Daily Archives: May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


May 24, 2017 |


Pope Francis joined an international chorus urging Donald Trump to meet U.S. commitments on climate change in talks at the Vatican Wednesday. Francis gave the U.S. president a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study.

President Trump proposed selling off more than half of the U.S. emergency oil stockpile, potentially putting more crude on the global market and undermining OPEC’s efforts.

OPEC and its allies came one step closer to agreeing to extend their oil supply deal after a ministerial committee recommended another nine months of cuts.

Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating on China’s debt for the first time since 1989, challenging the view that the nation’s leadership will be able to rein in leverage while maintaining the pace of economic growth.

China, Canada and the EU are joining forces to advance the Paris Agreement while President Trump is still deciding whether the U.S. should stick with the landmark deal on climate change.

Republicans and Democrats welcomed a scaled-back vision of one of President Trump’s signature campaign promises: a “big, beautiful wall” on the 1,933-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

While U.S. President Donald Trump may have doubts about the NATO, Americans and Europeans increasingly support the security alliance, according to a new survey.

Saudi Arabia blocked access to several Qatari news websites after they carried fake articles about Gulf efforts to isolate Iran, stories Qatari officials said were the result of a hack.

Soldiers guarded the U.K. Parliament and Prime Minister May’s office, as authorities rolled out the biggest homeland deployment of troops in decades to prevent an “imminent” terrorist attack.

Morgan Stanley said it will cut back on using recruitment bonuses to poach established financial advisers as a new rule throws the industry’s traditional hiring practices into doubt.

The renewable energy industry employed 9.8 million people last year, up 1.1 percent from 2015, led by the solar photovoltaic business, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s annual report on the industry.

AP Top Stories

Chinese tourist numbers to South Korea plunged by two-thirds in April after Beijing banned tour groups over Seoul’s deployment of a US missile defence system, official statistics showed.

A massive landslide that went into the Pacific Ocean is the latest natural disaster to hit a California community that relies heavily on an iconic coastal highway and tourism to survive, and it adds to a record $1 billion in highway damage from one of the state’s wettest winters in decades.

Donald Trump’s proposal to reduce spending by $3.6tn, mostly by slashing antipoverty programs that provide social safety nets for the poor, ran into bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill, where a number of Republican lawmakers rejected the cuts as “draconian” and “nonstarters”.

China and Russia on Monday launched an ambitious project to jointly develop a long-haul jet to challenge Boeing and Airbus, just two weeks after the successful test flight of the first made-in-China large passenger plane.

A British minister said Wednesday it was “irritating” that details about the Manchester concert bombing had been leaked to US media before being released in Britain, saying she had spoken to US authorities.


Taiwan’s top judges have ruled in favor of gay marriage, paving the way for it to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex unions.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said martial law on Mindanao Island could be extended across the Philippines, while the army fights Islamist militants.

Four climbers have been found dead inside a tent on Mount Everest, taking the death toll this season to 10. The bodies were discovered by a rescue team sent to retrieve the body of a Slovak climber who died on the mountain on Sunday.

At least 30 migrants, some of them young children, have drowned after falling into the sea off the Libyan coast, Italy’s coastguard said. The overcrowded boat was carrying about 500 migrants when it suddenly listed, sending about 200 people into the water

Romania has been criticized over its lack of commitment to tackling domestic violence in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

The death toll from Tuesday’s raid by Bahraini police on the home of the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s most prominent Shia cleric has risen to five. The interior ministry said 286 people were also arrested after officers came “under attack by members of a terrorist cell” in the village of Diraz.

Qatar has blamed hackers for a story on its state news agency website that quoted the emir as criticizing US “hostility” towards Iran.


Living with your parents is one thing, but hitting them up for weekly financial support when you’re a grown adult? It might sound extreme, but that’s what Gen Y-ers in Spain have been doing for years – and resorting to legal action when their cash-strapped folks say no. While the 2014 case of American teen Rachel Canning suing her parents was considered an anomaly, in Spain it is far more common for young people to expect handouts to continue into their 20s and even their 30s.

More than four in five (81 percent) now rate the state of moral values in the U.S. as only fair or poor.

Teenagers who live in large cities could be at greater risk of having psychotic experiences, according to research examining the impact of urban life on mental health.

The Briefing 05-24-17

Manchester bombing and the nature of terrorism: How terror assaults a society’s stability and security

Why Christians must uphold together the biblical teaching of chastity and the sanctity of human life

Confirming a lie: An entire moral revolution in the new term “gender conformation surgery”

The post The Briefing 05-24-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 5/24/2017

ObamaCare on federal exchanges increased by average 105% since ’13: report
The cost of an individual ObamaCare policy has increased by an average 105 percent from 2013 to 2017 in all 39 states that have used the federal exchange, the Trump administration said Tuesday. The average monthly premiums increased from $224 in 2013 to $476 in 2017, according to the report. The HHS official said the cost doubled in 20 of the states and tripled in three of them.

Brennan: ‘I Don’t Know’ If There Was Collusion
“I saw interaction,” Brennan said. “But I don’t know. I don’t have sufficient information to make a determination whether or not there was cooperation or complicity or collusion.”

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory observed a CME leaving the sun: movie. NOAA analysts say the plasma-filled cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field midday on May 26th

Scientists now able to ‘SEE through walls’ using Wi-Fi
…an undergraduate physics student at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), told Business Insider: “It can basically scan a room with someone’s Wi-Fi transmission. “If there’s a cup of coffee on a table, you may see something is there, but you couldn’t see the shape. “But you could make out the shape of a person, or a dog on a couch. Really any object that’s more than four centimetres in size.”

Putin vows to PUNISH ISIS after Manchester bombing as he vows ACTION and backs Britain
VLADIMIR Putin has vowed to crush barbaric Islamic State (ISIS) and stated they will not go unpunished following the massacre at Manchester Arena by a suicide bomber which left 22 people dead.

Trump leaves Israel with no mention of Palestinian state, settlements or embassy
Trump, who flew from Tel Aviv to Rome on the third leg of his first trip abroad as president, made no mention in seven public appearances in Israel of a Palestinian state, a two-state solution or settlements, something one senior government official said was a refreshing break from Trump’s predecessor. On the other hand, the president also made no mention of his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Six Day War – Salvation and Miracle
PM Netanyahu says Six Day War was ‘a salvation and miracle,’ promises Temple Mount will always remain in Jewish hands. “We will not go back to a situation in which we can look at the Western Wall, but cannot approach it,” Netanyahu said. “The desire to pound Israel is not something which is based on facts.” “Again and again, they try to erase our roots, to deny our historical connection to Jerusalem, and to destroy our sovereignty over it.

North Korea threat: US official warns ‘inevitable’ regime develops ICBM
North Korea’s testing over the last year indicates Kim Jong Un is intent on proving the isolated regime’s capability. The North’s public claims suggest it could conduct its first flight of an intercontinental ballistic missile this year.

Pope Francis, Trump hold landmark first meeting
Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump finally met at the Vatican Wednesday in a friendly encounter which included an emphasis on protection of life and freedom of conscience. According to a May 24 Vatican communique, Pope Francis and Trump expressed satisfaction “for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favor of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.”

Ancient Pools in Jerusalem Succored Jewish Pilgrims to Temple 2,000 Years Ago
Jerusalem contains a large number of these ancient pools. A massive cistern named the Pool of Israel—more than 360 feet long, 111 feet wide and 78 feet deep—is situated next to the Temple Mount. The Pool of Hezekiah lies among the houses of the Christian Quarter.

Israel’s next security concern: A Middle East arms race
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he was concerned by a Middle East arms race following the signing of an enormous arms deal between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia last week. “I’m not at peace with the arms race in the Middle East. The arms sales in the region have reached $215 billion and this is no small sum,”…pointing to other countries in the region such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Iran who have made some “non-negligible” arms purchases in the Middle East.

Trump meets Pope in Vatican after stops in Israel, Saudi Arabia
US President Donald Trump met Pope Francis, one of his most high profile critics, at the Vatican on Wednesday and after an exchange of gifts he promised he would not forget the pontiff’s message during their half-hour discussion. Trump and the pope have expressed opposing views on issues such as immigration and climate change and the two men exchanged sharp words during the presidential campaign last year.

Taiwan’s top court rules in favour of same-sex marriage
Taiwan’s top judges have ruled in favour of gay marriage, paving the way for it to become the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex unions. The highest court ruled that current laws preventing members of the same sex from marrying violated their right to equality and were unconstitutional. It gave parliament two years to amend existing laws or pass new ones.

Moody’s downgrades China’s credit rating
China’s credit rating has been cut over fears that growth in the world’s second-biggest economy will slow in the coming years. Moody’s, one of the world’s big three ratings agencies, cut China by one notch to A1 from Aa3. It was the first time the agency has downgraded the country since 1989.

Jerusalem celebrates 50 years to its unification
Jerusalem Day celebrations began on Tuesday in the capital with various events and concerts well into the night and continue in full force on Wednesday as the city marks 50 years to its unification. The President’s Residence hosted a musical event on Tuesday evening titled “Singing for you Jerusalem,” which featured a variety of artists and songs about the city. At Safra Square, the Jerusalem Symphonic Orchestra performed with Israeli singers Miri Mesika, David D’Or and Kobi Aflalo.

Syrian army says Islamic State’s ‘minister of war’ killed
The Syrian army said on Wednesday it had killed Islamic State’s “minister of war” among other senior figures in the group in operations east of the northern city of Aleppo. A Syrian military source cited by Syrian state media identified the war minister as Abu Musab al-Masri, without saying exactly when or where he was killed. He was named among 13 senior Islamic State figures killed in Syrian army operations east of Aleppo, including men identified as Saudi and Iraqi nationals.

Mindanao: Churchgoers ‘taken hostage’ amid Marawi siege
A priest and several churchgoers have been taken hostage by gunmen in Marawi city, on the island of Mindanao in southern Philippines, as thousands of residents fled ongoing unrest that prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the region. The violence erupted on Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf group, which has pledged allegiance to ISIL.

Europe’s denial of Islamic terrorism threat perplexes security specialists
The Manchester massacre underscores complaints from counterterrorism analysts that Europe has fallen into denial about the threat of Islamic terrorism. For instance, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is on record as saying terrorism is “part and parcel” of urban life.

GEORGE FRIEDMAN: A US attack on North Korea is imminent 
The US is preparing to attack North Korea, according to Geopolitical Futures founder George Friedman — setting the stage for a difficult, messy war with potentially catastrophic consequences.

UK Deploys Army As Terror Threat Raised To Highest, May Warns “More Attacks Imminent”
In response to the Monday terrorist attack, Prime Minister Theresa May raised the UK’s terror alert to the highest “critical” level, resulting in the deployment of armed forces on the street of Britain, and warning that “not only an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent.”

Britain raises terror threat level after concert carnage
Britain prepared to deploy soldiers at key sites on Wednesday, having raised its terror threat level to maximum after a suicide bomber massacred 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester.

US Journalism’s New “Golden Age”?
The mainstream U.S. media is congratulating itself on its courageous defiance of President Trump and its hard-hitting condemnations of Russia, but the press seems to have forgotten that its proper role within the U.S. democratic structure is not to slant stories one way or another but to provide objective information for the American people.

Congressional Aides Fear Suspects In IT Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data
“I don’t know what they have, but they have something on someone. It’s been months at this point” with no arrests…”there are a lot of members who could go down over this.”

Exclusive — Rand Paul Explains Move to Force Vote Opposing Saudi Weapons Deal
…Paul previously used this exact tactic—forcing a Senate vote on a Saudi weapons deal—toward the end of the Obama administration to limited success. While only a quarter of the Senate backed him up, in the end the Obama administration changed part of the deal.

CONFIRMED: Leaked Classified Docs Show Obama Intel Agency Illegally Spied on Americans For Years
A new bombshell report from Circa News via leaked classified documents confirms what we have suspected to be true about the Obama administration. Obama’s Intel agency conducted illegal searches on Americans for years.

At The Vatican Today Pope Francis Gave President Trump The Gospel…Of Climate Change

Pope Francis gave President Trump a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:5,6 (KJV)

If Pope Francis was a Bible believing Christian, he would have spoke to President Trump about his soul and his eternal destiny. If Pope Francis was a Bible believing Christian, he would have given him the gospel of the grace of God as first preached by the apostle Paul. But Pope Francis is neither a Bible believer nor a Christian, so what is he? He is a king over the country of Vatican City, and when the president arrived he did what any other worldly king would do. He talked politics, and the gospel of Climate Change in particular.

Pope Francis joined an international chorus urging Donald Trump to meet U.S. commitments on climate change in talks at the Vatican Wednesday

Pope Francis gave President Trump a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study.

Francis’s choice of gift suggests he is adding his voice to those pressing Trump not to renege on the Paris accord, which is the cornerstone of global efforts to limit climate change. The Vatican said in a statement that the talks focused on international affairs and the promotion of peace, with particular emphasis on health care, education and immigration.

The king of Vatican City receives the President of the United States:

Here is the Whore of Babylon in all her devilish pomposity. Enjoy!

10 Things You May Not Know About the Vatican

The Vatican and Vatican City are many things to many people, but God has a rather unique name for it. The Bible calls the Roman Catholic Vatican system the “Whore of Babylon”, and describes her in graphic detail in Revelation 17 and 18 in your King James Bible.

So here are 10 fun facts that you should know about the “mother of harlots” that is the Vatican.

  • 1. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world. Encircled by a 2-mile border with Italy, Vatican City is an independent city-state that covers just over 100 acres, making it one-eighth the size of New York’s Central Park. Vatican City is governed as an absolute monarchy with the pope at its head. The Vatican mints its own euros, prints its own stamps, issues passports and license plates, operates media outlets and has its own flag and anthem. One government function it lacks: taxation. Museum admission fees, stamp and souvenir sales, and contributions generate the Vatican’s revenue.
  • 2. St. Peter’s Basilica sits atop a city of the dead, including its namesake’s tomb. A Roman necropolis stood on Vatican Hill in pagan times. When a great fire leveled much of Rome in A.D. 64, Emperor Nero, seeking to shift blame from himself, accused the Christians of starting the blaze. He executed them by burning them at the stake, tearing them apart with wild beasts and crucifying them. Among those crucified was St. Peter—disciple of Jesus Christ, leader of the Apostles and the first bishop of Rome—who was supposedly buried in a shallow grave on Vatican Hill. By the fourth century and official recognition of the Christian religion in Rome, Emperor Constantine began construction of the original basilica atop the ancient burial ground with what was believed to be the tomb of St. Peter at its center. The present basilica, built starting in the 1500s, sits over a maze of catacombs and St. Peter’s suspected grave.
  • 3. Caligula captured the obelisk that stands in St. Peter’s Square. Roman Emperor Caligula built a small circus in his mother’s gardens at the base of Vatican Hill where charioteers trained and where Nero is thought to have martyred the Christians. To crown the center of the amphitheater, Caligula had his forces transport from Egypt a pylon that had originally stood in Heliopolis. The obelisk, made of a single piece of red granite weighing more than 350 tons, was erected for an Egyptian pharaoh more than 3,000 years ago. In 1586 it was moved to its present location in St. Peter’s Square, where it does double duty as a giant sundial.
  • 4. For nearly 60 years in the 1800s and 1900s, popes refused to leave the Vatican. Popes ruled over a collection of sovereign Papal States throughout central Italy until the country was unified in 1870. The new secular government had seized all the land of the Papal States with the exception of the small patch of the Vatican, and a cold war of sorts then broke out between the church and the Italian government. Popes refused to recognize the authority of the Kingdom of Italy, and the Vatican remained beyond Italian national control. Pope Pius IX proclaimed himself a “prisoner of the Vatican,” and for almost 60 years popes refused to leave the Vatican and submit to the authority of the Italian government. When Italian troops were present in St. Peter’s Square, popes even refused to give blessings or appear from the balcony overlooking the public space.
  • 5. Benito Mussolini signed Vatican City into existence. The dispute between the Italian government and the Catholic Church ended in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Pacts, which allowed the Vatican to exist as its own sovereign state and compensated the church $92 million (more than $1 billion in today’s money) for the Papal States. The Vatican used the payment as seed money to re-grow its coffers. Mussolini, the head of the Italian government, signed the treaty on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III.
  • 6. Popes did not live at the Vatican until the 14th century. Even after the construction of the original St. Peter’s Basilica, popes lived principally at the Lateran Palace across Rome. They even left the city altogether in 1309 when the papal court moved to Avignon, France, after King Philip IV arranged for a French cardinal to be elected pope. Seven popes, all French, ruled from Avignon, and the papacy did not return to Rome until 1377, by which time the Lateran Palace had burned and the Vatican started to be used as a papal residence. Much repair work needed to be done, however, because the Vatican had fallen into such disrepair that wolves dug for bodies in the cemetery and cows even wandered the basilica.
  • 7. The Swiss Guard was hired as a mercenary force. The Swiss Guard, recognizable by its armor and colorful Renaissance-era uniforms, has been protecting the pontiff since 1506. That’s when Pope Julius II, following in the footsteps of many European courts of the time, hired one of the Swiss mercenary forces for his personal protection. The Swiss Guard’s role in Vatican City is strictly to protect the safety of the pope. Although the world’s smallest standing army appears to be strictly ceremonial, its soldiers are extensively trained and highly skilled marksmen. And, yes, the force is entirely comprised of Swiss citizens.
  • 8. At several times during the Vatican’s history, popes escaped through a secret passageway. In 1277, a half-mile-long elevated covered passageway, the Passetto di Borgo, was constructed to link the Vatican with the fortified Castel Sant’Angelo on the banks of the Tiber River. It served as an escape route for popes, most notably in 1527 when it likely saved the life of Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome. As the forces of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V rampaged through the city and murdered priests and nuns, the Swiss Guard held back the enemy long enough to allow Clement to safely reach the Castel Sant’Angelo, although 147 of the pope’s forces lost their lives in the battle.
  • 9. The majority of Vatican City’s 600 citizens live abroad. As of 2011, the number of people with Vatican citizenship totaled 594. That number included 71 cardinals, 109 members of the Swiss Guard, 51 members of the clergy and one nun inside the Vatican walls. The largest group of citizens, however, was the 307 members of the clergy in diplomatic positions around the world. With Benedict XVI residing as a pope emeritus in the Vatican, the population will increase by one when a new pope is named.
  • 10. The Vatican Observatory owns a telescope in Arizona. As Rome expanded, light pollution from the city made it increasingly difficult for astronomers at the Vatican Observatory—located 15 miles from the city at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo—to view the night skies, so in 1981 the observatory opened a second research center in Tucson, Arizona. The Vatican conducts astronomical research with a state-of-the-art telescope that sits atop Mount Graham in southeast Arizona.

Who are Family Research Council’s ‘Watchmen on the Wall’?

Amy Spreeman of Berean Research tells us who these people are and exposes their agenda:

Wouldn’t it be great if men and women who are dead in their sins would just stop being wicked and start respecting  professing Christians? At first blush, the idea of transforming America’s ever-sickening, vile culture sounds like a great plan. And giving pastors a support network of Watchmen on the Wall to help them fight the culture wars would be a really good thing, right?

In Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill, The Family Research Council is hosting a Watchman on the Wall National Briefing for pastors to transform America. FRC President Tony Perkins says this is not a political event, but a spiritual one. He’s invited dozens of guest speakers, including Harbinger and Shemitah author Jonathan Cahn, Bishop Larry Jackson (part of Apostle Rick Joyner’s MorningStar TV Network), Word of Faith prosperity preacher Jentezen Franklin, David Barton, Circle Maker author and pastor Mark Batterson, and radio host Dr. Michael Brown.  Click on the image for the full list of speakers:

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Don’t Judge Me!

According to David Hutchison, Christians must identify certain behaviors as sinful and we must judge in at least three other senses which includes evaluating the teachings of those who claim to speak in the name of the Lord. He reminds us that “There are contexts in which Christians must judge, but we must judge justly.” Now to his piece over at Theology Matters:

Standing for biblical truth elicits many negative responses from those outside the church as well as from some within. This is not surprising since Jesus told His disciples that they would be hated on account of Him (John 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13). While we may simply shrug this off as part of the reality of life, what is more challenging to navigate is the suggestion that by using the word “sin” for certain activities, we violate Jesus’ command not to judge. In popular sentiment, “do not judge” means that one cannot say any behavior is wrong. This understanding is pervasive, but it is severely flawed.[1]

There are pitfalls of judging that we must avoid, but doing so does not mean we cannot call sin what God has called sin. In fact, if we refuse to do so, we act as God’s judge, claiming that our perspective on the situation trumps His own. Similar to the rejection of God’s testimony in 1 John 1:10 and 5:10, this is tantamount to calling God a liar. We must call sin, sin, but we must also remember that God knows all of the details of the situation. We never will, and we often lack key information. As John 7:24 notes, we must not judge by mere appearances but must make a just judgment. If we wish to do so, we are wise to listen well and listen long, remembering the folly of giving an answer too quickly (Proverbs 18:13).

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‘We Can Use Peace’: Trump and Pope Francis Meet

News Max reports:

Photo credit CNBC.com

President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.

Trump, midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff in a private, 30-minute meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol. The president, accompanied by his wife and several aides, arrived at the Vatican just after 8 a.m. local time. The president greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace.

Upon completing their meeting, the pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts.

“We can use peace,” the president responded.

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The New, Truly Confused Evangelicals (Part 2) – Eric Barger

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Can America endure its snowflakes, demons and Democrats?

It is hard not to join those who have concluded that it is the last days promised outpouring of demons issued from the pits of hell to prepare a dying world for its satanically induced final benediction.

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They Are Killing Small Business: The Number Of Self-Employed Americans Is Lower Than It Was In 1990

After eight long, bitter years under Obama, will things go better for entrepreneurs and small businesses now that Donald Trump is in the White House?  Once upon a time, America was the best place in the world for those that wanted to work for themselves.  Our free market capitalist system created an environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses greatly thrived, but today they are being absolutely eviscerated by the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our political system.  Year after year, leftist politicians just keep piling on more rules, more regulations, more red tape and more taxes.  As a result, the number of self-employed Americans is now lower than it was in 1990(Read More…)

Winning the Battle is Different than Winning the War

This writer has been getting questions from friends and subscribers as to whether the financial crisis that we have been writing about is now past – if a tough, successful Republican businessman turned President can solve these problems in short order. Is the strength in the US stock market and present weakness in gold telling us that the financial storm has passed? Should they sell their gold, buy more stocks, and sit back and enjoy life? Have the good times finally returned to America? This writer would answer these questions in the strongest terms possible – no, no, no, and no!

The truth is, the strength in the economy was lied about and completely fabricated by Obama and the establishment to help Hillary get elected. The truth is, the unemployment rate in the US is about 24% – not the official 5%. The truth is, the world is saddled with the biggest debt bubble in world history (in the quadrillions of dollars) and that bubble is very close to imploding. The truth is, the US stock market has been propped up (manipulated) the past two years by the Fed, Wall Street, and the powers-that-be right up through the election to aid Hillary and the Democrats in the election – and would have long since collapsed without that support.

The truth is, much of Europe and a major part of the European banking system is on the verge of collapse. The truth is, that (in spite of the US dollar’s present strength) much of the world is about to move away from petrodollars, and global oil transactions will be denominated in Chinese renminbi, Russian rubles, and other currencies – which will greatly weaken the US dollar. The truth is, much of the world’s real estate market is in a huge bubble, and real estate is already declining in many parts of the world and will be very soon in the US, where home ownership is declining sharply.

The truth is, the global Establishment powers-that-be in America and Europe know that they are about to lose control of this gargantuan, highly leveraged quadrillion dollar debt pyramid that they have been building since Bretton Woods in 1944 – a debt pyramid that greatly enriched the wealthy elites of America and Europe at the expense of the middle class and many smaller nations. The truth is, all of this is why they have been pushing the world toward the brink of war: with Russia in Eastern Europe, in the Middle East, and with China in the South China Sea. That is how they ended the Great Depression – with WWII.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, December 2016)

Mid-Day Snapshot

May 24, 2017

MSM: Trump Robs the Poor

According to the Leftmedia telling, he’s hurting the very people who supported him by cutting their benefits.

The Foundation

“The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general.” —James Madison (1794)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: May 24

  • Trump Meets With Pope Francis After Policy Clashes (Read More)
  • Fed Minutes to Offer Clues on Debate Over Path of Rate Increases (Read More)
  • Manchester bomber had ‘proven’ links to Islamic State (Read More)
  • U.K. Chides U.S. for Leaking Manchester Bombing Probe Details (Read More)
  • Manchester Bomber, Salman Abedi, Is Thought to Have Traveled to Syria (Read More)
  • ‘No defeat, no pity’: Manchester unites (Read More)
  • China Handed First Moody’s Downgrade Since 1989 on Debt Risk (Read More)
  • Defiant Duterte threatens harsh measures as thousands flee Philippines unrest (Read More)
  • OPEC Boss Embraces Shift to Top Diplomat (Read More)
  • Trump’s Budgets Will Suffer a Double Whammy Thanks to Fed Policy (Read More)
  • Icahn Guides Trump’s Policy and Scores $60 Million (Read More)
  • Why Little Alaska Airlines Has the Happiest Customers in the Skies (Read More)
  • In Modern Cyber War, the Spies Can Become Targets, Too (Read More)
  • Bahrain protester ‘killed in raid on sit-in’ near Shia cleric’s home  (Read More)
  • SpaceX Technician Says Concerns About Tests Got Him Fired  (Read More)
  • FCC Won’t Take Action Against Stephen Colbert Over Trump Jokes (Read More)
  • Tiffany Tumbles After Jeweler Reports Surprise Sales Decline (Read More)
  • At least 20 migrants die at sea, rescues ongoing: Italy Coast Guard (Read More)
  • Chocolate tied to decreased risk of irregular heart rhythm (Read More)

A La Carte (May 24)

Today’s Kindle deals include just a couple of deals. We will hope for more tomorrow.

What 1,000 Americans Avoid Most

Christianity Today reports on a new study showing the rise of shame over guilt as what people fear the most. The implications for our presentation of the gospel are profound. Thankfully, the gospel addresses shame just as much as it addresses guilt.

Towards a Theology of Place

Dan DeWitt: “Why pray if God knows everything? Why do anything if God is sovereign? I know, I know. Some of you are right now judging me for not more strongly affirming a reformed understanding of sovereignty. To be clear, I do affirm God’s sovereignty. That doesn’t mean I understand it. I don’t pretend to.”

Is Your Church an Institution?

Ray Orlund: To call anything an ‘institution’ today can be its death sentence, including a church. Should we be ashamed of the institutional aspects of our churches?”

Don’t Waste Your Life Following Your Passion

This is very true: “The truth is finding your passion is most often the product a lot of faithful work that is pursued to the glory of God because it is your duty.”

What Is This Thing Called Church?

Darren Carlson, president of Training Leaders International, recently observed, “The greatest problem in missions right now is disagreement over what constitutes a local church.” That’s not a small statement.

Disentangling Privilege

Every day we read about privilege—who has it and who doesn’t. This article engages with the idea in helpful ways.

Can Self-Forgetfulness Make Us Happier?

Randy Alcorn looks at a concept I find very helpful to consider.

Flashback: The Hardest Sins to Talk About

The hardest sins to talk about are those we see someone commit, but we receive no invitation to speak.

Until you see the cross as that which is done by you, you will never appreciate that it is done for you. —John Stott

Top Headlines – 5/24/2017

‘We can use peace’: Trump and Pope Francis meet

Donald Trump receives frosty reception in first meeting with Pope Francis at Vatican

Donald Trump hails Vatican meeting with Pope Francis as ‘an honour’

Trump envoy expected back next week in Israel as US seeks to ‘move fast’ on peace

Report: Trump to present peace initiative within a month

In Bethlehem, Abbas and Trump speak of Mideast peace prospects

Abbas tells Trump he’s ‘ready to begin negotiating immediately’ with Israel

Why can’t Abbas stop paying families of ‘martyrs’?

Hamas against Trump’s speech in Jerusalem: ‘Encourages hatred towards the Palestinian people’

Hamas: Trump ‘encouraging apartheid’

Aggressive Surge in Israeli Settlement Activity Under Netanyahu Imperils Trump Peace Push

Trump ‘to do everything’ for Middle East peace

Trump on Mideast peace: ‘It’s a tough deal, but we will get there’

Trump’s success is not being Obama, but he still really wants peace

‘Trump made no mention of two-state solution’

Trump Leaves Israel With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It

With boundless optimism but few specifics, Trump lays out Mideast peace vision

Trump seeks ‘common sets of principles’ to build momentum for peace, official says

Trump: Holocaust was most savage crime against God and his children

7 awkward moments from Trump’s Israel trip

Trump’s Middle East Trip Was a Big, Surprising Success – and the Iranian Regime is Nervous

Iran extends hand to new Hamas leader Haniyeh

At Western Wall, Rivlin opens Jerusalem Day jubilee

Deputy FM calls on Jews to ascend Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day

New Six Day War artifacts hint at a battle on the Temple Mount

The Czech parliament adopts a resolution condemning UNESCO’s politicization and the decisions against Israel

BDS fail: Canadian university rejects Israel boycott

Qatar says state news website hacked, fake article published

Qatar news agency claims it was hacked after Emir quoted saying ties with Israel ‘good’

Turkish police say seeking 144 people over links to failed coup, 35 detained

Assad retakes Homs, capital of the Syrian revolution

Car bomb explodes in Syria’s Homs, army destroys another near Damascus

Philippines’ Duterte declares martial law in region besieged by ISIS-linked extremists

Manchester bomber ‘likely’ had accomplices, UK minister says

British prime minister raises nation’s threat level, saying another attack ‘may be imminent’

Britain raises terror threat level to ‘critical,’ deploys army

Morrissey attacks politicians and the Queen over Manchester terrorism response

Manchester terror attack ignites security fears ahead of summer event season

Manchester attack: Nations around the world must stop appeasing the Islamists

Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber – native to Manchester… radicalised in Lybia… returned a few days ago

Fox uses Manchester terror attack by UK native to justify Trump’s Muslim ban

Europe’s denial of Islamic terrorism threat perplexes security specialists

The World Is Too Comfortable with Terror

In Manchester, Jews have been preparing for an attack for years

Manchester attack: Social media calls for travel ban after UK tragedy

Trump calls Manchester attack perpetrators ‘evil losers’

Trump calls on allies to ‘obliterate this evil ideology’ after Manchester bombing

Greg Laurie on Manchester Terror Attack: ‘There Is a Spiritual Element in Play Here’

Gates: Manchester Bombing Is a ‘Harbinger’ of More Terror Attacks in the West

‘Wake Up America’: TX Sheriff Rants On Terror After UK Attack

Manchester Attack Changes the Conversation for Trump’s Trip

Manchester attack opens the door for Trump’s anti-terrorism message at NATO

NATO, no longer obsolete, braces for Hurricane Trump

Brussels-bound Trump armed with demands for NATO

Iranian president ‘hopeful’ Europe won’t follow Trump’s lead on Iran

US envoy tells UN forum North Korea is “a pariah and an outlier”

North Korean diplomat tells UN that United States is real aggressor

Los Angeles Times Publishes Op-Ed on Performing Witchcraft Against Trump

Monica Lewinsky writes obituary for Roger Ailes’ era of ‘gutter’ journalism

Sean Hannity Still Shilling DNC Staffer Murder Story As Fox News Retracts

Clinton deputy Podesta blames Russia, fake news and FBI probes for 2016 loss

Comey ‘ready’ to talk to special counsel in Russia probe

Ex-CIA chief: Worries grew of Trump campaign contacts to Russia

Senate Intelligence Committee issues new subpoenas to Flynn’s businesses

Ex-Trump adviser Page rips Obama-era ‘surveillance,’ wants to testify in public

NYC’s De Blasio: ‘Children Will Die’ Because of Trump’s Budget

Greece fails to secure fresh bailout funds

Moody’s downgrades China rating to A1 from Aa3, citing concerns over a slowing economy and growing debt

Proposed Rules Would Allow US to Track and Destroy Drones

Jeff Bezos lays out his vision for city on the moon, complete with robots

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Akutan, Alaska

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan Erupts to 14,000ft

Langila volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 10,000ft

Massive rockslide buries stretch of iconic California highway

Record rain for parts of eastern Australia

South Africa’s Western Cape declares drought disaster

Merkel vows to convince climate change ‘doubters’

Greece battles locust plague on Agios Efstratios island

S. Korean military court convicts gay soldier over sex

Loss of Faith Among Top 4 Reasons Young Adults Are Committing Suicide: Family Policy Institute

Mike Ratliff – God’s truth is absolute truth

“Harsh Words,” “Put Downs,” and “Divisive Things” that Jesus Said

Ergun Caner – from Jihad to Jesus?

‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ Gets Two-Hour Special

Americans Who Believe the Bible Is the Literal Word of God Are Not in Decline, Says Expert

Woman Dies Trying to Remove Uterus in Quest to Become a Man

Four Iowa Planned Parenthood Locations Closing After State Cuts Funding to Abortion Facilities

6 Statistics That Show How Much America Has Changed in a Half-Century

Posted: 24 May 2017 08:19 AM PDT

(By John Miltimore) Since the political scientist Charles Murray will be speaking at Intellectual Takeout’s upcoming gala, I thought it fitting to read his best-selling…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Jesus Christ Excluded From Facebook Bullying ‘Protection List:’

Posted: 24 May 2017 08:09 AM PDT

While Facebook has recently been tightening its anti-bullying policies and banning users for posting offensive photos, one name that is not receiving protection from the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

4 in custody, military deployed as May warns next attack could be ‘imminent’

Posted: 24 May 2017 07:59 AM PDT

Four people are in custody in connection with Monday’s deadly concert bombing, as British authorities continue to conduct “extensive” searches while investigating the “network” behind…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is This a Harbinger of Things to Come in the Middle East?

Posted: 24 May 2017 07:51 AM PDT

Climate change will worsen food and water shortages in the Middle East and north Africa, and risk triggering more conflict and mass migration, with serious…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

France to extend state of emergency, vows new security laws

Posted: 24 May 2017 06:10 AM PDT

French President Emmanuel Macron has requested that parliament extend the state of emergency until November 1. The president also called for the introduction of legislation…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

President Trump’s Speeches in Israel Ended With No Talks On a Two-State Solution

Posted: 24 May 2017 06:05 AM PDT

During his meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday and in speeches throughout the day, President Donald Trump notably omitted any mention of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: The Entire Country Of Philippines May Be Placed Under Martial Law

Posted: 24 May 2017 06:01 AM PDT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he wouldn’t rule out placing the entire country under martial law if the threat of Islamic State spreads….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NJ accidentally activates nuclear warning alert system on TVs…Causes Mass Panic

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:56 AM PDT

A false alarm that went out to some people’s television sets Tuesday might have scared some in New Jersey.  A nuclear power plant warning issued…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pope Gives Trump Book on Protecting Environment…

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:53 AM PDT

Pope Francis joined an international chorus urging Donald Trump to meet U.S. commitments on climate change in talks at the Vatican Wednesday.  Francis gave the U.S….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Gunmen take priest, churchgoers hostage in Philippines, vow to kill captives

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:38 AM PDT

Militants stormed a cathedral in the Philippines, taking a priest and several parishioners hostage and are vowing to kill the captives “if government forces unleashed…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump Proposes Selling Off Half Of U.S. Emergency Oil Reserve

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:34 AM PDT

The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile and the entire backup gasoline supply,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

More than 700 Confederate Monuments across US Aren’t budging!

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:29 AM PDT

After the church shooting in South Carolina, the old granite Confederate Memorial Fountain that had sat for a century in Hill Park became a flash point….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Tourist with measles rode Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:25 AM PDT

A tourist from India who visited Niagara Falls and went for a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist tour boat this month has…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Taiwan court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, first in Asia

Posted: 24 May 2017 05:20 AM PDT

Taiwan’s constitutional court declared on Wednesday that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, sparking celebration by activists…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Number Of Self-Employed Americans Is Lower Than It Was In 1990

Posted: 23 May 2017 07:47 PM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) After eight long, bitter years under Obama, will things go better for entrepreneurs and small businesses now that Donald Trump is…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea attack drones carrying biological, chemical weapons can strike Seoul within 1 hour

Posted: 23 May 2017 07:37 PM PDT

North Korea’s military has 300 to 400 attack drones capable of carrying biological and chemical weapons that could reach the South Korean capital of Seoul…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

This Scientist’s Doomsday Earthquake Scenarios Will Terrify You

Posted: 23 May 2017 07:34 PM PDT

It’s 102 degrees, just north of Palm Springs. White wind turbines, two stories high, dot the desert landscape all of the way to the base…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas Democrat Crafting ‘Articles of Impeachment’ Against Trump

Posted: 23 May 2017 06:44 PM PDT

The Democrat who took to the House floor to call for President Trump’s impeachment said he is moving forward in the process.  Congressman Al Green…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Trump Says He Prayed for Wisdom From God While Touching Western Wall

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:51 PM PDT

President Donald Trump reportedly prayed to have God’s wisdom as he touched the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem Monday.  Johnnie Moore, a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Philippines President Duterte declares martial law on Mindanao island

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:45 PM PDT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law for 60 days on the island of Mindanao, after clashes between the army and militants linked to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Superbug’ Fungus Is Spreading Across the United States

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:40 PM PDT

Over the past nine months, the number of US cases of an emerging, multi-drug resistant fungus has ballooned from 7 to more than 122. What’s…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pope Francis and Donald Trump Set to Meet this Wednesday

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:36 PM PDT

When President Donald Trump visits Pope Francis on Wednesday, at the halfway point of a trip the White House has cast as a pilgrimage of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5,000 Troops Deployed Into Streets Of Britain

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:31 PM PDT

Troops are to be deployed onto Britain’s streets amid fears a further terror attack ‘may be imminent’.  Theresa May announced the move this evening, less…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UK Terror Threat Level Raised to Critical – More Attacks May Be Imminent

Posted: 23 May 2017 03:27 PM PDT

The UK terror threat level has been raised to its highest level of “critical”, meaning further attacks may be imminent, Theresa May has said.  The…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Reasons Why Trump’s Israel Trip Has Many Christians Cheering

Posted: 23 May 2017 12:40 PM PDT

President Trump’s historic trip to the Middle East has many on social media praising his decision to visit Israel on his first foreign trip as…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Heroic Homeless Man Rushed in to Help While Others Fled After Manchester Bombing

Posted: 23 May 2017 12:34 PM PDT

Sometimes, we look at our predicaments in life and wonder how in the world God could possibly use us to be a light in the world….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is The Gospel?

Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him:


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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Measuring Your Spiritual Growth

Code: B170524

In the entryway to my parents’ home, there is what looks like a giant ruler bolted to the wall. It functions as a growth chart for their grandchildren, marking the incremental changes in their height through the years. And without fail, the kids are eager to see how much they’ve grown since their last measurement, delighted with their progress.

It is likely that somewhere in your childhood home—possibly near a doorframe—there are similar marks that measured your growth.

Whether it’s marking your height as a kid, or measuring your weight loss as an adult, it’s natural to want to quantify the progress you’re making. And it extends beyond just our physical condition. Many people fastidiously track their retirement accounts, their sleep habits, and even their gas mileage. If you can measure it, it’s certain that someone, somewhere is paying close attention to the numbers.

What if we could bring the same kind of scrutiny to our spiritual lives? Is there a reliable barometer of our spiritual growth—some way to track the trajectory of our sanctification? We put those questions to John MacArthur recently. Here’s what he had to say:

As John explained, spiritual growth is not measured incrementally, over short periods of time. Just consider the volatility of today alone—you might have begun your day in devotion and praise for the Lord, but it likely didn’t take long for you to succumb to temptation and sin.

Rather than tracking those lurching highs and lows, we need to consider the overall trend of our lives. Are we sinning less over time? Are we breaking old habits and gaining victory over sin in areas of life that were once dominated by defeat? And are we growing in our appreciation for just how sinful we are? Is the Spirit revealing new areas of sin in our lives, and are we attacking that sin biblically? If you want to get a sense of how you’re growing spiritually, you need to start with those questions.

At the same time, we need to remember that spiritual growth does not happen by osmosis. We can’t expect to grow if we’re not faithfully returning to the only true source of spiritual nourishment: God’s Word. And as John will explain next time, feeding on Scripture means a lot more than simply reading it.


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170524
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

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May 24, 2017: Verse of the day


55:10, 11 God’s word is just as irresistible and effective as the rain and snow. All the armies in the world cannot stop them, and they accomplish their intended purpose. God’s Word never fails to achieve its aims:

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.[1]

55:10, 11 rain … snow … My word. Moisture from heaven invariably accomplishes its intended purpose in helping meet human physical needs. The Word of God will likewise produce its intended results in fulfilling God’s spiritual purposes, especially the establishment of the Davidic kingdom on earth (vv. 1–5).[2]

55:10–11 As the rain and the snow cannot fail to nourish the earth, so God’s word of promise cannot fail to bring his people into the richness and fullness of eternal life. Human good intentions fail, but God’s promises succeed (cf. 40:6–8). The word of God not only describes a glorious future, it is God’s appointed means to create that future (cf. Ezek. 37:1–14).[3]

55:11 It shall not return to me without success Yahweh’s word cannot fail to bring about the desired results (compare 40:8). The word of God contains very real power to accomplish His will. Creation happened through divine speech in Gen 1 (compare Psa 33:6, 9), and Yahweh brought life back into lifeless bones through the prophetic words of Ezekiel (Ezek 37:1–14).[4]

55:10, 11 rain. The rain falls abundantly and of its own accord, and in a familiar but mysterious way produces plants and useful crops, evidently for the purpose of supplying people’s needs. The divine purpose in this is applied figuratively to the word of God in order to distinguish it from fallible human thoughts and plans. It also speaks of the Lord’s word as His decree by which He governs history. It never returns without accomplishing God’s sovereign purposes. Cf. 40:8.[5]

55:11 It is the divine origin (or character) of God’s word, and not some magical power, which causes it to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent (cf. Heb. 4:12).[6]

10–11 The declaration of vs 8–9 not only looks back to v 7 but on to vs 10–13, to shame us out of our small expectations. God’s thoughts are more far-reaching and more fertile, as well as higher, than ours. The comparison of his word with rain andsnow suggests a slow and silent work, transforming the face of the earth in due time. The reference is to his decree (cf. e.g. 44:26; 45:23) rather than his invitation or instruction, which can be refused (48:18–19; cf. the similar imagery to that of v 10 in Heb. 6:4–8).[7]

55:10, 11 bring forth: For a similar reference, see 2 Cor. 9:10. God’s word is similar to rainfall; it produces fruit (Ps. 147:15–20). Just as water enlivens and strengthens a withering rose, God’s word produces life in the hearts of sinners.[8]

55:10–11. Having spoken of the future time of blessing (the Millennium) and the salvation which leads to it, the Lord then assured believers that His Word … will accomplish what He says it will. His word is like rain and snow that water the earth and help give it abundant vegetation. In the Near East dry hard ground can seemingly overnight sprout with vegetation after the first rains of the rainy season. Similarly when God speaks His Word, it brings forth spiritual life, thus accomplishing His purpose.[9]

[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 982). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 55:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1342). 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 55:11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2015). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (2015 Edition) (p. 1228). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust.

[6] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 55:11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Kidner, F. D. (1994). Isaiah. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 664). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 865). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[9] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1111). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

May 24 – Saluting an Unknown Soldier (James, son of Alphaeus)

The twelve apostles included “James the son of Alphaeus” (Matt. 10:3).


God often uses ordinary people to accomplish great things.

Like most Christians, James the son of Alphaeus is an unknown and unsung soldier of the cross. His distinguishing characteristic is obscurity. Nothing he did or said is recorded in Scripture—only his name.

In Mark 15:40 he is called “James the Less,” which literally means “Little James.” That could refer to his stature (he might have been short), his age (he might have been younger than James the son of Zebedee), or his influence (he might have had relatively little influence among the disciples).

In Mark 2:14 Matthew (Levi) is called “the son of Alphaeus.” Alphaeus was a common name, but it’s possible that James and Matthew were brothers, since their fathers had the same first name. Also, James’s mother is mentioned in Mark 15:40 as being present at Christ’s crucifixion, along with other women. She is referred to as the wife of Clopas in John 19:25. Since Clopas was a form of Alphaeus, that further supports the possibility that James and Matthew were related.

From those references we might conclude that James was a small, young man whose personality was not particularly powerful. If he was Matthew’s brother, perhaps he was as humble as Matthew, willing to serve the Lord without any applause or notice. Whichever the case, be encouraged that God uses obscure people like James and rewards them accordingly. Someday James will sit on a throne in Christ’s millennial Kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel—just like the other, more prominent disciples (Luke 22:30).

No matter how obscure or prominent you are from a human perspective, God can use you and will reward you with a glorious eternal inheritance.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for all those people unknown to you whom He has used to shape your life for His glory. ✧ Seek to be more like James, serving Christ faithfully without applause or glory.

For Further Study: Read Luke 9:23–25. What did Jesus say is necessary to be His disciple? ✧ Read Luke 9:57–62. What were those men unwilling to give up to follow Christ?[1]

James the Son of Alphaeus

The first-named of these unknown apostles is James, who is distinguished from the other apostle James (the son of Zebedee, v. 2) and from James the half brother of Jesus by being identified as the son of Alphaeus. In Mark 15:40 he is referred to as “the Less.” Mikros (“less”) can also mean smaller or younger. Used in the sense of smaller, the name may have been another means of distinguishing him from James the son of Zebedee, who was clearly larger in influence and position and possibly also in physical stature. In the sense of younger, it may have indicated his youthfulness in comparison to the other James.

As just mentioned, this James was considerably less than James the son of Zebedee in the realm of influence. He may have had outstanding traits such as boldness or courage, but, if so, he would likely have been called “the Bold” or something similar, rather than “the Less.” He could have been older than the other James; but if that were true, he would probably have been called “the Elder,” since that description would have been less confusing and more respectful of his age. It is also possible, of course, that he was smaller in stature. But the most probable meaning of “the Less” would seem to be that of youthfulness, coupled with that of his subordinate position in leadership.

Because Matthew’s father was also named Alphaeus (spelled Alpheus in Mark 2:14), James and Matthew may have been brothers. Or this James may have been a cousin of Jesus. Clopas was a form of Alphaeus, and if Jesus’ “mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas” (John 19:25), was James’s mother, he would have been Jesus’ first cousin. That possibility is also supported by Mark 15:40, which tells us that the mother of James the Less was named Mary. It is possible that he was both Matthew’s brother and Jesus’ cousin. In either case or both, this James’s low profile testifies to his humility, since there is no indication that he tried to take personal advantage of any such relationship.

James was not distinguished as a gifted leader, either before or after his calling and training. We can assume he faithfully fulfilled the Lord’s work during his ministry, and we know that he will one day sit on a heavenly throne and join the other twelve in judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). But his apostleship had no relationship to outstanding ability or achievement. He was an unextraordinary man, used in unextraordinary ways to help fulfill the extraordinary task of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

After 2,000 years, James the son of Alphaeus remains obscure. We do not know a single word he spoke or a single thing he did. The early church Fathers claimed that he preached in Persia (modern Iran) and was crucified there as a martyr for the gospel. If that is true, one can only wonder what would have happened to that country and to world history had those people responded favorably to the gospel.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 157). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 10:3). Chicago: Moody Press.


…I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

JOHN 10:10

If the only interest we have in the deeper spiritual life is based on curiosity, it is not enough—regardless of our education or scholarship!

In our day we have seen a great revival of interest in mysticism, and supposedly a great interest in the deeper life. But I find that much of this interest is academic and is based on curiosity. We become interested in aspects of the deeper Christian life much as we become interested in mastering the yo-yo or folk songs or dabbling in Korean architecture or anything else that intrigues us. You can go anywhere now and buy a book about the deeper life because there are curious persons who are swelling the market.

It has been suggested that we should not “waste our time” in trying to help those who are merely curious. But I differ at this point, because it is Jesus’ blood that makes the difference and it is because of this hope by the blood of Jesus that any of us may be worthy to listen. We must leave the sorting out to God! The testing in the matters of spiritual life is by the Spirit of God, not by pastors and preachers. We dare not withhold the open secret of the victorious life because there are those who are merely curious and without true desire.[1]

10:10 The purpose of the thief is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. He comes for purely selfish motives. In order to gain his own desires, he would even kill the sheep. But the Lord Jesus does not come to the human heart for any selfish reason. He comes to give, not to get. He comes that people may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. We receive life the moment we accept Him as our Savior. After we are saved, however, we find that there are various degrees of enjoyment of this life. The more we turn ourselves over to the Holy Spirit, the more we enjoy the life which has been given to us. We not only have life then, but we have it more abundantly.[2]

Life, More Life

John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I am pausing in our study of the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel to give particular attention to verse 10; for it contains an idea that has become popular in some Christian circles, and it is important that we understand it. The idea is that of the abundant life. Verse 10 suggests it: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

What is the full or abundant life? It is not necessarily a long life, although there are verses that promise a long life to some, such as to those who honor their father and mother (Exod. 20:12; cf. Eph. 6:2–3). It is not necessarily a life free from sorrow or sickness either, although God certainly does spare us many sorrows that we might otherwise have and often preserves us from sickness. It is not a life of sickly piety, where everything is “beautiful” or “precious” or “just wonderful.” The abundant life, as Scripture speaks of it, is, above all, the contented life, in which contentment comes from the confidence that God is equal to every emergency and does indeed supply all our genuine needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The contented life is the life of the sheep who finds himself in the hands of a good shepherd. There may be dangers; in fact, there will be dangers. There may be storms at times, even drought and famine. Still, in the hands of a good shepherd the sheep is content and life is bountiful.


Contentment means satisfaction, and satisfaction means to have enough. This understanding is reinforced by the meaning of “abundance” in English and in most ancient languages.

Our English word “abundance” comes from the two Latin words ab and undare which mean “to rise in waves” or “to overflow.” The first translation gives a picture of the unceasing rise of the waves upon a seashore. There the waves rise again and again. One wave surges forward and exhausts its force on the sand, but another follows and another and another. Thus it will continue as long as time lasts. The other picture is of a flood. This makes us think of a river fed by heavy rains, rising irresistibly until it overflows its banks. The abundant life is, therefore, one in which we are content in the knowledge that God’s grace is more than sufficient for our needs, that nothing can suppress it, and that God’s favor toward us is unending.

The Greek word for “abundance,” perissos, has a mathematical meaning and generally denotes a surplus. In this sense it is used of the twelve baskets of food that remained after Christ’s feeding of the five thousand, as related in Matthew’s Gospel (14:20). It is translated “remains.” The comparative is used to say that John the Baptist excelled the Old Testament prophets in dignity and importance (Matt. 11:9) and that love is more important than all sacrifices (Mark 12:33).

Made Alive

Before one can know the abundant life, he must first know life. That is, he must first be made alive through faith in Christ. Christ is speaking of this when he says, “I have come that they may have life.” It is only after this that he adds, “and have it to the full.”

Are you aware that you have been made alive spiritually? You should be just as certain of this as you are that you have been made alive physically. In fact, one whole book of the Bible has been written so that Christians (who have been made alive through the new birth) might be certain of it and might grow in Christ on the basis of that assurance. The book is 1 John, and John tells us that this is his purpose in writing. He says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). A few verses earlier he tells us that God has given life to all who believe on Jesus as God’s Son and that they can be assured of this because God himself tells them that this is what he has done.

The Twenty-Third Psalm

This brings us to the abundant life itself, and in order to discuss it in its fullest biblical framework I want to take you to the Twenty-third Psalm. This psalm is, above all, the psalm of the contented life. When it begins by saying “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” this is precisely what it is talking about. Not to be in want is to be content, and this state can exist only when the sheep is in the care of a good shepherd. In the psalm David tells us that he is content in the Lord in reference to five things.

First, he does not lack rest. He indicates this by saying, “He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”

In the small but very rewarding book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23,  author Phillip Keller, who was himself a shepherd, tells of the difficulty there is in getting a sheep to lie down. Sheep do not easily lie down, he says. In fact, “It is almost impossible for them to be made to lie down unless four requirements are met. Owing to their timidity they refuse to lie down unless they are free of all fear. Because of the social behavior within a flock sheep will not lie down unless they are free from friction with others of their kind. If tormented by flies or parasites, sheep will not lie down. … Lastly, sheep will not lie down as long as they feel in need of finding food. They must be free from hunger.” Freedom from fear, tension, aggravation, and hunger! These are the four necessities. And the important thing, as Keller points out, is that it is only the shepherd himself who can provide them.

This is an interesting picture. For when the psalm begins with the sheep at rest it begins with a picture of sheep who have found their shepherd to be a good shepherd, that is, one who is able to meet their physical needs and to provide them with release from anxiety. Moreover, it is interesting that it begins at this point. For the other advantages of the contented life—guidance, comfort, safety, provision, and a destiny—come only to one who has found the Lord adequate to his every need.


Second, the psalmist tells us that he does not lack guidance. For “he leads me beside quiet waters” and “he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Sheep are stupid creatures. In fact, they are probably the most stupid animals on earth. One aspect of their stupidity is seen in the fact that they so easily wander away. They can have a good shepherd who has brought them to the best grazing lands, near an abundant supply of water—still they will wander away over a hill to where the fields are barren and the water undrinkable. Or again, they are creatures of habit. They can have found good grazing land due to the diligence of the shepherd; but then having found it, they will continue to graze upon it until every blade of grass and even every root is eaten, the fields ruined, and themselves impoverished. This has actually happened to sheep and the land they graze on in many parts of the world—Spain, Greece, Mesopotamia, North Africa, parts of the western United States, and New Zealand.

No other class of livestock requires more careful handling and more detailed directions than do sheep. Therefore, a shepherd who is able to give good guidance is essential for their welfare. He will move the sheep from field to field (before deterioration sets in) and will always stay near water. He will chase strays. He will plan the grazing to fit the seasons of the year. In the same way, we too need the Good Shepherd. We do not lack guidance if we will but have it.


Third, David tells us that he does not lack safety, even in the presence of great danger. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

This verse often has been taken as providing words of comfort for those who are dying; and it is not wrongly used in that way. God certainly is a source of comfort in death. Primarily, however, the verse speaks of the shepherd’s ability to protect the sheep in moments of danger. The picture in this verse is of the passage from the lowlands, where sheep spend the winter, through the valleys to the high pastures where they go in summer. The valleys are the places of richest pasture and of abundant water. But they also are places of danger. Wild animals lurk in the broken canyon walls to either side. Sudden storms may sweep down the valleys. There may be floods. The sun does not shine so well into the valleys. So there really is shadow, which at any moment might become death’s shadow. It is through such experiences that our Lord leads us in safety.

In the book that I referred to earlier, Keller notes how often Christians speak of their desire “to move on to higher ground with God,” wanting to move above the lowlands of life and yet not realizing that mountaintop experiences are entered into only by passing through the valleys. Strong faith comes from having faith tested. Patience comes from having lived through tribulations. This means that life will not necessarily be smooth under the direction of our Shepherd. He will sometimes lead us through rough places. Nevertheless, as we go through them we can know of his ability to keep us from falling and to present us before the presence of his Father with great joy.

Keller writes: “The basic question is not whether we have many or few valleys. It is not whether those valleys are dark or merely dim with shadows. The question is how do I react to them? How do I go through them? How do I cope with the calamities that come my way? With Christ I face them calmly. With His gracious Spirit to guide me I face them fearlessly. I know of a surety that only through them can I possibly travel on to higher ground with God.”


Fourth, Psalm 23 speaks of the shepherd’s provision for each physical need of the flock. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

Keller thinks that the reference to preparing the table refers to the shepherd’s advance preparation of the high tablelands or mesas where the sheep graze in summer. If so, it refers to the elimination of hazards, the destruction of poisonous plants, and the driving away of predators—all before the sheep arrive. If it does not refer to this, it must be taken merely of God’s provision of peace and feeding even when enemies lurk nearby. In such a time, says David, God anoints him with oil and fills his cup of wine to overflowing.

In biblical imagery oil and wine speak of joy and prosperity; for the growing of olives and grapes and their transformation into oil and wine take time and gentle care. In times of domestic turmoil or war these tasks were forgotten.

Moreover, oil and wine well suited the inhabitants of a dry and barren land and were therefore highly valued. In Palestine, where the sun shines fiercely most of the year and the temperature continually soars up into the hundreds, the skin quickly becomes cracked and broken, and throats become dusty and parched. Oil soothes the skin, particularly the face. Wine clears the throat. Therefore, when a guest arrived at the home of a friend in Palestine in Christ’s or David’s day, hospitality demanded the provision of oil and wine so that the ravages of travel might be overcome and friends might make merry in each other’s company. David spoke of this elsewhere when he prayed, “O Lord … let your face shine on your servant” (Ps. 31:14, 16). A shining face was the face of a friend. In another passage he thanks God for “wine that gladdens the heart of man, [and] oil to make his face shine” (Ps. 104:15).

David knew of God’s great love and provision; his face shone, and his heart was made merry because of it. Oh for the shining face and the merry heart today! Far too many have scowling faces and gloomy hearts, but that is not what God intends for his children. Instead, if we will allow him to lead us to the high pastures of the Christian life we will find our table prepared, our heads anointed with purest oil, and our cups overflowing with the wine of joy.

A Heavenly Home

Finally, having spoken of all these provisions, David adds no less gladly that he does not lack for a heavenly home. He is blessed in this life, but it is not in this life only that he knows God’s goodness. He will know it forever. Thus he declares, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Ps. 23:6).

To have a sure home is one of the great desires of the nomadic people who have generally occupied that area of the Near East bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the great Arabian desert. T. E. Lawrence, who gained fame as Lawrence of Arabia during World War I, has written of this eloquently in his classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He tells in the opening pages of that book how, because of the geography of this area, one tribe after another came out of the desert to fight for the lush Judean highlands, which contained the best trees, crops, and pastures. The Israelites in their conquest of Palestine under Joshua were just one of these peoples. When one group (like the Israelites) succeeded, the conquered people generally moved just a bit south into the Negev (which was also good land but not quite as good as that to the north) and displaced others. Those who were displaced in turn displaced others, and those displaced still others, with the result that there was always a constant movement around the entire area. The last of the peoples would be forced back into the desert with nothing before them but Damascus. At some point all the peoples of the Near East had this background. So, for most of them, Damascus with its ample rivers and fields became the symbol of true abundance at the end of life’s pilgrimage. It symbolized home.

For us who know the Good Shepherd there is also a similar longing; but the longing is not for Damascus or any other earthly home. Our longing is for that great and final home that the Lord Jesus Christ has himself gone to prepare for us. He has said, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2–3). With such a promise we know that we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Of our state in that home John the evangelist later wrote in the Book of Revelation: “Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:16–17).

The blessings of this life and heaven too! Nor can we forget that this was achieved for us by One who himself became a lamb in order to die for us so that we might be able to enter into the fullness of such a great salvation.[3]

10 Using vivid language, Jesus says that the Jewish establishment (the “thief”) has as its purpose “to steal and kill and destroy.” But this is not true of Jesus the shepherd—he has come so that his followers “may have life, and have it to the full.” The former are life denying, while Jesus is life affirming. The life that Jesus came to provide is not physical but spiritual. Yet that which is spiritual naturally overflows into every aspect of physical existence. Life embraces all that it means to be alive in this world and firmly attached by faith to the living Lord. Fullness of life is the reward of faith. It is by trusting Jesus and forgetting self that real life—physical and spiritual—breaks into one’s consciousness like the dawning of a new day (cf. Mk 8:35 par.).[4]

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

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1525). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 747–752). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 502). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.