Daily Archives: March 4, 2017

March 4, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report

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Top News – 3/4/2017

The New DNC Chair Had a Hillary Clinton-Esque Email Scandal
A more apt comparison to Clinton would be to the newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez, who as a lawyer at President Obama’s Department of Justice frequently used his personal email account to conduct agency business. The investigation concluded that Perez “likely violated both the spirit and letter of the Federal Records Act.”

‘The Lebanese Army will fight alongside Hezbollah in a war with Israel’
In the past two years a new challenge has risen on the northern front, should Israel go to war with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Army would fight on Hezbollah’s side, Maariv the sister publication of The Jerusalem Post reported on Friday. According to Israeli security officials, unlike Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a future war would feature the Lebanese Armed Forces on Hezbollah’s side.

Dutch anti-Semitism watchdog asks government to ban ‘Hamas front’ conference
A watchdog on anti-Semitism in the Netherlands petitioned the government to ban an upcoming Rotterdam conference that it said was organized by Hamas-affiliated groups. The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, on Friday asked Justice Minister Stef Blok and Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk to stop the conference, titled “Palestinians in Europe,” which is slated for April 15.

China to increase military spending by 7% in 2017
China says it will increase military spending by about 7% this year, just days after Donald Trump outlined a boost to the US defence budget. The scheduled announcement was made ahead of the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing. China has been modernising its armed forces recently as its economy expands.

Erdogan anger as Germany-Turkey war of words escalates
A row between Ankara and Berlin over a series of cancelled Turkish political rallies in Germany is continuing to escalate. On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Berlin of “aiding and harbouring” terror. He said a German-Turkish journalist detained by Turkey was a “German agent” and a member of the outlawed Kurdish militant group, the PKK.

Jordan executes 15 prisoners, 10 convicted of terror charges
Jordan has executed 15 prisoners, including 10 convicted of terrorism charges, officials say. The prisoners, all Jordanians, were hanged at dawn on Saturday in a jail south of Amman, Information Minister Muhammad Momani said. The five not charged with terrorism offences had been convicted of rape and sexual assault.

U.S. Navy, Iran ships have close encounter in Middle East
A U.S. Navy surveillance ship had a close encounter with an Iranian navy frigate in the Middle East, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports. The frigate came within 150 yards of the USNS Invincible on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, just south of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The gulf separates Oman from southeastern Iran.

U.S. Airport Pat-Downs Are About to Get More Invasive
While few have noticed, U.S. airport security workers long had the option of using five different types of physical pat-downs at the screening line. Now those options have been eliminated and replaced with a single universal approach. This time, you will notice. The new physical touching—for those selected to have a pat-down—will be be what the federal agency officially describes as a more “comprehensive” physical screening, according to a Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

Cellphone Radiation Exposure Fact Sheet Draft Released By California Health Officials
After keeping it hidden for years, California’s Department of Public Health has released a draft document outlining health officials’ concerns about cellphone radiation exposure…Among the information in the document, which is titled simply, Cell Phones and Health, are summaries of scientific studies that suggest long-term cellphone use may increase the risk of brain cancer, among other health problems.

EU to weigh high-level talks with Israel
European Union foreign ministers are to discuss whether to hold high-level talks with Israel soon amid concern over its settlement policy and commitment to a two-state solution, diplomats said Friday. The diplomats said the EU must be clear in its dealings with Israel, especially given the US administration’s unclear position on the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

North Korea Continues To Build Its Nuclear Arsenal
North Korea has aggressively continued its nuclear advancements, which have threatened its neighbors and the West, despite receiving tough sanction from the United Nations. Kim Jong Un’s regime’s defiant testing of nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles increased last year when the reclusive country launched two nuclear missiles, one in January and the other in September.

TSA Launches “Invasive” Pat-Downs With “More Intimate Contact Than Before”
The TSA is introducing “more rigorous” and “comprehensive” physical inspections at airports around the country. The security agency is replacing its existing pat-downs with a single, universal method which “may involve more intimate contact than before.”

Mark Levin to GOP: Investigate Obama’s ‘Silent Coup’ vs. Trump
Radio host Mark Levin used his Thursday evening show to outline the known steps taken by President Barack Obama’s administration in its last months to undermine Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and, later, his new administration.

64 ways Obama is sabotaging Trump
It might seem outrageous and unprecedented that a newly departed president would devote himself to overthrowing his successor, but that is exactly what a mountain of growing evidence appears to indicate. “Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment,” the Daily Mail reported Wednesday. The source also told the paper that Obama loathes President Trump and considers his presidency illegitimate. “Obama is dismayed at the way Trump is tearing down his legacy – Obamacare, the social safety net and the welcome mat for refugees he put in place,” the source told the paper.

Soros-Tied Obama Lawyers Form Group to Battle Trump
Further evidence of Barack Obama’s close association with efforts to oppose President Trump has emerged: a group of former top lawyers for the Obama administration have formed an organization aimed at utilizing legal advocacy methods to oppose Trump’s policies.

Flashback: 30 Senate Democrats Met With Russian Diplomats To Advance Obama’s Iran Deal
The Democrats are obsessed with Russian conspiracy theories. It seems that only Democrats are allowed to speak with Russia because nobody complained back in 2015 when 30 Senate Democrats met with Russian Diplomats in order to advance Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

UN chief urged to add IDF to blacklist
A network of humanitarian organizations urged the United Nations to add the IDF to the blacklist of countries and armed groups responsible for grave violations against children. Formed in 2001, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict released its annual report ahead of the release of the United Nations’ annual report on children and armed conflict.


The Death of Discernment – Eric Barger

Eric Barger on The Shack

I wish I could report that he allayed my apprehensions, but instead I went away convinced that The Shack is more than just a little offbeat but is, as Dr. Albert Mohler pegged it during his May 26, 2008, radio broadcast, “blatant heresy.”

Yes, The Shack is indeed a novel. And many will wonder what could be wrong, since it is identified as a Christian book and authored by a man who claims to be a Christian.

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Limbaugh Warns of Silent Coup Against Trump

Rush Limbaugh said the real scandal is that a “silent coup” is underway against President Trump.

“There is the execution of an attempt at a peaceful coup,” said the radio talk show host on Friday. “A peaceful coup to oust Donald Trump is what we are witnessing. It’s been orchestrated by Obama and the Democrat Party. It’s that simple.”

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Obama’s Bigshot Syndrome: Obama and Valarie Jarrett to mount and “insurgency” against President Trump from new home in DC?

From the hyper-liberal columnist for the Village Voice

This is Obama totally. He can’t step down. He can’t let the country heal. He must be “remembered”. He must be the big shot.

The Obama’s said they were sticking around DC so that their daughter could finish school. We now know that was a ruse. (This was always the assumption.) Obama wants to stick around to complain and according to this report from the Daily Mail “according to a close family friend,

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Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 03/04/2017

 

UK Prosecutor During Trial That Found Preachers Guilty: ‘Jesus Is Only Way to God Cannot Be Truth’   Feb 28, 2017 06:01 pm

BRISTOL, UK — The U.K. prosecutor who presented the government’s case last week against two preachers who were found guilty today of “intentionally alarming” the public with their open-air preaching had argued before the court that the men’s speech declaring Jesus as the only way “cannot be a truth.” “To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a…

Continue reading the story

Disney Airs its First-Ever ‘Gay’ Cartoon Kiss   Mar 02, 2017 12:37 pm

The popular children’s entertainment company Disney aired its first-ever same-sex kissing scene on Monday during a broadcast of its television cartoon “Star vs. the Forces of Evil,” raising concerns from Christian and family groups who are calling upon parents to kiss Disney goodbye. The episode included a scene where main character Star and her friend Marco,…

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California Man Undergoes Over 100 Procedures in Quest to Transition Into ‘Genderless’ Alien   Mar 03, 2017 11:44 am

Photo Credit: Instagram/Vinny Ohh LOS ANGELES — A 22-year-old man in California says that he has spent $50,000 and undergone over 100 procedures in his quest to transition into a “genderless” alien. Vinny Ohh works as a make-up artist and part-time model. Because he felt like an outcast during his teenage years, he was motivated to pursue various facial…

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Disney ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Remake Director Reveals New Film Features ‘Gay Moment’   Mar 02, 2017 06:01 am

The director of Disney’s upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” live-action remake has revealed that one of the film’s characters is portrayed as homosexual and will therefore include a “gay moment.” Director Bill Condon, who is also an open homosexual, told the outlet “Attitude” that the character LeFou, who serves as the sidekick to Gaston, will have a subplot…

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Preachers Found Guilty of Violating UK ‘Crime & Disorder Act’ After Arrests for ‘Anti-Social’ Opposition to Islam, Homosexuality   Feb 28, 2017 10:57 am

BRISTOL, UK — Two street preachers who were arrested last July on accusations of “causing a disturbance” and engaging in “anti-social behavior” after some listeners became offended by their speech about issues such as Islam, Buddhism, homosexuality and divorce have been found guilty of “intentionally alarming” the public with open-air preaching. The…

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Wisconsin Teacher Placed on Leave After Using Ouija Board in Kindergarten Class   Mar 02, 2017 06:02 am

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — A public school teacher in Wisconsin has been placed on leave after using an Ouija board in her kindergarten classroom. The incident occurred at Zablocki Elementary in Milwaukee last week, although the teacher, who has not been identified, says that the board had been in the room since Halloween. She had been contacted by a concerned parent…

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Atheist Group Wants Ordinance Banning Literature Mocking Christianity Scrubbed From Books   Feb 26, 2017 08:38 am

EDMOND, Okla. — A prominent professing atheist group recently wrote to officials in an Oklahoma city to request that an ordinance outlawing the distribution of literature profanely mocking Christianity—to the point that it causes a public disturbance—be scrubbed from the books. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) contacted the…

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Hundreds Gather for Opening of ‘Why the Bible Is True’ Exhibit at Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter   Feb 27, 2017 12:21 pm

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. – Hundreds gathered on Friday to witness the opening of a “stunning” new exhibit at the Answers in Genesis Ark Encounter that addresses difficult questions about the Bible and artistically presents the gospel message. As previously reported, the Ark Encounter is a theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky that features a full-scale replica of…

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Witches Nationwide Cast ‘Mass Spell’ in Effort to Remove Trump From Office   Feb 27, 2017 12:00 pm

In what is being dubbed the “magic resistance,” witches across the nation have announced the launch of a “mass spell” to be held at every waning crescent moon in an effort to remove President Trump from office. The Facebook page “Mass Spell to Bind Donald Trump” has over 12,500 likes as of press time and more than 13,000 followers. Various covens throughout the…

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Bush Daughter to Headline Texas Planned Parenthood Fundraiser   Feb 27, 2017 10:42 am

FORT WORTH, Texas — Barbara Pierce Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas on Wednesday. Last June, in an interview with the New York Times, Bush called Planned Parenthood an “exceptional organization,” as she partners with the abortion and…

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Top Headlines – 3/4/2017

Hamas threatens escalation if Israel ‘crosses red line’

EU-Israel high-level talks in doubt over settlements

US Congressional delegation announces Israel visit to study moving embassy to Jerusalem

Anti-Trump Communist Arrested For Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats

ADL warns lone arrest won’t stop ‘unprecedented’ wave of anti-Semitism

Jordan hangs 15 convicts as deterrent to terrorism

Libyan militias seize control of major oil terminals

Suspected chemical attack in Mosul, Red Cross says

U.S. Navy, Iran ships have close encounter in Middle East

U.S. Airport Pat-Downs Are About to Get More Invasive

Texas airport baggage handler charged with stealing multiple checked firearms

San Francisco’s withdrawal from national terror intelligence network hikes risks, officials say

In possible response to Trump, EU parliament calls to end visa-free travel for US citizens

Judge gives extension to Trump lawyers in travel ban suit

After decades in America, the newly deported return to a Mexico they barely recognize

Mexico launches nationwide effort in US to help migrants

Parents fearing deportation pick guardians for U.S. children

Trump administration considering separating women, children at Mexico border

Immigrant arrested by ICE after dropping daughter off at school, sending shockwaves through neighborhood

Soros-Tied Obama Lawyers Form Group to Battle Trump

Despite early denials, growing list of Trump camp contacts with Russians haunts White House

Trump slams Pelosi, Schumer as Russia meeting pics emerge

Donald Trump brands Democrats ‘hypocrites’ over Russian links

Photo contradicts Pelosi’s statement about not meeting Kislyak

Hypocrisy: 7X More Coverage for Sessions Debacle than Holder Contempt

Sessions to provide amended testimony on Russia ties

Trump aides’ bid to plug leaks creates unease among some civil servants

GOP leaders may dare fellow Republicans to vote against Obamacare repeal

Ryan slams Paul for ‘publicity stunt’ search for ObamaCare bill

Sen. Rand Paul: Been told to ‘take it or leave it’ on Obamacare strategy

Keystone pipeline won’t use US steel despite Trump pledge

Investors bet Trump-fueled tech rally far from over

Yellen points to March rate hike as Fed signals end of easy money

China says defense budget to rise by about 7 percent in 2017

Kim Jong-nam death: North Korean says arrest was ‘conspiracy’

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Phek, India

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

Strong earthquake swarm on Reykjanes Ridge yesterday

Zimbabwe hit by deadly floods after drought

White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency

Doc Claims Too Much Screen Time Turns Kids Into Digital Junkies

Cellphone Radiation Exposure Fact Sheet Draft Released By California Health Officials

Surge in human cases of deadly bird flu is prompting alarm

Massachusetts Governor Vows to Shield Planned Parenthood Funding

Garfield’s a boy… right? How a cartoon cat’s gender identity launched a Wikipedia war

Alabama drive-in won’t show Disney movie because of gay character

Disney Cartoon’s ‘Unbiblical’ Gay Kisses Prompt One Million Moms Petition

Church of England’s Stance on Gay Marriage is ‘Untenable’ Say MPs

‘Pope Francis has urged us to have fewer children,’ claims Vatican academy member

The pope will meet all EU leaders ahead of Rome summit

‘Life at Conception’ Bill Introduced in North Carolina

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:53 AM PST

A North Carolina lawmaker has introduced a bill into the state legislature that would include a definition of the beginning of life as “the moment…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DISCUSSION BOARD: Is Tithing Still Biblical For Believers Today?

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:48 AM PST

One long debated subject in the body of Christ today is the topic of “Tithing”. There are many different opinions and views on this topic…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian Leaders Urge Parents to Boycott ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Over Inclusion of ‘Gay Moment’

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:42 AM PST

Disney’s upcoming “Beauty and the Beast” will include an “exclusively gay moment” on screen, a first for the company, according to the film’s director. Notable…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Are you ready for robots made with human flesh?

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:38 AM PST

Two University of Oxford biomedical researchers are calling for robots to be built with real human tissue, and they say the technology is there if…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: An Earthquake swarm has been recorded under Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:33 AM PST

An earthquake swarm started under Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland during the early morning hours of Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The swarm started at 08:57 with M4.1…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Al-Qaida puts Bannon on cover of its newspaper…

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:30 AM PST

The way al-Qaeda tells it, the West is locked in an existential war with Islam. This is how the terrorist group justifies its violence and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Mystery Shakings Rattle Arizona Residents

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 06:14 AM PST

What has Many Valley residents reporting mysterious shaking and loud booms on Thursday night? According to official reports from the area, The United States Geological…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Giant growing sinkhole terrifies residents in Ecuador

Posted: 04 Mar 2017 05:59 AM PST

Sinkholes are becoming more and more frequent across the globe and now reports indicate that Residents and officials of Zaruma, Ecuador are facing a serious…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Parents Can’t Opt Their Kids Out of Elementary Sex Education Classes

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 08:26 PM PST

Controversial plans to enforce relationships education in primary schools will include no right of withdrawal for parents, it has emerged. Yesterday evening the government released…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DISCUSSION BOARD: What are your thoughts on Aliens and UFO’s?

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 08:08 PM PST

For years now the world has been intrigued and fascinated by UFO’s, Aliens and Extraterrestrials. But does this fit into the Word of God? And…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Surge in human cases of deadly bird flu prompting alarm…

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 08:02 PM PST

A surge in human infections of a deadly bird flu in China is prompting increasing concern among health officials around the world. While the human…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

French teacher suspended, probed after allegedly reading Bible to students

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 07:46 PM PST

A French primary school teacher has been temporarily suspended after reportedly reading passages from the Bible to his students. The suspension has sparked a debate…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DISCUSSION BOARD: Rapture or No Rapture?

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 07:29 PM PST

Welcome to our discussion Board where you can present your best evidence to support or refute many different subjects and topics. The topics will change…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Reinhard Bonnke Planning Farewell Crusade in Nigeria

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:54 PM PST

Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, Founder of Christ for all Nations (CfaN) will return to Nigeria for his final African Gospel Crusade in Nov., 2017. While certainly…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

8 Ways the Liberal Agenda Is Removing Christianity From the Public Square

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:50 PM PST

Christians are under fierce attack across the fruited plain, and some of the nation’s most prominent conservative leaders are urging President Trump to take immediate action.

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Bitcoin Has Just Topped Gold For First Time

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:42 PM PST

A unit of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has exceeded the value of an ounce of gold for the first time. It closed at $1,268 on Thursday while a troy ounce of gold stood at $1,233.

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Transgender Models On High Demand

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:37 PM PST

As one of the fashion industry’s increasing numbers of a transgender models, Yasmine Petty has reached great success. Her sprawling penthouse in Lower Manhattan,

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Antarctica Just Hit a Record High Temperature

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:32 PM PST

An Argentine research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula has set a heat record at a balmy 63.5 Fahrenheit (17.5 degrees Celsius), the U.N. weather agency said on Wednesday.

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NYC Teachers Now Required to Address Transgender Students by “Preferred Pronouns”

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:23 PM PST

The New York City Department of Education has instructed teachers and faculty to address transgender students by their preferred pronouns

Read more at End Time Headlines.

British Court Convicts Preachers, Considers Bible “Abusive and Criminal”

Posted: 03 Mar 2017 12:17 PM PST

In what their lawyer calls a “modern-day heresy trial,” a British court has convicted two street preachers of a public order offense for preaching the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


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Radical Take Down of America: Has The Left Won?

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

chipped-flag-on-brick-wall-300x200The United States of America has been under attack – from within. Two things make this fact even worse: many people are oblivious, and the larger problem is others just don’t seem to care.

It is important we understand how we got to this point of corruption and crisis as a nation, determine who is responsible, and decide what we can do about it. You may know much of this information, but many of your friends do not; please share it.

In order to examine the spiritual, financial, and political condition of the United States of America, the epic prize globalists wish to conquer, it’s vital we acknowledge some brief history.

Pilgrims and patriots came to these shores to escape religious persecution, government intrusion, and to establish a God-fearing settlement that would flourish on faith and freedom. This great Republic was originally founded upon biblical teachings, Moral Law, and the Declaration of Independence…

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5 Ways Christians Should Judge

Author, speaker and national talk show host Julie Roys asks a twofold question: Are Christians supposed to judge or not judge? And just what is the Christian standard?

Here are Julie Roys’ 5 biblically-based principles concerning judging:

It happened when I posted something to social media lamenting author Jen Hatmaker’s disastrous decision to affirm gay unions. It happened again when I criticized a Saturday Night Live writer for attacking Barron Trump, the 10-year-old son of the president. Truth is, it happens anytime I make a judgment about anything or anyone.

“Christians are not to pass judgments, only state the truths,” one person commented.

“Christ taught us to LOVE EVERYONE. Judgments are for our father in heaven, not us,” said another.

And ironically, someone even stated, “You obviously are not a Christian because Jesus told us not to judge.”

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March 4, 2017: Verse of the day

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Sanctification’s Final Security

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. (5:24)

God who calls is also faithful to complete and bring … to pass His sanctifying purpose. Paul later expressed to the Philippians this confidence in God’s faithfulness to believers: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). That is another pledge to all believers that God has the power to guarantee their ultimate sanctification. The salvation God grants is secure—He graciously and efficaciously calls individuals (John 6:37, 44–45, 64–65), supplies them the faith to repent and believe (Eph. 2:8–9; cf. 2 Tim. 2:25–26), and provides them the grace to persevere to the glory of ultimate sanctification (Jude 24–25; cf. 1 Cor. 10:13). Romans 8:28–30 also states this pledge:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

In summary, Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians suggests a number of essential principles that all Christians need to remember concerning the sanctification process. First, experiential sanctification is inherently both negative and positive. Negatively, it involves the purging out of sin (cf.Rom. 6:6; 8:13; 2 Tim. 2:19). Scripture compares sin to leaven (cf. Matt. 16:12; 1 Cor. 5:6–8; Gal. 5:8–9), which connotes the evil influence with which sin permeates humanity. Sanctification does not remove the presence of sin, but it purges from the believer his love for sin and decreases sin’s frequency in his life (cf. Rom. 6:22; 7:21–25; Phil. 3:7–16; Titus 2:11–12). Positively, sanctification involves the renewing of the mind (cf. Rom. 12:2) and the putting on of Christlikeness (cf. Col. 3:5–17). The negative and positive changes occur as the Holy Spirit continually uses God’s Word in believers’ lives (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; cf. John 15:1–3).

Second, sanctification occurs chiefly in the heart, the mind, the inner being. It is not concerned with modifying one’s outward behavior—even if that behavior were in line with God’s law—apart from the changed heart (cf. Rom. 3:21–23, 28; 4:4–5; 5:1–2), nor is it circumscribing one’s attitudes and actions to an arbitrary code of ethics (cf. Rom. 14:17; Col. 2:16–23). Sanctification does affect a Christian’s outward actions (cf. John 15:4–5; Eph. 2:10), but it is essentially an inward grace. It is illustrated by what the apostle Peter wrote to believing wives: “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3–4).

Third, the Bible implicitly calls sanctification a beautiful reality (cf. Ps. 110:3 kjv). Holiness is the beautiful crown jewel of the Godhead, reflecting divine perfection, unmitigated virtue, absolute righteousness, and pure sinlessness (cf. Ex. 15:11; Pss. 47:8; 145:17; Isa. 57:15). Sanctification, then, is a noble experience, imparting to believers a measure of the majesty God intended for them when He created mankind in His image (cf. Gen. 1:26–27; Ps. 8:4–6).

Fourth, sanctification is an ongoing reality. At the new birth, God plants the seed of righteousness, the principle of divine life, into the believer’s heart (cf. 1 Peter 1:23–25). That does not mean he will never sin again, but it does mean he will discontinue living in his previous unbroken pattern of sinfulness and begin to live in a new pattern of holiness (cf. Rom. 6:17–18; 1 John 3:9).

Fifth, believers must remember that people can counterfeit sanctification in a number of ways. First, moral virtue can substitute for true sanctification. People can exhibit character qualities such as fair-mindedness, loyalty, civility, kindness, generosity, diligence, and philanthropy and yet at heart be unbelievers (cf. Isa. 29:13). Second, religious activity can masquerade as sanctification. For example, devoutly religious people might spend years avoiding the most heinous sins and seeking to please God by adhering to their church’s rituals and self-righteously engaging in good works (cf. Matt. 23:23–25; Luke 18:10–14). But they do it all because they are afraid of God and want to earn His forgiveness, not because they are His children who sincerely love Him for His grace. Third, outward Christian profession can appear to be genuine sanctification (cf. Matt. 23:27–28). It often parades a hypocritical type of piety that is merely superficial (cf. Matt. 7:21–23). Such false sanctification deceives not only those who witness it, but also those who practice it. Fourth, their conscience and fear of sin’s consequences often restrain people from bad behavior. Most of the time they reject sin because they fear its negative physical, psychological, or even legal consequences. They may have grown up in a Christian family in which their parents taught them biblical principles and established a doctrinal foundation that informs their consciences with moral convictions. Such people are afraid to engage in overt sin and on the exterior appear to be righteous, but only because they do not want a guilty conscience to bother them. A saving love for Christ does not motivate their behavior; instead, human fear and a sensitive conscience drive their actions.

Sixth, sanctification keeps believers from polluting holy things. “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15). Unbelievers mock and blaspheme God and His Son (cf. Luke 22:65; Rom. 8:7; Col. 1:21; Rev. 16:9). They ridicule the things of God and the people of God (cf. Neh. 2:19; Ps. 38:12; 2 Tim. 3:3–4), which means they also ridicule and demean the Word of God (cf. Neh. 9:28–29). They pollute everything God has designed for His glory and mankind’s blessing (cf. Rom. 1:21–32), such as the beauty of creation, marriage, and friendship. By contrast, when God is sanctifying believers, they consider the simplest, most mundane things in life as holy and respect all the things the unbeliever does not (cf. Ps. 1:1–6).

Finally, Christians must remember that sanctification is God’s priority for their lives. It is His will for them (1 Thess. 4:3; cf. Heb. 12:14) and the result of Christ’s death on their behalf—“who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). All believers are to live for sanctification. They have no other goal in life than to be like Jesus Christ: “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

March 4, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

March 4

Maturity in Suffering

May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

1 Peter 5:10

 

A Christian’s call to glory necessitates walking the path of suffering. Today’s verse explains why. Suffering is God’s way of maturing His people spiritually. He is pleased when we patiently endure the suffering that comes our way. Suffering is a part of God’s plan to prepare His people for glory.

The apostle Peter said this regarding the value of suffering: “You greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6–7). God allows suffering as a validation of our faith. It also produces patience, though patience is a quality we won’t need in eternity—there will be no reason for impatience there. But beyond those benefits, suffering increases our capacity to praise, honor, and glorify God—and that’s something we will use throughout eternity.[1]


March 4 Seeking a Closeness to God

“Draw near to God.”

James 4:8

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The sincerely humble will want a closer relationship with God.

The expression “draw near” was originally associated with the priesthood in Israel. Under the regulations of the Old Covenant, the priests represented the people before God. Prior to coming near God’s presence, the priest had to be washed physically and be ceremonially clean. That meant he had to bathe, wear the proper garments, and offer sacrifices that made his own heart right with God. Then he could draw near to God on the people’s behalf.

Eventually the Hebrew word for drawing near meant anyone who approached the presence of God in worship and prayer. The term became synonymous even of those whose hearts were far from God when they “worshiped” Him. For example, Isaiah 29:13 says, “This people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote.”

But the sincere believer, one who has truly humbled himself before God, knows that God wants worshipers to draw near with true and pure hearts: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22). This applies the language of the Old Testament ceremonial system to us and says that as the priests prepared themselves to be near God, we also should prepare ourselves spiritually to worship Him.

So far this month we have seen that the humble person will come to God for salvation, submit to Him as Lord, and take a stand against the Devil. But the truly humble person will see that his relationship to God is inherently more than those actions. If you claim to be one of the humble, one who has a saving relationship to the Father through the Son, be sure you can also agree with the psalmist Asaph: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Thy works” (Ps. 73:28).

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for His grace and mercy in salvation that make it possible for us to have a close relationship with Him.

For Further Study: Read Hebrews 4. What sort of rest is the writer referring to? ✧ How does it compare to the rest that the people of Israel sought during Joshua’s time?[2]


MARCH 4

LORD GOD, THOU KNOWEST!

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

—Ezekiel 37:3

To those who have (unintentionally) degraded their conception of God to the level of their human understanding it may appear frightening to admit that there are many things in the Scriptures and more things about the Godhead that transcend the human intellect. But a few minutes on our knees looking into the face of Christ will teach us humility, a virtue whose healing qualities have been known by God’s elect from time out of mind.

Coleridge gave it as his considered belief that the profoundest sentence ever uttered by human lips was the spontaneous cry of the prophet Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones when asked by the Lord whether those bones could live: “And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.” Had Ezekiel answered yes or no he would have closed off his heart to the mighty mystery which confronted him and would have missed the luxury of wonder in the presence of the Majesty on high. For never forget that it is a privilege to wonder, to stand in delighted silence before the Supreme Mystery and whisper, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest!” ROR088-089

Lord, today I stand in wonder as I contemplate Your person and Your working. I delight in Your mystery and cry with Ezekiel, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest!” Amen. [3]


March 4

Practicing Mercy

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.—Matt. 5:7

The most obvious way we can show mercy is through physical acts. Jesus specifically commands us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, and offer any other practical help to those who need it. When we serve others in need, we demonstrate a heart of mercy.

The way of mercy did not begin in the New Testament. The Old Testament law taught, “You shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks” (Deut. 15:7–8).

Mercy is also to be shown in our attitudes. Mercy does not hold a grudge, harbor resentment, capitalize on another’s failure or weakness, or publicize another’s sin.

Mercy is also to be shown spiritually. First, it is shown through pity. The sensitive Christian will grieve more for lost souls than for lost bodies. Second, we are to show spiritual mercy by confrontation. Paul says that, as Christ’s servants, we should gently correct “those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25). Third, we are to show spiritual mercy by praying. The sacrifice of prayer for those without God is an act of mercy. Finally, we are to show mercy by proclaiming the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the most merciful thing we can do.

ASK YOURSELF
How has your life been transformed by being the blessed recipient of these various acts and expressions of mercy? What might occur in the lives of your children, your spouse, your parents, your friends—anyone to whom you begin to show consistent compassion?[4]

MARCH 4

PREACH A WHOLE CHRIST

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9

 

I reject the human insistence among us that Christ may sustain a divided relationship toward us in this life.

I am aware that this is now so commonly preached that to oppose it or object to it means that you are sticking your neck out and you had best be prepared for what comes.

But, I am forced to ask: How can we insist and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ can be our Savior without being our Lord?

How can so many continue to teach that we can be saved without any thought of obedience to our Sovereign Lord?

I am satisfied in my own heart that when a man or a woman believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he or she must believe on the whole Lord Jesus Christ—not making any reservation! How can a teaching be justified when it encourages sinners to use Jesus as a Savior in their time of need, without owing Him obedience and allegiance?

I believe we need to return to preaching a whole Christ to our needy world!

 

Heavenly Father, I humbly acknowledge Your saving grace in my life, and it is an honor to obey and serve You.[5]


March 4 Praying According to God’s Word

“I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications” (Dan. 9:2–3).

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God’s sovereignty doesn’t eliminate the need for prayer.

Have you ever wondered if it’s Biblical to pray for things God has already promised in His Word to do? Is it proper to pray, say, for the salvation of sinners, knowing that God will redeem all the elect anyway, or for Christ’s return, knowing it is a sure thing? Daniel gives us a clear answer.

God prophesied through Jeremiah that the Babylonian Captivity would last seventy years (Jer. 25:11–12). When Daniel read that prophecy, he realized that the time was near for his people to return to their homeland. That inspired him to pray fervently.

In Daniel 9:19 he cries out, “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay.” He was in tune with God’s Word and understood that somehow his prayers were part of God’s plan.

The exact relationship between God’s sovereignty and our prayers is a mystery, but it is clear that somehow God’s Word and our prayers are co-laborers in achieving God’s will.

Like Daniel, you and I live in a time when many of God’s promises seem near fulfillment. Never before have world events pointed so dramatically to the nearness of the return of our Lord. Consequently, this is not the time for complacency or over-enthusiastic speculation. It is the time for careful Bible study and fervent prayer.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for His faithfulness and the sure promises of His Word. ✧ Ask Him for spiritual wisdom and insight to discern His will and then live accordingly.

For Further Study: Jeremiah 24:1–25:13 gives some background to Judah’s captivity in Babylon. After reading those verses, answer these questions: ✧ To what kind of fruit did God liken Judah? ✧ What did God say would happen to King Zedekiah? ✧ What warning did the prophets give to Judah? ✧ What was Judah’s response? ✧ How would God deal with Babylon?[6]


MARCH 4

SINFUL MAN: UNCOMFORTABLE IN GOD’S PRESENCE

And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

GENESIS 3:9

Sin never feels comfortable in the divine presence!

Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord among the trees of the garden. Their fear and chagrin for the moment overcame their conscious need of God. Jonah, in his determined refusal to obey God’s command, rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Peter, with a sudden acute consciousness of personal guilt, sought not to flee from the Lord’s presence but begged the Lord instead to depart from him!

Men need God above everything else, yet are uncomfortable in His presence. This is the self-contradictory moral situation sin has brought us into.

The notion that there is a God but that He is comfortably far away is not embodied in the doctrinal statement of any Christian church. Anyone who dared admit that he held such a creed would be considered a heretic and avoided by respectable religious people; but our actions, and especially our spontaneous utterances, reveal our true beliefs better than any conventional creed can do.

If we are to judge by these, I think it can hardly be denied that the average Christian thinks of God as being at a safe distance, looking the other way![7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 77). 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. 72). 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. 76). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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