Daily Archives: March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Mar. 27, 2017 |


President Trump is set to sign a sweeping executive order aimed at promoting domestic oil, coal and natural gas by reversing much of his predecessor’s efforts to address climate change — prompting warnings the action will undermine U.S. leadership on the issue.

The Pentagon is poised to review — and probably approve — a new helicopter from Lockheed Martin to transport heavy cargo for the Marine Corps in a program valued at $29 billion.

Belarusian authorities plan to set up a nationwide surveillance system to get a better grip on their own population as the largest protests in two decades sweep the country.

Libya’s biggest oil terminal loads its first tanker since fighting between armed groups earlier this month halted shipments from two ports in the country with Africa’s largest crude reserves.

South Korean prosecutors sought to arrest former President Park Geun-hye over allegations that she abused her powers and colluded with her longtime friend and former aides to get bribes from the nation’s top businesses. It’s reasonable and lawful to detain her because there’s a risk that she will destroy evidence since she continues to deny wrongdoing, they said.

The Pakistan government has taken its fight against blasphemy to social media, with authorities now claiming Facebook officials will be arriving in the country to help security agencies trace those who are guilty of the offence online. Many in the blogger community insist they will stop criticizing the state or writing on religion.

Thousands of people gathered in Moscow and other major Russian cities on Sunday, heeding a call by opposition leader Alexei Navalny to protest against official corruption in what appeared to be some of the largest anti-government demonstrations in the last five years.

America’s biggest foreign creditor is unloading U.S. debt. And in a warning sign for the $13.9 trillion Treasuries market, Japan’s famously risk-averse money managers are giving little sense that an about-face is imminent.

Uber is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona.

As members of Congress in Washington debate raising the minimum required to obtain a U.S. immigrant investor visa from $500,000 to $1.35 million, concern about the hike has set off a scramble among wealthy would-be participants in China.

Iran sanctioned what it described as 15 American companies, alleging they support terrorism, repression and Israel’s occupation of land Palestinians want for a future state, likely in retaliation for sanctions earlier announced by the U.S.

AP Top Stories

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” isn’t hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.

The Philippines military said Monday they have rescued three more Malaysian tugboat crewmen held hostage by Muslim militants for eight months in the south of the country.

China’s premier has arrived in New Zealand for high-level talks at a time that both countries are pushing to expand free trade.

As tensions escalate in East Asia, North Korea may be closing in to conducting its sixth underground nuclear test, a report citing intelligence gathered by the United States said Friday.

Brazil won a major victory Saturday in the fight to restore credibility amid a tainted meat scandal, with key markets China, Egypt and Chile lifting their bans on its products.


President Donald Trump is expected to unveil a new unit aimed at overhauling the US federal bureaucracy, and headed by his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

US-backed Syrian fighters have paused their offensive near the Tabqa dam so engineers can do any work necessary to ensure it continues to function.

Militia fighters in DR Congo have decapitated about 40 police officers in an ambush in the central province of Kasai, local officials said.

An Egyptian court has sentenced 56 people to prison over the capsizing of a migrant boat that killed more than 200 people in September.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Yemen’s capital on Sunday to call for an end to war in the country.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has asked for help from the United Nations to boost supplies of medicine.


Biological males are joining women’s teams, smashing records and dominating in sports such as weightlifting, softball, cycling, track, wrestling, football, volleyball, dodgeball, handball, cricket, golf, basketball and mixed martial arts. The movement for “equality” has apparently inspired transgender athletes to join teams of their preferred gender.

Astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole that got kicked off its throne. Now it’s rocketing through space at a speed of almost 5 million miles an hour.

Australian Federal Police have been called in after an Islamic group called for Muslims to be executed if they leave the religion.

A Portland student has become the first American to gain legal designation as “genderless”, following a ruling by a Multnomah County judge. The 27-year-old, now legally designated agender, also got legal approval to change names, now going only by “Patch,” no surname.

Top News – 3/27/2017

Scientists Discover Portal Into Parallel Universe. Will it Reveal God’s Hiding Place?
Scientists at the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Universe believe they have discovered one of these portals via a newly discovered subatomic particle called a heavy quark. It is believed that heavy quarks have a “dark charge” which allows them to act as a bridge between the two universes, but as scientists are unable to observe dark particles or dark energy, no more is known about the parallel universe other than the fact of its existence.

UN Leader’s Support for Jewish Temple a ‘Breath of Fresh Air’
“It is completely clear the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple,” Guterres said…..so it is particularly outrageous that the UN has been hijacked by Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state.”

Polish PM joins European Union heads to sign Rome declaration
The Rome Declaration that the leaders will sign proclaims that “Europe is our common future”, according to a copy obtained by AFP. It went on to pledge to bring the suddenly diminished European Union – the result of Brexit – more tightly together: “Europe is our common future.We are determined to make the European Union stronger and more resilient, through even greater unity”. “And in that sense, I’m glad that the wording of the Declaration of Rome includes the language about listening to people, about working with national governments and about striving for peace and prosperity, and opportunity in the time ahead”.

Kushner to lead new WH office focused on using business ideas to fix gov’t bureaucracy
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will be tapped to lead a new White House office that will effort to use business solutions to fix “government stagnation”, a senior White House official told Fox News Sunday. “We can confirm we are making an announcement tomorrow to establish the White House office of American Innovation and look forward to sharing additional details,” the official said.

More Syrian Rebels, Families Evacuate Homs under Regime Deal
Hundreds of rebels and their families left their last bastion in Syria’s Homs city on Monday,as part of an ongoing evacuation expected to be among the largest of its kind under a Russian-backed deal with the regime, state media and a monitor said.

‘She’s as frosty as a storm’ Trump puts screws on Angela Merkel with ‘£300BN Nato bill’
With member countries pledging to contribute two per cent of their GDP to defence in 2014, something only a handful do, Mr Trump has been critical of those who he deems are not paying their fair share. The bill is said to take into account how much Germany underspent by since 2002, when Chancellor Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, pledged to spend more on defence. It is said to have come to £250n, with £50n interest added on.

‘Religious left’ emerging as U.S. political force in Trump era
“The election of Trump has been a clarion call to progressives in the Protestant and Catholic churches in America to move out of a place of primarily professing progressive policies to really taking action,”

PEGIDA marks anniversary with Nuremberg march against Islamization, EU & Erdogan
Another called on the Germans to “wake up” unless they want to see the rule of the Sharia law as the country’s near future. “Sharia law will become the supreme law. The constitution will land on the garbage heap of history. Do you want this? Then finally wake up!” the sign read.

For First Time in Decades, “No Daylight” Between Israel and US, Ambassador Tells AIPAC
The governments of Israel and the United States are experiencing a nearly unprecedented level of intimacy, Ron Dermer said, in what was clearly an implicit criticism of relations with previous US administrations. “For the first time in many years, perhaps even many decades, there is no daylight between our two governments,” Dermer declared to the thousands-strong crowd of pro-Israel participants.

UK Joins Trump Administration in Putting UNHRC ‘On Notice’ for Anti-Israel Bias
“Today we are putting the Human Rights Council on notice,” U.K. Ambassador Julian Braithwaite told the UNHRC during the closing moments of its latest session. The group approved four resolutions that condemned Israeli policy on the Palestinians, and called on the Jewish state to return control of the Golan Heights to Syria. “If things do not change, in the future we will adopt a policy of voting against all resolutions concerning Israel’s conduct in the occupied Syrian and Palestinian territories,” Braithwaite said.

Pence: Trump is defender of Israel and Jewish people
“For the first time in a long time America has a president who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies.” Regarding his campaign pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Pence said only this was under serious consideration.

IDF launches military exercises on two fronts, high alert on third
Israel embarked Sunday on two week-long military exercises – one across the Golan to drill the forces’ preparedness for attack, and the other in Judea and Samaria. Residents were warned the drills will be accompanied by explosions.

Anti-Putin Opposition Energized by Biggest Protests in Years
Energized by the largest anti-government demonstrations in Russia for at least five years, opponents of President Vladimir Putin are preparing for a new wave of protests as the next presidential elections loom.

Israelis warned of increased ISIS threat abroad ahead of Passover holiday
Leading into the Passover and summer travel seasons, Israel has raised travel warnings to the highest level, cautioning Israelis against traveling to Egypt’s Sinai region, Prime Minister’s Office Counter-Terrorism Bureau Chief Eitan Ben David said at a special media briefing on Monday. Ben David said that “the threat has grown, including to Israelis in the coming period and is the gravest level of threat.”

‘Mossad attempted to turn French spies into double agents’
The Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, attempted to infiltrate French espionage services and turn some of its employees into double agents who would provide Israel with secret intelligence…Le Monde supported its claims by including in its report excerpts it had obtained from an internal report written by French intelligence. According to the report, the Mossad had tried to develop relationships with French spies “to the point of crossing the line of turning them into double agents.”

Eight school children feared dead in Japanese avalanche
Eight Japanese high school students are feared dead, after they were caught in an avalanche at a ski resort. The avalanche occurred early on Monday near Nasu in Tochigi prefecture, 120km (75 miles) north of Tokyo. Eight students were found with no vital signs while more than 30 people were injured, Japan’s Kyodo news agency said.

Cyclone Debbie: Thousands evacuate in Queensland, Australia
About 25,000 people have been told to evacuate as a cyclone carrying winds up to 240km/h (150 mph) moves towards the Queensland coast. Cyclone Debbie is expected to intensify into a Category 4 system before it arrives early on Tuesday local time. Some people have refused to leave despite warnings the destructive core could be as wide as 100km (62 miles).

Chile pensions protest draws tens of thousands
Tens of thousands of people in Chile have taken part in demonstrations against the country’s controversial privatised pension system. Demonstrators called on the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet to scrap the the system, which is managed by private funds. Critics say the system benefits the rich but leaves poorer Chileans with a pension below the minimum wage.

Syria fighters ‘take control’ of IS-held airbase near Raqqa
A US-backed force of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters say they have taken full control of a key airbase held by the Islamic State group (IS) near Raqqa. Its capture is seen as a significant step in the fight to drive the jihadists out of the city, which has become their de facto capital. Talal Sello, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said they had seized Tabqa airport from militants.

After Terrorist Attack, a British City Linked to Jihadis Winces and Asks Why
Outside the Maasha’Allah internet cafe, Mohammed Hussain raised his voice over the recorded Quranic verses blaring from the abaya shop two doors down. He was furious that Britain’s latest terrorist attacker had amplified his city’s stigma. “Why do all the jihadis come to Birmingham?” he half-shouted, prompting a passing group of teenage girls in bright-colored head scarves to frown, then giggle.

Female Athletes Crushed By ‘Women Who Were Once Men’
You’ve heard the expression, “Boys will be boys.” But what happens when a brawny boy wants to be one of the girls – fiercely competing with females in weightlifting, brutally tackling girls on the football field or even dealing powerful knockout punches to ladies in a mixed martial-arts cage?

Get ready for Calexit! Now Nigel Farage and the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ set their sights on splitting California in two
The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ who led the campaign to break Britain away from the European Union have taken on a new exit challenge: splitting California into two states. Former UKip leader Nigel Farage and Leave backer Arron Banks have just returned from the United States, where they helped raise $1million (£800,000) for a ‘Calexit’ campaign, which would split California into two eastern and western regions.

Stunner! U.N. plan to ‘mark’ world population
If you believe the Bible is true, then you know it’s going to happen. The “Mark of the Beast” is a staple of prophecy, a development many evangelical Christians would take as a sign the end times have truly begun. And Pastor Carl Gallups believes there are real, concrete indications the United Nations has already started making preparations to develop the very technology that could be used to register every single person on Earth.

Judge OK’s Petition for America’s First ‘Genderless’ Person
A Portland student has become the first American to gain legal designation as “genderless”, following a ruling by a Multnomah County judge. The March 10 decision, reported for the first time on Thursday, involved a 27-year-old who was born male but claimed to identify with no gender whatsoever. Judge Amy Holmes, who approved the petition, also last year approved a “non-binary” gender designation for another Portland resident.

This Is The Nightmare Scenario For The GOP: A $2 Trillion Funding “Hole”
When one strips away the partisan rhetoric and posturing, the practical impact of Friday’s GOP failure to repeal Obamacare has a specific monetary impact: a funding hole that is at least $1 trillion bigger, and perhaps as large as $2.2 trillion.

Cook County Illinois Suffers Largest Population Drop In Entire US
Illinois voters are voting with their feet. Not only are people scrambling to get out of Cook County, but the entire state is suffering.

The Evidence That Russia Hacked The DNC Is Collapsing
The allegation – now accepted as incontrovertible fact by the “mainstream” media – that the Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee (and John Podesta’s emails) in an effort to help Donald Trump get elected recently suffered a blow from which it may not recover.

The Briefing 03-27-17

Should it be illegal to be a stay-at-home mom? Why feminists want to take this choice away from women

Studies show most women with young children don’t want to try to “lean in” and “have it all”

The post The Briefing 03-27-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Mar. 27, 2017

Who’s to Blame for the GOP’s Health Care Debacle?

Ryan, Trump and others failed Friday, but that cannot be the end of the effort.

Top Opinion
Peggy Noonan: High Anxiety Over Health-Care Reform
Edwin J. Feulner: The Strategic Defense Initiative at 34
Jeff Jacoby: Deliver Us From Scripture-Citers
More Opinion →
The Foundation

“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: March 27

  • Markets Slide on Doubts that Trump Can Deliver (Read More)
  • Dollar hits four-month low as Trump trade deflates (Read More)
  • These Charts Show Alarm Bells Ringing on Trump Trade (Read More)
  • White House may court Democrats on tax reform (Read More)
  • Republicans Could Have Another Fight Over Tax Overhaul (Read More)
  • ‘Religious left’ emerging as U.S. political force in Trump era (Read More)
  • Democrats Weigh Next Steps on Gorsuch Nomination (Read More)
  • Iraq Military Rejects Claim U.S. Airstrike Killed Civilians (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank in Bind Over How to Modify $300 Million Trump Debt (Read More)
  • ‘Project Scalpel’: Behind Big Banks’ Plan to Save $2 Billion (Read More)
  • Trump to sign order on Tuesday easing energy regulations: officials (Read More)
  • United Airlines bars teenage girls in leggings from flight (Read More)
  • Rich Chinese Race to Apply for a U.S. Golden Visa (Read More)
  • Huishan Had Emergency Creditor Meeting Before Rout, Lender Says (Read More)
  • France’s Le Pen says the EU ‘will die’, globalists to be defeated (Read More)
  • Shell and Anadarko mull clean break from Permian venture (Read More)
  • How a Battle Over Fish Could Batter Brexit Talks (Read More)
  • U.S. tourist killed in London would not have borne ill feelings toward attacker (Read More)
  • High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase (Read More)
  • Tesla Model 3 Ramp Up Aims to Crush BMW and Mercedes (Read More)
  • Toshiba shares rise after report Westinghouse may file bankruptcy Tuesday (Read More)
  • Kremlin rejects U.S., EU calls to free detained opposition protesters (Read More)
  • Hedge Funds Are Training Their Computers to Think Like You (Read More)
  • China state firms eye land around Panama Canal: waterway authority (Read More)
  • EU antitrust regulators clear $130 billion Dow, DuPont merger (Read More)
  • China Southern in talks over American Airlines tie-up (Read More)

The Civil War is Here

The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule.

A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

View Article

Romancing the World: The Compromised Church

A growing number of evangelical pastors and leaders in our day are diluting the message of the gospel. Preaching the gospel and witnessing has morphed into pep talks on relationship building and developing friendships. Many churches are concerned with what the surrounding community thinks about them and many Christians are equally concerned with what people think about them rather than what God thinks.

View Article

Top Headlines – 3/27/2017

Pence at AIPAC: Trump still seriously considering moving embassy to Jerusalem

Dermer: For first time in years, ‘no daylight’ between US and Israel – Implying criticism of Obama

Anti-Israel protesters block entrance at AIPAC conference

In Amman, Arab League set to reaffirm Saudi Peace Initiative

Settler leader: Population growth is end of 2-state solution

Hamas reopens Gaza crossing shut over assassination of terror leader

Israel arrests senior Hamas operative in West Bank raid

Early Elections in the Air as Netanyahu-Kahlon Crisis Reaches Impasse

Anti-Semitism expressed by a quarter of the German population

Egypt’s last Jews aim to keep alive heritage

Israel-Lebanon maritime dispute heats up

The Syrian refugees selling sex to survive in Lebanon

Mossad reportedly tried to recruit French agents during joint Syria operation

Syria fighters ‘take control’ of IS-held airbase near Raqqa

Isis tells Raqqa residents to evacuate over fears nearby dam will collapse

US-backed forces capture ISIS-held airport near Euphrates dam

US sending around 200 more troops to Middle East, official says

‘Two dead’ in Mosul market attack in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister al Abadi says ISIS military defeated ‘within weeks’

Iraq suspends Mosul offensive after coalition airstrike atrocity

Mosul offensive: Iraq denies air strike caused civilian deaths

7-Y-O ISIS Suicide Bomber Strapped With Explosives Found Among Iraqis Fleeing Mosul

‘If Iran was benign the Mideast’s problems would be solvable’

Iran denies harassing U.S. warships in Gulf, warns of clashes

In role reversal, Iran and Hamas impose sanctions

Yemenis protest on war’s second anniversary

Trump administration weighs deeper involvement in Yemen war

Pakistani al-Qaeda Leader Killed In U.S. Strike In Afghanistan

Erdogan setting back integration in Germany by years: Schaeuble

Egypt convicts 56 over migrant boat sinking that killed 200

Why the London attacker’s links to Saudi Arabia might matter

Isis uses terror attack to sign up YouTube recruits

WhatsApp accused of giving terrorists ‘a secret place to hide’ as it refuses to hand over London attacker’s messages

Weekend killings in Cincinnati, Las Vegas are terrifying but not terrorism

Hundreds Arrested at Huge Anti-Corruption Protests Across Russia

Russia protests: US condemns arrests of anti-Putin critic, hundreds of others in rallies

Jing-Jin-Ji: China Planning Megalopolis the Size of New England

Mexico’s Catholic Church: Work on Trump wall is treason

Trump gave Merkel $370 billion ‘invoice’ for NATO debt

France’s Le Pen says people no longer want the EU

The bad boys of Brexit join fight to break up California

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas

White House Fence Jumper Tries Again, This Time at Treasury

Angry over U.S. healthcare fail, Trump voters spare him blame

Trump takes aim at Freedom Caucus over defeat of GOP health care plan

Trump: “Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!”

White House Opens Door to Democrats in Wake of Health-Bill Failure

Illinois lawmakers see marijuana legalization as gateway to fiscal boost

More than two hours of social media a day doubles your risk of feeling isolated

The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase

Bill Gates vs. the Robots – Sure, they’ll kill jobs. Like Microsoft Excel, they’ll also create new ones.

‘People aren’t spending’: stores close doors in ‘oversaturated’ US retail market

Oil falls on rising U.S. drilling, uncertainty of OPEC-led cut extension

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Shimen, China

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 23,000ft

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

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Australian residents begin evacuating ahead of cyclone Debbie

Eight school children feared dead in Japanese avalanche

EPA chief: Trump to undo Obama plan to curb global warming

Judge grants person the right to be genderless in landmark ruling

Nonprofit floats child sex dolls as treatment for pedophiles

Witches toil, spell trouble for Trump

Tim Challies – Seven False Teachers in the Church Today

J.C. Ryle – Are You Born Again?

Pastor Chris Hill of The Potter’s House Denver Reportedly Steps Down for a Month After Wife Exposes his Affair with Church Employee

Pastor Accused of Staging Home Burglary to Get Money For Drug Debt

Where in the World is Phoenix University of Theology?

California Pastor Hospitalized With Broken Hip After Being Attacked by Former Member

Vimeo Declares War on Gospel Transformation

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 09:34 AM PDT

(Reported By Michael Brown) If Jesus has changed your life and set you free from homosexual practice, your testimony is not welcome on Vimeo –…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Blessings Connected to the Fear of the Lord

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 07:56 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) We don’t hear much preaching today on the “Fear of the Lord” but many don’t realize the blessings that are connected to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Did Putin Just threaten Israel with a ‘”Red-line”?

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 07:39 AM PDT

There is an interesting article coming out of Russia this morning that really leaped out at me that I believe is definitely worth sharing. Are…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Wellesley Student Creates Database of Professors Who Commit Microaggressions or Fail to Respect Students’ Pronoun Preferences

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 07:23 AM PDT

(Reported By Truth Revolt) In true totalitarian, Cultural Revolution fashion, a Wellesley College student has created a public database of professors who are guilty of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

One Day Humanity Will See “Non-Biological Bodies’

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 07:17 AM PDT

Ray Kurzweil who is the current head of Artifical Intelligence for Google has recently come out and made a startling statement that should raise the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Iranian bill to label CIA and US Army as “Terrorist Groups”

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 07:02 AM PDT

In a crazy story coming out of the Mideast, It appears that Iran has just announced it set to impose sanctions on 15 US companies…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

US Dollar Sees lowest Drop Since November as Trump trade deflates

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 06:52 AM PDT

Looks like “Happy Days” are over for now as the US dollar has just reportedly slid to a four-month low against a slew of currencies…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dow plummets 150 points as global markets fall on Trump’s health-care failure

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 06:46 AM PDT

Looks the recent Trump Health-Care flop has produced big ripples in Wallstreet as reports are indicating that Wall Street futures have underlined a global market sell-off…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Stock-Market Fears Returns as Dow stares at longest losing streak in 6 years

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 06:42 AM PDT

Looks like the stock-market jitters have returned to Wallstreet as a new report is revealing that measures of risk are rising once again. This comes…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Hijab Fashion Accessory Made For Barbies in United States

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 07:51 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) A new hijab fashion accessory was recently created for barbies. A hijab is the head scarf worn by Muslim women. The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

More US Troops Heading to the Middle East To Fight ISIS

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 07:49 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) According to a report by Fox News, the US is sending an additional 200 troops to the Middle East. The goal…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First Genderless Person Becomes Legalized

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 07:44 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) In Portland, Oregon, a judge recently ruled that a 27-year old male student is allowed to be genderless. He will be…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Student in Underwear Gets Transgender Shock; School Says ‘Tolerate’ It

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 06:35 PM PDT

A ridiculous story is coming out of Pennsylvania where a high school student there is suing his school district after a transgender student reportedly surprised…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing Big Cities In Preparation For Coming “American Apocalypse”

Posted: 26 Mar 2017 06:09 PM PDT

(By Michael Snyder) Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities?  Recently, I wrote about the mass exodus that is happening…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is The Gospel?

Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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:


While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!


God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”


Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).


Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.


Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.


All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”


Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

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Legalism and the Conscience

1 John 2:1-2

Code: B170327

Legalism is best disguised when it takes up residence in our consciences. From there it can taunt us, urging us to do better and try harder in our feeble fallen existence.

Such guilt-riddled consciences long to be soothed. Invariably, false religion steps into that void, offering a system of works. Man-made religions are particularly appealing to burdened sinners desperate to silence the cries of their consciences.

Roman Catholicism is a great example. We’ve already pointed out their codified denials of salvation by grace alone. On top of that, however, Catholic dogma also affirms works-righteousness through their doctrine of penance:

Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.” [1]

In his book, The Gospel According to Rome, James McCarthy explains how penance is implemented and enforced among Roman Catholics: “To assist the person in making reparation for his sin, the priest imposes an act of penance. It is selected to be ‘in keeping with the nature of the crimes and the ability of the penitents.’” [2]Prior to his conversion, Martin Luther was deemed by his Catholic peers to be a penitent with a lot of “ability.” As a result, he suffered egregiously under the weight of Roman Catholic penance.

Luther vs. Legalism

Luther’s conscience was plagued by his inability to conquer the sin in his life. Thus he was constantly putting himself through rigorous penance requirements, as James Kittelson vividly describes:

Long periods with neither food nor drink, nights without sleep, bone-chilling cold with neither coat nor blanket to warm him—and self-flagellation—were common and even expected in the lives of serious monks. . . . [Luther] did not simply go through the motions of prayers, fasts, deprivations, and mortifications of the flesh, but pursued them earnestly. . . . It is even possible that the illnesses which troubled him so much in his later years developed as a result of his strict denial of his own bodily needs. [3]

It’s little wonder that Luther’s conversion to Christ was intensely euphoric and liberating. The apostle Paul’s words in Romans 1:17—“the Righteous man shall live by faith”—were the lightning rod that ignited Luther, sparked the Reformation, and shook the world.

Professing Protestants, Practicing Catholics

All true Protestants gladly join with Martin Luther in proclaiming the righteousness that comes through faith in Christ—completely apart from any human effort. Even so, the harsh practices of his former monastery often linger in our cloistered consciences.

To be sure, most Christians find the Catholic doctrine of penance to be abhorrent. Nonetheless, many are inwardly self-flagellated by their guilt-riddled consciences. They know their right standing with God hinges on Christ’s atoning work, yet still consider it to be a fragile reconciliation—one that’s on a perpetual knife edge. God may have adopted them as His children, but they still live in constant fear of being disowned if they commit a big enough sin. For this reason, many churches are full of Protestants who think and act like Catholics.

I should know, because I used to be one of them. I understood that I was saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. But my relationship with God felt like a continual roller coaster that went up and down with my behavior. Some days I felt extra obedient to His commands and consequently walked with confidence that God must be pleased with me. Other days I felt humiliated by acts of disobedience and was too embarrassed to approach Him in prayer. Then it was up to me to tip the scales back in my favor by trying harder and doing better.

It may have been imperceptible to my Christian friends, but my mind was racked with legalistic guilt and fear. Worse still, I actually thought my mental penance demonstrated great humility and righteousness. But living under that kind of pressure isn’t a form of piety, nor does it reflect a low view of self. Rather, it reveals unbelief concerning God’s Word and a low view of Christ in His role as our heavenly Advocate:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. . . . And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 1:9–2:2)

Concerning Christ as our Advocate, John MacArthur writes:

All those standing before the bar of divine justice are guilty of violating God’s holy law; they “are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one’” (Romans 3:9–10), and “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all” (James 2:10). The just sentence the divine court should hand down is eternal punishment in hell, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

But all is not hopeless for the guilty, because there is one more character to consider in this divine courtroom scene: the Lord Jesus Christ. He acts as the Advocate, or Defense Attorney, for all those who believe savingly in Him. He is a most unusual defense attorney, however, since He does not maintain His clients’ innocence, but rather acknowledges their guilt. Nonetheless, He has never lost a case—and never will (John 6:39; cf. Romans 8:29–30). Using the language of the courtroom, Paul declared, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Romans 8:33–34; cf. Colossians 2:13–14). That last phrase is the key to how the Lord Jesus Christ infallibly wins acquittal for those who put their faith in Him. He intercedes with the Father on the basis of His own substitution for sinners in sacrificial death, which fully paid sin’s penalty for all who trust Him for salvation, thus meeting the demands of God’s justice. [4]

We Depend on Christ to Save Us and Keep Us

It was John MacArthur who delivered the death blow to my inner legalism when he said, “If I could lose my salvation, I would.” I immediately understood his point. If maintaining my right standing with God hinged on my own efforts at pleasing Him, then it would be as doomed to failure as any self-effort to bring about my own salvation. We must depend on Christ for everything. If I am trusting Him to save me then I also need to trust Him to keep me from ever falling out of His grace.

I give eternal life to [My sheep], and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28–29)

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March 27, 2017: Verse of the day


Holding God and His will in high regard is the right motive. They are to work heartily (Putting their whole inner man into the effort), as for the Lord rather than for men, serving their master as they would the Lord Himself.

Paul stresses to Timothy that such obedience and honor given by slaves to their masters keeps “the name of God and our doctrine” from being evil spoken of (1 Tim. 6:1).[1]

23 In 3:17 Paul enjoins the Colossians in general to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus. At the outset of v. 23, the apostle admonishes slaves in particular to work heartily (lit., “from [your] soul”; NIV, “with all your heart”) in whatever they do. Slaves are to not only obey their masters with singularity of heart but are also to perform their given duties with all the energy they can muster. A slave characterized by integrity and productivity would be a valued commodity for any master. That being said, this is not what ought to motivate their work; rather, Paul directs slaves to expend their energies as to the Lord and not their masters, who are, in the final analysis, mere mortals. Even though they work for their lords, they are to do their work for their Lord.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1992). Colossians (p. 172). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 342). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

March 27, 2017 – Identifying with Christ’s Suffering

It was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 2:10


Christians can identify with their Master because like Him, they suffer to enter their glory.

Christ said to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25–26). Our Lord had to explain that future glory required that He suffer. We should expect the same.

The path to glory for Christ was the path of unjust suffering. That’s our path also. Jesus endured suffering with perfect patience and was exalted to the highest point of glory. He is our example of how to respond to suffering.[1]

Our Salvation Author

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (2:10)

The phrase it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things refers primarily to God the Father, though it obviously refers to the Son as well. It was fitting means that what God did through Jesus Christ was consistent with His character. It was consistent with God’s wisdom. The cross was a masterpiece of wisdom. God solved the problem which no human or angelic mind could have solved. What He did was also consistent with His holiness, for God showed on the cross His hatred for sin. It was consistent with His power, being the greatest display of power ever manifested. Christ endured for a few hours what will take an eternity for unrepentant sinners to endure. It was consistent with His love, in that He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son for its redemption. Finally, what He did was consistent with His grace, because Christ’s sacrifice was substitutionary. The work of salvation was totally consistent with God’s nature. It was entirely fitting for Him to have done what He did.

What was fitting for the Father was equally fitting for the Son. Christ’s suffering humiliation for the sake of man’s salvation was consistent with His loving and gracious nature. Though all things were both for Him and through Him, He became for a little while lower than the angels in order to bring many sons to glory and become the perfect author of their salvation through sufferings. Here is the second perfection that His humiliation accomplished—Author of salvation. Jesus had to become a man and He had to suffer and die in order to be the perfect provider of salvation.

The Greek word for author is archēgos, literally, a “pioneer” or “leader.” In Acts 3:15 and 5:31 the term, used both times of Christ, is translated “Prince.” It always refers to someone who involves others in his endeavor. For example, it is used of a man who starts and heads a family, into which others are born or married. It is used of a man who founds a city, in which others come to live. It was commonly used of a pioneer who blazed a trail for others to follow. The archēgos never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front, leading and setting the example. As the supreme Archegos, Christ does not stand at the rear giving orders. He is always before us, as perfect Leader and perfect Example.

He lived for us the pattern of perfect obedience. “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:8–9). By His own obedience He set the perfect pattern for us. He also set us the the pattern for suffering. “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21).

For most people, life becomes most anxious and dreadful at the point of death. That is the point beyond which we cannot go a single step by ourselves. But the Author of our salvation promises us that “because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). The world’s ultimate question is: “Has anyone ever cheated death?”—to which the Bible replies: “Yes, Jesus Christ.” The second most important question is: “If He did, did He leave the way open for me?”—to which the Bible also replies, “Yes.” He did leave the way open. All we have to do is put our hand in His hand and He will lead us from one side of death to the other. When we accept Him as our Savior, we can say with the apostle Paul, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55).

As the great Pioneer of redemption, He blazed the trail through death and resurrection. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25–26). God made Christ for a little while lower than the angels so that He could come down to us, be our Archegos—our spiritual Pioneer and Example—and bring us to the Father.[2]

10 We are first reminded of the purpose that underlies the whole divine plan: it is to “bring many sons to glory.” (TNIV has correctly changed “sons” to “sons and daughters,” since no one believes the author thought only males were to be saved; such changes are rightly made throughout the letter wherever masculine terms such as “sons,” “brothers,” and “men” are used in an inclusive sense, and I shall from now on take them for granted rather than draw attention to them individually.) “Many” is in contrast with the one Son through whom the many are brought to glory (rather than restricting the scope of “everyone” in v. 9; cf. the “many” of Isa 53:11–12). The nature of that “glory” will be explained more fully later, for instance in terms of the heavenly “rest” (4:1–11) and the festivities of Mount Zion (12:22–24). Salvation is thus not merely a rescue mission but the positive fulfillment of the “glory and honor” for which humanity was created (Ps 8:5), sharing in the authority and glory of the living God, “for whom and through whom everything exists.” (Note that this clause echoes closely what was said of the Son in 1:2.) And it is the role of the Son to be the “author” of that salvation; the term archēgos (GK 795) means both “leader” and “originator,” and probably here as in 12:2 suggests not only the one who makes salvation possible but also the one who has gone on ahead to prepare the way (cf. 6:20). Some versions helpfully translate archēgos as “pioneer.” But his ability to fulfill that role depends on his first undergoing suffering on our behalf, so that it is “through what he suffered” (TNIV) that he becomes “perfect” as our savior. “Perfect” here, as always in Hebrews, is not a term for moral rectitude but speaks of the completion of God’s purpose (see Introduction, p. 32); Peterson, 66–73, argues in detail for a “vocational” sense here. There is no suggestion Jesus was at some time “imperfect” in the moral sense (cf. 4:15; 7:26).[3]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 99). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 65–67). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

March 27, 2017 – Enemies of Humility: Selfish Ambition

“But Jesus answered and said, ‘You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ ”

Matthew 20:22


Selfish ambition in spiritual things shows that we are ignorant of the real path to God’s glory.

Yesterday we saw that James and John, with their mother, posed a bold power–play question to the Lord Jesus. Now, as He answers them, they display another attitude at odds with the humble spirit: selfish ambition.

If the brothers’ power–play request was brazen, it was also very foolish. They did not have a clue about what was involved if Jesus granted their request. “The cup that I am about to drink” was His way of referring to His suffering and death. When He asked James and John if they were prepared to drink that cup, Christ was saying that if you are His disciple, you must be prepared for suffering and hardship.

In fact, Jesus’ words “to drink the cup” indicate that something very difficult lay ahead. Not only do those words refer to the Savior’s own painful suffering and death (Matt. 26:39), but they mean we must stay the course to the end, enduring whatever is necessary. James, John, and the other disciples initially did not have such staying power.

James and John, thinking they would always persevere, overconfidently declared, “We are able.” Peter brashly promised never to forsake the Lord, and all the other disciples echoed that pledge. But Peter denied Jesus three times, and the ambitious brothers, along with the rest of the disciples, fled after Jesus’ arrest.

The disciples eventually did finish well and shared in the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). James became the first martyred apostle, and John was exiled to the island of Patmos. But such faithfulness was not attained in their own strength, nor by their ambitious maneuvering, but by the Spirit’s power. This is a strong reminder to us that no position in God’s kingdom is rewarded because of selfish human ambition, but only by His sovereign choice of “those for whom it has been prepared” (Matt. 20:23).


Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that God would give you a view of service in His kingdom that is unclouded by your own ambitions.

For Further Study: Read and compare Psalms 15 and 75. What do they say about pride and humility? ✧ Meditate on several verses that relate to that theme.[1]

These verses reflect a second wrong way to spiritual greatness, that of self-serving ambition. The request of James, John, and their mother not only was brash but foolish. Bypassing the mother, Jesus answered the two brothers directly and said, “You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” The three had no idea of the full implications of their request.

The cup that Jesus was about to drink was the cup of suffering and death, which He had just finished describing to them (vv. 18–19). Jesus was saying, “Don’t you realize by now that the way to eternal glory is not through worldly success and honor but through suffering? Haven’t you heard what I’ve been teaching about the persecuted being blessed and about taking up your own crosses and following Me?”

The apostle Paul learned that the way to great glory is through great affliction for Christ’s sake. Although he suffered extreme hardship, persecution, and suffering, he considered those things to be insignificant compared to what awaited him in heaven. He told the self-serving, pleasure-loving Corinthians, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17). It is those who are persecuted “on account of Me” who Jesus said will have great reward in heaven (Matt. 5:11–12).

Suffering from physical afflictions such as disease, deformity, and accident or from the emotional distresses of a lost job or the death of a loved one can be used by the Lord to strengthen believers spiritually. He can help them grow even through problems and hardships they bring on themselves because of foolishness or sin. But the affliction that brings eternal glory is that which is brought about and is willingly endured because of faithfulness to the Lord. It is suffering because of the gospel, being “persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matt. 5:10). The one who has the greatest glory beside Christ in heaven will be the one who has faithfully endured the greatest suffering for Him on earth.

To drink the cup meant to drink the full measure, leaving nothing. It was a common expression that meant to stay with something to the end, to endure to the limits, whatever the cost. The cup that Jesus was about to drink was immeasurably worse than the physical agony of the cross or the emotional anguish of being forsaken by His friends, painful as those were. The full measure of His cup was taking the world’s sin upon Himself, an agony so horrible that He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).

Either because they completely misunderstood what Jesus meant or because, like Peter promising never to forsake Christ, they self-confidently thought they could endure anything required of them, James and John foolishly declared, “We are able.” And just as Peter denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed, those two brothers, along with all the other disciples, fled for their lives when Jesus was arrested (Matt. 26:56).[2]

22 The additional words “and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (KJV)—and similarly in v. 23—are almost certainly an assimilation to Mark 10:38–39. Jesus’ answer is not severe but mingles firmness with probing. It is often ignorance that seeks leadership, power, and glory; the brothers do not know what they are asking. To ask to reign with Jesus is to ask to suffer with him, and not only do they not know what they are asking for (cf. 10:37–39; Ro 8:17; 2 Ti 2:12; Rev 3:21); they have as yet no clear perceptions of Jesus’ sufferings. To ask for worldly wealth and much honor is often to ask for anxiety, temptation, disappointment, and envy; in the spiritual arena, to ask for great usefulness and reward is often to ask for great suffering (cf. 2 Co 11:23–33; Col 1:24; Rev 1:9). “We know not what we ask, when we ask for the glory of wearing the crown, and ask not for grace to bear the cross in our way to it” (Matthew Henry).

The “cup” (cf. 26:39) characteristically refers, in OT imagery, to judgment or retribution (cf. Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17–18; Jer 25:15–28). If the disciples grasped anything of Jesus’ passion predictions, they probably thought the language was partly hyperbolic (Jesus did use hyperbole elsewhere [e.g., 19:24]) and referred to the eschatological conflict during which Messiah’s side would suffer losses; but these could scarcely be too severe for one who could still storms and raise the dead. Thus, by their bold response, James and John betray their misunderstandings of the timing of the dawn of the kingdom in all its glory (cf. Lk 19:11), and equally of the uniqueness and redemptive significance of Jesus’ sufferings (cf. v. 28) now imminent.[3]

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

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 20:20). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 487–488). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.