Daily Archives: August 2, 2017

August 2, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)



The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose past 22,000 for the first time as Apple Inc. pushed to a record, while renewed strength in the euro dragged down European equities. Oil fluctuated after retreating from its brief rise above $50 a barrel.

In as little as 24 hours, a clash of powers is set to unfold in the Venezuelan capital’s gold-domed Federal Legislative Palace, where a newly elected legislative super body will attempt to convene alongside the National Assembly, the only arm of government not controlled by President Nicolas Maduro or his allies.

Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and its partners have quietly started working on a Plan B to find markets for the country’s crude oil if the White House ratchets up sanctions and bans imports.

It may already be too late for sanctions to halt North Korea’s missile program. That’s the view of analysts who have watched Kim Jong Un accelerate progress on North Korea’s decades-long quest for a functioning intercontinental ballistic missile. Friday’s launch, the second in a matter of weeks, showed it’s just a matter of time before he has a full-fledged ICBM that could hit any part of the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

Between Russian meddling in last year’s election, Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and the president’s public drubbing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the House Judiciary Committee has a lot it could be looking into. But its Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, has a different priority: investigating Hillary Clinton.

President Donald Trump’s administration may be poised to strike a peculiar deal for the next Air Force One planes: buying jumbo jets abandoned by a defunct Russian airline.

The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component in the agriculture industry, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths of the insects attributed to a mysterious malady that’s affected hives in North America and Europe declined.

Facebook’s Instagram is most popular for people younger than 25, who the company says spend an average of more than 32 minutes a day on the photo-sharing app.

Deutsche Bank AG envisions shifting almost half its U.K. positions to the European continent over coming years as the lender’s Brexit plans take shape, people briefed on the matter said. Most of the 4,000 positions will move to Frankfurt and Berlin.

Toyota stood out as the only major automaker to increase U.S. sales last month and Nissan and Honda both beat projections as demand at traditional U.S. automakers slumped.

AP Top Stories

Days after declaring that President Trump would sign legislation imposing tough new sanctions on Russia, the White House said Tuesday that his government lawyers needed to wrap up a “legal review” of the bill first. Congress approved the bill, which also imposes punitive economic measures on Iran and North Korea, on Friday, sending it to Trump by a veto-proof margin.

Indian forces killed a top militant commander in Kashmir on Tuesday, triggering clashes in which one protester was killed and dozens injured.

China has officially opened its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, state media said Tuesday, a major step for the country’s expansion of its military presence abroad.

The number of people with an immigrant background in Germany rose 8.5 percent to a record 18.6 million in 2016, largely due to an increase in refugees, the Federal Statistics Office said.

North Korea has been engaged in “highly unusual and unprecedented levels” of submarine activity in the wake of its second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen’s civil war.

Trystan Reese, a 34-year-old transgender man, has given birth to a boy weighing in at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and bearing a great deal of joy.

Indonesia will deport 153 Chinese nationals arrested for alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud ring targeting wealthy businessmen and politicians in China.

Endangered elephants and tigers are killing one person a day in India as humans put a growing squeeze on their habitat, according to new government figures.

A whole new student loan servicing and processing system will be up and running in 2019, the U.S. Education Department said on Tuesday, as it formally unveiled its plan to overhaul the current $1.3 trillion program.

Members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet are believed to attend a weekly session to study the bible.


A wide-ranging survey found that 67% of women and 59% of men want to see same-sex marriage made legal in Australia.

An explosion at a mosque in the Afghan city of Herat has killed about 30 people and injured dozens more.

The ruins of an ancient Roman neighborhood of luxury homes and vast public spaces have been found by archaeologists in south-eastern France.


In a party desperate for victories, Democratic candidates are finding the most success in little-noticed state legislative races. They’ve already won four seats previously under Republican control, some of them in battleground districts that split evenly between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University have done it. Huffington Post wants you to know, “The OHSU research is believed to have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases, according to Technology Review. Designer babies?

The Briefing 08-02-17

Who defines futility? Charlie Gard and the debate over parental rights

Lawyer appointed to represent Charlie Gard linked to pro-euthanasia group

Prominent British minister Steve Chalke denies Original Sin. Should we be surprised?

The post The Briefing 08-02-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 8/2/2017

Israelis March Demanding Access to Temple Mount and Building of Third Temple
Thousands of Israelis participated in an annual march around the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, with a special focus on the Temple Mount. Though it is Judaism’s holiest site, Jews are still not allowed to pray there due to threats of Muslim violence. Government officials participating in the march noted that the people of Israel are seeking much more than just the right to pray atop a Muslim-occupied Temple Mount. They want the Third Temple.

China pushing its four-point peace plan
China steps to the plate and offers a Chinese vision to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Vilna’i pointed out that “60% of Chinese energy comes from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, and they are very sensitive to what is happening here.” The Chinese sensitivity to the region is further enhanced by the country’s mega infrastructure plan, called the One Belt One Road initiative, that runs through parts of the Middle East and which China hopes will revive the ancient Silk Road.

ICBM test carried out by US Air Force
An intercontinental ballistic missile flew 4,000 miles from an Air Force base in California into the Pacific early Wednesday morning in a test of the United States’ substantial arsenal. The Air Force ICBM test follows on the heels of B-1 bomber flights from Guam to South Korea during the weekend. The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska.

Nuclear Weapon Detonating in Los Angeles Would Be Terrible’: Is N Korea War Coming?
In a candid interview at the National Press Club, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said North Korea is the biggest threat to America and we can no longer take a wait-and-see attitude. “War in the Korean Peninsula would be terrible. However, a nuclear weapon detonating in Los Angeles would be terrible,” Gen. Milley said. “But we are at a point in time where tough choices will have to be made,”

Pope Francis ‘paving way for Antichrist’
The influential but radical Jose Galat, director of the Great Colombia university and Teleamiga television network, almost spewed fire when interviewed by Blu Radio about an impending papal visit to Colombia. The Colombian Catholic Church had urged all clergies in the country to dissuade worshipers from watching the Teleamiga network after Galat had called the pope a false prophet in his talk show,

Bible Study Returns to White House as Trump Cabinet Members Attend Weekly Meetings
The Trump Cabinet’s weekly Bible study meetings, composed of the most influential lawmakers in the country, may be the first such gathering in 100 years, Ralph Drollinger, founder of Capitol Ministries and leader of the study sessions, told Breaking Christian News (BCN), bringing the Bible back to the White House in a way not seen in a century.

Netanyahu to attend Beitar Illit ceremony for 1,000 new settler homes
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans visit the Beit Illit settlement on Thursday morning to attend a corner stone laying ceremony for the construction of 1,000 new homes, according to the municipality’s spokesman. It’s the first time since taking office in 2009, that he has visited the Haredi city of close to 50,000 people located just outside of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank.

China pushing its four-point peace plan
China’s expressed interest in getting more actively involved in trying to solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue stems from a concern that any explosion in the Middle East could jeopardize its oil and gas supply from the region…Vilna’i’s comments came a day after China’s UN Ambassador Liu Jieyi said at a press conference in New York that the international community should get behind a new four-point peace proposal put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

WATCH: Israel’s first environmental satellite soars
On Wednesday at 04:58 Israel time The Venus, the world’s smallest environmental satellite, soared from the launching pad in French Guiana. It was accompanied by an Italian satellite and launched from the Guiana Space Center which serves as the spaceport of France because it’s close to the equator, enabling launches to gain extra velocity from the Earth’s rotation.

North Korea: US not seeking regime change, says Rex Tillerson
The US government is not seeking a regime change in North Korea, the secretary of state says, amid tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons programme. “We’re not your enemy,” Rex Tillerson said, adding that the US wanted a dialogue at some point. But a Republican senator said President Donald Trump had told him there would be a war with North Korea if its missile programme continued.

Jordan MPs vote to scrap rape law loophole
Jordanian MPs have voted to scrap a law enabling rapists to avoid punishment if they marry their victim. The lower house backed the removal of a controversial clause known as Article 308. Rights activists have long campaigned to abolish the provision, whose proponents argued protected victims from the social stigma of rape.

Yemen conflict: Cholera risk for more than a million children
More than a million children in Yemen are at high risk of dying from cholera, says Save the Children. The charity warns that the children are severely malnourished, and living in some of the areas of the country worst hit by the disease. The number of people infected with the disease during the country’s civil war has already reached more than 430,000.

Pentagon investigators find ‘security risks’ in government’s immigrant recruitment program, ‘infiltration’ feared
Defense Department investigators have discovered “potential security risks” in a Pentagon program that has enrolled more than 10,000 foreign-born individuals into the U.S. armed forces since 2009, Fox News has learned exclusively, with sources on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon expressing alarm over “foreign infiltration” and enrollees now unaccounted for.

Heavy rain puts Miami under water.
…Miami Beach…As of 3:45 p.m., the city had already racked up about five inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a flash flood warning for the region until 7:45 p.m. Meteorologists suggested drivers in eastern Miami-Dade County turn around when encountering flooded roads, which could put the vehicle, and its occupants, in danger.

Senior Hamas officials meet with Iranian official in Beirut
A Hezbollah-affiliated journalist published a photograph of senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri—who was recently forced to relocate from Qatar—meeting with an Iranian official in Beirut on Wednesday. Two years ago, al-Arouri was also forced to leave Turkey following joint US and Israeli pressure. The recent moves indicate a new Hamas policy of senior leadership not settling in one particular country for an extended period of time, but rather constantly moving.

Violent July Leaves Chicago Murders On Pace To Exceed 2016, The Bloodiest Year In Two Decades
One month ago, President Trump vowed to “send in the Feds” after Chicago’s murder rate continued to track roughly in-line with 2016, the most violent year for the city in nearly two decades.  But, with the month of July now over, the ‘Feds’ don’t seem to be having an impact so far.

Notorious Italian Abortionist Invited to Give Talk on Immigration at Catholic Parish
Emma Bonino, champion of the Italian pro-abortion movement, was invited to give a presentation on immigration last week at a parish church in northern Italy, where she defended the need for bringing more immigrants into Europe. According to her own boasts, Bonino performed over 10,000 illegal abortions during her career, devising an abortion machine from a bicycle pump and a pickle jar. Bonino founded the Center for Information on Sterilization and Abortion (CISA) and agitated for the legalization of abortion in Italy, which was achieved in 1975.

North Korean Submarines’ ‘Unusual Activity’ Alarms The US
The United States military has detected “highly unusual and unprecedented levels” of North Korean submarine activity.  They also claim there is evidence of a submarine “ejection test.”

Hungarian PM: ‘Soros Empire’ plans to de-Christianize Europe
George Soros and the European Union are behind a plan to create a “mixed, Islamized Europe” according to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who further iterated that the only way to halt this demographic replacement of Christian Europeans is through a return to pro-sovereignty, pro-family values and policies.

Many Christians unaware of crucial info about 9th of Av on Tuesday
…“This 9th of Av has the potential of being very prophetically significant,” Biltz told WND. “We have Jewish people for the first time openly praying on the Temple Mount even when facing being arrested. The attitude of the Jewish people is changing where they are gaining the courage to be like Phinehas and be zealous for God’s sake. They have had enough with Muslims killing Jews on the Temple Mount. This could be the year the prophecy is fulfilled!”

Dinesh D’Souza: Left’s ‘resistance’ a spiritual battle
“The political debate is the tip of the iceberg, and underneath the political debate is a moral debate that is about fundamental moral issues and the fundamental question of how we should live our life,” he told WND. “But underlying the moral debate the spiritual debate – or what evangelicals call spiritual warfare – which is to say a kind of deep struggle in which we get that sense that our own life and our own politics is a larger playground for spiritual forces that we don’t control.”

Health Care is a Mess… But Why? (VIDEO)

Simple supply and demand. Or not so simple for some.

Throw in a heavy dose of medical crony capitalism too.

All you folks out there who think you’re helping the “common person” by advocating for yet more government involvement in healthcare? You are actually hurting people. The state will always be corrupted by cronies of one sort or another and our Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare healthcare complex is full of cronyism, from top to bottom.

But even still,

Read More

Congressional Investigation Into Wasserman Schultz IT Scandal Moves Forward, “At best for her that is gross misapplication of public funds that could merit resignation alone,”

A quaint little story that some in the news don’t feel warrants much attention. We think it does.

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More than a third of US adults prescribed opioids in 2015

I don’t see 1/3 of the adult population wandering around in a opium haze, so there is some hope in that, I suppose. Even still 1/3 were prescribed opiates in 2015. That’s a lot of pretty hard drugs.

People need to be able to manage pain. And people who have become addicted need to be treated compassionately. But something is misfiring here (it appears to us) and we need to examine it.

Read More

16 Facts That Prove That America Is In Deep Trouble

Is this the generation that is going to witness the end of America?

If our country stays on the path that it is currently on, it is very difficult to see how we are possibly going to make it.

Throughout human history every great society has eventually entered a period of decline, and sadly that is happening to us as well.

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For First Time in Millennia, Jewish Priests Will Undergo Training to Enter Temple’s Holy of Holies

The Tribulation Temple is on the way . . . .

For the first time in 2,000 years, a group of Kohanim (men of the Jewish priestly caste) living close to Jerusalem’s Old City are studying the relevant Jewish laws to be able to ascend the Temple Mount and enter the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence is said to dwell.

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The United States Has Become A Nation Of Sheeple

You can either follow the herd of you can decide to find your own path.  One of the things that greatly frustrates me is that so many Americans allow other people to do their thinking for them.  We have become a nation of sheeple, and the vast majority of the shepherds that we are relying on for guidance are frauds and imposters.  The blind are leading the blind, and we are slowly but surely committing national suicide.  If a lot more of us don’t start to learn to think for ourselves, I fear that the vast majority of the population will never wake up until it is far too late. (Read More…)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Aug. 2, 2017

Unpacking the Unmasking Scandal

James Clapper revised the unmasking rules in 2013, opening the door for Obama and company to take advantage.

The Foundation

“The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.” —Thomas Jefferson (1790)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: August 02

  • Trump close to decision on addressing Chinese trade practices (Read More); White House Weighs Trade Measures Against China (Read More)
  • Republicans Pivot to Tax Cuts Amid Frustration at Lack of Detail (Read More)
  • Russian losses in Syria jump in 2017, estimates show (RRead More)
  • Market Paradox: Firms Get Punished for Posting Earnings (Read More)
  • OPEC’s ‘Catch-22’: How to Unwind Its Deal to Cut Oil Output (Read More)
  • Trump’s CEO Brain Trust Hasn’t Done Much (Read More)
  • How the World’s Biggest Buyout Deal Crashed and Burned (Read More)
  • Some Insurers Seek ACA Premium Increases of 30% and Higher (Read More)
  • Investor Einhorn sees cash burn at Tesla, sticks with short bet (Read More)
  • Peltz and P&G Expect to Spend $60 Million on Record Proxy Fight (Read More)
  • Theranos Low on Cash After Settlement With Walgreens (Read More)
  • EU says mulling ‘whole range of actions’ on Venezuela (Read More)
  • Car Makers Report Steep Sales Fall (Read More)
  • Turkey opens trial of nearly 500 defendants over failed coup (Read More)
  • Renting in Toronto Is a Total Nightmare (Read More)
  • Switzerland’s First-World Problem: What to Do With $750 Billion (Read More)
  • Go West, U.S. VP Pence tells Western Balkans (Read More)
  • Tanzania’s Tougher Mining Laws Rattle Companies (Read More)
  • Temer on the Line as Congress Considers Putting Him on Trial (Read More)
  • Virtu to Sell Electronic Bond Trading Platform (Read More)

Top Headlines – 8/2/2017

Israeli-Palestinian conflict may not be solvable, Kushner says on tape

Public opinion poll: ‘No Palestinian state in five years’

Abbas holds rare reconciliation talks with Hamas in Ramallah

Reported talks between Fatah and Hamas on ending PA sanctions in Gaza

Hezbollah, Nusra Front prisoner swap means large refugee transfer can start

Red Cross demands Israel reinstate family visits for Hamas terrorists

Iran’s role in Temple Mount clashes revealed

Tisha B’Av on Temple Mount: quarrels break out, 5 arrested

Jewish visitors to Temple Mount jump 15% this year

Temple advocacy groups: ‘Largest number of Jews at Temple Mount since 1967’

Jordan on Jewish Temple Mount pilgrimage: ‘New low in extremists’ Al-Aqsa offensive’

Jordan: ‘If Israel fails to address embassy affair appropriately, we have options’

At Least 29 Killed in Suicide Attack on a Shiite Mosque in Afghanistan, a Hospital Official Says

Kabul attack: Isis claim car bombing and gunmen assault on Iraqi embassy in the Afghanistan capital

8 Churches Close in Baghdad Amid Shrinking Iraqi Christian Population

Saudi Arabia seeks to end U.S. lawsuits over Sept. 11 attacks

In TV Spectacle, Man Convicted of Child Rape-Murder Is Executed in Yemen

Turkey opens trial of nearly 500 defendants over failed coup

Iran Says New U.S. Sanctions Violate Nuclear Deal

Iran complains to UN over new US sanctions

Here’s how Trump could break the Iran nuclear deal

Tillerson says he disagrees with Trump on Iran deal

Tillerson to North Korea: ‘We are not your enemy’

Tillerson says U.S. wants North Korea dialogue ‘at some point’

Analysts doubt North Korea’s ICBM re-entry capability

US prepares to test launch unarmed ICBM from California

Passenger jet passed within 10 minutes of where North Korean missile test landed, official says

Watch China debut an ICBM that can hit the US with multiple nuclear warheads

Top Senate Democrat urges Trump to block China deals over North Korea

Russia’s Military Drills Near NATO Border Raise Fears of Aggression

Pence pledges support for Georgia, condemns Russian moves

Tillerson concedes Russia ties are sour, but holds out hope

White House says Trump has yet to sign Russia sanctions bill

Fragile economy stays Putin’s hand in stand-off with U.S.

White House admits Trump ‘weighed in’ on son’s Russia statement

President Donald Trump says he won’t stay off social media

Pentagon investigators find ‘security risks’ in government’s immigrant recruitment program, ‘infiltration’ feared

Trump to Announce Legal Immigration Overhaul with Cotton, Perdue on Wednesday

‘Walls That Work’: Can Israeli Tech Be Trump’s Solution for Mexico Border Security?

U.S. eases environment laws for Mexico border wall near San Diego

Tourists hit by airport delays longer than their flights amid tougher EU border controls

UK PM’s office says free movement from EU will end in 2019

Trump seeks credit as stock market soars, economy strengthens

Trump touts Dow’s fast rise. But analysts say something else is responsible for Tuesday’s new high.

Four major US cities ring housing bubble alarm

Say goodbye to $2.30 gas if Trump goes hard after Venezuela

Wisconsin CEO Gets Microchip Implant

Wisconsin company holds party to implant microchips

Two Eclipses, and 6 More Can’t-Miss Sky Events in August

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Vinchina, Argentina

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the North Atlantic Ocean

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kitaibaraki, Japan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 12,500ft

Tropical Storm Emily causes mayhem in Florida

Historic Heat Arriving This Week in Pacific Northwest

Blistering Heat Wave Threatens Seattle, Where Only a Third Have Air-Conditioning

Coast Guard Commandant: Warming in the Arctic Leading to Territorial Disputes

Israel’s first environmental satellite soars

Verily releases millions of mosquitoes to help combat Zika in California

Florida confirms first sexually transmitted Zika case in 2017

More than a third of US adults prescribed opioids in 2015

Elon Musk says he may have depression, like just millions of overworked Americans in their 40s and 50s

Democrats Willing to Fund Pro-Life Candidates to Win Back Congress

Rosie O’Donnell urges women to form their own party if Dems support candidates against abortion rights

Transgender man gives birth to a boy

Coast Guard chief vows to support transgender personnel after Trump tweets ban

Jordan repeals law allowing rapists to avoid punishment if they marry their victims

Elizabeth Prata – A Quiet Life

Exodus from Rome, Vol I by Dr. Todd D. Baker

Brian Houston: Used Car Salesman Pushing the Hillsong Brand

City Harvest case: Kong Hee, with white hair and crew cut, in good spirits as criminal reference hearing begins

Wife of Toledo pastor charged with child sex trafficking placed on paid administrative leave

East Columbus pastor charged with sexually assaulting three young girls

Church of England Minister Raises Concerns for Hosting Homosexual Pride Service

Nasa offering six-figure salary for new ‘planetary protection officer’ to defend Earth from aliens

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:52 AM PDT

Nasa is hiring someone who can defend Earth from alien contamination.  The full-time role of “planetary protection officer” will involve ensuring that humans in space do not contaminate planets and moons, as well as ensuring that alien matter does not infect Earth. The pay is a six-figure salary: as much as $187,000 (£141,000) a year…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

‘Will There Come a Day Where People Who Prefer Not to Be Microchipped Won’t Get Certain Jobs?’

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:45 AM PDT

A Wisconsin company has carried through on its promise to chip its employees, hosting a “chip party” Tuesday to implant the microchips in its workers’ hands. The microchip allows them to open doors, log onto computers or even buy snacks in the break room by a simple wave of their…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

China Sends Strong Warning To America In Latest Missile Tests

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:36 AM PDT

In a brazen broadside to America, China performed a dramatic series of missile tests this weekend — targeting mock United States missile batteries and jets — as the superpower flexes its muscles amid global tensions with North Korea and the threat of U.S. intervention, U.S. officials told Fox News. U.S….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

3 Things the Church Must Do if America’s Going to Experience Another Great Awakening

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:26 AM PDT

(By Eddie Hyatt) In 2010, God dramatically restored my hope that America could see another great, national spiritual awakening that would alter the course of the nation. This was significant, for I had lost all hope for such a revival. My hope had been robbed after seeing so many superficial…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

China Carries Out Flight Test of Anti-Satellite Missile…

Posted: 02 Aug 2017 07:19 AM PDT

China recently carried out a flight test of a new anti-satellite missile that highlights the growing threat of Beijing’s space warfare capabilities. The flight test of the Dong Neng-3 direct ascent missile was tracked by U.S. intelligence agencies on July 23 from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia,…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Chinese Army vows to protect country’s sovereignty & integrity against ‘all invasions’

Posted: 01 Aug 2017 01:40 PM PDT

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) must be ready to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, warning other nations to steer clear of Chinese interests, President Xi Jinping said Tuesday. Beijing will continue to invest in reforming and modernizing the capabilities of the armed forces, as the PLA is pivotal in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mathew McConaughey Reveals the Biblical Truths Behind His Son’s Name

Posted: 01 Aug 2017 01:22 PM PDT

Actor Matthew McConaughey recently said the Bible was the inspiration behind the decision to name his son Levi.  “Levi’s another name for Matthew in the Bible,” McConaughey said in an interview on Good Morning America. “We had talked about possibly Matthew, Jr. if he was a boy. ” McConaughey also…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

AMC ‘Preacher’ Claims Jesus Fathered a Son, Lives in a Bunker

Posted: 01 Aug 2017 01:07 PM PDT

We’re past the point for me to say AMC’s Preacher has jumped the shark in terms of Christianity, but that certainly doesn’t stop the show from trying. This latest episode just introduced a background for Jesus Christ so crazy that Dan Brown’s asking questions. The July 31st episode, “Pig,” features a look into the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

FALLING AWAY: Pastor Celebrates Pride With Festivities That Include a Trans Priest

Posted: 01 Aug 2017 01:01 PM PDT

A Church of England minister has come under fire for holding an “LGBT+ Service” to mark the city’s homosexual pride celebrations. Revd. Canon Dr. Neal Barnes, vicar of Hull Minster, held an evening service on July 21 to coincide with Pride in Hull and the 50th anniversary of the Sexual…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

HOUSE DIVIDED: Coast Guard To Defy Transgender Ban

Posted: 01 Aug 2017 12:52 PM PDT

As military services await guidance following President Donald Trump’s announcement last week via Twitter of a ban on transgender service members, the commandant of the Coast Guard is speaking out, saying he has no intention of leaving transgender Coast Guardsmen out in the cold. Speaking on the topic for the first time at…

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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Peter: The Servant Leader

John 13:4-51 Peter 2:21-231 Peter 5:3-6

Code: B170802

Restraint, humility, and servanthood aren’t obvious leadership qualities in the corporate world. Nor are they character traits that readily spring to mind for modern churches focused on growth and vision. But Christ prioritized those three qualities as he cultivated future leaders of the Christian church, most notably Peter.


Most people with strong leadership abilities don’t naturally excel when it comes to exercising restraint. Self-control, discipline, and moderation aren’t common qualities among those who live life at the head of the pack. That is why so many leaders have problems with anger and out-of-control passions. Anger-management seminars have become the latest fad for CEOs and people in high positions of leadership in American business. It is clear that anger is a common and serious problem among people who rise to such a high level of leadership.

Peter had similar tendencies. Hotheadedness goes naturally with the sort of active, decisive, initiative-taking personality that made him a leader in the first place. Such a man easily grows impatient with people who lack vision or underperform. He can be quickly irritated by those who throw up obstacles to success. Therefore he must learn restraint in order to be a good leader.

The Lord more or less put a bit in Peter’s mouth and taught him restraint. That is one of the main reasons Peter bore the brunt of so many rebukes when he spoke too soon or acted too hastily. The Lord was constantly teaching him restraint.

The scene in the garden where Peter tried to decapitate Malchus is a classic example of his natural lack of restraint. Even surrounded by hundreds of Roman soldiers, all armed to the teeth, Peter unthinkingly pulled out his sword and was ready to wade into the crowd, swinging. It was fortunate for him that Malchus lost nothing more than an ear and that Jesus immediately healed the damage. As we have already seen earlier in this series, Jesus rebuked Peter sternly.

That rebuke must have been especially difficult for Peter, coming as it did in front of a horde of enemies. But he learned much from what he witnessed that night. Later in life, he would write,

Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, “Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;” and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:21–23)

How different that is from the young man who grabbed a sword and tried to hack away at his opposers! Peter had learned the lesson of restraint.


Peter also had to learn humility. Leaders are often tempted by the sin of pride. In fact, the besetting sin of leadership may be the tendency to think more of oneself than one ought to think. When people are following your lead, constantly praising you, looking up to you, and admiring you, it is too easy to be overcome with pride.

That was certainly the case when Jesus foretold His disciples that they would forsake Him (Matthew 26:31). But Peter was cocksure: “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33). Then he added, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” (Luke 22:33).

Of course, as usual, Peter was wrong and Jesus was right. Peter did deny Christ not once, but multiple times, just as Jesus had warned. Peter’s shame and disgrace at having dishonored Christ so flagrantly were only magnified by the fact he had boasted so stubbornly about being impervious to such sins!

But the Lord used all of this to make Peter humble. And when Peter wrote his first epistle, he said:

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. (1 Peter 5:5–6)

He specifically told church leaders, “[Don’t lord] it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:3). Humility became one of the virtues that characterized Peter’s life, his message, and his leadership style.


All the disciples struggled with learning that true spiritual leadership means loving service to one another. The real leader is someone who serves, not someone who demands to be waited upon.

This is a hard lesson for many natural leaders to learn. They tend to see people as a means to their end. Leaders are usually task-oriented rather than people-oriented. So they often use people, or plow over people, in order to achieve their goals. Peter and the rest of the disciples needed to learn that leadership is rooted and grounded in loving service to others.

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). The Lord Himself constantly modeled that kind of loving servant-leadership for the disciples. That was especially the case in the upper room on the night of His betrayal.

Jesus and the disciples had come to celebrate the Passover in a rented room in Jerusalem. The Passover celebration was an extended, ceremonious meal lasting as long as four or five hours. Celebrants in that culture usually reclined at a low table rather than sitting upright in chairs. That meant one person’s head would be next to another person’s feet. Of course, all the roads were either muddy or dusty, so feet were constantly dirty. Therefore the common custom was that when you went into a house for a meal, there was usually a servant whose job it was to wash guests’ feet—practically the lowliest and least desirable of all jobs.

Apparently on this busy Passover night, in that rented room, no provision had been made for any servant to wash the guests’ feet. The disciples were evidently prepared to overlook the breach of etiquette rather than volunteering to do such a menial task themselves. So they gathered around the table as if they were prepared to start the meal without any foot-washing. Therefore, Scripture says, Jesus

Got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:4–5)

Jesus Himself—the One they rightly called Lord—took on the role of the lowest slave and washed the dirty feet of His disciples. According to Luke, at about the same time this occurred, the disciples were in the midst of an argument about which one of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24). They were interested in being elevated, not humiliated. So Jesus gave them a lesson about servant leadership.

It’s hard for most leaders to stoop and wash the feet of those whom they perceive as subordinates. But that was the example of leadership Jesus gave, and He urged His disciples to follow it. In fact, He told them that showing love to one another in such a way was the mark of a true disciple (John 13:34–35).

Did Peter learn to love? He certainly did. Love became one of the hallmarks of his teaching. In 1 Peter 4:8 he wrote, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” The Greek word translated “fervent” in that verse is ektenes, literally meaning “stretched to the limit.” Peter was urging us to love to the maximum of our capacity. The love he spoke of is not about a feeling. It’s not about how we respond to people who are naturally lovable. It’s about a love that covers and compensates for others’ failures and weaknesses: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” This is the sort of love that washes a brother’s dirty feet. And Peter himself had learned that lesson from Christ’s example.


(Adapted from Twelve Ordinary Men.)


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The Mission of the Church is to Preach the Gospel (Reprise)

Before he died, Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries blogged about the differences between the biblical gospel and the gospel according to liberal/progressives a.k.a. the social justice gospel….that saves no one, as you will see. Here’s what Ken had to say in 2014:

Even as spiritual darkness falls, anyone with even a modicum of spiritual discernment should be able to see that there’s very rough spiritual seas which lay dead ahead. Know this, the plethora of people-pleasing prophets who’re telling you otherwise are lying to you; whether they even know it  or not.

One of the issues I cover here at Apprising Ministries is the infiltration of the false philosophy of postmodernism into the mainstream of the visible church. And we saw this most clearly initially with the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church that was launched by Leadership Network (LN).

The sad fact is that the spiritual cesspool Fuller Theological Seminary has played a large roll in the rot advanced by the man-centered Church Growth Movement vomited out of it. The CGM, along with its LN arm, have contributed mightily to the current dismal state of evangelicalism.

Like I explained recently in Why Our Plans Fail we’ve been told by these false teachers that Christendom needed to engage culture and contextualize God’s Gospel in order to “help” Him get His message across to them. In the end, it turns out to be a pitiful plan based upon human wisdom.

Tragically, even though such as these have found our culture willing to work with them to make the world a better place, what we’re actually being sold now from evangelical megachurches is really a reimagined version of the old social gospel.1 Here Dr. Gary Gilley’s insight is helpful:

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Source: The Mission of the Church is to Preach the Gospel (Reprise)

“The Seduction of Unity with Rome” – Part 2 – Eric Barger

Today, across the Protestant world we hear the escalating call for unity with the Roman Catholic Church. The current drumbeat of unity comes at a perilous time for Christians as many are looking for warm feelings and human acceptance far more than truth. We must ask, didn’t the Reformation happened for a reason, actually many reasons? If so, we then must ask that if the Reformers were correct so long ago, has Rome really changed in the present?

In Part two, excerpted from Eric Barger’s DVD “Reasons to Stand with the Reformation and NOT Unite with Rome” Eric shines light on not only the complete void of discernment and biblical thinking that some Protestants are displaying in the matter but also the seductive nature and appeal being used by advocates of the RCC. The program documents that the current calls for unity are laced with deception resembling Troy’s Trojan Horse.

View Video

August 2, 2017: Verse of the day


The Anguish of Jesus

“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” (12:27–28a)

Knowing that His death was central to God’s redemptive plan, Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). But there was another side to the cross, which the writer of Hebrews alluded to when he spoke in that same verse of the Lord “despising [its] shame.” The anticipation of bearing the shame of sin, experiencing God’s wrath, and being separated from the Father caused Christ’s soul to become troubled. Troubled translates a form of the verb tarassō, which literally means, “to shake,” or “to stir up” (cf. John 5:7, where it describes the stirring up of the pool of Bethesda). It is a strong word, used figuratively to speak of severe mental or spiritual agitation; of being disturbed, upset, unsettled, or horrified (cf. Matt. 2:3; 14:26; Luke 1:12; 24:38; John 11:33; 13:21; 14:1, 27; Acts 15:24). The perfect tense of the verb suggests that this was an ongoing struggle for the sinless Savior, as He recoiled in revulsion from the implications of bearing divine judgment for sin (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24).

Christ did not go to the cross detached, indifferent, without feeling. “The Johannine Jesus is no docetic actor in a drama, about to play a part which he can contemplate dispassionately because it does not really involve himself” (F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983], 265). In His humanness, Jesus felt all the pain associated with bearing the curse for sin (Gal. 3:13). Because of that pain, “He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety” (Heb. 5:7).

Some commentators disconnect the two phrases what shall I say and Father, save Me from this hour, ending the former with a question mark and making the latter a petition to the Father. It seems better, however, to adopt the nasb punctuation and view the two phrases as expressing one hypothetical thought (cf. Andreas J. Köstenberger, John, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004], 381). Here, as in Gethsemane, Jesus in His humanity agonized over the unjust, cruel, shameful death that awaited Him.

The Lord voluntarily gave His life, as He declared in John 10:17–18:

For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.

Rebuking Peter for attacking one of those who came to arrest Him, Jesus said, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt. 26:53). In other words, Jesus was no victim; He could have called on the Father to rescue Him at any time.

But Christ would not deviate from God’s eternal plan of redemption, which called for Him to die as a sacrifice for sin (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Therefore He immediately answered His own hypothetical question in the negative: But for this purpose I came to this hour. Jesus would, in view of His own eternal joy, complete the mission the Father had assigned Him (cf. John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 18:37; Heb. 10:7).

In keeping with that resolve, Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify Your name” (cf. Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2), essentially the same prayer that He would soon pray in Gethsemane: “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Our Lord’s request indicates that as He had done perfectly throughout His life (John 7:18; 8:29, 50; 17:4; cf. Luke 2:49), He would glorify the name of the Father in His death. God receives glory when His attributes are manifested (cf. Ex. 33:18–19; 34:5–8), and nowhere was His magnanimous love for helpless sinners (Rom. 5:8), His holy wrath against sin (Rom. 5:9), His perfect justice (Rom. 3:26), His redeeming grace (Heb. 2:9), His forgiving mercy (Col. 2:13–14), or His infinite wisdom (1 Cor. 1:22–24) more clearly seen than in the substitutionary, propitiatory death of His Son.

The Answer of the Father

Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. (12:28b–30)

For the third time in Christ’s earthly ministry, the Father’s voice came audibly out of heaven. On the other occasions, at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:17) and the transfiguration (Matt. 17:5), the Father’s voice affirmed that He was pleased with His Son. Now, as the cross approached, the Father again authenticated Him, thus reassuring the disciples that Christ’s impending death in no way signified His disapproval. On the contrary, just as He had already glorified His name through Jesus’ life and ministry, He would glorify it again through His death. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection would mark not only the successful completion of the mission the Father had given Him to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to “give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45), but also His return to His full glory in the Father’s presence. [1]

Christ’s Soul Troubled

John 12:27–30

“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.”

None of us understands fully what it cost God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son to forgive our sins. We sometimes pray, in saying the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” But we often do not think of how costly it was to God to make that prayer possible. Nor do others, who are not Christians, appreciate it. Some mock it. On one occasion Voltaire, the famous French agnostic, was asked whether he thought God could forgive some terrible sin, and he replied glibly, “Pardoner? C’est son metier!” (“Forgive? That’s his job.”) Obviously it had not entered his head, nor has it entered the heads of many, how much salvation cost God.

Will we ever know how much salvation cost him? I do not see how, for I do not see how we can ever enter fully into the experience of Jesus as he was separated from his Father during those hours of suffering in which he was made sin for us. Still, that is not all that can be said. For, while we can never understand it fully, we can nevertheless begin to understand it in part as a result of what the Bible has to tell us. In particular, we can learn from the verses that are before us, which tell us that on the eve of the crucifixion Christ was troubled. “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (vv. 27–28).

As we study these verses we also learn an equally valuable and even more personal lesson. For not only do they teach us about Jesus, they also teach us how we may find comfort when our souls are likewise troubled.

In studying these verses we will look at: (1) the reason why Christ’s soul was troubled, (2) the underlying resolve that gave him stability even in the midst of trouble, (3) the divine reassurance in the form of a voice from heaven, and (4) how this may all be applied to ourselves for those times when we also go through testing.

A Cause for Trouble

We look first, then, at the reason why Christ’s soul was troubled; and we confess, even before we look for a reason, that the fact itself is startling. If this were a mere man, we would not be surprised. For what man is there who is not sometimes troubled by pressing circumstances or disquieted by fears of what the future may thrust upon him? But this is no mere man. This is the Son of God! This is the Christ! This is the One who stilled the raging waves on Galilee and rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith—“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). This is the One who walked through rampaging crowds led by men intent on his death. This is the same Jesus who in a short while will instruct his disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me” (John 14:1). How can this be? How can the One who turns to us to say, “Let not your heart be troubled,” say of himself, “Now is my heart troubled”? It seems incongruous, even inconsistent.

It is not inconsistent when we realize what it was Christ was dreading! We must remember that the coming of the Greeks, recorded just a few verses earlier, had launched a train of thought in Christ’s mind that led to musings on his coming crucifixion and on the fact that he would soon bear the sins of the world. He had rejoiced in the coming of the Greeks as an earnest of the many Gentiles soon to come. But their coming presupposed his death—only a crucified Savior could avail for sins—and this meant separation from the Father judicially as he bore the sins of his people. It was not physical death that he dreaded; it was this spiritual death.

How could the One who had never known one second of unbroken fellowship with his Father, had never sinned, peacefully contemplate that hour in which he should be made sin for us and in which the fellowship that he had would, at least for a time, be broken?

Let me give you a remarkable contrast to make this clear. Consider the death of Socrates as it is described by Plato in the Phaedo. Socrates had been condemned to death by the council on grounds of teaching the youth of Athens atheism. While he was awaiting the hemlock potion that he was to drink and that would bring about his death, Socrates discoursed on the immortality of the soul and argued forcefully with his assembled disciples that one should not fear death. Rather he should embrace it peacefully. The body and soul belong to different worlds, he argued. Hence, the destruction of the body cannot affect the soul. It sets it free. As he rehearsed this teaching, Socrates did not merely proclaim his theorems; he lived them. So at last when he drank the hemlock potion and lay down to die, he did so peacefully. Socrates’ death is a beautiful, though touching death. Nothing is seen of death’s horror. Instead, it is not really a horror, for it merely is that which frees him from the body.

On the other hand, we have Jesus. All the Gospels agree in telling us that as the cross drew near, Jesus began to tremble and be deeply troubled (Mark 14:33). He declared that he had a baptism to be baptized with and was “distressed” until it should be accomplished (Luke 12:50). In Gethsemane he prayed three times that the cup he was about to drink might pass from him. And when at last he concludes, “Yet not as I will, but as you will,” this does not mean that at the last he attained to some of the faith of Socrates by coming to regard death as a liberating friend. Rather it means that in spite of his particular death being the greatest of all horrors, he was nevertheless determined to embrace it fully in fulfillment of the plan of God for our salvation.

That is the meaning of the sentence “Now my heart is troubled.” We cannot plumb its depths. But when we see the death of Christ in these terms we can at least begin to comprehend it.

An Underlying Resolve

There is another thing to notice about these verses. In spite of the depth of Christ’s trouble (which is intensified by linking it to the many verses that speak of his soul’s trouble, as I have just done), there is nevertheless an underlying strength or resolve that runs through all Christ is saying. To be sure, Christ’s soul is troubled. But there is not even a hint of pulling back or changing course. “What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?” The answer is obvious. Of course not! Because, “for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”

There is something important here. Obviously there is a strong resolve in Christ that sees him through this struggle. But what is the distinct nature of that resolve? Jesus is resolved to die. But why is he resolved to die? We answer, of course, that Jesus is determined to die for our salvation, to save us, and it is true. But notice that Jesus does not give this as his chief reason. To glorify God is his chief end. Thus, although the death he is to die has its horrors, he will not shrink from following whatever way the Father chooses to have the Son glorify him.

God Glorified

Did God glorify himself through Jesus’ death? Indeed he did. Moreover, not only was his name glorified, there was even a special voice from heaven to announce that it had already been so and would be so again.

God’s name had already been glorified in Christ, for the voice from heaven spoke of the past. Where do we see that past glory? For one thing, in the incarnation. For that, there must be praise to God. The incarnation is the greatest of all mysteries, that the great and holy God of the universe should so take up the cause of his sinful and rebellious creatures that he should become one of them, becoming like them so that they might become like himself. On the occasion of the incarnation the angels did well to sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Moreover, there are the years of quiet ministry in Nazareth as the One who once ruled angels now learns to do a humble carpenter’s work, to know poverty, to be a friend of sinners, to be despised and rejected by those who would have considered themselves important.

Pass on to the cross and beyond that to the first Easter morning, and find there a glory that was yet to come. Jesus had been crucified. To many, the dream seems over. The disciples are scattering. But then the great name of God is glorified again as God breaks the bands of death that bind his Son and sends him forth to empower his weak disciples to the task of world mission. Soon many believe, and in this God is glorified.

Finally, the day will come when Christ will return in glory to judge the living and the dead and to set up his kingdom, and in this God will be glorified. Indeed, in that day the angels who sang at the birth of the Savior will again sing, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever” (Rev. 5:13).

When We are Troubled

What heights there are in that resolution and prayer, “Father, glorify your name.” But now we must step down from the rarefied atmosphere of this third heaven to make this practical in our own earthly environment. It is easy to do. We read that the soul of Christ was troubled. Well, is our soul ever troubled? Is it likely to be troubled in the days ahead? What are we to do in such circumstances? What are we to do when relatives die? When sickness strikes? When we lose our job? When enemies abuse us and friends fail to understand? What shall we do?

We learn from the Master, who when his soul was troubled breathed this prayer, “Father, glorify your name.” In other words, if I must lose my health, glorify your name by my sickness. If I must lose my wealth, glorify your name by my poverty. If I must lose my good name, glorify your name by my humiliation. If I must lose my life, glorify your name by my death and send the resurrection.

There is power in that prayer. Look at it a word at a time. The first word is “Father.” Anguish is ameliorated, trouble is transformed when we can address God as “Father.” We see this in children. A number of years ago when our middle daughter was very small, my wife and I and a group of friends were in Granada, Spain, on a hot afternoon. Earlier we had been up to see the Alhambra, that great monument to Moorish art and culture; but now we were in the bustle of the old city making our way around the great cathedral to a covered market on the other side. There were more adults than children on this particular trip, so there always seemed to be one adult holding each child’s hand. Yet suddenly, there we were in the marketplace with the realization that our middle child was missing. Quickly we retraced our steps and at last found her where we had been blocks away. Apparently she had become preoccupied with something and we had gone on, thinking that she was with us. When she noticed that we were gone she had begun to cry, as well she might. For she was lost in a large and frightening city, and there was no one able even to try comforting her in her own language. I got to her first, and at once she came to me, calling out, “Daddy!” She had already stopped crying, and the word “Daddy” was a cry of relief that she had been found.

We may be lost in this world with not a friendly face in sight. We may not know which way to turn. The circumstances may be hopeless. Yet if we will only catch a glimpse of our heavenly Father, though the circumstances remain exactly the same there is a sense in which they will nevertheless be entirely changed, for we will not be lost anymore. And we need not say more. For when we have said, “Father,” we have said all that really needs to be said.

The next words are, “Glorify your name.” How blessed we will be if we can say those also. “Your name!” The difficulty is that we often substitute my for your and mean “my name,” or at least, “your name and my name together.” We want God glorified, but not at our expense or in a way that is not that which we would choose personally.

Ralph L. Keiper illustrates this from his own experience. He was born with very bad eyesight and consequently was greatly handicapped during his years of study for the ministry. He fretted about it and, I suppose, like Paul asked many times that the thorn might be taken away. One day, as he was sitting in the library trying to study, the Holy Spirit began to speak to him. He said, “Keiper, what is the chief end of man?”

Keiper was a student of theology, so he certainly knew the answer to that. He replied, “That’s easy. That’s the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

“And is that your chief end?” the Holy Spirit prodded.

“Of course,” said Keiper.

At this point, according to Keiper, the Holy Spirit got a bit discourteous. “Which would you rather have,” he asked, “perfect eyesight or the privilege of glorifying me?”

This time the young student did not answer so quickly. But at last he said, “There is no comparison. The only possible answer is the privilege of glorifying your name.”

“Then,” said God through the Spirit, “why worry about the means I have chosen to have you glorify it?”

In Me

Finally, if you have followed me and have prayed the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ this far, I wonder if you can also add one more thing, to make it inescapably personal. Add the words “in me” or “in my body.” Pray, “Father, glorify your name in me; glorify your name in my body.” I have biblical warrant for asking you to do this; for, in this form, the words are almost the exact words of the apostle Paul as he reflected on the circumstances of his imprisonment in Rome in writing to the Philippians. He wrote of his hope “that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20).

Think of what had happened to Paul. He had planned a trip to Rome as a free ambassador of the gospel. He had hoped to have been well received and to have been furthered on his way by the prayers and gifts of the Roman Christians. Instead, there had been an abrupt arrest and imprisonment. There had been a two-year confinement in Caesarea. This was followed by perils at sea, a shipwreck, landing on Malta, another journey by sea, and then the long walk to the city of Rome—in chains, in the company of the condemned. Believers had gone out to meet him, as they would have gone out to meet any great celebrity, and for a time Paul had a degree of liberty in his own rented house in Rome. But then circumstances changed. He must have been confined more closely, for in time the Christians even forgot his whereabouts. We know this because when Onesiphorus arrived in Rome to see Paul, no one seemed able to tell him where Paul was, and it was only after considerable searching that this faithful brother found him (2 Tim. 1:16–17). Paul witnessed in prison, and some of the guards began to believe, with the result that the gospel spread into the courts of the emperor. When word of this got back to some of the Christians in the city, they became jealous and soon began to make trouble for Paul. I believe that it was as the result of this trouble that Paul was eventually executed. These were Paul’s circumstances. Yet in spite of them Paul rejoices that God will be glorified in him, whether by his life or his death.

That should be our prayer also. If we have difficulty praying it—as we naturally do—we can be helped by the secret of the surrendered life that Paul offers in the next sentence of his Philippian letter. It is: “For me to live is Christ.” To live is Christ! Christ! May that be true of us! If it is, then we will be able to endure either joy or sorrow, sickness or health, bane or blessing, to see him glorified.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 38–40). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 945–950). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.