Daily Archives: February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Feb. 3, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump will order a sweeping review of the Dodd-Frank Act rules enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis, a White House official said, signing an executive action Friday designed to significantly scale back the regulatory system put in place in 2010.

An attack at Paris’s Louvre museum Friday ensured that terrorism and security will remain front and center of a roller coaster presidential election that has brought the populist National Front closer than ever to power in France.

Al-Qaeda has strengthened its power in Yemen, taking advantage of sectarian conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country, according to the International Crisis Group. Al-Qaeda “is stronger than it has ever been,” the Brussels-based group said.

Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million people that borders Russia and is home to NATO’s cyber-defense center, will host the exercise during its six-month presidency of the European Union, which starts July 1, Defense Minister Tsahkna said. The country is no stranger to electronic attacks, having significantly bolstered security measures after strikes on key websites during a spat with Russia.

Republicans in Congress began a process Thursday of rescinding a federal rule aimed at preventing people with serious mental-health problems from buying guns, one of the earliest targets in a long list of Obama administration regulations lawmakers plan to reverse.

U.S. workers have been getting a shrinking share of the American economic pie, and economists have been puzzled by the decline. A new paper says one factor is the rise of “superstar” companies that dominate their market sectors and don’t need a lot of workers to generate profits.

AP Top Stories

Declaring that religious freedom is “under threat,” President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to repeal a rarely enforced IRS rule that says pastors who endorse candidates from the pulpit risk losing their tax-exempt status. “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution.”

Republicans in Congress struggled on Thursday with their efforts to dismantle Obamacare, with conservatives urging haste while some lawmakers said the task had become more of a repair job than the repeal of the U.S. healthcare law promised by President Donald Trump’s administration.

A report in Defense News states China is making steady progress on its second aircraft carrier, the Shandong. Under construction near Shanghai, Shandong is set to be China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier and the first to be combat-ready.

The University of California, Berkeley, canceled a speech by right-wing Internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos after thousands of students gathered in protest and a group of anti-fascist activists set off fireworks at the speech venue.

President Donald Trump is poised to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran while crafting a broader strategy to counter what he sees as its destabilizing behavior.

Yemeni security officials said on Thursday that warships, which they believe to be American, have been firing cannons and rockets at al-Qaida militants in the country’s southern coastal areas. But the United States promptly denied the allegations.

The head of the Chicago Police Department said Wednesday that his officers are now using high-tech strategies and equipment to fight crime, an announcement that came as the city’s police released statistics showing no letup in the death toll that captured the nation’s attention last year and sparked a Twitter warning last week from President Donald Trump.

Space rocks appear to be taking aim at Earth. The fourth asteroid this year buzzed the Earth about midday Thursday, passing between the Earth and moon. Sunday’s visitor, which passed within 32,200 miles was just 19 feet wide, wasn’t spotted until a few hours before it flew past.

A California federal judge has issued a court order (temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction) barring the US government from preventing more than two dozen Yemenis with valid visas from flying to Los Angeles.

BBC

The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on Iran following its recent ballistic missile test. The US Treasury Department announced the measures against 13 people and a dozen companies on Friday.

Apple is to start making iPhones in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

President Donald Trump is expected to take his first steps to scale back financial services regulations on Friday. He is due to sign an executive order to review the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations, which some people on Wall Street say are overly-restrictive.

A former Royal Canadian Mint employee has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing gold coins by concealing them in his rectum.

The US Defense Secretary James Mattis has said any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response. Mr Mattis spoke in South Korea, where he had been reaffirming US support, before flying to Tokyo.

Some supermarkets are rationing the number of iceberg lettuce and broccoli customers can buy – blaming poor growing conditions in southern Europe for a shortage in UK stores.

WND

In its last year in office, the Obama Administration showered at least some $9.2 billion on the United Nations and its sprawling array of organizations, according to a document recently posted on the State Department website.

Angered by the conversion of Muslims to Christian faith, as many as 90 Muslims broke into a Christian prayer meeting in a village in eastern Uganda, raped 15 women and kidnapped a pastor and eight other people, according to a Christian news source.


The Briefing 02-03-2017

Should we live with contradiction? Peter Singer’s immoral, incoherent worldview

“The writing is on the wall for people like me”: Disabled British lawmaker decries selective abortion

“Life unworthy of life”: Germany solemnly remembers the victims of Nazi eugenics

Crime and culpability: Secretary of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels dies at 106

The post The Briefing 02-03-2017 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


February 3, 2017

CLIFF KINCAID — At the March for Life, Vice President Mike Pence said, “Life is winning through the steady advance of science that illuminates when life begins, more and more, every day.” White House Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway said, “Science and medicine have joined religion and morality in causing many Americans to rethink just how fragile and how triumphant human life truly is.”… (more)


February 2, 2017
JOAN SWIRSKY — A day or two before the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump on January 20, 2017, I watched a reporter interviewing five attractive, intelligent, articulate women from California, who were all making the long cross-country trip to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. Amazingly, not one woman was able to express a persuasive or even rational reason for the trip, but instead resorted to time-worn platitudes, bromides, and leftist talking points about “unity” and “solidarity” and “getting the message out.” Um…what message?… (more)

February 2, 2017

GEORGE WILL — With an asperity born of exasperation, Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, “If you want aspirations, you can read the Declaration of Independence,” but “there is no such philosophizing in our Constitution,” which is “a practical and pragmatic charter of government.”… (more)


February 2, 2017

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court has “restored the faith of voters,” GOP political consultant Mary Matalin told Newsmax TV Wednesday…. (more)


February 2, 2017

NEWSMAX — Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has set a goal on completing President Donald Trump’s Mexican border wall in two years, he told Fox News…. (more)


February 2, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — When the House Subcommittee on Government Operations held a hearing in April 2015 titled “The Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government,” an agency manager at the Department of Homeland Security was called in to testify…. (more)

February 2, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — The woman behind recent videos that decimate Planned Parenthood’s claim that it needs to receive taxpayer dollars to meet vital prenatal needs says congressional Republicans are poised to remove funding from the nation’s largest abortion provider and Democrats will be powerless to stop it…. (more)

February 2, 2017
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — If the Left is going to twist every bit of Trump administration news into fiction, who is going to believe them when, inevitably, there actually is something worth raising hell about? The question is worth asking – – for about the tenth time this week . . . and it’s only Tuesday! – – in light of the fuss Democrats and their media friends are making over a discussion between just-fired acting attorney general Sally Yates and Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s attorney-general nominee, at a 2015 Judiciary Committee hearing…. (more)

February 2, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Republicans in Congress plan to introduce legislation Wednesday that would prohibit workers nationwide from being forced to support a union. The national right-to-work legislation likely would be a major blow to organized labor because it would allow millions of workers to opt out of union membership for the first time…. (more)

February 2, 2017
THE HILL — The House on Thursday struck down an Obama-era regulation that could block some recipients of disability benefits from buying guns. The House voted 235-180 to roll back a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. The database is used to determine eligibility for buying a firearm. Critics said the rule stripped Second Amendment rights from people who are not dangerously mentally ill, such as those who have eating disorders…. (more)

February 2, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — In one fell swoop, President Trump has a unique opportunity to show his concern for forgotten Americans, create jobs (especially for coal miners), and defend the rule of law, separation of powers, and the Constitution. In the process, he will rob President Obama of his sole surviving legacy, a legacy that bedevils rural people in perpetuity to the utter delight of environmental groups, one of which cosponsored the Women’s March…. (more)

February 1, 2017

BRYAN FISCHER — As we feared, President Trump has chosen sides in the battle between homosexuality and religious liberty. And he has chosen poorly. From The Hill (emphasis mine): “The White House said early Tuesday that President Trump will continue to enforce an Obama-era executive order protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community in the workplace.”… (more)


February 1, 2017

CLIFF KINCAID — Donald Trump’s adviser Stephen K. Bannon told the truth, but not the whole truth, when he described the media as the main opposition to President Trump. He neglected to mention academia as another important bastion for anti-Trump organizing and action…. (more)


February 1, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump on Tuesday nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the empty seat on the Supreme Court, kicking off the biggest test of his young administration with Democratic senators already itching for a fight. Judge Gorsuch is a favorite of conservatives, who say his legal mind and clear writing are fitting for someone picked to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The president dubbed him “the very best judge in the country.”… (more)


February 1, 2017
NATIONAL REVIEW — On the Saturday afternoon last February when he received word of Justice Scalia’s death, Neil M. Gorsuch “immediately lost [his] breath” and “couldn’t see . . . for the tears.”… (more)

February 1, 2017

NEWSMAX — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the pick of Judge Neil Gorsuch a “home run,” telling CNN just after President Donald Trump made the announcement in the White House East Room, the nomination was the “most important decision President Trump has made in the first two weeks serving in office.”… (more)


February 1, 2017

BYRON YORK — From Washington State to Washington DC, Democrats across the country are stepping up what some call “The Resistance” to President Trump, moving across political, legal, bureaucratic, legislative, and civil disobedience fronts to frustrate the newly elected president’s agenda…. (more)


February 1, 2017
CHARLES HURT — Look, global elites, nobody said self-governance would be easy. Or pretty. But it is what it is. Get over it. The full-bore freak-out hysteria over President Trump’s executive order directed at finally getting a grip on who exactly is coming into the United States from the Middle East has been amusing…. (more)

February 1, 2017

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — President Trump’s temporary ban on entry into the U.S. by various categories of aliens has caused a firestorm. That owes in part to the rash implementation of perfectly legal restrictions, but the hysteria is out of proportion to the minimal harm actually done…. (more)


January 31, 2017
WESLEY PRUDEN — Once more, with feeling. There’s a president with the proper appreciation of “the special relationship” between the United States and Great Britain. Winston Churchill is back in the Oval Office, even if it’s only his head on a pedestal. Donald Trump and Theresa May struck it off better than expected. The Donald even took her for a stroll, holding her hand. A British journalist reminded the president not to try that with the queen when he goes to London for a state visit in the spring. The queen is look, don’t touch…. (more)

January 31, 2017

NEWSMAX — Heavy artillery and rockets hit residential areas in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday amid a new outburst of fighting between government troops and Russia-backed separatist rebels, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens…. (more)


January 31, 2017
ALAN KEYES — Since the Supreme Court’s blatantly anti-constitutional decision purporting to force “gay marriage” on all the United States, the GOP’s elitist faction leaders have repeatedly signaled their intention to accept the decisions as the “law of the land.”… (more)

January 31, 2017

USA TODAY — The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday that, effective immediately, it will accept and register transgender youth into its organization. The move marks a reversal of a policy in place for a century and is effective for the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts. The organization vowed to recognize the gender a youngster lists on an application…. (more)


January 30, 2017

ROBERT KNIGHT — As any reporter can tell you, it’s far more fun to cover zany people and events than those exuding decency and restraint. The news business, like much of the entertainment media, thrives on mayhem. In Disney’s animated classic “Fantasia,” the spectacular deviltry of “A Night on Bald Mountain” is followed by a peaceful march of candle-bearing believers after the morning sun dispatches the satanic hordes…. (more)


January 30, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — Despite confusion at airports and a judicial spanking, the White House said Sunday that President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order remains in effect and is working as the administration had hoped, halting almost all travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries with histories of terrorism…. (more)


Top News – 2/3/2017

NASA Scientist Studies Whether Solar Storms Cause Animal Beachings
“Theories as to the cause include magnetic anomalies and meteorological events, such as extreme tides during a new moon and coastal storms, which are thought to disorient the animals. It has been speculated that due to the possible magnetic-field sensing used by these animals to navigate, magnetic anomalies could be at least partially responsible.” Indeed, magnetic anomalies caused when the sun’s corona ejects gigantic bubbles of charged particles out into the solar system can cause problems for Earth-orbiting satellites and power grids when they slam into Earth’s protective magnetosphere. It’s possible they could affect animals, as well,

Iranian woman to be blinded in ‘eye-for-an-eye’ retribution punishment
An Iranian woman is to be blinded in one eye as punishment for an acid attack that left her victim without sight, the country’s Supreme Court has ruled, local Tasnim agency has reported, as cited by Reuters. The unidentified convicted woman allegedly threw acid in the face of her victim, Sima, in the city of Dehdasht two years ago.  “The sentence to blindness in one eye, payment of blood money [compensation], and seven years [of] imprisonment have been confirmed by the highest court,”

Trump: Iran is playing with fire
“Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” [sic] President Obama was to them. Not me!” Trump tweeted.

The true face of liberalism
I like to think I have a decent moral compass. I take no pleasure in disagreeing with the trend. A person is terrified to say he is not liberal. Universities and schools raised us to breathe the notion that non-liberals are racist, backwards, white, old, men, and bigots

Who Knew There Were So Many Homophobic, Racist Xenophobes at Berkeley
Hundreds of liberals rioted at the University of California Berkeley Wednesday night — burning stores, throwing Molotov cocktails and clashing with police.  The rampaging mob forced the university to shut down an event featuring gay conservative firebrand and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.  “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down,” he wrote on Facebook.

Central Italy shakes in new 4.4 magnitude earthquake
According to Italy’s geology experts, Ingv, the first quake at 4:47am measured a magnitude of 4, and a second, bigger tremblor at 5:10am measured 4.4.  The quake had its epicentre close to Monte Cavallo in the Macerata region, 12km away from Preci, Perugia.


Attacker at Paris’ Louvre cried out ‘Allahu Akbar,’ one man wounded

A French soldier on Friday shot and wounded a man armed with a knife after he tried to enter the Louvre museum in central Paris carrying a suitcase, police sources said. The individual cried out “Allahu Akbar” and police believe he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack, Michel Cadot, the head of the French capital’s police force, said on Friday.

Trump warns Israel: Stop announcing new settlements
The White House warned Israel on Thursday to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President Donald Trump’s effort to forge Middle East peace, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post. For the first time, the administration confirmed that Trump is committed to a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict negotiated between the parties.

Ukrainian Jewish leader says community in danger of extinction
The future of Ukraine’s Jewish community “doesn’t look very bright” and is in danger of disappearing altogether, according to one of its leaders, who ended a four-day visit to Israel on Thursday. Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of the Kiev-based Ukrainian Jewish Committee, painted a bleak picture of a a struggling and scattered community to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday afternoon.

Iran mocks Trump in response to White House threat
Iran responded on Thursday to a warning from the Trump administration over its continued ballistic missile testing by mocking the new US president as a ranting extremist that no one takes seriously. A senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said the Islamic Republic would proceed “vigorously” with its missile program, despite the threat from US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn that Iran was officially being put “on notice” over its recent activities.

Mattis warns North Korea of ‘overwhelming’ response to nuclear use
The US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said any use of nuclear weapons by North Korea would be met with an “effective and overwhelming” response. Mr Mattis spoke in South Korea, where he had been reaffirming US support, before flying to Tokyo. He also reconfirmed plans to deploy a US missile defence system in South Korea later this year.

Migrant crisis: EU summit seeks action plan with Libya
European Union leaders are meeting in Malta to discuss how to stem the influx of migrants from North Africa. Boosting the Libyan coastguard and tackling people smugglers are the main proposals. Hundreds of thousands of migrants try to reach Europe each year. Many of them drown while crossing the Mediterranean.

Illegals Urged to ‘Fight back’ Against Immigration Officials
An Austin, Texas, city council member is encouraging illegal immigrants not to comply with federal immigration officials. Addressing concerns over “potential raids of our communities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement” which are rumored to occur this week, district four city council representative Gregorio Casar released an infographic informing illegal aliens how to defy federal law enforcement.

Trump says ‘nothing off the table’ on Iran, as Republicans plan action
President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “nothing is off the table” in dealing with Iran following its test launch of a ballistic missile, and his fellow Republicans in Congress said they would back him up with new sanctions. Trump comment was in response to a question about whether he would consider military options to respond to Tehran, a day after his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, put Iran “on notice.”

North Korea sacks head of secret police amid signs of ‘crack in elite’
North Korea has dismissed its minister of state security, a key aide to the reclusive state’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, South Korea said on Friday, in what a high-profile defector said would be another sign of a “crack in the elite” in Pyongyang if true. Kim Won Hong was removed from office as head of the feared “bowibu”, or secret police, in mid-January apparently on charges of corruption, abuse of power and human rights abuses…

Japan readies package for Trump to help create 700,000 U.S. jobs
Japan is putting together a package it says could generate 700,000 U.S. jobs and help create a $450-billion market, to present to U.S. President Donald Trump next week, government sources familiar with the plans said. The five-part package, to be unveiled when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Trump on Feb. 10 in Washington, envisage investments in infrastructure projects such as high-speed trains and cybersecurity…

Ceasefire violations in Ukraine still too high despite lull in fighting: Germany
The German Foreign Ministry said on Friday that there had been a lull in fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent “hours” but ceasefire breaches were still happening too often. “In the last couple of hours we have seen a decline in military activities there but I want to say clearly that the number of ceasefire violations remains far too high,” a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said.

Trump vows to end prohibition on church political activity
President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to free churches and other tax-exempt institutions of a 1954 U.S. law banning political activity, drawing fire from critics who accused him of rewarding his evangelical Christian supporters and turning houses of worship into political machines. As Trump used a prayer breakfast to take aim at a long-standing statutory barrier between politics and religion called the Johnson Amendment…

Wyoming House passes bill that does away with gun-free zones in schools
On Wednesday, the Wyoming House of Representatives passed House Bill 194 in a landslide vote of 46-14. The nature of the bill, known as “The School Safety and Security Act,” is such that it would allow school districts decide whether or not they would allow their employees to carry on school grounds, provided they have a concealed carry permit.

Trump warns Israel that new settlements ‘may not help’ achieve Middle East peace
The White House on Thursday gently warned Israel that new or expanded settlements in the West Bank “may not be helpful” in achieving a Middle East peace, while insisting it has no “official position on settlement activity.

Here Comes China’s First Home-Built Aircraft Carrier
A report in Defense News states China is making steady progress on its second aircraft carrier, the Shandong. Under construction near Shanghai, Shandong is set to be China’s first domestically produced aircraft carrier and the first to be combat-ready.

US planning additional sanctions on Iran following missile test
The White House is expected to impose additional sanctions on Iranian entities under existing executive orders that predate President Donald Trump, according to sources familiar with the move.

Mattis warns NKorea against any attack on US or its allies
In an explicit warning to North Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday said any use of nuclear weapons by the North on the United States or its allies would be met with what he called an “effective and overwhelming” response.

Firestorm Coming: Draft Of Trump Executive Order May Deny Services To Gay, Transgender People
A draft executive order circulating the Trump administration would dramatically expand legal protections for individuals, organizations and employers on grounds of religious beliefs, and would potentially allow the denial of services to gay and transgender people, unleashing a firestorm of protests across the nation.

Berkeley Blowback: Milo Book Sales Soar 12,740% Overnight
Following the violent anti-free-speech protests in Berkeley, California last night – sparked by cal’s special snowflakes hurt feelings at the potential words that would come out of Milo Yiannopoulos’ mouth during a sold-out event – it appears America’s curiousity has been piqued.


Top Headlines – 2/3/2017

  • Trump Plans to Undo Dodd-Frank, Fiduciary Rule (Read More)
  •  CEOs to meet with Trump amid tensions (Read More)
  • Trump’s CEO Brain Trust Meets Amid Widening Rifts (Read More)
  • Business coalition supports border tax (Read More)
  • Nordstrom winds down relationship with Ivanka Trump brand (Read More)
  • Tillerson Calms Foreign Allies’ Nerves on First Day as Diplomat (Read More)
  • Trump’s Bluntness Unsettles World Leaders (Read More)
  • The One Russian Linking Putin, Erdogan and Trump (Read More)
  • Bank of Japan Whipsaws Markets in Tussle Over Yield Control (Read More)
  • China Tightens Monetary Policy by Raising Money Market Rates (Read More)
  • U.K. Services Growth Cools as Costs Dominate Firms’ Concerns (Read More)
  • Spain’s Banco Popular posts 3.5 bln euros loss on property charges (Read More)
  • Amazon Projects Spending That Concerns Investors (Read More)
  • Italy’s Renzi signals willingness to ditch push for early vote (Read More)
  • Toronto Home Prices Jump 22% as Buyers Contend With Tight Supply (Read More)
  • May Seeks to Ride Brexit Wave Targeting Historic By-Election Win (Read More)
  • ‘Superstar’ Companies Are Eating Into Workers’ Wealth, Study Finds (Read More)
  • Vanity Fair, New Yorker back out of White House Correspondents’ Association events (Read More)
  • Billionaire Magnier Said to Purchase $56 Million U.K. Estate (Read More)
  • Mexico Has Its Own Fiery Populist. Trump May Put Him in Power (Read More)
  • Trump White House Set to Impose Fresh Sanctions on Iran (Read More)
  • Senate advances DeVos’s nomination, setting her up for final vote (Read More)
  • State Lawmakers Are Cracking Down on Protesters (Read More)
  • Snap IPO Will Mint Fortunes for Founders, Two Big Investors (Read More)

Netanyahu to Amona residents: We share your ‘great pain’

Netanyahu announces plans for first new West Bank settlement in 25 years

Theresa May to confront Benjamin Netanyahu about Israeli settlements

Trump warns Israel that new settlements ‘may not help’ achieve Middle East peace

Israel hits back at US: Settlement expansion is not the problem

Danon: US statement on settlements is no Trump U-turn

On Israel-Palestine, Trump might end up another George W. Bush

Knesset speaker pushes US counterpart Ryan on embassy move

Jordan’s King warns Trump against embassy move

Trump vows to stop IS, calls for united front against ‘enemies’

Jewish student at Wisconsin college receives note: ‘You should be gassed’

Attack at the Louvre: Assailant wielding machete, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ stopped by soldier, police say

Yemen al-Qaeda: US says raid was ‘very thought-out process’

Iran tested nuclear-capable cruise missile: German newspaper

US setting up a confrontational approach with Iran

Iran rejects Trump’s ‘baseless, provocative’ missile warning

Khamenei ally says useless for U.S. to threaten Iran over missile test: Fars

Trump says ‘nothing is off the table’ for response to Iran

U.S. to issue new Iran sanctions, opening shot in get-tough strategy: sources

US said set to sanction 25 Iranian entities after missile test

Netanyahu welcomes US warning to Iran on ballistic missile tests

Angela Merkel urges Turkey to ensure freedom of expression ahead of referendum giving President Erdogan greater power

Erdogan tells off Merkel for using phrase ‘Islamist terrorism’

Britain could carry out cyber attacks to defend itself against Russia, suggests Sir Michael Fallon

US Condemns Russia’s ‘Aggressive Actions’ in Eastern Ukraine

Nikki Haley blames Russia for new violence in eastern Ukraine amid speculation over Donald Trump’s intentions towards Moscow

Here Comes China’s First Home-Built Aircraft Carrier

Donald Trump’s defence secretary ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis warns North Korea of ‘effective and overwhelming’ response to nuclear attack

Mattis’ North Korea nuclear weapons warning: How many nukes are in the world and what could they destroy?

McCain calls Australian ambassador to express support after Trump exchange

Trump says his travel ban needed to ensure U.S. religious freedom

Trump vows to protect religious liberty at National Prayer Breakfast

Donald Trump Signals He’ll Push to Expand Religious Rights – Draft executive order would expand religious protections, potentially allowing denial of services to gays

Microsoft Leads Pushback Against Trump Immigration Order

Senate report compares Israeli, US-Mexico barriers

Paul Ryan: Trump Will Have the Funding to Build Border Wall

Obama’s last money shower for the UN: some $9.2 billion

US congress scraps Obama rules on background checks for gun ownership

Trump and Pence Prayed with Gorsuch before His Nomination

Schumer And Leadership Team Refuse To Meet With Gorsuch

‘Can she eat more kale?’ Hordes of liberals want reassurance Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health is good

Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump

Dems Wonder If Perpetual Outrage Hurting Party

Challenge for Super Bowl Commercials: Not Taking Sides, Politically

The Fed that cried wolf: Rates forecast in doubt

Under Trump, astronauts might chart a new path to a familiar place: The moon

January 2017 most active for earthquakes in Mexico in last 10 years

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Mendoza, Argentina

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

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

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 15,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Supermarkets ration vegetables as extreme weather hits supplies – and shortage will last until April

Workers race to clean India Chennai oil spill

Dogs on Marijuana: Not Cool

Trump’s vaccine views are at odds with those of most Americans, study says

Transgender teenager sues former school for discrimination after they refused to let him wear boy’s uniform

Number of alleged child sex offences committed by other children almost doubles

Lawsuit: Lake Zurich High hazing included forced sex acts

Spanish nun sparks outrage with suggestion that Virgin Mary may have had sex

Gary DeMar – The Charge of Replacement Theology is a Cover for Fuzzy Theology

Paula White Tabbed to be Chairman of Trumps Evangelical Council

Flashing Broken Stove Clock Confirms “Rapture Powder” Dream?

There’s A Wolf In the House: 18 Signs of Apostasy

Trump Again Promises Repeal Of Johnson Amendment At Prayer Breakfast

Leah Remini Embracing Catholicism After Scientology

Houston-area students give Nazi salutes while yelling ‘Heil Hitler’

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 09:20 AM PST

A Houston-area school district is investigating a series of photos that appear to show several of its high school students giving Nazi salutes. KPRC-TV reports…

WAR DRUMS: Trump Warns ‘Iran Is Playing with Fire’

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 09:10 AM PST

The Trump administration imposed sanctions against 13 people and a dozen companies — the first punishment since the administration put Iran “on notice” after the…
Trump: ‘As Long as We Have God, We Are Never, Ever Alone’

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 09:06 AM PST

The 45th president of the United States took part in his first-ever National Prayer Breakfast. “Today we continue a tradition begun by President Eisenhower some…
U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran in Wake of Missile Tests

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 09:01 AM PST

The U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on Iran as President Donald Trump seeks to punish Tehran for its ballistic missile program after warning that the Islamic…
DEVELOPING: Navy destroyer sent to patrol amid Iran tensions…

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 08:58 AM PST

The United States has moved a Navy destroyer to off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two U.S….

Machete-wielding man attacks French Soldiers at the Louvre museum

Posted: 03 Feb 2017 08:55 AM PST

A terror probe has been launched in Paris after a machete-wielding man was shot after trying to attack four soldiers outside the Louvre. The suspect…

More than 3,700 dead birds suddenly drop from the sky in Sacramento

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 08:10 PM PST

Wildlife specialists have spent the last three days picking up more than 3,700 dead bird carcasses from the shore in the Yolo Bypass, California. Laurence…
The Supernatural Event That Happened at the Capitol

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 08:03 PM PST

Minister Billye Brim says a supernatural event occurred as she and other pro-Israel advocates gathered in the Capitol to lobby on behalf of the nation….
Global epidemic of Blindness’ from Computer Screens on the horizon

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 07:56 PM PST

Experts warn we face a global epidemic of blindness if we continue to spend hours you spend staring at a screen. The high energy light…
Miami orders jails to comply with ‘sanctuary’ crackdown…

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 07:46 PM PST

Fearing a loss of millions of dollars for defying immigration authorities, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Thursday ordered county jails to comply with federal immigration…
UN ambassador Nikki Haley condemns Russian aggression…

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 07:43 PM PST

The new US ambassador to the United Nations used her inaugural statement to the international body to condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine. “I consider it…
Trump Warns Israel To Stop Announcing New Settlements!

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 07:38 PM PST

The White House warned Israel on Thursday – in a surprising statement – to cease settlement announcements that are “unilateral” and “undermining” of President Donald…
North Korea Warned That US would have ‘effective and overwhelming’ response to nuke attack

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 07:33 PM PST

In an explicit warning to North Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday said any use of nuclear weapons by the North on the…
Trump Warns ‘Nothing off the table’ in response to Iran missile test

Posted: 02 Feb 2017 06:43 PM PST

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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.


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

This post was originally posted on:

https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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*Please note that the preceding blog post content is formed by my personal conviction, values, worldview and opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

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Evangelicals and Trump’s Promise to “Destroy” the Johnson Amendment

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At yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump said, “I will get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that. Remember.”

The 1954 amendment introduced by former Senator and President Lyndon B. Johnson bans all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations—which includes churches and parachurch ministries—from endorsing candidates or participating in political campaigns as an institution or risk losing their tax exempt status.

Members of Congress have already moved to introduce legislation reversing the Johnson Amendment. The Free Speech Fairness Act is thought by many conservative lawmakers and Evangelical leaders to be a fair remedy the to free speech infringements imposed by the Johnson Amendment.

“I am grateful to President Trump for raising this issue to prominence over the last year,” responded Dr. Jerry Johnson, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, in a press statement. “For too long the infamous Johnson Amendment has dangled like a sword above the heads of pastors and ministry leaders, chilling their constitutional free speech rights.”

Hernan Castano pastors a minority church affected by a 2014 subpoena by the city of Houston demanding sermons dealing with homosexuality be turned over for review. As the Christian Post reports, Castano also lends his support to President Trump’s promise to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment.

“We need to repeal the Johnson Amendment because I have seen the faces of pastors, not only the pastors of big congregations but the pastors of smaller congregations,” Costano said. “I have seen the fear of their heart holding them back from speaking truth and I have seen them hold back from what will make a difference for their own people because they do not want the doors of their church buildings closed or their 501(c)(3) removed.”

Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, has previously denounced the Johnson Amendment as a political tool used by secular organizations like the ACLU to “intimidate and silence pastors and churches in addressing the political issues, which often have deeply moral components that face our nation.”

However, Land is cautious in his approach. “I personally don’t believe that churches should be endorsing candidates for office. Instead, we should be looking for candidates that endorse us, our values, our beliefs, our convictions.”

The constitutionality of the Johnson Amendment is debated as a violation of the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Exercise clauses as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. As such, Dr. Land believes decisions of political engagement should be “made by the church and the pastor” and “not one that is coerced or mandated by the government.”

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has argued along the same lines as Land. “While I don’t think a church normally should endorse candidates for office from the pulpit,” stated Moore previously, “Such decisions shouldn’t be dictated by bureaucrats at the IRS or anywhere else. That’s why I support the freedom of speech for churches and pastors, even when they say more or less than what I would say from the pulpit.”

Indeed, I too do not want to see my pastor or church collectively endorse candidates or support particular political campaigns. But yesterday my Methodist colleague Mark Tooley offered historical warnings for why Evangelicals should err on the side of caution in this debate.

Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and a life-long Methodist, offered a fresh reminder that neither American democracy nor American Christianity would be served by politicized churches regularly wading into partisan policy debates. “The institutional church has no historic mandate for routinely engaging in political specifics such as candidate endorsements or backing legislation,” wrote Tooley in an email.

Christian citizens might be called to work in specific areas of politics, that’s true. But if the institutional Church becomes politicized and partisan, Tooley explained it will lose its effectiveness for spreading the Gospel. We need only look at the history of the Mainline Protestant denominations to learn such a vital lesson.

“The sad history of the once predominant Mainline Protestant establishment,” wrote Tooley, “whose fall is partly due to its exchanging the Gospel for politic zeal, should be a warning to us all.”

Source: Evangelicals and Trump’s Promise to “Destroy” the Johnson Amendment

ERLC Promotes Marxist “Racial Justice” This Sunday

This Sunday is “Racial Reconciliation Sunday,” as bequeathed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. As a part of that effort, they have released free bulletin inserts to advertise the theme-day and promote the ERLC.

The insert begins with a quotation from Martin Luther King, who they said “famously spoke of the ‘fierce urgency of now’ in the pursuit of racial justice.

Matthew Hall, the author of the ERLC piece, writes, “While his critics seemed to assume that the ‘wheels of inevitability’ would bring about progress, King recognized that the call to direct action was one deeply rooted in a realistic and biblical vision of the world and God’s purposes.” Research into the doctrines and beliefs of King might reveal a less-than-adequate “biblical vision,” but we can’t really blame the ERLC for invoking King’s name and that’s not the point of this update. The point, rather, is to apprise you of the term “racial justice” as repeatedly used by the ERLC, its origins and meaning.

Whereas racial equality is a Biblical and God-honoring mandate for Christian cultures, “racial justice” is a term steeped in, born out of, saturated with and irrevocably linked to marxist social progressivism. 

“Racial Justice” is defined as “a proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all” (source link). And “racial justice” is repeatedly written of as a godly goal of the ERLC in their insert they’ve designed for this Sunday (pictured below). Frankly, the insert looks like something that one could expect to see in a American Baptist or United Church of Christ bulletin.

A Biblical worldview aims to declare the equality of people from all races and inherent equality in their design before God and their legal standing under the civil magistrate. The concept of “racial justice” demands the equitable “power” and “outcome” for all people. Conservatives think of equality in terms of opportunities and social progressives think of equality in terms of outcomes. This is why those who incite racial disunity like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will never meet their desired end; the end does not come until all individuals have an equal share of the economic pie.

Pivotal to the promotion of “racial justice” is the notion of institutionalized and systemic racism, and the diminishing of individual responsibility. The ERLC has regularly promoted the idea that institutionalized and systemic racism exists in America over the course Russell Moore’s tenure (source link). This systemic and institutionalized racism can be proven, Moore and other progressives argue, because there are demographic “inequities” that make certain ethnicities “disadvantaged.” This class and race warfare, ironically enough, leads to the exact opposite of racial harmony and reconciliation.

The fact is, conservative organizations simply do not talk about “racial justice” because they recognize that it is a Marxist catchword that prevents racial harmony and promotes social progressive political theory designed to “level the playing field,” but ends up perpetuating mass poverty and government dependency. Russell Moore’s ERLC continues to use the term racial justice frequently nonetheless. However, the ACLU, United Methodist Women, Bernie Sanders and other progressivist outfits do use the term racial justice with frequency because it is from their lexicon.

So-called “racial justice” is fundamentally opposed to a Biblical worldview, and is a part of the field of Marxist “social justice” (read here to understand the link between social justice and Marxism). And simply put, the SBC’s new Moore-led ERLC has absolutely no problem with social justice.

Moore and his defenders, no doubt, will probably argue that he’s just slyly adopting the terminology of the left, that he means the term differently than the way everyone else uses it, and that its his way of “engaging the culture.”

Either that, or the former Democratic staffer is exactly who we’ve been warning you he is…a social progressive trojan horse in the SBC.

Source: ERLC Promotes Marxist “Racial Justice” This Sunday

February 3, 2017 This ‘n’ That

  • Here’s an interesting new effort from The Master’s Seminary.
  • I’ve been craving brownies, so if anyone would like to make me a batch of the first chocolate brownies, I would happily take them.
  • Bill Barrick talks about the attributes of godly leaders.
  • The story of Lydia’s conversion is one of my favorites.
  • I found this post by a friend of mine to be so encouraging. God is so wonderfully faithful, isn’t he?
  • Here’s another faithful sermon from Pastor Alan Sherban.
  • So, um, why is my copy not in my mailbox yet? Friends who work at GTY, what have you been doing?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • The Bible and tradition in Roman Catholicism.
  • If it’s possible, I am definitely a little too excited for this.
  • I think you’ll find these baptism testimonies to be an encouragement!
  • I may have posted this a few months ago, but it’s worth sharing again:

Source: This ‘n’ That

Weekly Watchman for 02/03/2017

Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud

We discuss the continuing meltdown of the Left, their reaction to Donald Trump’s election, his early policies, and Supreme Court Justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Also, last night, hate filled riots broke out at California Berkeley, making Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, Jim Wallis, the liberal media, and Hillary Clinton (to name a few) proud. Plus, Mike’s commentary.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Controversy Within The Southern Baptist Convention
Today, we cover a controversy within The Southern Baptist Convention over the building of a Muslim mosque in New Jersey. A city has not approved the building of this mosque, but the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board has filed an amicus brief with the court supporting a lawsuit against the city on behalf of Muslims. One pastor has resigned from the Mission Board citing a contradiction between the Board’s action and its mission of spreading the gospel.

In our first segment, we check in with Tina Griffin of Counter Culture Mom. Tina will point out some good role models for young people to look up to, and we’ll also talk about the need for Christians to make a statement to Hollywood by boycotting much of what they offer at the box office.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Nancy Pelosi: We’re Doing God’s Work
There are many professing Christians who selectively reference the Bible to justify their personal beliefs and worldview; yet they completely ignore the Bible when it contradicts other personal beliefs. This is one form of hypocrisy creeping into the professing church that needs to be addressed.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more


Messing with Our Minds

The Bible warns of a coming one world government and religion so deceptive that if possible, even the elect would be deceived. There are many speculations on what this one world religion will look like. Mike LeMay has written a new book The Death of Christian Thought where he identifies Humanism, self-worship, as this coming one world religion. He also explains that we are being slowly indoctrinated into it every day. In Matthew 7, Jesus warns that many who think they will be going to heaven will instead be cast into eternal separation from God. One reason Mike wrote his book is to address professing Christians to heed Jesus’ words.

Ha also asks some challenging questions about how culture is shaping our thoughts and worldview:

How are we being indoctrinated and who is behind this devious plot?

How can we reject Humanism and stay faithful to God and His Word in these increasingly dangerous times?

Why are a growing number of church fellowships ineffective in sharing the gospel and equipping believers for the work of His kingdom?

And why are an increasing number of Christian couples not enjoying the fruit of strong, healthy marriages such as f love, joy , good communication, mutual submission and peace? These are a few of the questions Mike tackles in his book and we discuss during today’s program.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

Read more

The Hard Truth About Mike Bickle and IHOP

PROGRAM SEGMENTS:

Examining the Theology and ADMITTED False Manifestations of the Spirit of Mike Bickle and IHOP with Amy Spreeman and Steven Kozar

For further research/articles mentioned on this broadcast:

The Mike Bickle and IHOP Cornucopia of False Teaching, Bridal Weirdness and 24/7 Confusion (includes the videos featured on the show)

What to make of the Francis Chan/IHOP union

Francis Chan’s not afraid of the big bad wolf, says, “I still love Mike Bickle! 

Signs and Wonders” Training Camp for Kids

Is IHOP a cult? Katie’s intern’s story 

NAR Prophets claim the three streams will be one

Ronnie Floyd and IHOP Now Bringing Catholic Track

IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle on “fake” and genuine Holy Spirit manifestations

Mike Bickle’s open vision about America (VIDEO)

Southern Baptist Convention president to speak at IHOP-KC’s “Onething” gathering?

The Six Hallmarks of a NAR Church

The Bill Johnson Cornucopia of False Teaching, Bible-Teaching and General Absurdity

The Christianity 101 Series on Fighting for the Faith

The Hyper-Charismatic House of Cards: Let It Fall and Be Free

 

Amy Spreeman writes for the Berean Examiner and the blog Berean Research 

Steven Kozar writes for the Messed Up Church and is the “Master Curator” of The Museum of Idolatry

Source: The Hard Truth About Mike Bickle and IHOP

UC Berkeley riots against free speech could end subsidies for left-wing colleges

WINTERY KNIGHT

For a long time now, conservative speakers have been being blocked by left-wing students and protestors. At UC Berkeley, a leftist seminary, things have spilled over into fascism and violence.

You can review some photos of the violence, vandalism and rioting in this post from the Daily Signal.

Here’s one:

Rioters smash windows at a T-Mobile store during a protest against campus speaker Rioters smash windows at a T-Mobile store during a protest against campus speaker

(Photo credit: Photo: Noah Berger/EPA/Newscom)

Here’s an example of the violence, reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

A female Donald Trump supporter was pepper-sprayed on Wednesday night by an anti-Trump protester while she was giving an on-camera interview at the University of California, Berkeley.

“I’m looking to make a statement by just being here, and I think the protesters are doing the same,” Kiara Robles told KGO-TV. “Props to the ones who are doing it non-violently, but I think that’s a very rare thing indeed.”

Within…

View original post 588 more words

There’s A Wolf In the House: 18 Signs of Apostasy

There is a danger that has come into the sheepfold; apostates have come in and they probably have always been here. However, with the prevalence of social media, their influence has spread and it is more important than ever before to recognize the marks of an apostate, a person who at one time knew and maybe even taught the truths of the Bible but walked away or a person who consistently teaches false doctrines to the Church. Jude, the Lord’s youngest human brother, points out several signs of an apostate and I want to draw your attention to them.

(This may be a different post than what you are used to from Pulpit & Pen but I write from a primarily pastoral approach so I hope it will be helpful to you.)

Book of Jude (HCSB),

Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:
To those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ.

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.

Right away we begin to see the characteristics of the Apostates that Jude warns about…

1.) Apostates are ungodly (v. 4)

When the New Testament writers say that a person is ungodly, it does not simply mean that the person does not know God, it also means that he does not have a character that is consistent with the revealed Person and Nature of God.

2.) They are morally perverted (v. 4)

In the NIV, promiscuity is translated as “license to commit immorality.” Among other things, these apostates teach that there is no need to struggle to overcome sin. The Greek word rendered as contend, or contend earnestly (NKV, NASB) is agonizomai from which we derive the word agonize. Because our sinful nature will not easily be transformed into Christlikeness, it can seem agonizing, at times to give up that sin in order to be more like Christ.

Many, many apostates teach instead that God will give you all the things you want: health, wealth, possessions, influence, etc and all you have to do is “sow the best offering that you can” without any call to true repentance or humility. Examples of such teachers include but are not limited to Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Jesse Duplantis, Rod Parsley, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Mark Chironna and scads of others. One has even gone so far as to say that anyone who tells you to deny yourself is from Satan. These ignore the command of Jesus to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).

In truth, you do not even have to teach grace as a license to sin however you please to turn grace into license, all you have to do is refuse to teach the truth of God’s grace, that it saves you from sin and its power not simply that it saves you from hell. And just in case you were going to object and say that such things are not perverted, the definition of perverse is something that is contrary to the generally accepted standard or practice. Since the Bible is our standard, anything contradicting the Bible or anything taught in the pulpit that does not match Scripture is, by definition, perverted.

3.) Apostates Deny Christ (v. 4)

Ultimately, this leads to a denial of Christ; the Jesus taught and embraced by the apostates simply is not the Jesus of the Bible.

Apostates: Past and Present

Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling. In the same way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them committed sexual immorality and practiced perversions, just as angels did, and serve as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Nevertheless, these dreamers likewise defile their flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme glorious ones.

4.) They defile the flesh (v.7& 8)

As we are seeing today, apostates defile the flesh in ungodly and unbiblical ways. Some of my evangelical brethren will immediately point to homosexuality but what about other sins: drunkenness, gluttony (I think I have only heard one sermon on gluttony in 25 years), fornication, domestic violence (yes the Bible actually addresses this topic which I have never in my life heard addressed in the pulpit).

Defiling the flesh refers primarily to sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:18) which is a sin against one’s own body, but this is not exclusive. Remember that Jude’s oldest half-brother, the Lord Jesus Himself, even went so far as to equate contemplating the sin with the actual sin itself (Matthew 5:27-28). When is the last time you heard a sermon about sexual lust (lust of the flesh), greed (lust of the eyes), or counteracting the boastful pride of life by being poor in spirit?

5.)Apostates are Rebellious (v. 8)

By not teaching what the Bible actually says, these apostates live in and encourage rebellion in others. A pastor once told me that 1% out of submission is equal to being 100% in rebellion against God. To deny a doctrine, the reality of hell for example (Rob Bell) and to teach that denial to others is absolute rebellion against God. To refuse to yield to the Authority of Scripture is to refuse to yield to the Author. They go hand in hand; authority entails submission.

6.) Apostates Revile holy angels (v. 8)

This is a mark against Pentecostals if I ever saw one. Growing up Pentecostal, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen pastors “bind” satan or command him to do this or that; both of which are patently absurd. If Michael, the highest angel (archangel means chief angel) dares not to speak against the devil, what in the world possesses a “Christian” to do so? There is no biblical justification to think you can command an angel to do anything. Even fallen angels serve at the pleasure of God Almighty and Him alone. They advance His agenda and they fulfill His sovereign decrees and so, not matter how much your favorite teacher might tell you otherwise, you cannot command them to do anything and it is ridiculous to think the opposite.

7.) Essentially, Apostates are ignorant (v. 8)

The behavior we have discussed so far demonstrates and absolute willful ignorance of both the Things of God and of His Person. To know Him as He is demands that one is to submit to Him. Look to Revelation chapter one and see the reaction of John when he saw just a picture of the Resurrected Christ and you will see what kind of response a true knowledge of God the Son results in.

Yet Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses’ body, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these people blaspheme anything they don’t understand. What they know by instinct like unreasoning animals—they destroy themselves with these things.

8.) Apostates are continually having vain ideas (vs. 8-10)

Continuing with the idea of ignorance, apostates have vain/foolish ideas. Word of Faith teachers, for example, tell you that you can name and claim your promise from Scripture and activate a response from God based on your faith. This is hubris and is no different than the idea of “binding satan.” I have heard them justify this nonsense by saying all the promises of God are yea and amen. That is only half the truth and is therefore not the truth. All of God’s promises are yea and amen but only in so far as to the person(s) they apply to. I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you is a very true promise but it only applies to the Nation of Israel for that is whom God made the promise to.

It is utter vanity and foolishness to presume anything upon Him Who sits upon the Throne. Do not allow yourself to mistake God’s patience for tolerance. Every person living will have their appointed time before the Throne; the Righteous will see the Bema (the Judgment Seat for rewards) and the wicked and apostates will see the Great White Throne as Heaven’s court dispenses eternal justice.

9.) Apostasy leads to self-destruction (v. 10)

What is the natural end result of apostasy? Self-destruction. God does not have to directly do anything to these, all He has to do is say to them, “thy will be done” and step aside. How many ministries have been damaged and even destroyed by ministers who thought they could get away with this or that? I would list names but that is impractical.

I can say from personal experience, getting your own way can be deadly, to your soul as well as your body. After all, there is a way which seemeth right unto a man and the end thereof is destruction. (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25)

11 Woe to them! For they have traveled in the way of Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and have perished in Korah’s rebellion.

The Apostates’ Doom

12 These are the ones who are like dangerous reefs[e] at your love feasts. They feast with you, nurturing only themselves without fear. They are waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn—fruitless, twice dead, pulled out by the roots; 13 wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shameful deeds; wandering stars for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved forever! 14 And Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them: Look! The Lord comes[f] with thousands of His holy ones 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict them[g] of all their ungodly acts that they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against Him. 16 These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.

Apostates are…

10.) Grumblers (v. 16)
11.) Fault finders (v. 16)
12.) Self-seeking (v. 16)
13.) Arrogant speakers (v. 16)
14.) Flatterers (v. 16)

I will deal with all of these together: they are person centric and reflect the oldest sin in the book, pride. Pride is that sin which caused Lucifer to lose his place in heaven and it will do you the same favor. Pride looks at another, finds his/her deficiency and then exalts self because you don’t have that particular deficiency. It causes one to puff up and think of oneself more than he/she really is. Pride, the oldest known sin, is the truest and surest mark of the apostate. No matter what other signs you see, the Christian that demonstrates pride is on treacherous ground and in real danger of going where one does not want to be, apostasy.

17 But you, dear friends, remember what was predicted by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 they told you, “In the end time there will be scoffers walking according to their own ungodly desires.”

15.) In a sense, apostates are mockers (v. 18)

2 Peter 3:4, They will say where is the promise of His coming. I would add to that, they will say things like no serious Christian believes in Hell or, no loving, tolerant Christian rejects gays, or they will dismiss the creation account as a myth/a metaphor.

Mark it out, every single apostate has some passage or doctrine that he does not like and by dismissing it, they make a mockery of God…for now.

19 These people create divisions and are unbelievers, not having the Spirit.

16.) Cause division (v. 19)
17.) Worldly-minded
18.) Without the Spirit(v. 19)

Apostates cause division in the church because they are worldly minded and they are worldly minded because they do not have the Holy Spirit and they do not have the Holy Spirit because they are worldly minded.

It’s a vicious cycle once you walk away from the truth of Scripture and only the Holy Spirit can bring you back.

Exhortation and Benediction

20 But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, expecting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. 22 Have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; have mercy on others but with fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. 24 Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

Beloved, you may be reading this and say that you have seen some of these signs in your own life. That is both good and bad news. It is bad in that a propensity toward apostasy may exist but it is good in that the Holy Spirit is doing His work of convicting sin. What should you do if you see signs of apostasy in your life or if you are following a False Teacher? Repent right away. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you, agree with Him immediately and confess that sin. He will restore to communion with Him and you can continue to grow in grace.

Until next time, ahava v’shalom (love and peace)

[Guest Post by Matt Sherro of Exploring the Truth]

Source: There’s A Wolf In the House: 18 Signs of Apostasy

February 3, 2017: Verse of the day

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28:12 a ladder … angels of God were ascending and descending. A graphic portrayal of the heavenly Lord’s personal involvement in the affairs of earth, and here especially as they related to divine covenant promises in Jacob’s life (vv. 13–15). This dream was to encourage the lonely traveler. God’s own appointed angelic messengers ensured the carrying out of His will and plans. More than likely, the angels traversed a stairway rather than a ladder.

MacArthur Study Bible

28:12 As he rests overnight, Jacob has a dream, which centers on a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. The Hebrew term translated “ladder” could possibly denote a stairway (see ESV footnote) similar to those found on ancient ziggurats (see illustration). What matters most is not the precise shape of this structure but its purpose; it provides a bridge between heaven and earth, revealing that God is still committed to making the earth his dwelling place (see Introduction: History of Salvation Summary). Jesus identifies himself as the ladder linking earth and heaven (John 1:51). While human beings want to ascend to heaven (as reflected in the Tower of Babel story, Genesis 11), God is interested in making the earth his temple-city.

ESV Study Bible

28:12 a ladder. Probably a vast stone ramp with steps. The phrase “top of it reached to heaven” recalls the description of the tower of Babel (11:4). Jacob may have seen a ziggurat. See notes 11:1–9 and 11:5.

earth … heaven … ascending and descending. Jacob’s dream of a meeting place between heaven and earth points forward to Jesus Christ, the God-Man who reunites heaven and earth (John 1:51 and note). Through Christ, the only “mediator between God and men” (1 Tim. 2:5), we have access to the Father (Eph. 2:18).

Reformation Study Bible

February 3, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

February 3

Responding to God’s Glory

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the sameimage from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18

 

As we glorify God, we begin to grow. Because of the great truths revealed in the New Testament, believers can now view God’s glory more clearly than those under the law could. As we do, we grow spiritually, moving from one level of glory to the next.

At the end of today’s verse, notice that Paul says the Holy Spirit is the one who energizes our growth. The Holy Spirit infuses our lives with His power, taking us through levels of glory toward the image of Christ.

Don’t become preoccupied with the intricacies of the Holy Spirit’s work or with the details of your own activity. Make sure you focus primarily on the glory of the Lord.[1]


February 3 God Is Spirit

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24

✧✧✧

God is a person, but He has no physical characteristics.

As we begin our study of God, we must understand first of all that He is a person, not some unknowable cosmic force. In His Word, God is called Father, Shepherd, Friend, Counselor, and many other personal names. God is always referred to as “He,” not “it.” He also has personal characteristics: He thinks, acts, feels, and speaks.

We will learn three aspects of God’s person in the next several days: God is spirit, God is one, and God is three. First, God has no physical body as we have: “God is spirit” (John 4:24), and “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). Paul says He is “invisible” (1 Tim. 1:17). God represented Himself as light, fire, and cloud in the Old Testament and in the human form of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. But such visible revelations did not reveal the totality or fullness of God’s nature.

You may wonder about verses like Psalm 98:1, “His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him,” and Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place.” These descriptions are called anthropomorphisms, from the Greek words for “man” and “form.” They picture God as though He were a man because God has chosen to describe Himself in a way we can comprehend. If He did not accommodate His revelation to our finite level, we would have no hope of understanding Him. You should not take anthropomorphisms literally, however. Otherwise you will have a false view of God that robs Him of His real nature and His true power. Look at Psalm 91:4: “Under His wings you may seek refuge.” God is certainly not a bird, and “God is not a man” (Num. 23:19). He is spirit.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that He has enabled physical creatures like us to know Him.

For Further Study: Even though God is invisible, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” (Rom. 1:20). Read the response of a godly man to God’s natural revelation in Psalm 104.[2]


FEBRUARY 3

WE ARE NOT ALONE

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

—Joshua 1:9

We are each like a little child lost in a crowded market, who has strayed but a few feet from his mother, yet because she cannot be seen the child is inconsolable. So we try by every method devised by religion to relieve our fears and heal our hidden sadness; but with all our efforts we remain unhappy still, with the settled despair of men alone in a vast and deserted universe.

But for all our fears we are not alone. Our trouble is that we think of ourselves as being alone. Let us correct the error by thinking of ourselves as standing by the bank of a full flowing river; then let us think of that river as being none else but God Himself. We glance to our left and see the river coming full out of our past; we look to the right and see it flowing on into our future. But we see also that it is flowing through our present. And in our today it is the same as it was in our yesterday, not less than, nor different from, but the very same river, one unbroken continuum, undiminished, active and strong as it moves sovereignly on into our tomorrow. POM006-007

Thank You, Lord, that I can have confidence in Your unchanging Presence. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, I know I am not alone. Amen. [3]


February 3

Qualities of Fishermen/Evangelists

He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”—Matt. 4:19

Our Lord did not merely command His new disciples to become “fishers of men,” He promised to help them catch people’s souls. He would remind them many times that they would never be effective disciplers—or successful disciples at all—if they didn’t rely on His power: “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Certain qualities that make a person a good fisherman also can make Christians good evangelists. Consider the following four fisherman traits and how they can apply to evangelism.

First, a fisherman knows he often must be patient to locate a school of catchable fish. Second, a good fisherman must have perseverance in going from place to place, sometimes repeatedly, until he finds the fish. Third, effective fishermen have good instincts about being in the right place at the right time for dropping their line or net. Poor timing has lost many catches, both of fish and people. Finally, a good fisherman stays out of sight as much as possible. Similarly, the effective evangelist does not get in the way of his or her witnessing, so as not to be a hindrance to sinners coming to Christ.

Following Christ’s example and realizing the qualities of good evangelists, our churches must not only call us to evangelism but continually encourage us in that calling (cf. Matt. 28:18–19).

ASK YOURSELF
How much “fishing” have you been doing lately? This is not a job for the trained and educated but for all who have been called by God into His service. You won’t always come away with a catch, but you can know you were faithful to drop your line into the water.[4]

FEBRUARY 3

GOD REVEALS HIMSELF

I saw also the Lord…Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone.

Isaiah 6:1, 5

 

I often wonder how so many people can live with a continuing hope that they will in some way be able to commune with God through their intellectual capacities. When will they realize that if they could possibly “discover” God they realize that with the intellect, they would be equal to God?

Isaiah is a dramatic example of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. Isaiah could have tried for a million years to reach God by means of his intellect. But brainpower is not the means by which we find God!

Brethren, it is true that all of us would still be far from God if He had not graciously and in love revealed Himself to us. In the space of a short second of time, the Lord who loves us can reveal Himself to the willing spirit of a man or woman. It is only then that an Isaiah, or any one of us, can say with humble assurance, “I know Him!”

A committed Christian, then, should have upon him an element that is beyond psychology—beyond all natural laws and into spiritual laws!

 

Lord, thank You for what we can know about You through the various encounters we read in the Bible. Lord, I want to be prepared in my heart to hear Your voice when You speak.[5]


February 3 The Joy of Exalting Christ

“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus . . .” (Phil. 1:1).

✧✧✧

If exalting Christ is your goal, anything that furthers the gospel will bring you joy.

Next to the Lord Himself, Paul is perhaps the greatest illustration that joy is not necessarily related to one’s circumstances.

Paul wrote to the Philippians from a prison cell, and yet he spoke of joy and contentment. His life was a series of difficulties and life-threatening situations (see 2 Cor. 11:23–33). In fact the Lord, shortly after confronting him on the road to Damascus, said, “[Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15–16). Yet, in every situation Paul found cause for rejoicing.

His compelling desire to exalt Christ drove him to endure trial after trial. When Christ was exalted, Paul rejoiced. That was evident in Philippi where, after a brief ministry in which God redeemed a businesswoman named Lydia and expelled demons from a slave girl, Paul and Silas were falsely accused, unjustly beaten, and thrown into prison. Even that didn’t stifle their joy, for “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:25).

That was such a powerful testimony to the joy of the Lord that soon afterward the jailer and his entire family believed the gospel and were saved.

Even when imprisonment prevented Paul from ministering as effectively as he desired, and when others usurped his apostleship and preached Christ out of envy and strife, he remained undaunted (Phil. 1:18). His circumstances were secondary to the priority of exalting Christ.

Is that your perspective? It can be! If your priority is to exalt Christ in every circumstance, whatever furthers that purpose will bring you joy.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Lord to help you maintain the priority of exalting Christ in every area of your life. ✧ If you feel envy or resentment toward others who proclaim the gospel (Phil. 1:15–17), confess that, and learn to rejoice whenever Christ is exalted.

For Further Study: Read Exodus 15:1–21 and Psalm 99. How did Moses, Miriam, and the psalmist exalt the Lord?[6]


FEBRUARY 3

TO BE CHRISTLIKE: WALK IN THE SPIRIT

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come…He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

JOHN 16:13, 14

If we are going to reproduce Christ on earth and be Christlike and show forth Christ, what is our greatest need?

We must have the Spirit of Christ!

If we are going to be the children of God, we must have the Spirit of the Father to breathe in our hearts and breathe through us. That is why we must have the Spirit of God! That is why the church must have the Spirit of Christ!

The Christian church is called to live above her own ability. She is called to live on a plane so high that no human being can live like that of his own ability and power. The humblest Christian is called to live a miracle, a life that is a moral and spiritual life with such intensity and such purity that no human being can do it—only Jesus Christ can do it. He wants the Spirit of Christ to come to His people—an invasion from above affecting us mentally, morally and spiritually!

The Holy Spirit brings the wonderful mystery that is God to us, and presents Him to the human spirit. The Spirit is our Teacher, and if He does not teach us, we never can know. He is our Illuminator, and if He does not turn on the light, we never can see. He is the Healer of our deaf ears, and if He does not touch our ears, we never can hear!

The Holy Ghost bestows upon us a beatitude beyond compare. He asks nothing except that we be willing to listen, willing to obey![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 46). 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. 42). 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. 46). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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

An ungodly focus

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

6 Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” Genesis 43:6 (NASB)

Unforgiveness is poison for the Soul as it ensnares those who refuse to forgive by binding them into the prison of bitterness. This world is not a peaceful, easy, benign place. It is fallen. The world system is the product of Man’s rebellion against God. There is war. There is crime. There is oppression. People wrong other people. They place their wants and desires and perceived needs ahead of the wants and desires of others. The world system is marked by people pursuing their own no matter who gets hurt. The Christian is called to respond to the hurts and wrongs done to them in a vastly different way from the ways of the world.

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