Daily Archives: August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


Top News – 8/7/2017

Has Rabbi Schneerson been resurrected?
Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, a leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, died in 1994. But some of his followers claimed he was the Messiah and would eventually return from the dead. Now, Zev Porat, a Messianic Jewish Rabbi who preaches the Gospel, claims just such a movement is underway in his homeland of Israel.

Mexico preps for hurricane as Tropical Storm Franklin gathers strength
Mexico issued a hurricane watch as Tropical Storm Franklin organized near the Yucatan Peninsula and headed westward toward the mainland. On Monday morning, Franklin’s center was about 285 miles east-southeast of Chetumal, Mexico, and moving at about 10 to 15 mph.

As short sellers target Chinese companies in Hong Kong, hostility mounts
Short sellers are increasingly targeting Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies they allege have committed accounting tricks, market manipulation and fraud. And that’s despite mounting hostility faced by investors who bet against stocks. This year, there have been nine campaigns by short sellers against Hong Kong-listed companies as of mid-July, a record for the period, according to data from Activist Insight.

Aide turned state’s witness: ‘I did not rat out Netanyahu’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, who turned state’s witness on Friday, told his associates that he did not turn his back on Netanyahu, and that he does not believe his actions were criminal…“It is not that I broke the law with Netanyahu and now I am looking for a way to blame it on him so I can get away with it.

China media stress limits to North Korea sanctions, slam U.S. ‘arrogance’
Chinese state media on Monday stressed the limits of new United Nations sanctions on North Korea, and also slammed the United States for its “arrogance”, saying Washington needed to understand it also has a role in lessening tensions. The United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday that could slash its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

Japanese people practising nuclear attack drills
So far this year North Korea has carried out 14 missile tests, all of them fired towards the coast of Japan. Now for the first time in more than 70 years villagers along the north-west coast of Japan are being ordered to take part in air raid drills.

Russia aims to cut dependence on U.S. payment systems – RIA
Russia will speed up work on reducing its dependence on U.S. payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency in response to U.S. sanctions, RIA new agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Monday. “We will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U.S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

Hackers now target more than one bank every week with 89 being hit last year
Computer hackers carried out at least one cyber-attack against banks and other lenders every week last year. Figures from the Financial Conduct Authority, the City watchdog, showed there were 89 attacks against firms it regulates last year, compared with five in 2014. The massive surge came as the country’s biggest banks were accused of covering up the threat to customers in an attempt to protect their reputations.

Spurred by Trump, States Battle Sanctuary Cities
…A growing number of proposed state laws designed to crack down on sanctuary cities are putting local leaders in those municipalities on the defensive, forcing many to fight off measures they say could cripple their crime-fighting abilities and threaten economic growth.

Artificial Intelligence will lead to the human soul, not destroy it
Elon Musk famously equated Artifical Intelligence with “summoning the demon” and sounds the alarm that AI is advancing faster than anyone realizes, posing an existential threat to humanity…In fact, in a purely physical world, fully-realized AI should be recognized as the appropriate outcome of natural selection; we humans should benefit from it while we can. After all, sooner or later, humanity will cease to exist…

Australia, Japan, U.S. call for South China Sea code to be legally binding
Australia, Japan and the United States on Monday urged Southeast Asia and China to ensure that a South China Sea code of conduct they have committed to draw up will be legally binding and said they strongly opposed “coercive unilateral actions”. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China should establish a set of rules that were “legally binding, meaningful, effective, and consistent with international law,”…

To Ascend the Mount, or Not, That is the Question
Last week, a record number of Israelis visited the Temple Mount. According to some sources, more than 1,200 Jews entered the holy site to mark the fast of Tisha b’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the Temple. Hundreds more were not allowed in because, unlike Muslims, Jews can enter the Temple Mount for only four hours a day through a single gate equipped with metal detectors.

Stones thrown at Israeli Police near Temple Mount
Three Arab Israelis were arrested on Sunday evening for throwing stones at police officers near the Chain Gate of the Temple Mount compound in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Tillerson: US to respond to Russia’s ouster of diplomats
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the U.S. will respond by Sept. 1 to Russia’s move to make a major cut in American diplomatic staff in response to former President Barack Obama’s decision to expel Russian diplomats for Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

North Korea vows ‘thousands-fold’ revenge in response to United Nations sanctions
North Korea vowed Monday to strike the U.S. with “thousands-fold” revenge after the United Nations imposed new sanctions in response to a recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch from the rogue regime. The dictatorship’s official KCNA news agency described the recent sanctions as “crimes” that were a “violent violation of our sovereignty” and a “heinous plot to isolate and stifle” the communist country.

PA Hysterical Over Possibility of Israeli Seat at UN Security Council
“Sanctions should be imposed on Israel and it should be prosecuted for its crimes, not chosen as member of the Security Council,” Majdalani said.

China Considering Military Action Against India: Report
Two combative articles published in China’s state-run Global Times newspaper have raised fears of military clashes in the disputed Doklam region that lies at the junction between China, Bhutan and India.

The Stock Market Keeps Breaking New Records While Mainstream Media Focuses on ‘Chaos’ Mainstream media news broadcasts have been mostly silent on the stock market’s historical milestones that have occurred during the first few months of the Trump presidency.

Pruitt: Obama EPA ‘Failed’ to ‘Protect the Environment’ Following Devastating Colorado Gold King Mine Spill
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt visited the site of the devastating Gold King Mine spill in Colorado that spilled 3 million gallons of contaminated mine water into the Cement Creek and Animas River, saying the Obama EPA “failed” at its mission to protect the environment.

McMaster Worked at Think Tank Backed by Soros-Funded Group that Helped Obama Sell Iran Nuclear Deal
White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster served at a UK-based think tank financed by a controversial, George Soros-funded group identified by the Obama White House as central in helping to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public and news media.

Illinois Makes “Barack Obama Day” State Holiday
Former President Barack Obama got a special present for his birthday this year: his very own holiday. According to NBC Chicago, on Friday Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a measure to designate Aug. 4 as “Barack Obama Day” across the state. The holiday will be celebrated each year on Obama’s birthday beginning in 2018.

Judge Jeanine Posts Epic Rant: “[Dems] Lie, Steal, Cheat And Continue To Get Away With It”
“Hillary Clinton’s case needs to be brought to a grand jury immediately.  She needs to be prosecuted for destroying and concealing subpoenaed property and the emails.” “I don’t wanna hear ‘Hillary’s a good woman,’ she’s not!  While we play by the rules they lie, steal, cheat and continue to get away with it.  Because we let them.”

The Briefing 08-07-17

Richard Dawkins event cancelled over criticism of Islam. Why the double standard?

Insecurity of atheism on full display as China bans religion for Communists

Searching for legitimacy in a secular age, couples turn to retired New York judges

The post The Briefing 08-07-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Male cosmetics counters could hit department stores in five years, L’Oreal boss says

According to The Telegraph:

Male make-up counters could become a reality within five years, the UK boss of L’Oreal has said, as it is no longer a taboo for the “selfie generation”.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Vismay Sharma, the cosmetics giant’s UK managing director, said that demand for make-up among men was growing fast.

Speaking about the industry as a whole, he said male-targeted counters in department stores and drug stores could be a reality in “five to seven years”.

According to Mr Sharma taboos are changing and make-up is becoming more accepted for men among what he describes as the “selfie generation”.

View article →

The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion

NOTE: This ministry is not supportive of movements that are based on signs and wonders and that promote Postmillenialism. —OTM

A Christian movement characterized by multi-level marketing, Pentecostal signs and wonders, and post-millennial optimism.

Their movement, which Christerson and Flory called “Independent Network Charismatic” or “INC” Christianity, has become one of the fastest-growing faith groups in the United States. Apostles like Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, and Ché Ahn claim millions of followers. They’re also aided by an army of fellow ministers who fall under their “spiritual covering.”

View Article

Why Does The Left Hate Us So Much?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Ever since I decided to run for Congress, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about how divided our nation is.  Donald Trump has become the most hated person in America, earlier this year a gunman tried to kill as many Republican members of Congress as possible at a baseball field in Virginia, and the mainstream media is fueling more hatred for conservatives on a daily basis.  I think that I was more than a bit naive in thinking that I wouldn’t be caught up in all of this when I decided to run for public office.  It has only been about a month, and so far I have been slandered repeatedly, my wife and daughter have been called all sorts of names, and even our faith has been attacked.  I have never seen the left so energized in my entire lifetime, but meanwhile those of us that are trying to move the United States in a more conservative direction are facing an uphill battle when it comes to raising funds.  If you believe that people like me should be running for Congress, I hope that you will support my campaign financially.  Since there is no incumbent running in my district, the race is completely wide open, and if I raise enough money I will win because I have the strongest message by a very wide margin. (Read More…)

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan Ominously Warns That The Biggest Bond Bubble In History Is About To Burst

Are we right on the verge of one of the greatest financial collapses in American history?  I have been repeatedly warning that our ridiculously over-inflated stock market bubble could burst at any time, but former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan believes that the bond bubble actually presents an even greater danger.  When you look at the long-term charts, you will see that an epic bond bubble has been growing since the early 1980s, and when it finally collapses the financial carnage is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen before. (Read More…)

August 3, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — In the time period of 2007-2008, two journalists – Trevor Loudon, a blogger from New Zealand, and America’s Survival President Cliff Kincaid – tried to interest the public and the media in what they considered the story of their lifetimes. It was how a first-term largely unknown Senator from Illinois was a covert communist with backing from Russia who was poised to win the presidency of the United States. But the “fake news media” were not interested in the facts about then-Senator Obama, or the security risk he posed that would polarize and destabilize a nation – – and they covered up the story of Obama’s communist mentor, suspected Soviet espionage agent Frank Marshall Davis. Here, for the first time in print, is how Loudon and Kincaid unraveled the story of America’s first Marxist President. Kincaid says, “The smoking gun evidence of Barack Hussein Obama’s deep personal relationship with suspected Soviet espionage agent and Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis is the real Russia-gate scandal.”… (more)

August 3, 2017
BRYAN FISCHER — The Founders frequently cited outside authorities in their public political writings to support, amplify, and confirm their positions. Of all these outside citations, 34% came from the Bible. The source cited next most frequently, Montesquieu, clocked in at a mere eight percent. There is simply no historical argument against the proposition that our new nation was founded on principles articulated in the word of God…. (more)

August 3, 2017
GARTH KANT — The entire Russia collusion story was a fiction made up by intelligence chiefs who lied about President Trump, and lied to President Obama and the media, according to a person on a just-released audio recording who is almost certainly legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh…. (more)

August 3, 2017
ALICIA POWE — Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh appears to have dropped a bombshell in audio released Tuesday – – pointing out that the DNC emails obtained by WikiLeaks stopped pouring in after the mysterious murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich in 2016…. (more)

August 3, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A heated behind-the-scenes debate is playing out among high-level Trump administration advisers over whether the president should declare Iran in violation of the nuclear accord reached under his predecessor, President Barack Obama…. (more)

August 3, 2017
LIAM CLANCY — Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake penned an opinion piece for Politico deriding President Trump and the new populist, nationalist movement that propelled the GOP into the White House. In Flake’s piece, titled “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump,” the senator lays out a list of grievances against the president…. (more)

August 3, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal judge Tuesday shot down the latest attempt to derail President Trump’s voter integrity commission, saying there wasn’t enough evidence that Americans’ rights are being violated by the request for voters’ information. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth even seemed to chide the lawyers for Common Cause, an activist group that sued the commission, when one of them claimed they fear Mr. Trump will find a way to get at voters’ data even if states refuse…. (more)

August 3, 2017
BILL FEDERER — “There are but 155 years left … at which time … the world will come to an end,” wrote Christopher Columbus in his book “Libro de Las Profecias,” composed in 1502 between his third and fourth voyages…. (more)

August 2, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — More than a dozen retired generals and admirals have signed a letter to President Trump thanking him for his announced policy to ban transgender people from the armed forces…. (more)

August 2, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law told a group of congressional interns that the Trump campaign couldn’t have colluded with Russia because the team was too dysfunctional and disorganized to coordinate with a foreign government…. (more)

August 2, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve Christopher Wray as the new FBI director Tuesday, with both Republicans and Democrats expressing confidence he will lead an independent bureau and shield his investigators from political interference…. (more)

August 2, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — God “absolutely” approves of everyone – – including homosexuals – – declared one of America’s most well-known evangelical pastors The Houston megapastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen, whose followers include the likes of Cher and Oprah Winfrey, is hitting the talk-show circuit to promote his new book, “Break Out! 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life.”… (more)

August 1, 2017
CBN — A spiritual awakening is underway at the White House. Some of the most powerful people in America have been gathering weekly to learn more about God’s Word, and this Trump Cabinet Bible study is making history…. (more)

August 1, 2017
REUTERS — U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he spoke to President Donald Trump by phone about healthcare reform on Monday and told the president he thought Trump had the authority to create associations that would allow organizations to offer group health insurance plans…. (more)

August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Top conservatives challenged President Trump on Monday to revoke the special $12,000 Obamacare subsidy members of Congress receive each year courtesy of taxpayers, saying the best way to force lawmakers back to the bargaining table is to force them to fully obey the struggling law…. (more)

August 1, 2017
NEWSMAX — Anthony Scaramucci might have lost a plum job as White House communications director after only 11 days, but things are as bad for him as they look on paper: His alma mater has listed him as dead in its updated directory…. (more)

August 1, 2017
BOB UNRUH — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has had trouble pulling his GOP ranks together for almost any issue lately. True, the senators did approve Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, but on Obamacare and a number of other issues they’ve had difficulty reaching unanimity…. (more)

August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A Republican congressman is calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to resign from his role leading the Russia investigation, citing the investigator’s friendship with former FBI Director James B. Comey. Rep. Trent Franks said Mr. Mueller’s relationship with Mr. Comey should make him ineligible to lead a probe of Russian interference in the presidential election and any possible coordination with the Trump campaign – – the investigation includes whether the president fired the FBI director in an effort to undermine the investigation…. (more)

August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Sen. James Lankford, Oklahoma Republican, on Monday confronted ABC News for labeling the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom as an alleged “hate group,” saying that disagreeing on the issues “isn’t the same as hate.” The network stoked outrage on the right with its July 12 online article headlined, “Jeff Sessions addresses ‘anti-LGBT hate group,’ but DOJ won’t release his remarks,” which referred to the designation used by the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center on its “hate map.”… (more)

July 31, 2017
WES VERNON — America needs to get its priorities straight. Picture this nightmare: Ex-President Barack Obama did (and out-of-office continues to) do his best to bring down America. Unlike other ex-presidents who had the courtesy to go home after their time in office was at an end and get out of their successor’s way, Mr. Obama moved himself and his family into a mansion in a toney neighborhood in Washington, D.C. where he – – not satisfied with the damage he inflicted during the eight years the voters entrusted him the highest honor America can offer – – is now well-situated to undermine President Trump. He’s like the rude house guest who never goes home…. (more)

July 31, 2017
ALAN KEYES — Recently, I read a column at WND by Lindy Daniel that proclaimed, “Diversity is not a strength in this country. In fact, it is difficult to find diversity as a strength anywhere. Let’s get real. Diversity is a weakness.” The author goes on to claim that diversity is at the root of practically all conflict and divisiveness, the cause of all wars…. (more)

July 31, 2017
WALL STREET JOURNAL — Anthony Scaramucci has been removed from his position as White House communications director, just 10 days after his appointment to the post. Scaramucci, who is nicknamed “The Mooch,” was removed at the urging of former Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who was sworn in as White House chief of staff Monday morning. Mr. Kelly is seeking to impose more discipline in the White House, two administration officials said…. (more)

July 31, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — After their health care bill collapsed in spectacular fashion last week, Republican congressional leaders insist they won’t make the same mistakes with tax reform, the other big-ticket promise they made to voters, and to which they will turn next…. (more)

July 31, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Dozens of U.S. counties might not have any plans to choose from on Obamacare’s insurance exchanges next year while consumers with options face double-digit rate increases in many places – – putting Congress to choose among bipartisan fixes to the program, doubling down on repeal or following President Trump’s advice to “let it implode.”… (more)

July 31, 2017
NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump must show leadership by “washing out” Anthony Scaramucci’s mouth “with a bar of soap” and escorting him “personally off the White House grounds,” Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats said…. (more)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Aug. 7, 2017

An America First Immigration Policy

While leftists debate a poem about “huddled masses,” two senators introduce a very smart bill.

The Foundation

“If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send … lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, talk by the hour? That … lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.” —Thomas Jefferson (1821)

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 08/05/2017

Concerns Raised as Photos Resurface of Hillsong’s Hipster ‘Pastor’ Carl Lentz Slamming Shots With Justin Bieber   Jul 31, 2017 06:53 pm

Photo Credit: AKM-GSI/BackGrid Following word that Justin Bieber has cancelled the remainder of his “Purpose” tour, as well as unconfirmed reports that the pop star has “rededicated his life to Christ,” concerns are being raised as to what kind of spiritual influence Hillsong hipster Carl Lentz has been on the singer. Since earlier this year, photos…

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Russian Ringleader of ‘Blue Whale Suicide Game’ Sentenced to Three Years Behind Bars   Jul 30, 2017 06:00 am

MOSCOW — One of the ringleaders of the “Blue Whale Suicide Challenge” in Russia has been sentenced to three years behind bars after admitting his involvement in the suicide attempts of two teenage girls. Philipp Budeikin, 22, told police following his arrest that he thought he was ridding society of those he considered to be “biological waste.” “There are…

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Mayor Defies Atheist Group’s Demands, Vows to Keep Bible Verse on Courthouse Wall   Jul 31, 2017 10:27 am

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. – After receiving a complaint letter from a prominent atheist group, the mayor of a Tennessee county says he has no plans to remove a Bible verse inscription from his county’s courthouse and hopes instead to add an additional verse to the building’s walls. On June 30, attorney Rebecca Markert with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From…

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U.S. Department of Justice Files Legal Brief Declaring Title VII Does Not Include Homosexuality   Jul 29, 2017 12:00 pm

Photo Credit: Department of Justice WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an amicus brief declaring that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not pertain to homosexuality. “The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” it wrote. “It does not, as has been settled for…

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Homosexual Advocates Protest Church After Woman’s Membership Revoked for ‘Marrying’ Lesbian Partner   Aug 02, 2017 10:55 am

CHICAGO — An estimated two dozen homosexual advocates who profess to be Christian protested outside of a Chicago church on Sunday after a woman’s membership was revoked because she “married” another woman. “Her grandmother was a member, her mother was a member, and she was a member for 30 years. All of this ended last week because she made the decision to…

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‘Let Your Baby Live’: Video of Nine-Year-Old Girl Pleading Outside Abortion Facility Goes Viral   Aug 02, 2017 12:41 pm

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A video of a nine-year-old girl pleading with expectant mothers as she positioned herself outside the window of the waiting room of an Indianapolis abortion facility has gone viral. “I’m a nine-year old and the voice of your baby right now: ‘Don’t kill me. Save me. Let me live. Let me see the world. Let me see what it can bring. Let me…

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School District Settles With Abortion Abolitionist Teens Told by Vice Principal to ‘Go to Hell’ With Aborted Babies   Jul 30, 2017 08:27 am

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. — A school district in Pennsylvania has agreed to an out-of-court settlement to ensure that free speech is protected on the public sidewalks surrounding its schools. The district had been asked to issue an educational memo to employees of Downingtown STEM Academy after the vice president of the school yelled and cursed at two teenage abortion…

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Residents Banned From ‘Commentary Regarding Islam or Muslims’ During Town’s Mosque Hearing   Aug 04, 2017 06:02 am

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A lawsuit has been filed challenging a settlement agreement that bans residents in a New Jersey town from making remarks about Islam or Muslims during an upcoming public hearing centering on the forthcoming construction of a mosque. The Thomas More Law Center has filed suit on behalf of a family that lives within 200 feet from where the…

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‘I Felt Like God Was Telling Me to’: Walmart Cashier Brings Foster Mom to Tears in Paying for Her Groceries   Aug 01, 2017 08:06 pm

NEWCASTLE, Okla. — A Walmart cashier is crediting the leading of the Lord after he paid for a foster mother’s groceries when some items wouldn’t go through on her new WIC card. Nicholas Tate, 22, a student at Austin Bible Institute, was working at the Newcastle Walmart recently when a woman came through his line with three children. “The two little girls were…

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UK Prison Worker Barred from Chapel Services for Quoting Bible on Homosexuality Loses Appeal   Aug 04, 2017 06:01 am

CAMBRIDGESHIRE, U.K. — A Christian prison worker in the U.K. who was barred from participating in chapel services after quoting a Scripture that references homosexuality has lost his appeal, as an Employment Appeals Tribunal was not convinced that he had suffered discrimination. The tribunal concluded that the policies at HMP Littlehey, a prison for sex…

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ZeroHedge Frontrunning: August 7

  • Futures slightly higher after Dow’s record run (Read More)
  • Tillerson says U.S., Russia can settle differences (Read More)
  • Hot-Stock Rally Tests the Patience of Value Investors (Read More)
  • ‘Good Conservative’ Grassley Ramps Up His Panel’s Trump-Russia Probe (Read More)
  • Brands Strike Back: Seven Strategies to Loosen Amazon’s Grip (Read More)
  • Oil slides from nine-week highs as market looks to OPEC (Read More)
  • BlackRock, Vanguard Say Bond Market’s Got This Trade All Wrong (Read More)
  • Bond Bears Balk at ‘Trade of Decade’ (Read More)
  • Samsung scion Lee fights back tears as prosecutors seek 12 years’ jail (Read More)
  • Cyber threats prompt return of radio for ship navigation (Read More)
  • De Blasio Pushes for Tax on the 1% to Fund New York City Subway Fix (Read More)
  • Libor’s Demise Creates a Mortgage Mystery (Read More)
  • Big Oil’s Dream of $65 Billion Hidden Off Norway Is Fading Away  (Read More)
  • Tesla Goes From Zero to 100 in Three Months (Read More)
  • Penalties Against Wall Street Are Down Sharply in 2017 (Read More)
  • This American Town Was Left to Die, and Suddenly Economists Care (Read More)
  • Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera (Read More)
  • U.K. Economy Suffers After Consumer Spending Slumps Again  (Read More)
  • Kenyans stockpile food, police get first aid kits ahead of vote (Read More)
  • Buffett Nears a Milestone He Doesn’t Want: $100 Billion in Cash  (Read More)
  • Why the World’s CEOs Fear Paul Singer (Read More)
  • StanChart CEO says Gulf rift puts Dubai finance hub at risk (Read More)
  • Police Push Tracking for Civilian Drones (Read More)
  • Australia finds U.S. military aircraft that crashed off northeast coast (Read More)
  • Inside the Secret World of Global Food Spies (Read More)

Featured Blogs

Top Headlines – 8/7/2017

Jordan’s King calls on U.S. to support ‘Palestinian issue’

Abbas: Jerusalem al-Quds is Palestine’s eternal capital

Report: Hamas accepts unity deal with Fatah

Palestinian Officials: Israel Peace Talks Are a Nonstarter While Netanyahu Under Criminal Investigation

Aide turned state’s witness: ‘I did not rat out Netanyahu’

With indictment in question, Likud members come out swinging for Netanyahu

66% of Israelis say Netanyahu should quit if indicted – poll

Netanyahu to speak at UN same day as Trump

US T-shirt company sells swastika design as ‘symbol of love and peace’

Some 1,000 Jewish visitors pray at Joseph’s Tomb in PA-controlled city under heavy IDF escort. Nine terrorists nabbed in Judea and Samaria.

In first, court revokes citizenship of Arab Israeli car-ramming attacker

Police car firebombed in East Jerusalem, no injuries

Averting a Third Lebanon War – Hezbollah’s missile buildup, facilitated by Lebanon and Iran, is forcing Israel’s hand

Despite Trump claim, Lebanon fighting alongside, not against, Hezbollah

US special forces on the ground in Lebanon

Why Israel Is Concerned About American-Russian Understandings on Syria

War-Crimes Prosecutor, Frustrated at U.N. Inaction, Quits Panel on Syria

Syrian army takes last IS-held town in Homs

Afghan official: Taliban kill 30 locals in northern province

Islamist Spies Infiltrating the West to Terrorize Christians

Church attacked in southern Nigeria; at least 11 killed

Dozens killed in ethnic violence in eastern Congo

France opens terrorism probe into knife-wielding man who shouted “Allahu Akbar” at Eiffel Tower

Minnesota mosque explosion ‘deeper and scarier’ than threats, director says

Minnesota governor denounces mosque bombing as ‘dastardly, cowardly’ hate crime

Report: Iranian soldier opens fire at air base, kills 3

Iran’s Space Program Emerges from Dormancy

Hassan Rouhani takes oath for second term with swipe at Trump

US, Russian envoys to discuss Ukraine soon – Lavrov

Tillerson: US to respond to Russia’s ouster of diplomats

Russia ready for more engagement with US, despite sanctions

‘This is a war’: Trump goes on offensive to spread distrust of Mueller investigation

U.S. Justice Department not looking to charge journalists for leaks: official

Russia Will Overshadow Trump’s Presidency Unless He Takes Action

Pence denies eyeing presidential bid amid distance with Trump over Russia

Trump talks to South Korean president, tweets he’s ‘impressed’ about UN’s North Korea sanctions vote

N. Korea slams UN sanctions, rejects nuclear negotiations

Trump administration ‘not playing around’ on North Korea

Tillerson doubles down as China takes new hard line on North Korea

North Korea must halt missile tests for talks with US to occur, Tillerson says

N. Korean missiles add urgency to Hiroshima A-bomb appeals

China media stress limits to North Korea sanctions, slam U.S. ‘arrogance’

China says sanctions needed on North Korea, but not final aim

China Considering Military Action Against India: Report

China’s web users fear losing tools to bypass ‘Great Firewall’

Military Base Attacked in Venezuela as Video Calls for Rebellion

‘Barack Obama Day’ Is Now an Illinois Holiday

Chicago to sue over ‘misguided’ sanctuary city warning

The Stock Market Keeps Breaking New Records While Mainstream Media Focuses on ‘Chaos’

Beneath the glow of stock-market records, darkly bearish trends are lurking

Saudi Arabia Builds Cities in the Sand to Take Economy Past Oil

‘Mark of the beast?’ Microchipping employees raises apocalyptic questions

Artificial Intelligence will lead to the human soul, not destroy it

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits the Southeast Indian Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Georgetown, Saint Helena

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano in Russia erupts to 18,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

Pacific Storm Tracker: Shifty typhoon Noru could drench Kanto Plain

Tropical Storm Franklin forms in Caribbean, heads for Mexico

Tulsa tornado injures nearly 30, knocks out power to thousands

Tulsa storms leave dozens injured as floods submerge parts of Kansas City and New Orleans

‘It was like a mini-Katrina’: Shaken New Orleanians overwhelmed by Saturday’s sudden flooding

New Orleans floods as downpour overwhelms city pump stations

Torrential storms dump up to 5 inches of rain in KC area, causing flash flooding

Global Ocean Circulation Appears To Be Collapsing Due To A Warming Planet

Toxic waste from U.S. pot farms alarms experts

Bloodied Melbourne teen ‘eaten’ by mystery sea creatures

Australia’s ruling party meets to resolve gay marriage rift

Drag Queen Storytime comes to Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System

One military that has no problem with transgender soldiers: Israel’s

Do transgender rights trump women’s rights? The Left needs to decide

Male cosmetics counters could hit department stores in five years, L’Oreal boss says

Psychologists say more and more young people are entitled

Chuck Baldwin – Christian War Fever

Sonny Hernandez – Christians Stop Elevating the Constitution Over The Bible

Anthony Wade – The Tithing Lie of Blessed and Cursed Money

This is Not That: An Analysis of John Crowder’s “The New Mystics”

92-year-old Jimmy Carter leads Bible study, says… Jesus was a failure

Man Banned From Releasing Undercover Videos From Abortion Convention Appeals to US Supreme Court

California Law Forces Pregnancy Centers to Promote Abortions

Kris Vallotton Says Conviction is the Holy Spirit Reminding You How Awesome You Are

Mythbusters: “Slain in the Spirit” What does the Bible really say?

FCC Pays Billion Dollars to Religious Broadcasters

Robbing God, Literally: 1 in 10 Protestant Churches Experience Embezzlement

Atheists ‘appalled’ by White House Bible study

Scientists Finally Read The Oldest Biblical Text Ever Found

Wisconsin Can’t Force Christian Photographer to Work Gay Weddings, Court Announces

Residents Banned From ‘Commentary Regarding Islam or Muslims’ During Town’s Mosque Hearing

Ethiopian Christian Attacked With Machetes for Evangelizing

Is Juanita Bynum Lying? – ‘Prophetess’ claims degree from school that doesn’t exist

JD Hall Confronts False Prophet, Jim Bakker in Branson Missouri

Pastor Jamal Bryant Denies Stalking NYC Woman Who Filed Restraining Order, Rep Says

The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion – NAR attempt to re-brand itself as the INC

Morris Cerullo – Televangelist’s planned resort gets a major redesign but wailing wall still there

Joel Hunter to step down from Orlando megachurch

Daughter of CRI Founder Defends Hank Hanegraaff Amid ‘Fake News’ Charges That He Stole CRI Presidency

Lesbian Mom Loses Effort to Have Christian Judge Removed From Divorce Case

Was the Lost Home of the Apostles Just Found?

Posted: 07 Aug 2017 06:17 AM PDT

Archaeologists think they may have found the lost Roman city of Julias, the home of three apostles of Jesus: Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). A multi-layered site discovered on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, is the spot, the team…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

A Million Muslims Filled the Streets to Hear About Jesus in Heart of Radical Islam

Posted: 07 Aug 2017 06:11 AM PDT

In an era where terrorists often target Christians and radical Islam is tainting peace-loving Muslims, one brave Christian evangelist is building bridges in places so dangerous, most travelers have written them off. Well-known Bible teacher and evangelist Marilyn Hickey believes those dangerous places are fertile territory for planting seeds of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea vows attack on America as Kim Jong-un demands ‘justice’ for Donald Trump

Posted: 07 Aug 2017 05:58 AM PDT

North Korea has threatened “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States for banning exports worth $1billion following its intercontinental ballistic launches. Crackpot leader Kim Jong-un is demanding “justice” over Donald Trump’s attempts to “isolate and stifle” his country with ban on exporting coal, iron, lead and seafood. The tough new U.N….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Unconventional Ways God Supernaturally Provides for His People

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 05:01 PM PDT

(By Kyle Winkler) Perhaps you’ve heard the popular parable about the man stuck on his rooftop during a flood. After he prayed to God for help, a man in a rowboat came to offer to take him to safety. But the stranded man declined the offer by shouting back, “No…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Fears Of Yellowstone Super-Volcano about to BLOW after 1400 Earthquakes

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:45 PM PDT

Yellowstone volcano has been struck by 1,400 earthquakes in recent weeks, leading to fears that the supervolcano is ready to blow and WIPE OUT life on Earth. Seismic activity around the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, US, is not uncommon, but the heaviest swarm in half a decade has people…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea threatens to ‘end the US’ as UK warns nuclear provocations could be ‘catastrophic’

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:28 PM PDT

North Korea has threatened to “end” the US in its latest war-mongering rant. State-controlled media slammed America’s recent decision to fly two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula.  The B-1 bombers were escorted by South Korean fighter jets as they performed a low-pass over an air base near the South…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mysterious craters blowing out of Russia could mean trouble for the whole planet

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:22 PM PDT

In northern Siberia, rising temperatures are causing mysterious giant craters — and even more dire consequences could be in store, say climate scientists. The Russian province’s long-frozen ground, called permafrost, is thawing, triggering massive changes to the region’s landscape and ecology. It could even threaten human lives. “The last time we saw…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Did A Novelist From The 1800s Warn Us In Advance That Donald Trump Would Be ‘The Last President’?

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:15 PM PDT

ATTENTION: The following article does not reflect the personal views or opinions of End Time Headlines (By Michael Snyder) I am about to share with you one of the strangest things that I have come across in a very long time.  In the late 1800s, author Ingersoll Lockwood wrote a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What Happens When People Taste the Afterlife in Near-Death Experiences?

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 04:07 PM PDT

(By Ivan Rudolph) Have you ever had a near-death experience (NDE)? The sort where you physically died and found yourself “somewhere else,” no longer inhabiting your dead body? If you did, you may have had a taste of the afterlife—and may have been fortunate enough to recall this fact. You…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Signs in Sky Reveal America as ‘Covenant’ Nation, says ‘Blood Moons’ Discoverer

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 01:01 PM PDT

The discoverer of the “Blood Moons” phenomenon says God is sending a message to the church – and all people need to do to see it is look skyward. The Boston Globe recently reported the path of the upcoming total solar eclipse which will cross the United States on August 21 will overwhelmingly…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Bright fireball streaks over Seattle, Washington

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:57 PM PDT

A widely observed bright fireball streaked over the states of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, US and British Columbia, Canada at around 04:53 UTC on July 30, 2017 (21:53 PDT on July 29). As of 14:39 UTC on August 4, there are 843 witness reports submitted to the International Meteor Organization…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Planned Parenthood: Teach your preschoolers ‘their genitals don’t determine their gender’

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:48 PM PDT

Apparently, children as young as 4 are not too young to be told that gender and sex are different and that their genitals don’t indicate their gender, according to new Planned Parenthood guidelines for parents. On a page of its website titled “How do I talk with my preschooler about their body?”…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DAYS OF LOT: Transgender Man Trystan Reese Gives Birth to Baby

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:44 PM PDT

A transgender man has given birth to a healthy baby boy called Leo. Trystan Reese, from Portland in Oregon, was born female but started taking hormones nearly 10 years ago. He and his husband Biff Chaplow have been providing online updates during the pregnancy. Leo, who was born after 30…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Human Brains Grown in lab Could One Day be Used to Repair Alzheimer’s Damage

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:39 PM PDT

Tiny human brains are being grown in the laboratory by British scientists who say they could one day be used to repair damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The miniature organs are being made from human skin cells, which are transformed into neurons and 3D printed into clusters so that they…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Outrage after Synagogue in Australia Banned over ‘Extremist Threat’

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:35 PM PDT

Australian authorities have banned the construction of a synagogue in the Sydney suburbs, citing a potential terrorist attack threat. The step has been labelled “anti-Semitic” and some said it means terrorists “have already won.” The appeal against the initial decision to refuse construction of the synagogue was rejected on Wednesday by the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Technology Now in Place for Bible’s ‘Mark of the Beast’

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:23 PM PDT

Technology in place for Bible’s ‘mark of the beast’ A company in Wisconsin, Three Square Market, has introduced a “voluntary microchipping” program for employees, with just under half its workers participating. The company claims it is the first use of this technology in the United States and proponents assert it will allow…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

First Time in Millennia, Priests Trained to Enter Holy of Holies

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:16 PM PDT

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….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Typhoon “Noru” leaves at least 2 dead and 9 missing, Japan

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:08 PM PDT

A slow-moving Typhoon “Noru” approached the Japanese mainland on Sunday, August 6, 2017, leaving on its way at least 2 people dead and forcing authorities to issue evacuation advisories for at least 210 000. By early August 6 (UTC), Noru has been a typhoon for 13 days, which made it…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DISTRESS OF NATIONS: Military Base Attacked in Venezuela as Video Calls for Rebellion

Posted: 06 Aug 2017 12:05 PM PDT

Armed men in military uniforms and camouflage released a video early Sunday morning calling for Venezuelans to rebel against President Nicolás Maduro after his party established an all-powerful assembly meant to secure its grip over the country. Around the same time, a military base was attacked in the state of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is The Gospel?

Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him:


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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The Seismic Shift in Christ’s Teaching

Matthew 13:3Luke 8:5–8

Code: B170807

One very busy day near the end of Jesus’ second year of public ministry, the whole character of His teaching changed. The continual rejection of His teaching by hostile Pharisees triggered a massive and sudden shift. He stopped preaching straightforward sermons peppered with key prophetic texts from the Old Testament. From that point on, whenever He taught publicly, He spoke in parables.

While parables can help illustrate and explain truth to anyone who listens with an hear of faith, their primary biblical function is to conceal truth from unwilling and unbelieving auditors—by neatly wrapping the mysteries of Christ’s kingdom in familiar symbols and simple stories. This is not an incidental point. It was Jesus’ own declared purpose to “utter things hidden.” Everything He taught from that day forward would be concealed from everyone except those with ears to hear.

Christ’s First Parable

Jesus marked that monumental transitional moment with a story that would have been immediately familiar to everyone within earshot. In fact, from his location on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, his audience might have been able to view a scene that matched precisely what Jesus was saying:

“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:5–8)

No one would be mystified by the story itself. For Jesus’ actual listeners, living in an agricultural society, this was everyday life. But beneath the familiar expressions lay profound truths still concealed from the casual listener.

Jesus’ oft-repeated words, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” reveal that most of his listeners did not understand His teaching. Luke 8:9–10 picks up the story at that point:

His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’”

The Parable of the Sower, as it is popularly known, is a simple story whose meaning on the surface is not the least bit mysterious. But following the narrative of the story isn’t the same as understanding its relationship to the kingdom of God. The true significance of what Jesus is teaching is not immediately obvious. The parable needs to be explained.

Well-Known, But Not Well-Understood

Jesus urged His hearers to investigate the true meaning of the parable. That is made clear by a statement in the second half of Luke 8:8: “As He said these things, He would call out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear’”—implying that as He told the parable, He stressed more than once the need to pay attention, listen with a believing heart, and look beyond the surface for the true meaning.

In fact, that Luke 8:5–8 is commonly known as the Parable of the Sower highlights why it needs careful explanation—the story isn’t about the sower. As the Lord explained to His diligent hearers (Luke 8:11–15), the parable is a timeless pattern for New Testament evangelism. While the truths are not overly complex, failure to properly understand and apply the parable has spawned no end of pseudo-evangelistic mischief.

In spite of the simplicity of Christ’s explanation, the church has managed to consistently convolute the message. Scripture is clear about Christ’s evangelistic theme, and the meaning behind the seed, the sower, and the soils. Where the church often errs is in viewing each component as a variable that can be altered to create different results—an interpretation that departs from the Lord’s explanation, and, as we’ll see next time, utterly upends the biblical perspective on evangelism.



Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170807
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CultureWatch: Dawkins, the Left, Religion and Free Speech

It was inevitable: the left warring against itself. When you have a whacko ideology filled with so much PC craziness and so many things that you can get offended by, sooner or later there was going to emerge some jarring inconsistencies and internecine warfare.

There are just too many fundamental contradictions at play within the left for this not to happen. For example, I and others have long noted the insanity of the left defending to the death both Islam and homosexuality. Um, Islam hates homosexuality, so which is it?

Who ya gonna run with here? The left is trying to placate both groups of course, but that is just a recipe for disaster and cannot last long. And when Muslims get into power the first ones to go will be these useful idiots. They will not for a moment preach love and tolerance to homosexuals and their leftist supporters.

dawkins 6Another area where we see these internal contradictions bursting at the seams is the secular left’s love affair with Islam, while it proudly hates on all things Christian. Usually when it blasts religion, it simply has Christianity in mind. The left seldom blasts Islam like it does Christianity.

And uber-atheist Richard Dawkins has long been a case in point here. He may have railed against religion, but overwhelmingly his focus has always been on Christianity. His The God Delusion for example was not one long, drawn-out rant against religion in general, but against Christianity in particular.

However, reality has a way of crashing in, and even die hard ideologues like Dawkins are forced to change their tune – at least somewhat. As a case in point, by now most of you would have heard of how Dawkins was scheduled to give a talk for a radio station in Berkeley.

It seems that the lefties at the radio station did not like his “tweets and other comments on Islam” and so the whole thing was cancelled. Hmm, so here we have Dawkins, the darling of the secular left all of a sudden being blacklisted by the secular left. Why? Because he dared to criticise Islam.

Ha, gotta laugh at that one. Dawkins was of course taken aback by all this. He complained, “I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?”

Yes, a good question. It seems the radical left is not really anti-religion. It is just anti-Christianity while at the same time quite pro-Islam. And of course the left always used to be the champion of free speech. But over recent times this has hardly been the case – just the opposite in fact.

It now routinely bans speakers, shuts down meetings, and attacks others who dare to have a different point of view on things. So now they are even attacking and censoring their own. What a hoot. Yet the radio station actually defended this act of censorship:

“The KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins’s views much earlier. We also apologize to all those inconvenienced by this cancellation.”

Dawkins replied by saying that the decision was “truly astonishing.” He continued: “I have criticized the appalling misogyny and homophobia of Islam, I have criticized the murdering of apostates for no crime other than their disbelief. Far from attacking Muslims, I understand – as perhaps you do not – that Muslims themselves are the prime victims of the oppressive cruelties of Islamism, especially Muslim women.”

And at the same time all this was happening, another bit of reality seems to have hit Dawkins. As one news report states:

Last week, during London’s Pride parade, members of Britain’s Council of Ex-Muslims (CEMB) were asked by police to lower signs that read “Allah is gay” while completely ignoring signs saying “Jesus is gay”. CNS News reports that in addition, signs that read “God is Gay”, “Jesus had two fathers” and numerous others mocking the church attracted no complaints by police. Yet, police attempted to remove signs saying “Allah is gay” for causing offense.

Christians of course were quick to point out the glaring double standards of all this. Said the CEMB: “The only reasons our signs are seen to be ‘provocative’ are because criticism of Islam is deemed to be impermissible, because there is the constant threat of violence by Islamists against ex-Muslims but also dissenting Muslims and others in order to silence and censor, and because criticism of Islam and Islamism is erroneously conflated with an attack on Muslims,”

But even Dawkins joined in the criticism, labelling this as “hypocritical”. Yeah it sure was hypocritical, and it is nice of him to start waking up to the fact that for the left, there is always an ongoing set of double standards running along nicely.

Now that he has experienced this himself, he might be a bit more discerning in the future as to how bad religion is, and/or how some are clearly better than others. Lumping all faiths together when some are definitely far worse, less humane, more violent, and less democratic is just not all that rational.

Elliot Kaufman has recently written about all this, asking what has become of the new atheists. He begins:

Organized religion’s shallowest critics made the mistake of blasting Islam along with Christianity, and the Left crucified them for it. On Friday, it became official: The New Atheists are no longer welcome on the left. Battered, condemned, and disinvited, these godless and once-favored “public intellectuals” are now homeless, spurned by their erstwhile progressive allies.

He continues:

Dawkins is in good company. His New Atheist compatriots, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, had already been expelled from the party. In both cases, insufficient deference to Islam was the proximate cause. Hitchens remained a committed socialist, but felt a war on Islamic terror and autocracy was needed. For this, he was denounced as a “neocon.” Harris is a liberal, straight and true, but drew the ire of Reza Aslan for refusing to except Islam from his broad critique of religion. “Islam is not a religion of peace,” Harris often says. In fact, he thinks it’s just the opposite. For that, everyone from Glen Greenwald to Ben Affleck has cast him as an Islamophobe and a bigot. That means that three of the much-acclaimed “Four Horsemen” of New Atheism have been turfed from the left for extending their critique of religion to Islam. The fourth is Daniel Dennett, who also criticizes Islam. The only actual philosopher of the bunch, he is far too boring and ponderous to be noticed, let alone denounced, by anyone. In his place, one can add Bill Maher, a popularizer of New Atheism who has also been barred from Berkeley over criticism of Islam. One by one, these men have been excommunicated from the Left.

Kaufman reminds us that “The New Atheists have long harbored an irrational fear of Christianity, but Christophobia doesn’t worry the Left. Combatting Islamophobia, however, is a progressive priority, and so it is noticed and addressed when it strikes.”

His concluding words are spot on:

None of this New Atheist silliness bothered the Left so long as it flattered the right tribes and battered the wrong ones. It was only once the New Atheists extended their critique of religion to Islam that progressives began to turn on them. Muslims, though largely right-wing before the War on Terror, had become a “marginalized group.” Seen as the victims of Western colonialism, neoconservative aggression, and day-to-day discrimination, they became a part of the coalition of the oppressed, which is to say, they became virtuous. Islam, consequently, became a faith and tradition deserving of respect, not a “mind virus” like Christianity, busy infecting fools. As such, attacks on Muslims or their faith not only appeared to be “punching down” at the innocent, but also became attacks on the left itself. The New Atheists, merely by being consistent and focusing on the most-egregious religious intolerance, in effect surrendered their sophistication and, in the Left’s eyes, joined the ranks of the bigoted, reactionary Right. There is just one problem: We don’t want them either.

Yep, great to see the left imploding like this. These guys certainly deserve it.


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The post Dawkins, the Left, Religion and Free Speech appeared first on CultureWatch.

The felt-needs gospel is no Gospel at all

From Berean Research:

Have you ever fallen for a feel-good gospel that ministers to your ache for feeling special, or longing for admiration from a god who dances over you and thinks you’re the apple of his eye? What about sermon messages or books that help you look deeply into your past pains, or prayers that ask God for visions of His dream for your future?

Unfortunately, many churches, conferences and Christian program materials are designed to meet the felt needs of the sheep, ultimately focusing on themselves rather than a risen Savior, or using Him as a means to an end. Today we feature our guest blogger Grace Scott, who has researched the dangers of a so-called Felt-Needs Gospel, which is really no gospel at all:

The “Felt Needs” Gospel                                                        Guest post by Grace Scott

We must be aware of men (and women) who are influencing the next generation to have a low view of sin. We as moms, dads, pastors, grandparents, and youth leaders, need to protect them from the subtle but false teaching that pervades much of American Christianity in the form of a “felt needs” Gospel. The premise is that ministering to “felt needs” will predispose seekers to the gospel message. However, having “felt” needs met promotes a low view of God, an erroneous view of sin, and can actually hinder understanding of the Gospel message.

Bill Johnson, Mike BickleBrian HoustonJoyce Meyer, and Christine Caine are very well-known and written about as examples of false teachers with a global platform.

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Source: The felt-needs gospel is no Gospel at all

August 7, 2017: Verse of the day


The Terror Of The Father

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. (17:5–6)

A third confirmation of Jesus’ deity was the terror caused by the intervention of the Father while Peter was still speaking. Through the form of a bright cloud God overshadowed the three disciples and spoke to them in a voice out of the cloud. To the testimony of the transfiguration itself and the testimony of the two Old Testament saints was now added the surprising testimony of God the Father.

Throughout the wilderness wanderings of Israel the Lord manifested Himself through “a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way” (Ex. 13:21; Num. 9:17; Deut. 1:33). Isaiah predicted that “when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy” (Isa. 4:4–5). In his vision of the last days John “looked and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped” (Rev. 14:14–16).

Out of such a bright cloud the Father overshadowed Peter, James, and John, and spoke to them in an audible voice, … saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” The Father spoke almost identical words at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:17), and during Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem-but a few days before His betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion-the Father again publicly and directly declared His approval of the Son (John 12:28).

In calling Jesus His Son, the Father declared Him to be of identical nature and essence with Himself (cf. John 5:17–20; 8:19, 42; 10:30, 36–38). Scripture frequently refers to believers as children of God, but they are adopted children, brought into the heavenly family only through the miracle of His grace (Rom. 8:15, 23; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). Jesus is the essence of divine nature, as the apostles repeatedly emphasize (see Rom. 1:1–4; 2 Cor. 1:3; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; Col. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 John 1:3; 2 John 3).

In calling Jesus His beloved Son, the Father declared not only a relationship of divine nature but a relationship of divine love. They had a relationship of mutual love, commitment, and identification in every way.

In saying, “with whom I am well-pleased,” the Father declared His approval with everything the Son was, said, and did. Everything about Jesus was in perfect accord with the Father’s will and plan. Compare John 5:19; 8:29; 10:37–38; 12:49–50.

Then, directly addressing the three disciples, perhaps Peter in particular, God said, “Listen to Him!” He was saying, in effect, “If My Son tells you He must go to Jerusalem to suffer and die, believe Him. If He tells you He will be raised up on the third day, believe Him. If He tells you to take up your own cross and follow Him, that is what you are to do. If He says He will come again in glory, then believe Him and live accordingly.”

The outspoken, brash Peter and his two companions now knew they stood in the awesome presence of Almighty God. As would be expected, when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. Peter was probably so utterly traumatized that he promptly forgot about his presumptuous suggestion to build the three tabernacles.

The combined awareness of the Lord’s grace and His majesty, His love and His justice, His friendship and His lordship should cause a kind of spiritual tension in every believer. On the one hand he rejoices in his loving fellowship with the Lord because of His gracious kindness, and on the other hand he has reverential fear as he contemplates His awesome holiness and righteousness. As the believer walks in obedience to God, he experiences the comfort of His presence. But as he walks in disobedience, he should feel the terror of that same presence. Proverbs declares that spiritual wisdom begins with the fear of God (Prov. 9:10).

Sinful men in the presence of a holy God always want to hide. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had uninterrupted fellowship with God, but after they sinned the relationship was vastly changed. When “they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, … the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8). When Isaiah beheld the divine majesty and glory that surrounded the heavenly throne, he cried out in great fear, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isa. 6:5). As he stood in the presence of perfect holiness, the sense of his own utter sinfulness overwhelmed him. Daniel was likewise terrified when the Lord spoke directly to him after his vision of the ram, goat, and little horn (Dan. 8:15–17).[1]

5 The “cloud” is associated, in both the OT and intertestamental Judaism, with eschatology (Ps 97:2; Isa 4:5; Eze 30:3, Da 7:13; Zep 1:15; cf. 2 Bar. 53:1–12; 4 Ezra 13:3; 2 Macc 2:8; b. Sanh. 98a) and with the exodus (Ex 13:21–22; 16:10; 19:16; 24:15–18; 40:34–38). Of the synoptists, only Matthew says that the cloud was “bright,” a detail that recalls the Shekinah glory. The latter eschatological associations (Lk 21:27; 1 Th 4:17) show Jesus in his role as the one who succeeds Moses, the eschatological prophet; the former associations (Ps 97:2 et al.) assure us that Jesus is the messianic King whose kingdom is dawning. But as Liefeld (“Theological Motifs,” 170) points out, common to both sets of passages and to others as well is the more fundamental idea of the presence of God.

It is uncertain whether epeskiasen means “enveloped” (NIV) or “overshadowed” (cf. Ex 40:35). What the Voice from the cloud says is largely a repetition of 3:17, an apparent mingling of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1, stressing that Jesus is both Son and Suffering Servant. This is the high point of the narrative (cf. S. Pedersen, “Die Proklamation Jesu als des eschatologischen Offenbarungsträgers,” NovT 17 [1975]: 241–64). (Mark omits the allusion to Isa 42:1; but both Matthew and Luke, not to mention 2 Pe 1:17, attest the connection in different ways; cf. Gundry, Use of the Old Testament, 36–37.) But if Matthew 3:17 identifies Jesus, this verse in its context goes further and places him above Moses and Elijah.

The additional words “Listen to him”—an allusion to Deuteronomy 18:15—confirm Jesus is the Prophet like Moses (Dt 18:15–18; cf. Ac 3:22–23; 7:37). This does not mean Jesus is another prophet of Moses’ stature but the eschatological Prophet patterned on Moses as a type; for, as Liefeld has suggested (“Theological Motifs,” 173), Moses’ primary role here is typological, whereas Elijah’s, not explained until vv. 9–13, is eschatological. As Moses’ antitype, Jesus so far outstrips him that when Moses is put next to him, men must “listen” to Jesus, as Moses himself said. The climax of biblical revelation is Jesus, the Son and Servant whom God loves and with whom God is well pleased. Even Moses and Elijah (the Law and the Prophets) assume supporting roles where he is concerned. This confirms our interpretation of 5:17–48; 11:11–15.[2]

17:5. Peter’s offer was interrupted by the appearance of the Father himself. There is a connection between the cloud’s appearance and the Father’s voice and Peter’s offer to build the shelters. Matthew says the cloud enveloped them while he [Peter] was still speaking. God recognized Peter’s good intention in wanting to honor Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, but he corrected Peter’s misperception by elevating his Son above the others.

In addition to Jesus’ dazzling transformation and the appearance of Moses and Elijah, the awesome display drew to its climax as the cloud of the Shekinah glory came down and the voice of God spoke from the cloud.

The cloud was bright, with the same glory that shone from Jesus, face and clothes, reminding us of the cloud of God’s presence during Israel’s wanderings (Exod. 13:21–22), and his indwelling of the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34–38) and the temple (1 Kgs. 8:10–13).

The Father’s words were identical to those spoken at Jesus’ baptism (3:17, see comment there), with the addition of Listen to him (the Greek present imperative, which means “keep on listening” or “always listen”). When the Father affirmed Jesus as his Son, the disciples gained a better idea of Jesus’ true identity—the glorious and suffering Messiah. When the Father expressed his love for his Son, the disciples had a more complete idea why Jesus was pleasing to the Father. He had been and would be obedient to the Father, even to death.

The command to the disciples was “Listen to him,” elevating the word of Jesus above the words of Moses and Elijah. Indeed, Moses himself commanded God’s people to heed the prophet “like me” who would come (Deut. 18:15). This reminds us of Jesus’ repeated challenge, “He who has ears, let him hear” (11:15; 13:9, 43). The disciples had heard all of Jesus’ teachings, but the “ears” of their hearts were not fully open to the meaning of what had been revealed to them.[3]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 17:3–5). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 438–439). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 269–270). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.