Daily Archives: August 22, 2017

August 22, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)



Pledging more troops, increasing pressure on Pakistan to stop providing a “safe haven for terrorists” and renewing diplomatic outreach to the Taliban, Trump late Monday announced an open-ended commitment to fighting the war in Afghanistan. “We are not nation building again,” he said. “We are killing terrorists.”

Chile’s Constitutional Court approved a bill legalizing abortion in some cases following two years of heated debate in Congress, overturning a complete ban put in place by former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

A giant cyberattack that crippled India’s largest container port in June provided a costly wake up call for a country determined to digitize its mostly-informal $2 trillion economy.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has decided to be tried by a judge – not a military jury – on charges that he endangered comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan. Bergdahl’s lawyers told the court in a brief filing last week that their client chose trial by judge alone, rather than a panel of officers. He faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy at his trial scheduled for late October at Fort Bragg. The latter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

British prosecutors committed to treat hate crimes on social media as seriously as those that happen offline, after a rise in incidents led to concerns about the “corrosive effect” on society.

Home prices in the U.S. increased 6.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier as buyers competed for a shrinking supply of listings.

Provident Financial Plc’s shares and bonds tumbled after the British subprime lender forecast a full-year loss and revealed it’s being probed by regulators. The shares fell as much as 76 percent, the most on record.

Millennials are finally starting their own baby boom and heading for the suburbs in big sport utility vehicles, much like their parents did. The generation of Americans aged about 18 to 34 has become the largest group of home buyers, and almost half live in the suburbs

EMarketer predicts 14.5 million people from the ages of 12 to 17 will use Facebook in 2017, a drop of 3.4 percent from the prior year. Teens are migrating instead to Snap Inc.’s Snapchat and Instagram, the photo-sharing app that Facebook owns, the research company said.

In the midst of a tumultuous month in U.S. politics and global security, traders have pushed gold futures to near a nine-month high. But if the history of gold’s relationship with oil is any guide, that surge may last longer than the flare-up in geopolitical tension.

Some of the most popular industrial and consumer robots are dangerously easy to hack and could be turned into bugging devices or weapons, IOActive Inc. said.

AP Top Stories

The US Navy has ordered a “worldwide operational pause” after a warship crashed into a merchant vessel in Singapore.

Afghanistan’s government is applauding President Donald Trump’s speech for focusing on needs and conditions instead of timelines.

Fukushima’s operator started freezing the last section of a $320 million ice wall designed to combat widespread water contamination at the site of the worst nuclear accident in a generation.

Senior citizens will soon be asked to pay more to visit National Parks and federal recreation areas in retirement. The price of the senior pass will increase from $10 to $80 on August 28, 2017.

Dozens of civilians have died in two days of intense US-led strikes on Raqa, a monitor said Tuesday, as fighting to retake the Syrian city from jihadists nears its densely populated centre.

Iran can resume high-level uranium enrichment within five days if the United States tears up the nuclear deal, the head of its Atomic Energy Organisation said Tuesday.

Venezuela is preparing an international summit to rally support for an all-powerful lawmaking body, whose recent creation drew widespread foreign condemnation as a power grab by leftist President Nicolas Maduro.


Human remains have been found in the hunt for 10 US sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a tanker near Singapore, the navy says.

India’s top court has ruled the practice of instant divorce in Islam unconstitutional, marking a major victory for women’s rights activists. India is one of a handful of countries where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word talaq (divorce) three times.

The US Secret Service is facing a strain on its budget due in part to President Donald Trump’s large family and multiple properties.

The Australian government has outlined plans to drugs test some benefit claimants as part of a two-year trial. Under the proposals, those who test positive will have their welfare payments transferred to a card that can only be used to pay for basic items.

Four men have appeared in a South African court facing charges of cannibalism after one allegedly walked into a police station declaring he was “tired” of eating human flesh. When questioned further, the man produced part of a human leg and hand.

Lebanon’s interior minister has claimed a terror cell attempted to blow up a flight from Australia with bombs hidden in a Barbie doll and a meat grinder.


Democrats on Monday slammed the prospect of President Trump granting a pardon to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying it would mark a win for “white supremacy” and set the stage for the commander-in-chief to use his constitutional power to keep his family out of legal trouble.

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.

The Briefing 08-22-17

Why is guilt more powerful than ever before if belief in God has faded?

Horizontal vs. vertical: The important distinction between shame and guilt

British advertising authority seeks to ban all gender stereotypes through new policy

The post The Briefing 08-22-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Top News – 8/22/2017

Netanyahu to warn Putin not to cross red lines
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s primary objective during his upcoming talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be to try to convince the Russians to prevent an Iranian permanent presence in Syria, but rather to let them know what Israel plans to do if Tehran tries to set up such a presence, former National Security Council Advisor Yaakov Amidror said on Tuesday.

Afghanistan hails Trump support in ‘joint struggle’
The Afghan president has hailed Donald Trump’s decision to commit US troops to the country to fight against the resurgent Taliban. Ashraf Ghani thanked the US for supporting “the joint struggle against the threat of terrorism”. Donald Trump has committed the US army to the open-ended conflict, despite previously advocating its withdrawal.

Ischia earthquake: Last of three brothers freed from rubble
Rescuers have freed the last of three brothers who were trapped under rubble after a deadly earthquake on the Italian holiday island of Ischia. The fire service confirmed they had rescued the 11-year-old at 14:12 local time (12:12 GMT), some 16 hours after the quake struck. His baby brother was the first to be pulled out, in the early hours; then his eight-year-old sibling mid morning.

IS conflict: Iraqi forces enter outskirts of Tal Afar
Iraqi forces have fought their way into the outskirts of the city of Tal Afar, one of so-called Islamic State’s last remaining strongholds in the country. Counter-terrorism units entered the south-western Kifah district on Tuesday, the military said. IS militants responded by firing rockets and deploying suicide car bombs, according to one commander.

North Korea shipments to Syria chemical arms agency intercepted: U.N. report
Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations…”The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),”…

Navy to Pause Operations, Review Collisions, With 10 Missing
The U.S. Navy announced a pause in its global operations and patrols and has begun a broad investigation after the destroyer USS John S. McCain on Monday collided with a merchant vessel, leaving 10 sailors missing, the second such incident in just over two months. The response…signals the Navy believes it needs to examine whether there may be institutional problems behind the deadly collisions, and that it may need to retrain some of its personnel…

Iran says can produce highly enriched uranium in days if U.S. quits deal
Iran can resume production of highly enriched uranium within five days if the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 is revoked, Iran’s atomic chief was quoted by state media as saying on Tuesday. The deal that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani championed with the United States, Russia, China and three European powers led to the lifting of most sanctions against Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Will NASA’s Risky Plan to Drill Into Yellowstone Set Off Seismic End-of-Days Catastrophe?
In the wake of ongoing seismic disturbances at Yellowstone, NASA scientists have suggested a drastic solution that they admit may actually set off the globally threatening catastrophe they are trying to prevent.

Republicans dig deeper after Postal Service cited for workers’ Clinton campaign aid
Republican lawmakers are casting a wider net in their search for wrongdoing at federal agencies in past election cycles, after learning the Postal Service violated the law by allowing employees to do union-funded work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign while on leave. The lawmakers blasted out letters on Monday to 10 other federal government agencies questioning their unpaid leave policy for union-related political work.

US defense chief: ISIS militants caught in Iraq-Syria military vise
‘ISIS’s days are certainly numbered,’ Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says during surprise visit to Baghdad, noting the Middle Euphrates River Valley area would be ‘ISIS’s last stand.’

Dems’ July fundraising hits 10-year low as GOP surges
While donations following an election cycle tend to decline towards midyear, this July represents the worst draw by the DNC since the $3.4 million raised in 2007. Adjusted for inflation, however, even 2007’s dismal numbers added up to more than 2017’s – equaling roughly $4 million in 2017 dollars. Overall, the RNC beat out the DNC by a more than 2-1 margin during the first seven months of 2017, raising $86.5 million to the DNC’s $42 million

What the Syrian regime’s assault on ISIS means for the region
The Lebanese army, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime’s army launched an offensive Saturday on both sides of the Lebanon-Syria border to clear the Islamic State out of a pocket it holds that straddles the border. The offensive further deepens the relationship between Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Hezbollah and the Lebanese army.

Chief Rabbinate contests High Court jurisdiction over Western Wall prayer
The Chief Rabbinate maintained in a position statement to the High Court of Justice on Monday that the court has no authority to intervene on the issue of prayer rights for progressive Jews at the Western Wall, describing the issue as an intra-religious struggle in which the court lacks competence and jurisdiction.

Trump Unveils New, Dramatic Afghanistan Strategy: “We Aren’t Nation-Building Again, We Are Killing Terrorists”
“Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.”

FEDERAL LAWSUIT! Florida Election Employees Caught Faking 1,000’s of Stolen Absentee Ballots in Massive Voter Fraud Scheme
There is a federal lawsuit going on in Florida alleging voter fraud and friend of Hillary, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes recently testified.

US Commanders To Issue “Rare Warning” To N.Korea As Kim Threatens “Merciless Revenge”
As the Ulji Freedom Guardian joint military drills begin near the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s Kim has threatened “merciless revenge” against the “US Imperialists and South Korean war maniacs” for ignoring his warnings.

Scientist fired from university after discovering shocking dinosaur bones believed to be only 4,000 years old
A recent archaeological discovery that throws a wrench into the conventional theory of evolution has reportedly cost a California professor his job. Mark Armitage, a former scientist at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), was reportedly fired after claiming to have unearthed a dinosaur fossil that still contains soft, flexible tissue, suggesting that it can’t be millions of years old.

A total eclipse of SANITY: America under the spell of mass hysteria engineered
The total eclipse of sanity is now under way across America. Mass hysteria has gripped the minds of the gullible, many of whom now hallucinate their “reality” on a moment-by-moment basis.

Chief Obamacare Architect Sacked After Fraudulent Billing Investigation
Vermont’s Attorney General has settled the state’s claims of fraud against Jonathan Gruber, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who served as a technical consultant for President Barack Obama and as one of the chief architects of Obamacare. Under the terms of the settlement, Gruber will no longer work as a taxpayer-funded economic consultant for the state’s health care system and he won’t seek to be paid any money he might be owed, reports the Rutland Herald, a Vermont newspaper.

Illinois Is About To Become The First Failed State!
The state just passed a 32% income tax hike. Rising taxes are pushing more and more productive people to make the chicken run… and at the worst possible moment for the state’s coffers.

August 22, 2017
WES VERNON — “Is Truth Dead?” That headline was blazed across the cover of Time magazine in April by a headline writer who stumbled onto what is actually going on. This column has been warning for so long now that years of threats, infiltration, and sellouts are making the United States ripe for a takeover by its enemies, longstanding as well as relatively “new.” This column has been warning for so long now that years of threats, infiltration, and sellouts are making the United States ripe for a takeover by its enemies, longstanding as well as relatively “new.”… (more)

August 21, 2017
We need to forgive repentant historical figures like Gen. Lee
ALAN KEYES — Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” Jesus says unto him, “I say not unto you, Until seven times, but until seventy time seven.” (Matthew 18: 21-22)… (more)

August 21, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — More than 200,000 Americans have signed a petition calling on the Trump administration to “recognize Antifa as a terrorist organization” – surpassing the threshold of 100,000 signatures required for a formal White House response…. (more)

August 21, 2017
LIAM CLANCY — In the wake of bloody violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, a congressman is urging the Trump administration to investigate the roles of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and “Unite the Right” rally organizer Jason Kessler in the escalation of street violence the left one woman dead and dozens injured…. (more)

August 21, 2017
NEWSMAX — Forty-two percent of Americans strongly disapprove of President Donald Trump’s comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News.But a sizeable majority of Republicans back his remarks, according to the poll…. (more)

August 21, 2017
REUTERS — President Donald Trump opened the door on Monday night to an increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan as part of a retooled strategy for the region, overcoming his own doubts about America’s longest war and vowing “a fight to win.”… (more)

August 20, 2017
JERRY NEWCOMBE — On a sunny morning in the summer of 2012, I visited Charlottesville, Virginia (Jefferson’s hometown). My host was a local pastor, Dr. Mark Beliles. He and I were working on a book (Doubting Thomas) on the faith (and sometimes lack thereof) of our third president…. (more)

August 20, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The far-right demonstrators that rallied in Charlottesville last weekend and engaged in violence are not conservative or even on the usual American political gamut, GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie claimed Saturday… (more)

August 20, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Rep. Louie Gohmert said Sunday the Justice Department should investigate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer and “Unite the Right” rally organizer Jason Kessler for their roles in violent clashes that resulted the death of an anti-racism protester at last Saturday’s rally…. (more)

August 20, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Many of the Donald Trump supporters who toiled long payless days last year to get the Republican elected president remain on the sidelines as plum national security jobs go to outsiders…. (more)

August 20, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Democrats’ reluctance to recruit pro-life candidates could hinder them as they try to win enough seats to retake the U.S. House next year, according to a pro-life party leader…. (more)

August 20, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — Friday was not a good day for the men and women in blue. In three separate incidents – – two in Florida and one in Pennsylvania – – six law-enforcement officers were shot in the line of duty. Two have died along with two of the shooting suspects…. (more)

August 20, 2017
ART MOORE — The retired TV weatherman and founder of the Weather Channel, known for his skepticism of the view that mankind is a significant cause of climate change, is issuing an ultimatum to Al Gore and others who insist “deniers” are the worst of humanity: “So put me to death.”… (more)

August 20, 2017
JOE WILSON — It was a drawer to an old tool bench that didn’t fit that prompted author John Clauson to track down the truth about his “IBM salesman” father, Wallace Clauson, who actually was one of America’s secret weapons during the Cold War…. (more)

August 19, 2017
GARTH KANT — Stephen Bannon left the White House at midday and by the afternoon was already chairing the evening editorial meeting for Breitbart News…. (more)

August 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump and new chief of staff John F. Kelly ousted Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon Friday, jettisoning the adviser who was viewed as the president’s key link to the “alt-right” movement and white nationalism. The White House portrayed the move as a mutual parting…. (more)

August 19, 2017
THE INDEPENDENT — Hope Hicks, 28, may be named President Donald Trump’s White House communications director shortly. But before joining Trump’s campaign, she had no political experience…. (more)

August 19, 2017
FOX NEWS — Wednesday’s appointment of Hope Hicks to replace Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director has had much of Washington asking the same question. Who is Hope Hicks?… (more)

August 19, 2017
FOX NEWS — James Alex Fields Jr., the driver charged with killing a woman at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a 12-inch knife, according to transcripts from dramatic 911 calls released Monday…. (more)

August 19, 2017
DAILY CALLER — Charlottesville is now a by-word for political violence. As you’ve probably heard, the Virginia college town played host to an alt-right rally that descended into violence on Saturday. Both the white nationalists and left-wing counter-protesters fought and beat each other with blunt objects for most of the morning…. (more)

August 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Brad Dacus was thousands of miles away in California last weekend when the Charlottesville protest erupted, so he was flabbergasted when CNN labeled his Pacific Justice Institute a “hate group.”… (more)

August 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the IRS to name the specific employees the agency blames for targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and said the government must prove it has ceased the targeting…. (more)

August 19, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — A federal grand jury Thursday indicted two former information technology (IT) aides of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – – Pakistani-born Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi – – on four counts of conspiracy in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia…. (more)

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)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: August 22

  • Trump commits to a ‘fight to win’ in Afghan war (Read More)
  • Stay or Go? Some Trump Aides Are Pressed From All Sides (Read More)
  • Futures higher as traders pick up beaten-down stocks (Read More)
  • Divers Search Compartments of Ship for Missing Sailors (Read More)
  • Why Do U.S. Navy Ships Keep Colliding? (Read More)
  • North Korea Threatens ‘Absolute Force’ as U.S., South Hold Drills (Read More)
  • The Unintended Consequences of Quantitative Easing (Read More)
  • Ross Levinsohn Named CEO, Publisher of Los Angeles Times (Read More)
  • Big protests expected as Trump plans Phoenix rally (Read More)
  • Millennial Americans Are Moving to the ‘Burbs, Buying Big SUVs (Read More)
  • Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency (Read More)
  • BHP Flags Exit From Shale as Full-Year Profits Surge Five-Fold (Read More)
  • Elliott Notches Win as BHP Eyes Sale of U.S. Shale Assets (Read More)
  • Oil prices steady ahead of U.S. stocks data (Read More)
  • After U.S. destroyer collision, Chinese paper says U.S. navy a hazard (Read More)
  • Macy’s Hires eBay Executive Amid Management Shakeup (Read More)
  • China’s ‘big four’ banks raise billions for Belt and Road deals (Read More)
  • Famed Plaza Hotel Is On the Block (Read More)
  • Trump’s team and lawmakers making strides on tax reform plan (Read More)
  • Booming Metals Rally Signals Optimism on Global Growth (Read More)
  • Could Puerto Rico Be the Next Hot Tax Haven? (Read More)
  • Muslim divorce law ‘unconstitutional’, rules India’s top court (Read More)
  • South Korea, U.S. fail to reach agreement on possible revision to FTA deal (Read More)
  • California Crackdown on Cars Reinforced by Road Emissions Uptick (Read More)

Featured Blogs

Top Headlines – 8/22/2017

Kushner Team Heads to Middle East as Arab Leaders Emphasize ‘No Peace’ Without Palestinian State

Team Trump Set to Arrive Amid Confusion

Bannon Urged Trump to Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem – Was Blocked by Jared Kushner

Turkey, Jordan call for ‘serious’ Israel-Palestinian peace talks

China can be honest broker in Israeli-Palestinian peace process: Palestinian official

Rabbinate: Courts lack authority to decide on Western Wall

‘We will not give up one grain of Al-Aqsa’ – Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem denies any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount

Palestinian Authority threatens to cut all funds to Gaza

Soldiers, settlers clash during removal of illegal homes in Yitzhar

State says outpost legalization law protects Palestinians

Netanyahu to attend West Bank event celebrating 50 years of settlement

U.S. urges UN not to publish anti-Israel blacklist

Jordan demands Israeli apology, indictment of Israeli guard

Israeli police detain Palestinian for ‘inciting violence and terrorism’ on Facebook

Over 160,000 Sign White House Petition Demanding Antifa Be Labeled a Terrorist Group

US official praises Israel’s treatment of Syrian refugees

New Bishop for Syrian Christians Brings Hope Following Genocide, Over 330,000 Deaths

Living in a void: life in Damascus after the exodus

Syria war: Russian jets ‘destroy IS convoy near Deir al-Zour’

Hezbollah drones attack ISIS positions on the Lebanese border

Hezbollah uses drones against IS in Syria

North Korea shipments to Syria chemical arms agency intercepted: U.N. report

New report details Iran’s growing influence in Syria

Rocket strikes downtown Kabul

Erdogan says Turkey and Iran discussing joint action against Kurdish militants

Afghanistan speech: Trump rejects ‘timetables,’ ups pressure on Pakistan, refocuses on ‘killing terrorists’

Mattis: US, allies to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan

Promising to ‘win,’ Trump says US will keep fighting in Afghanistan

Trump will own the war that bedeviled predecessors

Trump open to eventual political deal with Taliban

Authorities shoot and kill suspect in Spanish terror attacks

Lebanon says four nationals behind failed plot to down plane in Australia

Australian terror plan to hide plane bomb in Barbie revealed

North Korea warns Australia that supporting Trump is a ‘suicidal act’

Pyongyang calls U.S.-South Korean war games a step to nuclear war

‘Extremely dissatisfied’ China blames India for border scuffle

9 UN peacekeepers hurt in Mali by roadside bomb attack

Pope: Rights of migrants trump national security concerns

‘Sanctuary schools’ across America defy Trump’s immigration crackdown

Texas man charged with trying to bomb a Confederate statue in Houston

U.S. halts visas for Russians, deepening a diplomatic spat

Is someone hacking our 7th fleet? Navy to investigate after USS John S McCain collision

Killer robots: Experts warn of ‘third revolution in warfare’

Lifesaving smart fabric can detect and neutralize deadly nerve gas

Scientists remotely hacked a brain, controlling body movements

A biometric ring could replace your passwords, cards and keys

Billionaire Moguls Join Musk, Bezos in Race to Outer Space

Is a solar eclipse a sign of death and destruction? Ancient superstitions believe so

Solar eclipse 2017: Millions watch once-in-a-lifetime spectacle – the best images

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Vailoatai, American Samoa

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Puerto Madero, Mexico

One Dead, 25 Injured After 4.3 Quake Strikes Italian Tourist Island

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano in Russia erupts to 26,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 18,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Tropical Storm Hato to heighten flood risk from Taiwan to China, Hong Kong

16 million-plus people impacted by monsoon flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh

Croatia fights dozens of fires along Adriatic coast

A Striking Rise in Serious Allergy Cases

Chile abortion: Court approves easing total ban

Inside Jim Bakker’s Missouri town prepping for the nuclear apocalypse

Is “Holy Fire” really something we want?

Deborah & Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps face charges of child abuse, bribery, & not reporting a birth

Dangers of Australian Bible Society (Part 1): an Introduction       Part 2

Leaving the NAR Church: Elaine’s story

New Mexico Public School Paints Over Scripture Mural Following Complaint

Plot to blow up plane from Australia to Abu Dhabi with ‘Barbie doll bomb’ foiled

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 07:04 AM PDT

A plot to blow up a plane traveling from Australia to Abu Dhabi with a bomb hidden inside a Barbie doll was foiled by security services. Four brothers, of Lebanese-Australian origin, were said to be behind the plot, according to Lebanon’s interior minister. As well as planning to smuggle explosives…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

5 Signs Your Church Might Be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:54 AM PDT

(By Alisha Childers)Several years ago, my husband and I began attending a local Evangelical, non-denominational church, and we loved it.  We cherished the sense of community we found among the loving and authentic people we met there, and the intelligent, “outside the box” pastor who led our flock with thought-provoking…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Is It Significant That The USS John S. McCain Was Damaged In A Collision On The Same Day As The Solar Eclipse?

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:42 AM PDT

(By Michael Snyder) Could it be possible that it wasn’t just a “coincidence” that a naval vessel named the USS “John S. McCain” was severely damaged on the exact same day as “the Great American Eclipse”.  I have previously written about how solar eclipses have long been believed to be warnings that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Man Has Near Death Experience , Describes Afterlife

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:31 AM PDT

ATTENTION: The statements presented in this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of End Time Headlines The anonymous victim experienced being dead for a few moments which lasted what felt like an eternity. They drowned and was moments from the afterlife when he was brought back fro…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

North Korea is Now Using School Teachers, Children to Hunt Christians

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:25 AM PDT

It’s no secret that North Korea is a horrific place for Christians, with the reclusive government in Pyongyang routinely persecuting and murdering Bible-believers. But despite the intense restrictions and risks, Fox News recently reported that an estimated 9 million North Koreans — 36 percent of the population — still practice Christianity.And that’s pretty…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UNRAVELING: University of Texas removes Confederate statues under cover of darkness

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:19 AM PDT

The bronze likenesses of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster John H. Reagan will be relocated to the university’s Briscoe Center for American History, Fenves said. The statue of James Stephen Hogg, the first native-born governor of Texas and the son of a Confederate…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Dr. Michael Brown Is the Latest Victim of Youtube Censorship

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:10 AM PDT

(By Michael Brown) It all happened in the course of one night, and it happened quite suddenly. Last Thursday night, I noticed that YouTube demonetized my interview with a former KKK Grand Dragon who is now an associate pastor in an African- American church, claiming it was “Not suitable for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

America Is Thrust into Spiritual Darkness

Posted: 22 Aug 2017 06:02 AM PDT

(By Jason and David Benham) What happened in Charlottesville last week was disgusting. Our hearts grieved as we watched folks marching in our streets who actually believe their race is better than others’. No one should have anything to do with that filth from Satan’s floor. As Christians, our faith stands…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

1 dead as 3.6 earthquake shatters buildings near Naples, Italy

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 08:37 PM PDT

An earthquake with a reported magnitude of 3.6 struck a popular tourist spot near the Ischia volcano in Italy on Monday evening. Images from the area show people being helped out of badly damaged buildings. A number of people have been injured or are missing, local authorities say. A local…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Texas man tries to plant bomb on Confederate statue

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:53 PM PDT

A Texas man was arrested Monday after he allegedly tried to destroy a Confederate statue in a park during the weekend by planting explosives, federal officials said. Andrew Schneck, 25, was charged with attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property receiving federal financial assistance. A Houston park ranger spotted Schneck…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Scientists remotely hack brain and control body movements…

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:35 PM PDT

Imagine someone remotely controlling your brain, forcing your body’s central processing organ to send messages to your muscles that you didn’t authorize. It’s an incredibly scary thought, but scientists have managed to accomplish this science fiction nightmare for real, albeit on a much small scale, and they were even able…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Rise Up Watchmen and don’t lose heart!

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 07:19 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we discuss how there is a rise of mockers and scoffers that are attempting to snuff out the voice of the Watchmen in this hour and silence their message today. We will show you how Noah was a watchman in his day that preached…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Massive terror drill involving 70,000 American and South Korea troops underway over fears of war

Posted: 21 Aug 2017 01:03 PM PDT

Dramatic images show armed South Korean forces playing out a mock terror drill brandishing guns and wearing biohazard suits in preparation for any North Korean nuclear strike. The computer-simulated military exercises came as North Korea warned of a “uncontrollable nuclear war” with the US as 70,000 American and South Korean troops began the exercise…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What is The Gospel?

Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

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

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

Consider what the Bible says about Him:


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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Is ‘Holy Fire’ really something we want?

From Berean Research:

♫ “Set Your church on fire Win this nation back Change the atmosphere Build Your kingdom here We pray…”

Rend Collective lyrics, “Build Your Kingdom Here”

♫ “This is a church on fire, this is the Holy Spirit flame We have a burning desire to lift up Jesus’ name Let the fire burn in every heart to light the way, defeat the dark Let the flame of love burn higher This is a church, this is a church on fire”

Hillsong lyrics, “Church On Fire”

We often hear people praying for holy fire to rain down, or a fire to ignite their spirits. But does Scripture really instruct us to desire fire?  That’s a question I’ve been pondering as I study the Bible. after all, doesn’t God use fire as an instrument of His wrath?  Fortunately, there are some solid word studies on “fire” that we can use to help us further explore God’s Word.

If you want to know WHY we may not want to pray for the Holy Spirit’s fire in our lives, you need to check out the following by Lyndon Unger, who originally published this excellent article over at Cripplegate a few years ago. He has given me permission to repost it here.

View article →

Source: Is ‘Holy Fire’ really something we want?

Put Jealousy to Death

It’s in the tightening of your chest, the bile in your throat, and the knot in your stomach. It flashes in lightning fast, infecting whatever happiness or hope you feel. Every child knows it. Every adult knows it. It’s that fierce, familiar green monster –


We envy someone else: their looks, their job, their family, their vacations, their skills, their money. And it’s something so overwhelmingly common that we tend to overlook it. We minimize its sinfulness and allow it to fester to our soul’s detriment.

We don’t like to put jealousy to death. Instead, we feed it. We tend to it. We give it life.

How to Put Jealousy to Death

But jealousy and envy are soul-enemies, and Scripture warns us against them over and over. We’re told that jealousy is a fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:21), an antonym of love (1 Corinthians 13:4), a symptom of pride (1 Timothy 6:4), a catalyst for conflict (James 3:16), and a mark of unbelievers (Romans 1:29).

So what does killing jealousy actually look like? Ultimately, it’s identifying it as evil and then attacking it with truth.

Here are four practical ways to do that.

1. Recognize jealousy as deception.

Recognizing jealousy is the hardest part of killing it. Our hearts are often drowning in envy, yet we don’t even realize it.

Begin paying attention to your thoughts and feelings and responses. When you see jealousy rearing its ugly, green head, recognize it as deceptive thinking. Jealousy pretends to be a friend. It wants to sympathetically vindicate your sinful feelings by fostering discontentment and self-pity. It seeks to convince you that someone else has the all-satisfying happiness you crave.

But it’s a lie. The thoughts motivating your envy are false and crippling – that house, money, vacation, job, kid, parent, or number on the scale will not fulfill you. In those moments, grasp for this lifeline of truth: Your hope isn’t found in your circumstances being “better;” it’s in the unchangeable work of Christ (Psalm 42:5).

2. Repent of idolatry.

At its root, jealousy is idolatry. We’re placing our satisfaction in something that’s not God, and we’re saying he’s not sufficient for us. Because of that, the only right response is to repent, turning from the poison of our envy and running to the throne room of grace.

3. Confront jealousy with joy.

The lie of jealousy is, “If only things were like this, I would be happy.” But the truth is, the opposite happens, as jealousy feeds a deep, hungry dissatisfaction. Instead of confronting discontentment with jealousy, confront it with joy. Choose joy. Fight for joy. Instead of measuring your happiness against someone else’s success, root yourself in the incomparable truths of the gospel.

A few days ago, I was on Instagram and stumbled across a picture of a girl the same age as me doing something I would love to do. And I felt it: the stinging seed of jealousy sprouting fast. I want to do that. I wish that was me. Why her?

Counterattack jealousy by cultivating gratitude. Notice and savor the blessings all around you.
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In that moment, I was faced with a choice: to dwell on my discontentment or preach the gospel to myself. I could wallow in dissatisfaction or remind myself of the riches I have in Jesus. I could believe that I knew everything going on in her life or recognize that I was only seeing the curated version she posts on social media. I could boil in envy or embrace the truth that this is God’s will for her life right now – and not for mine.

I could compare my life to hers or rejoice in the blessings God has given me.

We are faced with these choices every day. Will we confront our jealousy with joy?

4. Count your blessings.

Counterattack jealousy by cultivating gratitude. Notice and savor the blessings all around you. The sunshine. Your pets. A delicious ice cream cone. Your church. Flowers. Flip flops. Transportation. God’s Word. Your family. Good books. There are small mercies around us 24/7 – but we need to be willing to pay attention.

And once we notice them, we ought to thank God for them. He is the gift-giver, the fount of all blessings, so we put jealousy to death by thanking him for beauty and goodness.

Jealousy Deserves Death – So Kill It

Like poisonous snakes or roaring fires, jealousy is too deadly to play with. Don’t pretend that jealousy is no big deal, that you need to focus your energy on fighting “bigger” sins. Jealousy is idolatry. It’s sin. Don’t just wound it, bruise it, suppress it, or maim it – kill it.

For jealousy is one of the sins Christ paid for on the cross, which means it deserves death. Jesus died for jealous people, and that’s good news for us because we are jealous people. So there is hope in Christ! Run to him, trust in him, rest in him, pursue satisfaction in him, and – by his Spirit – seek to kill jealousy today.


The post Put Jealousy to Death appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

August 22, 2017: Verse of the day


13 The basic premise of Jesus’ argument is that the disciples acknowledged him to be their Teacher and Lord. The order is significant. The disciples came to know Jesus first as Teacher (equivalent to Rabbi, the title normally used by Jewish students when addressing their master) and later as Lord. They had been with him in public ministry for almost two years before he asked, “Who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:15–16). While it is true that the day will come when every tongue will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Php 2:11), during his earthly ministry Jesus did not demand the obedience appropriate to lordship from those who had not come to know him first as Teacher. The disciples, however, were correct in acknowledging him as Teacher and Lord because, as Jesus said, “That is what I am.” He was not simply one who had taught them; more important, he was their Lord.[1]

The Suitable Response to Christ’s Love

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (13:12–17)

Having washed the disciples’ feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, Jesus taught them the lesson He wanted them to learn. The theological truths pictured in verses 7–11 (Jesus’ humiliation at His first coming and the once-for-all cleansing of justification versus the daily cleansing of sanctification), though of great importance, are not the main truths the Lord sought to communicate. The primary principle Jesus wanted the disciples to learn was the importance of humble, loving service. That becomes clear because He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” This was a crucial lesson for the disciples, constantly bickering over who was the greatest, to learn. If the Lord of Glory was willing to humble Himself and take on the role of the lowest of slaves, how could the disciples do any less? Jesus had once asked, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46); here He was in effect saying, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not follow My example?”

Some argue from this passage that foot washing is an ordinance for the church, along with baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion). But Jesus said, “I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you,” not, “what I did to you.” Further, “Wise theologians and expositors have always been reluctant to raise to the level of universal rite something that appears only once in Scripture” (Carson, John, 468). (The only other reference to foot washing, 1 Tim. 5:10, is not in the context of a church rite, but of good deeds performed by individuals.)

To elevate the outward act of foot washing to the status of an ordinance is to minimize the important lesson Jesus was teaching. The Lord gave an example of humility, not of foot washing; His concern was for the inner attitude, not the outward rite. The latter is meaningless apart from the former.

To refuse to follow Jesus’ example of humble service is to pridefully elevate oneself above Him, since a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him (cf. similar sayings in 15:20; Matt. 10:24; Luke 6:40; 22:27). No servant dares to regard any task as beneath him if his master has performed it.

The Lord’s concluding thought, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them,” reflects the biblical truth that blessing flows from obedience. The opening words of the Psalms emphasize that truth:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers. (Ps. 1:1–3)

Psalm 119:1 declares, “How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord” (cf. Ps. 128:1). In Proverbs 16:20 Solomon declared, “He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” “My mother and My brothers,” Jesus declared, “are these who hear the word of God and do it” (Luke 8:21). Later in Luke’s gospel, He affirmed, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:28).

This passage reveals one essential way that believers can obey God and receive His blessing: by following the example of His Son. “The one who says he abides in Him,” John wrote in his first epistle, “ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6). Serving others in the humility of love is imitating Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 2:5)[2]

Love Exhorted (13:12–17)

SUPPORTING IDEA: Perhaps there exists no act more menial than washing another’s feet, but nothing is beneath a disciple. Did the Savior intend to initiate an ordinance here? Some believe the command to wash the feet of others must be taken literally. But Jesus called us to acts of humble service for other Christians and, as Harry Ironside used to say, “When washing each other’s feet, we should be careful of the temperature of the water.”

13:12–14. The washing not only demonstrated humility and servanthood to the disciples but also laid an experiential foundation for the teaching of verse 10. When the foot-washing ended, Jesus taught an important lesson about the relationship of believers—you also should wash one another’s feet.

As Mother Teresa has shown us, perhaps more than anyone else in the twentieth century, if our teacher and Lord does not hesitate to wash our feet, how can we fail to wash one another’s feet? Certainly there can be no harm in the literal practice of foot-washing, but the symbolism of first-century behavior seems more appropriately replicated in the way we serve people in a variety of ways.

Incidentally, the only other reference to foot-washing appears in 1 Timothy 5:10, so we have scant evidence that the New Testament church actually practiced this as a regular ordinance.

Jesus emphasized the words Teacher and Lord in contrast with the way they had behaved toward him. The Lord reminded them that he washed their feet as their leader. Morris says, “Jesus proceeds to endorse this way of speaking. He commends the disciples, for these expressions point to his true position. But precisely because of this there are implications. His repetition of ‘the Lord and the teacher’ (a reversed order may be significant) emphasizes his dignity. This exalted Person has washed their feet. They ought, therefore, to wash one another’s feet” (Morris, p. 620).

13:15–17. Throughout the New Testament we learn the importance of example, never more so than when Jesus refers to himself. But here we are not focused on some great spiritual reality or doctrinal truth; the passage deals with how we treat other people. As Francis Schaeffer often observed, love is the ultimate mark of the Christian. Since Jesus loved his disciples and loves us in the same way, we need to do for others what he has done for us.

In verse 16 we find John’s only use of the word apostolos, the common New Testament word for “apostle,” here translated as messenger. Interesting that no church office or spiritual gift comes to view here. The context remains one of foot-washing as an example of how Christians treat one another. If we would be Christ’s messengers in any capacity, we must behave toward others the way he behaved toward his disciples.

We receive God’s joy by acting on the principles of conduct that Jesus taught. First we ought to pray, “Lord, wash me”; then we need to pray, “Lord, help me wash others.” And let us not forget that the word blessed can also be translated “happy.” We can be happy as Christians by acting on the principles of these verses, conducting our lives in such a way that we forgive, serve, and love the brothers and sisters in Christ. When we avoid criticism, complaining, and conflict, harmony and unity gain strength in the body.

Hughes calls this kind of behavior, “ ‘people of the towel’: When Jesus said, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’ he might have added, ‘and do you know who you are, as heirs to the towel?’ The power, the impetus, and the grace to wash one another’s feet is proportionate to how we see ourselves. Our Lord saw Himself as King of kings, and He washed their feet. Recovery of a consciousness that we serve Christ the King will also compel us to service” (Hughes, p. 38).[3]

12–15. So when he had washed their feet, had taken his garments, and had resumed his place, he said to them, Do you know what I have done to you? you call me Teacher and Lord, and you say (this) correctly, for (that is what) I am. If, therefore, I your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet, for I have given you an example, in order that just as I did to you so also you should do.

Peter’s objection having been answered, Jesus finished washing his feet, and then the feet of the others until the entire task was done. Then the Lord redressed and resumed his place at the table.

In order to understand what follows it must be borne in mind that the feet-washing was a. an essential element in Christ’s humiliation; b. a symbol of that humiliation (the water that washed away physical filth was a true symbol of Christ’s suffering during his entire life on earth and especially on the cross, whereby he not only atones for the guilt of his people but also merits for them the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit); and c. a lesson in humility; in other words, an example.

Ideas a. and b. are very closely related. With respect to them Jesus has already told Peter that he would understand hereafter, not now. Nevertheless, Jesus had prepared his mind—and the minds of the others—by saying to him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

But even though the disciples were able, at this moment, to catch but a glimpse of the deep meaning that was wrapped up in the feet-washing, the moral has instantaneous significance for them. How they needed the lesson (item c. above) which Jesus meant to teach them by means of this act! Bear in mind Luke 22:24!

So Jesus said to his disciples: “Do you know what I have done to you?” Do you grasp the positive, practical teaching which I have just now imparted to you?—Note that the Lord does not scold these men. He does not say, “Shame on you! You should have washed each other’s feet instead of waiting for me to do it.” This rebuke is certainly implied in the exhortation, but the words of Jesus go much farther. He is never satisfied with being merely negative. It is as if he were saying, “The past was bad enough; we shall say nothing further about that; for the future, copy my example.” The implied rebuke, concealed in words of loving, positive exhortation, often does more good than the expressed reprimand. In this positive atmosphere Jesus continues:

“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say (this) correctly, for (that is what) I am,”

Indeed, the disciples were right in addressing Jesus as Teacher (ὁ διδάσκαλε, probably to be regarded as a translation of the Aramaic Rabbi; as 1:38 seems to indicate), for his teaching “with authority and not as the scribes” was the greatest that was ever heard on earth. Also they were right in addressing him as Lord (ὁ κύριος); and the deeper the meaning they poured into this concept, the more right they were. He was, indeed, the owner of all things (see on 13:1, 3); moreover, he was equal in essence and authority with God, the Father. See Vol. I, p. 103, footnote , for the gradual displacement of Rabbi by Lord. And see on 12:21.

When Jesus adds, “You say (this) correctly, for (that is what) I am,” he is making a statement that is entirely in line with his great declaration in 10:30: “I and the Father, we are one.” Those who claim that Jesus never represented himself as the rightful object of worship are clearly wrong. See also on 1:7, 8.

Now comes the application. It is an argument from the greater to the lesser: “If, therefore, I, your Lord and Teacher—the terms are reversed now, for it is especially as Lord that Jesus can claim the right to obedience—have washed your feet (and the very form of the conditional sentence indicates that this act is here rightly assumed to have actually occurred), you also constantly (present tense) ought to wash each other’s feet.” Surely, if the Lord of glory is willing to be “girded around” with a towel, having taken the form of a servant, actually washing and drying the feet of those who are so very far below him, it ought to be easy for mere disciples to render loving service to one another in the spirit of genuine humility! Note the emphatic position of the pronouns in the original. We have tried to preserve something of the flavor of the original by using italics.

Is Jesus instituting a new ordinance here, that of feet-washing? No, he is not commanding the disciples to do what (ὁ) he has done; but he has given them an example in order that they, of their own accord, may do as (καθώς) he has done. Hence, significantly he adds: “For I have given you an example (ὑπόδειγμα here only in John, but found also in Heb. 4:11; 8:5; 9:26; James 5:10; and 2 Peter 2:6), in order that just as I did to you so also you should constantly do.” Jesus has shown (cf. the verb δείκνυμι) his humility under (ὑπό) their very eyes (hence, ὑπόδειγμα).

But although no sacrament has been instituted to be literally copied this does not remove the fact that under certain conditions those who may wish to show their hospitality in this manner are doing the proper thing (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10). It should, however, be stressed that what Jesus had in mind was not an outward rite but an inner attitude, that of humility and eagerness to serve.

16. Most solemnly do I assure you, the servant is not greater than his lord, neither is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

For the words of solemn introduction see on 1:51. In all probability Jesus added these words in order to prevent anyone from saying: “It is below my dignity to wash the feet of another believer.” If it was not below the dignity of the Lord, it surely should not be considered below the dignity of the “servant.” This remains true even then when the servant is sent or divinely commissioned to function in a high office or to carry out an important task in the Church. If humility is the proper attitude for the Lord and Sender, how unremittingly should not the servant and commissioned individual exercise himself in this grace and grow in it. See also 15:20; Matt. 10:24; Luke 6:40; 22:27.

17. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

See what has been said about this verse above, in footnote . The words of Jesus are very clear. Faith without works is dead. See also Matt. 7:17, 24–27; 11:30; 1 Cor. 4:20; and James 1:22–27; 2:14–26. It must not escape us that we have here not a commandment but a very loving and tender declaration. It has been called a promise, but it is even more than that. It is the statement of a fact: the practice of humility imparts blessedness. When Jesus says, “If you know these things,” etc., he means, according to the context, “If you know that a. he who is Lord and Teacher is willing to minister to the needs of those who are his subjects and pupils, even though in doing so he has to stoop very low; and if you know that b. all the more, those who were thus benefited should be willing to serve one another in humility of spirit; if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

The term blessed (μακάριοι) does not necessarily refer to those who are considered happy by others; nor even primarily to those who consider themselves happy, but to those who are indeed the objects of God’s favor, whether or not they are considered such by other men or even by themselves. The blessed ones may be poor and may even be mourning (cf. Matt. 5:1–12, The Beatitudes). The blessedness here spoken of is a matter not (at least, not primarily) of feeling, but of inner spiritual condition or state. The Christian who practises humility possesses this felicity whether he is at all times conscious of it or not. Before God, in his eyes, he is blessed. The Aramaic word which Jesus probably employed both here in 13:17 (see also 20:29) and in The Beatitudes (also in several other New Testament passages) resembles the Hebrew word found in many passages of the Psalms (1:1; 2:12; 31:1; 32:2; 33:12; 34:8; 40:4; 41:4; etc.). It means superlatively blessed, most blessed. It is true, of course, that the smile of God which is upon such a person who is constantly doing these things (note present continuative tense), so that humility is of the very essence of his character, will sooner or later be reflected in his heart, so that he will possess the peace of God which passes all understanding.[4]

[1] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 548–549). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 68–69). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[3] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, pp. 251–252). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, pp. 234–237). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.