Daily Archives: April 3, 2017

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


Apr. 3, 2017 |


An explosion rocked a subway train in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens, in what may have been a terrorist attack, authorities said.

The Senate is hurtling toward a confrontation over President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee in a week that could change how Washington works. Democrats are lining up to block a vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear he will be confirmed one way or the other — even if that means further eroding decades of Senate traditions that have forced the majority to compromise.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doubling down on a push to deepen ties with China, with Canada’s new envoy signaling he can move ahead on a free-trade deal without quickly advancing extradition treaty talks.

Italy’s unemployment declined in February as the number of people looking for a job fell the most in any month since July 2015.

The mayor said Friday that he wants to close the city’s troubled Rikers Island jail complex, though he cautioned that doing so would be difficult and take at least a decade. “It will take many years and it will take many tough decisions along the way, but it will happen,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Hungarians took to the streets to protest for academic freedom and against government legislation that a university funded by George Soros said is aimed at shutting it down.

AP Top Stories

A newspaper in the Mexican border city of Juarez announced Sunday that it is shutting down because the rampant, unpunished killings of journalists in the country have made it too dangerous to go on.

A landslide in Colombia’s southwestern border province of Putumayo sent mud and debris crashing onto houses overnight, killing at least 154 people and injuring scores, officials said on Saturday.

Black smoke smothered Dubai’s sky on Sunday after a fire broke out near the world’s tallest building. The desert metropolis looked almost apocalyptic as dark clouds rose from a high-rise tower complex being built alongside Dubai’s biggest mall.

March marked six years of civil war in Syria, and over 5 million Syrians have been misplaced as refugees since the war began. The United Nations released the figures Thursday, one year since countries around the world pledged to resettle 500,000 Syrian refugees. But only half of those refugees have found a new home since then.

China will create a new special economic zone outside Beijing similar to those established in Shenzhen and Shanghai, the government said, in a bid to boost flagging growth and reduce the strain on the capital.

Pirates have seized a small boat and kidnapped its 11 Indian crew members off the coast of Somalia, an investigator said, the latest vessel targeted by the region’s resurgent hijackers.

Four civilians were killed in February by U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. military said as it updated a tally of accidental deaths in the fight against the IS militants.

Venezuela’s pro-government Supreme Court revoked its takeover of the opposition-led Congress on Saturday after it drew international condemnation and protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Mylan is expanding a previously announced overseas recall to now include EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. devices distributed in the U.S. over concerns they may not function properly when needed. Mylan says certain epinephrine auto-injectors may have a defect that could “make the device difficult to activate in an emergency.” More precisely, the EpiPen could fail to function or could require additional force.

A joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor meant to counter the type of medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants became operational Sunday, completing Israel’s multi-layer defense system amid tensions on its frontiers with Syria and Gaza.

South Korea, Japan and the US held a joint naval exercise Monday aimed at countering missile threats from North Korean submarines, Seoul’s defense ministry said, amid mounting concerns over the hermit state’s weapons program.


Europe is becoming the global hub for the hosting of child sexual abuse images and videos, suggests a report.

President Donald Trump has said the United States will “solve” the nuclear threat from North Korea, with or without China’s help.

The BBC has seen evidence that so-called Islamic State (IS) has been using children as human shields as they fight to keep control of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Britain will send military trainers to Jordan to help the country’s air force in the fight against so-called Islamic State, the prime minister said.


423 new mosques, 500 closed churches in London. The city is ‘more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together’.

Democrats in Montana have opposed a bill banning the use of foreign law in its state courts on the grounds that such legislation would target Muslims.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to push for a new plan to create an identification card that would specifically be used to make sure illegal aliens in the city could get welfare benefits with minimal risk to repatriation.

California’s cigarette tax increased by $2 a pack Saturday under new tobacco policies passed by voters during last November’s general election.

The Briefing 04-03-17

This is the big week in Washington–the Supreme Court, the Senate, Neil Gorsuch, & the nuclear option.

Is the Senate filibuster itself a constitutional problem?

The NCAA plays hardball with North Carolina, becomes enforcer for LGBTQ demands.

Basketball over bathrooms — this is how a revolution in morality is coerced.

The post The Briefing 04-03-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 4/3/2017

Israel takes baby step toward rebuilding Temple?
The project is getting high praise from Israel advocates for rebuilding the Temple. Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a target of an assassination attempt in 2014 for his Temple advocacy, said he welcomed the plan for a Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and has personally lobbied for its creation. “We need to state clearly: The Temple Mount is the foundation of the history of the Jewish people and of the return to the land since the beginning of Zionism,” he said.

Trump, Putin meeting could mend deteriorating relationship, Kremlin spokesman says
Dmitry Peskov told ABC’s “This Week” that relations between the U.S. and Russia are “maybe worse” than the Cold War, but a meeting between the two sides have a chance to repair divisions. “I think if two presidents meet each other, if they exchange views, then there will be a chance for our volatile relations to get better,” Peskov said.

After golf with Trump, Paul says ‘very optimistic’ about ObamaCare repeal
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a top conservative critic of House Republicans’ failed plan to replace ObamaCare, concluded his golf outing Sunday with President Trump by saying party members are “getting closer” on a compromise repeal plan and that he remains “very optimistic.”

EU nations, Israel eye world’s longest undersea gas pipeline
Italy, Israel, Greece and Cyprus pledged Monday to move ahead with the world’s longest undersea gas pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe, with support from the European Union. If carried out as planned, the long-discussed $6.2 billion pipeline would take gas from Israel and Cyprus’s recently discovered offshore gas reserves to Europe and could help reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian energy at a time of ongoing tensions.

Brussels says Spain has its ‘full support’ for Brexit power grab over Gibraltar
BRUSSELS today insisted that Spain has its “full support” over its shameless attempt to use the people of Gibraltar as a bargaining chip in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Jared Kushner Makes Unannounced Trip to Iraq
Jared Kushner, the Jewish son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, reportedly traveled to Iraq over the weekend with a number of defense officials. Kushner, who has been tasked by Trump with the onerous burden of fostering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, serves as one of the president’s closest and most trusted advisors, but his role on the short Middle East trip is unclear.

Persecuted Christians Suffer “Worst Year Yet,” Mostly Under Islam
The persecution of Christians around the world, but especially in the Muslim world, has reached an all-time high—with 2016 being the “worst year yet,” according to Open Doors, which recently released its annual ranking of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution. Among some of its more significant findings:

The Yasser Arafat of the Democratic Party
To U.S. presidents and chief diplomatic correspondents he would profess his desire for peace and for a two-state solution, while to Arabs and Muslims he would impugn Jews, It is by this standard that I hereby judge Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer to be the Yasser Arafat of the Democratic Party. Schumer is so practiced at saying one thing to Democratic elites and another to the Democratic base that it is easy to fall for his charade.

Report: Surveillance on President Began Before He was GOP Nominee
The “unmasking”—revealing the identity of Americans “incidentally captured” during surveillance of foreign officials—was done “purely for political reasons,” not for any reason related to national security or foreign intelligence, he added. Quoting his sources, he said, “It had everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team.”

Human Rights Watch gives Israel ultimatum over Gaza war crime investigation
Human Rights Watch demanded on Monday that Israel allow its investigators into Gaza if it wants the International Criminal Court “to take seriously” Israel’s own war crimes investigations. The ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started a preliminary examination of 2014 Gaza war crimes allegations in January 2015. HRW accuses Israel in a 47-page report of preventing its researchers for accessing Gaza. It has also accused Egypt of preventing HRW visits to the coastal territory since 2008.

Palestinian Authority textbooks teach pupils to be expendable ‘martyrs’
The latest Palestinian Authority elementary school textbooks are even more radical than previous editions, according to a report just issued by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education. The report was based on examination of elementary- school grades one through four and high-school grades 11 and 12 of the 2016-2017 PA’s educational curriculum.

In first White House meeting in 7 years, Egypt expected to focus on security assistance
An Egyptian president will visit the White House for the first time in seven years on Monday when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi sits down with US President Donald Trump. The meeting is expected to focus on shared security concerns in the region. Sisi and Trump have reportedly struck up a rapport in phone calls preceding Monday’s visit, including in exchanges over UN Security Council action on Israel, terrorist activity in the Sinai Peninsula and US foreign assistance to the Egyptian state.

Somalia piracy: India ship hijacked in new attack
Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian cargo ship off the coast of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, officials there say. One source said the vessel was heading towards Somali shores. There were no details of the crew or destination. Some two weeks earlier an oil tanker en route to Mogadishu was seized by pirates who then released the boat apparently without conditions.

Islamic State group using human shields in Mosul
The BBC has gained exclusive access to the Iraqi army’s helicopter missions against IS militants in Mosul. BBC Persian reporter Nafiseh Kouhnavard witnessed IS militants using human shields to deter the military from firing at them. (Video)

Israel PM warns enemies at missile defense ceremony
A joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor meant to counter the type of medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants became operational Sunday, completing Israel’s multi-layer defense system…Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the unveiling ceremony for the David’s Sling system that defending the home front is of the “utmost importance.” He went on to warn “whoever tries to strike us will be hit, those that threaten our existence put themselves in existential danger.”

Soon you’ll be able to go to work in a flying taxi
Late for work? Imagine skipping the subway and instead heading to your local “vertiport,” where you can hop into an aircraft the size of an SUV that runs on electricity and works pretty much like an elevator…Insiders call the new breed of flying machine “e-VTOLs,” (pronounced “EE-VEE- talls”), an acronym for “electric vertical take off and landing.”

Rescuers, locals dig for Colombia flood victims, 254 die
Families and rescuers searched desperately on Sunday through mud-plastered rubble for victims of flooding and landslides in Colombia that have killed 254 people, injured hundreds and devastated entire neighborhoods. Several rivers burst their banks near the southwestern city of Mocoa in the early hours of Saturday, sending water, mud and debris crashing down streets and into houses as people slept.

New UN report attempts to equate Israel to slavery in the US
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) is expected to publish a report equating “the Israeli Occupation” to slavery in the United States and put the financial damages suffered by Palestinians as a result of “50 years of occupation” in the billions of dollars. The Arab-dominated committee recently published a report two weeks ago claiming that Israel established an Apartheid regime that controls the entire Palestinian people.

Pakistani prosecutor says he’ll let Christians out of prison — if they convert to Islam
Your freedom or your faith? That’s the question being posed to dozens of Christians currently awaiting trial in a prison in Pakistan. Forty-two Christians were arrested in 2015 for allegedly being involved in the hanging of two Muslims. The two Muslim Pakistanis were killed following two bomb blasts that occurred on Easter Sunday of the same year, killing 15 and injuring more than 70…Christians standing trial for murder are now being given a choice to either continue facing charges or convert to Islam.

‘Witches’ gather at Balboa Park to hex President Donald Trump
A gathering of so-called witches descended upon Balboa Park Saturday at “high noon” in an effort to impeach President Donald Trump by hex.

Jeb Bush warns robots taking US jobs is not science fiction
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Sunday that people “should be marching in the streets” to demand changes to “antiquated” education systems that aren’t preparing students to be competitive in the job market against the robots of the future.

Hungarians Take to the Streets to Support Soros’s University
Hungarians took to the streets to protest for academic freedom and against government legislation that a university funded by George Soros said is aimed at shutting it down. Thousands of Hungarians participated in the march on Sunday, Index news website reported. The demonstration was going to wind its way through Budapest, passing by the capital’s main universities, including local ones as well as Central European University, which was established and is funded by Soros, a billionaire financier and native of Hungary.

First Post-Brexit Tremors: Theresa May “Would Go To War” To Protect Gibraltar
The ink has yet to dry on Theresa May’s Article 50 signature from last week which officially started the UK’s 2-year long divorce from the EU, and already Europe has been traumatized by comments from former Conservative leader Michael Howard, who suggested that Theresa May is be prepared to go to war to protect Gibraltar.

How Obama’s White House Weaponized Media Against Trump
“On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect. “

Trump says US is ready to act alone on North Korea
President Donald Trump says that the United States is prepared to act alone if China does not take a tougher stand against North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump’s comments in an interview with the Financial Times come just days before he is set to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago estate in South Florida. The two are expected to discuss a number of issues, including North Korea, trade and territorial disputes in the South China Sea during their meeting on Thursday and Friday.

TRUMPED: Trail For Classified Trump Info Leaker Leads Directly To Senior Obama Official Susan Rice

President Donald Trump drew the world’s attention on Monday to ‘amazing reporting’ from Fox News that suggests the Obama administration spied on him before last year’s election.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Amazing revelation today that greatly supports President Trump’s claims that he was spied on at the request of the Obama administration, and that members of his transition team were unmasked. The trail of evidence leads directly to the doorstep of Barack Obama’s former national security advisor, Susan Rice. The main stream media knew about this, and have been sitting on the story for weeks now in an effort to shield Obama and his Shadow Government minions

‘Such amazing reporting on unmasking and the crooked scheme against us by @foxandfriends,’ Trump tweeted,’ saying that he had been ‘spied on before nomination.’

‘Fox and Friends’ began Monday’s broadcast with a ‘bombshell report about the unmasking of the Trump team.’

Reporter Adam Housley claimed that a U.S. intelligence official responsible for unmasking names of Trump associates is ‘very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world.’ The official, he reported, was known to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes since January.

Bombshell report over the weekend shows a ‘very high up’ Obama official unmasking Trump associates for political purposes, sources say pic.twitter.com/Rj6JEXbobb

— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 3, 2017

‘The main issue in this case, is not only the unmasking of these names of private citizens, but the spreading of these names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election,’ a congressional source close to the investigation told Fox News.

Trump drew widespread criticism last month for claiming that Obama surveilled his campaign illegally.

‘Adam Housley did an incredible job with this information,’ “Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said Monday.

‘We heard germs of it, that it was beginning to take root during Friday’s show. But right after Friday’s show, we were able to get a perspective on basically what President Trump thought a month ago when he went out and tweeted on Saturday morning. Man, I guess on some level he saw some things that only somebody surveilling his administration would know.’

Co-host Steve Doocy added that ‘what Trump was saying is turning out to be true.’

On Sunday, the president tweeted that the ‘real story turns out to be SURVEILLANCE and LEAKING!’

‘Find the leakers,’ he added.

Trump tweeted Saturday morning: ‘Wow, Fox News just reporting big news. Source: “Official behind unmasking is high up. Known Intel official is responsible. Some unmasked … not associated with Russia. Trump team spied on before he was nominated.” If this is true, does not get much bigger. Would be sad for U.S.’ source

Susan Rice, who was former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, did not respond to a report from Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake that on multiple occasions, she made requests to unmask United States citizens connected to President Donald Trump’s transition team.

According to Lake, Rice did not respond to an email seeking comment on the story. The breaking news helps confirm some of President Trump’s accusations that senior Obama officials were involved in disseminating classified information about his transition team to the media, fueling new details about the congressional investigations into Russia’s meddling in the election.

.@FoxNews from multiple sources: “There was electronic surveillance of Trump, and people close to Trump. This is unprecedented.” @FBI

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2017

On Monday, Fox News senior correspondent Adam Housley said that the “unprecedented” unmasking took place at the direction of “very high-up” officials.

“A lot of these men and women in the intelligence communities did not want to speak about what’s going on because they were concerned about those methods being known,” Housley reported. “But now, they figure they might as well at least clarify things since Nunes has been leaked to by someone they don’t know or at least they tell me they don’t know.”

Susan Rice has not denied the allegations, saying only, “I know nothing about this” when asked about the reports last month on PBS. source

The Ticking Time Bomb That Will Wipe Out Virtually Every Pension Fund In America

Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true.  Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages.  Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis that everyone can see coming well in advance, and yet nothing is being done about it. (Read More…)

What Is America Going To Look Like When Stocks, Home Prices And Even Used Cars All Crash By At Least 50 Percent?

Have you ever thought about what comes after the bubble?  In 2008 we got a short preview of what life will be like, but most Americans seem to have come to the conclusion that the last financial crisis was just a minor bump in the road toward endless economic prosperity.  But of course the truth is that the ridiculously high debt-fueled standard of living that we are enjoying now is not sustainable, and after this bubble bursts it will be an extremely painful adjustment for our society. (Read More…)


APRIL 3, 2017

Attack Piece on VP Makes Media Look Silly

Leftmedia attempts to shame Pence as a prude.


“Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters.” —Samuel Adams (1775)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: April 03

  • Buying a Home This Spring Will Be Hardest in Years (Read More)
  • Senate showdown likely over Gorsuch confirmation (Read More)
  • ‘Nuclear’ Bid to Confirm Gorsuch May Radically Change Washington (Read More)
  • Trump’s son-in-law, Kushner, flies into Iraq with top U.S. general (Read More)
  • Solid Asia factory growth caps a strong first quarter but outlook cloudy (Read More)
  • Trump presses China on North Korea ahead of Xi talks (Read More)
  • The Rising Retirement Perils of 401(k) ‘Leakage’ (Read More)
  • Spain Tells U.K. to Keep Its Cool After Gibraltar Compared to Falklands (Read More)
  • U.S. backs out of Latam development fund in sign of policy shift (Read More)
  • Here’s What U.S. Farmers Will Plant More (and Less) of in 2017 (Read More)
  • Democrat Donnelly to support Trump pick for U.S. Supreme Court (Read More)
  • Fed’s Rebel Defends Autonomy as Trump-Molded Central Bank Looms (Read More)
  • Toshiba shares tumble after sources say third earnings postponement likely (Read More)
  • Tesla delivers quarterly record of 25,000 vehicles in first quarter (Read More)
  • ‘Cartel’ Traders Weigh Surrender to Face U.S. Rigging Charges (Read More)
  • Less noodles, beer and movies? Clouds on Chinese consumption horizon (Read More)
  • Almost a Decade Later, U.S. Money Markets Are Yet to Recover (Read More)
  • Poland accuses Russian air traffic controllers over Smolensk air crash (Read More)
  • Thiam’s Turnaround Clouded by Tax Probe of Credit Suisse (Read More)
  • Toronto Bidding Wars So Fierce That Homebuyers Skip Inspections (Read More)
  • Ecuador leftist claims victory, conservative demands recount (Read More)
  • Shares in Turkish Chocolate Company Tumble After April Fools’ Day Ad Goes Wrong (Read More)
  • German court rebuffs VW complaint over prosecutors’ searches (Read More)

Top Headlines – 4/3/2017

Egypt’s Sissi said set to present Trump with Mideast peace plan

In first White House meeting in 7 years, Egypt expected to focus on security assistance

In DC visit, Egypt’s el-Sissi to test ‘chemistry’ with Trump

Trump welcomes Egypt’s ‘fantastic guy’ Sissi amid questions on rights record

Trump to host Middle East leaders after Israel curbs settlement construction

Report: US-Israel talks on settlements suspended after no progress made

UN vote on Israeli settlements has changed little

Bennett, Netanyahu spar over right-wing bona fides after settlement curbs

Israel PM warns enemies at missile defense ceremony

Human Rights Watch says Israel, Egypt blocking Gaza access for its researchers

Explosion in Gaza injures 3 at reported Hamas military site

Hamas: The ‘Zionists’ murdered Faqha

Hamas vows ‘divine punishment’ for assassins of terror chief

Palestinian Authority textbooks teach pupils to be expendable ‘martyrs’

New UN report attempts to equate Israel to slavery in the US

Israeli envoy calls for Passover cleaning to rid UN of anti-Israel bias

Jerusalem police on high alert ahead of Passover holiday

Activists barred from sacrificing sheep near Temple Mount

New video debunks belief Third Temple must be built by Messiah

Sifting for Temple Mount artifacts halts as funding dries up

Israel, EU nations promise world’s longest undersea gas pipeline

UK to send military trainers to Jordan to help fight IS

U.S.-backed forces repel Islamic State attack near Syrian dam

Islamic State group using human shields in Mosul

Jared Kushner Visits Iraq on Invitation From Joint Chiefs Chairman

Met police look at allegations of Saudi war crimes in Yemen

U.S. increasingly sees Iran’s hand in the arming of Bahraini militants

20 Are Hacked and Beaten to Death at Pakistani Shrine

Pakistani prosecutor says he’ll let Christians out of prison – if they convert to Islam

Montana Democrats Vote Against Bill Banning Sharia Law, Call It ‘Repugnant’

1m African migrants may be en route to Europe, says former UK envoy

NYPD alerts feds to Criminal Court appearances of immigrants facing deportation despite ‘sanctuary’ vow

Hungarians Take to the Streets to Support Soros’s University

Somalia piracy: India ship hijacked in new attack

Thousands dead: the Philippine president, the death squad allegations and a brutal drugs war

Trump says US will act alone on North Korea if China fails to help

Ash Carter: A US pre-emptive strike on North Korea could lead to ‘invasion’ of South Korea

Lithuania says Russia has ability to launch Baltic attack in 24 hours

Trump, Putin meeting could mend deteriorating relationship, Kremlin spokesman says

US ambassador to UN says no question of Russian interference

Moscow And Beijing Join Forces To Bypass US Dollar In Global Markets, Shift To Gold Trade

Back from the brink? Venezuela reverses its congressional ‘coup’ but tensions remain

WikiLeaks’ Assange asylum winner in Ecuador election

‘It’s easier to hack an election than eBay’: confessions of a Belarusian hacker

French candidate Fillon: Govt manipulating presidential race

Former Obama staffers run for office to protect the progressive policies they built

Home stretch for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee could forever alter the Senate

Senate faces nuclear showdown over Neil Gorsuch nomination

How Obama’s White House Weaponized Media Against Trump

Trump applauds ‘amazing’ Fox News coverage of surveillance claim

Drone complaints soar as concerns grow over snooping

AT&T, Comcast and Verizon explain that they don’t sell your browser historyEngadget

How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its Drivers’ Buttons

Jeb Bush warns robots taking US jobs is not science fiction

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Cerro Punta, Panama

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Sungaipenuh, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Amsterdam Island, France

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Stilfontein, South Africa

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

3.0 earthquake hits Ohio

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Kambalny volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 26,000ft

Feugo volcano in Guatemala erupts to 25,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Toll in Colombia mudslides rises to 254 dead, including 43 children

Australia floods still rising with two dead, four missing

Southeast set for more severe weather after tornado, flooding kills three

Utah Adopts Informed Consent Law for Medication Abortions

Trump Revokes Obama Executive Order Awarding Contracts to Companies With LGBT Policies

Jailed for using Grindr: homosexuality in Egypt

Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says

14-year-old charged in Facebook Live sexual assault of 15-year-old girl, warrant issued for 2nd suspect

Instagram users: we’ve created the most narcissistic social network on the planet

‘Witches’ gather at Balboa Park to hex President Donald Trump

Jesus Didn’t Let Theology Get in the Way Says Saddleback Church

The Presence Conference: Peddling The Gospel of Selfishness

Joyce Meyer’s “Have a Great Day” Theology: Book Review

False Teacher of the Day #3: Ulf Ekman

Apostle Russel Evans of Planetshakers – are they a cult?

City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee and 5 CHC leaders back in court on April 7

Growing Number of Americans Love Jesus but Don’t Go to Church, Barna Finds

Elderly Ohio Pastor Found Murdered in His Home

At meeting, Mormon leaders encourage more baptisms for the dead

Tajikistan Churches Investigated for Underage Attendees

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

UPDATE: ISIS Claims Russia Bombing ‘a Metro to Hell for the Worshipers of the Cross’

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 08:42 AM PDT

At least eight fatalities have been reported and dozens injured today by two explosions on a subway system in St. Petersburg, Russia. A spokesman for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Chicago Resident Calls For Children To Be Equipped With Bulletproof Helmets, Vests…

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 08:37 AM PDT

After a violent day in the South Shore neighborhood, a longtime resident questioned why there is no the outrage from black activists. “I see them…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Indiana Senate Passes Bill Protecting Religious Expression in Public Schools

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:24 AM PDT

The Indiana Senate has passed a bill meant to protect religious expression in public schools. H.B. 1024 passed 44-5 on Thursday despite opposition from groups…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is T-Mobile Waging ‘War on Prayer’ Over Extra Fee Charges?

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:15 AM PDT

Thousands of believers are realizing they’re being charged extra by one of the nation’s leading wireless service providers for participating in prayer line conference calls…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Growing Number of Americans Love Jesus but Don’t Go to Church

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:09 AM PDT

While an increasing number of Americans are reportedly abandoning the institutional church and its defined boundary markers of religious identity, many Americans still believe in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Only 4 Percent of Millennials Hold a “Biblical Worldview”

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:04 AM PDT

Four percent of millennials hold a biblical worldview, according to a recent study. The American Culture and Faith Institute (ACFI) published results of a survey earlier…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is There More to the Passover That’s Yet to Be Fulfilled in Our Day?

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:58 AM PDT

(By Kelly Mcdonald Jr) “When the hour had come, He and the twelve apostles with Him sat down. And He said to them, ‘I have…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mysterious energy signals detected from space…

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:52 AM PDT

Rare and brief bursts of cosmic radio waves have puzzled astronomers since they were first detected 10 years ago. Some suggested these mysterious bursts of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Zika Mosquitos Detected in 129 California Cities…

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:45 AM PDT

The mosquitos that can carry the Zika virus have reportedly appeared in 129 California cities. With cold winter weather the only major obstacle to the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korean Defector Warns ‘World Should be Ready’ For NK Nuke Attack!

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:39 AM PDT

A senior North Korean defector has told NBC News that the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Witches’ Gather in California to hex President Donald Trump

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:34 AM PDT

A gathering of so-called witches descended upon Balboa Park Saturday at “high noon” in an effort to impeach President Donald Trump by hex. 10News reporter…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Coming Asteroid To Make Closest Pass By Earth in 400 Years

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:29 AM PDT

A huge 1km-wide asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, prompting astronomers to label it “potentially hazardous”. But don’t pack for Mars just yet – the giant…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Explosion reported at St. Petersburg train station

Posted: 03 Apr 2017 05:26 AM PDT

A suspected IED explosion inside a car of the St. Petersburg Metro system has resulted in casualties among passengers, according to the transit system’s management….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Japan’s Mount Asama volcano erupts for the first time since 2009

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 08:28 PM PDT

Mount Asama, a volcano on the border of Japan’s Gunma and Nagano prefectures has erupted On April 2, 2017. People in the vicinity immediately took…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RISE OF ISLAM: 500 churches close in London and replaced with 423 new mosques

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 08:23 PM PDT

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together,” says London Islamic preacher Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi. The city of London – dubbed “Londonistan”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Saying the Wrong Thing On Facebook Could Cost You Up To $500K

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 08:15 PM PDT

If you’re not putting too much thought into what you share on Facebook and your other social media accounts, this might be a good time…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: 2 volcanoes spew ash in Russia’s Kamchatka rattled by quakes

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 08:07 PM PDT

Two of Kamchatka’s volcanos – Kambalny and Kluchevskoy – have spewed ash thousands of meters into the air, as eruptions and seismic activity intensified in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Insightful Scriptures for Developing Your Heavenly Prayer Language

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 08:01 PM PDT

(By Jared Laskey) Praying in tongues is an amazing and precious gift. It seems many churches have tried to shy away from it, hiding it…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Chinese Christians Detained for 15 Days for Attending Bible Study

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 07:52 PM PDT

More than 20 police officers from China’s southwestern Sichuan Province recently detained 15 Christians for attending a Bible study. Authorities broke into a church in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS: Trump vows to stop North Korea…

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 07:44 PM PDT

Donald Trump has warned he will “solve” the nuclear threat posed by North Korea if China doesn’t. Speaking from the Oval Office in an interview…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What Is America Going To Look Like When Stocks, Home Prices And Even Used Cars All Crash By At Least 50 Percent?

Posted: 02 Apr 2017 07:40 PM PDT

(By Michael Snyder) Have you ever thought about what comes after the bubble?  In 2008 we got a short preview of what life will be…

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

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Shocking News: Steven Furtick Goes Full-On Prosperity

Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen shares what’s going on with prophet-pastor Steven Furtick:

If it isn’t enough that Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation, the multi-campus megachurch in Charlotte, NC is a habitual twister of the Scriptures for the purpose of self-promotion and egotistical gain, it’s now abundantly clear that he’s gone full-on Prosperity Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel is a false gospel that teaches that God promises to all believers who have “enough faith” a long life of good health and extraordinary wealth. Never mind that the proponents of this false gospel are regularly afflicted with various calamities, including death. Recently, Eddie Long, one of the most notorious proponents of the distorted gospel of health and wealth died after a long battle with cancer. Then you have others, like Jan Crouch, who died unexpectedly. Perhaps their faith failed them? Perhaps they did not ask therefore they did not receive?

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Three Reasons God is a Cessationist

Jordan Standrich has some thoughts on cessationism vs. continuationism to help us think through this challenging topic. “An important part of cessationism,” says Standridge “is God Himself and what He has done in history.”

In this piece over at The Cripplegate, Standrich offers three reasons to bolster his argument that God is a cessationist and not a continuationist. He writes:

Lord I believe that Jordan will play in the NBA! No! I declare Jordan will play in the NBA!

That was a sentence that a guy prayed over me as we were leaving a basketball camp I attended in high school. He said that sentence as he alternated between speaking in tongues and speaking in English. I wanted to say, “have you not seen me play this whole week? I’ll be lucky to start on my high school team this year!” That was the first time I was exposed to the modern version of the gift tongues. Over the years I’ve had a chance to attend quite a few pentecostal churches and events but it wasn’t until I got to seminary that I really started gaining interest in Charismatic theology.

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Research: New Apostolic Reformation

For the Person Who Feels Weak

There’s no denying it. I am weak to the core.

My body is weak as it continues to be beaten down by Lyme disease and its devastating effects. My mothering abilities feel weak as I grow weary caring for four sick children who are also being ravaged by this awful disease.

My marriage has had weaknesses exposed as my husband and I carry stress loads that statistically leave 90% of marriages in divorce. Even our basic needs have left us feeling weak and vulnerable after my husband was laid off work. And if I’m honest, my faith has felt weak as I’ve wrestled with the Lord through my confusion, fears, anger, and weariness.

Three Reminders for the Weak and Weary

In my flesh, I despise feeling weak. But in the Spirit, I’ve found a sufficient and satisfying strength. If you’re struggling with weakness (whether physical, emotional, or spiritual), be encouraged by these three reminders from Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:

1. You are accepted and loved.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. (v. 8)

When my husband lost his job, I went through a period of shock and didn’t want to speak to anyone, including the Lord. We were already feeling like we were sinking, and had been praying for deliverance, healing, and provision. I felt angry, confused about how to reconcile what I felt with what I knew to be true about the Lord, and numb, completely overwhelmed by reality. What do we do in a place like this?

We throw ourselves upon Christ, even the messy, doubting, angry part of us. He knows our thoughts, emotions, and hearts better than we do. We are believing a lie if we think we must pull ourselves together before we can come to him.

Why do we seek momentary comforts and solutions to temporarily drown our pain, rather than casting ourselves at his feet in dependence on his mercy, grace, provision, and strength? Jesus knows what we need and is able and willing to provide it, so let’s bring ourselves to him in honest prayer and receive what he has for us in his Word. He will be faithful to meet us where we are—weakness, mess, and all.

2. He gives strength.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (v. 9)

Just as we can’t see the wind with our eyes, yet see evidence of its presence, we can’t see or always feel the strength of Christ flowing through us, yet we see evidence of his power. I marvel at how the Lord has infused me with his strength. In my flesh, I’ve wanted to run—but I didn’t. In my flesh, I wanted to be angry at the Lord, yet I found myself desperate to be near him and drawn to the Word as if it were my very lifeline of survival. I felt no desire to get up each morning to care for my kids (or myself), yet somehow I made it through another day.

Although I don’t feel strong, I see incredible evidence of his strength in me. So draw near to Christ honestly and trust him to give you the strength you need. You may not feel it in the moment, but he will be faithful to equip you, even if it’s simply to take your next breath.

3. His strength brings joy.

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (vv. 9-10)

In Christ, you will experience joy, even in circumstances that you don’t enjoy. Paul’s weaknesses drew him into a deeper love-relationship with and reliance on his Savior. Though I imagine he found no joy in the thorn in his flesh, his words express a contentment and joy as he experienced the strength of Christ. Oh, I pray this would be true of you and me!

Whatever trials we are entrusted with, may we be so satisfied in Jesus that we gladly boast in our weaknesses because of how Christ’s power is miraculously displayed through them. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t pray for relief, healing, or provision; but if the Lord chooses not to bring it, we have an opportunity to bear the evidence of Christ’s power shining through our flawed, weak, and broken lives.

Strength in Weakness

There is a strange freedom that comes with knowing that God alone is big enough to save us. While we’ve been blown away by the love that others have shown us, ultimately it is Christ who has sustained us, provided for us, and carried us through this darkness.

In the words of Charles Spurgeon,

Oh, storm-tossed believer, it’s a happy trouble that drives you to your Father! Now that you have only your God to trust in, see that you put your full confidence in Him….Show the strong person how strong you are in your weakness when underneath the everlasting arms. Now’s the time for feats of faith and valiant exploits. Be strong and very courageous, and the Lord your God will surely glorify Himself in your weakness.


The post For the Person Who Feels Weak appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Why calling Rick Warren a ‘General’ is significant

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research responds to the question many in the Christian community are asking: How do I know if my church is part of the New Apostolic Reformation?  Here’s what she says:

What’s in a name? When the name and title of “General” is used in a church leadership context, it’s a rank that ought to be a red flag for you.  After reading this article, I hope it will be in the future.

First, the photo. Hillsong’s Brian Houston posted this on his Facebook profile:

The rank title in this case may be easily dismissed as nothing more than just a friendly term of endearment. But did you know that “General” is code word for Apostle within the New Apostolic Reformation movement?

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The Master’s Seminary 2017 Faculty Lectures: Believers, The Bible and the LGBTQIA community

The Domain for Truth

For some reason I did not realized until now that the Master’s Seminary’s 2017 Faculty Lectures was on the topic of “Believers, The Bible and the LGBTQIA community.”  Every year the Seminary has their faculty lectures on various topics around late January to February.

This topic would be very relevant given all the issues today.  There are six lectures total in this series below.

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April 3, 2017: Verse of the day


The Pattern for True Greatness

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (20:28)

The emphasis of this verse is in the words just as the Son of Man. What Jesus says about Himself should also characterize His followers. “I am your perfect Pattern,” He was saying, “your supreme Example. My attitude should be Your attitude, and My kind of living should be your kind of living. If you want to be great as God wants you to be great, be like Me.”

To discover what it means to become a godly servant and slave, the disciples had only to look at the Son of Man Himself. Many years after John presumptuously asked to be seated at Jesus’ side in the kingdom, the now humble apostle wrote, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). As once his life had centered in himself and his great desire had been to lord it over others, now it was centered in Jesus Christ and was abandoned to the selfless service of others in His name. He no longer sought to manipulate Jesus but only to emulate Him.

In His incarnate role as the Son of Man, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. “Although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:6–9).

Jesus is the supreme example of humility and servanthood, because, as the sovereign of the universe and of all eternity, He subjected Himself to humiliation and even to death. He is the most exalted because He faithfully endured the most humiliation. Although He was the King of kings and had the right to be served by others, He ministered as a Servant of servants and gave His life to serve others.

During the Last Supper, after the disciples had again been arguing about which of them was the greatest, Jesus asked, “Who is greater, the one who reclines at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27). It was probably at this time that Jesus gave them the beautiful object lesson of servanthood recorded by John.

[Jesus] laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. … And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:4–5, 12–17)

Jesus’ ultimate act of servanthood, however, was to give His life. “Greater love has no one than this,” He said, “that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Some years ago, Joe Delaney, a star football player for the Kansas City Chiefs, saw three young boys out in a lake, crying out for help and struggling to stay above the water. Although he was himself a poor swimmer, Joe dived into the water and tried to save them. One of the boys was rescued, but Joe and the other two boys drowned. He willingly laid down his life in an effort to save those boys, making the ultimate sacrifice in their behalf.

Although such heroes are lauded, the world understands little of that kind of selflessness, which runs counter to man’s natural inclination to self-preservation. But self-giving is to be the normal pattern for Christians, just as it was the normal pattern for Christ.

In His next statement, Jesus presents the first explicit New Testament teaching about the redemptive work of the Messiah. He would vicariously suffer for the sins of mankind as a ransom for those who trust in Him. He did not simply give His life an example for others. He was no mere martyr for a godly cause, as some claim. Nor was He merely an example of life-giving selflessness, although He was indeed the supreme example of that. Jesus not only lived and died for others but died as a ransom for others.

In that redemptive aspect, of course, His followers cannot follow His example. Nothing that a believer can do will have any direct spiritual benefit for himself or others. If he could not merit his own salvation, he surely cannot merit the salvation of someone else.

Lutron (ransom) was the term commonly used for the redemption price of a slave, the amount required to buy his freedom. It is used only twice in the New Testament (see also Mark 10:45), both times in reference to Christ’s giving of Himself to redeem others. Here it is followed by the proposition anti (“instead of”), expressing an exchange. In 1 Timothy 2:6, the word used for “ransom” is antilutron, which simply combines the two words used here. In both cases the idea is that of a price paid for a life.

The unbeliever is a slave to sin, the flesh, Satan, and death, and it was to redeem men from those slaveries that Jesus gave His life a ransom in exchange for sinners. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Paul explained to believers in Rome. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:1–3). “Having been freed from sin,” the apostle had told them earlier, “you became slaves of righteousness” (6:18). Christ’s sacrifice bought us back from the slavery of sin.

And although the noun lutron is used only twice in the New Testament, other forms of the root word are used frequently, as are numerous synonyms. “For you have been bought with a price,” Paul reminded the worldly Corinthian believers; “therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20). To the Galatians he wrote, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13; cf. 4:5); to the Ephesians he wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7; cf. v. 14; 4:30); and to Titus he wrote, “[Christ] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). Peter reminds believers that they “were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, … but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18–19). In John’s magnificent vision on Patmos he heard the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders proclaim of Christ, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9).

Jesus’ ransom was paid to God to satisfy His holy justice, and it was more than sufficient to cover the sins of everyone who has ever lived and ever will live. His death was sufficient for “the whole world,” says John (1 John 2:2). It is not the Lord’s will “for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). And because He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), He has therefore provided atonement for every person. “For this is the will of My Father,” Jesus said, “that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).

Although His ransom is sufficient for every person, it is valid only for those who believe in Him. It is in that sense that His redemption is for many, rather than for all. The Lord was not teaching limited atonement, the idea that He died only for the sins of a select few. Paul makes it dear that Christ died for the whole world: “The man Christ Jesus … gave Himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:5–6).

The basic idea behind anti (for) is that of being set over against something else, and the word was often used to denote an exchange or substitution. In becoming a ransom for many, Jesus exchanged His life for the lives of the many who would believe in Him. It became His death for the deaths of those many, His undeserved punishment for the punishment they deserved. As Isaiah had predicted 700 years earlier, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; … He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (Isa. 53:4–5).

Christ, then, is the pattern for all to follow in being servant leaders. By giving His life He gained the eternal glory and esteem of God and men. That is the path to greatness.

MacArthur New Testament Commentary

28 At this point, Jesus presents himself—the Son of Man (see comments at 8:20)—as the supreme example of service to others. The verse is clearly important to our understanding of Jesus’ view of his death. Three related questions call for discussion.

1. Authenticity. Many reject the authenticity of v. 28, or at least of v. 28b (and, correspondingly, Mark 10:45; most recently, see McKnight, Jesus and His Death, 356–57), on the grounds that it ill suits the context, since Jesus’ atoning death cannot be imitated by his disciples, that nowhere else is he reported as speaking of his death in this way, and that the language reflects the influence of the Hellenistic church. On the contrary, the language has been shown to be Palestinian (Jeremias, Eucharistic Words, 179–82), and Jesus speaks of his death in not dissimilar terms when instituting the Lord’s Supper (26:26–29) and also in Luke 22:37, assuming that it relates to a different occasion. It is quite common in the NT, both in words ascribed to Jesus and elsewhere, to begin with the disciples’ need to die to self and end up with Jesus’ unique, atoning death as an ethical example—or, conversely, to begin with Jesus’ unique death and find it applied as an example to the disciples (16:21–28; Jn 12:23–25; Php 2:5–11; 1 Pe 2:18–25). There are no substantial reasons for denying the authenticity of this saying (cf. S. H. T. Page, “The Authenticity of the Ransom Logion [Mark 10:45b],” in Gospel Perspectives [ed. France and Wenham], 1:137–61), and its nuances seem much more in keeping with the way Jesus progressively revealed himself (cf. Carson, “Christological Ambiguities”) than with a clear-cut, postresurrection apostolic confession.

2. Meaning. It is natural to take “did not come” as presupposing at least a hint of Jesus’ preexistence, though the language does not absolutely require it. He came not to be served, like a king dependent on countless courtiers and attendants, but to serve others. Stonehouse (Witness of Matthew, 251ff.; Origins, 187) rightly points out that the verse assumes that the Son of Man had every right to expect to be served, but he served instead. Implicit is a self-conscious awareness that the Son of Man who, because of his heavenly origin, possessed divine authority was the one who humbled himself, even to the point of undergoing an atoning death. The tripartite breakdown of the Son of Man references (see Reflections, p. 247) is to this extent artificial. The display of divine glory shines most brightly when it is set aside for the sake of redeeming man by a shameful death. This stands at the very heart of Jesus’ self-disclosure and of the primitive gospel (1 Co 1:23: “We preach Christ [Messiah] crucified”).

The Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, 331–32) points out that lytron (“ransom,” GK 3389) was most commonly used as the purchase price for freeing slaves; there is good evidence that the notion of “purchase price” is always implied in the NT use of lytron (cf. Morris, Apostolic Preaching, 11ff.). Others, however, by examining the word in the LXX, conclude that, especially when the subject is God, the word means “deliverance” and the cognate verb “to deliver,” without reference to a “price paid” (cf. Hill, Greek Words, 58–80; McKnight, Jesus and His Death, 357). The matter may be difficult to decide in a passage like Titus 2:14. Is wickedness a chain from which Jesus by his death delivers us, or a slave owner from whom Jesus by his death ransoms us? The parallel in 1 Peter 1:18 suggests the latter, even though (as Turner, Christian Words, 105–7, insists) there is never any mention in the NT of the one to whom the price is paid, and in 20:28, this meaning is virtually assured by the use of anti (“for”). The normal force of this preposition denotes substitution, equivalence, exchange (cf. NIDNTT, 3:1179–80). “The life of Jesus, surrendered in a sacrificial death, brought about the release of forfeited lives. He acted on behalf of the many by taking their place” (ibid., 1180).

“The many” underlines the immeasurable effects of Jesus’ solitary death: the one dies, the many find their lives “ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,” a great host no man can number (cf. J. Jeremias, “Das Lösegeld für Viele,” Judaica 3 [1948]: 263). But it should be remembered that “the many” can refer, in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the rabbinic literature, to the elect community (cf. Ralph Marcus, “ ‘Mebaqqer’ and Rabbim in the Manual of Discipline vi:11–13,” JBL 75 [1956]: 298–302). This suggests Jesus’ substitutionary death is payment for and results in the eschatological people of God. This well suits “the many” of Isaiah 52:13–53:12.

3. Dependence on Isaiah 53. C. K. Barrett (“The Background of Mark 10.45,” in New Testament Essays [ed. A. J. B. Higgins; Manchester: Manchester Univ. Press, 1959], 1–18; idem, “Mark 10.45: A Ransom for Many,” in New Testament Essays [London: SPCK, 1972], 20–26), Hooker (Son of Man, 140–47), and others have argued that there is no allusion to Isaiah in Mark 10:45 and Matthew 20:28. They argue this on two grounds: linguistic and conceptual. Linguistically, they point out that the Greek verb diakoneō (“I serve,” v. 28) and its cognates are never used in the LXX to render ʿebed (“servant” of Isaiah’s “Servant Songs,” GK 6269) and its cognates. But the evidence is slight, and the conceptual parallels close—Isaiah’s Servant benefits people by his suffering, and so does Jesus. Hooker is certainly incorrect in restricting diakoneō to domestic service (cf. France, “Servant of the Lord,” 34). Both France and Moo (Old Testament in the Gospel Passion Narratives, 122–27) have also shown that “to give his life” springs from Isaiah 53:10, 12, and that lytron (“ransom”) is not as impossible a rendering of ʾās̆ām (“a guilt offering”) as some allege. The Hebrew word ʾās̆ām includes the notion of substitution, at least of an equivalent. The guilty sinner offers an ʾās̆ām to remove his own guilt; in Leviticus 5, ʾās̆ām refers to compensatory payment. Thus, though, ʾās̆ām has more sacrificial overtones than lytron, both include the idea of payment or compensation. Most scholars have also recognized in “the many” a clear reference to Isaiah (cf. esp. Dalman, Jesus-Jeshua, 171–72). The implication of the cumulative evidence is that Jesus explicitly referred to himself as Isaiah’s Suffering Servant (see comments at 26:17–30) and interpreted his own death in that light—an interpretation in which Matthew has followed his Lord (see comments at 8:17; 12:15–21).

Both Mark (10:45) and Matthew (here) tie their understanding of this verse not only to the immediate pericope but to their entire gospel narrative (see Bolt, Cross from a Distance, ch. 2).

Expositor’s Bible Commentary