Monthly Archives: September 2017

September 30, 2017: Verse of the day

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So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem. [1]


35:2–4 / Responding to God’s orders, Jacob immediately instructed his household and others who had joined him to prepare themselves for a religious pilgrimage to Bethel. Careful preparations had to be made to protect everyone from the possibility of God’s breaking forth against anyone who was not ritually pure. Specifically Jacob commanded those of his house to get rid of the foreign gods, indicating that some continued to worship various deities. Some gods or idols may have been brought from Haran; others might have been taken from the pillage of the Shechemites. The report of this command accounts for the removal of the teraphim Rachel had stolen from her father’s house (31:19). Jacob also ordered his company to purify themselves so that they could be in the presence of God without danger. Ritual purification included bathing, shaving, and putting on clean clothes. It symbolized the removal of all that was unclean and sinful. In an exhortation Jacob told his entire household that they were going up to Bethel, where he would build an altar to God, who had helped him in his distress and who had been present with him throughout his long journey. The mention of God’s being with Jacob establishes a connection to the vow he had made at Bethel long ago (28:20).

The people responded willingly by giving Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears. These earrings must have had religious significance; possibly they were amulets. Jacob disposed of all the idols and rings he had collected by burying them under the oak at Shechem.[2]


2 But Jacob was as prompt as Abraham (cf. 22:3), and he immediately instructs them to prepare for pilgrimage. Worship of other gods was always incompatible with serving the God who said, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod 20:3). Ps 24:3–4 asks, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?” and answers, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false” (i.e., idols).

And other texts record the putting away of foreign gods in the context of renewed devotion to God (Josh 24:14, 23–24; Judg 10:16; 1 Sam 7:3–4). Worship, which brings one into the presence of a holy God, demands inward and outward purity, the latter being seen as an expression of the former. Purification usually took the form of bathing the body, washing the clothes, and shaving (Lev 14:8–9; Num 8:7). Before the Sinai revelation, all the people were told to wash their clothes and abstain from sexual intercourse (Exod 19:10–15). Here Jacob insists that they change their “outer garments,” the poncho-type wrapper used as coat and blanket (Exod 22:25–26 [26–27]). Their change of clothes represents a new and purified way of life (cf. 41:14). Elsewhere in the Pentateuch, sexual intercourse and the spilling of blood in war are seen as polluting (Num 31:19; Lev 15:18; 18:24–29). So this command to purify themselves probably looks back to the pollution produced in chap. 34.

3 “My time of crisis” is a common phrase, especially in the Psalms (e.g., 20:2 [1]; 50:15). Here Jacob is harking back to his flight from Esau, as the reference to the vow he made then, “If God will be with me, guard me on the journey I am undertaking” (28:20), makes clear. When the prayer offered as a vow was answered, the votary was duty bound to fulfill the promise he had made. Now Jacob implies he is about to do that.

4 The family members respond as requested, putting away their foreign gods and also their earrings. The significance of this last point is elusive. On two later occasions, earrings were used to make objects of idolatrous worship, the golden calf and an ephod (Exod 32:2–4; Judg 8:24–27). It could be that burying the earrings along with the foreign gods expressed their complete determination to dispose of the idols and also any material that could be used to replace them. A comparison with Num 31:48–54 suggests a quite different possibility. After the battle with the Midianites, the Israelites had to purify themselves (Num 31:19–20). Part of their purification process included donating to the sanctuary booty consisting of “articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and beads, to make atonement for ourselves before the Lord” (Num 31:50). This suggests that the rings removed by Jacob’s sons may well have been part of the booty captured by them from the Shechemites; indeed it is possible that the outer garments and the foreign gods (gold-plated idols?) were part of the spoil (cf. Num 31:20; Josh 7:21; Deut 7:25). We have already noted the close parallels between Gen 34 and Num 31:1–9 (see Comment on 34:27–29). These further parallels strengthen the case for reading all of 35:1–4, not merely v 5, in the light of chap. 34. 35:5 is not a late gloss or extract from a different source, but it flows naturally out of the preceding verses.

“Terebinth” (אלה): probably the Atlantic terebinth according to M. Zohary (Plants of the Bible, 110–11).[3]


35:2–4 Put away the foreign gods. Moving to Bethel necessitated spiritual preparation beyond the level of an exercise in logistics. Possession of idolatrous symbols such as figurines, amulets, or cultic charms (v. 4, “rings … in their ears”) were no longer tolerable, including Rachel’s troubling teraphim (31:19). Idols buried out of sight, plus bathing and changing to clean clothes, all served to portray both cleansing from defilement by idolatry and consecration of the heart to the Lord. It had been 8 or 10 years since his return to Canaan and, appropriately, time enough to clean up all traces of idolatry.[4]


35:2–3 Jacob’s instructions are intended to prepare his household for entering God’s presence; Bethel (v. 3) is the “house of God.” They must rid themselves of foreign gods (v. 2). As emphasized later in the first prohibition of the Ten Commandments, those who worship the Lord must not have other gods (see Ex. 20:3). Rachel’s theft of her father’s household gods suggests that polytheistic beliefs existed within Jacob’s household. These must be eradicated. The members of Jacob’s household must purify themselves (Gen. 35:2). While no details are given here, later Israelite tradition emphasized the importance of purification rituals, some of which involved the washing of clothes. This may explain Jacob’s final instruction to change garments (v. 2; see Ex. 19:10). who answers me in the day of my distress (Gen. 35:3). The present tense, “answers,” here indicates that God has consistently responded to Jacob in every time of trouble.

35:4 the rings that were in their ears. It is not clear whether these earrings were worn by the people or by the foreign gods; some ancient Near Eastern evidence indicates that idols could have earrings. Jacob probably buried these cultic objects so that their location would not be easily discovered.[5]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 35:2–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Hartley, J. E. (2012). Genesis. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 298–299). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Wenham, G. J. (1998). Genesis 16–50 (Vol. 2, pp. 323–324). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 35:2–4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 110–111). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

September 29, 2017: Verse of the day

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33 But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. 34 But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.” [1]

33–34 The Lord refuses Moses’ offer and replies, “Whoever has sinned … I will blot out of my book” (v. 33; cf. Pss 9:5; 51:1). Thus the OT principle is reaffirmed: the person who sins is accountable for his or her own sin (cf. Dt 24:16; Eze 18:4, 13, 17). Whereas in the past the Lord led (12:42, 51; 13:17; 15:13; 20:2), with Moses being only God’s servant, from now on Moses and an angel are to lead (v. 34). “The time comes for me to punish” is literally, “in the day of my visitation.” Perhaps this is the beginning of the day-of-the-Lord warnings by the later prophets.[2]

32:33–34 The Lord affirms the presumption in Moses’ request that the Lord determines whose names will be in his book, a reality which is referred to in both the OT and NT in various ways: “the book of the living” (Ps. 69:28), “the book” (Dan. 12:1), “names … written in heaven” (Luke 10:20), “the book of life” (Phil. 4:3).[3]


32:33 I will blot Refers to the practice of lifting wet ink from parchment, which results in the illegibility of what was written, and also a visible smudge. Sometimes this area could be written over, but it would always appear as a blemish.[4]


32:33 Whoever has sinned. Moses’ intercession is partially successful: God does not finally reject His people, but the sinful individuals will be judged. The limitations of Moses’ mediatorial office and ministry point to the need for a greater Mediator who will present a full and efficacious atonement for sin (Heb. 3:1–6; 10:11–18). See “Christ the Mediator” at 1 Tim. 2:5.[5]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ex 32:33–34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (2008). Exodus. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, p. 543). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 198). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ex 32:33). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 142). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

September 28, 2017: Verse of the day

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So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. [1]


4–7 The purpose for this strong warning to the priests is to caution them against the perversion of their office that has already begun (v. 4). The Lord made a covenant with Levi guaranteeing him life and well-being (thus Heb. šālôm), but only as he revered the Lord and served him faithfully (v. 5). This duty is precisely what the postexilic priests are failing to fulfill; thus they are already in violation of the covenant and are in danger of being cut off from their sacred office, that of custodian and teacher of Torah (v. 7).

The covenant referred to here no doubt pertains to the one made with Phinehas, a grandson of Aaron who at a crisis point in Israel’s spiritual life showed himself mightily on behalf of the Lord. When the Hebrews encamped on the plains of Moab, they became enticed by the Baalism of the area, and some began to involve themselves in lascivious idolatry (Nu 25:1–5). Having witnessed one particularly egregious act of sexual immorality, Phinehas, with spear in hand, slew the guilty parties, an Israelite man and a Midianite woman (v. 8). The Lord therefore held back the plague that was already underway and then singled out Phinehas for special recognition. God praised him and promised to make with him a covenant of everlasting priesthood characterized by well-being (šālôm; vv. 10–13).

In the words of Malachi, Levi (i.e., Phinehas, his descendant) “stood in awe” at the name of the Lord and was known as one whose mouth uttered “true instruction” (lit., “a tôrâ of truth”) and not falsehood. He walked in peace and uprightness and was responsible for the conversion of many to the Lord (v. 6). This rich legacy could and would be forfeited if the priests addressed by Malachi do not repent of their corrupt ways and once more serve the Lord in integrity and truth.[2]


The purpose of the covenant (v. 5)

To give life and peace

One of the most productive lies of the devil is that God enjoys making life miserable for human beings, that he gives us certain rules to spoil our happiness.

The truth of the matter is, of course, just the opposite. The laws of God are designed, not to destroy our happiness, but rather to secure it. Such was the case with God’s covenant with the Levites. By obeying it, they would bring both life and peace to the nation and to themselves. By disobeying it, they would bring destruction and unrest.

To produce fear of God

To fear God is to stand in awe of him. It is to revere his person, to submit to his authority and to dread his displeasure. This may seem to run counter to our happiness, but it is not. The more we stand in awe of God, the more likely we are to obey, and the more we obey the more happiness we find.[3]


2:4–5 / As a result of this punishment the priests would know that God had sent this admonition (see also v. 1) with a purpose—that the Lord’s covenant with Levi, which the priests had “violated” (v. 8), might continue. God was not ready to abolish the priesthood but intended, by means of judgment and the prophetic word, to reform the priests. The ministry of Malachi, the prophet and the book, was to call the priests back to their covenant obligations (vv. 5–7), to call them to work in the interim toward the purification to be completed in days to come by “the messenger of the covenant” (3:1–4).

There is no account in the ot of the making of this covenant with Levi, but Jeremiah 33:20–26 and Nehemiah 13:29 also speak of it. Several passages stand behind Malachi’s formulation (cf. the marriage covenant in Mal. 2:14). According to Deuteronomy 18:1–8, the entire tribe of Levi had been set aside for service at the sanctuary. Like Malachi 2, the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:8–11) personalizes the tribe of Levi as an individual. Levi was “the man you [God] favored,” who “watched over your word and guarded your covenant.” According to Deuteronomy 33:10, Levi carries out the priestly duties of offering incense and whole burnt offerings, as well as teaching God’s precepts and law (torah) to Israel. “True instruction” (torah) is a major priestly responsibility in Malachi 2:6–7. Leviticus 1:10–11; Deuteronomy 17:8–12, 18; 21:5; 24:8; and 27:14–26 all speak of the requirement to teach and make decisions according to the law (torah). God had granted to Phinehas, a descendant of Aaron, and to his descendants a covenant of lasting priesthood, a covenant of peace, because of his zeal for God’s honor (Num. 25:10–13; cf. Mal. 2:2, 5). But Malachi gives the label “covenant” to the special obligations and provisions for all the priests, who are Levites, as set forth in the law (e.g., Deut. 17:8–13; 18:1–8; Num. 18). The ideal priest revered the Lord and stood in awe of the Lord’s name, for God had kept covenant by giving him life and peace—the best gifts of God to humankind, gifts no one else can bestow.[4]


2:4, 5 My covenant … with Levi. The relationship of God to the priesthood was clearly set forth in the Levitic covenant (Nu 3:44–48; 18:8–24; Dt 33:8–11). The covenant was one of mutual responsibility, in which God expected reverence for Himself in exchange for life and peace for the priests. Verbally similar to the covenant made with Phinehas relating to the lineage of the High-Priest (cf. Nu 25:10–13), this covenant was made with Aaron of Levi’s line and his descendants. The Jewish priests of Malachi’s day had deceived themselves by claiming the privileges of the covenant, while neglecting the conditions of it, as if God was bound to bless them even while they rejected the obligation to serve Him.

2:4 Then you will know. The priests will know the price of disobedience by bitter experience with the consequences.[5]


2:5 with him Levi was the ancestor of Aaron who was ordained as the first priest of Israel (see Exod 28–29). Levi did not personally serve as a priest and is not prominent in Genesis. (He is primarily mentioned in passing in lists of Jacob’s sons apart from the story in Gen 34:1–31). In Mal 2:5–6, he stands symbolically for the institution of the priesthood in general.[6]


2:5 one of life and peace. The central thrust of Deuteronomy is to show the connection between covenant obedience and life. Commitment to God leads to a full life. Some see in “covenant … of … peace” an allusion to the covenant with Phinehas mentioned in Num. 25:10–13.[7]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mal 2:4–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Merrill, E. H. (2008). Malachi. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, p. 852). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Ellsworth, R. (2007). Opening up Malachi (p. 45). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[4] Goldingay, J., & Scalise, P. J. (2012). Minor Prophets II. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 337). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Mal 2:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Mal 2:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1346). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

September 27, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders will launch an urgent effort to get a major legislative win this year, announcing a long-awaited tax plan that will immediately set off a fight over how much top earners should pay.

Roy Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office for his display of a Ten Commandments statue, on Tuesday defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange, capturing almost 55 percent of the vote.

King Salman’s decision to allow women to drive marks the end of a long and arduous journey for scores of Saudi female drivers who faced arrest, harassment, slander and loss of jobs to get behind the wheel.

As Puerto Rico lies prostrate and powerless, 12 tankers are bound for the island, bringing fuel crucial to the emergency generators that provide power to hospitals and water-purification plants.

The House Science Committee received a classified briefing Tuesday related to Kaspersky Lab Inc., according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke about the Moscow-based security firm believed to have links to Russian intelligence. The discussion dealt with recent news and U.S. government actions regarding the Russian-owned company’s anti-virus software.

President Donald Trump said the U.S. is prepared to use “devastating” military force against North Korea but encouraged the world to work together to end the country’s nuclear program as he imposed new sanctions on the country’s banks.

AP Top Stories

Trump declared that he’s prepared to use military force if necessary on Tuesday, while more details on the torture American student Otto Warmbier faced during his 17 months in a North Korean prison have come to light.

Frustration is mounting on the island of Puerto Rico, where there’s no air conditioning., no hotels and no escape. With few commercial flights available, residents are scrambling amid an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

An officer in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s elite military security force was found shot dead on Tuesday inside the sprawling presidential compound, an official said.

Former President Obama described the moment he became overwhelmed with emotion sending his eldest daughter off to college while speaking at an event for the Beau Biden Foundation.

President Donald Trump will visit Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through the island as a Category 4 storm, he announced at a press briefing Tuesday morning.

Russia will retaliate against the United States in a row over a treaty that allows both states to conduct military observation flights over each other’s territory, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, Russian news agencies reported on Wednesday.

A Russian couple is suspected of dozens of cases of cannibalism after they were found with pictures of human body parts, including a cooked human head on a platter of oranges.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday signed into law a controversial language bill which has sparked a standoff with Romania and other east European states. The law states that starting in September 2020, students will be taught exclusively in Ukrainian from the fifth grade onwards, though they can still learn their native languages as a separate subject.

Qatar Airways announced Tuesday it has placed an order worth more than $2 billion for six Boeing planes, which it said reflected the airline’s continued expansion in the United States.

Russian officials have criticized a U.S. military handbook preparing soldiers for a possible future conflict with Moscow and its allies.

Ukrainian authorities evacuated more than 30,000 people Wednesday from the central Vinnytsia region after a huge arms depot storing missiles caught fire and exploded in what prosecutors said was a possible act of “sabotage”. It was the second major incident affecting a large Ukrainian weapons storage site this year.

Russia’s defense ministry on Wednesday said it had killed five field commanders and 32 fighters from a group formerly affiliated with Al-Qaeda in strikes on Syria’s Idlib province.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that Kurds had voted “yes” to independence in a referendum held in defiance of the government in Baghdad and which had angered their neighbors and their U.S. allies.

BBC

Iraq’s prime minister has demanded the Kurdistan Regional Government “cancel” the outcome of the referendum on independence that it held on Monday. Haider al-Abadi said he would “never discuss” the result and called on the Kurds to initiate dialogue “in the framework of the constitution”.

An Italian woman has married herself in a ceremony complete with white dress, three-layer wedding cake, bridesmaids and 70 guests. The ceremony carries no legal weight.

The US government has announced the start of construction on eight prototype barriers for the border with Mexico, a campaign promise of President Donald Trump.

WND

The lawyers for the Christian owners of a Minnesota video-services company are firing back after a federal judge there called the couple’s efforts to limit their wedding work to heterosexual couples “akin to a ‘White Applicants Only’ sign.”

Poland’s bishops have urged the nation’s Catholics to join a massive rosary prayer crusade along the country’s 2,000-mile border to pray for the salvation of their country. Organizers say they expect up to a million people to participate in the “Rosary on the Borders” event on October 7, the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, where “the Christian fleet overcame the Muslim armada, saving Europe from Islamization.”


The Briefing 09-27-17

Marriage no longer the default way to form a family in the United States

Why international organizations fail to deliver world peace

What the quest for self-fulfillment in the 1970s bequeathed to America today

Major American newspapers divide Americans into the dead and the pre-dead

The post The Briefing 09-27-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


News – 9/27/2017

More Faith-Based Films May Feature F-Bombs
Are Christian movies going blue? Generational Sins, in theaters Oct.  6 via Freestyle Digital Media, is rated PG-13 and contains 32 profanities — not unusual except that Sins is a faith-based movie.

Interpol votes to admit ‘State of Palestine’ as new member state
A week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly how Israel’s stature on the world stage was on the rise, the country suffered a diplomatic setback on Wednesday when the International Police Organization (Interpol) voted to accept the Palestinians as a member. The move passed by a vote of 75 to 24, with 34 abstentions.

Saudi Arabia women hail end of driving ban
Campaigners in Saudi Arabia have hailed King Salman’s decree allowing women to drive for the first time. One female activist called it a “great victory”, while another said things would “never be the same again”. The country’s US ambassador has described the move as “the right decision at the right time”.

Roy Moore Wins Alabama’s GOP Senate Primary
Alabama Republicans on Tuesday voted decisively to nominate Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court judge, for a U.S. Senate seat, delivering a rebuke to President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment that supported his rival…In his victory rally, Mr. Moore underscored the evangelical conservative spirit of his campaign, while invoking a Trumpian slogan.

Sex diseases in US surge to record high
Sexually transmitted diseases surged to a record high in the United States last year, with more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis nationwide, officials said Tuesday. This was “the highest number ever,” said the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In Historic Speech, Macron Makes “Radical” Appeal For United Europe, Calls For “Military Intervention Force”
“The challenge is vital: the sea walls behind which Europe has thrived have gone. We need to trace the only path ensuring our future; it is the refoundation of a sovereign, united and democratic Europe.”

Otto Warmbier ‘systematically tortured’ by N Korea say parents
The parents of Otto Warmbier have shared horrific details of his condition when he arrived home from North Korea. Fred and Cindy Warmbier told Fox and Friends that the North Koreans were “terrorists” who had “systematically tortured” their son. The US student was jailed in Pyongyang in 2016 for stealing a hotel sign.

BREAKING: Republicans Renew Call For SECOND SPECIAL COUNSEL to Investigate Hillary, Comey, and Lynch
In light of reports that Comey ended the FBI investigation into Hillary’s emails before interviewing seventeen key witnesses including Hillary herself, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee renewed called for a second special counsel Tuesday.

Trump Stumped As Bannon-Backed Roy Moore Wins Alabama Republican Primary By Landslide
In a serious rebuke for President Trump (and perhaps even moreso for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), ousted judge and alt-right favorite Roy Moore has won the Alabama Republican Primary by a landslide.

MAJOR TERROR ATTACK ROCKS ISRAEL: Border policeman, 2 security guards killed as Muslim terrorist opens fire northwest of Jerusalem
…Two security officers and a border policeman were murdered Tuesday morning in a suspected terror attack in the town of Har Adar outside Jerusalem. Another Israeli was badly wounded.

Fraud? 248 counties have more voters than eligible citizens
…“Voter fraud begins with corrupted voter rolls. Our nation’s voter rolls have records that cannot be distinguished between living or dead; citizen or alien; resident or relocated. We hear about possible cyber-attacks, but we aren’t doing enough to fix voter rolls that are certainly corrupt,” he said. “The voter rolls are so bad in some states that election officials would have a hard time telling the difference between sabotage and negligence.”

Students protest U.S. Attorney General speech at Georgetown
Students and faculty at Georgetown Law School gathered on Tuesday to protest that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was delivering an address about the right of free speech on college campuses to an invitation-only audience without giving critics of the Trump administration an opportunity to ask questions.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Sept. 27, 2017

2LT Rapone — A Chronic Case of Stupid

Infiltration? A West Point graduate promotes communism and Che Guevara while in uniform.

The Foundation

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine (1777)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: September 27

  • Trump Will Let Congress Decide on Tax Rate for Top Earners (Read More)
  • Conservative firebrand defeats Trump pick in Alabama primary for U.S. Senate (Read More)
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary says market access, protectionism top China issues (Read More)
  • U.S. slaps steep duties on Bombardier jets after Boeing complaint (Read More)
  • Dismayed Britain chides Boeing over Bombardier ruling (Read More)
  • Cryptocurrency Derivatives? You Bet. This Trader Has 295% Return (Read More)
  • Manafort’s Offer to Russian Oligarch Was Tied to Disputed Deal (Read More)
  • There’s One North Korea Taboo China’s Leaders Won’t Talk About (Read More)
  • Mattis arrives in Afghanistan as rockets hit Kabul airport (Read More)
  • Falling prices, borrowing binge haunt Midwest ‘go-go farmers’ (Read More)
  • Canada Says It’s No Safe Haven for Immigrants Losing U.S. Protection (Read More)
  • Ford and Lyft Sign Driverless-Car Agreement (Read More)
  • Trump’s Made-in-America Car Campaign Hasn’t Spurred Investment (Read More)
  • Uber defends business model at UK tribunal on worker rights (Read More)
  • Alstom, Siemens Announce Merger to Create European Train Giant (Read More)
  • PepsiCo Lawyer’s Exit Is Focus of SEC Probe (Read More)
  • Greek central bank dismisses Anonymous hacking claim (Read More)
  • Amazon says Google has pulled YouTube from Echo Show device in tech face-off (Read More)
  • Thai former PM Yingluck gets five-year jail term for negligence (Read More)

Headlines – 9/27/2017

UN: Israeli, PA incitement violates Resolution 2334

Son of Hamas Founder Shakes Up UN Human Rights Council: ‘If Israel Did Not Exist, You Would Have No One to Blame’

Survey: 67% of PA, Gaza Arabs Want Abbas to Resign, Replaced by Barghouti or Haniyeh

Supreme Court justices to skip settlement jubilee ceremony

In chat with Merkel, Netanyahu says Israel worried about rising anti-Semitism

In Tunisia, an ancient Jewish community braves uncertain future

Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled to speak at European Parliament event

Israeli PM blames deadly attack on ‘Palestinian incitement’

After deadly attack by cleaner, some in Har Adar rethink Palestinian hires

Mayor of Palestinian assailant’s hometown accuses Israel of ‘collective punishment’

Liberman’s party revives death penalty for terrorists bill after Har Adar attack

‘Deport family members of Palestinian terrorists to Syria’

Jewish man, 54, sets himself on fire at King David’s tomb

Leviathan value revised up to $7.4b

Report: Israel fires missile at Syrian aircraft over Golan

Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to halt renewed Israel ties over backing for Kurdish state

Turkey warns Kurds ‘Israeli flags won’t save you’

Top Iranian general says Kurdish referendum an Israeli ‘plot’

Kurdish bid for independence from Iraq emerges as regional flash point

Kurdish referendum: President Barzani declares victory in independence vote amid threats

After vote, defiant Iraqi Kurds say they are ready to fight for independence

Barzani says ‘yes’ vote won independence referendum, calls on Baghdad to engage in dialogue

Iran vows to stand with Baghdad, Ankara against Iraqi Kurds’ independence push

Iraqi PM, Kurdish leader trade barbs over independence vote

Iraq Orders Kurdistan to Surrender Its Airports

Iraqi Kurds must give up on independence or go hungry – Erdogan

Iraq hangs 42 Sunni militants convicted of terrorism

Trump plans to slash US refugee admissions

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive for the first time

Amid genocide allegations, Israel mum on halting arms sales to Myanmar

New US sanctions hit 8 North Korean banks, 26 bank workers

North Korea taps GOP analysts to better understand Trump and his messages

Trump warns of ‘devastating’ military option as North Korea moves jets

Trump says world must isolate NKorean ‘menace’

Trump lowers temperature in simmering conflict with North Korea and claims pressure is working

North Korea: Hawaii residents told to prepare for nuclear attack as tensions reach new high

Trump says US captive in North Korea was ‘tortured beyond belief’

U.S. asks China not to enforce cyber security law

Israeli surveillance balloon helped protect Pope in South America

U.S. does not believe Cuba is behind sonic attacks on American diplomats

Meeting with economists and blue-collar workers, Fed Chair Janet Yellen talks of economic uncertainty

Yellen: Fed may have ‘misjudged’ inflation, keeping rates lower

Home-price gains accelerate in July as a reminder of the housing bubble stirs to life

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Hachinohe, Japan

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Manokwari, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

The graphs that show why Bali’s Mt Agung volcano could erupt at any minute, as 75,000 flee

Can an active hurricane season lead to an increase in earthquakes?

September 2017 Was the Most Active Month on Record for Atlantic Hurricanes

Thousands flee North Carolina’s Outer Banks ahead of Maria

Dems accuse Trump of ‘anemic’ response to Puerto Rico crisis

Iceberg 3 times the size of Manhattan breaks off Antarctica

Witch doctors in Uganda sacrificing children in bid to end drought, report says

Senate GOP abandons latest effort to unwind the Affordable Care Act

New STD cases in U.S. set record high in 2016: CDC report

Trump wants to ban transgender military troops. His top general feels differently.

Trump urges NFL to ban players kneeling during anthem

Dem lawmaker threatens to force Trump impeachment vote next week

Miss Puerto Rico Suspended for Tweets: ‘Islamic God is NOT the Same God as Christians & Jews’

Scriptures Prove Jewish Feast of Yom Kippur Was Fulfilled In Jesus Christ!

Flag Worship and the Idolatry of American Patriotic Christianity

The Simon the Sorcerer Mentality – Jennifer LeClaire and Jeremy Gibson

Word of Faith Superstar Kenneth Copeland Proven 100% WRONG (and Nobody Cares)

Bible Scholar Claims Apostle Paul Never Said ‘Women Should Remain Silent in Church’

Oprah Magazine: God’s “in” Abortions?

 


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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