Daily Archives: October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump’s administration took its most drastic step yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act, cutting off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets.

President Donald Trump is expected on Friday to refuse to certify that the multinational accord to curb Iran’s nuclear program sufficiently serves U.S. interests, though he will stop short of abandoning it, according to two senior administration officials.

The average private renter in the U.K. capital spent 40 percent of their income on housing between 2013 and 2015, compared with 28 percent in the rest of Britain, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Iraq’s Kurdish administration deployed an extra 6,000 fighters to near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, responding to what it says are “threats” of an attack by government forces, the Kurdish news agency reported.

China’s trade with North Korea slumped in September, amid United Nations sanctions aimed at deterring Kim Jong Un from pursuing his missile and nuclear-weapons program.

Top U.S. national security officials on Friday called on Congress to quickly renew a counterterrorism program that lets intelligence agencies intercept the communications of tens of thousands of suspected foreign terrorists living abroad.

The House passed a $36.5 billion hurricane and wildfire relief bill Thursday that would give Puerto Rico access to $4.9 billion in low-interest Treasury loans and allow the troubled National Flood Insurance Program to keep paying claims.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday the North Korean nuclear and missile threat is “manageable” for now but the isolated nation can’t be allowed to develop the ability to strike the U.S. homeland.

Former President George W. Bush will be honored with the Thayer Award at West Point. The award is given to citizens whose service in the national interest reflects the academy’s motto of “Duty, Honor, Country.” Past recipients include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Hope and Tom Brokaw. Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, received the award in 1994.

Facebook has announced a new feature that will let users buy meals on its website through third-party delivery services like DoorDash or directly from a group of restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Five Guys.

AP Top Stories

Massive wildfires sweeping through California have killed at least 31 people and damaged more than 190,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures and forced more than 20,000 residents to evacuate, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire.

Air raids by U.S. coalition warplanes have intensified in recent days as Kurdish and Arab militias seek to drive surrounded Islamic State militants from their last strongholds in Syria’s Raqqa — but the toll on civilians has been severe.

The head of the Philippines’ anti-narcotics agency on Friday warned of a reduced intensity in the country’s war on drugs after a removal of police from the campaign, which he hoped would only be temporary as his unit lacked manpower.

Water is rationed. Scabies is spreading. Grocery stores are lined with empty shelves, if they’re open at all. People are fainting as they wait in lines for hours in sweltering heat, because they have to check into a FEMA hub to get small amounts of food and supplies being guarded by armed officers. That’s if they can even make it to FEMA.

Pope Francis said the death penalty is “inadmissible” and called for changes to church doctrine to prohibit it, the church’s strongest comments yet on the controversial issue.

At least 54 people died and 39 went missing as destructive floods battered northern and central Vietnam this week, the disaster prevention agency said on Friday.

South Korea said it detected an earthquake Friday near North Korea’s main nuclear test site, the fourth since the country’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test explosion last month. Some experts suggested the area is now too unstable to conduct more bomb tests.

The leading white supremacist, Richard Spencer, has urged Charlottesville to prepare for more white supremacist “flash mobs” after leading a march by torchlight on Saturday in Charlottesville.

The U.S. Justice Department singled out four cities (New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, and Cook County in Illinois) and a county on Thursday for allegedly having so-called “sanctuary policies” that may violate a federal law that says local governments cannot limit information sharing with U.S. immigration officials.

Pope Francis will push for peace during his visit to mainly-Buddhist Myanmar, a church official said Thursday, a trip that plunges the pontiff into the center of a simmering religious conflict which has sparked an exodus of Muslim Rohingya.

Norway said on Friday it planned to send an armored battalion near its arctic border with Russia and buy more tanks and artillery to respond to growing threats.

BBC

A rescue ship has docked in Sicily with 606 migrants picked up in less than two days off the Libyan coast.

Israel has said it will join the US in pulling out of the UN’s cultural organisation Unesco, after US officials cited “anti-Israel bias”.

WND

The Department of Health and Human Services has published a draft of a new strategic plan that states in its introduction that life begins at conception.


The Briefing 10-13-17

Who is responsible for the secularization of America’s young people?

Whose priorities are fueling the secularization of America’s youth: parents, professors, or both?

What are marketers telling us about millennials?

Worldview Book Recommendation: The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance

The post The Briefing 10-13-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


News – 10/13/2017

Trump administration: ‘Life begins at conception’
The Department of Health and Human Services has published a draft of a new strategic plan that states in its introduction that life begins at conception. The personhood of the unborn child is central to the abortion debate — as even the justice who wrote the landmark Roe v. Wade opinion has acknowledged — because, if established in law, it would nullify a “right” to abortion. The largely overlooked HHS strategic plan for 2018-22 states the agency “accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”

US pulls out of UNESCO, citing ‘anti-Israel’ bias
The United States said Thursday that it was pulling out of the UN’s culture and education body, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias” in a move that underlines Washington’s drift away from international institutions. Following years of tension at UNESCO, which is in the process of electing a new director-general, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that Washington planned to withdraw.

Jordan: Jews on Temple Mount are a ‘provocation’ to Muslims
Jordanian minister claims Jews visiting Temple Mount ‘harm’ Al-Aqsa mosque, ‘provoke’ Muslims around the world.

Germany to work to maintain global unity if US de-certifies Iran deal
The German government on Friday vowed to work for continued global unity if US President Donald Trump announces that he will not certify Iran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear accord negotiated by world powers, as expected. “We have a great interest in the continuation of this international unity. If … an important country like the United States comes to a different conclusion as appears to be the case, we will work even harder with other partners to maintain this cohesion,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

Hillary Clinton vows to give Harvey Weinstein money to charity – but suffers huge backlash
HILLARY Clinton has given campaign donations from disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to charity – but all may not be as it appears…questions were raised over whether she should contribute the money on top of her usual 10 per cent. If not, the cash would appear to be replacing dollars she was already handing over. It is also not known if the money will end up going to her own charity, the Clinton Foundation. The lack of clarity sparked a furious online backlash against Mrs Clinton.

La Palma volcano ‘seismic swarm MAPPED: Video captures La Palma volcano’s flurry of quakes
LA PALMA volcano’s “seismic swarm” has been mapped in a video which reveals when the Canary Islands was rocked by 50 earthquakes in just three days.

Hurricane Ophelia to Brush the Azores This Weekend; May Affect Ireland Next Week as a Powerful Post-Tropical Storm
Hurricane Ophelia remains a Category 2 hurricane and remains no threat to the United States, but could potentially brush parts of the Azores this weekend. Ophelia will likely bring a blast of strong winds early next week to Ireland and perhaps the United Kingdom as a powerful post-tropical low-pressure system.

California wildfires: Death toll climbs to 29
The number of people confirmed dead in wildfires sweeping northern California has climbed to 29, as officials warned that conditions would worsen. Hundreds of people remain missing as at least 22 fires rampaged across the state’s famous wine country.

Multiple People Shot After Gunman Opens Fire In Central Trelleborg, Sweden
Local media reported that at least four people had been taken to hospital. Some reports suggested that up to seven people might have been seriously injured.

Obama AG Loretta Lynch faces a Capitol Hill date to discuss Russia vote meddling
President Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been called to testify before congressional Russian election meddling probes next week.

Baltimore Surpasses New York, Chicago as Murder Capital With 278 Homicides
The Baltimore Police Department has announced the deaths of three men shot in two separate incidents, pushing the city’s homicide count to 278 so far this year ‒ ahead of New York in terms of total murders, and Chicago in murders per capita.

REPORT: Trump SLASHES Ties With Anti-Israel U.N. … Conservatives Are Cheering!
President Trump has officially declared that the United States is withdrawing from UNESCO — the Education, Scientific, and Cultural branch of the United Nations, in response to its continued anti-America, anti-Israel behavior, reports WND.

Trump administration: ‘Life begins at conception’
Bold new strategic plan declares personhood of unborn.

THANK G-D: Trump administration reverses Obama policy – ‘gender identity’ not
In a reversal of federal policy that pleased marriage advocates and angered LGBTQI groups, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a memo interpreting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as not intended to apply to transgenders.

ALERT: D.C. Strikes Vengeance, Issues Unbelievable Gun Law… Patriots Will Not Have It
The Washington Times reports that officials in Washington, D.C., are seeking major expansions to the district’s draconian gun laws. Ever since the federal appeals court struckdown their attempts to constrain the issuing of concealed-carry permits, the Democrats have been thirsting for revenge.

Pelosi Uses Facebook Failure to Push Plan to Spend $40 Billion of Taxpayer Money
With Facebook users incapacitated and seeking answers, Pelosi quickly took to Twitter to promote Democrats’ plan to spend at least $40 billion of taxpayer money to provide access to affordable, high-speed internet to every home in America via their “A Better Deal on Universal High-Speed Internet” initiative:

Mozilla gave $100,000 to secure email platform harnessed by Antifa groups
 Firefox creators proud to aid international terrorists.


October 12, 2017
NEWSMAX — The NRA said Thursday it opposes two pieces of legislation that would ban devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into weapons that work more like automatic ones…. (more)

October 12, 2017
ALICIA POWE — Thwarted over and over in his effort to repeal and replace Obamacare by a unified Democratic Party and a handful of Republicans, President Trump Thursday used his executive power to at least partially fulfill his major campaign promise. The president dismantled part of his predecessor’s signature health-care legislation – – the Affordable Care Act – – with the “power of the pen,” providing “millions of Americans with Obamacare relief.”… (more)

October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump intends to end insurance subsidies under Obamacare, a move that would likely result in lawsuits and put pressure on Congress to act. According to a statement Thursday evening from the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, the Trump administration is making the move based on guidance from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, which have concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare…. (more)

October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The total number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits fell to 1.89 million at the end of September, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, the lowest such mark in nearly 44 years. And new claims for unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 to 243,000 in the first full week of October, according to the agency, as the job market bounces back from hurricane damage even faster than forecasters expected…. (more)

October 12, 2017

ABC NEWS — Massive wildfires sweeping through California have killed at least 31 people and damaged thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings, authorities said. More than half of the deaths occurred in Sonoma County alone, officials said. Taken together, the death toll from this week’s fires exceeds the number of fatalities in the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, the deadliest wildfire in California history…. (more)


October 12, 2017
BOB UNRUH — The United States is dropping out of the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization only months after the international organization went “delusional” by declaring the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron a “Palestinian heritage site.”… (more)

October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump introduced his new Homeland Security secretary nominee Thursday, saying former Bush administration official and current deputy White House Chief of Staff Kirstjen Nielsen is the right person to carry out his campaign promises…. (more)

October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Lost in the uproar over the NFL sideline protests against police brutality are newly released statistics showing that the threat to black men is skyrocketing – – not from trigger-happy or racist cops, but from crime. More than any other demographic group, black men are paying the price with their lives with a surging violent crime rate over the past two years, including a 20 percent jump in the overall homicide rate, even as the number of blacks killed by police declines…. (more)

October 12, 2017
FRANCE 24 — Pope Francis called Wednesday for categoric opposition to capital punishment to be written into an update of the most important guide to Catholic teaching. His comments, which will be controversial with many fundamentalist Christians and some Catholics, came in a speech to clerics attending a conference in Rome to mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The catechism is a question and answer guide to what Catholics should think about a wide range of moral and social issues…. (more)

October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — A jury Thursday recommended the death penalty for an Oklahoma man convicted of beheading a co-worker in 2014. Jurors convicted Alton Nolen, 33, on Sept. 29 of killing 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and trying to kill another co-worker at a food processing plant in Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City…. (more)


October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Boy Scouts announced Wednesday they will let girls into the Cub Scouts in a bid to “evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children.” As benign as this may seem – after all, it’s just camping and knife skills, right? – few things demonstrate societal goals more than the choices we make regarding our youngest generation: from education and child care to parenting and community, what we show and teach our young people reflect societal values at large…. (more)


October 12, 2017
TIMOTHY P. CARNEY — It was supposed to illustrate how the shooting was inexplicable; how nothing in this man’s life could explain why he would lose his mind and become a mass murderer…. (more)

October 12, 2017
New revelations blow apart previous narrative
LEO HOHMANN — The fallout continued Wednesday from police altering the timeline of the Oct. 1 massacre at a concert outside the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, and now a hotel worker has emerged saying he warned the hotel staff that a shooter was on the 32nd floor before he unloaded a hail fire of bullets down onto the crowd below…. (more)

October 12, 2017

CBS NEWS — A maintenance worker said Wednesday he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance…. (more)


October 12, 2017

CHICAGO TRIBUNE — Fueled by the return of strong winds, the wildfires tearing through California wine country exploded in size and number Wednesday as authorities ordered new evacuations and the death toll climbed to 23 – – a figure expected to rise. Three days after the fires began, firefighters were still unable to gain control of the blazes that had turned entire Northern California neighborhoods to ash and destroyed at least 3,500 homes and businesses…. (more)


October 12, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal court ruled Wednesday that Congress can continue to open its sessions each day with a prayer, and upheld the House’s ability to pick and choose who’s allowed to lead the prayer. U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, a Bush appointee who sits in Washington, D.C., rejected a challenge by Daniel Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, who said he was not permitted to give an opening invocation, even though other guest chaplains have been permitted…. (more)

October 12, 2017
BOB UNRUH — Chiefs of several key conservative organizations Wednesday released a copy of a letter to the leadership in the U.S. Senate, telling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others they need to resign from those posts because they are not capable of providing the leadership the nation needs…. (more)

October 12, 2017
NBC NEWS — The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday that girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization’s highest honor. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts…. (more)

October 12, 2017
NEWSMAX — They waited years to speak, but two of Hollywood’s most powerful women might have helped seal the fate of Harvey Weinstein. Both Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie added their first-person accounts of uncomfortable experiences with Weinstein to the ever-growing list of accusations against the movie mogul from women alleging decades of systematic sexual harassment and assault. The accusers have come from everywhere – – actresses you’ve heard of, actresses you haven’t, models, assistants, employees, a reporter and young women who found themselves in the orbit of the powerful executive…. (more)

October 12, 2017
BOB UNRUH — So Harvey Weinstein now reportedly is to be fleeing to Europe for therapy for his alleged habit of sexually harassing and assaulting young women, and the A-listers who profited from his movie business are left to say they are shocked, yes, shocked, at his unacceptable behavior. But is that really the truth? Likely not for all…. (more)

October 9, 2017
ALAN KEYES — U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly concerned with the possibility that President Trump “could try to pardon people in his circle even before prosecutors charge anyone with a crime.”… (more)

October 9, 2017
JUDI CALER — In the novel “1984,” George Orwell’s unsettling prophecy of a totalitarian society, Newspeak was the official language of Oceania. It was devised to limit freedom of thought. New words were invented, undesirable words eliminated, and the remaining words redefined or limited in scope to further the Party’s ideology. If something can’t be said, it can’t be thought, making a diverging thought unthinkable…. (more)

October 9, 2017
JOAN SWIRSKY — From the founding of America 241 years ago, those opposed to the Founding Fathers’ noble aspirations of freedom for all, and a government in which citizens – and not kings or dictators – decide who will represent them, have waged fierce resistance…. (more)

October 9, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — A book by an associate of Barack Hussein Obama predicted a “permanent progressive governing coalition” would be solidified by the presidential election of 2016. But the prediction in the book Brown is the New White ran into the reality of a Donald J. Trump victory…. (more)

October 9, 2017

CLIFF KINCAID — Why is there no motive for the Vegas massacre? Why did Stephen Paddock have a secret life? It is terrible to contemplate, but the possibility that Stephen Paddock was an undercover federal operative or informant cannot be ruled out. He may have been set up or used by ISIS and/or a federal agency in a scheme that backfired…. (more)


Mid-Day Snapshot

Oct. 13, 2017

The Bump Stock Slippery Slope

Proposed bipartisan legislation overreaches and would infringe Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

The Foundation

“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.” —Noah Webster (1787)


Headlines – 10/13/2017

Palestinian Reconciliation Signed in Cairo: Abbas Hails Historic End of Division Between Hamas, Fatah

Fatah-Hamas unity: Rub your eyes in disbelief

With Trump and al-Sissi Watching, Netanyahu Can Only Hope the Palestinians Will Thwart the Reconciliation Deal

Israel Responds With Restraint to Palestinian Unity: ‘We’ll Follow Developments and Act Accordingly’

Israeli leaders: Hamas must disarm, or reconciliation means nothing

Israel will only accept Palestinian unity gov’t if Hamas disarms, ends terror

Appearances aside, Abbas hasn’t given up on disarming Hamas

Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas accord makes peace harder to achieve

US to ‘monitor improvement in humanitarian conditions’ following Gaza reconciliation deal

Gazans happy but cautious amid signing of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal

Reacting to Reconciliation, Palestinians on Twitter Voice Hope for a Brighter Future

Hamas: Unity deal is so we can all ‘work together against Zionist enterprise’

The IDF’s Gaza Wall Might Change Hamas Strategy

Israel strikes Hamas target in retaliation for rocket fire from Gaza

Jewish worshippers in Jerusalem attack Arab-owned shop

Jordan condemns ‘provocative’ Jewish visits to Temple Mount

US to pull out of UNESCO amid Palestinian tensions

Israel ‘to prepare’ for UNESCO withdrawal alongside US, says Netanyahu

Defense Minister Lieberman calls US’ UNESCO withdrawal ‘an important moral step’

US ambassador says ‘foolish actions’ led to UNESCO move

After UNESCO bombshell, US envoy Haley warns UN of more trouble ahead

Shaked: Israel should leave UNESCO,build in Jerusalem

Six Key Moments in Israel’s Tumultuous Relationship With UNESCO

Russia regrets US withdrawal from UNESCO, says important projects may suffer

UN chief will work with US despite UNESCO pullout

Qatar Leads Race to Head UNESCO, Arab States Work to Thwart Bid as Diplomatic Row Continues

Report: US ambassador to Lebanon disavows Lieberman’s assertion Lebanese army now part of Hezbollah

Iraq refuses talks with Kurds unless they commit to unity

Tillerson assures Washington’s only goal in Syria is fighting IS

Islamic State attacks kill at least 50 in east Syria

With Yemen Blockade, Saudi Arabia Squeezes an Already Starving Population

UN: Afghan civilian casualties from air strikes rise more than 50 percent

Pakistan Army rescues Canadian-American family held hostage by Taliban

The family freed after 5 years of Taliban captivity now refuses to board US plane

Mattis hopeful freeing of hostages in Pakistan to boost cooperation

Erdogan says US sacrificing ties with Turkey, blames envoy

5 Reasons Why Trump Is Moving Towards War With Iran

In new strategy, Trump to focus on Iran’s non-nuclear provocations

Trump on Iran nuke accord: It’s the ‘worst deal. We got nothing’

Trump to make announcement on fate of Iran nuclear deal Friday

Report: McMaster Crafts ‘Compromise’ to Keep Iran Deal While Placating ‘Furious’ Trump

Trump to rebuke Iran but won’t call for sanctions that threaten nuclear deal

Trump Iran deal plan risks opening nuclear ‘Pandora’s box’

Trump Expected To ‘Decertify’ The Iran Deal, Punt The Issue To Congress

“The ‘decertification’ will push Iran to start again the nuclear program”

Iran moves to sidestep ballistic-missile sanctions with German weapons companies

Trump’s Iran plans driving EU toward Russia and China: Germany

US Secretary of State Tillerson consulted Britain, China, France, Russia on Iran

Trump reportedly ‘threw a fit’ when Mattis and Tillerson told him to keep the US in the Iran deal

Iran deal’s foes in U.S. Congress may be its unlikely saviors

Expert warns: If Trump scraps nuke deal, Iran could quickly build the bomb

Lapid: Iran thinks it can lie its way to the bomb

‘It’s become a monster’: is Iran’s revolutionary guard a terror group?

Iran says designating IRGC a terror group ‘a terror act’ in itself

Russia’s Putin plans to visit Iran by year-end

Russia-Backed Forces Could Face Armed Ground Robots in Ukraine Conflict in 2018

Russia, Saudi Arabia close to sign S-400 missile deal

Turkey’s Erdogan says no problem with Russian S-400 purchases

Israel’s Kaspersky Hack Reveals That Russia Is Crossing All the Red Lines

UAE stops issuing visas to North Koreans, ends diplomatic missions

G7 agrees to ramp up economic pressure on N. Korea

Congress warned North Korean EMP attack would kill ‘90% of all Americans’

Small quake registered in area of North Korea where previous nuclear tests occurred

North Korea: Earthquake near nuclear site sparks fears of fresh hydrogen bomb test

Mysterious absence of North Korea’s ‘rocket men’ raises new nuke, missile fears

The first casualty of North Korean nuclear tests? The country’s environment

Trump’s claim that U.S. interceptors can knock out ICMBs ’97 percent of the time’

Sweden market shooting: Police rule out terrorism after gunman opens fire in Trelleborg

In Austria’s Elections, the Fight Against anti-Semitism Has Turned Nasty

California secessionists think their path to independence is easier than Catalonia’s

Canada, Mexico vow to stick with NAFTA talks, Mexico works on Plan B

DOJ issues ‘last chance’ warning to sanctuary cities

Rush Limbaugh Says Trump Is Acting Like a Dictator, Making Him Nervous

‘Disturbing rhetoric’: Trump’s press threats may violate 1st Amendment, oath of office

First recording emerges of high-pitched ‘sonic weapon’ linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in Cuba

Obama AG Loretta Lynch faces a Capitol Hill date to discuss Russia vote meddling

Russia reportedly used Pokemon Go in an effort to inflame racial tensions

Baltimore Murder Count At 278; More Than NY, More Per Capita Than Chicago

NY official: Homegrown terrorism bigger problem in US than Europe

Las Vegas sheriff frustrated by data discrepancies, unanswered questions

‘Do not disturb’ signs get another look after Las Vegas shooting

Opposition mounts against bill to renew surveillance program

Equifax says it was not breached again, but vendor on site served ‘malicious content’

Mozilla gave $100,000 to secure email platform harnessed by Antifa groups

‘We chip our dogs,’ head of Olympians’ group says, so why not athletes to fight doping?

Distressed Investors Are Already Buying Houston Homes for 40 Cents on the Dollar

Planet Nine Could Be Our Solar System’s Missing ‘Super Earth’

Small Asteroid Gives Earth a Close Shave in Highly Anticipated Flyby

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Serrezuela, Argentina

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Japan’s Shinmoe volcano erupts for first time in six years

Volcanic eruption in Japan spreads ash in 4 cities, towns

‘Ring of Fire’ volcanos remind Asia of seismic peril

Yellowstone Supervolcano May Rumble to Life Faster Than Thought

Is it gonna blow? Measuring volcanic emissions from space

Typhoon Khanun to target southern China, threatens to worsen Vietnam flood disaster

Floods and landslides kill 54, leave 39 missing in Vietnam

Hurricane Ophelia has intensified to Category 2 strength as it heads toward Europe

Ophelia is the 10th hurricane in a row. That hasn’t happened since 1893

Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House passes aid package

Trump Warns Puerto Rico Weeks After Storms: Federal Help Cannot Stay ‘Forever’

San Juan mayor accuses Trump of ‘genocide’ after hurricane

Evacuations widened as Northern California wildfires spread to 170,000 acres

Death toll hits 31 as California infernos grow to size of NYC

Experts say these 3 things caused the devastating California wildfires

Vineyards may have kept wine country fire from getting worse

How the Napa fires could affect the taste, price of your wine

‘Bloody’ sunset appears over smoke-filled Bay Area

The air quality in the Bay Area right now is as bad as Beijing

Heat and drought led to the largest recorded spike in carbon levels

A massive hole just opened up in Antarctica’s ice and scientists can’t explain it

Yemen’s cholera outbreak now the worst in history as millionth case looms

Trump signs order to eliminate ACA insurance rules, undermine marketplaces

Trump administration officially defines life as beginning at conception

FDA advisers urge approval for first gene therapy for inherited disease

An anarchist takes on the drug industry – by teaching patients to make their own meds

With cannabis legalization around the corner, Los Angeles contemplates another dumb move

Pot for pets is a big business

Collective consciousness to replace God – author Dan Brown

Is this huge inscription our missing link to the biblical ‘Sea Peoples’?

The Purpose Driven Industrial Complex — Creating a Generation of Hirelings

Todd White – Jesus went to hell and was not born as God

Mother Crashes Church Service, Accuses Married Pastor of Sleeping With Her Daughter

Apostle Steve Shultz & James Goll talk about NAR; recognizing Hillsong and Brownsville as being part of it

DaVinci Code Author: New form of collective consciousness to replace God, fulfill role of religion

Late-Term Abortionist LeRoy Carhart Opening Clinic Next Week Doing Abortions Through All 9 Months of Pregnancy

Prophets Who Cry “Wolf!”  Will Eventually Be Eaten

Todd White Says “I Am Sinless” (Just Like Jesus)

Blasphemous Minister Who Supports Polyamory Claims ‘Holy Trinity Is a Polyamorous Relationship’

Toledo Pastor Arrested, Charged With Sex Trafficking

The history of the Carpenter’s Home Church

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards: “Why Should Christians be Able to Impose Their Views on Women?”

R.Scott Clark – I Have Not Seen Miracles Here: Between Pentecost And The Parousia

Perry (It’s All About Me!) Noble Refuses to Exclude Profanity From Social Media Post: ‘I Will Not Sanitize This’

Word of Faith Fellowship: Brazil branches of US-based church target of numerous probes

Doomsayer predicts rise of Antichrist, 7 years of chaos & Planet X smashing into Earth

Planned Parenthood: 75% of Our Abortion Clients Don’t Show Up When People are Outside Praying

Mike Ratliff – You Have A Name That You Are Alive, But You Are Dead

Playing the ‘Religious Card’

Is Christianity on a “great spiritual migration” to a new religion?

Francis Chan and Todd White Headline Upcoming IHOP Festival of False Teaching

Are Muslims Coming to Christ By Way of Dreams and Visions?

Church of the Highlands founder’s son out as Greystone pastor due to ‘moral failure’

Roman Catholic Dioceses Nationwide Being ‘Consecrated’ to ‘Immaculate Heart of Mary’

Oxford college bans Christian Union from freshers’ fair over ‘homophobia & neo-colonialism’

Canada Euthanizes 2,149 Patients During the First Year of Legalized Assisted Suicide

Kansas acting as ‘religious police’ in mandating vaccine for grandson, couple argue

Surrounded by Bloody Sheep — Defending Joel Osteen

Why the Brownsville Revival was a demonic revival, run by Satan’s servants

The Unholy “Holy Ghost Fire” of Todd White and the NAR

Mike Huckabee brings star power and a shot of news to TBN’s Christian lineup

‘Prophet’ R.G. Stair under investigation again for inappropriately touching  juvenile girl

Chicago Pastor, Wife Sentenced to Prison for Embezzling $450K From Children’s Food Program

Presbyterian Megachurch ‘Pastor’ Says God Isn’t Male, Denies Exclusivity of Christ

Law would prevent clergy from having sex with church members

Judge Rules Pastors Housing Allowance Unconstitutional


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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Five Keys to Biblical Worship

Code: B171011

The apostle James wrote these hopeful, encouraging words in his epistle: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). That’s a tremendous promise that many believers sadly forfeit, as the distractions of life cloud our focus on the Lord.

Nowhere does that show up more frequently or vividly than in our worship. Our devotion to the Lord is often the first thing to go when life gets busy and difficult—which is tragically ironic, since that’s when our commitment to God and His Word is most helpful.

Instead, we need to fight against those distractions and keep worship as a perpetual priority in our lives. We need to be willing to sacrifice anything that hinders or impedes our praise to God and our devotion to His truth. As we’ve already seen in this series, God is not interested in halfhearted lip service or ignorant emotionalism. He takes our worship seriously, and we ought to as well.

And when the inevitable struggles come—when our focus drifts and our commitment wavers—we need to pause and take stock of our spiritual lives. When you struggle to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, you can likely trace the source of the problem back to one of five principles of biblical worship.

Yield to the Spirit

The first key to biblical worship is obvious, but often overlooked: True worshipers must be saved. That vital component is largely forgotten in churches that emphasize emotional experiences over biblical content. It’s baffling that many of the churches who most effectively cultivate an exciting “worship experience” are also the ones that direct their services to unbelievers.

As we’ve already seen, it’s not enough to “feel close to God”—true worship isn’t grounded in our feelings, but in the truth. And the soul that has not submitted and surrendered to God’s truth cannot possibly worship Him. In 1 Corinthians Paul makes that very point “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3).

Regarding the necessity of a spirit yielded to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in biblical worship, John MacArthur writes,

This confirms once more that the foundation of true worship is salvation. One who is not saved cannot truly worship. And one who is truly saved will be motivated by the indwelling Holy Spirit to worship. It is fair, then, to examine ourselves on the basis of our worship. If you have trouble worshiping, maybe you’re not saved. If you get bored in church, or if you don’t mind missing church altogether, it may be because the Holy Spirit isn’t in you prompting your heart. If He is there, we must yield our will to His power. [1]

Too many people overlook this vital aspect of biblical worship, assuming that emotional conviction is enough for God. But momentary responses to sensory stimuli cannot substitute for true worship of God from a heart devoted to Him.

Focus Your Thoughts on God

It’s hard to think carefully or deeply about several things at once. You wouldn’t intentionally give your spouse, your kids, or your career only a fraction of your time and attention. But many believers routinely make that very mistake when it comes to worship—we presume He will be satisfied with a sliver of our day and a corner of our mind.

But as John MacArthur explains, the Lord is not interested in the worship of a distracted heart.

Worship is the overflow of a mind renewed by God’s truth. We call the process meditation. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what meditation is. Meditation is just focusing the whole mind on one subject, concentrating reason, imagination, and emotion on one reality.

If you find that hard, you are fairly normal. Because of our exposure to television, radio, the Internet, and other mass media, we have more to think about than any previous civilization. Consequently, our attention span on one theme can be very limited, and we have difficulty focusing long on one subject. Meditation is a discipline we have to train ourselves for. [2]

In Psalm 19:14, David reminds us that it’s not just what comes out of our mouths that God is interested in; worship begins with a mind devoted to the Lord and His truth. We need to echo his prayerful request, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.”

Cultivate an Undivided Heart

Along those same lines, we must love the Lord with an undivided heart. We can’t faithfully serve Him if our attention and affections are divided. Doing so invites temptations to deviate from our service to God and the work of His kingdom.

Without a united heart, worship is impossible. A person with a divided heart may have good intentions, but he finds that when he sits down to pray and spend time with the Lord, a million other things flood his mind. Most of us know that experience. [3]

To some degree, this will be a struggle throughout the believer’s life. It’s the discipline of faithfully keeping biblical priorities and avoiding the cares of the world that so frequently invade and compete for our attention. Even David pleaded for God’s help to maintain an undivided heart: “Unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).

Elsewhere he illustrates for us the great benefit of sole devotion to the Lord: “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul” (Psalm 108:1). The same steadfast (that is, undivided and undistracted) heart ought to inform and invigorate our worship as well.

Deal With Your Sin

In Worship: The Ultimate Priority, John MacArthur highlights one vital aspect of worship that goes largely unmentioned in most circles today:

When we talk about worship we must talk about cleansing, purging, purifying, confessing, repenting—because no one can enter into communion with an utterly holy God if that person’s sin is not dealt with. . . . We cannot go rushing into God’s presence in our impurity, thinking that all is well. We, like Isaiah, must confess before God our sin and allow God to touch that living, burning coal to our lips to purge us. [4]

Scripture is clear that sin will impede our ability to praise and glorify the Lord. Psalm 24:3-4 says, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” If we’re going to worship God biblically, we must not be living lives in direct defiance of His Word.

This is where it helps to remember that worship is not merely relegated to the few hours we spend in church on Sundays; that we are responsible to praise and glorify the Lord with every aspect of our lives. There are no off days and no breaks—the entirety of our lives must be devoted to the worship of our heavenly Father.

And as such, we need to be diligent in dealing with our own sin—even the sin we might not yet be aware of. We need to echo the words of David, when he cried out, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). John MacArthur reckons that such undiscovered and unaddressed sins are costly to believers today.

Maybe the reason we have difficulty really abandoning ourselves in worship to God, the reason we do not experience the nearness of God, is that we have areas of our lives that are not pure in the sight of God. We all have blind spots and deficiencies only God knows. We must be open, willing to ask God to turn on the searchlight and expose whatever is in the shadows. We must yield our spirits to the Holy Spirit who fills us with His presence and power. We ask Him to cleanse out every corner of our lives—and then the flow of worship can occur. [5]

Die to Self

Ultimately, the thing that most frequently impedes our worship is ourselves. We will never give proper attention and praise to the Lord if we can’t get our eyes off of ourselves and our selfish desires. Biblical worship requires us to shed the cares of this world and the innate selfishness we all naturally possess, and surrender our hearts, minds, and affections to the Lord.

As John MacArthur explains, there is no end to the ways our self-interest can steal our focus away from God and inhibit our usefulness in the work of His kingdom.

It can come in all kinds of packages, but the result is the same: when we set ourselves in front of God, we cannot worship Him properly. We can blame it on a lack of time, or too many distractions—but we find the time to do the projects and activities we genuinely want to do. The real problem with the one who uses those excuses is that he is too selfish—too lazy and too self-indulgent—to align his priorities properly. [6]

In Matthew 16:24, Christ Himself described the cost of following Him: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” We must deny ourselves the self-indulgent pleasures and pastimes of this world if we want to truly, faithfully worship the Lord.

For the sake of our usefulness to His kingdom and the glory of His holy name, may God grant us the steadfast conviction to do just that.

 


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Friday’s Featured Sermon: “Six Attributes of the Nature of Scripture”

Psalm 19

Code: B171013

The great Puritan preacher Thomas Watson said, “The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never blow it out; a clear sign it was lighted from heaven.” [1]

You don’t have to look hard for evidence of Satan’s attempts to snuff out the light of God’s Word. In his sermon “Six Attributes of the Nature of Scripture,” John MacArthur describes the pivotal battles he has engaged in to defend Scripture’s nature and character. Battles for the inerrancy, completeness, relevance, sufficiency, and clarity of God’s Word have dominated the last fifty years of church history, and there is no end in sight to Satan’s repeated assaults.

In response to those demonic attacks, John examines three verses from Psalm 19 that exalt the character and nature of Scripture.

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. (Psalm 19:7-9)

As John notes, “God, with an astounding and supernatural economy of words, sums up everything that needs to be said about the power and sufficiency, the comprehensiveness and completeness, of Scripture.”

In other words, this short passage contains everything you need to combat Satan’s major assaults on the Word of God. It holds all the encouragement and incentive you could want to fix your heart on Scripture and hold fast to the testimony of God’s truth.

In “Six Attributes of the Nature of Scripture,” John MacArthur walks you through the key characteristics of God’s Word that David highlights in his Psalm: that it is perfect, sure, right, clear, clean, and true. John also examines the biblical effects of those characteristics: that the Word restores the soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes, endures forever, and produces comprehensive righteousness.

“Six Attributes of the Nature of Scripture” gives listeners a full-orbed perspective on the greatness and power of God’s Word. It confronts us with the inadequacies and shortcomings of our own thoughts about Scripture, and prompts us to delve deeper into its powerful riches. No matter where you are in your spiritual life—from new believer to seasoned saint—this message will energize your love for and understanding of God’s Word.

Click here to listen to “Six Attributes of the Nature of Scripture.”

 


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October 13, 2017: Verse of the day

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25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

for he is the living God,

enduring forever;

his kingdom shall never be destroyed,

and his dominion shall be to the end.

27    He delivers and rescues;

he works signs and wonders

in heaven and on earth,

he who has saved Daniel

from the power of the lions.”

28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. [1]


25–27 Like his predecessor King Nebuchadnezzar (see comments on 4:1–3), King Darius writes a royal letter (v. 25a), or “epistle,” since publication is intended for a “universal audience” (i.e., the peoples of his vast realm; cf. Collins, Daniel: with an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature, 61, 72). The letter is Darius’s personal confession of his own experience with Daniel’s God, Darius having witnessed Daniel’s miraculous deliverance from the lions’ pit. According to Goldingay, 129, whether or not King Darius “converted” to the Hebrew religion is not the point; rather, it is his confession acknowledging the living, eternal, saving, and active power of Daniel’s God—an affirmation desperately needed by the Hebrews enduring the dark days of Babylonian exile (cf. Porteous, 92).

Both royal epistles offer the same greeting or salutation, “may you prosper greatly” (v. 25b; see comments on 4:1–3). The formal proclamation of Darius here (vv. 26–27) contains the additional literary forms of decree, commanding the subjects of his kingdom to respect the God of Daniel (v. 26a). Both “encyclicals” (as Seow, 95, labels them) conclude with a doxology in praise of the God of the Hebrews (vv. 26b–27). The hymnic language of the doxology justifies the poetic format of the king’s decree in the more recent English translations.

The decree of Darius that his subjects must hold “the God of Daniel” in awe is stated more positively than the decree of Nebuchadnezzar that threatened dismemberment to anyone who defamed “the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego” (3:29). To “fear” (lit., “tremble,” Aram. zûaʿ) and “reverence” (lit., “fear,” Aram. deḥal) God mean to both “respect Him and recognize that they could be hurt by Him, Darius thus admitting that this God’s power extended far beyond the boundaries of Judah” (Wood, 175). The decree of Darius serves two purposes: first, it gives official sanction to the God of the Hebrews as a legitimate and even superior deity to the gods of the Babylonian pantheon; and second, it rescinds the “irrevocable” edict that Darius had earlier published forbidding petition to anyone but the king (cf. Redditt, 112). How ironic, as Seow, 95, observes, that “now the king himself publicizes to the world the reversal of his supposedly unchangeable edict, for God has brought about the change.”

The doxology of Darius repeats the epithet “the living God” (v. 26b; cf. v. 20), whereas Nebuchadnezzar makes reference to the Most High God (4:2). The reference to God as “the living God” not only contrasts Yahweh with the lifeless gods of the nations (e.g., Jer 16:18; Hab 2:19) but also calls attention to his capacity to preserve life as a God who saves and rescues his followers (v. 27a). The doxology of Darius extols the eternality of God and the indestructibility of his kingdom, echoing the affirmation of Nebuchadnezzar (4:3). Like Nebuchadnezzar, Darius also testifies to God’s ability to perform “signs and wonders” (v. 27a; see comments on 4:1–3). Lastly, God’s power to perform signs and wonders is applied specifically to his rescue of Daniel “from the power of the lions” (v. 27b).

Both royal epistles make the same claim—God alone is sovereign, and “he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth” (4:35; cf. Seow, 95). Perhaps for the Hebrews in Babylonian captivity the testimony by a pagan king to God’s power to perform signs and wonders and deliver his people stirred thoughts of the “signs and wonders” associated with the exodus from Egypt and the possibility of a “second exodus” (cf. Lucas, 153).

28 Baldwin, 132, observes that the chapter ends with “an enigmatic note connecting the reign of Darius with that of Cyrus,” understanding that the conjunction “and” (NIV, NASB) actually conveys the explicative force of “namely” or “that is” (i.e., “during the reign of Darius, namely, Cyrus the Persian”). Thus the writer explains to the reader that the two names, “Darius” and “Cyrus,” belong to the same person. Given the current state of scholarship on the book of Daniel, this solution is as plausible as any of the attempts to identify the “King Darius” mentioned in ch. 6. The approach has merit in that it unifies the court-stories section of the book by forming an envelope construction with the reference to Cyrus in 1:21 (cf. Lucas, 153).[2]


6:25–28 / Reminiscent of earlier chapters (2:46–47; 3:29; 4:34–37), the king extols the God of the Jews. Here he does this by writing to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land (6:25). He addresses them with a customary greeting: May you prosper greatly! (6:25). Then he issues a decree that all his subjects must fear and reverence the God of Daniel (6:26). This is an advance over the decree in chapter 3, which is intended merely to prevent a behavior; people are forbidden from saying “anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego” (3:29). Here, the decree promotes an activity, commanding the people to respect this God; they are to tremble in awe before him. The former proscribes verbal attacks on God; the latter prescribes everyone to honor him. During the exile God had called his people to be witnesses to the nations (Isa. 42:6; 43:12; 49:6), promising that one day kings and foreign peoples would acknowledge that the Jews worshiped the one, true God (Isa. 45:14–15; 49:7, 22–23; 56:6–7; Zech. 2:11; 8:20–23; 14:16–19). Here a king fulfills that prophecy.

Unlike idols, Daniel’s God is living (6:26). As already noted, this confession of faith fits better here than previously (see the commentary on 6:20). The Jewish God also endures forever (6:26). Unlike human regimes, his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end (6:26). This statement is also reminiscent of earlier parts of the book, such as Nebuchadnezzar’s vision in chapter 2 (2:44) and his affirmations about the eternality of God’s kingdom in chapter 4 (4:3, 34). It also anticipates the vision of the next chapter (Dan. 7), which records the arrival of God’s everlasting reign. We are reminded that the book of Daniel is apocalyptic. Even though chapters 7–12 deal more with the end of time, the theme is not absent from the first half of the book. Finally, Daniel’s God is a God of salvation: He rescues and he saves.… He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions (6:27). This truth was intended to feed the hope of God’s beleaguered people being devoured by the Seleucid “lions,” that God may intervene in history to deliver them. Secondarily, it becomes a timeless message for every age.

The chapter concludes with a brief chronological note, locating Daniel’s prospering in the interval of time from the reign of Darius to that of Cyrus the Persian (6:28). This calls to mind Daniel 1:21, which says that “Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.” These two similar statements frame chapters 2 through 6, setting off this block from the preceding introductory chapter (ch. 1) and from the following, more apocalyptic chapters (chs. 7–12). Nevertheless, we must not forget that chapter 2 is also linked to chapter 7 by the theme of the four kingdoms and that chapters 2 through 7 form a chiastic structure, making them a unit. As further confirmation of their unity, it also bears mentioning that they are written in Aramaic. There is a further chronological reference to Cyrus in Daniel 10:1.

The book’s author uses repetition for theological effect. Four times he uses the Aramaic word meaning “law” or “religion,” but only once does it refer to God’s “law” (v. 5); every other time it refers to the “law” of the Medes and Persians (vv. 8, 12, 15). In this way, he creates a tension between divine and human requirements, so that as the story plays out, Daniel remains faithful to Jewish law, or religion, by praying, even though he risks his life to do so.

Seven times we find words from the root meaning “to seek,” “to ask,” or “to pray.” The conspirators “tried” or “sought” (v. 4) to find a way to trap Daniel. The edict was that no one should “ask” “a request” (v. 7; the two words from the root are rendered by the one word, “prays,” in the niv) from anyone except the king. Yet, Daniel continued “praying” (v. 11) to God. The evil administrators reminded the king of his decree against anyone who “prays” (v. 12) to a god and indicted Daniel because he “asks” “his request” (v. 13; niv “prays”) three times daily. This highlights the importance of praying to God rather than seeking after other gods or humans.

There are five occurrences of the verb meaning “to rescue.” The king attempts “to rescue” (v. 14) Daniel, but fails. After casting Daniel into the pit of lions, Darius then expresses his hope that God will “rescue” (v. 16) Daniel. In the morning, he inquires whether God was able “to rescue” (v. 20) his servant. At the end, the king proclaims that God “rescues,” because he “rescued” Daniel from the lions (v. 27). The purpose here is that readers may infer something about the nature of God from the story: God rescued Daniel from the wild animals because that is his nature—he is a God who rescues and saves. This is further intended to engender hope for those who, like Daniel, are persecuted for their faith; God is able to deliver them.

Finally, there is the root meaning “to harm,” “to hurt,” or “to destroy.” The lions could not “hurt” Daniel, because he was blameless and had not done any “harm” (niv “wrong”) to the king (v. 22). After Daniel exits the pit, no “hurt” or “wound” (v. 23) is found on him. The closing edict affirms that God’s kingdom will never be “destroyed” (v. 26). The theological intention is clear: just as ravenous beasts could not harm Daniel, so nothing can harm or destroy heaven’s dominion. Daniel’s experience is symbolic and prophetic.

There are parallels in Daniel 6 to the life of Jesus. Daniel’s fellow administrators conspire against Daniel to ensnare him. Just so, the religious leaders conspired against Jesus (Matt. 26:3–5), and Judas betrayed him (Matt. 26:14–16). Daniel is arrested because he prays, contrary to the edict; Jesus was arrested after prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane because he defied religious authorities (Matt. 26:36–55). Darius struggles to save Daniel but is bound by law and pressured by his administrators, so he carries out the sentence (Dan. 6:14–15); Pilate was sympathetic to Jesus and washed his hands of the affair, but he felt pressure from the religious leaders, from the crowds, and from Rome (to keep the peace), so he allowed Jesus to be crucified (Matt. 27:18–24). The opening to the lions’ pit is covered with a stone and sealed (Dan. 6:17); Jesus’s tomb was treated similarly (Matt. 27:60, 66). Both come forth from their enclosures alive, although Jesus died, whereas Daniel did not. These parallel motifs to Daniel in Jesus’s life do not “predict” events which Jesus later “fulfills.” On the one hand, the parallels are close enough to say that maybe the Gospel writers thought of Daniel as a type of Christ. On the other hand, since they do not declare this unequivocally, perhaps the most we can say is that the parallels are remarkable but possibly coincidental.[3]


6:25–27 Darius the king wrote. Impacted by Daniel and by the Lord, he expressed himself as if he had come to a point of personal trust in God for his salvation such as Nebuchadnezzar (cf. 4:1–3, 34–37). Daniel illustrated the evangelistic potency of a godly, uncompromising life. Cf. Mt 5:48.[4]


6:25–27 Darius Acknowledges the Power of Daniel’s God. Darius, like Nebuchadnezzar, confesses the awesome power and protection of Daniel’s God: he is the living God … his kingdom shall never be destroyed (v. 26).[5]


6:26 a decree. Compare 2:47; 3:28, 29; 4:2, 3, 34–37; 5:18–29. As in the previous narratives, God displays His sovereign control of nature and history, kingdoms and kings. The decree is an eloquent testimony to “the living God” and His indestructible kingdom. It is an official acknowledgment of Daniel’s God, although it does not necessarily reflect personal faith on the part of Darius.[6]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Da 6:25–28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Hill, A. E. (2008). Daniel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, pp. 126–127). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Nelson, W. B. (2013). Daniel. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 172–175). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Da 6:25–27). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (pp. 1598–1599). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1224). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.