Daily Archives: August 21, 2017

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

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BLOOMBERG

In a few hours, the first total eclipse of its kind in 99 years will plunge broad swaths of the U.S. into darkness, sending solar supplies sliding and testing the resilience of the power grid for the first time since the rapid rise of renewable energy.

Ten sailors are missing and five were injured after the USS John S. McCain collided with a petroleum tanker near Singapore on Monday, the second crash in a matter of months.

Donald Trump will make a prime-time speech about Afghanistan and South Asia on Monday as he looks to get his presidency back on track following the departure of chief strategist Stephen Bannon and a week of tumult over his response to white-nationalist violence.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned North Korea not to use his nation’s latest round of annual military drills with the U.S. as an excuse for any further provocations.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp., a theme-park operator with 20 locations across North America, has taken down its Confederate flags.

The U.S. said its slashing visa services in Russia after the Kremlin ordered it to cut two-thirds of staff at its embassy and consulates as relations between the former Cold War rivals spiraled.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer officially started a probe into China’s intellectual-property practices, less than a week after President Trump asked him to consider the move.

President Vladimir Putin has appointed a former deputy defense minister as Russia’s new ambassador to the United States. Anatoly Antonov, a deputy foreign minister and former deputy defense minister, is seen as a hardliner regarding the U.S.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven called for people to stand up against the growing threat of Nazism and white-power movements to protect democratic values.

Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy.

One study, released two years ago, looked at consumer credit data over 15 years and found that the higher the year-end credit score, the likelier the person was to form a romantic relationship over the next year.

China unveiled guidelines for debt-to-equity swaps in October, part of measures to trim the world’s biggest corporate debt loads. The idea was that healthy firms would use the program to cut interest-bearing borrowings, while bloated companies would be shunned. But it hasn’t always worked out that way, even as the total value of swaps reached 776 billion yuan ($116.3 billion) in the second quarter when volumes jumped to a record.

AP Top Stories

Police put up scores of roadblocks across northeast Spain on Sunday in hopes of capturing a fugitive suspect from the 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged two vehicle attacks and plotted much deadlier carnage using explosives favored by Islamic State militants.

Eight people were arrested at a “Free Speech Rally” in Boston that organizers said “fell apart” after it as dwarfed by a counter-protest against white nationalism. About 30 people attending the rally huddled on Boston Common’s bandstand, their words drowned out by more than 10,000 counter-protesters. The two sides were kept more than 50 meters apart by fencing and police.

A 25-year-old U.S. citizen has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico, an unusually large seizure for what is still a novel technique to bring illegal drugs into the United States, authorities said Friday.

Elon Musk is leading demands for a global ban on killer robots, warning technological advances could revolutionize warfare and create new “weapons of terror” that target innocent people.

A Philippine Catholic leader said Sunday that church bells would be rung every night for three months across his northern district to raise alarm over a sharp spike in police killings of drug suspects, adding to a growing outcry over President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody crackdown.

The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against an Islamic State enclave on the northeastern border with Syria, as the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier.

Three Lebanese soldiers were killed and one was critically wounded on Sunday when their armored vehicle hit a landmine on the Lebanese-Syrian border, a security source said.

Border Patrol agents at a Texas checkpoint found 60 people hiding in a refrigerated tractor-trailer on Saturday.

The Trump administration’s decision to reverse a ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in some of America’s most famous national parks, such as the Grand Canyon shows “the corporate agenda is king and people and the environment are left behind”, campaigners have said.

BBC

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar began his three-day visit to Canada by taking part in the Montreal Pride Parade. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s first gay PM, attended Sunday’s event with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau.

The head of the Philippines Catholic Church has criticised the government’s bloody campaign against drugs.

Dozens of so-called Islamic State (IS) militants are reported to have been killed in a Russian air strike near the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour.

WND

As the school year kicks off in many places across the country it coincides with a very real and explosive situation taking place in America’s streets that speaks directly to the decline of history in this country. Following the terrible events in Charlottesville, we are now facing the very real threat of our children not only losing history through lack of education, but through erasure.

Federal authorities are investigating whether sensitive data was stolen from congressional offices by several Pakistani-American tech staffers and sold to Pakistani or Russian intelligence.


The Briefing 08-21-17

Is the left winning? Why America seems to be moving in only one cultural direction

What does a divided America tell us about disappearing political and theological centers?

Partisan divide grows when it comes to abortion, but it’s much more than a partisan issue

The post The Briefing 08-21-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Top News – 8/21/2017

“Democrats were the party of slavery”
Fox News contributor Jesse Watters wants the public to remember that most of the Confederate war heroes were in fact, members of the Democratic Party. Today, that same Party is demanding that statues of Confederate leaders be removed. “Let’s remember that all of these Confederate war heroes were Democrats,” said Waters, “Maybe the Democratic Party wants us to take down these statues so we can forget that it was the Democrats who supported enslaving black people.”

Largest US Islamic Charity, Designated as Terror Group by UAE, Posts Anti-Semitic Social Media
Khaled Lamada, chairman of Islamic Relief’s U.S. branch (IR-USA), has posted anti-Semitic content and publicly expressed support for the Muslim Brotherhood—the parent group of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas—on his social media accounts since 2013.

PA official says China could be ‘honest broker’ in Israel-Palestine talks
A senior Palestinian official told a Chinese newspaper that China could be an “honest broker” between Israel and Palestine, and that the country could have an important role in future peace agreements. China’s Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday that Tayeb Abdul Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian presidency and an aide to President Mahmoud Abbas, had told the outlet in a recent interview that China’s role in future peace negotiations could “help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the two-state solution.”

Israeli Police Stop Soccer Game on Temple Mount Only After Jews’ Request
Israeli Temple Mount policemen stopped on Sunday Arab kids from playing soccer on the Temple Mount only after they were requested to do it by one of the Jewish visitors to the holy site, the Temple Organizations Headquarters reported.

Palestinian Authority threatens to cut all funds to Gaza
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday threatened to gradually cut all funding to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to reconcile with Fatah. He declared his intentions during a meeting in Ramallah with Meretz head Zehava Gal- On, whose office later reported his statement. “We transfer $1.5 billion a year [to Hamas in Gaza],” he said, adding that he had already cut 25% of that amount.

US Navy ship and oil tanker collide near Singapore
Ten US Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after a US destroyer and an oil tanker collided near Singapore, the Navy says. The guided missile destroyer USS John S McCain was sailing east of Singapore and preparing to stop in the port when the collision with the Liberian-flagged vessel occurred. A wide-ranging search and rescue operation is under way.

US-South Korea set for divisive military drills
The US and South Korea are conducting annual military drills which consistently infuriate Pyongyang, despite appeals to halt the exercise. Last week North Korea appeared to back down from a threat to send missiles towards the US Pacific island of Guam, but said it would watch US actions. It has already condemned these drills as pouring “gasoline on fire”.

Syria war: Russian jets ‘destroy IS convoy near Deir al-Zour’
Dozens of so-called Islamic State (IS) militants are reported to have been killed in a Russian air strike near the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zour. Russia’s defence ministry said at least 200 jihadists had died after its air force targeted a convoy of about 20 4x4s, armoured vehicles and tanks. It did not say when the strike took place, but a monitoring group reported that a convoy had been hit last Friday.

Killer robots: Experts warn of ‘third revolution in warfare’
More than 100 leading robotics experts are urging the United Nations to take action in order to prevent the development of “killer robots”. In a letter to the organisation, artificial intelligence (AI) leaders, including billionaire Elon Musk, warn of “a third revolution in warfare”. The letter says “lethal autonomous” technology is a “Pandora’s box”, adding that time is of the essence.

Eclipse spectacle set to grip US public
Skywatchers in the United States are preparing for the spectacular sight of a total solar eclipse. The Moon is set to pass in front of the Sun, casting a deep shadow that will sweep over the nation from Oregon in the west to South Carolina in the east. It is the first such event since 1918 where the path of darkness crosses both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Tech Censorship of White Supremacists Draws Criticism From Within Industry
The debate intensified over whether the…tech companies that blocked white supremacists and a neo-Nazi website on the internet have gone too far, as a prominent privacy group questioned the power a few corporations have to censor…“As [an] internet user, I think it’s pretty dangerous if my moral, political or economic whims play some role in deciding who can and cannot be online,” Matthew Prince, CEO and co-founder of Cloudflare, said…

U.S. scales back visa services in Russia after Putin cuts its staff
The United States said on Monday it was scaling back its visa services in Russia after Moscow ordered it to sharply cut its diplomatic staff… President Vladimir Putin, reacting to new sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress which President Donald Trump reluctantly signed into law, last month ordered Washington to cut diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by 755 people, or by about 60 percent, by Sept. 1.

On Eve of Total Eclipse, Top Five Heavenly Bible Signs of 5777
On the eve of the highly-anticipated solar eclipse, Breaking Israel News took a look back at the biggest astronomical events of the year and what they mean for the Jewish people and the nations.

New Bill Would Require Donald Trump To Undergo Mental Health Evaluation
A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives would require President Donald Trump to undergo a physical and mental health exam to determine if he is stable enough to stay in office.

ASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone “Supervolcano” Eruption, There’s Just One Catch
A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, could actually cause it to blow… triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity.

Video Emerges Showing Clashes Between Indian, Chinese Soldiers
The video, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows many soldiers from the two countries punching and kicking each other and throwing stones.

Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”
“If the Republican Party on Capitol Hill gets behind the president on his plans and not theirs, it will all be sweetness and light, be one big happy family…”

Police uncover gas arsenal at bomb factory as Barcelona mourns
Spanish police said Sunday they had uncovered a cache of 120 gas canisters at a house believed to be the bomb-making factory of suspects in terror attacks that claimed 14 lives, as Barcelona mourned victims of the rampage.

Trump to ‘cut all military aid to Islamic Pakistan’, thinks US is being ‘ripped off’ by muslim nation
I had just about given up on Trump, and then he says this. We can only hope that he will follow through, and not be persuaded by McMaster that all Pakistan needs is a few more U.S. billions to turn it into a reliable ally.

This ‘Mother of Satan’ plot by Islamic terrorists would leave thousands dead
The Barcelona terrorists were plotting a far bigger atrocity – targeting hundreds of innocent victims – using a deadly homemade explosive known as the ‘Mother of Satan’, it emerged last night.

JUST IN: Gun Confiscation Bill Signed Into Law
…The law, SB 719A, allows law enforcement or anyone close to a person to file a gun-stripping petition if they believe the person poses a risk to themselves or others. The petition can be filed against any law-abiding US citizen. In other words, it completely disregards an American’s right to own a gun, or to a fair trial.


After Confederates, Leftists Eye These Targets

According to LifeZette, next on the list will be America’s Founding Fathers, great presidents, and Catholic priests. Edmund Kozak has the story:

In the wake of shocking violence that erupted after far-left and far-right protesters clashed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia the Left has only increased its calls to remove all traces of the Confederacy from American public life.

Critics of these efforts, including President Trump, argue that it isn’t wise to “erase history.” They claim that if we take down Confederate monuments on the grounds that they represent slavery or might be considered “racist” by some people in the modern era, then we open the door to removing far more than just the statues honoring the Confederacy.

View article →


Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites?

On the surface, this looks rather innocuous. It’s presented by Google as an attempt to create a database of hate crimes — information that should be available with a quick Google search, it should be noted. But a quick glance at the list of partners for this project should raise some red flags:

View Article

August 17, 2017
JUDI CALER — There may not be a question more difficult to answer for Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and spokesman for its Convention of States Project (COS), than this: Since the federal government ignores the Constitution as now written, why would it obey an amended Constitution?(more)

August 17, 2017
DAVID HOROWITZ — The tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, could have been an occasion to stop and consider how the tolerance for politically correct violence and politically correct hatred is leading the nation toward civil war…. (more)


August 17, 2017
CHELSEA SCHILLING — The organizer of the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was until recently a Barack Obama supporter and was also a member of the leftist radical Occupy Wall Street Movement, according to a report from a hard-left activist group…. (more)

August 17, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — While the debate rages on about the violence and ideology on display in Charlottesville last Saturday, a prominent black conservative is fuming over the lack of an appropriate police presence to prevent the clashes and says preventing a replay in other American cities likely depends upon the politics of the political leaders there…. (more)

August 17, 2017
BOB UNRUH — The Alliance Defending Freedom is calling out two news organizations in Arizona for making “defamatory” claims copied from the far-left and terror-linked Southern Poverty Law Center. “For the sake of its own integrity and the safety of Arizonans, 12 News and The Arizona Republic should issue an apology to ADF and retract their defamatory stories,” ADF said in a statement Wednesday…. (more)

August 17, 2017
GARTH KANT — Leftists claim they are fighting hate and violence, and they cite the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a prime example. But the evidence indicates the left is actually spreading hate and violence. Those are the conclusions of writers for two prominent left-leaning news outlets, the BBC and the Atlantic…. (more)


August 17, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Members of the national media are disputing President Trump’s decision to blame the “alt-left” for engaging in acts of violence, and many say there is no such thing even though the term has been used for months…. (more)

August 17, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump disbanded two of his economic advisory councils Wednesday, faced with the embarrassing resignations of numerous business leaders amid rising condemnation over his comments about violence at a white nationalist rally and a liberal pressure campaign…. (more)

August 17, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump’s question to reporters on Tuesday about the possibility of tearing down historical monuments has been answered by a Chicago pastor: “It’s time.”… (more)

August 17, 2017
LIAM CLANCY — President Donald Trump has said that “both sides” are to blame for violence at the Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally last weekend, naming the “alt-left” as equally responsible for the violence as the “alt-right.”… (more)

August 17, 2017
TIMOTHY P. CARNEY — Blaming “identity politics” for the bloodshed and chaos in Charlottesville misses the point. It’s like blaming “greed” for the recession or blaming gravity for a plane crash…. (more)

August 16, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A defiant President Trump doubled down Tuesday on his initial claim that activists on both the left and the right were responsible for violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and he warned that eradicating public monuments linked to slavery could diminish the legacies of Founders such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson…. (more)

August 16, 2017
NEWSMAX — Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax TV on Tuesday that both the racist groups who participated in Saturday’s deadly Charlottesville rally, as well as the counter-protestors who clashed with them, must be investigated by the feds because “there are lunatics on both sides.”… (more)

August 16, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — Best-selling author Dinesh D’Souza says there were fascists on both sides of the violence in Virginia on Saturday and he posits that Democrats and their allies in the media are now focused on painting all Republicans and conservatives as responsible for the racism that still exists in the United States…. (more)

August 16, 2017
NEW YORK TIMES — Roy S. Moore, a former chief justice of the State Supreme Court, and Senator Luther Strange emerged from a crowded Republican field on Tuesday in a special Senate primary in Alabama, according to The Associated Press. They will face off for their party’s nomination next month in a runoff election, a contest that will test President Trump’s clout in a deeply conservative state…. (more)


August 16, 2017
NEW YORK TIMES — John Curtis, the mayor of Provo, Utah, won the Republican primary on Tuesday to fill the United States House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who resigned from Congress on June 30…. (more)

August 16, 2017
HERMAN CAIN — You want to denounce Nazis? Here you go, America. Don’t tell me again about the moral imperative to denounce Nazis if you’re going to let this slide. As Rob mentioned to me when we were discussing who would write this up, the essence of Hitler’s eugenics program was to filter out children who didn’t have the traits deemed optimal for the Aryan race. Horrifying? Obviously. You’d have a fit if they started aborting babies for having brown skin, or – if there was some way you could tell – for being gay. And you should have that fit…. (more)


August 16, 2017
LITE SITE NEWS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed today a bill to restrict state funding for abortion insurance. The new law will keep Texans from having to pay for elective abortions through their insurance plans…. (more)

August 16, 2017
LEO HOHMANN — A 46-year-old man identified as Hussein Hassan attacked a police officer in Kennewick, Washington, over the weekend with a large sword, striking at the officer’s head before he was shot and killed…. (more)

August 15, 2017
INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW — President Donald Trump is reported to be “seriously considering” pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently found guilty of criminal contempt after refusing to follow a judge’s order to stop profiling suspected illegal immigrant drivers…. (more)

August 15, 2017
WES VERNON — That kid who rammed his car into a crowd that was protesting a racist rally in Charlottesville will likely get the chair. Assuming he first gets to state his case before the bar of justice, he will meet his just desserts in this world and the next. Never mind that a rally – – even a racist one – – is protected speech, however repugnant. Of course, then you run into the question of inciting to riot. I’ll let the lawyers fight that one out in court…. (more)

August 14, 2017
ALAN KEYES — The headline read “Trump-McConnell smackdown foreshadows fury in 2018 primaries.” But toward the end of the story comes a telling observation: A funny thing just happened on the way to this 2018 showdown, however. While pro-Trump Republicans Roy Moore and Mo Brooks are challenging appointed GOP Sen. Luther Strange in this month’s Republican primary in the special election in Alabama to complete the term of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Strange just won Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement…. (more)

August 14, 2017
Delivering on his promises, decimating the opposition
JOAN SWIRSKY — Hard to know which body is held in lower esteem, Congress or the media. But for a long time, the media thought they were invincible, based largely on their success after forming the JournOlist in 2007 – – a cabal of 400 leftists who vowed to destroy anyone who said a single bad word about the poseur “president” Barack Obama…. (more)

August 14, 2017
NEW YORK TIMES — Brittany Caine-Conley, a minister in training at Sojourners United Church of Christ, arrived in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday morning expecting that there might be violence. She did not expect things to get out of hand so quickly…. (more)


August 14, 2017
WASHINGTON POST — On Saturday afternoon, shortly before her camera captured a car plowing through left-wing activists in Charlottesville, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others, Faith Goldy warned that the left was spinning out of control…. (more)



ZeroHedge Frontrunning: August 21

  • Trump to present vision for U.S. strategy in Afghanistan war (Read More)
  • Trump Struggles to Move Past Bannon, Starting With Afghanistan (Read More)
  • Final Plans Under Way as Solar Eclipse Nears (Read More)
  • Yellen, Draghi Head to Jackson Hole Amid Inflation Unease (Read More)
  • Moscow calls U.S. visa move attempt to stir up unrest in Russia (Read More)
  • Cohn Solidifies Lead in Race to Replace Yellen, Economists Say (Read More)
  • Britain confident of moving onto second phase of Brexit talks (Read More)
  • First Round of Talks to Revamp Nafta Reveals Friction (Read More)
  • Ten Sailors Missing After U.S. Warship Crash Near Singapore (Read More)
  • ADP Rejects Board Nominees From Ackman’s Pershing Square (Read More)
  • Marchionne’s Fiat Review Spurs Great Wall Interest in Jeep (Read More)
  • Sempra Energy Reaches Deal to Buy Oncor After Outbidding Berkshire (Read More)
  • Total Buys Maersk Oil for $5 Billion (Read More)
  • China Banks’ Interbank Lending Falls for First Time Since 2010 (Read More)
  • ‘America First’ protesters face off with opponents at California beach rally (Read More)
  • Texas university removes ‘white supremacy’ statues overnight (Read More)
  • China’s Great Wall confirms interest in Fiat Chrysler (Read More)
  • Imam Emerges as Suspect in Barcelona Attack (Read More)
  • Lebanon foiled suicide bomb attack on Australia-Abu Dhabi flight (Read More)
  • Intel Says New PC Chip Is ‘Once-in-a-Decade’ Performance Boost (Read More)
  • Uber raises Hong Kong fares amid legal tangles (Read More)
  • Your Car Is Now Worth Less Than You Think (Read More)
  • Rosneft, Trafigura close $12.9 billion purchase of India’s Essar Oil refinery (Read More)

Top Headlines – 8/21/2017

Palestinian leader says White House peace efforts ‘in chaos’

Palestinians await ‘clear vision’ from US on peace talks

Israeli opposition says Abbas tried to resume security ties with Israel

Arab foreign ministers proclaim: No peace without two-state solution

Egypt, Palestine, Jordan call for peace talks

PA, Egyptian and Jordanian FMs meet in Cairo ahead of US Mideast visit

Palestinian Authority threatens to sever Gaza electricity

Gazan children get first glimpse of Jerusalem in UN-run tour

Errant gunfire from Sinai hits Israel; no injuries reported

Barcelona’s chief rabbi urges Jews to move to Israel because ‘Europe is lost’

Poll: 1 in 3 UK Jews considered emigrating over anti-Semitism

Michigan man sentenced to probation for threatening to kill children and Jews

Oregon highway overpasses eclipsed by anti-Semitic banners

Israel-Russia relations sour over Sobibór memorial exclusion

Israel, Hamas, Egypt indirectly cooperating against IS

‘Grave concern’ in Israel in light of US positions on Syria

PM Netanyahu to meet Putin over Iranian presence in Syria

Assad says Western plot to topple him foiled, praises Iran’s support to Syria

Syria’s Assad says war still not won but West’s plots foiled

Syria president rejects security cooperation with West

Syria war: Rocket ‘hits Damascus trade fair’

Russia steps up probe into attack claimed by Islamic State

Bomb planted by IS kills 3 Lebanese soldiers

Brits who risked their lives to fight ISIS say they return home only to be accused of terrorism

Spain sets up 800 checkpoints in Catalonia in manhunt for Barcelona suspect

‘Mother of Satan’ TATP found in Spain bomb factory

Spain hunts van driver as larger gas attack plot comes into focus

Barcelona terror: Manhunt for suspected van driver expands to France

Spanish town struggles to reconcile locals as jihadist cell

Spain attacks: The imam who ‘ate up the brains’ of youths

Trump to address nation on Afghanistan

Video Emerges Showing Clashes Between Indian, Chinese Soldiers

Trump wants to ‘cut all military aid to Pakistan’, thinks Washington is being ‘ripped off’ by Islamabad: Report

War Games to Begin as U.S., South Korea Brace for North’s Fury

North Korea warns of ‘adding fuel to fire’ ahead of US-South Korea military exercise

North Korea warns of ‘merciless strike’ ahead of US-South Korea drills

10 missing, 5 injured after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker in Pacific

Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”

Missouri Democratic state senator apologizes for hoping Trump is assassinated

New Bill Would Require Donald Trump To Undergo Mental Health Evaluation

Why Your Face Will Soon Be the Key to All Your Devices

Here’s how the solar eclipse could affect the US power grid

Are solar eclipses proof of God?

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near North Island of New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pueblo Nuevo Tiquisate, Guatemala

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Subtanjalla, Peru

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 26,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 13,000ft

A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, could actually cause it to blow… triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity

Nearly 600 dead in S. Asia floods; SLeone toll reaches 441

Hurricane Kenneth powers up in Pacific far off Mexico coast

What’s left of Tropical Storm Harvey has a ‘high’ chance to organize

Taiwan to issue sea warning for Tropical Storm Hato late Sunday

Planned Parenthood Court Fight over Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Could Go to Supreme Court

Pro-life Democrat: Abortion issue may cost seats in 2018

Reno Puts Out the Welcome Mat for Burning Man

Douglas Wilson – Commies, Confederates, or Christ

‘Racism Is Bad,’ Says White Woman Who Oversees Systematic Annihilation Of Minorities – The Babylon Bee uses satire to speak the truth

Jennifer LeClaire Borrows the “Creeper” from Scooby Doo!!

‘Hipster Pastor’ Launches Late-Night Comedy Show ‘Mocking Sin,’ ‘Making Christian Entertainment Not S*ck’

Baptist scholar says Mormonism becoming more Christian

Planned Parenthood is Likely Keeping Some Aborted Babies Alive “Until Their Hearts are Cut Out”

Organization That Murders 200,000 People Of Color Each Year Takes Stand Against RacismThe Babylon Bee uses satire to speak the truth

Sunday Down South: First Baptist Alpharetta, Football, and Fox News

Responding to Criticism Following the Joyce Meyer/Relationship-Religion Heresy Devotional

A Softer Prosperity Gospel: More Common Than You Think

David Daleiden Succeeds in Appeal Surrounding University of Washington’s Baby Body Parts Docs

Darrel B. Harrison – Is the Gospel No Longer Enough for Black Christians?

Mike Ratliff – The Wisdom of God

New Booklet by Warren B. Smith – Shack Theology: Universalism, TBN, Oprah, and the New Age

Pastor accused of sexually abusing girls he met at Fort Worth church

Leah Remini’s Scientology Docuseries Tells Harrowing Stories of Child Labor, Sexual Abuse Cover Up

Oregon becomes first state to offer free abortions for all, including illegal aliens

Texas permanently bans taxpayer funding of abortion

The Coming Eclipse and Last Days Madness

Joyce Meyer Teaching the “Relationship over Religion” Heresy

God’s indeed a good Father–how NAR leaders have twisted a biblical truth

Hillary’s Pastor Plagiarized For Clinton ‘Devotional’ Book

Two-Thirds of Americans Admit They Are Sinners

Down syndrome is disappearing in Iceland not by medicine but by abortion

Brandon Hines – The Dangerous Implications of Ad Populum Arguments

Hillsong tells youth and elderly to tithe or else they’re stealing?

Deeper Life Ministries – A $1 million bayfront house among Tampa bishop’s questionable deals

Iranian Youths Mass Converting to Christianity Despite Islamic Indoctrination, Government’s Efforts

Christians in Yemen Persevering in Midst of Persecution

New Mexico Public School Paints Over Scripture Mural Following Complaint

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 09:40 AM PDT

Officials with a public school in New Mexico quickly agreed to paint over a mural featuring a Scripture citation after receiving a letter from a prominent atheist-led church-state separation group last week. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the Clovis Municipal School District after…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Siberian ‘Cyber-Doctor’ Has 6 Chips Implanted to Open Doors and Store Data

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:50 AM PDT

A Siberian doctor has implanted six microchips under his skin to turn his body into a no-nonsense multi-functional gadget. This has opened quite a few doors for Aleksandr Volchek – including literally. Some of the chips function as swipe cards, letting him into his home and office. Volchek, a Novosibirsk-based…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pastor Warns Eclipse History Reveals America Headed for Judgment

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:43 AM PDT

The day has finally come. Millions will look skyward as a path of darkness cuts across the entire United States for the first time in a century. Some wonder if the rare event has any significance beyond producing awe and wonder. Pastor Mark Biltz, the man who discovered the Blood…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RUMORS OF WAR: North Korea Warns Of “Uncontrollable Phase of Nuclear War”

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:36 AM PDT

North Korea has warned the United States risks starting an “uncontrollable phase of nuclear war” by conducting a joint military exercise with South Korea this week.  Beginning Monday, The United States, South Korea and other nations are taking part in the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises. The exercises are an annual…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Solar Eclipse Drawing Interest in End Times and The Rapture

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:29 AM PDT

Today’s total solar eclipse will be the first for 99 years to cross the US from coast to coast. Many fundamentalist Christians see this as a significant warning of the impending apocalypse, the second coming of Christ and the rapture. The “Great American Total Solar Eclipse” as it is called…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Petition to label Antifa as terrorists hits 100k signatures required for White House response

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 06:04 AM PDT

A call on the Donald Trump administration to officially classify the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization has reached the 100,000-signature threshold for a mandatory response from the White House. The petition was launched on Thursday, August 17, and in just three days, by Sunday evening, topped the minimum of 100,000 signatures…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Can God use the Heavens to Speak to Us?

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 05:56 AM PDT

(By Kelly Mcdonald JR) We do not think much about the heavenly bodies (the sun, moon, and stars) and their special place in God’s creation. I think we tend to overlook it for two main reasons. One, we are so far removed from the Heavenly realm, even though it affects…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Romney Warns of Civil War Unless Trump Apologizes

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 07:34 PM PDT

(By Todd Starnes) Failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took a cheap shot at President Trump – warning that unless he apologizes – the nation could suffer a great unraveling. “Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused  racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

War Games Begin as U.S., South Korea Brace for North’s Fury

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 07:26 PM PDT

A new cycle of escalation on the Korean Peninsula looks set to begin this week when the U.S. and South Korea kick off annual military exercises that have a history of enraging Pyongyang. The long-planned drills follow weeks of belligerent rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea that stoked fears…

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One-Third of British Jews Considering Leaving UK

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 07:14 PM PDT

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) and YouGov say they have accumulated data showing that “one in three British Jews has become so fearful of mounting anti-Semitic crime and the failure to excise anti-Semites from politics that they have considered leaving Britain altogether.” This despite the fact that, as a Sunday CAA press release puts…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: 10 missing, 5 injured after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker in Pacific

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 07:04 PM PDT

Ten sailors are missing and five injured after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, the U.S. Navy said late Sunday. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities, the Navy said. Initial reports indicate the warship…

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PROPHECY WATCH: Embedded Chips Are Paving The Way For Future “Buying & Selling”

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 07:00 PM PDT

Revelation 13:16-17 – He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Coming Solar Eclipse Spawns “Doomsday” Fears

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 06:52 PM PDT

On 21 August, more than seven million people from across the globe are predicted to converge on various cities across the US, as the first total solar eclipse since 1918 to cross the North American continent from ocean to ocean, takes place. Millions are expected to travel far and wide…

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UNRAVELING: College President Warns Of Coming Riots in America

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 06:47 PM PDT

As colleges and universities prepare for the return of students in the coming weeks, one of the few administrators willing to criticize the tidal wave of intellectual intolerance on campus is expecting “a mess” when the new semester dawns. Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper gained tremendous notoriety in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

One Group Is Secretly Smuggling Scripture Into North Korea in a Truly Ingenious Way

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 06:39 PM PDT

Christians in South Korea who are intent on bringing to gospel to residents in neighboring and reclusive North Korea have been working for more than two decades on an innovative plan to do just that.  Known as Operation Dandelion, the effort, which has been unfolding since 1991, involves specially crafted balloons…

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UNRAVELING: Far-Right Protests Leave U.S. Cities Scrambling to Balance Safety, Free Speech

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 06:35 PM PDT

Cities across the United States are seeking ways to head off the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend when white nationalists and neo-Nazis clashed with counter-protesters over the planned removal of a Civil War-era statue. As they step up efforts to pull such monuments from public spaces…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands Sign Petition to Replace Confederate Monument with Statue of Rapper Missy Elliott

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 06:30 PM PDT

The left-wing campaign to pull down Confederate monuments has gone pop, as more than 10,000 people have signed a petition to replace the Confederate monument in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia, with a statue of rapper Missy Elliott. The author of the petition, Nathan Coflin, says Elliott “encapsulates the culture and…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Millions of Americans gather for once-in-a-lifetime eclipse

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 12:49 PM PDT

Twilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years. The sight of the moon’s shadow passing directly…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Powerful Promises In Psalm 103 – Live Prayer and Question and Answer

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 12:34 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this special segment, we join many of our supporters in live prayer as we decree many powerful promises found in the book of Psalms Chapter 103. We also take the time to thank many of our partners and supporters of End Time Headlines. At the end of…

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SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Top 5 Divine Signs From Heaven In Hebrew Year 5777

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:56 AM PDT

As a rare and portentous total solar eclipse approaches the North American continent on Monday, heaven-watchers the world over will hold their breath in anticipation of a divine event written in the skies and reflected in the world of men. The event signals the beginning of the month of Elul, the last…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The ‘Real-Life’ Story Behind Creepy, Demon-Possessed Doll of ‘Annabelle: Creation’

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:48 AM PDT

“Annabelle: Creation,” the cinematic story of a creepy, demon-possessed doll absolutely possessed the box office over the weekend, bringing in an estimated $35,040,000 — an impressive figure that far surpasses some initial predictions. But while the film appears to be based on a pretty improbable story, there are some claims that the Hollywood…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Are These Deceptions Pointing to the Rise of the Antichrist?

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:41 AM PDT

(By Dave Williams) When the disciples asked Jesus about His coming and signs of the end of the age, the first thing Jesus warned them about was the attack on truth that would prevail in the last days: “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matt. 24:4b). Deception is a…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

NASA Attempt To Stop Yellowstone Super-Volcano Eruption Could Trigger Catastrophic Mistake

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:37 AM PDT

A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting could actually cause it to blow – triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity. Brian Wilcox, an ex-member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defence, made the horrifying revelation while discussing a report by the space agency….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Thousands at risk of pig virus from ‘Supermarket X’ sausages

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:31 AM PDT

A leading British supermarket may unwittingly have infected thousands of people with a pig virus that causes liver cirrhosis and neurological damage, say researchers at Public Health England. Hepatitis E (HEV) is transmitted by sausages and pork products from Europe, mainly Holland and Germany. UK pigs do not have the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Megachurch Pastor Quits Trump Advisory Board Over Charlottesville

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:27 AM PDT

President Trump’s business councils may be a casualty of his controversial comments following white supremacist violence in Charlottesville over the weekend—and now a member of his evangelical advisory board has followed suit. Pastor A.R. Bernard announced his official departure from the council Friday night, although he said he stepped away…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Your Face Will Soon Be the Key to All Your Devices

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:17 AM PDT

It was a memorable moment in Pixar’s 2004 classic “The Incredibles,” one that seemed wildly futuristic at the time: Mr. Incredible picks up a wafer-thin tablet computer, and it scans his face to verify his identity before divulging his secret mission. Thirteen years later, many slim phones and tablets unlock with the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Mark Zuckerberg vows to remove all violent threats from Facebook

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:14 AM PDT

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg took to his social network Wednesday to condemn white supremacists and pledged to remove violent threats and posts celebrating hate crimes. “The last few days have been hard to process,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday evening, days after a white supremacist rally in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

RUMORS OF WAR: North Korea warns of ‘merciless strike’ ahead of US-S.Korea drills…

Posted: 20 Aug 2017 10:09 AM PDT

North Korea warned Sunday that the upcoming US-South Korea military exercises are “reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.” Pyongyang also declared that its army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can “dodge the merciless strike.”…

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:

JESUS IS GOD

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!

JESUS IS HOLY

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.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

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).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

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.

JESUS IS LORD

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.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

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.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

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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Are You Teachable? 10 Questions From Psalm 119

School is starting soon. Students are preparing to hit the books again. Some will study to earn a diploma, but no disciple of Jesus Christ graduates from the school of Christian growth. We are all called to learn from Jesus, so now is a good time to ask ourselves: Am I teachable?

My recent study of Psalm 119 revealed a lot about being teachable. As I read it, I found myself asking, Is my heart is ready learn from the Lord?

1. Does God’s Word motivate me to worship?

I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. (Psalm 119:7)

We often have many reasons for studying God’s Word—is worship one of mine? The psalmist says in verse 7 that he wants to learn the Lord’s righteous rules so that he can praise him with an upright heart. He says in verse 12, “Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statues!” The blessedness of the Lord has captured his heart and drives him to study, that he might give God the adoration he deserves.

2. Do I admit when I’m wrong?

Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! (Psalm 119:29)

In verse 26 the psalmist says, “When I told of my ways, you answered me” and then says, “Put false ways far from me” (v. 29). He has opened his heart to the Lord, honestly confessing, and now that the Lord has answered him he is looking for correction from what is false within him. I find it hard to admit when I’m wrong, but it is vital to embrace my limited capacity and value what is right and true over what made sense to me in the past.

3. Do I know my limitations?

Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. (Psalm 119:73)

The psalmist looks to the Lord as teacher because he is his Creator; he knows his dependence is on the Limitless One. While pride seeks knowledge in order to evaluate what is true, a posture of humility asks God for his wisdom and receives understanding with gratitude.

4. Do I believe God can change me?

Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. (Psalm 119:33)

Sometimes we harden our heart to instruction because we lack faith that God can change our desires to do his will. We forget that God has promised to give us both his instruction and the power to carry it out (Jude 24). The Father purposes that through his teaching we may grow and learn to reflect the glory of his Son Jesus, and his purposes always come to pass.

5. Do I know the love of my Instructor?

The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes! (Psalm 119:64)

We will find it a joy to seek and trust the teaching of the one whose love fills the whole earth. Do I believe that God’s love is written all over his good creation? Do I believe that same love comes to me through his Word? When we see and know God’s love intimately, we can say with confidence: “Deal with you servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statues.”


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6. Do I trust the goodness of my Instructor?

You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

The psalmist says to the Lord: “You are good and do good” (v.68). This confidence in the Lord’s goodness helps us navigate the more difficult truths of Scripture, when we may be tempted to stray from them by hardening our hearts. We trust his goodness in trials because we have seen the ultimate display of goodness triumphing in affliction at the cross.

7. Do I value the Word of God as the ultimate source of wisdom?

I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. (Psalm 119:99)

The psalmist is not boasting in himself, but joyfully boasting that the Lord’s wisdom is superior to all of man’s wisdom. He holds up all other instruction to the standard of the Lord’s teaching, not the other way around.

8. Do I ask God questions?

My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” (Psalm 119:82)

The psalmist trusts the Lord, and yet he asks hard questions like, “When will you comfort me?” (v. 82), “How long must your servant endure?” and “When will you judge those who persecute me?” (v. 84). These questions reveal a longing for fulfillment of the Lord’s promises, as well as an honest wrestling with God’s timing.

The world is a confusing place. I struggle to grasp hold of the eternal. But Jesus made the way for me to have a living, transacting relationship with the Author himself — hard questions included.

9. What have I learned from my previous lessons?

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. (Psalm 119:71)

One sign of being teachable is the passing of a test. The good student appreciates tests because he knows they reveal evidence of growth and the need for further growth.

10. Am I a servant?

Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:124)

There is a remarkable tie in Psalm 119 between the psalmist’s desire to be taught and his identity as the Lord’s servant. The sum of the law of God is love — love for God and neighbor — while the ultimate expression of love is death to self for the benefit of someone else. The more we grow in knowledge of the Lord, the more we will seek to serve others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. As an apprentice serves alongside the Master as the trade is taught, so we learn by doing, and as servants of Christ we seek to join in the Father’s work.

While I am not the student I long to be, it’s my hope and peace that only Jesus Christ, my Substitute, served his Father perfectly, even taking the time to learn what he surely already knew (Luke 2:46-52). Because of the cross, I have confidence that my sin has been atoned for and the righteousness required by God is mine in Jesus Christ.

He is my help and my salvation, and his Spirit gives me hope that my soul will one day say, “I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me” (Psalm 119:102).

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The post Are You Teachable? 10 Questions From Psalm 119 appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

An Open Letter to Those Debilitated by Their Sexual Sin

Dear friend,

What do you do when you are still struggling? What do you do when repeated failure, guilt, and shame weigh heavily on your conscience?

Let me begin with a story about a friend of mine. He had come to faith in Christ when he was in his late twenties. As they say, “He had history. He came with baggage.” I’ve never forgotten the way he described his life at the point when Jesus reached him. “If you divided my mental day into a thousand moments, nine hundred of those moments were immoral. I simply lived in a world of immoral images and desires and pursuits and behaviors.” His entire life was steeped in polyamorous, bisexual immorality.

Did his newfound faith immediately bring about a complete change? You know the answer: of course not. But his way of describing the process was particularly vivid. “It wasn’t as though I went from nine hundred immoral moments down to zero. But nine hundred went to seven hundred. And seven hundred became five hundred, and five hundred became two hundred, and so on. It was very hard to think that seven hundred out of a thousand meant progress! But it was. It was huge progress, and even though I was still failing, Christ was changing me.”

Jesus knows the kinds of people he has chosen to save.

He grew. Eventually, by the time I knew him, he was significantly changed—but still not perfect. And he lived with a daily awareness that, “I’m still vulnerable in the area of sexual temptations. I can never think I’m home free and will never struggle.” But he had entered into the long walk of discipleship, the patient, persistent obedience in the right direction, walking under the mercy of the Lord.

What sustained him for ups and downs of the long walk? I’ve never forgotten his words. “Early on I learned something that I’ve never forgotten. I had to presume that Christ loved me. Jesus knew the kind of person he had chosen to forgive and save. He who had begun a good work in me was committed to one day bring me to completion. I relied on the fact that his mercies for me truly are new every morning—I lived in that promise of Lamentations 3:22–24.” Christ’s love for him was the given on which his life depended. He could daily seek Christ’s mercies for what he needed that day: forgiveness from the Lamb, strength from the King, protection in the Refuge, guidance under the Shepherd’s hand.

Step by step by step by step he was moving toward the light. His long, hard fight was wrapped up in the mercy of Christ to him. It is the same for all of us, whatever our particular struggle—sexual immorality, anger and bitterness, fears, addictions, self-righteousness. Jesus knows the kinds of people he has chosen to save. We can seek him, and we will find him true and good for the long haul. My friend was honest, no secrets before God. He was honest to confess where and when he struggled. He was honest with friends, who helped him to seek and find the God who promises many mercies. He was honest in asking help from other people: accountability and prayer, counsel and conversation with brothers. He rebuilt a life that had good in it. He learned to treat both men and women as holy brothers and sisters, rather than as sexual objects.

Here’s an old metaphor about how a Christian fights against darkness. Envision your mind as a room. When sin reigns, that room is filled with dark thoughts, dark actions, and deceptive people who mean you no good. So how do you get darkness out of the room? There are two ways that you fight. First, you stand up to the darkness, expelling it from the room, learning to directly say no to evil. And second, you fight the darkness by filling the room with light. There’s no room for the darkness when the room is filled with worthy actions, true thoughts, and constructive people. When Christ enters the room, he is patiently committed to teach us to say no to what is wrong and yes to what is merciful and good. My friend began to care for other people, rather than using them as objects of his lust.

One of the actions that proved most helpful to him was getting involved in discipling teenage boys. (Pedophilia was not one of the sins he had indulged in.) They were entering adolescence and puberty in a hypersexualized world. At the same age that evil had trapped him, he could help to protect them from going down a self-destructive path. Serving others in need also helped him by filling the room with light so there was less room for darkness. In a sense, they were helping him as much as he was helping them.

Christ comes with mercy for people who know their sins. His mercy leads to doing simple things that consistently head in the right direction. Do you feel discouraged and defeated by your struggle? Don’t let anyone kid you that there’s some magic answer and somehow you missed it. There are no magic answers. But a Person full of light is willing to walk with you in the direction of the light. He is willing to walk with you the whole way home.

—David



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Source: An Open Letter to Those Debilitated by Their Sexual Sin

10 Common but Illegitimate Reasons to Divorce

It is clear in the Bible that God’s intention for marriage is that it remain in effect until the death of one spouse. I believe it is also quite clear that God has provided a limited set of circumstances in which a marriage can legitimately be severed. However, many people—even Christians—offer reasons to divorce that are not sanctioned by God. Jim Newheiser helpfully outlines a number of these in his book Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers. Here are 10 common but illegitimate reasons to divorce.

  1. “My spouse isn’t a Christian,” or “I wasn’t a Christian when I married my spouse.”Nowhere in the Bible is this seen as grounds for divorce. In 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 Paul very clearly urges men and women in such situations not to divorce their unbelieving spouse. In 1 Peter 3:1-2 women married to unbelievers are called to “be subject to their own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” Rather than seeking for an opportunity to get out of the relationship, Christians are told to seek for opportunities to share their faith with their unbelieving spouse.
  2. “We weren’t married in a church.” Matthew 19:6 renders this an illegitimate excuse when it says, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Marriage is sanctioned by God and is not dependent on the context in which those vows were made. Regardless of where you were married or who married you, if you have made a covenant of marriage, the Lord expects you to keep it.
  3. “I need to get out of this marriage for the sake of my kids.” This is, of course, a justifiable concern, but one that Paul does not neglect to address. In 1 Corinthians 7:14 he says, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” According to Paul, here is another opportunity to endure for the sake of the gospel, so that your children, too, may see your godly example of faith. However, in the case that your spouse poses a threat of danger, be it emotional or physical abuse, your children’s safety is a priority.
  4. “My spouse is a huge disappointment.” “He is a loser (poor provider).” “She hasn’t taken care of herself physically.” “I would have never married this person if I had known what I was getting myself into.” “I deserve better.” Even the best of marriages may enter lulls where thoughts like these remain prevalent for periods of time. Marriage can be hard. Your spouse may grieve or disappoint you greatly. However, this is not a legitimate excuse to bolt, but an opportunity outdo him or her in love (Romans 12:10), to grow in trust in the God who ordained your marriage (Proverbs 3:5-6), and to reflect the faithfulness of God until the very end (Matthew 25:23).
  5. “We are no longer in love.” If God commands us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), we can love our spouse, even if we can’t muster those romantic feelings that once defined the dating or honeymoon phases. The marriage covenant is binding until death, not until one or both of you falls out of love. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “It is no longer your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” When you love your spouse out of obedience to Christ, trust that God can help it grow from the heart and restore the romance that’s been lost.
  6. “I married the wrong person,” or “We were too young.” Perhaps your marriage was built on a foundation of sand. Maybe your spouse does not meet your present criteria for a godly husband or wife. That does not mean that your soul mate is still out there waiting for you. The idea of a soul mate is not rooted in anything scriptural. The person God intended for you is the person you are with now. If you are struggling with these thoughts, you would do well to confess any sin of disobedience or foolishness before God (1 John 1:8), receive God’s forgiveness, and continue in the assurance that God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
  7. “I owe it to myself to be happy. God wouldn’t want me to be unhappy.” There is a crucial difference between worldly happiness and godly happiness. The first is dependent on circumstance, the latter prevails in spite of circumstance. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states, “man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” God cares deeply about our eternal happiness! The darkest seasons of marriage can tempt you to despair as the happiest and healthiest marriages around you shine even more brightly, but true happiness in God pushes through those seasons to thank God for any sufferings you may face for his glory (1 Peter 2:21).
  8. My marriage is a constant struggle In any of the above cases, believers can be faithful to the vows that they made even if their marriage is a struggle. If you believe that you can be happier outside of the will of God, then you are captive to a lie crafted by Satan. Do you really want to pit yourself against the sovereignty and wisdom of God? Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” It is better to struggle through marriage than to defy God by breaking the marriage covenant.
  9. “All my friends say that I ought to leave him/her.” Even friends with the best of intentions can lead you astray. This is why it is important to commit yourself to the full counsel of God in his word, allowing that to become your ultimate counsellor, no matter what differing opinions you hear elsewhere. This is also why it is so important to choose your friends wisely and to stay away from bad company (Psalm 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15:33). Surround yourself with people whose wisdom is grounded in biblical truth.
  10. “God will forgive me.” Apostle Paul directly addresses this in Romans 6:1-2: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Our God is full of grace, but that should not cause us to take advantage of it by being bound to sin. Instead, it should cause us to live in the freedom of his will, desirous of keeping his commands. Christ died so that we would no longer be slaves to sin but slaves to righteousness. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15). If you truly love Christ, you will not separate “what God has joined together” (Mark 10:9).

Source: 10 Common but Illegitimate Reasons to Divorce

August 21, 2017: Verse of the day

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Power

“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (28:20b)

As crucial as are the first four elements for effective fulfillment of the church’s mission, they would be useless without the last, namely, the power that the Lord Jesus Christ offers through His continuing presence with those who belong to Him. Neither the attitudes of availability, worship, and submission, nor faithful obedience to God’s Word would be possible apart from Christ’s own power working in and through us.

Idou (lo) is an interjection frequently used in the New Testament to call attention to something of special importance. Egō eimi (I am) is an emphatic form that might be rendered, “I Myself am,” calling special attention to the fact of Christ’s own presence. Jesus was saying, in effect, “Now pay special attention to what I am about to say, because it is the most important of all. I Myself, your divine, resurrected, living, eternal Lord, am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

A helpful way to keep one’s spiritual life and work in the right perspective and to continually rely on the Lord’s power rather than one’s own is to pray in ways such as these: “Lord, You care more about this matter I am facing than I do, so do what You know is best. Lord, You love this person more than I do and only You can reach into his heart and save him, so help me to witness only as You lead and empower. Lord, You are more concerned about the truth and integrity of Your holy Word than I am, so please energize my heart and mind to be true to the text I am teaching.”

Always literally means “all the days.” For the individual believer that means all the days of his life. But in its fullest meaning for the church at large it means even to the end of the age, that is, until the Lord returns bodily to judge the world and to rule His earthly kingdom. (See Matt. 13:37–50, where Christ uses the phrase “end of the age” three times to designate His second coming.)

Jesus will not visibly return to earth and display Himself before the whole world in His majestic glory and power until the end of the age. But until that time, throughout this present age, He will always be with those who belong to Him, leading them and empowering them to fulfill His Great Commission.

Some years ago, a missionary went to a primitive, pagan society. She became especially burdened for a young wife and eventually was used to win the woman to Christ. Almost as soon as she was saved the woman told the missionary with great sorrow, “I wish you could have come sooner, so my little boy could have been saved.”ll When the missionary asked why it was too late, the mother replied, “Because just a few weeks before you came to us, I offered him as a sacrifice to the gods of our tribe.”[1]


20 Those who are discipled must be not only baptized but also taught. The content of this instruction (see comments at 3:1 for kērygma [“preaching,” GK 3060] and didachē [“teaching,” GK 1439]) is everything Jesus commanded the first disciples. Five things stand out.

  1. The focus is on Jesus’ commands, not OT law. Jesus’ words, like the words of Scripture, are more enduring than heaven and earth (24:35); and the peculiar expression “everything I have commanded you” is, as Trilling (Das wahre Israel, 37) has pointed out, reminiscent of the authority of Yahweh (Ex 29:35; Dt 1:3, 41; 7:11; 12:11, 14). This confirms our exegesis of 5:17–20. The revelation of Jesus Messiah at this late stage in salvation history brings the fulfillment of everything to which the OT Scriptures pointed and constitutes their valid continuity; but this means that the focus is necessarily on Jesus.
  2. Remarkably, Jesus does not foresee a time when any part of his teaching will be rightly judged needless, outmoded, superseded, or untrue. Everything he has commanded must be passed on “to the very end of the age.”
  3. What the disciples teach is not mere dogma steeped in abstract theorizing but content to be obeyed.
  4. It then follows that by carefully passing on everything Jesus taught, the first disciples—themselves eyewitnesses—call into being new generations of “ear-witnesses” (O’Brien, “Great Commission,” 264–65). These in turn pass on the truth they received. So a means is provided for successive generations to remain in contact with Jesus’ teachings (cf. 2 Ti 2:2).
  5. Christianity must spread by an internal necessity or it has already decayed, for one of Jesus’ commands is to teach all he commands. Failure to disciple, baptize, and teach the peoples of the world is already itself one of the failures of our own discipleship.

But the gospel ends, not with command, but with the promise of Jesus’ comforting presence, which, if not made explicitly conditional on the disciples’ obedience to the Great Commission, is at least closely tied to it. “Surely” captures the force of idou here (see comments at 1:20). He who is introduced to us in the prologue as Immanuel, “God with us” (1:23; cf. 18:20), is still God with us, “to the very end of the age.” The English adverb “always” renders an expression found in the NT only here—namely, pasas tēs hēmeras, strictly “the whole of every day” (Moule, Idiom Book, 34). Not just the horizon is in view, but each day as we live it. This continues to the end of the age (for this expression, see comments at 13:39–40, 49; 24:3; cf. Heb 9:26)—the end of history as we know it, when the kingdom will be consummated. Perhaps there is a small hint of judgment. The church dare not drift, because it, too, rushes to the consummation. The period between the commission and the consummation is of indefinite length; but whatever its duration, it is the time of the church’s mission and of preliminary enjoyment of her Lord’s presence.

Matthew’s gospel ends with the expectation of continued mission and teaching. The five preceding sections always conclude with a block of Jesus’ teaching (3:1–26:5); but the passion and resurrection of Jesus end with a commission to his disciples to carry on that same ministry (see Introduction, section 14) in the light of the cross, the empty tomb, and the triumphant vindication and exaltation of the risen Lord. In this sense, the gospel of Matthew is not a closed book until the consummation. The final chapter is being written in the mission and teaching of Jesus’ disciples.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 28:19–20). 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. 669–670). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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