Daily Archives: April 12, 2017

April 12, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Apr. 12, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a rethinking of the entire structure of the federal government, a move that could eventually lead to a downsizing of the overall workforce and changes to the basic functions and responsibilities of many agencies.

President Donald Trump is finding little support among his Asian allies — both publicly and behind the scenes — as he weighs a military attack on North Korea after unilaterally firing missiles on Syria.

South Korea’s government sought to quell any anxiety about potential military action as tensions rise following the U.S.’s deployment of warships near North Korea.

Concerns about rising global tensions surrounding Syria and North Korea are revitalizing demand for gold as a haven, with the metal trading near the highest since Trump was elected president.

Brazil’s under-fire political establishment was dealt another blow on Tuesday after a Supreme Court judge authorized investigations into leading members of the government as well as dozens of the country’s most senior politicians.

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered for next month’s presidential election in apparent defiance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s advice not to run to avoid polarizing the country.

NASA scientists glean valuable data about powerful space explosions and the energy of black holes from their Swift and Fermi satellites. The projects were supposed to last a few years. Instead, they’ve survived for more than a decade. “It’s a matter of time before someone hacks into something in space,” Hanna-Ruiz, 44, said in an interview at her office in Washington. “We see ourselves as a very attractive target.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday rolled back an Obama administration attempt to reform how student loan servicers collect debt. Obama issued a pair of memorandums last year requiring that the government’s Federal Student Aid office, which services $1.1 trillion in government-owned student loans, do more to help borrowers manage, or even discharge, their debt. But in a memorandum to the department’s student aid office, DeVos formally withdrew the Obama memos.

AP Top Stories

President Trump has a simple message about military action in Syria: The United States is not going in. “Our policy is the same, We’re not going into Syria.”

President Trump suggested on Tuesday that he could sweeten the terms of a trade agreement with China if Beijing assists in solving the North Korea “problem” – but that the United States is prepared to move forward in the western Pacific without Chinese help.

A former state governor for Mexico’s ruling party arrested in Italy at the weekend could be extradited to his homeland or the United States, where he faces a string of criminal charges linked to drug trafficking, authorities said on Monday.

The U.S. military’s airstrikes that attacked an air force base in Syria last week did not aim to destroy the very chemical weapons that led to the bombings.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled tough new federal rules to clamp down on undocumented immigrants and deter others from entering the United States, setting the stage for a surge in immigration prosecutions.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russia’s Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko touched down at 5:20 p.m. local time Monday after spending 173 days in space.

BBC

Somali security forces have rescued eight sailors who were kidnapped by pirates, an official said. The pirates hijacked the Indian cargo ship last month, seizing the 10-man crew and holding them for ransom.

Autonomous robot company Marble is offering food deliveries in parts of San Francisco. Sensors, camera and ultrasonic technology help the robot with navigation, but there is human oversight in case there is a problem.

Nigeria’s spy agency said it thwarted a plot by militant Islamist group Boko Haram to attack the UK and US embassies in the capital Abuja.

Gay men are fleeing brutal persecution in Chechnya, where police are holding more than 100 people and torturing some of them in an anti-gay crackdown, Russian activists said.

The number of executions recorded worldwide in 2016 fell by 37% on the previous year, human rights group Amnesty International said. At least 1,032 people were executed last year, down from 1,634 in 2015, Amnesty said.

WND

Japan is preparing to send several warships to join a US aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force designed to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.

The American Center for Law and Justice on Tuesday declared victory over the Internal Revenue Service – at least for one of its clients – after a Washington state group with “tea party” in its name was approved by the federal agency to receive tax-exempt status as a lobbying organization. It took seven years.

You won’t find it in your local candy store, but soon there may be a new chewing gum that could help save your life. The gum absorbs what are known as “volatiles” in a person’s saliva as they chew it, then the chewed gum is analyzed to determine whether it contains certain chemicals produced in the body when a person has cancer.

One week after three refugee boys from Sudan and Iraq pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, the city council has voted unanimously to lay out the welcome mat for more refugees. The council voted 7-0 to direct the city staff to draft a resolution declaring Twin Falls a “welcoming city” after hearing a pitch from local Boy Scout Troop 4, which is sponsored by the Mormon Church.


The Briefing 04-12-17

A tale of power, opportunity, & moral failure: Alabama Governor resigns amid unfolding scandal

Study shows millennials more traditional than previous generations when it comes to family life. Why?

When heroes are no longer heroic: Is progressivist agenda to blame for Marvel Comics sales slump?

The post The Briefing 04-12-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top Headlines – 4/12/2017

Puerto Rico seen sliding toward bankruptcy as deadline nears
Bankruptcy for Puerto Rico is looking ever more likely as the clock ticks down toward a May 1 deadline to restructure $70 billion in debt, ramping up uncertainty for anyone betting on returns from the island’s widely held U.S. municipal bonds. When U.S. Congress last year passed the Puerto Rico rescue law dubbed PROMESA, it froze creditor lawsuits against the island so its federally appointed oversight board and creditors could negotiate out of court on the biggest debt restructuring in U.S. municipal history.

A War on Many Fronts: the targeted operations To Ensure Illegal migrants Can Vote in 2020
The battle for the White House in 2020 has begun, but this time, the keys to the front door rest in the hands of illegal immigrants. There is a systematic campaign underway across the US that seeks to ensure that it will be easier than ever for illegal aliens to be able to cast a ballot in the presidential elections. The ideas of the Left have been measured and found wanting; the next step is to cheat.

China threatens to ‘BOMB North Korea’ if tyrant Kim Jong-un crosses THIS ‘bottom line’
The Chinese military would react with force if Kim Jong-un’s nuclear activities adversely affected areas of China bordering the hermit nation, according to an editorial in a government-owned newspaper. The article in the Communist-party affiliated Global Times stressed the North’s nuclear facilities must not put northeastern regions of China in danger.

Ahmadinejad submits name for Iranian presidential election
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted his name on Wednesday for registration as a candidate in Iran’s presidential election in May, state media reported. Although the move by the former hardline president was seen as an attempt to bolster the candidacy of an ally, it was also a challenge to the authority of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had ordered him not to run.

Israeli security forces arrest Hamas lawmaker in West Bank
Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian lawmaker and a spokesman for Hamas in the West Bank early Wednesday morning, the Shin Bet internal security agency confirmed. Ahmed Atun, a Hamas lawmaker and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council was arrested at his home in the city of al-Bireh, north of Jerusalem. Hamas spokesman Fayez Abu Wardeh was also arrested at his Ramallah home overnight.

African migrants sold in Libya ‘slave markets’, IOM says
Africans trying to reach Europe are being sold by their captors in “slave markets” in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. Victims told IOM that after being detained by people smugglers or militia groups, they were taken to town squares or car parks to be sold. Migrants with skills like painting or tiling would fetch higher prices, the head of the IOM in Libya told the BBC.

A missing pastor and the disappearances chilling Malaysia
On the morning of 13 February, Raymond Koh was exiting a highway in the leafy suburb of Kelana Jaya just outside of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. A widely circulated CCTV clip appears to show what happened next. A convoy of black SUVs and motorcycles is seen swooping down on his car and boxing it in by the side of the road. Then, several men jump out and run to Mr Koh. There is a flurry of activity, and the convoy moves off – along with his car. It is allegedly the last time anyone sees him.

Turkey militants ‘used tunnel to plant explosives’
A big explosion in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir which originally appeared to be an accident was actually the result of a terror attack, the interior minister says. Suleyman Soylu told Turkish TV that explosives had been planted in a tunnel dug beneath the police headquarters. Three people died in Tuesday’s blast in the mainly Kurdish south-eastern city.

Venezuela police clash with anti-government protesters
Monday’s march is the latest in a series of anti-government protests held in Venezuela. The demonstrations were sparked by a controversial decision by the country’s Supreme Court to strip the National Assembly of its legislative powers. The ruling has been overturned since, but the protests have continued.

Fireball Spotted Off California Coast During Unusual Navy Anti-Sub Patrol
A “bright, pulsing orb” streaking across the sky was spotted off the California coast after US and Canadian anti-submarine aircraft conducted an unusual patrol of the area. The green “fireball” occurred on Monday night near an area of ocean where numerous, low-flying sub-hunting aircraft, including a Navy EP-3E Aries II, a Navy P-3C Orion, and a Boeing P-8 Poseidon, spent several hours circling, a patrol which military observers described as odd and unlike routine exercises.

Puerto Rico seen sliding toward bankruptcy as deadline nears
Bankruptcy for Puerto Rico is looking ever more likely as the clock ticks down toward a May 1 deadline to restructure $70 billion in debt, ramping up uncertainty…on returns from the island’s widely held U.S. municipal bonds. When U.S. Congress last year passed the Puerto Rico rescue law dubbed PROMESA, it froze creditor lawsuits against the island so its…oversight board and creditors could negotiate out of court on the biggest debt restructuring in U.S. municipal history.

BREAKING: Sessions Announces Illegal Aliens Who Illegally Re-Enter The U.S. Will Be Charged With a Felony
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over,” Sessions said.

Mattis: Syria Will ‘Pay a Very, Very Stiff Price’ for Any Use of Chemical Weapons
Responding to a question about future use of chemical weapons and the improvised explosives called “barrel bombs,” Mattis made it clear that future chemical weapons attacks would be met with serious consequences from the United States. Mattis emphasized that the chemical weapons used by the Syrian regime against civilians were against Syria’s agreement with the U.S.

Police Raid Homes, Seize Lambs, Preventing Passover Sacrifice
Over the last several days, Israeli Police raided the homes of seven Jews who declared their intent on social media to bring a sacrificial Paschal lamb to the Temple Mount on Monday, the eve of the Passover holiday. In addition, police set up roadblocks and searched people in the Old City of Jerusalem, arresting 17 people, including six minors. Six goats were confiscated and turned over to the Agriculture Ministry’s investigative department. “Israel is losing its democratic nature, people cannot be arrested in the middle of the night just because they want to observe the commandments of Judaism.”

Top diplomats from US, Russia meet in Moscow with Syria high on agenda
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow on Wednesday afternoon. Among other issues, the two senior officials were to discuss the situation in Syria, sanctions on Russia, tensions over North Korea, and accusations that Russia intervened in the US presidential election.

N. Korea must be denuclearized peacefully, China’s Xi tells Trump
The two leaders discussed the possibility of peacefully denuclearizing North Korea and concurred that any use of chemical weapons in Syria is “unacceptable”, according to the report.

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Strike if U.S. Attacks
North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific.

Putin: “Idlib Was A “False Flag” Attack And We Have Learned That More Are Coming”
“We have information from various sources that such provocations are being prepared in other regions of Syria, including in the southern suburbs of Damascus, where they intend to plant some substance and blame the official Syrian authorities for its use,” Putin told a briefing.

Trump: “We’re Sending A Very Powerful Armada” To North Korea
“We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this. He is doing the wrong thing. He is doing the wrong thing.”

Zimbabwe Central Bank To Accept Cows, TVs, Fridges As Collateral
As Zimbabwe desperately attempts to restart its monetary system, cow, cars, TVs, refrigerators, computers and other household appliances will become acceptable as collateral once they are evaluated and registered in the central bank’s register.

US-Russia diplomacy: Why one airstrike does not leverage make
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives in Moscow Tuesday with an unexpected card in his hand – after the US airstrike in Syria last week signaled President Trump’s willingness to use military force to address egregious and deadly infractions of international norms.


Trump: Hillary Was ‘Guilty of Every Charge’

Newsmax reports:

Hillary Clinton was “guilty of every charge,” and FBI Director James Comey “saved her life” with his revelation that he would not pursue charges against her for her use of a private email server and the handling of classified information, President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Wednesday.

“When he was reading those charges, she was guilty of every charge,” Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo about Comey’s 2016 press conference.  “When he was reading those charges, she was guilty of every charge, and then he said she was essentially OK.”

View article →


Today on ChristianHeadlines
Should Christians Celebrate Passover? Conservative Christian Author Answers
Should Christians Celebrate Passover? Conservative Christian Author Answers
by Amanda Casanova
Michael Brown, a Messianic Jew, says in a column for Stream.org that Christians should be able to participate in the Passover Seder.
READ FULL ARTICLE   >>
Alabama Governor, a Former Baptist Deacon, Resigns Amid Scandal
Alabama Governor, a Former Baptist Deacon, Resigns Amid Scandal
by Scott Slayton
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigned yesterday after a year-long scandal that derailed his second term.
READ FULL ARTICLE
Report: Chick-Fil-A is Favorite Restaurant of Teens
Report: Chick-Fil-A is Favorite Restaurant of Teens
by Veronica Neffinger
A new report on consumer trends of America’s teens has found that fast food chain Chick-Fil-A ranks number one on the list of restaurants teens like best.
READ FULL ARTICLE
Claremont College Students Silence Conservative Speaker
Claremont College Students Silence Conservative Speaker
by Veronica Neffinger
Students at Claremont College in California recently prevented a conservative speaker from giving a scheduled speech on campus.
READ FULL ARTICLE
Sister of American Pastor Jailed in Turkey: ‘We Believe God is with Him’
Sister of American Pastor Jailed in Turkey: ‘We Believe God is with Him’
by Veronica Neffinger
The sister of Andrew Bunson, the American missionary who is being held in jail in Turkey, is continuing to trust that God will help her brother through this ordeal.
READ FULL ARTICLE

Featured Blogs


Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 12, 2017

Bloomberg Targets Gun Rights Legislation

The anti-gun billionaire will spend $25 million to fight against the passage of the national reciprocity bill.

The Foundation

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties.” —Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms (1775)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: April 12

  • Futures flat as geopolitical risks weigh; earnings eyed (Read More)
  • Brent oil rises for 8th day on possible extension to supply cut (Read More)
  • U.S. accuses Russia of Syria gas attack ‘cover up’ (Read More)
  • Xi Tells Trump China Wants Peaceful North Korea Solution (Read More)
  • Tillerson, Lavrov Hold Talks in Moscow Amid Rising Tensions Over Syria (Read More)
  • Russian diplomat says U.S. stance on Syria ‘a mystery’ (Read More)
  • Trump’s message to bankers: Wall Street reform rules may be eliminated (Read More)
  • Puerto Rico seen sliding toward bankruptcy as deadline nears (Read More)
  • Trump Lays Groundwork for Widespread Government Reorganization (Read More)
  • In surprise move, Iran’s Ahmadinejad to run for president (Read More)
  • Leftist’s Rise in French Polls Is Spooking Markets (Read More)
  • UK’s Daily Mail to pay Melania Trump damages over modeling claims (Read More)
  • Newly Energized Liberals Pour Record Effort Into Local Races (Read More)
  • PR Nightmares: United Seat Fiasco Among Worst Corporate Gaffes (Read More)
  • Higher Yields Damp China’s Corporate Bond Market (Read More)
  • United Airlines faces mounting pressure over hospitalized passenger (Read More)
  • Japan automakers look to robots to keep elderly on the move (Read More)
  • Airbnb signs dozens more tax agreements in the U.S., France (Read More)

Top Headlines – 4/12/2017

Israel’s navy is preparing for ‘any kind of threat’

Hamas designs terror-inspired ‘Snakes and Ladders’

Coptic diocese in city of Minya says Easter festivities canceled in mourning for 45 Christians murdered in IS terror attacks this week

Palestinians vow to disband Islamist group in volatile Lebanese camp

ISIS Buried Over 1,600 Bodies in Mass Graves in Yazidi Town of Sinjar

Monitor says Syrian forces use barrel bombs despite US warning

UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on Syria gas attack probe: US

Syria ‘chemical attack’: Turkey says tests confirm Sarin was used

Mattis: ‘No doubt’ Assad used chemical weapons against civilians

The UK may have helped Syria make nerve gas – but lax controls mean we’ll never know

Sean Spicer Apologizes for Saying Assad’s Chemical-Weapons Atrocities Were Worse Than Hitler’s

Turkey: Syrian gov’t still has chemical weapons capacity

Syria war: G7 fails to agree sanctions on Russia after ‘chemical attack’

Putin says Russia knows about planned ‘provocations’ to put the blame for chemical attack on Syrian government

U.S.-Russia tensions over Syria will not ‘spiral out of control’: Mattis

Tillerson: Russia must choose between Assad and the US

Trump’s intelligence doubts parroted by Russia

Report: FBI sought to monitor Trump adviser last summer

EU extends sanctions on Iran over human rights violations

U.S. lawmakers raise doubts on sale of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia

UN agency warns of risk of mass starvation in Africa, Yemen

Migrants are being sold at open slave markets in Libya

Sessions signals immigration crackdown: ‘This is the Trump era’

AG Sessions vows to confront cartels, gangs on visit to US-Mexico border

Trump’s border wall will get its start in San Diego County

Hawaii asks full court to hear Trump travel ban appeal

North Korea state media warns of nuclear strike if provoked as U.S. warships approach

White House says Trump has put Pyongyang ‘clearly on notice’

Russia, before Tillerson visit, says hopes USA does not strike North Korea

Trump warns China on North Korea: Help solve the problem or ‘we will’

North Korean missile could hit Australia within 2 years, US diplomat warns

San Bernardino school shooting: Student killed had survived heart surgery

United’s stock falls 1.1%, wipes out $255 million off the airline’s market cap – Carrier continues to draw flak for having customer dragged off plane

Microsoft patches serious Word bug ‘targeted by scammers’

Bright Flash Lights Up SoCal Sky

Harvard Scientists Moving Ahead on Plans for Atmospheric Geoengineering Experiments

Japan has plans to drill through the earth’s crust and reach the mantle

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Osias, Philippines

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Copiapo, Chile

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Fais, Micronesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

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

Florida under a state of emergency as wildfires spread

Scientists find way to make cells resistant to HIV

Pipes clogged by hundreds of condoms prompts prostitution investigation in Texas

Chechnya denies imprisoning, torturing gays, claiming they don’t exist there

Partisan battles over nominees pose ‘real danger’ for Supreme Court, chief justice says

Mike Ratliff – A Little Leaven

Wanted: A Sunday School Teacher From Hell

Louisiana Church Offering Drive-Thru Good Friday Prayers

North Carolina Church to Host Stadium-Wide Easter Egg Hunt With 20,000 Eggs

In choosing Christianity, Mexican tribals risk alienation, eviction from their communities

FALLING AWAY: Record Numbers Abandon Sweden Church Because ‘They Do Not Believe in God’

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 07:23 AM PDT

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden says people are continuing to abandon the faith in record numbers. More than 90,000 left the church in 2016…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Atheist Mocks Bible, Praises ‘Trinity of Science’ in Invocation Before Iowa Legislature

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 07:17 AM PDT

A professing atheist recently delivered an opening invocation before the Iowa House of Representatives, in which he promoted atheistic ideals and converted a well-known Old…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Did the 7th Circuit Just Rule That Christians Are Bigots?

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 07:12 AM PDT

Justice Neil Gorsuch has been confirmed. Breathe a sigh of relief. The fight against him confirms the importance of President Trump to religious freedom for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Fights over Trump Leading evangelicals to leave their churches

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 07:08 AM PDT

The 2016 presidential contest highlighted just how deeply divided the United States is over both politics and religion. The vast majority of white evangelicals (81…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Putin Says U.S and Russia relations worse since Trump took office

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 07:03 AM PDT

Levels of trust between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview broadcast…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Attacks on Churches This Week No One Told You About

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 06:57 AM PDT

(Reported By World Watch Monitor) India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for condemning the Palm Sunday attacks on churches in Egypt but failing to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Putting Salt Back in the Water!

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 06:52 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will show you how Elisha was able to bring healing to a city and turn bitter waters fresh…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Price Of Gold Spikes As Investors Get Spooked By Talk Of World War III And Nuclear Conflict

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 06:47 AM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) Whenever the world starts going crazy, investors instinctively begin flocking to precious metals.  So it wasn’t exactly a surprise when gold…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Church in Alabama to form it’s own police force…

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 06:43 AM PDT

The Alabama Senate has voted to allow a church to form its own police force. Lawmakers on Tuesday voted 24-4 to allow Briarwood Presbyterian Church…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Nuke-sniffer aircraft arrives on Okinawa as tensions rise on Korean peninsula

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 06:39 AM PDT

A U.S. aircraft that specializes in detecting radioactive debris after the detonation of a nuclear device has arrived on Okinawa amid rising tensions on the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS: Elite US Navy Seals training in South Korea to Take out Kim Jong-un’

Posted: 12 Apr 2017 05:59 AM PDT

The crack US Navy Seal team that killed Osama bin Laden is reportedly training to take out North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un. Seal Team Six is…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Saeed Abedini Accuses George O. Wood Of Being Deceived by the “Spirit of Jezebel”

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:35 PM PDT

After verbally attacking evangelist Franklin Graham on social media, Saeed Abedini turned his attention to George O. Wood. “Head and General superintendent of Assemblies of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Deadly Flu Mutation Could Lead to Worst Pandemic in History

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:28 PM PDT

Leading scientists in the field of deadly flu epidemics are worried about what could be the granddaddy of them all, and say it could be…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This Year’s Passover Exposes the Enemy’s Agenda Against God’s People

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:24 PM PDT

(By Rabbi Pesach Wolicki) Growing up in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, my most profound memories are of Jewish collective identity. The Holocaust remembrance…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What You Should Know About Satan’s Power in This Age—and His Final Destination

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:19 PM PDT

(By Becky Dvorak) I receive so many prayer requests about people suffering from demon oppression and possession, so we are going to study and find…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Bible Answer Man’ Hank Hanegraaff Chrismated Into Eastern Orthodoxy

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:13 PM PDT

Hank Hanegraaff, also known as the “Bible Answer Man,” was chrismated into the Orthodox Church on Sunday, the well-known radio host and author has confirmed….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Scientists Make Cells Resistant to HIV…

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 07:02 PM PDT

Researchers have found a way to make cells resistant to HIV, a new report reveals. In a major breakthrough, scientists have tethered HIV-fighting antibodies to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump Says ‘We’re not going into Syria’!

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 06:55 PM PDT

Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air. “We’re not going…

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:

JESUS IS GOD

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!

JESUS IS HOLY

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.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

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).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

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.

JESUS IS LORD

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.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

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.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

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?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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A little leaven

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “ When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.
5 And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and…

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If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

The problem is that we select negative charismatic leaders much more frequently than in the limited situations where the risk they represent might pay off. Despite their grandiose view of themselves, low empathy, dominant orientation toward others, and strong sense of entitlement, their charisma proves irresistible. Followers of superheroes are enthralled by their showmanship: through their sheer magnetism, narcissistic leaders transform their environments into a competitive game in which their followers also become more self-centered, giving rise to organizational narcissism, as one study shows.

The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place.

Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves – both their virtues and shortcomings – and a strong appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, while being open to new ideas and feedback. These “unsung heroes” help their believers to build their self-esteem, go beyond their expectations, and create a community that channels individual efforts into an organized group that works for the good of the collective.

For example, one study examined 105 small-to-medium-sized companies in the computer software and hardware industry in the United Studies. The findings revealed that when a humble CEO is at the helm of a firm, its top management team is more likely to collaborate and share information, making the most of the firm’s talent.

Another study showed that a leader’s humility can be contagious: when leaders behave humbly, followers emulate their modest attitude and behavior. A study of 161 teams found that employees following humble leaders were themselves more likely to admit their mistakes and limitations, share the spotlight by deflecting praise to others, and be open to new ideas, advice, and feedback.

Yet instead of following the lead of these unsung heroes, we appear hardwired to search for superheroes: over-glorifying leaders who exude charisma.

The Greek word Kharisma means “divine gift,” and charisma is the quality of extraordinary charm, magnetism, and presence that makes a person capable of inspiring others with enthusiasm and devotion. German sociologist Max Weber defined charisma as “of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of it, the individual concerned is treated as a leader.” Research evidence on charismatic leadership reveals that charismatic people are more likely to become endorsed as leaders because of their high energy, unconventional behavior, and heroic deeds.

While charisma is conductive to orchestrating positive large-scale transformations, there can be a “dark side” to charismatic leadership. Jay Conger and Rabindra Kanungo describe it this way in their seminal book: “Charismatic leaders can be prone to extreme narcissism that leads them to promote highly self-serving and grandiose aims.” A clinical study illustrates that when charisma overlaps with narcissism, leaders tend to abuse their power and take advantage of their followers. Another study indicates that narcissistic leaders tend to present a bold vision of the future, and this makes them more charismatic in the eyes of others.

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The post If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists? appeared first on The Aquila Report.

What Happens to a Believer at Death?

Video Notes:

Brother, sister in Christ: There is no condemnation for you in the future because it has already been dealt with by Jesus in the past! “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). We have passed from death to life! Life, as we know it, is life with death and judgment before you. But Jesus speaks about eternal life, which is life with death and judgment behind you!



So what happens to a believer when your heart stops beating, and your lungs stop breathing, and your brain stops sending signals to the rest of your body? To be away from the body is to be at home with the Lord. Which is better by far! (2 Corinthians 5:8).

In a world where, every day, thousands of people are passing from life to death, Jesus has come so that, through faith in him, we may pass from death to life! When you hear this good news don’t you feel motivated to tell others? “I’ve got to tell people what life is! I went into church today thinking that death and judgment were ahead of me, and I went out knowing that eternal life is ahead of me because of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus says, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life!” (John 5:24).

Taken from Pastor Colin’s sermon “He Is God.”

RELATED POSTS:

The post What Happens to a Believer at Death? appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

Frequently Abused Verses: Does God Condemn Debate? (2 Timothy 2:14)

2 Timothy 2:14

Code: B170412

Almost twenty years ago, during Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week conference, I heard Jim Cymbala make the following plea for unity:

Think of the division right now in the Body of Christ. We have all these names that don’t exist to God: Baptist, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Charismatic. God doesn’t have any idea what any of them mean, because He only has one Body. . . . He has one Body—the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Evangelical—evangelical doesn’t even exist to God. We’re using words that aren’t in the Bible. We’re thumping the Bible and being unbiblical while we’re thumping it. He only has—there’s one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Body. And He doesn’t like us dividing up His Body. [1]

In the moment, it struck me as nonsense. Of course God knows what our denominational titles mean; of course He understands where the doctrinal lines have been drawn in the sand.

But then again, who is going to argue in favor of division?

The church’s current fascination with the soft ecumenism of identifying and celebrating common ground hinges on a false dichotomy—that all division grieves God. They point to a variety of texts—frequently wrenched out of their original context—to make that point.

Cymbala’s text, for example, was Mark 3:20–26—a passage in which Christ answered the allegations that His power came from Satan. The Lord rightly points out it would be illogical to use Satan’s power to cast out demons—that “a house divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Cymbala turned that statement into a rebuke to a divided church.

Today another text is frequently floated as a mandate for unity: “Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14). Often, that’s taken to mean we should not debate our doctrinal differences—that we shouldn’t let doctrine divide us at all. If we say we’re Christians, we ought to focus on what we agree on, and set aside anything on which we don’t.

Under certain circumstances, that posture might be acceptable. But, as John MacArthur explains, in a world overrun with false gospels and false christs, we cannot afford to simply brush away every doctrinal line in the sand.

Through the centuries, the steady stream of falsehood has become a deeper, wider, and increasingly more destructive sea of ungodliness. False teaching about God, about Christ, about the Bible, and about spiritual reality is pandemic. The father of lies is working relentlessly to pervert and corrupt the saving and sanctifying truth of God’s written Word, the Bible, and of the living Word, His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Christian” cults abound today as never before, as does every type of false religion. Many Protestant denominations that once championed God’s inerrant Word and the saving gospel of Jesus Christ have turned to human philosophy and secular wisdom. In doing so, they have abandoned the central truths of biblical Christianity—including the Trinity, the deity of Christ, His substitutionary atonement, and salvation by grace alone. In rejecting God’s truth, they have come to condone and embrace countless evils—universalism, hedonism, psychology, self-salvation, fornication and adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and a host of other sins. The effects of ungodly teaching have been devastating and damning, not only for the members of those churches but for a countless number of the unsaved who have been confirmed in their ungodliness by false religion. [2]

As he writes in his book, The Truth War, today we need to be all the more fervent in our defense of the truth.

Jude’s command “to contend earnestly for the faith” is not merely being neglected in the contemporary church; it is often greeted with outright scorn. These days anyone who calls for biblical discernment or speaks out plainly against a popular perversion of sound doctrine is as likely as the false teachers themselves to incur the disapproval of other Christians. That may even be an understatement. Saboteurs and truth vandals often seem to have an easier time doing their work than the conscientious believer who sincerely tries to exercise biblical discernment.

Practically anyone today can advocate the most outlandish ideas or innovations and still be invited to join the evangelical conversation. But let someone seriously question whether an idea that is gaining currency in the evangelical mainstream is really biblically sound, and the person raising the concern is likely to be shouted down by others as a “heresy hunter” or dismissed out of hand as a pesky whistle-blower. That kind of backlash has occurred with such predictable regularity that clear voices of true biblical discernment have nearly become extinct. Contemporary evangelicals have almost completely abandoned the noble practice of the Bereans, who were commended for carefully scrutinizing even the apostle Paul’s teaching. They “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

But in our generation it sometimes seems as if the more aggressively something is marketed to Christians as the latest, greatest novelty, the less likely most evangelicals are to examine it critically. After all, who wants to be constantly derided as a gatekeeper for orthodoxy in a postmodern culture? Defending the faith is a role very few seem to want anymore. [3]

Far from the modern twist on 2 Timothy 2:14, much of what Paul wrote to his apprentice had to do with defending the church and holding fast to sound doctrine. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. . . . This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. (1 Timothy 1:3–4, 18–19)

The same kind of exhortations are littered throughout Paul’s writing. In Acts 20:28–30 he warned the Ephesian church,

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

He further exhorted the Thessalonians, “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). Paul was clearly not one to shy away from a doctrinal debate. He was a passionate defender of the gospel, and a tireless guardian of the truth.

So what should we make of his exhortation to Timothy “not to quarrel over words” (2 Timothy 2:14, ESV)? Here’s how John MacArthur explains it.

Paul’s purpose was to motivate and encourage Timothy to keep a firm grasp on that truth himself and to pass it on to others who would do likewise (2 Timothy 2:2). It is only with a thorough knowledge of God’s truth that falsehood and deceit can be recognized, resisted, and opposed. . . .

Logomacheō (wrangle about words) carries the idea of waging a war of words, in this instance with false teachers, who are later described as “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). Such deceivers use human wisdom and reason to undermine God’s Word, and believers are not to debate with them, especially within the church. [4]

He goes on to explain why such a warning is particularly timely for the church today.

The barrage of ungodly ideas and verbiage that today is assaulting society in general, and even the evangelical church, is frightening. More frightening than the false ideas themselves, however, is the indifference to them, and often acceptance of them, by those who name the name of Christ and claim to be born again. Abortion, theistic evolution, homosexuality, no fault divorce, feminism, and many other unbiblical concepts and attitudes have invaded the church at an alarming rate and to an alarming degree. One of the most popular and seductive false teachings is the promotion of high self-esteem as a Christian virtue, when, in reality, it is the very foundation of sin. Such destructive notions are inevitable when Christians listen to the world above the Word, and are more persuaded by men’s wisdom than by God’s. Far too few leaders in the church today can say honestly with Paul that their “exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit” (1 Thessalonians 2:3).

As Christians become less and less familiar with Scripture and sound doctrine on a firsthand, regular basis, they become easy prey for jargon that sounds Christian but strongly mitigates against God’s truth. Such unbiblical and arbitrary ideas as being “slain in the Spirit” and “binding Satan” frequently replace or are valued above the clear teaching of and submission to Scripture. [5]

God’s people should not be combative; we must not walk around with doctrinal chips on our shoulders, looking for a fight. But we must also have a high enough view of God’s Word that we’re willing to stand up in its defense. We should not condemn doctrinal debate or disagreement; we should use them for God’s glory and the good of His church.

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170412
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The Case for the Historicity and Deity of Jesus (Free Bible Insert)

187In a world filled with people skeptical about the claims of the Bible related to Jesus, it’s sometimes helpful to review the cumulative case for the historicity and deity of Christ. Like all collective cases, the power of the argument rests on the robust assembly of historical evidences. I’ve assembled some of these in this blog post and created a Bible “insert” (a half-sheet printable summary that fits in your Bible) to help you remember the case:

Ancient Non-Christian Historians Agreed that Jesus Lived
Ancient “pagan” historians wrote about Jesus and his followers and the statements of these historians and writers corroborate the claims of the Bible related to Jesus:

(1) The Historical Record of Thallus (52AD)
(2) The Historical Record of Pliny the Younger (61-113AD)
(3) The Historical Record of Suetonius (69-140AD)
(4) The Historical Record of Tacitus (56-120AD)
(5) The Historical Record of Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD)
(6) The Historical Record of Phlegon (80-140AD)
(7) The Historical Record of Lucian of Samosata: (115-200 A.D.)
(8) The Historical Record of Celsus (175AD)

Ancient Jewish Historians Agree that Jesus Lived
Even though most ancient Jewish accounts of Jesus are hostile, they still affirm much about the historicity of Jesus, even as they attempt to vilify His character:

(1) The Historical Record of Josephus (37-101AD)
(2) The Historical Record of the Jewish Talmud (400-700AD)
(3) The Historical Record of The Toledot Yeshu (1000AD)

Jesus Claimed to Be God
While some skeptics deny Jesus ever identified Himself as God to His first century audience, the evidence demonstrates just the opposite:

(1) He Prefaced His Statements As Though He Was God (Matthew 5:18)
(2) He Identified Himself With God’s Own Name, “I Am” (John 8:49-58)
(3) He Talked As Though He Was Equal With God (John 14:6-9)
(4) He Said That He and God Were One (John 10:25-29)

Jesus Demonstrated that He Had the Nature of God
Jesus possessed a unique authority with those who knew him; an authority that far exceeded that of other important Rabbis. The authority of Jesus was based in his deity:

(1) He Demonstrated Omniscience (John 4:16-30)
(2) He Demonstrated Omnipresence (Matthew 28:20)
(3) He Demonstrated Omnipotence (John 11:38-44, Mark 6:48)

Jesus Was Worshiped As God by Those Who Knew Him
In a first century Jewish culture that rejected the worship of anyone (or anything) other than the one true God, Jesus was repeatedly worshiped by those who encountered him:

(1) The wise men worshiped him at his birth (Matthew 2:10-12)
(2) The leper worshiped Him at his healing (Matthew 8:2)
(3) The synagogue ruler worshiped Him (Matthew 9:18-19)
(4) The disciples worshiped him in the boat (Matthew 14:32-33)
(5) The mother of James and John worshiped Him (Matthew 20:20-21)
(6) The blind man worshiped Him at his healing (John 9:35-38)
(7) The women worshiped Him at the empty tomb (Matthew 28:8-10)

Jesus Fulfilled Old Testament Messianic Prophecies
The disciples and first witnesses of Jesus were repeatedly amazed by the number of ways Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy related to the coming Messiah:

(1) The Messiah Will Appear After the Jews Return to Israel (Jeremiah 23:3-6)
(2) The Messiah Would Be Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
(3) The Messiah Would Be Preceded By a Messenger (Isaiah 40:3)
(4) The Messiah Would Enter Jerusalem While Riding on a Donkey (Zech 9:9)
(5) The Messiah Would Suffer and Be Rejected (Isaiah 53:3)
(6) The Messiah Would Be Betrayed for 30 Pieces of Silver( Zech 11:12-13)
(7) The Messiah Would Be Silent Before His Accusers (Isaiah 53:7)
(8) The Messiah Would Be Wounded, Whipped and Crucified (Isaiah 53:5)

The cumulative case for the historicity and deity of Jesus is compelling when viewed in its entirety. This brief thumbnail sketch is a helpful reminder: The Christian worldview is evidentially verifiable. Be sure to download your free Bible insert by visiting the Cold Case Christianity homepage and selecting the link in the right toolbar. A new, free, downloadable Bible Insert is posted every month.

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith.

Source: The Case for the Historicity and Deity of Jesus (Free Bible Insert)

Why Wagner WAS the Leader of the NAR (Part 2): what Wagner’s death signified

churchwatch central

WAGNER’S LIE: “THE NAR…..HAS NO LEADER.”

The above quote from C. Peter Wagner was in an article he wrote titled ‘The New Apostolic Reformation Is Not a Cult‘. His attempt to distance himself as being the head of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) needs to be noted.

“The NAR is not an organization. No one can join or carry a card. It has no leader.
I have been called the “founder,” but this is not the case.

This is a half truth, which means Wagner is lying. The truth is that he became the leader of the NAR because of what he observed developing over time through the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) movement’s Charismatic Renewal Movement (CRM). He observed, and documented, the rise of this apostolic phenomena and even named it. His research and defense of Charismatic Apostles and Prophets eventually led him…

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Obama was an active ally and supporter of Russia for his entire administration

WINTERY KNIGHT

Can we all just get along? Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression Hillary Clinton ended Republican-led opposition to Russian aggression

I guess everyone remembers how Hillary Clinton presented the Russian Foreign Minister with a “reset” button that they pushed together, signaling to the world that Democrat politicians wanted nothing to do with the view that there was anything morally wrong with Putin’s thugocracy.

But all of a sudden, the same Democrats who bent over for Russia for eight years are complaining about Russia today.

This article from National Review is a helpful reminder of exactly what the Democrats did with Russia during the last eight years.

Excerpt:

He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an…

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Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy, and Patterns in the Cults

Over at Pulpit & Pen, Seth Dunn examines the claim that the man who took over the leadership of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) following the death of its founder Dr. Walter Martin has left the biblical Christian faith to become Eastern Orthodox which, ironically, is considered a cult. Since CRI is a counter-cult ministry it should come as no surprise that this has become a huge story.  Dunn writes:

With the recent defection of Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, to the Greek Orthodox religion, an examination of the compatibility of this religion with Biblical Christianity is in order. Unfortunately, such an examination is a difficult task where the Orthodox religion is concerned. According to an article published by the Christian Research Institute (CRI), “Orthodoxy is not a monolithic bloc that shares a unified tradition and church life.” Despite this, a discerning examination of Greek Orthodoxy is not impossible. Using a variety of available sources, it can be concluded that Greek Orthodoxy falls outside the bounds of Biblical Christianity and exhibits patterns common to other sub-Christian cults. The Watchman Fellowship, an evangelical discernment ministry, has identified four patterns which are common to cults. Greek Orthodoxy exhibits three of them.

View article →

CRN posted Hank Hanegraaff’s response

Source: Hank Hanegraaff, Greek Orthodoxy, and Patterns in the Cults

April 12, 2017: Verse of the day

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53:3 Despised and rejected, He was a Man of sorrows who knew what grief was. To men He was repulsive; even by Israel He was not appreciated.

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name

For the Son of God who came

Ruined sinners to reclaim!

Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood;

Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Philip P. Bliss[1]


53:3 despised … forsaken … despised. The prophet foresees the hatred and rejection by mankind toward the Messiah/Servant, who suffered not only external abuse, but also internal grief over the lack of response from those He came to save (e.g., Mt 23:37; Lk 13:34). hide their face … we did not esteem. By using the first person, the prophet spoke for his unbelieving nation’s aversion to a crucified Messiah and their lack of respect for the incarnate Son of God.[2]


53:3 See 49:7; cf. John 1:10–11. Rejection of the servant reveals how misguided the human mind is. a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Jesus experienced sorrow and grief of various sorts throughout his whole life. “Acquainted” could also be rendered “knowing” (ESV footnote; see note on Isa. 53:11).[3]


53:3 He was despised and rejected by The phrase connotes quick dismissal, not a strong willful and emotional rejection. The Servant is considered worthless, not worthy of attention.

a man of suffering The Hebrew word usually implies physical pain. He knew and understood pain.

acquainted with sickness He understood ailments and perhaps experienced them himself. The same language is used in Isa 53:4 where the phrasing suggests the Servant could heal sickness.

one from whom others hide their faces Parallels the Servant being despised and rejected. People look away to symbolize their dissociation with the Servant (compare note on 59:2).

The nt events surrounding Jesus’ betrayal exemplify this imagery of total rejection and dissociation. After Judas betrays Jesus (Luke 22:47–53), he feels so guilty that he commits suicide (Matt 27:3–10). Also, Peter rejects Jesus on the night He is delivered into the hands of His enemies (Mark 14:66–72); Jesus even prophesies that this will happen (Mark 14:26–30).

we did not hold him in high regard As in Isa 53:1, the “we” here must refer to the nation of Israel. The prophet is likely identifying with his people and speaking on their behalf (compare Jer 14:7–9).

This rejection of the Servant by his own people is likely echoed in John 1:10–11. Similarly, John depicts Jesus’ own disciples initially rejecting His mission after Jesus died and before they learned of His resurrection (see John 21:1–14).[4]


53:3 despised and rejected. See 49:7. Cf. Ps. 22:6; Lam. 1:1–3; 2:15, 16.

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. The word for “grief” here is more often translated “sickness.” Human beings flee from suffering and weakness, yet the Servant deliberately embraces both.

53:4 he has borne our griefs. The central stanza of the poem draws attention to the reason for this suffering of the Servant. It is vicarious suffering in our place—that is, on behalf of His wandering people. The prophet includes himself in this redemptive experience, just as he included himself in the condemnation for sin in ch. 6.

smitten by God. They believe this about the Servant because the law said, “a hanged man is cursed by God” (Deut. 21:23; cf. Gal. 3:13). The onlookers thought Christ was suffering only what He deserved, but His experience of pain and anguish was for His people (1 Pet. 2:24). He did not merely suffer physical pain and human abandonment; on the cross, He was even abandoned by God, receiving the hellish fate that all people deserve. The extremity of Jesus’ suffering shows that His compassion is real and not theoretical (Heb. 2:17, 18).

53:5 we are healed. The sufferings of Christ remove the penalty that His people otherwise owe, and as a result He will undo the effects of sin in them. Death itself will be undone at last (1 Cor. 15:26).[5]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 979). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 53:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1338). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 53:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1224). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.

April 12 – Evaluating Your Righteousness

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

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Your relationship with God is the measure of your righteousness.

Righteousness” means “to be right with God.” When you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you passionately desire an ongoing and ever-maturing relationship with God Himself.

Righteousness begins with salvation and continues in sanctification. Only after you abandon all self-righteousness and hunger for salvation will you be cleansed from sin and made righteous in Christ. Then you embark on a lifelong process of becoming as righteous as Christ—a process that will culminate when you are fully glorified in His presence (Rom. 8:29–30; 1 John 3:2). There’s always need for improvement in this life (Phil. 3:12–14), but satisfaction comes in communing with Christ and growing in His grace.

You can know if you’re hungering and thirsting for righteousness by asking yourself some simple questions. First, are you dissatisfied with your sin? Self-satisfaction is impossible if you are aware of your sin and if you grieve when you fall short of God’s holy standard.

Second, do external things satisfy your longings? A hungry man isn’t satisfied until he eats. A thirsty man isn’t satisfied until he drinks. When you hunger and thirst after righteousness, only God’s righteousness can satisfy you.

Third, do you have an appetite for God’s Word? Hungry people don’t need to be told to eat. It’s instinctive! Spiritual hunger will drive you to feed on the Word in order to learn what God says about increasing in righteousness.

Fourth, are you content amid difficulties? A hungry soul is content despite the pain it goes through, because it sees every trial as a means by which God is teaching greater righteousness. If you react with anger or resentment when things go wrong, you’re seeking superficial happiness.

Finally, are your hunger and thirst unconditional? The rich young ruler in Matthew 19 knew there was a void in his life but was unwilling to give up his possessions. His hunger was conditional.

Christ will fully satisfy every longing of your heart, and yet you will also constantly desire more of His righteousness. That’s the blessed paradox of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Read Psalm 112 as a hymn of praise to God.

For Further Study: Read the following verses, noting how God satisfies those who trust in Him: Psalm 34:10; 107:9; Isaiah 55:1–3; John 4:14; 6:35.[1]


Happy Are the Hungry

(5:6)

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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (5:6)

This beatitude speaks of strong desire, of driving pursuit, of a passionate force inside the soul. It has to do with ambition-ambition of the right sort-whose object is to honor, obey, and glorify God by partaking of His righteousness. This holy ambition is in great contrast to the common ambitions of men to gratify their own lusts, accomplish their own goals, and satisfy their own egos.

As no other creature, Lucifer basked in the splendor and radiance of God’s glory. The name Lucifer means “star of the morning” or, more literally, “the bright one.” But he was not satisfied with living in God’s glory, and he said in his heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:13–14). His ambition was not to reflect God’s glory but to usurp God’s sovereign power-while forsaking righteousness. Therefore when Satan declared his intention to make himself like the Most High, the Most High responded by declaring to His adversary, “You will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (v. 15).

As king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar ruled over the greatest of all world empires. One day as he walked on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, “the king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?”’ (Dan. 4:29–30). Nebuchadnezzar lusted after praise just as Lucifer lusted after power. God’s reaction was immediate: “While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes’ ” (vv. 31–32).

Jesus told a parable about a rich farmer whose crops were so abundant that he did not have enough space to store them. After planning to tear down his old barns and build bigger ones, he said, “ ‘I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16–21).

Lucifer hungered for power; Nebuchadnezzar hungered for praise; and the rich fool hungered for pleasure. Because they hungered for wrong things and rejected God’s good things, they forfeited both.

Jesus declares that the deepest desire of every person ought to be to hunger and thirst for righteousness. That is the Spirit-prompted desire that will lead a person to salvation and keep him strong and faithful once he is in the kingdom. It is also the only ambition that, when fulfilled, brings enduring happiness.

The American Declaration of Independence asserts that citizens have the right to the pursuit of happiness. The founding fathers did not presume to guarantee that all who pursue it would find it, because that is beyond the power of any government to provide. Each person is free to seek whatever kind of happiness he wants in the way he wants within the law. Sadly, most US citizens, like most people throughout all of history, have chosen to pursue the wrong kind of happiness in ways that provide no kind of happiness.

Jesus says that the way to happiness, the way to being truly blessed, is the way of spiritual hunger and thirst.

The Necessity for Spiritual Hunger

Hunger and thirst represent the necessities of physical life. Jesus’ analogy demonstrates that righteousness is required for spiritual life just as food and water are required for physical life. Righteousness is not an optional spiritual supplement but a spiritual necessity. We can no more live spiritually without righteousness than we can live physically without food and water.

Since the great famine in Egypt during the time of Joseph, and probably long before then, the world has been periodically plagued by famines. Rome experienced a famine in 436 b.c., which was so severe that thousands of people threw themselves into the Tiber River to drown rather than starve to death. Famine struck England in a.d. 1005, and all of Europe suffered great famines in 879, 1016, and 1162. In our own century, despite the advances in agriculture, many parts of the world still experience periodic famines. In recent years Africa has seen some of the most devastating famines in the world’s history. In the last 100 years tens of millions throughout the world have died from starvation or from the many diseases that accompany severe malnutrition.

A starving person has a single, all-consuming passion for food and water. Nothing else has the slightest attraction or appeal; nothing else can even get his attention.

Those who are without God’s righteousness are starved for spiritual life. But tragically they do not have the natural desire for spiritual life that they do for physical. The tendency of fallen mankind is to turn to itself and to the world for meaning and life, just as “ ‘a dog returns to its own vomit,’ and ‘a sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire’ ” (2 Pet. 2:22; cf. Prov. 26:11).

The heart of every person in the world was created with a sense of inner emptiness and need. Yet apart from God’s revelation men do not recognize what the need is or know what will satisfy it. Like the prodigal son, they will eat pigs’ food, because they have nothing else. “Why,” God asks, “do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isa. 55:2). The reason is that men have forsaken God, “the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13). Though God has created men with a need for Himself, they try to satisfy that need through lifeless gods of their own making.

Again like the prodigal son, men are prone to take good things God has given-such as possessions, health, freedom, opportunities, and knowledge-and spend them on pleasure, power, popularity, fame, and every other form of self-satisfaction. But unlike the prodigal, they are often content to stay in the far country, away from God and away from His blessings.

People are warned not to “love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15–17).

Seeking satisfaction only in God and in His provision is a mark of those who come into His kingdom. Those who belong to the King hunger and thirst for the King’s righteousness. They desire sin to be replaced with virtue and disobedience to be replaced by obedience. They are eager to serve the Word and will of God.

Jesus’ call to spiritual hunger and thirst also follows logically in the progression of the Beatitudes. The first three are essentially negative, commands to forsake evil things that are barriers to the kingdom. In poverty of spirit we turn away from self-seeking; in mourning we turn away from self-satisfaction; and in meekness we turn away from self-serving.

The first three beatitudes are also costly and painful. Becoming poor in spirit involves death to self. Mourning over sin involves facing up to our sinfulness. Becoming meek involves surrendering our power to God’s control.

The fourth beatitude is more positive and is a consequence of the other three. When we put aside self, sins, and power and turn to the Lord, we are given a great desire for righteousness. The more we put aside what we have, the more we long for what God has.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “This Beatitude again follows logically from the previous ones; it is a statement to which all the others lead. It is the logical conclusion to which they come, and it is something for which we should all be profoundly thankful and grateful to God. I do not know of a better test that anyone can apply to himself or herself in this whole matter of the Christian profession than a verse like this. If this verse is to you one of the most blessed statements of the whole of Scripture, you can be quite certain you are a Christian. If it is not, then you had better examine the foundations again” (Studies in the Sermon on the Mount [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 1:73–74).

The person who has no hunger and thirst for righteousness has no part in God’s kingdom. To have God’s life within us through the new birth in Jesus Christ is to desire more of His likeness within us by growing in righteousness. This is readily clear from David’s confession in Psalm 119:97, “O how I love Thy law.” Paul echoes David’s passion for righteousness in Romans 7:22, where he testifies, “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” The true believer desires to obey, even though he struggles with unredeemed flesh (cf. Rom. 8:23).

The Meaning of Spiritual Hunger

Most of us have never faced life-threatening hunger and thirst. We think of hunger as missing a meal or two in a row, and of thirst as having to wait an hour on a hot day to get a cold drink. But the hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks here is of a much more intense sort.

During the liberation of Palestine in World War I, a combined force of British, Australian, and New Zealand soldiers was closely pursuing the Turks as they retreated from the desert. As the allied troops moved northward past Beersheba they began to outdistance their water-carrying camel train. When the water ran out, their mouths got dry, their heads ached, and they became dizzy and faint. Eyes became bloodshot, lips swelled and turned purple, and mirages became common. They knew that if they did not make the wells of Sheriah by nightfall, thousands of them would die-as hundreds already had done. Literally fighting for their lives, they managed to drive the Turks from Sheriah.

As water was distributed from the great stone cisterns, the more able-bodied were required to stand at attention and wait for the wounded and those who would take guard duty to drink first It was four hours before the last man had his drink. During that time the men stood no more than twenty feet from thousands of gallons of water, to drink of which had been their consuming passion for many agonizing days. It is said that one of the officers who was present reported, “I believe that we all learned our first real Bible lesson on the march from Beersheba to Sheriah Wells. If such were our thirst for God, for righteousness and for His will in our lives, a consuming, all-embracing, preoccupying desire, how rich in the fruit of the Spirit would we be?” (E.M. Blaiklock, “Water,” Eternity (August 1966), p. 27).

That is the kind of hunger and thirst of which Jesus speaks in this beatitude. The strongest and deepest impulses in the natural realm are used to represent the depth of desire the called of God and redeemed have for righteousness. The present participle is used in each case and signifies continuous longing, continuous seeking. Those who truly come to Jesus Christ come hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and those who are in Him continue to know that deep longing for holiness.

The parallel passage in Luke says, “Blessed are you who hunger now” (6:21). Desire for righteousness is to characterize our life now and in the rest of our earthly existence.

When Moses was in the wilderness, God appeared to him in a burning bush. When he went back to Egypt to deliver his people, he saw God’s might and power in the miracles and the ten plagues. He saw God part the Dead Sea and swallow up their Egyptian pursuers. He saw God’s glory in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire which led Israel in the wilderness. He built a Tabernacle for God and saw the Lord’s glory shining over the Holy of Holies. Over and over Moses had sought and had seen God’s glory. “Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend” (Ex. 33:11). But Moses was never satisfied and always wanted to see more. He continued to plead, “I pray Thee, show Thy glory” (v. 18).

Moses never had enough of the Lord. Yet from that dissatisfaction came satisfaction. Because of his continual longing for God, Moses found favor in His sight (v. 17), and God promised him, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you” (v. 19).

David declared, “O God, Thou art my God,” but continued, “I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:1).

Paul had great visions of God and great revelations from God, yet he was not satisfied. He had given up his own righteousness “derived from the law” and was growing in “the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” But still he longed to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:9–10). Peter expressed his own great desire and hunger when he counseled those to whom he wrote to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

John Darby wrote, “To be hungry is not enough; I must be really starving to know what is in God’s heart toward me. When the prodigal son was hungry, he went to feed on the husks, but when he was starving, he turned to his father.” That is the hunger of which the fourth beatitude speaks, the hunger for righteousness that only the Father can satisfy.

Several years ago someone told me of a friend who had begun coming to a Bible study but soon gave it up, explaining that she wanted to be religious but did not want to make the commitment that Scripture demands. She had little hunger for the things of God. She wanted to pick and choose, to nibble at whatever suited her fancy-because basically she was satisfied with the way she was. In her own eyes she had enough, and thereby became one of the self-adjudged rich whom the Lord sends away empty-handed. It is only the hungry that He fills with good things (Luke 1:53).

The Object of Spiritual Hunger

As with the other beatitudes, the goal of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is twofold. For the unbeliever the goal is salvation; for the believer it is sanctification.

For Salvation

When a person initially hungers and thirsts for righteousness he seeks salvation, the righteousness that comes when one turns from sin to submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ. In poverty of spirit he sees his sin; in mourning he laments and turns from his sin; in meekness he submits his own sinful way and power to God; and in hunger and thirst he seeks God’s righteousness in Christ to replace his sin.

In many Old Testament passages righteousness is used as a synonym for salvation. “My righteousness is near, My salvation has gone forth,” the Lord said through Isaiah (51:5). Daniel wrote of the time when “those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

When a person abandons all hope of saving himself, all confidence in self-righteousness, and begins to hunger for the salvation that brings God’s righteousness and the obedience that God requires, he will be blessed, be made divinely happy.

The Jews’ greatest obstacle to receiving the gospel was their self-righteousness, their confidence in their own purity and holiness, which they imagined was created by good works. Because they were God’s chosen race, and as keepers of the law-or, more often, keepers of men’s interpretations of the law-they felt heaven was assured.

The Messiah told them, however, that the only way to salvation was by hungering and thirsting for God’s righteousness to replace their own self-righteousness, which was really unrighteousness.

For Sanctification

For believers, the object of hungering and thirsting is to grow in the righteousness received from trusting in Christ. That growth is sanctification, which more than anything else is the mark of a Christian.

No believer “arrives” in his spiritual life until he reaches heaven, and to claim perfection of any sort before then is the ultimate presumption. Children of the kingdom never stop needing or hungering for more of God’s righteousness and holiness to be manifest in them through their obedience. Paul prayed for believers in Philippi that their love might “abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:9–10).

In the Greek language, verbs such as hunger and thirst normally have objects that are in the partitive genitive, a case that indicates incompleteness, or partialness. A literal English rendering would be: “I hunger for of food” or “I thirst for of water.” The idea is that a person only hungers for some food and some water, not for all the food and water in the world.

But Jesus does not here use the partitive genitive but the accusative, and righteousness is therefore the unqualified and unlimited object of hunger and thirst. The Lord identifies those who desire all the righteousness there is (cf. Matt. 5:48; 1 Pet. 1:15–16).

Jesus also uses the definite article (tēn), indicating that He is not speaking of just any righteousness, but the righteousness, the only true righteousness-that which comes from God and, in fact, is God’s very own righteousness which He has in Himself.

It becomes obvious, then, that we cannot possibly have our longing for godliness satisfied in this life, so we are left to continually hunger and thirst until the day we are clothed entirely in Christ’s righteousness.

The Result of Spiritual Hunger

The result of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is being satisfied. Chortazō was frequently used of the feeding of animals until they wanted nothing more. They were allowed to eat until they were completely satisfied.

Jesus’ divine pronouncement is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be given total satisfaction. The giving of satisfaction is God’s work, as the future passive tense indicates: they shall be satisfied. Our part is to seek; His part is to satisfy.

Again there is a marvelous paradox, because though saints continually seek God’s righteousness, always wanting more and never getting all, they nevertheless will be satisfied. We may eat steak or our favorite pie until we can eat no more, yet our taste for those things continues and even increases. It is the very satisfaction that makes us want more. We want to eat more of those things because they are so satisfying. The person who genuinely hungers and thirsts for God’s righteousness finds it so satisfying that he wants more and more.

God’s satisfying those who seek and love Him is a repeated theme in the Psalms. “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good” (Ps. 107:9). “The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (34:10). The best-loved of all psalms begins, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” and later declares, “Thou dost prepare a table before me … my cup overflows” (23:1, 5).

Predicting the great blessings of Christ’s millennial kingdom, Jeremiah assured Israel that in that day, “ ‘My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 31:14). Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar that “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). To the crowds near Capernaum, many of whom had been among the five thousand He fed with the five barley loaves and the two fish, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

The Testing Of Spiritual Hunger

There are several marks of genuine hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. First is dissatisfaction with self. The person who is pleased with his own righteousness will see no need for God’s. The great Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, “He has most need of righteousness that least wants it,” No matter how rich his spiritual experience or how advanced his spiritual maturity, the hungering Christian will always say, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).

Second is freedom from dependence on external things for satisfaction. A hungry man cannot be satisfied by an arrangement of lovely flowers, or beautiful music, or pleasant conversation. All of those things are good, but they have no ability to satisfy hunger. Neither can anything but God’s own righteousness satisfy the person who has true spiritual hunger and thirst.

Third is craving for the Word of God, the basic spiritual food lie provides His children. A hungry man does not have to be begged to eat. Jeremiah rejoiced, “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). The more we seek God’s righteousness, the more we will want to devour Scripture. Feeding on God’s Word increases our appetite for it.

Fourth is the pleasantness of the things of God. “To a famished man any bitter thing is sweet” (Prov. 27:7). The believer who seeks God’s righteousness above all other things will find fulfillment and satisfaction even in those things that humanly are disastrous. Thomas Watson comments that “the one who hungers and thirsts after righteousness can feed on the myrrh of the gospel as well as the honey.” Even the Lord’s reproofs and discipline bring satisfaction, because they are signs of our Father’s love. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6).

A final mark of true spiritual hunger is unconditionality. When our spiritual hunger and thirst are genuine they will make no conditions; they will seek and accept God’s righteousness in whatever way He chooses to provide it and will obey His commands no matter how demanding they may be. The least of God’s righteousness is more valuable than the greatest of anything we possess in ourselves or that the world can offer. The rich young ruler wanted only the part of God’s kingdom that fit his own plans and desires, and he was therefore unfit for the kingdom. He thirsted more for other things than for the things of God. His conditions for God’s blessings barred him from them.

The spiritually hungry do not ask for Christ and economic success, Christ and personal satisfaction, Christ and popularity, or Christ and anything else. They want only Christ and what God in His wisdom and love sovereignly provides through Christ-whatever that may or may not be.

The spiritually hungry cry, “My soul is crushed with longing after Thine ordinances at all times” (Ps. 119:20), and they confess, “At night my soul longs for Thee, indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently” (Isa. 26:9).[2]


6 “Hunger and thirst” vividly express desire. The sons of Korah cried, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps 42:2; cf. 63:1). The deepest spiritual famine is hunger for the word of God (Am 8:11–14).

The precise nature of the righteousness for which the blessed hunger and thirst is disputed. Some argue that it is the imputed righteousness of God—eschatological salvation or, more narrowly, justification: the blessed hunger for it and receive it (e.g., Grundmann; McNeile; Zahn; Barth [“Matthew’s Understanding of the Law,” 123–24]; Bultmann [Theology of the New Testament, 1:273]; Schrenk [TDNT, 2:198]). This is certainly plausible, since the immediate context does arouse hopes for God’s eschatological action, and hungering suggests that the righteousness that satisfies will be given as a gift.

The chief objection is that dikaiosynē (“righteousness,” GK 1466) in Matthew does not have that sense anywhere else (cf. Przybylski, Righteousness in Matthew, 96–98). So it is better to take this righteousness as simultaneously personal righteousness (cf. Hill, Greek Words, 127–28.; Strecker, Weg der Gerechtigkeit, 156–58) and justice in the broadest sense (cf. Ridderbos, Coming of the Kingdom, 190–91; Turner). These people hunger and thirst, not only that they may be righteous (i.e., that they may wholly do God’s will from the heart), but that justice may be done everywhere. All unrighteousness grieves them and makes them homesick for the new heaven and new earth—the home of righteousness (2 Pe 3:13). Satisfied with neither personal righteousness alone nor social justice alone, they cry for both. In short, they long for the advent of the messianic kingdom. What they taste now whets their appetites for more. Ultimately they will be satisfied (same verb as in 14:20; Php 4:12; Rev 19:21) without qualification only when the kingdom is consummated (see discussion in Gundry).[3]


5:6 Next, a blessing is pronounced on those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: they are promised satisfaction. These people have a passion for righteousness in their own lives; they long to see honesty, integrity, and justice in society; they look for practical holiness in the church. Like the people of whom Gamaliel Bradford wrote, they have “a thirst no earthly stream can satisfy, a hunger that must feed on Christ or die.” These people will be abundantly satisfied in Christ’s coming kingdom: they shall be filled, for righteousness will reign and corruption will give way to the highest moral standards.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 115). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (pp. 177–185). 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, p. 164). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1216). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.