Daily Archives: June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Jun. 21, 2017 |


Donald Trump’s office properties aren’t bringing in as much cash as banks that loaned him money had expected. That’s the biggest finding in an updated assessment of the president’s net worth, which has slipped to $2.9 billion.

The abrupt shake-up that made Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman heir to his father’s throne gives the 31-year-old extraordinary powers to push through his vision to wean the economy off oil and exert his influence in regional conflicts.

Republican Karen Handel defeated a well-funded opponent in a special election for a U.S. House seat in Georgia, a setback for Democrats who hoped President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings would help them win congressional races.

At this time of year, demand for gasoline in the U.S. is normally rising as people head out for summer vacations in a country that has millions more vehicles than any other. But that’s not happening in 2017, and one contributing factor could be that undocumented immigrants are driving less.

Romania’s governing coalition toppled its own prime minister after he clashed with the leader of the ruling party, paving the way for a new cabinet just six months after elections.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s veteran finance minister, urged the U.S. to limit Russian and Chinese influence or risk bringing about “the end of our liberal world order.”

France has lived under emergency law for 20 months now, and human-rights groups are warning that President Emmanuel Macron is using the threat of terrorism as an excuse to make the special powers permanent. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has confirmed he wants to give police enhanced powers to order searches and house arrests, arguing the terror threat isn’t about to fade any time soon.

America leads the world when it comes to access to higher education. But when it comes to health, environmental protection, and fighting discrimination, it trails many other developed countries, according to the Social Progress Imperative, a U.S.-based nonprofit.

AP Top Stories

Philippine Airlines will buy seven planes from Canada’s Bombardier as part of an effort to regain its dominance of the growing air travel market, the carrier said Tuesday.

In a late night protest, Senate Democrats decried efforts by top Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act behind closed doors, pledging to disrupt proceedings in the chamber over the matter.

Sen. John McCain said Tuesday that Americans who are “stupid” enough to still want to travel to North Korea should be required to sign a waiver absolving the U.S. government of any blame should they be harmed while there.

Venezuelans are bracing for a further escalation of violence after a 17-year-old protester was shot dead by the National Guard, and the supreme court announced charges against the country’s attorney general – one of the most senior officials to speak out against the government of Nicolás Maduro.

A notorious Chinese dog meat festival opened on Wednesday with sellers torching the hair off carcasses, butchers chopping slabs of canines and cooks frying up dishes, dispelling rumours that authorities would ban sales this year.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte apologised Tuesday for a military offensive that has left the nation’s main Muslim city in ruins, but said it was needed to crush militants linked to the Islamic State group.

In a blistering reproach on Tuesday, Arizona Sen. John McCain threatened to block the approval of Pat Shanahan as deputy defense secretary. McCain was unhappy with the Boeing executive’s written answer on providing the Ukrainians with lethal defense weaponry.

US forces in southern Syria have shot down an Iranian-made armed drone in the second such incident in 12 days, in a further sign that Washington and Tehran’s agendas are colliding along the Syrian-Iraqi desert frontier.

Four conservative cardinals who publicly questioned Pope Francis’ opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics are pressing their case and arguing that the issue is dividing the Catholic Church.


A Russian jet flew within 5ft (1.5m) of a US reconnaissance plane’s wing tip over the Baltic Sea on Monday, US officials say.

Teachers are being trained to carry guns in classrooms in Colorado in order to protect children as part of a scheme motivated by a school massacre in 2012. The three-day course, which consists of firearms and medical training, was launched on Tuesday in Weld County. Seventeen members of staff who “would like to be considered armed first responders” have so far taken part. The pilot program will allow volunteers to enter schools with guns under US “concealed carry” laws.

Authorities in Argentina have released images of a major trove of Nazi artefacts seized during a raid on a home in Buenos Aires. The crafted objects, which include a bust of Adolf Hitler and an eagle of the Third Reich, were found in two shops and a home in the north of the country’s capital.

If you’ve been chatting about politics on social media recently, there’s a good chance you’ve been part of a conversation that was manipulated by bots, researchers say. The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) has studied such discussions related to nine places – US, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, China, Taiwan, Brazil and Poland – on platforms including Twitter and Facebook. It claims that in all the elections, political crises and national security-related discussions it looked at, there was not one instance where social media opinion had not been manipulated.


Anxiety levels of Americans over matters such as war, terrorism, hacking and identity theft have spiked in recent years, leaving the nation near average in a global barometer of perceptions of security, a survey released Tuesday said.

The Briefing 06-21-17

London terror attack targeting Muslim community center exposes challenges Islam faces in the West

What is the role of government? The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 79

The question of legacy after Bill Cosby’s sexual assault accusations and mistrial

The post The Briefing 06-21-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 6/21/2017

Europe okays project to seek alien life
Europe has approved the launch of a deep-space observatory to sniff out habitable planets in other star systems, along with any life forms they may host. The multi-million-euro undertaking “could eventually even lead to the detection of extra-terrestrial life,” it added.

Thousands of Witches Will Gather Tonight to Curse Trump. Is Satanism Behind It?
At the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, some 13,000 people will connect via internet in yet another attempt to cast a curse on President Donald Trump, this time on the summer solstice. Though spell-casting may seem too absurd to be taken seriously, a rabbinic authority maintains that the ‘witches’ are tapping into Satanism, a disturbing theology making a strong comeback today in the guise of atheism.

Knesset takes one more step toward de facto annexation of West Bank
The Knesset on Wednesday took one more step toward the de facto annexation of the West Bank by approving the preliminary reading of a bill that would apply a 17-year old law to Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. This is “one more step toward the normalization of the settlements in Judea and Samaria that we set as our goal at the start of this government’s term,” said the bill’s author, MK Bezalel Smotrich, in advance of the 48-39 vote.

UN envoy: Israel is defying UNSC by accelerating settler construction
Israel has failed to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which calls for a halt to settlement building and has instead accelerated such activity, UN…Nickolay Mladenov reported…“Since the 24th of March there has been a substantial increase in settlement-related announcements as compared with the previous reporting period, with plans for nearly 4,000 housing units moving forward and 2,000 tenders issued,” Mladenov told the UNSC in New York…

Syria conflict: US jet ‘downs Iranian-made drone’
A US jet has shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by forces backing the Syrian government in the south of the country, American officials say. The drone was thought to be armed and threatening US-led coalition troops on the ground, officials said. But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the action amounted to “complicity with terrorism”.

US spy satellites detect activity at North Korean nuclear test site
US spy satellites have detected new activity at North Korea’s underground nuclear test site for the first time in several weeks, two US officials told CNN. The activity appears to involve some modifications around one of the tunnel entrances to an underground test area. The officials said it is not yet clear if the activity indicates a sixth nuclear test is imminent…

Illinois careens into financial meltdown – and not even the lottery is safe
Illinois is grappling with a full-fledged financial crisis and not even the lottery is safe – with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner warning the state is entering “banana republic” territory. Facing billions in unpaid bills and pension obligations, the state is hitting a cash crunch that is rare even by Illinois standards.

Armed Russian jet comes within 5 feet of US recon jet
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 Russian Su-27 jet had air-to-air missiles under its wings and approached the U.S. Air Force RC-135 recon jet “rapidly,” coming within 5 feet of the American aircraft, the officials said. Once alongside, the Russian jet was “provocative” in its flight maneuvers and flying “erratically,” according to another official.

After weeks of secrecy, U.S. Senate to unveil healthcare bill
U.S. Senate Republicans plan to unveil the text of their draft healthcare bill on Thursday as senators struggle over issues such as the future of the Medicaid program for the poor and bringing down insurance costs. Republicans in the chamber have been working for weeks behind closed doors on legislation aimed at repealing and replacing major portions of the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, popularly known as Obamacare.

Israel would go ‘all-out’ if war breaks out again with Lebanon: air force chief
Israel would use all its strength from the start in any new war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, the chief of the Israeli air force said on Wednesday, sending a firm warning a decade after their last conflict…Major-General Amir Eshel said qualitative and quantitative improvements in the air force since the 2006 Lebanon war meant it could carry out in just two or three days the same number of bombings it mounted in those 34 days of fighting.

Senators want Congress to OK military action in Syria
U.S. senators called on Congress on Tuesday to take back its authority to determine whether the country goes to war, saying recent U.S. strikes in Syria were not covered by existing authorizations for the use of military force. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has begun considering legislation that would cover military action in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Yemen against the Islamic State, al Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups.

Russia, Iran sanctions bill hits roadblock in U.S. House
Legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia and Iran that passed the U.S. Senate nearly unanimously last week has run into a procedural problem that could prevent a quick vote in the House of Representatives, lawmakers said on Tuesday. The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act, which also includes new sanctions against Russia, passed the Senate 98-2 last week, an overwhelming vote that looked like it might complicate President Donald Trump’s desire for warmer relations with Moscow.

Ground-Breaking Held for First New Judea and Samaria Settlement in 25 Years
In the community of Amichai, 100 new homes will be built for the evicted residents of Amona, a settlement outpost housing 42 families that Israel razed in February due to Palestinian land ownership claims.

Saudi king upends royal succession, names son as 1st heir
The Saudi monarch, who holds near absolute powers, quickly awarded his son expansive powers to the surprise of many within the royal family who are more senior and more experienced than Mohammed bin Salman, also known by his initials MBS.

FBI To Announce Findings In GOP Baseball Shooting Investigation
The FBI is holding a press conference Wednesday morning to announce the results of its investigation into last week’s attempted mass assassination of Republican lawmakers and staffers, the agency announced on Tuesday. FBI officials discovered a list of Republican lawmakers in James T. Hodgkinson’s possession when he opened fire at a congressional baseball practice, wounding four people including Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. All six lawmakers on the list were members of the House Freedom Caucus — the most conservative members in the lower chamber.

There Are ‘Literally’ No Real Men in the White House Who Can Stop Trump
Ever since the election season began, the left has been going ‘literally’ apeshit over Trump’s usage of Twitter. In recent month’s they’ve been autistically screeching over it — demanding that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, ban him. They’ve trotted out GOP deep state shills, neocons, professors, think tankfags — all trying to dissuade the President from using a platform that communicates directly to the people.

Earthquake swarm rumbles Yellowstone
An ongoing series of earthquakes measurably moving the ground east of Hebgen Lake are likely aftershocks from a devastating quake that struck the region 58 years ago. As of Monday the current swarm had shaken the west edge of Yellowstone for a week, over which time it had delivered 464 temblors ranging up to magnitude 4.4.

Conway Thanks Those Who ‘Snarkily’ Called Georgia Race a ‘Referendum’ on Trump
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway spiked the football Tuesday over the Republican victory in the Georgia sixth district special election, saying those who “snarkily” called it a “referendum” on President Donald Trump were right.

ISIS Setting Up Support Networks to Move Terrorists to Europe, Asia
“ISIS has several facilitators in place that assist the flow of fighters to Europe,” said one official who noted the group is exploiting travel networks used for large-scale human trafficking in the region. The networks include an organizational structure that has been discovered by U.S. and allied intelligence agencies to be using specific groups to help terrorists reach European soil. ISIS has assigned support personnel to the networks to facilitate the process.

North Korea threat: EU seeking role in ending regime’s nuclear program
The European Union is in discussions with South Korea and China about taking a potential role as a broker for negotiations with North Korea on ending its nuclear program, according to EU officials involved in the effort. The discussions reflect concern in Brussels, Seoul and Beijing that sanctions alone won’t persuade Pyongyang to halt its nuclear program and that negotiations are needed to avoid military conflict.

The United Nations should ditch its anti-Israel bias
This week marks six months since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which classifies Israeli settlements beyond the 1967 line, including in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, as illegal. Visiting Jerusalem last month, the distance between the pronouncements of Turtle Bay and the realities of the Old City appeared as stark as ever. For starters, everyone knows that Israel will absorb the major settlement blocs near the ’67 line as part of any peace agreement. And no Israel government will ever surrender its access to Jerusalem.

The Russians Do It Again: Democrats Get Crushed In Georgia Election Despite 7x Spending Advantage
Despite a 7-to-1 spending advantage, Democrats just got crushed in the Georgia special election.

Christian School Told They Can’t Teach ‘Offensive’ Scripture
Evangelical Christians are under fire as an Alberta school board is demanding a Christian school stop teaching “offensive” scripture that indicts homosexuality as a sin, the National Post reports.

The “Extremism Experts” Who Used To Fear The Right, Are Now Worried About The Left
“As leftist rhetoric and actions become more violent, and as the police in urban areas fail to rein in leftist counter-protesters time and time again, it won’t be long before right-wing protesters begin to retaliate…”

Israeli Researchers Invent World’s First Anti Date Rape Straw
Two Israeli inventors want to take on a phenomena that is growing in prevalence every year. To protect women in the place they are most likely to be sexually assaulted, the Israelis have invented the Date Rape Straw, a device which allows a woman to test her drink to see if someone put some of the most common date rape drugs inside.

Texas the Latest State to Ban Sharia, Foreign Laws from Domestic Courts
With passage of a law protecting American families from imposition of foreign-law doctrines in state courts, Texas this week became the 11th state to ensure that only American laws will apply in American domestic courts.

69 Percent Of Americans Do Not Have An Adequate Emergency Fund

Do you have an emergency fund?  If you even have one penny in emergency savings, you are already ahead of about one-fourth of the country.  I write about this stuff all the time, but it always astounds me how many Americans are literally living on the edge financially.  Back in 2008 when the economy tanked and millions of people lost their jobs, large numbers of Americans suddenly couldn’t pay their bills because they were living paycheck to paycheck.  Now the stage is set for it to happen again.  Another major recession is going to happen at some point, and when it does millions of people are going to get blindsided by it. (Read More…)

No, We Don’t Want Barbie to Date a Ken with a Man Bun

Mattel has introduced a new “dolled-up toy collection with feminized figurines.” Just imagine what the toy maker has planned for kids next.  LifeZette has the story:

After introducing a new batch of Barbie dolls last year, Mattel is rebooting the Ken doll. And the most surprising version of the new male counterparts to Barbie is the one with a man bun.

Other new versions of Ken dolls include the “slim” and the “broad” variety. New hairstyles include the previously mentioned man bun — as well as cornrows. There are also six skin tones available for these dolls.

View article →

Oregon Becomes First State to Allow Residents to Be Neither Male or Female on Driver’s License

Christian News reports:

Oregon has become the first state to allow residents to identify as neither male or female on their driver’s license and identification card.

Beginning on July 1, residents can select an “X” for their gender instead of “M” or “F.” The new policy was unanimously agreed upon by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

According to Reuters, the concept was considered after Multnomah County Judge Amy Holmes Hehn last June granted a man’s request to identify on his driver’s license as “non-binary.”

As previously reported, Jamie Shupe (pictured) was born male, served in the military and married a woman. But in 2013, as he found himself struggling with his gender identity, Shupe decided to seek treatments that would make him look and feel feminine.

View article →

Mattis under pressure to reverse Obama administration’s approval of transgender troops

1d ago

Should the U.S. Department of Defense [taxpayers] undertake the cost of hormone treatments, surgery, and post-operative care to facilitate “gender transitioning.”?  No, say social conservatives.  According to Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, conservatives have mounted a campaign to persuade General Mattis to suspend the Obama administration’s “transgender directive with the ultimate goal of recalling it and all of the associated manuals.” Scarborough writes:

Photo courtesy US Defense Watch (usdefensewatch.com)

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.

The next step in the transgender agenda is due July 1, according to Mr. Carter’s timeline. Mr. Mattis is to decide whether the armed forces will allow transgender people to join the military.

View article →

Dr. Tim Ball Crushes Climate Change: The Biggest Deception In History

“With a 50-year academic career focusing on Historical Climatology, Dr. Tim Ball is uniquely qualified to address man-made climate change, and he demonstrates that it is a flat-out hoax. Thinking people everywhere should get multiple copies of this book and hand them out to everyone they know.” 

In a piece over at Technocracy News, Dr. Tim Ballx informs us that:

President Trump was correct to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. He could have explained that the science was premeditated and deliberately orchestrated to demonize CO2 for a political agenda. Wisely, he simply explained that it was a bad deal for the United States because it gave a competitive economic edge to other nations, especially China. A majority of Americans think he was wrong, but more would disagree if he got lost in the complexities of the science. I speak from experience having taught a Science credit course for 25 years for the student population that mirrors society with 80 percent of them being Arts students. Promoters of what is called anthropogenic global warming (AGW) knew most people do not understand the science and exploited it.

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 21, 2017

Georgia ‘Deplorables’ Tossoff Ossoff

Republican Handel won the most expensive House race in history. Democrats still can’t figure out why they’re losing.

The Foundation

“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors.” —Thomas Jefferson (1775)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: June 21

  • Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat, Dashing Democrats’ Hopes (Read More)
  • Uber CEO Kalanick Quits as Investors Revolt (Read More)
  • Saudi King’s Surprise Shakeup Clears Son’s Path to the Throne (Read More)
  • After weeks of secrecy, U.S. Senate to unveil healthcare bill (Read More)
  • Latest Election-Hacking Hearings to Focus on State-Level Events (Read More)
  • Trump’s Net Worth Slips to $2.9 Billion as Towers Underperform (Read More)
  • Oil Returns to Bear Market (Read More)
  • Brexit Dominates May’s Program as Some Manifesto Pledges Ditched (Read More)
  • Wal-Mart to Vendors: Get Off Amazon’s Cloud (Read More)
  • China shares get MSCI nod in landmark moment for Beijing (Read More)
  • China Firms Might Need to Shape Up After Index Lays Out Red Carpet (Read More)
  • America Is Now a ‘Second Tier’ Country (Read More)
  • Insurance Startup Oscar Raises Its Bet on Affordable Care Act (Read More)
  • Death of U.S. student held by North Korea shocks fellow ex-detainees (Read More)
  • The Future of Drone Delivery Hinges on Predicting the Weather Block by Block (Read More)
  • Tokyo Takes Lead in Toshiba Chip-Unit Sale Over China Fears (Read More)
  • A daily conundrum in convulsed Venezuela: will my kids make it to school? (Read More)
  • Germany Warns U.S. Against Ceding Lead Role to China, Russia (Read More)
  • Take a Look at the States Sending the Most Carbon Into the Air (Read More)
  • Theranos, Walgreens Reach Deal to Settle Lawsuit (Read More)

Top Headlines – 6/21/2017

Trump Administration Pressuring Israel to Move Ahead With Peace Deal, Senior Israeli Minister Says

Trump Envoy Greenblatt Meets With Netanyahu in Jerusalem, as US Seeks Renewal of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

Jared Kushner is heading to Israel for peace negotiations

Ahead of Jared Kushner’s visit to help broker peace, Israel touts new settlement

PA slams new settlement as effort to thwart Trump’s peace drive

UN: Israel did not comply with UN call to stop settlements

Haley seeks UN resolution to punish states backing Hamas

Haley: Time to say ‘enough is enough’ to Hamas

Turning Gaza’s lights back on, Abbas’s rival Dahlan makes dramatic return to center stage

At Security Council, diplomat cites Gazan who likened Strip to ‘concentration camp’

Hamas calls for ‘day of rage’ Friday over ‘holy sites,’ Gaza siege

Plan for mixed-gender prayer at Western Wall sparks new friction

IDF: Knife-wielding Palestinian attacks Israeli troops, is shot dead

Israeli Dies as Palestinian Attackers Stage Assaults in Jerusalem

Macron meets Jordan’s king, condemns deadly Jerusalem attack

Mother of Damascus Gate assailant arrested for calls to attack Jews

Israel disputes success of Iran missile strike

IDF chief: Iran’s strike on ISIS not as impressive as they claimed

US ‘mystified’ by Gulf states’ refusal to justify Qatar boycott

Israel, Saudi Arabia reportedly discuss establishing economic ties

State Department issues unusual public warning to Saudi Arabia and UAE over Qatar rift

US rebukes Saudi Arabia over Qatar embargo in reversal after Trump comments

Saudi king ousts nephew to name son as first in line to throne

Saudi king names son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, removing counterterror czar and upending royal succession

Egyptian court blocks transfer of islands to Saudi Arabia, despite parliament’s decision

Egypt kills 12 militants in North Sinai air strike

US shoots down second Iran-made armed drone over Syria in 12 days

US signals involvement in Syria could escalate

U.N. chief hopes U.S., Russia calm tensions over Syria

Syria war: Polio paralyses 17 children in Mayadin and Raqqa

Pro-ISIS rebels storm school in Philippines, students held hostage

Explosion at Brussels train station, suspect shot

Brussels train station blast being treated as terror attack

Belgium avoided serious attack in station blast: interior minister

Car bomb in Somalia capital kills at least 15

Catholic Church: Fighting kills more than 3,000 in Congo’s Kasai region

UN: Congo-backed militia mutilates toddlers, burns villages

Armed Russian jet comes within 5 feet of US recon jet

Trump meets Ukraine’s president, U.S. adds to Russia sanctions

US sanctions to stay until Russia quits eastern Ukraine

Trump says China NKorea pressure hasn’t worked

US sends supersonic bombers in show of force against N.Korea

US spy satellites detect activity at North Korean nuclear test site

South Korea confirms drone discovered in June was from North Korea

After student’s death, US weighs travel ban on North Korea

US State Department presses N. Korea to release detained Americans

Venezuela dares US to ‘send in the Marines’

UN chief: US will be replaced if it disengages from world

Anti-Trump Website Calls for ‘Physical Violence’ Against Conservatives

Study supports Trump: 5.7 million noncitizens may have cast illegal votes

Message from Georgia: Hating Trump is not a platform

Dems Suddenly Worry Trump Impeachment Could Backfire

State Department probes Clinton handling of government emails, could pull her security clearance

Pass the valium: U.S. anxiety levels climb faster than rest of the world

Soros says Britain nearing tipping point, may reverse Brexit

Illinois careens into financial meltdown – and not even the lottery is safe

Personal details of nearly 200 million US citizens exposed

The End of Car Ownership – Ride sharing and self-driving vehicles will redefine our relationship with cars

L.A. Fire Department could soon seek federal permission to fly drones

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bengkulu, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Saiki, Japan

Yellowstone Supervolcano Hit by a Swarm of More Than 400 Earthquakes in One Week

Sharp earthquake activity in Katla volcano

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

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

Poas volano in Costa Rica erupts to 11,000ft

Decades-old camera reveals forgotten images of Mount St. Helens eruption

Bret becomes earliest named storm so far south in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Cindy may bring ‘life-threatening’ flooding across Gulf Coast

Israel’s summer start dampened by freak rainfall

Tornadoes Touch Down In Delaware And Pennsylvania

The Latest: Las Vegas ties record high of 117 degrees

Portugal fire: Firefighters battle deadly blaze as temperatures soar

Highly contagious citrus disease now in Alabama

More U.S. counties are finding Zika-carrying mosquitoes

Family of teen who died from brain-eating amoeba sues water park

Cholesterol Lowering Vaccine May Help Prevent Heart Attacks

Ex-NFL Player Comes Out as Gay, Says He Considered Suicide

New York threesome gone wrong: Murder suspect arrested

Christian School Told They Can’t Teach ‘Offensive’ Scripture

The Summer Solstice Brings Out the Pagan in All of Us – and Some Christian Leaders Don’t Like It

Summer solstice 2017: Stonehenge crowds as sun rises

Michael Hall – The Untouchables

Anthony Wade – The Anatomy of a False Teaching and the Dangers Within

Noemi Breaks Free of Beth Moore

Former New Age Follower Shares Vital Information With Her Pastors and Church Leaders

Pastor Henry Lyons ousted again amid fraud accusations – previously served prison time for fraud

DEVELOPING: Explosion in tick related diseases spreading across Northeast…

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 06:14 AM PDT

Tick numbers are on the rise across New England, raising the prospect of an increase in Lyme and other diseases associated with the bloodsuckers. Much of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Two-month countdown begins to total solar eclipse across U.S.

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 06:03 AM PDT

Two months before the first total solar eclipse to cross the continental United States in a century, NASA on Wednesday is expected to detail its…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

If The U.S. Continues To Creep Toward World War 3, Eventually It Is Going To Happen

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:58 AM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) After a bit of a lull for the past couple of months, the march toward war appears to be accelerating once…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Black Eyed Peas Star Fergie Seen Attending Church in Recent Weeks

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:54 AM PDT

In an emotional 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Grammy-winning recording artist Fergie opened about her struggle with drug addiction and how turning to her Christian…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

These 3 Hebrew Feasts Depict Christ’s Second Coming

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:48 AM PDT

(By Ron Allen) June 21, the summer begins on the summer solstice.  Astronomically, the summer solstice is the day when the sun reaches its highest…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

69 Percent Of Americans Do Not Have An Adequate Emergency Fund

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:41 AM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) Do you have an emergency fund?  If you even have one penny in emergency savings, you are already ahead of about…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UPDATE: Swarm of 460 earthquakes in Yellowstone begins to spark concerns

Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:38 AM PDT

The earthquake swarm affecting the western edge of Yellowstone National Park has included more than 460 quakes so far. The University of Utah, whose seismograph…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ken doll gets a makeover!

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:49 PM PDT

He’s been overshadowed by Barbie for decades, but now Ken is finally getting some attention.  Mattel is introducing 15 new looks for the male doll,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Europe on High Alert in Wake of Paris, London Attacks

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:39 PM PDT

The terror threat level remains elevated in France after another attack. An Islamic terrorist set off a fiery blast in Paris Monday when he drove…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Phoenix heatwave generates record energy demand…

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:34 PM PDT

Phoenix-area residents are setting a record demand for energy as scorching temperatures roll though the valley during the week’s punishing heat wave.  Salt River Project…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Top Fashion Mag Encourages Women to Awaken Their Inner Witch

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:26 PM PDT

Whether the #MagicalResistance or The Handmaid’s Tale, the age of the witch is upon us, top fashion magazine Vogue proclaims.  “Women across the globe are actively using the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Teachers Union Demands Mandatory LGBT Education for Children

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:18 PM PDT

Scotland’s largest teaching union has voted for children across the country to be taught about same-sex families and LGBT history.  At its annual general meeting…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands of Witches Gathering To More Cast Spells Against Trump Tonight

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 05:16 PM PDT

Thousands of witches will gather at midnight tonight to cast spells on President Donald Trump as part of a summer solstice ritual. “My thought from…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Soldiers ‘neutralize’ suspect after small blast at Brussels Central Station

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 01:11 PM PDT

Belgian police have “neutralized” a person reportedly wearing an explosive belt at Brussels Central Station. The news comes after the station was evacuated following reports…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christians, We Must Wake Up to the Blinding Effects of Sin

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 12:01 PM PDT

(By Shane Idleman) “The church is physically alive, but spiritually dead.”  I recently referred to a true story. A young girl, devastated by the choice…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:54 AM PDT

Paul Williams, who led the conservative church planting organization Orchard Group for 20 years, has publicly come out as a transgender woman named Paula Stone Williams.  Williams began…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

CA Teacher Who Voiced Christian Views on Sexuality Resigns After Backlash, Death Threats

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:46 AM PDT

A California high school teacher has willingly resigned after receiving intense backlash over his Christian views on sexuality. Michael Stack taught special education at San…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Is End Times Prophecy Unfolding Before Our Eyes in Syria?

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:40 AM PDT

The Syrian conflict continues to escalate, with the U.S. government shooting down a Syrian jet over the weekend. It was an act that sparked a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Katy Perry: ‘Grace of God’ Brought Me Through Suicidal Depression

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:36 AM PDT

Pop star Katy Perry gave audiences an intimate look into her struggle with faith during a live stream therapy session with her psychiatrist last week….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Australia halts air strikes in Syria after Russia-US tensions over downed Damascus jet

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:31 AM PDT

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has suspended flights over Syria after Russia said it halted sky incident prevention interactions with the US as of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Kenya Bans 6 Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon Shows for ‘Glorifying Gay Behavior’

Posted: 20 Jun 2017 11:27 AM PDT

Kenya’s government has banned six animated shows airing on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to battle what it described as attempts to “glorify homosexual behavior” and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is The Gospel?

Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him:


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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The seven fatal flaws of moral relativism


I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery I have a key that will unlock a puzzling mystery

Moral relativism is the view that moral values and moral duties do not exist in reality, but only exist as opinions in people’s minds. When you ask a moral relativist where the belief that stealing is wrong comes from, he may tell you that it is his opinion, or that it is the opinion of most people in his society. But he cannot tell you that stealing is wrong independent of what people think, because morality (on moral relativism) is just personal preference.

So what’s wrong with it?

I found this list of the seven flaws of moral relativism at the Salvo magazine web site.

Here’s the summary:

  1. Moral relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing.
  2. Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil.
  3. Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise.
  4. Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or injustice.
  5. Relativists can’t…

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June 21, 2017: Verse of the day


The Urgency of Rest

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (4:11–13)

The need for God’s rest is urgent. A person should diligently, with intense purpose and concern, secure it. It is not that he can work his way to salvation, but that he should diligently seek to enter God’s rest by faith—lest he, like the Israelites in the wilderness, lose the opportunity.

God cannot be trifled with. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, … and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. In the immediate context this verse means that the readers who are hesitating in trusting Christ, who are even considering falling back into Judaism, had better be urgent and diligent in seeking to enter God’s rest, because the Word of God is alive. It is not static, but active—constantly active. It can pierce right down into the innermost part of the heart to see if belief is real or not.

So the Word of God is not only saving and comforting and nourishing and healing, it is also a tool of judgment and execution. In the day of the great judgment His Word is going to penetrate and lay bare all hearts who have not trusted in Him. The sham and hypocrisy will be revealed and no profession of faith, no matter how orthodox, and no list of good works, no matter how sacrificial, will count for anything before Him. Only the thoughts and intentions of the heart will count. God’s Word is the perfect discerner, the perfect kritikos (from which we get “critic”). It not only analyzes all the facts perfectly, but all motives, and intentions, and beliefs as well, which even the wisest of human judges or critics cannot do. The sword of His Word will make no mistakes in judgment or execution. All disguises will be ripped off and only the real person will be seen.

The word translated open had two distinct uses in ancient times. It was used of a wrestler taking his opponent by the throat. In this position the two men were unavoidably face to face. The other use was in regard to a criminal trial. A sharp dagger would be bound to the neck of the accused, with the point just below his chin, so that he could not bow his head, but had to face the court. Both uses had to do with grave face-to-face situations. When an unbeliever comes under the scrutiny of God’s Word, he will be unavoidably face-to-face with the perfect truth about God and about himself.

In light of such certain and perfect judgment and of such beautiful and wonderful rest, why will any person harden his heart to God?[1]

12 The exposition of Psalm 95:7–11 is complete, but before moving on with his argument the author pauses to reflect in vv. 12–13 on the power of “the word of God,” and the “for” shows this reflection is not a self-contained comment but a colorful and rhetorically powerful underlining of what has just been taught from the psalm. The psalm has focused on God’s speaking, both in the “voice” that the people are exhorted to heed (95:7) and in the declaration on oath that sealed the fate of those who refused to listen (vv. 10–11). This could be all that our author refers to when he speaks of “the word of God,” but he has also made it clear that he regards the whole message of the psalm as coming from the Holy Spirit (3:7) and from God (4:7), not just from David, so that vv. 12–13 are more likely to be understood in that wider sense. The whole text he has just been expounding is “the word of God” and as such cannot lightly be dismissed. To go further and find in these two verses a description of the whole of the OT goes beyond what the context requires but would be consonant with the authority our author clearly attributes to a wide variety of OT passages. Quite likely he also has in mind the “word of God” as it now comes through Christian preachers, of whom surely he himself was one (cf. 13:7, where the same phrase is used).

God’s word, like its author (3:12), is “living” (TNIV, “alive”). It is also “at work” (energēs, “active, effective, powerful,” GK 1921); the thought is close to that of Isaiah 55:11, where God’s word goes out from his mouth and accomplishes the purpose for which he sent it (cf. Ps 147:15, 18). Jeremiah conveyed this dynamic idea of God’s word by describing it as like a fire and like a hammer smashing the rock (Jer 23:29). Our author goes for a different metaphor, that of a double-edged sword (one designed for stabbing rather than slashing like a cutlass), which conveys not so much its sheer power as its ability to cut through our human resistance. This dynamic understanding of the word of God is vividly symbolized in the picture of a “sharp, two-edged sword” coming out of the mouth of the risen Lord in Revelation 1:16 (cf. 19:15). In the context of his discussion of Psalm 95, our author may be thinking of Numbers 14:43, where even after God’s oath some Israelites nonetheless tried to enter Canaan directly, only to be cut down by the sword of the Amalekites and Canaanites; God’s word is sharper even than that.

The metaphor continues in the following description of the sword (literally) “going right through to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow.” The latter pair, “joints and marrow,” refers to the literal body of flesh and bones, though it is not easy to see how joints can be “divided” from marrow; we may feel the effect of the metaphor without needing to inquire too closely how it might be envisaged physically. But with the former pair, “soul and spirit,” we seem already to be moving beyond the literal picture of what a sword can do. Words such as “soul” (psychē [GK 6034], sometimes better translated “life”) and “spirit” (pneuma [GK 4460], used for angels [1:7] and for the Holy Spirit as well as for people alive after death [12:23]) are notoriously slippery, and our author’s use of the two words elsewhere does not suggest he thought of them as two separate “parts” of a person. As with joints and marrow, we probably do better to feel the force of the metaphor than to press pedantically for a literal explanation. Both terms denote our “real, innermost selves,” and at that level, too, we are still open to the penetrative power of God’s word.

The final description of the word of God as “judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” has left the metaphor of the sword behind. The unusual adjective kritikos, “judging” or “discerning” (GK 3217), denotes its ability to break through pretense and confusion to expose the reality of our inmost being.[2]

4:12. This vivid expression of the power of God’s message provides the explanation for the strong warning of verse 11. Because God’s message is alive, active, sharp, and discerning, those who listen to God’s message can enter his rest. Two questions are important in this verse. First, what is the word of God? Second, what does this passage say about it?

Although the Bible sometimes refers to Christ as God’s Word (John 1:14), the reference here is not speaking of Jesus Christ. Here we have a general reference to God’s message to human beings. In the past God had spoken to human beings through dreams, angelic appearances, and miracles. He still can use those methods today, but our primary contact with God is through his written Word, the Bible. God’s Word will include any method God uses to communicate with human beings.

This verse contains four statements about God’s Word. First, it is living. God is a living God (Heb. 3:12). His message is dynamic and productive. It causes things to happen. It drives home warnings to the disobedient and promises to the believer. Second, God’s Word is active, an emphasis virtually identical in meaning with the term living. God’s Word is not something you passively hear and then ignore. It actively works in our lives, changes us, and sends us into action for God.

Third, God’s Word penetrates the soul and spirit. To the Hebrew people, the body was a unity. We should not think of dividing the soul from the spirit. God’s message is capable of penetrating the impenetrable. It can divide what is indivisible. Fourth, God’s message is discerning. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It passes judgment on our feelings and our thoughts. What we regard as secret and hidden, God brought out for inspection by the discerning power of his Word.

In 1995, Johnny Oates was managing the Texas Rangers baseball team when God spoke to him through the illness of his wife Gloria. Oates had become a Christian in 1983; but until the crisis in 1995, he had always lived as if baseball were his god. His wife was traveling to the spring training camp for the Rangers when she became ill in Savannah, Georgia. His daughter summoned him to Georgia with a phone call. Oates arrived to find his wife in a motel, despairing and defeated.

Oates said, “God got my attention and said, ‘Johnny, it’s not going to work this way.’ ” In the grief of the moment, Oates told God that he was ready to listen to anything he wanted to say. The next day Oates checked his wife out of the motel and headed for their home in Virginia. There he and his wife both participated in a Christian counseling program and learned how to communicate with one another. He learned that what he had worshiped was not God or his family, but the game of baseball. Both Oates and his wife moved closer, and Oates said, “As we get closer to God, … we get closer to each other.”

God got his attention. Fortunately Oates listened. God’s message to this baseball manager was life changing. It was also marriage saving.[3]

12a. The word of God is living and active.

The writer reminds the reader that God’s Word cannot be taken lightly; for if the reader does not wish to listen, he faces no one less than God himself (see Heb. 10:31; 12:29). The Bible is not a collection of religious writings from the ancient past, but a book that speaks to all people everywhere in nearly all the languages of the world. The Bible demands a response, because God does not tolerate indifference and disobedience.

In their interpretation of verse 12a, some scholars assert that the phrase Word of God is a reference to Jesus. This view is difficult to maintain, even though such a reference exists in Revelation 19:13 (where the rider on the white horse is called the Word of God). The phrase Word of God occurs at least thirty-nine times in the New Testament and almost exclusively is the designation for the spoken or written Word of God rather than the Son of God. In the introductory verses of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the writer clearly states that God spoke to the forefathers in the past, and in the present he spoke to us in his Son (Heb. 1:1–2). In Hebrews Jesus is called the Son of God, but never the Word of God.

In the original Greek, the participle living stands first in the sentence and therefore receives all the emphasis. This participle describes the first characteristic of God’s spoken and written Word: that Word is alive! For example, Stephen, reciting Israel’s history in the desert, says that Moses at Mount Sinai “received living words” (Acts 7:38), and Peter tells the recipients of his first epistle that they “have been born again … through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

A second characteristic is that the Word of God is active. That is, it is effective and powerful. (The original Greek uses a word from which we have derived the term energy.) God’s Word, then, is energizing in its effect. No one can escape that living and active Word. Just as God’s spoken Word brought forth his beautiful creation, so his Word recreates man dead in transgressions and sins (Eph. 2:1–5). As in the wilderness some Israelites refused to listen to God’s Word while others showed obedience, so today we see that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

The Bible is not a dead letter, comparable to a law that is no longer enforced. Those people who choose to ignore the message of Scripture will experience not merely the power of God’s Word but its keen edge as well.

12b. Sharper than any double-edged sword.

In the ancient world, the double-edged sword was the sharpest weapon available in any arsenal. And in verse 12b, the author of Hebrews likens the Word of God to this weapon. (In a similar passage [Rev. 1:16] we read about the “sharp double-edged sword” coming out of the mouth of Jesus as John saw him on the island of Patmos. Whether this means that the tongue resembles a dagger is an open question.) The symbolism conveys the message that God’s judgment is stern, righteous, and awful. God has the ultimate power over his creatures; those who refuse to listen to his Word face judgment and death, while those who obey enter God’s rest and have life eternal. Let no one take the spoken and written Word for granted; let no one ignore it; let no one willfully oppose it. That Word cuts and divides, much as the scalpel of a surgeon uncovers the most delicate nerves of the human body.

However, the Word of God also provides protection. Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians equates the Word with the sword of the Spirit—that is, part of the Christian’s spiritual armor (6:17).

12c. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

I do not think that the writer of Hebrews is teaching the doctrine that man consists of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Of course, we can make a distinction between soul and spirit by saying that the soul relates to man’s physical existence; and the spirit, to God. But the author does not make distinctions in this verse. He speaks in terms of that which is not done and in a sense cannot be done.

Who is able to divide soul and spirit or joints and marrow? And what judge can know the thoughts and attitudes of the heart? The author uses symbolism to say that what man ordinarily does not divide, God’s Word separates thoroughly. Nothing remains untouched by Scripture, for it addresses every aspect of man’s life. The Word continues to divide the spiritual existence of man and even his physical being. All the recesses of body and soul—including the thoughts and attitudes—face the sharp edge of God’s dividing sword. Whereas man’s thoughts remain hidden from his neighbor’s probing eye, God’s Word uncovers them.

God’s Word is called a discerner of man’s thoughts and intentions. In the Psalter David says:

O Lord, you have searched me

and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways. [Ps. 139:1–3]

And Jesus utters these words:

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. [John 12:47–48]

The Lord with his Word exposes the motives hidden in a man’s heart. In his epistle the author stresses the act of God’s speaking to man. For instance, the introductory verses (Heb. 1:1–2) illustrate this fact clearly. And repeatedly, when quoting the Old Testament Scriptures, the writer uses this formula: God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit says (consult the many quotations, for example, in the first four chapters). The Word is not a written document of past centuries. It is alive and current; it is powerful and effective; and it is undivided and unchanged. Written in times and cultures from which we are far removed, the Word of God nevertheless touches man today. God addresses man in the totality of his existence, and man is unable to escape the impact of God’s Word.[4]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 104–105). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 67–68). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 71–72). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 115–118). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.