Daily Archives: June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Jun. 20, 2017 |


China has invited President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law to visit later this year, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest sign of the first family’s growing influence over foreign affairs.

Ukraine’s leader will meet President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Washington, a visit that could reveal more about the level of U.S. backing for the former Soviet republic and its efforts to repel a Russian-backed insurgency in its east.

The White House has ordered the U.S. Justice Department to jump into Texas’s battle to force its cities and elected local officials to comply with the state’s tough sanctuary-city ban, which makes it a crime to shelter some undocumented immigrants from deportation. At the same time, California was taking steps to thwart Trump’s stance, with the Legislature considering a bill that would formally declare the most populous state a sanctuary, barring local law enforcement from using resources to help federal authorities target immigrants for deportation.

Saudi Arabia said its navy captured three members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard aboard a small boat laden with explosives as it headed toward an oil platform in the Gulf.

President Donald Trump on Monday denounced the death of Otto Warmbier, saying the University of Virginia student who spent more than a year imprisoned in North Korea suffered at the hands of a “brutal regime.”

Ford Motor Co. is canceling controversial plans to build the Focus small car in Mexico, saving $1 billion by ending North American production entirely and importing the model mostly from China after next year.

A wave of coders writing self-teaching algorithms has descended on the financial world, and it doesn’t look good for most of the money managers who’ve long been envied for their multimillion-­dollar bonuses.

Iran said it fired missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria in retaliation for the jihadists’ deadly attacks in Tehran last week, a rare strike signaling Iran’s willingness to escalate its use of military power in the region’s conflicts.

AP Top Stories

Jihadis attacked a hotel resort Sunday in Mali’s capital, taking hostages at a spot popular with foreigners on the weekends. More than 30 people managed to escape, though at least two people were killed, authorities said.

Syrian troops and allied militias met up with Iraqi forces at one crossing point along their shared border Sunday for the first time in years, in a step described as a major achievement by the Syrian military in their fight against the Islamic State group.

Russia gave a warning to the U.S. after a Syrian warplane was downed by the U.S. military. The Russian Defense Ministry threatened it will treat U.S.-led coalition planes over Syria as targets.

Israel revoked on Sunday the permits of 200,000 Palestinians to enter Israel that were approved for the holy month of Ramadan following two near simultaneous Palestinian attacks on police that killed a young female officer near Jerusalem’s Old City.

NASA’s planet-hunting telescope has found 10 new planets outside our solar system that are likely the right size and temperature to potentially have life on them, broadly hinting that we are probably not alone.

A raging forest fire in central Portugal sent flames sweeping over roads, killing at least 63 people, many of them trapped in their cars as they tried to flee, officials said Sunday.

Deadly heat waves like the one now broiling the American West are bigger killers than previously thought and they are going to grow more frequent, according to a new comprehensive study of fatal heat conditions. Still, those stretches may be less lethal in the future, as people become accustomed to them.


As temperatures climb in Phoenix, Arizona, more than 40 flights have been cancelled – because it is too hot for the planes to fly. The weather forecast for the US city suggests temperatures could reach 120F on Tuesday. That is higher than the operating temperature of some planes.

Russia’s “gay propaganda” law is discriminatory and encourages homophobia, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The law “reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”, the ruling said.

About 1,300 US children under the age of 17 die from gun-related injuries per year, a government study has found.

Several prominent journalists and activists in Mexico have filed a complaint accusing the government of spying on them by hacking their phones.

More than 3,300 people have been killed in the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Kasai region since last October, the Catholic Church said.

A court in Algeria has sentenced a man to two years in prison for dangling his baby out of a window in order to attract “likes” on Facebook. The father posted a picture of himself holding the baby out of a window in a high-rise building with the caption: “1,000 likes or I will drop him.”


“Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” says the study’s senior author, Vadim Zipunnikov.

Boeing sees the day coming when you board a plane in New York and land two hours later in Shanghai, China. Boeing expects hypersonic jets, flying at up to Mach 5, or 3,800 mph, could serve a small but important market of travelers willing to pay a premium to reach far-flung destinations in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

New Jersey is now the only state in the U.S. where people can’t sell home-baked goods after a Wisconsin court this month invalidated that state’s ban.

The Briefing 06-20-17

Did Christians start the wedding wars? It isn’t Christianity whose definition of marriage changed.

Digital age parenting: Do we really have to be told Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ doesn’t make a good parent?

The New Yorker discovers St. Augustine: Sex and the priority of theology in Augustine’s thought

The post The Briefing 06-20-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 6/20/2017

What This Supreme Court Ruling Means for the Washington Redskins, Other Brands Deemed ‘Offensive’
Should “offensive” brand names be allowed to get a federal patent? The Supreme Court answered “yes” on Monday, handing a decisive win to Simon Tam and his band, The Slants.

Greenblatt, Kushner begin push for peace talks
Special Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt, Jared Kushner pressure Israel, Palestinian Authority to reboot negotiations, make concessions.

‘European army is inevitable’ – German defense commissioner
Speaking to the German Press Agency on Monday, Hans-Peter Bartels, the Germany Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, called on the 28-nation bloc’s militaries to unite into a single armed force.

Lieberman pushes for security cabinet polygraph test to plug leaks
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and MK Robert Ilatov of Yisrael Beytenu push for legislation requiring security cabinet members to take mandatory, annual polygraph tests to prevent leaks.

Israel, Saudi Arabia reportedly discuss establishing economic ties
According to the report, the historic move, if implemented, could be the first step toward normalizing relations and would begin with Israeli businesses being allowed to operate in the Persian Gulf. The newspaper gave as one example the possibility of Israeli airline El Al being allowed to fly over Saudi airspace.

Kim Jong Un lives in fear of assassination by western ‘decapitation’ team, says report
The 33-year-old, third-generation ruler is “extremely nervous” about a clandestine plot to take him out, according to a key South Korean lawmaker who spoke to The Korea Herald.

Christian “Awakening” to Holiness of Temple Mount Draws Islamic Fury
Until now, the bloody battle for the Temple Mount has been fought between Muslims and Jews, but a new awakening among some Christians to its significance is creating a shifting pre-Messianic reality at the already volatile site. The developing status of Christians on the Temple Mount played out a few weeks ago in a Muslim-Christian confrontation that nearly ended in violence.

Iran missile struck ISIS but is also aimed at US, Saudis, Israel
That Iran would verbally threaten ISIS, Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel is not new. That it would launch six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles more than 600 kilometers into another country is. Although Iran’s ballistic missiles hit ISIS in Syria on Sunday, the audience for the strike explicitly included the US and Saudi Arabia and, implicitly, Israel.

Macron meets Jordan’s king, condemns deadly Jerusalem attack
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Jordan’s King Abdullah in Paris on Monday. Macron and King Abdullah discussed Israel and the Palestinian territories, and the French president condemned an attack on Friday by three Palestinians who killed an Israeli policewoman as well as “continuing settlement expansion.”

Syria conflict: Australia suspends military air operations
Australia says it is temporarily suspending its military air operations over Syria, after a warning from Russia that it would treat aircraft from the US-led coalition as potential targets. The pause was a “precautionary measure”, the government said, without giving details. Moscow’s warning came after the US shot down a Syrian military plane.

Portugal fire: Soaring temperatures threaten firefighting effort
Soaring temperatures threaten efforts to bring a raging forest fire in Portugal under control, officials say. The week’s highest temperatures of around 38C (100F) are expected on Tuesday and together with windy conditions could reignite fires already quelled. Civil protection officials say although 70% of the fire is under control, what remains is a source “of great concern”.

Syria conflict: Russia issues warning after US coalition downs jet
Russia has warned the US-led coalition fighting in Syria that it will view its aircraft as targets, after the US shot down a Syrian military plane on Sunday. The coalition said the Syrian Su-22 had bombed US-backed fighters battling so-called Islamic State in Raqqa province. Russia, the Syrian government’s main ally, also said it was halting communications with the US aimed at preventing such incidents.

Personal details of nearly 200 million US citizens exposed
Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee. The 1.1 terabytes of data includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers and political views of nearly 62% of the entire US population. The data was available on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server.

It’s so hot in Phoenix, they can’t fly planes
The extreme heat forecast for Phoenix on Tuesday has caused the cancellation of 20 American Airlines flights out of Sky Harbor International Airport. According to a statement from American Airlines, the American Eagle regional flights use the Bombardier CRJ aircraft, which has a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees. Tuesday’s forecast for Phoenix included a high of 120 degrees…

Iranian official on Syrian attack: ‘Israel understood the message, it should be worried’
An advisor to Iran’s foreign minister said…the Islamic republic’s missiles attack against ISIS in Syria also served as a message to Israel, adding “I think (Israel) understood the message… it now has to worry” about its actions…Sheikh Hussein al-Islam…adding Tehran “will not allow terrorism to determine the future of the region.” Showing his disdain…al-Islam determined “the presence of Americans in the region is illegal; the US should leave Syria sooner or later.”

EXCLUSIVE: Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2012 turned over nearly $9 million in unspent funds from his failed 2008 presidential campaign to a new foundation bearing his name, the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

Otto Warmbier Has Died, Family Blames “North Korea’s Torturous Mistreatment”
Just days after North Korea released Otto Warmbier after holding him hostage for 17 months, his family has just reported the sad news of his passing.

There Have Been 296 Earthquakes In The Vicinity Of The Yellowstone Supervolcano Within The Last 7 Days
Democrats gearing up for a new round of battles against Republican efforts to do away with Barack Obama’s signature health care law are condemning a US Senate replacement bill being crafted by Republicans behind closed doors.

Hillary Clinton Told FBI’s Mueller To Deliver Uranium To Russians In 2009 “Secret Plane-Side Tarmac Meeting”
New Clinton-Mueller Russian uranium ties surface in the latest Wikileaks release… “We require that the transfer of this material be conducted at the airport, on the tarmac near by the plane, upon arrival of the Director’s aircraft.”

FOIA Request On Susan Rice’s Unmaskings Rejected Because “Records Were Moved To Obama Library”
“Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  You may send your request to the Obama Library.  However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.”

Free Beacon Barred From Covering Jon Ossoff Campaign Event
The Washington Free Beacon was told by Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign that it was not welcome to cover remarks that he was scheduled to deliver to supporters on the night before Tuesday’s special election.

Anti-Trump Resistance Rhetoric Fueling ‘Raging Fever’ in Unbalanced People

Democratic strategist and public opinion pollster Pat Caddell talked with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.  According to Marlow:


Caddell said, “I think they are united in a narrative. And that narrative is, somebody did something wrong. It was Donald Trump and therefore, at the end of the day, he must not be president.”

“They’re still fighting the campaign that they lost,” he added, meaning the media.

“They will not put out things that disagree with their narrative,” said Caddell. “That’s when they stop being a press. They’ve become propagandists and this is really dangerous stuff. It is really scary because for many voters, they don’t know where to turn, necessarily, to get a view that gives them both sides.”

View article →

Cities Across America Creating Rainbow Crosswalks to Celebrate ‘LGBTQ Pride’

What if tax payers don’t want their hard earned money spent on rainbow crosswalks that celebrate “diversity”? What about the citizens who find the crosswalk offensive for the reason that the rainbow has been hijacked by the LGBTQ community and some folks don’t approve of their lifestyle choices? Well, too bad for them. Christian News has the story.

Several American cities recently approved the creation of rainbow crosswalks to celebrate “LGBTQ pride,” and homosexual advocacy groups are circulating petitions to request that more cities paint their crosswalks with the “diversity” stripes.

Houston, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C. created rainbow crosswalks to coincide with their June homosexual pride events. In Atlanta, the display will be permanent.

“I believe that symbols of unity matter,” Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. “In recognition of the outstanding and ongoing contributions of Atlanta’s LGBTQ community to our city, I am pleased to announce today that the city will install the rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street year-round.”

View article →

Attorney for Bernie Donor Class Action Calls DNC ‘The Ultimate Ponzi Scheme’

According to Breitbart:

Backers of Bernie Sanders are suing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for fraud based on last summer’s hacks revealing systemic bias for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary campaign.

The class-action lawsuit, Wilding v. DNC Services Corp., is underway in federal court in Florida, where it is awaiting a ruling on the DNC’s motion to dismiss heard in April. The plaintiff class, Bernie donors who also gave money to the DNC under the assumption of its impartiality in the 2016 primary contest between Clinton and Sanders. The suit alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and a consumer protection violation.

The claims are based on the celebrated leaked emails and memos from the “Guccifer 2.0” hacks last June. The leaks appear to show direct assistance of Secretary Clinton to the detriment of Senator Sanders. The novel legal theory is based on the donors having been duped by the DNC’s claims of impartiality.

View article →

June 19, 2017

WES VERNON — If you’re a conservative, a Republican, a Trump supporter, a dissenter from the edicts enunciated by the Marxist-tolerating establishment, you may be targeted sooner or later by the haters in the left…. (more)

June 19, 2017
ALAN KEYES — As its original Latin root literally suggests, a congressional subpoena demands compliance “subject to the penalties of law.” Nonetheless, the Constitution says plainly that the president “shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States,” even including high treason…. (more)

June 19, 2017
INDEPENDENT — Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet…. (more)

June 19, 2017
PALM BEACH POST — President Donald Trump on Friday issued a proclamation declaring Sunday to be Father’s Day. Presidents historically issue proclamations for holidays, noting the importance of the day and making remarks on the holiday’s significance…. (more)

June 19, 2017
PJ MEDIA — It’s hard to determine whether some liberals are tone deaf or just downright mean. MSNBC hostess Joy-Ann Reid almost certainly falls into the latter category. Reid was on with NAACP board member Rev. William J. Barber II when the conversation turned to Rep. Steve Scalise, who was lying in a hospital bed in critical condition at the time…. (more)

June 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Defense Secretary James Mattis is facing his first significant decision in the military’s sexual revolution legacy left by the last commander in chief, Barack Obama. Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Ashton Carter, issued a directive last year permitting transgender troops to remain in the military and undergo sex reassignment procedures instead of facing automatic discharge…. (more)

June 19, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — In the name of fighting terrorism financing, a new U.S. Senate bill threatens to force private corporations to monitor your financial activity and empowers government to seize all your assets if you fail to comply with the new law…. (more)

June 19, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump has a higher approval rating than virtually every other leader in Washington, a little reported fact that emerged in a new survey of the nation’s political officials…. (more)

June 19, 2017
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — President Donald Trump’s missteps have intensified the scandal that is consuming his administration. One is tempted to put scandal in scare quotes. Trump is somehow enmeshed in a scandal based on actions that a president is fully entitled to take – – such as dismissing the FBI director and weighing in on the merits of continuing an investigation of his former national-security adviser…. (more)

June 19, 2017

NEWSMAX — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is in serious condition after undergoing another surgery Saturday following last week’s shooting at the Congressional baseball practice where a man who was reportedly distraught over President Trump’s election shot Scalise and three others…. (more)

June 18, 2017
BOB UNRUH — A Jesuit scholar with expertise in Islam is explaining why Muslims are terroristic and is warning members of his faith not to be taken in by the “liberal-left ideology” that advocates “tolerance” and “concessions.”… (more)

June 18, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — A refugee from the Muslim Middle East thinks he has discovered Islam’s 20-point plan for conquering the United States by 2020 – – a plan revealed in the latest issue of Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin…. (more)

June 17, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — I am amazed by the conspiracy of silence, on the right and the left, about former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s bungling of the anthrax case. “In his years as FBI director and as a Justice Department official, Mueller gained a reputation for honesty, integrity, and being a ‘straight-shooter,'” writes Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard…. (more)

June 17, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — Special counsel Robert Mueller could have a tough time making an obstruction of justice case stick against President Trump, according to legal analysts, who said he will have to overcome a number of “unique hurdles” – – not the least of which is a decades-old Justice Department ruling that a sitting president can’t be charged…. (more)

June 17, 2017

ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — On March 30, 2017, by his own account, then-FBI director James Comey told President Donald Trump that Trump himself was not under investigation – – the third time he had given him that assurance. In fact, Comey told Trump that he had just assured members of Congress that Trump was not a suspect under investigation…. (more)

June 17, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — An op-ed posted June 11 by Huffington Post contributor Jason Fuller was pulled by the website after Wednesday’s attack on congressional Republicans…. (more)

June 17, 2017

ALICIA POWE — CNN, the network famously dubbed “fake news” by President Trump, misreported an emotional moment before the Congressional Baseball Game Thursday, tweeting that it was only Democrats who knelt for prayer on the field…. (more)

June 17, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — This is a time in the history of our nation when an honest group or congressional panel with integrity could name and ostracize extremists on both the right and left. Unfortunately, the media have crowned the misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the arbiter of what’s good and right in America today. Ironically, it was the SPLC that inspired an act of terrorism on American soil, when a gay militant opened fire on the Washington office of the Family Research Council. He saw the group listed on an SPLC “hate map.”… (more)

June 17, 2017
DAILY CALLER — James T. Hodgkinson, the shooter who opened fire on dozens of Republican congressmen and staffers at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday, had a list of Republican names in his pocket that was recovered by the FBI, The Daily Caller has learned…. (more)

June 17, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump announced a dramatic reversal Friday of the Obama administration’s Cuba policy, restoring restrictions on U.S. travel to the island and new prohibitions on financial transactions that benefit the communist regime’s military…. (more)

June 17, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly officially revoked President Obama’s 2014 attempt to broaden his previous deportation amnesty for Dreamers, which had been held up by federal courts for more than two years. The decision leaves in place the 2012 temporary amnesty for more than 780,000 Dreamers but officially ends immigrant rights groups’ hopes of expanding that policy to as many as 4 million more illegal immigrants…. (more)

June 15, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — Former FBI Director James Comey has finally admitted publicly that President Donald Trump has not been under investigation, after months of deliberately leaving the impression that he was. Now the issue becomes whether Trump somehow obstructed justice in trying to save one of his subordinates, a decorated military veteran who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), from a frivolous prosecution…. (more)

June 15, 2017
LINDA GOUDSMIT — Only a left-wing liberal living in subjective reality could promote the hijab, the quintessential symbol of feminine oppression, as fashion. The idea is so spectacularly stupid that it defies description. This is yet another salvo in the attempt to Islamicize the West by making the unacceptable dictates of sharia law acceptable…. (more)

June 15, 2017
SUSAN FERRECHIO — Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday were left pondering whether and how to increase their own security in the wake of a gunman’s shocking attack against GOP lawmakers at a baseball practice, and it is already prompting some to start pushing for police protection at their homes and group events outside the Capitol…. (more)

June 15, 2017

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — One Republican lawmaker believes that concealed carry reciprocity for members of Congress should be considered as part of possible security upgrades after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot at practice for the congressional charity baseball game early Wednesday morning…. (more)

Mid-Day Snapshot

June 20, 2017

Impartial Investigators or Hit Squad?

Special investigator Robert Mueller has assembled a team with some hard core Democrats and Clinton connections.

The Foundation

“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.” —Thomas Jefferson (1822)

A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity

Back in 2010 when I wrote this article my aim was to inform professing Christians, who had convinced themselves that it’s okay to practice “Christian yoga,” that it is not okay at all.  At that point yoga, which has it’s roots in Hinduism, had taken the Christian community by storm.  As you will see in […]

The post A subtle and dangerous shift in Christianity appeared first on Berean Research.

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: June 20

  • Central bank caution beefs up stock gains (Read More)
  • Pound Drops as BOE’s Carney Says Not Yet Time to Raise Rates (Read More)
  • Oil Just Hit Its Lowest Level of the Year (Read More)
  • Britain charges Barclays, ex-bosses over ‘unlawful’ Qatari deal (Read More)
  • Senate GOP Sets Ambitious Deadline on Health-Care Vote (Read More)
  • Both Parties Have a Lot to Lose in Georgia and S.C. Special Elections (Read More)
  • House speaker vows to complete tax reform in 2017 (Read More)
  • The New Face of Trump’s Legal Team Is the Christian Right’s Pitbull (Read More)
  • Russia probe focuses on role of Flynn partner (Read More)
  • Among the iPhone’s Biggest Transformations: Apple Itself (Read More)
  • Democrats protest Senate Republican healthcare secrecy (Read More)
  • Texas Is Too Windy and Sunny for Old Energy Companies to Profit (Read More)
  • Whole Foods CEO hints at another brand under Amazon (Read More)
  • Robots Are Eating Money Managers’ Lunch (Read More)
  • Trump seen hardening line toward Pakistan after Afghan war review (Read More)
  • Peak Banking Globalization Hasn’t Come and Gone, BIS Says (Read More)
  • Soros Says U.K. Is Approaching ‘Tipping Point’ as Brexit Bites (Read More)
  • Supreme Court to hear major case on political boundaries (Read More)
  • Ex-BlackRock Exec’s Gas Bet Pays Off With $6.7 Billion Takeover Deal (Read More)
  • Millennials Are Helping America Save More Money (Read More)
  • Tesla driver in fatal ‘Autopilot’ crash got numerous warnings: U.S. government (Read More)
  • Boeing lifts 20-year industry demand forecast to $6 trillion (Read More)
  • Virginia police probe Muslim girl’s killing as ‘road rage’ incident (Read More)

Top Headlines – 6/20/2017

Ground broken for first new West Bank settlement in 25 years

Jerusalem building freeze halting plans for 6,000 housing units

Beit El settlers slam Netanyahu: ‘He’s acting like Erdogan, lying to us’

Netanyahu assails Abbas in tweetstorm on eve of new US peace bid

Against the odds, Trump renews push on Middle East peace

Kushner heading to Mideast for peace talks

Egypt said to ease Gaza power crisis with emergency fuel supply

Can Israeli water technology save the world?

Commentary: It’s Time for Zionists to Stop Celebrating the Balfour Declaration – Israel was reclaimed as the Jewish homeland in spite of it, not because of it

Huge hidden trove of Nazi artifacts found in Argentina

The Internet Is Ruining Hebrew – The language of the Bible just got stupider, courtesy of Facebook commenters (and the Academy of the Hebrew Language)

Health Minister Litzman threatens to leave the coalition over Shabbat desecration

IDF: Dozens of soldiers lied about contracting skin disease

‘Attacks on Israel prove UNHRC’s entrenched political bias’

UNHRC holds special session on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Hamas: War with Israel unlikely, relations with Egypt improving

Experts warn ISIS could come to Israel

US experts warn Israel to take Islamic State seriously

Iran missile struck ISIS but is also aimed at US, Saudis, Israel

After Iran fires missiles at IS in Syria, Netanyahu warns it not to threaten Israel

Netanyahu to Iran: We’re watching your every move

The USS George H.W. Bush will dock at Haifa for the first time in 17 years as the ship takes part in air operations against ISIS

Evangelical Groups to Trump: Don’t Deport Iraqi Christians

Muslims face rising violence in wake of IS-claimed attacks

The UN helps Assad rebuild, as he continues the carnage

Australia suspends air strikes in Syria

US and Moscow in Delicate Talks on Syria Tensions

Russia warns US its fighter jets are now potential target in Syria

White House says retains the right to self defense in Syria

EU considers Iraq security mission after Mosul falls

Iranian and Chinese destroyers hold joint drill in Persian Gulf

Iran and Saudi Arabia offer clashing accounts of offshore confrontation

Saudis Say They Seized 3 Iranians Planning ‘Terrorist Act’ at Sea

Iran denies Saudi captured three Revolutionary Guards, says they are fishermen

Commentary: America will regret helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen

Qatar says it will not negotiate unless neighbours lift ‘blockade’

Turkey troops arrive in Qatar for long-planned drills

After Spat With Turkey, Germany Moves anti-ISIS Planes to Jordan

Afghan official: Gunmen killed 8 Afghan guards of a US base

Gunmen kill 2 navy men, wound 3 in Pakistan

Philippines launches offensive in Marawi, aims to end battle by weekend

Al-Qaida-linked militants staged Mali resort attack; 5 dead

Suicide bombers kill 12 in Nigeria’s Borno state

‘Half’ Nigeria food aid for Boko Haram victims not delivered

London attack: ‘Aggressive’ and ‘strange’ suspect vowed to ‘do some damage’

Finsbury Park Mosque attack latest: Theresa May vows hatred and evil will never succeed as Labour warns of rise in Islamophobia

Jewish groups express solidarity with UK Muslims after attack

Car rams police van on Champs-Elysees, armed suspect dead

Paris attack: Champs-Elysees driver had explosives and rifle, was flagged for extremism

French minister: Attack threat still very high

Some 126 migrants die in shipwreck off Libya

Kim Jong Un lives in fear of assassination by western ‘decapitation’ team, says report

Otto Warmbier dead: Trump condemns ‘brutal’ North Korea regime

China tour agency will stop taking Americans to North Korea

Venezuela Death Toll Climbs as Teenager is Shot Dead in Venezuela Anti-Government Protests

Cartel Wives: Women whose husbands worked for, then brought down El Chapo tell their story

Southwest border cities to use IRIS scanning technology to identify inmates, illegal immigrants

Mexico accused of spying on journalists and activists using cellphone malware

Michael Flynn Worked With Foreign Cyberweapons Group That Sold Spyware Used Against Political Dissidents

Jeff Sessions Defends Sentencing Memo: Violent Crime Increased Under Obama’s Policies

Judicial Watch announces major lawsuit against DOJ – and it involves James Comey

Special prosecutor to meet Senate committee leaders

Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes

Bossie: Mainstream Media Trying to ‘Nullify an Election for the First Time’

Trump should give up Twitter, President Reagan’s son says

Poll: Americans say U.S. political debate is increasingly uncivil

Sanders: Act in “Unprecedented” Ways, Fight Back in Every Way That You Can

Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute

Market Volatility Has Vanished Around the World

Dow and S&P 500 close at records as tech stocks surge

Dollar hits three-week high on Fed rate hike bets

Oil prices near seven-month lows on global oversupply

Fire at French nuclear reactor, safety body says no sign of radiation concerns

Tsunami hits Greenland after 4.0 earthquake, reportedly killing four

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Tropical Storm Bret becomes earliest named storm so far south in the Atlantic

Fierce storm in Chile kills four, wreaks havoc

Britain wakes up to another scorching morning as country on course for longest heatwave in 20 years

The Southwest US Is About to Get Torched by a Brutal Heat Wave

California residents to lose power during extreme heat

Phoenix and Tucson tie heat records for the date

Phoenix flights cancelled because it’s too hot for planes

Violent turbulence injures 26 on China Eastern Airlines flight

Israeli company is developing a universal flu vaccination

Air Force: As many as 135 patients may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis at Al Udeid clinic

Delaware Legalizes Abortion through all Nine Months

Sao Paulo Gay Pride draws huge crowd and call to protect rights

Canada takes major step in criminalizing discrimination of transgender people

Women-Only Spa Accused Of Being Transphobic For ‘No Male Genitals’ Policy

Supreme Court strikes down law banning use of Facebook by registered sex offenders

Bethel Church & Bill Johnson — Become a Prophet in One Week for Only $395!

Prophetess Patricia King Approves of Eliphaz and God Does Not Approve

Messianic Jewish Publisher Sparks Ultra-Orthodox Anger at Israeli Book Week

Pastor dies in search for famous hidden treasure

Pope Francis: Property is theft and Socialism is the answer…

The Man Who Secretly Taped Planned Parenthood Could Be Going To Prison

Cross in Pensacola park must come down, violates Constitution federal judge rules

BREAKING NEWS: US shoots down another pro-regime drone in Syria

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 07:22 AM PDT

A US F-15E fighter jet shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone near At Tanf, Syria, on Monday, two US officials told CNN, the third downing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Church of England Official Suggests Transgender Christians Can Be ‘Re-Christened’ After Undergoing Sex Change

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:54 AM PDT

An official of the Church of England suggested that it may allow transgender Christians to be “re-christened” under their new names following a sex change….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

St. Louis Cardinals Refuse to Bow to LGBT Demands to Punish Christians

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:39 AM PDT

The St. Louis Cardinals have sponsored “Christian Day” for 30 years, but recently gay activists have begun to pressure the Major League Baseball team to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Disturbing Satanic Messages Appear at Four Churches in New York

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:33 AM PDT

Four churches in Suffolk, New York, have been tagged with Satanic graffiti, setting police on a quest to find those responsible.  The latest house of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ezekiel’s Prophesied Promise Coming to Pass in Israel in Vivid Way

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:29 AM PDT

Until I moved to Israel, the closest I got to farming was knowing where to get good produce at a farmers market. Since living in…

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RUMORS OF WAR: Syria Conflict Could Escalate Quickly!

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:21 AM PDT

The United States is inching closer to involvement in the Syrian civil war after U.S. forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet on Sunday.  The…

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ON EDGE: Armed Russian jet comes within 5 feet of US recon jet…

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:17 AM PDT

An armed Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft in the Baltic Sea on Monday, two U.S. officials told Fox News. The…

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Amazon may replace Whole Foods workers with Robots

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 06:10 AM PDT

Amazon is feared to be planning a bloodbath at Whole Foods.  The Seattle-based web giant, which recently bought the upscale grocer for £11 billion, could…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

German Defense Commissioner Claims ‘European Army is Inevitable’

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 07:20 PM PDT

Germany’s parliamentary defense commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, has renewed calls for a joint EU army amid concerns about the reliability of the NATO alliance and disorganization…

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WNBA Team to Fundraise for Abortion Giant Planned Parenthood

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 07:12 PM PDT

A chapter of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has decided to partner with the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood by hosting a pre-game rally and…

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DAYS OF LOT: Cities Across America Creating Rainbow Crosswalks to Celebrate ‘LGBTQ Pride’

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 07:09 PM PDT

Several American cities recently approved the creation of rainbow crosswalks to celebrate “LGBTQ pride,” and homosexual advocacy groups are circulating petitions to request that more cities paint their…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NASA unveils 10 new worlds humans could one day call home

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 07:06 PM PDT

NASA’s Kepler space telescope team have identified 219 new planet candidates, ten of which could prove to be humanity’s next great hopes of life among…

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DAYS OF LOT: LGBT Groups Say Conservative Christians ‘Have No Place in Government’

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 06:53 PM PDT

LGBT activist groups are outraged that the Trump administration’s Department of Education invited speakers from two prominent conservative Christian family organizations to participate in a…

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Expert Sets Out to Historically Prove Life and Miracles of Moses

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 06:47 PM PDT

“Patterns of Evidence” expert Tim Mahoney believes the Bible is losing its authority so he is setting out for a new discovery to historically prove…

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Despicable people are taking selfies at the site of the deadly London fire!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 06:42 PM PDT

Residents who live near Grenfell Tower in London have expressed heartbreak and outrage after spotting visitors taking selfies at the site of last week’s deadly…

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Supreme Court strikes down law banning use of Facebook by registered sex offenders

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 06:35 PM PDT

The Supreme Court unanimously struck down a North Carolina law that bars the use of commercial social networking sites, including Facebook, by registered sex offenders….

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Federal Judge Rules Cross Violates Law and Must Be Removed

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 06:32 PM PDT

Atheists across the fruited plain are rejoicing after a federal judge declared that a cross erected in a Florida park violated the law and must…

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Sinners must be Re-Born while Believers must be Transformed!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 11:21 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will discuss how the sinners and unbelievers must be Re-Born in the Spirit to discern and perceive the…

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Trump Hires Prominent Christian Lawyer Jay Sekulow For Russia ‘Witch Hunt’

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 11:16 AM PDT

President Donald Trump added Christian activist and lawyer Jay Sekulow to his legal defense team to assist in the Russia “witch hunt.”  According to his…

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AWAKENING? Nearly 300 Earthquakes Have Rattled Yellowstone in the Last 7 Days

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 11:11 AM PDT

Is it possible that the Yellowstone supervolcano is gearing up for a major eruption? If you follow my work on a regular basis, you already know that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Homosexual Teacher Posing in White House Photo With Trump Stirs Controversy

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 11:06 AM PDT

When Rhode Island’s teacher of the year took his turn in front of the camera with President Trump, he struck a pose some took as an…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Absolutely Terrifying History Behind the Ouija Board

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 11:01 AM PDT

For more than a century, the Ouija board has both entertained and terrified millions of people across the globe. And the board game — which…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

US Responds to Russian Threat! “We will not hesitate to Defend Ourselves”!

Posted: 19 Jun 2017 10:52 AM PDT

U.S. pilots operating over Syria won’t hesitate to defend themselves from Russian threats, a Pentagon spokesperson said Monday in the latest escalation between the two…

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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June 20, 2017: Verse of the day


Their Position

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (6:17–18)

First the apostle gives thanks … to God that his believing readers were no longer subject to the slavery that leads to death. He does not thank or praise them for their own wisdom or intelligence or moral and spiritual determination, because none of those things had a part in their salvation. “No one can come to Me,” Jesus said, “unless the Father who sent Me draws him, … [and] unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:44, 65). Our thanks for salvation should always be to God alone, because it is God alone “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Believers are saved solely by the grace and power of God. And by His grace, habitual disobedience to Him is in the past tense. Formerly, Paul says, you were slaves of sin, but no more. Were translates an imperfect Greek tense, signifying an ongoing reality In other words, the unregenerate person is under the continual, unbroken slavery of sin. That is the universal position of the natural man, with no exceptions. No matter how outwardly moral, upright, or benevolent an unsaved person’s life may be, all that he thinks, says, and does emanates from a proud, sinful, ungodly heart. Quoting from Psalm 14, Paul had already made that truth clear. “As it is written, ‘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’ ” (Rom. 3:10–12).

That Paul is not speaking about merely outward righteousness is made clear from his declaration that you became obedient from the heart. God works His salvation in a persons innermost being. Through the grace provided by His Son, God changes men’s very natures when they trust in Him. A person whose heart has not been changed has not been saved. Righteous living that issues from an obedient … heart is habitual. And just as God’s grace operates only through a trusting heart, His righteousness operates only through an obedient heart.

Faith and obedience are inescapably related. There is no saving faith in God apart from obedience to God, and there can be no godly obedience without godly faith. As the beautiful and popular hymn admonishes, “Trust and obey, there’s no other way.” Our Lord “gave Himself for us,” Paul says, not only to save us from hell and take us to heaven but to “redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).

Salvation comes “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit,” Peter wrote to persecuted believers throughout the Roman world, in order that those who believe may “obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood” (a symbol referring to a covenant of obedience, see Ex. 24:1–8). Later in the epistle he admonished: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:2, 22–23; emphasis added). Obedience to Jesus Christ and obedience to His truth are totally synonymous, and His truth is “the living and abiding word of God.”

Obedience neither produces nor maintains salvation, but it is an inevitable characteristic of those who are saved. Belief itself is an act of obedience, made possible and prompted by God’s sovereign grace, yet always involving the uncoerced will of the believer. A person is not transported passively from slavery in Satan’s kingdom of darkness to slavery in God’s kingdom of light. Salvation does not occur apart from an act of commitment on the believer’s part. The life-changing work of salvation is by God’s power alone, but it does not work apart from man’s will. God has no unwilling children in His family, no unwilling citizens in His kingdom.

Genuine faith not only is in God’s Son but in God’s truth. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). Paul had confidence in the salvation of his readers in the church at Rome because they obeyed to that form of teaching to which [they] were committed. No believer, of course, comprehends all of God’s truth. Even the most mature and faithful Christian only begins to fathom the riches of God’s Word in this present life. But the desire to know and obey God’s truth is one of the surest marks of genuine salvation. From its inception, the early church was characterized by its devotion “to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). And Jesus made it clear that those who obeyed His word were the true believers (see John 8:31; 14:21, 23, 24; 15:10; etc.).

Form translates tupos, which was used of the molds into which molten metal for castings was poured. Committed translates the aorist passive of paradidōmi, which carries the basic meaning of deliver over to. And because eis (to) can also be translated into, it seems that a more precise rendering of this phrase is “that form of teaching into which you were delivered.” It is true, of course, that, through its reading and preaching, God’s Word is delivered to believers. But Paul’s point here seems to be that the true believer is also delivered into God’s Word, His divine teaching. The idea is that when God makes a new spiritual creation of a believer, He casts him into the mold of divine truth. The J. B. Phillips rendering of Romans 12:1 uses the same figure: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within.” In other words, “Do not let Satan’s forces try to fit you back into the old sinful mold from which God delivered you. Let God continue to fashion you into the perfect image of His Son.”

Throughout his epistles, Paul emphasizes the crucial relationship of God’s truth to faithful Christian living. In his second letter to Timothy, he advised his young protégé in ministry to “retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:13). He later warned him that “the time will come when [men] will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (4:3). The apostle maintained that an overseer, or elder, in the church should hold “fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). Later in the same letter he admonished Titus to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (2:1). The Christian who faithfully obeys God’s Word becomes conformed to the truth of that Word, a living model of the gospel. The divine teaching to which a believer submits himself in Jesus Christ stamps him with the authentic image of his Savior and Lord.

A person does not become a Christian by claiming the name of Christ and then believing and doing whatever he himself wants. You cannot become a Christian by merely saying or doing certain things, even the godly things extolled in Scripture. But after genuine salvation a person will have the innate, Spirit-led desire to know and to obey God’s truth.

After a businessmen’s luncheon at which I spoke, a man said to me, “I’ve been in this group for a long time, and I’ll tell you how I think you can get to God. You see, there is this long stairway, and at the top there is a door and behind it is this guy Jesus. What you really want to do is try to make it up the stairs and get through the door and then hope Jesus lets you in. As you’re on your way up the stairs, you’ve got all these preachers and movements cheering you on, but you just continue going up the stairs your own way. I call it the stairway of hope. That’s what I think the gospel is.” With a heavy heart I replied, “Sir, you cannot be a Christian. What you just said has nothing to do with the gospel, and your stairway to heaven is hopeless. You need to depend on Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. You have no idea of what it means to be saved, and you cannot be on your way to heaven.”

A person cannot invent his own way to God, no matter how sincere his efforts might be. God has established the only way to come to Him, and that is the way of faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. And saving faith in Jesus Christ is built on God’s revelation about Him, not on men’s ideas about Him. There is divinely-revealed content to the gospel, and the person who rejects or circumvents that content gives unmistakable evidence that he is not truly seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

Witness Lee, founder of the Local Church movement, wrote a book entitled Christ Versus Doctrine, the main thesis of which is that it is a personal relationship to Christ that matters and that doctrine actually interferes with that relationship. The book not only is unbiblical but, as one might guess from the title, is also self-contradictory. Doctrine is simply another word for teaching, and the purpose of Lee’s book, of course, was to teach his own doctrine.[1]

Whose Slave are You?

Romans 6:15–18

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

The point of this next study is difficult for most people to accept, so I want to state it simply at the beginning and allow the rest of the chapter to expound and defend it. The point is this: There is no such thing as absolute freedom for anyone. No human is free to do everything he or she may want to do. There is one being in the universe who is totally free, of course. That is God. But all others are limited by or enslaved by someone or something. As a result, the only meaningful question in this area is: Who or what are you serving?

Ray C. Stedman, pastor of the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, tells of walking down the street in Los Angeles one day and seeing a man coming toward him with a sign hung over his shoulders. The sign read: “I am a slave for Christ.” After the man had passed him, Stedman turned around to look after this rather eccentric individual and saw that on his back there was another sign that said: “Whose slave are you?”

That is exactly the point of this passage. Since you and I are human beings and not God, we can never be autonomous. We must either be slaves to sin or slaves of Jesus Christ.

But here is the wonderful and very striking thing: To be a slave of Jesus Christ is true freedom.

The Chapter’s Second Half

All this flows from our study of Romans 6, but we need to back up a bit to find our place in Paul’s argument.

The verses we are considering here are verses 15–18, the start of a longer section that extends to the end of the chapter. A glance at this section shows that it is parallel to the first half of the chapter, that is, to verses 1–14. Each section deals with a nearly identical question. The first verse of section one asks, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?” The first verse of section two raises the same issue: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” (v. 15).

These questions are followed by identical responses: “By no means!” (vv. 2, 15). From this point on, the two sections follow parallel tracks as Paul explains why it is impossible for the believer in Christ to continue in sin and why, by contrast, Christians must yield the parts of their bodies to God as instruments of righteousness. These arguments are so close to one another that it is possible to lift terms from one section and transfer them to the other without any real change in meaning.

Yet the two halves of Romans 6 are not identical. They have the same objective—to show that the believer in Christ cannot go on sinning. But they make this important point in different, though complementary, ways.

The first section comes out of the discussion in chapter 5, in which Paul argued that the Christian is not under law but is under grace and that grace will triumph. He shows that grace does not lead to sin, the reason being that we have been joined to Christ. If we have been joined to Christ, the past is behind and there is no place for us to go in life but forward in righteous conduct. The second section comes out of the discussion in Romans 6:1–14, particularly verse 14, in which Paul rejects law as a vehicle of righteousness. He argues that freedom from law does not lead to sin either. The reason he gives is that we have been freed from law, not to become autonomous creatures (which we cannot be on any account), but to be slaves of God. We must be slaves to righteousness.

Two Errors

Paul was answering objections to the doctrine of salvation by grace that were coming from two sides, just as they come to us today.

On one side were Jewish traditionalists with a commitment to the law of Moses. They argued that if law is rejected as a way of salvation, which Paul obviously was doing, immorality and all other vices inevitably follow. Paul shows that it does not work that way. In fact, he shows the opposite. He shows:

  1. The law does not lead to righteousness, for the simple reason that it is unable to produce righteousness in anyone. The law can only condemn.
  2. Paradoxically, it is only by being delivered from the law and its condemnation, through union with Jesus Christ, that we are empowered to do what the law requires.

The other objection came not from Jewish legalists, but from people we call Antinomians, those who reject the law not only as a way of salvation but even as an expression of proper conduct. Antinomianism says, “Since we are free from law, we can do anything we please. We are free to go on sinning. In fact, we can wallow in it.”

Paul answers both of these errors in this chapter of Romans.

Five Sound Reasons

“Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” The answer, as we already know by now, is: “By no means!”

“Why not?” we ask.

In this section Paul gives five sound reasons.

  1. Sin is slavery. The first reason Christians must not sin, even though they are not under law but under grace, is that sin is actually slavery, and it would be folly to be delivered from slavery only to return to it again. The difficulty here is that sin is rarely seen by us in this way, that is, in its true colors. Instead of being presented as slavery, it is usually described as the very essence of freedom. This was what the devil told Eve in the Garden of Eden when he argued, “Don’t be bound by God’s word. Be free. Eat of the tree and become as God, knowing good and evil.”

Years ago, before the current thaw in Sino-American relations, some Christians in Hong Kong had an interview with an eighty-two-year-old woman who had come out of China just a short while before. She was a believer in Christ, but her vocabulary was filled with the terminology of communism, which was all she had been hearing for decades. One of her favorite expressions was “the liberation.”

The interviewers asked her, “When you were back in China, were you free to gather together with other Christians to worship?”

“Oh, no,” she answered. “Since the liberation, no one is permitted to gather together for Christian services.”

“But surely you were able to get together in small groups to discuss the Christian faith,” they continued.

“No,” she said. “We were not. Since the liberation, all such meetings are forbidden.”

“Were you free to read your Bible?”

“Since the liberation, no one is free to read the Bible.”

The conversation shows that “freedom” is not in the word but in the reality. Remember that, the next time someone suggests that you have to sin to be free. Merely attaching the word freedom to sin does not make sin a way of liberation. The truth is that sin is bondage. It enslaves us so that we are unable to escape its grasp later, even if we want to. If you give way to sensual passions, you will become a slave to those passions. If you give way to greed, you will become a slave to greed. So also for every other vice and wrongdoing.

  1. Sin leads to death. The second reason we must not sin, even though we are not under law but under grace, is that sin leads to death. Paul says this several times in these verses: “sin, which leads to death” (v. 16), “Those things result in death!” (v. 21), and “For the wages of sin is death” (v. 23).

Again, this is not what we are usually told. It is not what the devil told Eve either. God had said, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). The devil countered, “You will not surely die. … For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4–5).

Here was a true crisis for the woman. God said, “You will die.” The devil said, “You will not surely die.” Who was right? Who was she to believe?

The woman decided to resolve the dilemma for herself. She examined the tree and saw that it was “good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom” (Gen. 3:6). She concluded, “How can it be wrong when it feels so right?” So she took some of the fruit, ate it, and then gave some to Adam, who also ate of it.

What happened? They died! They died in their spirits instantly, for the fellowship they had enjoyed with God up to this point was broken, which they showed by hiding from God when he came to them later in the garden. Their personalities began to decay, for they started to lie and shift the blame to one another. At last their bodies also died, as God said: “… dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen. 3:19).

The only bright spot was that God also graciously promised a Redeemer who would save them from their sin.

Do not listen to those who tell you that sin is harmless. Above all, do not trust your own judgment in these matters. You are not able to judge in such situations. You must trust God, who tells you that to sin is to die. In fact, being a sinner, you are already dying. Your moral life is decaying. Your body is inclining to the grave. One day you will experience the second death, which is to be separated from God in hell forever—unless God saves you first. The only sensible reaction to sin is to turn from it and seek salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  1. Christians have been delivered from sin’s slavery. The third reason Christians are not to continue in sin, even though they are not under law but under grace, is that they have been delivered by Jesus from sin’s tyranny if they truly are Christians. This is so wonderful that Paul actually breaks into a doxology or “praise to God” at this point, saying, “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin … you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (vv. 17–18).

This is the meaning of what former Princeton Seminary professor B. B. Warfield called the most “precious” terms in the Christian’s vocabulary: “Redeemer” and “redemption.” Redemption means to buy out of slavery to sin. This was accomplished for us by Jesus, who is our Redeemer. We were slaves to sin, that cruel taskmaster. But Jesus paid the price of our redemption by his death. He purchased us with his blood: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18–19).

This is the very purpose of the atonement. How, then, can those who have been redeemed return to sinful living? To do so would be to repudiate Christ, to turn from everything he stands for. It would be apostasy. No true Christian can do it.

  1. The same work that has delivered Christians from sin’s slavery has also made them slaves of God, which is true freedom. The fourth of Paul’s arguments for why Christians cannot continue in sin, even though they are not under law but under grace, is that the same act of Christ that has delivered us from sin has also made us “slaves of God” (v. 22). By his act of redemption, Jesus has purchased men and women for himself, that is, to serve him.

“Ah,” says someone. “What gain is that? What advantage is it to be freed from one master if all it means is that we become slaves of another?”

Well, it would be a significant gain even if we were slaves in a physical sense and were set free from a cruel master to become a slave to one who was kind and had our best interests at heart. That would be a welcome change, and it is part of the picture, for God is as good, kind, and loving a master as sin is cruel and harmful. But there is more to it than that. The Bible teaches that this “slavery” actually brings freedom.

What is this freedom? It is not autonomy, a license to do absolutely anything at all. True freedom is “the ability to fulfill one’s destiny, to function in terms of one’s ultimate goal.”

Real freedom means doing what is right.

Do you remember the conversation the Lord Jesus Christ had with the Jewish religious leaders of his day, as recorded in John’s Gospel? Jesus had been speaking about the source of his teachings, and some of the Jews had believed on him in a rudimentary way. So he encouraged them to remain with him and continue to learn from him, saying, “If you hold to my teaching [that is, continue in it], you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

This infuriated some of his listeners, presumably those who were not true believers, because they did not like the suggestion that they were not free—just as many resent any similar suggestion today. They replied, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (v. 33). This was a ridiculous answer, of course. The Jews had been slaves to the Egyptians for many years prior to the exodus. During the period of the judges there were at least seven occasions when the nation came under the rule of foreigners. There was also the seventy-year-long Babylonian captivity. In fact, even while they were talking to Jesus they were being watched over by occupying Roman soldiers, and they were carrying coins in their pockets that testified to Rome’s domination of their economy. It was this latter fact that probably made them so sensitive to the suggestion that they were not truly free.

But instead of reminding them of these obvious facts, Jesus answered on a spiritual level, saying, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. … So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (vv. 34, 36).

What kind of freedom was Jesus talking about? True freedom, of course, the only real freedom there is. It is not liberty to do just anything at all. If we choose sin, the result is bondage. True freedom comes through knowing the gospel and being committed to the Lord Jesus Christ in his service.

Can I put this sharply? The only real freedom you are ever going to know, either in this life or in the live to come, is the freedom of serving Jesus Christ. And this means a life of righteousness. Anything else is really slavery, regardless of what the world may promise you through its lies and false teaching.

  1. The end of this second, desirable slavery is righteousness. This leads to Paul’s last point, the fifth reason why Christians must not continue in sin, even though they have been freed from law and are under grace. It is that the end of this second, desirable slavery to God and Jesus Christ is righteousness. True Christianity can never lead to license, the accusation refuted by Paul in this passage. Since it is liberation from sin in order to become a servant of God and of Jesus Christ, Christianity must inevitably lead to what God desires, which is righteousness.

The Obedience of Faith

I close this study by asking you to look at one more word: obedience. It occurs in verse 16 in the phrase “slaves … to obedience,” and it is amplified by the verb obey, which occurs three times more in these verses (once in verse 16, and twice in verse 17). This is an important idea.

It is puzzling, too, at least at first glance.

Why? Because in verse 16 it occurs as the opposite of sin (“slaves to sin … or to obedience”), which does not seem exactly right to us. Instead of “obedience” we would expect the word righteousness. Then, in verse 17, it occurs where we would normally expect the idea of “faith” (“you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted”). We would more naturally say, “You wholeheartedly believed the gospel.”

One reason why Paul uses the word obedience is that it carries through the image he has been developing, namely that of being a slave either to sin or of Jesus Christ. It is the function of a slave to obey his or her master. But the use of the term goes beyond this, since obedience is an essential requirement of all who would follow Christ. And not just afterward, as if we are called first to believe and then to obey. Obedience is the very essence of believing. It is what belief is all about.

When I am teaching about faith I usually say that faith has three elements: (1) an intellectual element (we must believe in something; this is the gospel); (2) an emotional element (the content of that gospel must touch us personally); and (3) commitment (we must give ourselves to Jesus in personal and often costly discipleship). It is in this last area that obedience is so critical. For, if obedience is not present, we have not committed ourselves to Christ, even though we may believe in him in some sense. And without that commitment we are not saved; we are not true Christians.

Have you ever considered how important obedience is in the Bible’s treatment of its chief characters? I will cite two examples.

The first is Joshua. Obedience was the chief characteristic of this very great man’s life, for at the beginning of his story he was challenged to obey God in all things—“Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Josh. 1:7b)—and this is precisely what he did, to the very end. His whole life was marked by obedience.

The other example is Abraham, who was such a giant of faith that he is praised for his faith four times in Hebrews 11. His faith was so great that when God promised him a son in his old age, though he was past the age of engendering a child and his wife Sarah was past the age of conceiving one, Abraham “did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:20–21).

But even this was not the highest achievement of Abraham’s faith. It is not the act for which he is chiefly praised in Hebrews.

The high point of Abraham’s long life of faith was reached when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. Abraham showed an incredible faith here, believing that if God told him to sacrifice his son and if his son had not yet had the children God had promised he would have, then God would have to raise Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill his promise (cf. Heb. 11:19). But, in Genesis, where the story is told, the quality for which Abraham is praised by God is not faith but obedience: “Because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me” (Gen. 22:15–18, emphasis added).

There is no escaping it! Either we obey sin, which leads to death, and are enslaved by it, or we have been freed from sin to serve God. If we have been freed from sin, we will serve God. There is just no other option.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (pp. 346–349). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: The Reign of Grace (Vol. 2, pp. 689–696). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.