country’s interior ministry is pushing a constitutional change that would let citizens use guns against terrorists.

The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online, according to public records.

President Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, on his short list for a possible commutation.

The DoD wants “biodegradable training ammunition loaded with specialized seeds to grow environmentally beneficial plants that eliminate ammunition debris and contaminants.”


The Briefing 01-11-17

Pres. Obama’s farewell address: Reflecting back on the legacy of the 44th president

Why the death penalty matters: Dylann Roof sentenced to death in Charleston AME Church massacre

The post The Briefing 01-11-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


The 70 Nations That Will Meet In Paris On January 15th Are Going To Publicly Commit To Dividing The Land Of Israel

earth-sun-space-public-domainA draft of the summary statement that will be released at the conclusion of the 70 nation conference in Paris on Sunday has been leaked. As you will see below, this communique is going to call for the division of the land of Israel, for the establishment of a Palestinian state, for the 1967 borders to serve as the basis for final negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and for the condemnation of any officials that refuse to support a two state solution. Of course this comes on the heels of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which many believe represented America’s greatest betrayal of Israel. Israeli government officials are publicly warning that there is a possibility that the principles agreed upon at this conference may form the basis for another Security Council resolution before January 20th, and this is something that we should all be watching for very closely. (Read More…)


Trump’s Approval Rating Is Supposedly Only 37 Percent, But Small Business Optimism Just Hit The Highest Level In 12 Years

donald-trump-and-mike-pence-public-domainA Quinnipiac University Poll that was released on Tuesday says that Donald Trump only has an approval rating of 37 percent.  Meanwhile, that same survey found that Barack Obama currently has an approval rating of 55 percent.  Of course considering the fact that Quinnipiac polls showed Hillary Clinton winning the election in November easily, perhaps we should not put too much stock in these results.  But other polling organizations have come up with similar results.  In fact, an average of nine recent polls indicates that Trump’s approval rating is somewhere around 42 percent.  So without a doubt there are a whole lot of people out there that do not like Donald Trump. (Read More…)


The Middle Class Gets Completely JACKED on Taxes, Especially Social Security Taxes

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Lou Dobbs on Recent FBI Email Dump: Mrs. Clinton was regularly sending confidential and secret information to someone outside the government (VIDEO)

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Fake News: BuzzFeed Runs ‘Unverifiable’ Trump-Russia Claims

According to Brenden Kirby of Lifezette, left-leaning news outlets have abandoned “all journalistic ethics in publishing explosive dossier.” He writes:

The online news site BuzzFeed on Tuesday published a letter containing salacious allegations — which even the left-leaning outlet acknowledged are unverified — against President-Elect Donald Trump.

The letter, purporting to come from a retired British intelligence agent, details Trump’s alleged relationship with Russia and contends that the Kremlin has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” Trump for at least five years.

It alleges that Russians have been feeding Trump intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, for years. It also details Trump’s alleged “personal obsessions and sexual perversion.”

Read more


CAUGHT: Fake Republican John McCain Passed Fake News Document To FBI To ‘Bring Down’ Trump

Sworn Donald Trump enemy John McCain admitted Wednesday that he passed the dossier of claims of a Russian blackmail plot against the president-elect.

Arizona senator John McCain issued a public statement amid mounting questions of his exact role in the affair – and how a document riddled with errors and unverifiable claims came to be published.

‘Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public,’ he said. ‘Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI.

‘That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.’

But the 2008 Republican loser, who disowned his party’s candidate weeks before the election, may have been far more intimately involved than that.

The chain of how the document reached the FBI is not officially known. However Carl Bernstein, the Watergate reporter who contributed to the first story about its existence, published by CNN on Tuesday afternoon, suggested that McCain was handed it by a former British ambassador to Moscow.

FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017

Bernstein told CNN: ‘It came from a former British MI6 agent who was hired from a political opposition research firm in Washington who was doing work about Donald Trump for both republican and democratic candidates opposed to Trump.

‘They were looking at Trumps business ties, they saw some questionable things about Russians, about his businesses in Russia, they in turn hired this MI6 former investigator, he then came up with additional information from his Russian sources, he was very concerned by the implications of it, he then took it to an FBI colleague that he had known in his undercover work for years, he took it to this FBI man in Rome who turned it over to the bureau in Washington in August.

Full Interview: Sen. John McCain, December 11

John McCain has been very active spreading lies and fake news about Russian spies, Donald Trump, and the 2016 election. To date, no credible evidence of actual Russian hacking of our election has offered by anyone. And the document that John McCain delivered to the FBI “exposing” Donald Trump’s ties to Russia? 100% fake. 

‘And then, a former British ambassador to Russia independently was made aware of these findings and he took the information to John McCain – Senator John McCain of Arizona – in the period just after the election, and showed it to McCain – additional findings.

‘McCain was sufficiently disturbed by what he read to take it to FBI director James Comey himself personally, they had a five minute meeting the two men, very little was said, McCain turned it over to him and is now awaiting what the FBI’s response is to that information.’

The identity of the former British ambassador has not been disclosed.

Only one former British ambassador to Moscow remains in UK government service, Sir Tim Barrow, who went on to be Foreign Office political director and is now Britain’s ambassador to the European Union.

McCain’s long-standing opposition to Trump is well known although he only formally ended support for the Republican candidate in October, when the notorious ‘p****’ tape emerged.

The Arizona senator said at the time: ‘”Donald Trump’s behavior… concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.’

US intelligence agencies have claimed that Russian spies hacked the Democratic National Committee and leaked damaging emails designed to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president.

The new information, which has not been independently verified, claims that Russian officials also gathered highly damaging information on Trump, but only released the details attacking Clinton through the WikiLeaks website.

The Kremlin has denied all of the allegations, while Trump tweeted: ‘FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT’.

However, McCain was so concerned about the information contained within the 35-page dossier, which included allegations that Trump had hired prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on a bed that had previously been used by US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, that he passed the information onto the FBI

‘BuzzFeed Runs Unverifiable Trump-Russia Claims’ #FakeNews https://t.co/d6daCFZHNh

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017

CNN reported that intelligence chiefs had presented Trump with a two-page summary of the dossier late last week following a briefing with President Obama.

It is not known if it included the most salacious details.

Trump has consistently denied that Russian intelligence agencies had launched a massive cyber attack ahead of last November’s election.

The dossier which McCain passed to FBI Director James Comey was compiled by the former MI6 man. The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes filmed during a 2013 visit by Trump to a luxury Moscow hotel, supposedly as a potential means for blackmail. They also suggest Russian officials proposed lucrative deals in order to win influence over the Republican real estate magnate.

One claim, that special counsel to Trump Michael Cohen met with Kremlin officials in Prague in August 2016 has been branded as ‘fake news’.

Cohen denied that he was central ‘to the ongoing secret liaison relationship between the New York tycoon’s campaign and the Russian leadership’. Cohen tweeted a photograph of his passport and said he had never visited Prague.

According to reports, the former MI6 man had been hired to conduct ‘opposition research’ on the Trump campaign by first Republican enemies of Trump, then Democratic ones.

Russia denied the claims, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling journalists: ‘The Kremlin does not have compromising information on Trump.’The Kremlin spokesman called the dossier a ‘total fake’ and ‘an obvious attempt to harm our bilateral relations’.

Earlier, the Kremlin had denied hacking the Democratic National Committee and leaking information to deliberately weaken Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  Donald Trump’s transition team has repeatedly denied allegations that it had received any help from Moscow.  source


A Donald Trump Presidency Spells The End Of The George Soros Shadow Government Planned With Hillary

Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.

EDITOR’S NOTE: George Soros, a man who was born a Jew but sold out to work for the Nazis as a teenager, has all set to become the shadow president of America had Hillary Clinton won the presidency. But the God of Abraham stepped in, and cast His vote for Donald Trump, the man who will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Soros put all his eggs in a single basket that God threw into the trash bin of history. A Donald Trump presidency could very well mean the end of George Soros plans to destroy America. The awakening has begun.

The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday. No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when Bloomberg News called outside business hours.

“I feel that there is an opportunity for this, internationally,” because of Trump’s election, state news service MTI reported Nemeth as saying. Lawmakers will start debating a bill to let authorities audit NGO executives, according to parliament’s legislative agenda.

George Soros vs. Donald Trump:

Orban, the first European leader to publicly back Trump’s campaign, has ignored criticism from the European Commission and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for building a self-described “illiberal state” modeled on authoritarian regimes including Russia, China and Turkey. In 2014, Orban personally ordered the state audit agency to probe foundations financed by Norway and said that civil society groups financed from abroad were covers for “paid political activists.”

Orban and his administration have frequently singled out NGOs supported by Soros, a U.S. Democratic Party supporter with a wide network of organizations that promote democracy in formerly communist eastern Europe.

George Soros: Puppet Master Without A Puppet

george-soros-gives-25-million-to-crooked-hillary-campaign-first-woman-president

GEORGE SOROS WAS ALL SET TO BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT INSIDE A HILLARY WIN. OOPS.

Trump also accused the 86-year-old billionaire of being part of “a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

GEORGE SOROS: Being a Nazi Was The Best Time Of My Life

In a pre-election commercial, he showed images of Soros along with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League criticized the ad for touching on “subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.” source


Top News – 1/11/2017

Trump to CNN: ‘You Are Fake News’
During a press conference on Wednesday, President-Elect Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta and told him “You are fake news.”

No damage reported after 3 earthquakes hit north Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey says back-to-back earthquakes hit Monday morning near Pawnee, about 75 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The USGS says the quakes had magnitudes of 3.2 and 3.3 and there are no reports of injuries or damage. A third earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 3.7, hit the same area Monday afternoon.

John Kerry Literally Won’t Say the Western Wall Is Part of Israel
I cannot think of something more anti-Semitic than saying that the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Jewish Temple, isn’t part of the Jewish State. But that’s exactly what John Kerry, our none-too-soon outgoing secretary of State, said in this CNN interview. I guess Kerry figured he’d add insult to injury on top of the Obama administration’s abstention at the UN. I’m not a fan of everything Donald Trump has said, but the silver lining is that he cannot be worse for Israel or more anti-Semitic than the Obama gang has been.

4Chan Users Claim to be Source of Trump ‘Golden Shower in Moscow’ Hoax
News outlets took the decision to run the story in spite of clues that the document was a fake, including factual errors and the use of the heading “Confidential/Sensitive Source” which is used by neither UK nor US intelligence agencies.

Lawsuit claims Twitter directly connected to terror
“this is the first lawsuit which demonstrates and documents how Twitter took a leading role in turning ISIS into the most fearsome terror organization in the world today and how ISIS specifically used Twitter in connection with two of the horrendous terror attacks which occurred recently in Europe. “As opposed to other social media sites, Twitter has adamantly refused to cut off its services for terrorists…

Gene-silencing spray lets us modify plants without changing DNA
“A spray can be used immediately without having to go through the years involved in development of a GM or conventionally bred crop,” says David Baulcombe at the University of Cambridge, who studies gene silencing in plants. One spray can also be used on many different varieties, he points out. Companies like Monsanto are already developing gene-silencing sprays that get inside bugs and kill them by disabling vital genes.

Pew: Obama’s true legacy is divided nation, bad race relations
Barack Obama leaves the presidency with the nation more divided than at any time in decades, race relations at a new low and a surge in atheism, according to a new survey by Pew Research.

Trump: Are we living in Nazi Germany?
The report, allegedly made by a British ex-intel agent, was given to US officials, CNN reported on Tuesday. A document purporting to be the report was subsequently leaked to Buzzfeed and publicized. Trump blasted the report on Tuesday, calling allegations Russia was holding potentially compromising secrets “fake news”. On Wednesday the Russian government also rejected the claim, saying it had no such material on the American President-elect.

UK weather: Lorry overturns and homes left without power as gale-force winds and 90mph gusts bring travel chaos to parts of the country
Gale-force winds and blizzard-like conditions have brought travel chaos to parts of the country today. Motorists have been warned of difficult driving conditions as gusts of up to 75mph and the chance of ‘thundersnow’ across northern areas.

Democratic Senator Touts Debunked WaPo Power Grid Story In DHS Confirmation Hearing
New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan appeared to be unaware during a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that a Washington Post story about Russian hacking into the Vermont power grid has been completely debunked and retracted.

Solomons continues to be hit by aftershocks
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Solomon Islands early this morning, in an area plagued by tremors since early December. The US Geological Survey reports the quake struck around 2:27am local time about 108 kilometres west-northwest from Kirakira, the capital of Makira, at a depth of 46 kilometres.

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake rattles Central New Zealand again
The year 2017 has not been lucky enough for Central New Zealand as the country has been hammered by two earthquakes within a week and today as well, another quake shivered Central New Zealand.

Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait
Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships…sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the latest sign of heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island. China’s Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, was not encroaching in Taiwan’s territorial waters but entered its air defense identification zone in the southwest…

Trump to Republicans: Act swiftly to replace Obamacare
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday pressured fellow Republicans working to repeal Obamacare in Congress to pass a replacement for the healthcare law at the same time or soon after they vote to dismantle it. Trump told the New York Times he wanted a substitute for President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law done “very quickly or simultaneously” to the vote to get rid of it

UAE confirms five officials killed in Afghan attack
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed that five of its officials were killed in a bomb attack in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. They died in blasts at the governor of Kandahar’s guesthouse on Tuesday, where at least six others were killed including the deputy governor, two senior Afghan officials and two MPs. The governor and the UAE ambassador were among at least 18 wounded.

IDF reveals increase of violent incidents across West Bank
Figures by the IDF show a significant increase in the number of violent incidents in the West Bank in the past few months, indicating Israel may be in the midst of a worrisome trend. At a briefing held at the IDF’s Judea and Samaria headquarters in Beit El on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that Israel is on the cusp of witnessing serious regional developments.

Kerry to attend Paris summit on Israeli-Palestinian conflict
US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Paris for an international conference on Middle East peace organized by the French government, his staff announced on Tuesday. In his final trip as secretary, Kerry will begin with a visit to Vietnam. He will then travel to Paris on the day of the summit, January 15, followed by trips to London and Davos, Switzerland.

China’s aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait: defence ministry
China’s only aircraft carrier has entered the Taiwan Strait, the island’s defence ministry said Wednesday, seen as a show of strength by Beijing as tensions rise between the two sides.

Islamic State fights losing battle in eastern Mosul
The leaflet dropped from the skies over Mosul urged Islamic State militants to give themselves up. “Who will look after your families if you are killed?” read the message, found on the ground in an apartment complex on the city’s northern edge. Sent by the Iraqi government, it appears to have been ignored.

Dozens killed in Kabul suicide bombings, Kandahar blast
Deadly attacks ripped across Afghanistan on Tuesday, with two suicide bombings near the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, an explosion at a Kandahar province government compound and a suicide bombing in Helmand province — strikes leaving dozens of people dead and wounded, US and Afghan officials said.

Hungary Plans to Crackdown on All Soros-Funded NGOs
Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.

California storms add 350 billion gallons to parched reservoirs
The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods. They sent roughly 350 billion gallons of water pouring into California’s biggest reservoirs.


Top Headlines – 1/11/2017

  • Russia likely main topic in Trump’s first news conference since election (Read More)
  • Russia Denies Report It Has Compromising Material on Trump (Read More)
  • For Russia, U.S. election meddling claims strip Trump win of luster (Read More)
  • Obama Urges Unity in Farewell Speech (Read More)
  • 1930s-like Demographic Pressures Holding Back U.S. Economy (Read More)
  • Chinese bomber flies around contested Spratlys in show of force: U.S. official (Read More)
  • Tillerson to Call Russia a ‘Danger’ in Confirmation Hearing (Read More)
  • Kelly Distances Himself From Trump Over Border Wall, Russia (Read More)
  • Justice Department Hasn’t Found Evidence to Bring Antitrust Case Against Airlines (Read More)
  • In China, Insurers Sell Risky Products to Fund Risky Investments (Read More)
  • Uber signs deal with Dubai regulator after pricing rows (Read More)
  • Why the Lira’s in Trouble: 2017’s Worst Performer in Charts (Read More)
  • Northern Ireland will still have say in Brexit preparations: PM May (Read More)
  • Suddenly, Home Sale Agreements Are Falling Apart Across the U.S. (Read More)
  • A Pileup in U.S. Motor Vehicle Inventories (Read More)
  • Relatives’ U.S. bribery case rains on ex-U.N. chief’s homecoming (Read More)
  • ‘Chicken Tax’ Surfaces in Talk of Auto Tariffs (Read More)
  • Trump Tax Cut Could Add $8.2 Billion to Reynolds Price Tag (Read More)
  • Italy’s New Prime Minister in Intensive Care After Surgery (Read More)
  • Lebanese Leader Reaches Out to Saudi Arabia in Search of Aid (Read More)
  • From Brexit to Trump, Polarization Heightens Risk, WEF Says (Read More)

In farewell speech, Obama hails Iran deal, leaves out Israeli-Palestinian peace effort

Obama: Netanyahu talks of two-state solution but his actions undermine it

Netanyahu reiterates UN settlement resolution led by Obama administration

Obama warns against support for Israeli settlements

Kerry to attend Mideast peace conference in Paris where some 70 nations to attend confab on two-state solution

Paris conference to ask Israel and PA to commit to two states

How to Prevent Israel From Being Fed to the Wolves at the Upcoming Paris Conference, Just Before Trump Takes Office

Pope Francis to host Abbas on Saturday Meeting in the Vatican, on eve of Paris peace conference

Evangelicals to push pro-Israel moves as Trump presidency nears

Trump pushes US Embassy move in Israel amid outcry

Letter circulates among House GOP in support of Jerusalem embassy move

PLO threatens to revoke recognition of Israel if US embassy moves to Jerusalem

Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would destroy Palestine’s hopes of justice

In Wake of Jerusalem Truck-Ramming, US Professor Says Journalists Must Not Call Arab Attacks on Israeli Soldiers ‘Terrorism’

The cleric who legitimized suicide attacks against Israel has reversed his ruling. Hamas isn’t listening

Netanyahu: Israel taking steps to deal with ‘lone wolf’ terrorists

UN seeks to blacklist Israeli firms operating beyond Green Line

Why Did Japan Treat Jews Differently During World War II?

Clare Hollingworth, reporter who broke news about start of World War II, dies at 105

Rare show of dissent in Iran as millions mourn ex-president Rafsanjani – Islamic revolutionary who led war with Iraq but pushed for reconciliation with the west is buried in Tehran

Official: Iran ready to discuss 2017 hajj with Saudi Arabia

Dozens killed in Kabul suicide bombings, Kandahar blast

Turkish police kill would-be suicide bomber in southeast – security official

Islamic State fights losing battle in eastern Mosul

Isil cuts water supply to residents in liberated Mosul

Twitter Sued By Families Of Terrorism Victims For “Providing Services To ISIS”

Jordan dismisses 15 mosque preachers in wake of IS attack

ISIS claims responsibility for attack on Sinai police checkpoint

Morocco ‘bans the sale and production of the burka’

Pope Condemns Jihadis Who ‘Disseminate Death’ In God’s Name

Jeff Sessions says he opposes ban on Muslims in tense hearing interrupted by hecklers

Jeff Sessions Says He Would Be Independent and Stand Up to Trump

Sessions decries ‘caricature’ of him at AG hearing, vows recusal on Clinton matters

Ethics official takes heat for knocking Trump Cabinet hearings, giving Clinton a ‘pass’

Men in KKK costumes disrupt Sessions confirmation hearing

Report: Intel officials informed Trump of claims Russia has compromising info

Trump slams ‘fake news’ Russia has compromising info on him

US senators unveil Russia sanctions bill after intel report

Kremlin says Senate sanctions an attempt to prolong US-Russia enmity

Trump Tax Cuts Could Jump-Start Global Economy, World Bank Says

Hungary Plans to Crackdown on All Soros-Funded NGOs

EU privacy proposal could dent Facebook, Gmail ad revenue

Obama Says Farewell As His Legacy Unravels

Obama defends legacy, warns of a divided nation, in farewell address

In stark farewell, Obama warns of threat to U. S. democracy

Stars sick of their fellow entertainers’ political rants

Pentagon successfully tests micro-drone swarm

Pentagon sending sea-based radar to Korean peninsula amid growing nuke threat

US may hold fire on ‘non-threatening’ N Korea missiles

China’s aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait: defence ministry

China’s Xi to promote ‘inclusive’ globalization at Davos

Giant telescope in Chile to seek habitable planets in Alpha Centauri

Mark your calendar: 5 must-see astronomy events in 2017

A Sneaky Asteroid Buzzed By Earth Yesterday

7.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tabiauan, Philippines

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Illapel, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 22,000ft

Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 22,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Worst rain ‘in 30 years’ heaps misery on flood-hit Thai south

Storm to exacerbate California flooding into Wednesday

California storms add 350 billion gallons to parched reservoirs

California wine country is hit hard by storms

Late-week ice storm may threaten dangerous travel, power outages in central US

Europe’s deep freeze claims new victims

Large-scale tornado outbreaks increasing in frequency

2016 Was Second Hottest Year on Record in U.S., With 15 ‘Billion-Dollar’ Weather Disasters

Bumblebee is first bee in continental US to be listed as endangered

Researchers discover 2 new disease-carrying mosquitoes in Florida

Trump to Republicans: Act swiftly to replace Obamacare

Donald Trump ‘asks Robert F Kennedy Jr to chair vaccine safety commission’ in sign he still believes vaccines cause autism

Va. Governor Issues Executive Order Allowing Only Pro-LGBT Groups to Receive State Contracts

Pagan priest in Maine wins right to wear goat horns on state ID card

Dylann Roof sentenced to death for killing 9 black church members; 1st to get death penalty for federal hate crimes

Norwegian mass murderer Breivik makes Nazi salute at court

Over 98% of mass shootings occurred on gun-free zones, research shows

Passion’s Louie Giglio Greets Pope with “Holy Kiss”

Jeff Maples – The Hopelessness of Contending For Miracles

Pastor charged with punching, kicking a church member

Outrage at pastor who MOCKED overweight woman who was towed by a Good Samaritan in his TRUCK after her mobility scooter broke down

Leah Remini Showcases Scientology’s Relationship Control Methods

Deaf Muslim Man Who Learns About the Gospel for First Time Leaves Islam for Christ

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 06:23 AM PST

According to Florida-based Wycliffe Associates, one of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, a Muslim man referred to by the name Ayo recently left Islam…

Missouri School District Says ‘No’ to Middle School Bible Studies

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 06:19 AM PST

A school district in Joplin, Missouri, has suspended a middle school Bible study after a complaint from the American Humanist Association. In mid-December, the association…
John Kerry apologizes to LGBT for what he calls decades of prejudice

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 06:15 AM PST

On behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Secretary John F. Kerry formally apologized Monday to the American gay and transgender community for decades of…
The 70 Nations That Will Meet In Paris On January 15th Are Going To Publicly Commit To Dividing The Land Of Israel

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 06:03 AM PST

(Reported By Michael Snyder) A draft of the summary statement that will be released at the conclusion of the 70 nation conference in Paris on…
Former Transgender Defends Kim Burrell, Says She ‘Welcomed Him With Love and Open Arms’

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 05:56 AM PST

A former transgender and gay man is coming to the defense of Kim Burrell, saying she showed him love and acceptance. Burrell has recently come…

Is All Sin The Same?

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 05:53 AM PST

(By Landon Schott) Is all sin the same? If you are a Christ-follower with a social media account, you might think so. It’s important to…
Scientists grow beating human heart…

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 05:49 AM PST

A team of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have used adult skin cells to regenerate functional human heart tissue. The study,…
Russia Fires Back! Claims It has no compromising info on Trump or Clinton, report is ‘total bluff’

Posted: 11 Jan 2017 05:45 AM PST

Did the Enforcers of “Fake News” just become guilty of help spreading “Fake News”? According to a new report, Moscow says documents alleging that Russia…
Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:35 PM PST

Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships led by China’s sole aircraft carrier sailed north through the Taiwan…
DEVELOPING: Russian hackers claim to have compromising information on him

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:31 PM PST

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Russia hacked Republican state campaigns but not Trump’s: FBI head

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:28 PM PST

Russia hacked into Republican state political campaigns and old email domains of the Republican National Committee but there is no evidence it successfully penetrated President-elect…
Activists Are Hoping To Turn Donald Trump’s Inauguration On January 20th Into One Of The Biggest Riots In U.S. History

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:10 PM PST

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Strong 6.4 Magnitude Quake Registered Near Solomon Islands

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Intel report on Russians ‘fails to provide critical evidence’

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:59 PM PST

A privacy organization that has been pressing the Washington establishment for evidence supporting Democratic claims that Russia hacked their emails to influence the U.S. presidential…
L.L. Bean Under Fire For Contributing to Trump Campaign

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:53 PM PST

Popular retailer L.L. Bean is pushing back against a social media-fueled call for consumers to consider boycotting its products on Tuesday because one of its…
Pastor charged with punching and kicking a church member

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:46 PM PST

Prosecutors accuse a South Hyde Park pastor of severely beating a church member. Charging documents show the victim, a 75-year-old man, told police he went…
Airport Shooter Converted to Islam, Identified as Aashiq Hammad Years Before Joining Army

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:42 PM PST

UPDATE: The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded…
DAYS OF LOT: Taiwan on Brink of Legalizing Gay Marriage

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:36 PM PST

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage emboldened gay activists around the world. Now, political pressure is rising in Taiwan to make that nation…
Famous Actress Makes Her Abortion Stance More Than Clear: ‘Life Begins at Conception’

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:33 PM PST

Actress Patricia Heaton has made it no secret over the years that she’s a fierce proponent of the unborn, routinely using her massive platform to…
DEVELOPING: 7 feet of snow expected in some areas of California

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:48 PM PST

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‘Our Daughter’s Heart Stopped, Then Jesus Walked In’

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:36 PM PST

Nathaniel and Hayley Oliveri were overwhelmed with joy when they discovered they were expecting their first child: a girl, Gabriella. Hayley’s top prayer was for…
Is Obama’s Legacy a ‘War on Religion’?

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:32 PM PST

As President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, many are looking back at his faith, or lack of it. The president says he…
The ‘Nones’ – Understanding & Reaching Those Who Step Away from Church

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:25 PM PST

Christian leaders are grappling to understand the rise of the religiously unaffiliated in the U.S. – and how to reach them. The Pew Research Center…
Demonic Witchcraft Ritual Ruins New Wizard of Oz Reboot ‘Emerald City’

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:21 PM PST

(Reported By Justin Ashford) NBC’s new fantasy drama Emerald City is a reboot of the classic The Wizard of Oz. Unlike the wonderful world of…

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: A new bright ‘star’ could appear in 2022

Posted: 10 Jan 2017 01:15 PM PST

A huge collision between two stars some 1,800 light-years away could add a bright new object to our night sky, say scientists – though this…

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?


A Gospel Presentation

God is Holy

The Bible teaches that the entire universe was created by God. And that God who has created everything has spoken to humanity in the Bible. And the Bible tells us that a fundamental characteristic of God is that He is holy. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” That’s a way of saying that He’s entirely pure. God’s character is one of perfect moral uprightness. He is the essence of all that is good—so much so that, as the verse says, He can have absolutely no fellowship with “darkness”—no fellowship with that which is not perfectly holy, righteous, and pure.

God’s righteous character was expressed in the law He gave to Moses and the Israelites. You’ve heard of the Ten Commandments. They summarized the perfection of God’s character. These laws were directives for how people who were in a proper relationship with God must act.

We are Sinful

The problem is: all of us are sinful. We have all broken God’s law. All humanity has “gone astray like sheep, and each one of us has turned to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). We’ve tried to live our lives without God, according to our own standards, in our own ways. Whether we’re drug addicts and murderers, or white collar, well-to-do, upstanding citizens, we do what we do because we want to do it, with no consideration for God and what He would have us to do. The Bible calls that sin. It is the missing of the mark, the falling short of God’s standard of righteousness.

And in your heart of hearts you know you’re a sinner. I don’t know anyone who would say that they are perfect, even by their own standards. Ecclesiastes 7:20 says, “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.” And if God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all, then in order to have fellowship with Him, we’d need to be perfectly holy like Him. But we’re not. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are stained by the “darkness” of our sin. And this is a problem, because if darkness can’t dwell with light, and we’re darkness and God is light, we’re cut off from a relationship with Him. We become absolutely incapable of doing the very thing we were created and designed to do: to enjoy a relationship with our Creator.

There is a Penalty for Sin

But it’s not just that we and God can’t be friends. There’s a penalty to be paid for sin. The Bible tells us that that penalty is death, Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death.” But the death that Paul talks about there isn’t just physical death. It’s not like we pay for our sins by going out of existence. The death talked about in that verse is a spiritual death. This is hell: eternal conscious torment. Jesus Himself calls it “a furnace of fire,” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50).

The idea of hell grates against the sensibilities of modern people, because nobody thinks they’re really bad enough to deserve something like eternal torment. They might admit that they’re not the greatest of people, but surely they don’t deserve that. But their reasoning is skewed. The punishment for sin isn’t merely measured by the sin itself. In other words, while there are qualitative differences in the experience of divine punishment, murder, lust, and lying all receive the sentence of an eternity in hell. That’s because punishment for sin is measured by the One sinned against. All sin is fundamentally a sin against God, and He is infinitely holy. Therefore, sin against an infinitely holy God demands an infinite punishment. That’s why the punishment is so serious: because God is actually that righteous.

And so the bad news is that we’re sinful, separated from God, and doomed to spend eternity in hell. There’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t simply tell God we’re sorry and we won’t do it again. What would you say about a judge who let a guilty, convicted criminal go free because he was sorry and said he wouldn’t do it again? You’d call him an unjust judge. But God is a perfectly just, perfectly righteous Judge. God’s justice demands that sin be punished, and the only payment is eternal spiritual death.

God Became Man

But the Good News is: God saw the miserable condition of humanity, and took pity on us. He knew that there was no way we could ever earn our way back to Him. We could never pay for our sins. But just when man was absolutely hopeless, when we were all doomed to spend eternity in hell with no way to pay our penalty, God the Father sent His Son to the earth on a mission. He was miraculously born to a virgin. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit miraculously conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb. And so being conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was God. And being born to a human being, He was human. This is the greatest mystery in the universe. As finite human beings, we can’t entirely wrap our minds around this, but it’s true: Jesus was fully God and fully man.

He lived for 33 years on the earth. He grew up just like every other child. He became a carpenter like Joseph, His earthly father. The great difference, though, between Jesus and every other human being, was that He never sinned. Never once did He ever break God’s law. He always loved God with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength in everything He did. He never sought satisfaction outside of the Father Himself. He never disobeyed His parents, He was never selfish, He never spoke sinful words. In a word, He lived the life that you and I should have lived, but failed to live. He lived a life totally worthy of God, a life that was purely “Light,” like we said before, with no darkness at all.

Jesus Paid the Penalty

And because He was perfectly righteous, He was fit to be the substitute for sinners. The Bible records for us that the Jews plotted to kill Jesus because He preached a message that was very different to the religious establishment of His day. It was against the Jewish law to put people to death, so they sought help from the Romans, who were the governing body in Israel. Because the governor, Pontius Pilate, feared that the people would riot if he didn’t give them what they wanted, he agreed to crucify Jesus.

At the same time, Scripture also tells us that God sent His Son to die this way. It was all part of God’s plan. God used the sinful desires of the Jews and the Romans to accomplish something for His own good purpose. On the cross, Jesus suffered for sins. But He didn’t suffer for His own sins. He had no sins. He lived an entirely perfect life. No, on the cross, God “caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

The verse right before that, Isaiah 53:5, says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” What was happening on the cross was: God was carrying out the punishment against my sins—i.e., the pouring out of His wrath—on His innocent Son. Jesus voluntarily laid down His life in order to pay the penalty for sins. On the cross, God treated Jesus if He lived my life. And because I believe in Him, He treats me as if I lived Jesus’ life. See, because God is perfectly righteous, the only way to get to heaven is to be perfectly righteous. But because Jesus was perfectly righteous, and traded places with me on the cross, the perfect righteousness I need to go to heaven is His righteousness applied to my account.

After Jesus died, God miraculously raised Him from the dead three days later in order to show that He was satisfied with His sacrifice. Jesus was dead, but then He came back to life! It was a miracle. The Bible says God did this to “furnish proof to all men” that this message is true (Acts 17:30-31).


Law or Gospel — Which comes first?

Sometimes in life, the question is posed to us, “Which do you want first — the bad news or the good news?”

In response to this question, some choose to hear the good news first. It appears they desire to be thoroughly overwhelmed with the positive before getting their dose of the negative.

Others choose differently. They would rather hear the bad news first, get it out of the way, and put behind them their wonder and worry. Then, after processing the ramifications of the bad news, they hope to soothe the pain an end the conversation on a good note with positive vibes.

Well, Scripture does not offer us options. The Bible makes the choice for us, and it chooses to present the negative before the positive. The Bible declares bad news before declaring good news. It first presents the holy, wise, beneficial and condemning Law, then it publishes the “good tidings of great joy” or the Gospel. (Is. 60:1-2)

Understanding God’s Law

God’s Law was first presented in the opening chapters of Genesis. Some of it was stated; all of it was written upon man’s heart. Adam and Eve were to be entirely holy and obedient. They were to worship God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, all the time. Whether they ate, or drank, or whatsoever they did, they were do to it all for the glory of God. As image-bearers, they were to keep up God’s image. As men and women created in his likeness, they were to be like God. Vocationally, they were to enjoy and steward the garden and all God’s creatures. Relationally, they were to love one another and populate the planet. Ceremonially, they were to enjoy and glorify the Lord by walking with him in the cool of the day and never eating from the forbidden tree. These were some of their obligations, and as long as they performed perfectly they were guaranteed life in the family and kingdom of God.

However, things soon went from glorious to ghastly. Outside of them, they experienced the testing of God and the temptation of Satan. Within them they chose to question God’s truth, wisdom, and affection. Then, drawn away by their own lusts and enticed, they followed their internal sinful inclinations and externally ate of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, the holy, wise, and beneficial Law became a harsh taskmaster. It showed them the standard, showed them their guilt, and plagued their consciences. It encouraged them to hide, fear, and religiously self-medicate. It declared them wicked, separated from God, at enmity with God, and deserving of death, and it promised this for both them and their children. Yes, the Law of God promised to give them that which they deserved. It promised to pay them based upon performance, and this proved to be very, very bad news.

Understanding God’s Gospel

God, through the Law declared to Adam and Eve who they were, what they had done, and what they had justly earned — condemnation. Then God mercifully, graciously, and lovingly went to work. He performed on their behalf and promised them an eternity of undeserved blessings:

He predetermined to love his enemies.
He sought out his enemies while they hid from him in fear.
He called to the man and woman who vainly had self-medicated themselves.
He promised to rescue them and their children; they would be removed from Satan’s family.
He promised to do so by means of a special Son – one to come who would be fiercely bitten yet ultimately victorious.
He promised to damn the Evil One.
He then covered or clothed Adam and Eve by means of his ceremonial sacrifice.
He perfectly performed for and made promises to them who had performed so wickedly for him.
Friends, are we seeing the difference? The Law presents our duty to perfectly perform, and it only results in bad news. For there is none who keep all the Law, all the time, both internally and externally. However, the Gospel is not like the Law. The Gospel presents not our duty to perform for God, but it presents God’s performance and promise for us. Through the Law we lose our credentials to be a part of God’s family and enjoy his kingdom. Through the Gospel we gain credentials that cannot be earned or lost.

A Great Illustration

Perhaps nowhere is the distinction better seen between Law and Gospel than on Calvary’s cross. On that day, the Law had placed a criminal beside Jesus. There he was guilty, vile, dying, hopeless, and still hurling insults at the Son of God. He was getting that which he earned and deserved. He was being treated justly and fairly. His payment was based upon his performance, and he had hell to pay. The Law had nothing good to say to the thief on the cross. But then God went to work; Jesus granted the Law-breaking criminal complete pardon, intimate communion, and never-ending paradise. These blessings were not based upon any labors of his own, but only based upon the performance and promise of God. These blessings were not earned; they were a gift. A divine swap occurred. Jesus (The Law Keeping Man) received that which he did not deserve so that the thief (The Law Breaking Man) might also receive that which he did not deserve. And this is a fantastic picture of the Gospel. Communion with God that was lost by man seeking to keep the Law, was granted to man as a gift of God.

Responding to the Gospel

Therefore, how should we respond to the Gospel? While believing in divine sovereignty, what is our human responsibility?

Let us make the Gospel our Gospel. Along with the Apostle Paul let us call it “mine.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit offer this gift to you. They command you to receive it and enjoy it. If you find yourself with faith, willing to repent and receive, call out to Jesus in prayer right now. Call Jesus, “My Jesus.” Call Jesus’ righteousness, “My Righteousness.” Call Jesus’ Gospel, “My Gospel.” (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. As a matter of fact, if you draw near to God, it is only because he has already been drawing nearer to you.

Let us not water down the Gospel. This is always our tendency, to add human works to the sufficient work of Jesus Christ. Friends, re-read the letter to the Galatians. If we must perform, it is not Gospel. If we must labor, it is not Gospel. If it involves our works, it is not Gospel. If it is conditioned upon us in anyway, it is not Gospel. If it is a contract, it is not Gospel. If it can be lost, it is not Gospel. The Gospel represents the unilateral work of God on behalf of men. The Law ought never be divorced from the Gospel, but it must never be confused either.

Let us celebrate the Gospel. William Tyndall wrote of the Gospel, “It makes a man’s heart glad, and makes him sing, dance, and leap for joy.” It is the best of news. It means we can sabbath. It means we can boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. It means we are seen as Christlike image-bearers. Give God the celebratory praise he deserves. He has labored perfectly on your behalf, give him reverent and radical praise and worship.

Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel. (Rom.1:16) Paul wrote, “Woe if I do not preach the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:16) He wrote, “How beautiful are the feet of those who spread the Good News.” Friends, just as Adam and Eve were to physically reproduce, we are to spiritually reproduce around the world. This is our mission. This is our great mission. This is our Great Commission. Let us be humble, for we cannot make someone believe. Let us be zealous, for God has a tendency to honor those who labor hard. And let us become flexibly relevant in order to better spread the Gospel. (1 Cor. 9:22-23) As Gospel-lovers and Gospel-beneficiants, let us do that which is Lawful and bring in the Gospel-harvest.

Then, let us live Lawfully in accordance with the Gospel. Now that we have been saved from having to perform, let us perform. Yes, with Gospel-eyes, let us look at the Law and enjoy practicing that which is holy, wise, beneficial, and worshipful. Living in the power of the Gospel, let us enjoy becoming more and more like Jesus — the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And when we look at the Law, let us not get frustrated and despondent. Instead, let us glory in the Law, for there is the description of who we are in Christ today, and it also shows us all we will be in glory tomorrow when our old flesh is finally exterminated.

Bottom line, the Law shows us how to perform for God, but the Gospel shows us how God performs for us. This is radical. This is crazy. This is beautiful. This is truth.


Our Response

And now, God promises that…

  • if you acknowledge that you are a sinner—that you have broken His law,
  • and if you admit that there is no way that you could earn His favor and His forgiveness,
  • and if you purpose to turn away from your life of sin and commit your life to Him,
  • and if you trust in Jesus’ righteousness alone for your acceptance before this holy God,

…then He will have treated Jesus as if He lived your life, and will treat you as if you lived Jesus’ life. You will be saved from the penalty of your sin, and will be able to enjoy fellowship with God forever in heaven, and even fellowship with Him starting now.

In other words, if you believe that you’re a sinner and deserve God’s punishment because of your sin, but you also believe that God sent Jesus to endure that punishment in your place, and that His sacrifice is the only way you can be forgiven, then God promises that He will forgive you and you will be saved. You’ll know the God who created you.

Don’t Waste Your Life

God designed your soul. And He designed you so that, just as a car engine is designed to run on gasoline, you’re designed to run on Him. He is what life is about. All of the disappointments, discouragements, and uncertainties of your life find their resolution in Him. And all of the satisfactions, fun experiences, and joys of life find their consummation in Him. Everything good in our lives is like a trail of breadcrumbs that leads us to the feast of God Himself. And everything bad in our lives is a reminder that life lived apart from knowing God in Christ is not the way it was meant to be.

And I also don’t want to see you waste your life. God created us for the purpose of rightly knowing and worshiping Him. That’s the meaning of life. That’s where true happiness and satisfaction are found. When you don’t live your life for that purpose, you waste it. So many people go through life seeking that happiness, but never find it because they don’t know what life is really about. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to suffer God’s wrath eternally for your sin. I want to spend eternity in heaven worshiping God with you, praising Him for how gracious He was to forgive our sins because of Christ’s sacrifice.

Receive Forgiveness

So would you receive Christ? Would you acknowledge your sinfulness before God and admit you can’t do a thing about it? Would you turn from your sin, and seek to live your life in submission to Jesus Christ? Would you trust in Jesus alone for your righteousness before God? Would you join me in worshiping the God we were created to know?

Source


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 Hopelessness of ‘Contending For Miracles’

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen examines what the Bible says about miracles. We all know that God can, has and does perform miracles.  But what’s the purpose of His miracles?

Often times we find ourselves in a dire situation that we can’t manage on our own. It may be a frantic financial situation. It may be a devastating blow to our health. It could be any number of things, but time and again we seek a divine intervention into whatever circumstances we face–a quick fix. A miracle.

A popular worship song by Chris Tomlin summarizes the miracle seeker’s sentiments thus:

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
There’s no one like you
None like you

. . . .

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

These lyrics, while true, actually embellish the work of the Holy Spirit by distorting the purpose of miracles. There is a serious error penetrating the walls of Christ’s church that is leading people away from the true gospel into a false gospel of hopelessness. There are preachers and teachers who suggest that divine miracles are the primary purpose of the Christian faith and that contending for them should be our mission. This view is prevalent in the Word of Faith (WoF) and Prosperity Gospel camps. The carrot of hope in temporal miracles sells–it sells books, music, and speaking engagements. Notable proponents of this theology include Steven Furtick, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and many others. Biblical passages that are descriptive of a historical event are regularly twisted into a prescription for all people who will “activate” their faith in some way. Miracles, as opposed to Christ, then become the quintessential element of faith.

Read more

January 11, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Fellowship of Future Glory

“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, (17:24a)

This passionate plea that those whom the Father has given to Him might be with Him in His eternal glory in heaven is the final petition of Christ’s prayer.

Humanly speaking, there is nothing to warrant such a staggering, overwhelming privilege. Christians, as Paul reminded the Corinthians, are “not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble” (1 Cor. 1:26). Even worse, they were God’s enemies (Rom. 5:10),

dead in [their] trespasses and sins, in which [they] formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them [they] too all formerly lived in the lusts of [their] flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph. 2:1–3)

They were “separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12), having “sinned and fall[en] short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

But the marvelous truth of redemption is that

God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph. 2:4–7)

God, Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome,

demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom. 5:8–10)

Not only does God forgive repentant sinners, but He also adopts them as His children (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). That truth that prompted the apostle John to exclaim in wonder, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are” (1 John 3:1). The glorification of believers in heaven is the ultimate goal of the plan of salvation: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” (Rom. 8:29–30).

Jesus’ request was in perfect harmony with God’s purpose in choosing believers before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4), inscribing their names in the Book of Life, and giving them to the Son as gifts of His love (John 6:37, 39). True prayer is always consistent with God’s will. Jesus taught His followers to pray to God, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

But the Lord’s request was more than merely a plea that the Father’s will be done; it also expressed His desire (thelō; “to wish,” “to desire,” “to want”). It is not difficult to understand believers wanting to be with Him; but it staggers the imagination to realize that He wants them to be with Him.

The phrase they … whom You have given Me expresses again the reason that believers are special to Christ: they are a love gift to Him from the Father. It is the Lord’s most affectionate way of referring to believers when addressing the Father (vv. 2, 6, 9; cf. 6:37, 39, 10:29; 18:9). The church is His bride (Rev. 19:7; cf. 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:22–24), betrothed to Him by His Father.

Christ’s specific request for those given Him by the Father, that they might be with Me where I am, further expressed His desire for eternal fellowship with them. He wants all of those chosen for Him in eternity past to be with Him where He now is—heaven. In John 14:3 Jesus revealed His purpose in bringing believers to heaven: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” In John 12:26 He promised, “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also.”

The Lord’s use of the present tense, where I am, obviously does not refer to His location in Jerusalem on the way to Gethsemane. Such a request would have been pointless, since the disciples were already with Him. Further, in this section of His prayer, Christ looked beyond the eleven disciples to all who would believe in Him in the future through their ministry. Jesus was not speaking of where He was at that moment, but where He would soon be. He was so certain that He would be returning to heaven that He spoke of that future event in the present tense, as if it had already happened (cf. v. 11).

What will make heaven so glorious for believers is not its gates of pearl, or streets of gold, but the presence of the Lamb. Their supreme joy will be to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6), experiencing perfect, intimate, holy fellowship with Him and all the saints forever.

The Focus of Future Glory
so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, (17:24b)

Jesus also asked the Father that His followers might see His glory which the Father had given Him. It is true that in Christ’s incarnation “we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father” (John 1:14). But that glory was veiled in His flesh (Phil. 2:5–8). Only in heaven will it be fully manifested to His people when they “see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Cor. 13:12; Phil. 2:9–11).

In God’s gracious plan believers will not only see Christ’s glory, but also share it: “For our citizenship is in heaven,” Paul wrote to the Philippians, “from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20–21; cf. Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; 1 John 3:2). Throughout all eternity the song of the redeemed as they behold the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ will be, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing … To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (Rev. 5:12–13).

This request complements the statement the Lord made back in verse 22: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them.” In the incarnation, Christ had manifested “His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father” (John 1:14; cf. 2:11). Believers also receive Christ’s glory through His indwelling of them through the Holy Spirit (vv. 23, 26; 14:20, 23). In that sense they have His glory—His attributes and essence—within them.

But the glory of which Christ speaks here is the visible manifestation of the fullness of His glory that believers will one day see in heaven. In the incarnation, Christ’s glory was partially veiled (cf. Phil. 2:7). But when Jesus returned to heaven, the Father restored that fullness of glory to Him, as He had requested in verse 5: “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

Believers will enter the fullness of Christ’s glorious presence when they die (or at the rapture, if they are alive at that time). To see God after death has always been the hope of the saints. In Psalm 11:7 David expressed his confidence that “the upright will behold His face,” while in Psalm 17:15 he wrote, “As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” Jesus pronounced the pure in heart “Blessed … for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). John wrote that one day believers “will see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2), while Revelation 22:3–4 reveals that in heaven, “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.” So overwhelming will the manifestation of Christ’s glory be that the only possible response will be praise:

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped. (Rev. 5:11–14)

All of the blessings believers will one day experience in heaven flow from the reality that the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world. From all eternity the Father and Son enjoyed perfect fellowship (John 1:1), love, and shared glory (17:5). As indicated throughout this prayer, based on that mutual love, the Father chose a people (Eph. 1:4), gave them to the Son, and prepared an eternal kingdom for them (Matt. 25:34) where they will behold His glory forever.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

January 11, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

January 11

The Affirmation of God’s Son

Declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness,by the resurrection from the dead.

Romans 1:4

Jesus Christ had to be more than a man; He also had to be God. If Jesus were only a man, even the best of men, He could not have saved believers from their sin. If He were even the right man from the seed of David, but not God, He could not have withstood the punishment of God the Father at the cross and risen from the dead. He could not have overcome Satan and the world but would have been conquered as all men are conquered.

If there was ever any question that Jesus was the Son of God, His resurrection from the dead should end it. He had to be man to reach us, but He had to be God to lift us up. When God raised Christ from the dead, He affirmed that what He said was true.

As clearly as the horizon divides the earth from the sky, so the resurrection divides Jesus from the rest of humanity. Jesus Christ is God in human flesh.[1]


January 11 Having Love for One Another

“Let love of the brethren continue.”

Hebrews 13:1

✧✧✧

Christianity’s primary moral standard is love, especially for fellow believers.

Love of other believers is a natural outflow of the Christian life and should be a normal part of fellowship within the church. You can no doubt remember how after you were first saved it became very natural and exciting to love other Christians and to want to be around them. However, such an attitude is extremely difficult to maintain. This love, which is a gift from God’s Spirit, must be nurtured or it will not grow—it may actually shrivel. That’s why the apostle Peter urges us, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:22–23).

Paul teaches us the same concept of nurturing and practicing love for one another when he writes: “Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for any one to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more” (1 Thess. 4:9–10).

Paul also gives us the basic definition of brotherly love: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor” (Rom. 12:10). Simply stated, brotherly love is caring for fellow Christians more than we care for ourselves. And such love presupposes that we will have an attitude of humility (Phil. 2:3–4).

So today’s verse from Hebrews merely supports what Paul and Peter said elsewhere. The writer’s admonition that we should let brotherly love continue tells us that this kind of love already exists. Our challenge today and each day is not to discover love for one another, but to allow it to continue and to increase.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you rekindle the love that used to be strong for a Christian friend, but perhaps isn’t now.

For Further Study: Read 1 Samuel 18–20. What was so special about the love and friendship between David and Jonathan? ✧ What was the end result of that relationship (see especially 20:8–17)?[2]


JANUARY 11

A GENUINE ENCOUNTER WITH GOD

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

—Exodus 3:2

Is it not true that for most of us who call ourselves Christians there is no real experience? We have substituted theological ideas for an arresting encounter; we are full of religious notions, but our great weakness is that for our hearts there is no one there.

Whatever else it embraces, true Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection of reality, a cheap copy of an original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard. It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any man to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear, and no heart to love….

We who experience God in this day may rejoice that we have in Him all that Abraham or David or Paul could have; indeed the very angels before the throne can have no more than we, for they can have no more than God and can want nothing apart from Him. And all that He is and all that He has done is for us and for all who share the common salvation. POM010, 013

Lord, may I experience Your presence in such a real way today that I’ll feel like taking off my shoes, because I’ll know I’m on holy ground. Amen. [3]


January 11

Fasting as Part of Preparation for Testing

After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.—Matt. 4:2

For a quite lengthy period prior to the three diabolical temptations directed at Jesus, He fasted. We don’t know exactly what He did during the forty-day period, but He likely spent most of the time communing with His heavenly Father.

Even in His perfect humanity, Jesus needed solitary preparation time in meditation and prayer, as we all do in anticipating a major testing. Consider how Moses spent forty years in Midian in preparation for his leadership of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, or that the apostle Paul lived three years in the desert of Arabia before launching his extensive ministries.

Matthew reports, with much simplicity and directness, that at the end of the period of fasting, Jesus “became hungry.” Hunger weakens us physically and somehow leaves us more vulnerable to spiritual attack, which is precisely why Satan often assails us at such times. But temptations that we have anticipated and prayed about have little power to harm us, if we constantly rely on the Lord.

Jesus, though spending more than a month in fasting, is a tremendous example to us of remaining alert to spiritual danger, which He did as Satan approached. During the temptations, He did not yield on the slightest point.

ASK YOURSELF
What other feelings and conditions—like hunger—serve as readymade points of entry for spiritual temptation? Knowing this, how can you better “keep watching and praying” that you not fall into sin (Mark 14:38)? Pray for the courage to live with such keen awareness.[4]

JANUARY 11

UNITED WITH CHRIST

We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:20

The Spirit of God has impelled me to preach and write much about the believer’s conscious union with Christ—a union that must be felt and experienced. I will never be through talking about the union of the soul with the Savior, the conscious union of the believer’s heart with Jesus.

Remember, I am not talking about a “theological union” only. I am speaking also of a conscious union, a union that is felt and experienced.

I have never been ashamed to tell my congregations that I believe in feelings. I surely believe in what Jonathan Edwards termed “religious affections.” That is man’s perspective.

I am aware also that from God’s perspective there are qualities in the Divine Being that can only be known by the heart; never by the intellect!

Long ago John wrote: “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). So it is best for us to confess that as humans we have difficulty in understanding what God has said when He says that He loves us!

Heavenly Father, help me to be conscious of Your presence in my life today. And I pray that others will see You through me.[5]


January 11 The Slavery That Frees

“In [Christ] we have redemption” (Eph. 1:7).

✧✧✧

Slavery to sin is bondage; slavery to God is freedom.

Freedom is a precious thing. People throughout history have prayed, fought, and even died for it. Our Declaration of Independence upholds it as one of our inalienable rights.

But the truth is, no matter what one’s political situation might be, everyone is a slave—either to sin or to God. Jesus said that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34). Paul added that all of creation is in slavery to corruption (Rom. 8:21). However, believers have “been freed from sin and enslaved to God” (Rom. 6:22).

The Roman Empire had as many as twenty million slaves; slave trade was a major industry. For a slave to gain his or her freedom, a redemption price had to be paid. The Greek word for such a transaction is lutroō, which Paul uses in Ephesians 1:7 to speak of our “redemption” from sin’s bondage.

Slavery to sin is bondage; slavery to God is freedom. That sounds paradoxical, but God is the Sovereign King, and true freedom means having the ability to bend your will to His and thereby become all He created you to be. Even though you will fail at times, your greatest desire and highest pursuit as a believer is to be like Christ (1 John 2:5–6). Those enslaved to sin cannot do that, nor do they want to.

Today you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your submission to Christ. Let your attitudes and actions speak clearly of your love for the Master.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord that He is a faithful and just Master who always does what is best for His servants. ✧ A self-seeking slave is a contradiction in terms. Ask the Lord to guard you from thoughts and actions that are contrary to His will.

For Further Study: According to 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 what key characteristic is required of a servant of Christ? ✧ Read Matthew 24:42–51. How does Jesus describe a wise servant? ✧ Read Philippians 2:5–11. How did Jesus demonstrate the heart of a servant? What implications does His example have for your life?[6]


JANUARY 11

A CALAMITY: ACCEPTING THIS WORLD AS OUR HOME

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 JOHN 2:15

Of all the calamities that have been visited upon the world, the surrender of the human spirit to this present world and its ways is the worst—without doubt!

No oriental monarch ever ruled his cowering subjects with any more cruel tyranny than things—visible things, audible things, tangible things—rule mankind. That we who were made to communicate with angels and archangels and seraphim and with the God who made them all—that we should settle down here as a wild eagle of the air come down to scratch in the barnyard with the common hens—this I say is the worst of anything that has ever come to the world!

It seems incredible that we who were made for many worlds should accept this one world as our ultimate home.

Man was made in the image of God and is now a fallen being that has left its place in the celestial world and has plummeted down like a falling star. Now, in this world, he has all but forgotten the place from which he came. That is why the devil sees to it that we seldom get alone with time to think and meditate on the reality of the other world. For when a man really gets alone, he senses often that this life in this world is not the answer—it is not the end.

Actually and simply, a Christian is one who dedicates himself to God to inhabit another and better world![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 22). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

[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. 19). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

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

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 23). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

What is the Doctrine of Unity and Separation?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. Titus 1:5-9 (NASB) 

It doesn’t take very long for me to discern whether the person I am dealing with is truly God’s man or woman or is a pretender. That…

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