Daily Archives: October 27, 2017

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

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BLOOMBERG

The U.S. House on Thursday passed new sanctions in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program, while stopping short of addressing the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the multinational accord designed to curb its nuclear program.

In a visit to the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Friday accused North Korea of building a nuclear arsenal to “threaten others with catastrophe,” the Yonhap news agency reported.

Catalan lawmakers voted to set up an independent state, an irrevocable step that augured a dramatic confrontation with Spanish authorities while delighting their supporters in the streets.

Firms such as Blackstone, Apollo Global Management and Fortress Investment Group are often slapped with the vaguely sinister label, shadow bank, because they provide financing but aren’t regulated like traditional lenders. President Trump’s Treasury Department now says that’s unfair and wants global regulators to stop using the term when describing investment giants.

Singaporeans on the verge of retiring are prepared to keep working for longer than those that came before them. Men aged 55 to 59 had greater expectations to work full-time past 65 and 70 than employees currently are, while women had higher such projections beyond 62, 65, and 70.

President Vladimir Putin personally fired four ballistic missiles during tests of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, according to the Kremlin.

The U.S. economy expanded at a 3% annualized rate, a faster pace than forecast in the third quarter, indicating resilient demand from consumers and businesses even with the hit from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Commerce Department data showed Friday.

President Donald Trump blocked the release of hundreds of records on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, bending to CIA and FBI appeals, while the National Archives came out Thursday night with a hefty cache of others. “I have no choice,” Trump said, citing “potentially irreversible harm” to national security if he were to allow all records to come out now. He placed those files under a six-month review while letting 2,800 others come out, racing a deadline to honor a law mandating their release.

Apple Inc. began accepting early orders for its iPhone X at 12:01 a.m. in California and within minutes shipping times quickly lengthened to as much as six weeks in the U.S., signaling supplies will likely remain tight as the new device goes on sale Nov. 3.

Millennial Muslims — those aged between 18 and 36 — are projected to spend more than $100 billion annually on traveling by 2025, almost double last year’s figure.

AP Top Stories

Newly released satellite images offer a never-before-seen glimpse of North Korea’s “brutal and inhumane” network of political prisons, including secret labor camps. Pyongyang denies the existence of its political penal labor camps, known as kwan-li-so, and says prisoners in its long-term “re-education” penitentiaries, termed kyo-hwa-so and run by a police force known as the Ministry of People’s Security, are treated with “warm love and consideration.”

Senior Intelligence and military officials tell NBC News the U.S. is quietly paving the way for lethal strikes against terrorists in Niger – with a plan to arm Reaper drones that fly over the country.

Two American women and their dogs were rescued this week by the United States Navy, after being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for five months.

A plan to split California into three separate states has cleared its first hurdle. Supporters are set to begin collecting signatures to qualify for next year’s ballot.

A newly completed comprehensive Navy analysis says producing more Virginia-Class attack submarines on a much faster timetable is “achievable” and necessary to ensure future undersea dominance for the US – in an increasingly contested strategic global environment.

A Chicago Catholic priest has performed a spiritual cleansing of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino room used by gunman Stephen Paddock during a mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Iraq surpassed Saudi Arabia as a crude supplier to the U.S. in September, and it’s poised to repeat that this month.

BBC

Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians were wrongly elected because they held dual citizenship, a court has ruled. The High Court of Australia decision means three of the politicians, including Mr. Joyce, are disqualified from office. The others quit in July. Australia’s constitution prohibits dual citizens from being elected.

A new vaccine that could prevent up to nine-in-10 cases of typhoid fever has been recommended by the World Health Organization. Experts say it could have a “huge impact” on the 22 million cases, and 220,000 deaths, from typhoid each year.

North Korea says it will release a South Korean fishing boat it seized six days ago for “illegally” sailing into its waters, state media report.

Iraqi forces have launched an offensive on al-Qaim and Rawa, in the Euphrates river valley to recapture the last bastion of so-called Islamic State in the country.

WND

The Canadian Pediatric Society says its members are “increasingly” being asked by parents about the option of seeking medically assisted death for children, while a survey of doctors found nearly half of the respondents supported assisted death for kids with “progressive terminal illness or intractable pain.”

Belgium is one of five countries that allow doctors to kill patients at their request, and one of two, along with the Netherlands, that grant the procedure for people with mental illness. The idea is that those with a psychiatric illness should be afforded the same rights as those suffering from a physical one.


The Briefing 10-27-17

Why you may not know anyone in the military and why it matters

100 years later, effects of Bolshevik Revolution have long outlasted death of its promises

‘Xi Jinping Thought’ elevated as Chinese tap to clap for their dictator

The post The Briefing 10-27-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


News – 10/27/2017

Trump’s Storm Is Lashing The Halls Of Corruption
About two months ago, I wrote an article here on Zero Hedge entitled, “Trump Is Slow-Playing His Cards In This Game Of Deep State Poker.” Since that article, and since Trump’s seemingly cryptic statement, we have been witness to the following:
Clinton and Obama friend Harvey Weinstein’s disgraceful fall from his perch atop Hollywood. Confirmation that James Comey sought to exonerate Hillary Clinton before even interviewing her. Fusion GPS executives invoking the Fifth Amendment, their lawyers fighting, red of tooth and claw, to keep Congressional investigators from combing through Fusion’s bank records.
A slate of Project Veritas videos embarrassing the legacy media.
Etc., Etc.,
I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in that many coincidences in that short a period of time. It rather strikes me as coordinated effort.

The Anti-Israel UN List of Shame: Is Your Company on it?
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordan’s Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, sent out letters to approximately 190 companies informing them that they have been blacklisted due to their operations in the “occupied Palestinian territories”. This is the term used to describe the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The blacklist targets many prominent Israeli businesses as well as multinational corporations. The list reportedly includes some 30 American firms as well. Some of the companies listed are large Israeli and international corporations, like Israel Aerospace Industries, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Ahava cosmetics, the Cellcom and Partner telecommunications companies, and RE/MAX real estate.

‘We will not rest until every Jew wishing to immigrate is here’
Two hundred twenty seven new immigrants (olim) from Belarus, France, Russia and Ukraine arrived in Israel during Israel Aliyah (immigration) Week. 174 of the new olim arrived on the Tuesday, as the Knesset celebrated Yom Ha’aliyah (Immigration Day). The new Israeli citizens join over 10,000 others who were brought to Israel by International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ)

Is Madagascar’s Spreading Plague Outbreak Precursor to End-of-Days Epidemic?
But the disease may have even deeper roots in human history. The sixth plague in Egypt, boils, may very well have been bubonic plague, whose characteristic symptom is boil-like skin lesions that form black ulcers. “It shall become a fine dust all over the land of Egypt, and cause an inflammation breaking out in boils on man and beast throughout the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:9”

Planned bridge to connect Saudi Arabia with Egypt
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman announced Tuesday his intention to create a new high-tech mega city in western Saudi Arabia, called NEOM, for a cost of $500 billion. According to the plans, the Saudi kingdom intends to erect a bridge passing over the Red Sea and linking NEOM to Egypt, reported American news site Bloomberg, a project Israel may have to assent to for it to go forward. The 1979 peace accords between Israel and Egypt enshrine Israel’s free passage through the Straits of Tiran in the Red Sea, over which the bridge is planned to pass.

ESPN preparing for more layoffs, report says
ESPN is planning another round of layoffs just six months after the network fired more than 100 employees, Sporting News reports. Multiple sources told the sports news site that 40 to 60 people including on-air talent and radio personalities may be sent packing. The layoffs could come as soon as late November or early December. ESPN declined Fox News’ request for comment.

NFL Popularity Plummets In New Poll, Especially Among Republicans
The survey found that 46 percent of the viewers had a positive opinion of the NFL while 41 percent viewed the league negatively. In comparison, just four years earlier, 64 percent of the people had a positive view while 19 percent had an unfavorable one.

Turn Israel into pariah state to ‘end occupation,’ UN official urges
The United Nations must “review Israel’s status as a law-abiding member of the United Nations” by declaring its “occupation as illegal,” UN Human Rights Council special investigator Michael Lynk said on Thursday. Such a move would isolate Israel internationally by way of forcing it to end its “occupation” of Palestinian territories, Lynk said at a press conference in New York.

IN PICTURES: Flames threaten Jerusalem forest
Fires broke out in the Jerusalem hills Thursday night, and continue to burn as of Friday morning. According to The Jewish National Fund, forty firefighting teams are battling the flames, which broke out in a forest in the Sataf area of the Jerusalem hills. Eight fire-fighting planes and a helicopter also aided in the effort. It is estimated that 2,000 dunams (about 500 acres) of woodlands have been thus far destroyed.

Catalan crisis: Spain PM Rajoy demands direct rule
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called on senators to approve direct rule over Catalonia, amid an escalating crisis over the region’s push for independence. He said he wanted to dismiss Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, his vice-president and all regional ministers. Mr Rajoy’s speech was met with applause in the Spanish senate, where his Partido Popular has a majority.

Catholic Hospital Group Grants Euthanasia to Mentally Ill, Defying Vatican
A chain of Catholic psychiatric hospitals in Belgium is granting euthanasia to non-terminal patients, defying the Vatican and deepening a challenge to the church’s commitment to a constant moral code. The board of the Brothers of Charity, Belgium’s largest single provider of psychiatric care, said the decision no longer belongs to Rome.

Watch: Flaw Allows Hackers to Spy with Robot Vacuum
A flaw discovered by security researchers would have allowed hackers to take control of numerous LG smart devices including a camera-equipped robot vacuum.

24,000 Homicides: Mexico On Pace For Most Violent Year In History As Drug Wars Spiral Out Of Control
“2017 might be the most violent year in Mexican history. Semáforo Delictivo said that, due to the 24,000 homicides between January and September, the year is proving even worse than 2011, when President Felipe Calderón’s war on drugs led to 22,000 homicides.”

Trump Admin. Settles With Tea Party Groups Targeted By Obama IRS for Unfair, Extreme Scrutiny
Finally, some good news for more than 400 conservative groups who were illegally singled out for their political affiliations and subsequently targeted and subjected to unfair and extreme scrutiny by the Obama Era Internal Revenue Service.

The Pneumonic Plague Is Spreading: Warnings Issued to 9 Countries
…When I wrote about the plague less than two weeks ago, I cited a source that said there were 200 infections and 33 deaths. As of today, those numbers have increased dramatically to more than 1300 infections and 124 deaths. And according to many infectious disease experts, the outbreak has not yet reached its peak.

Obama Justice Department’s $1 Billion ‘Slush Fund’ Boosted Liberal Groups
President Barack Obama’s Justice Department created a “slush fund” of nearly $1 billion using legal settlements with banks and steered those funds to political allies on the left while excluding conservative groups, internal documents show.

Trey Gowdy Officially Cleared to Go After Lynch, Clinton
…a good number of the goofy, ridiculously fishy goings on of the Obama-era DOJ are on their way to being brought into the light, and we couldn’t be happier. Former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department is as scandal-ridden as scandal-ridden gets, with former Attorneys General Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder potentially on the hook for a bevvy of misbehavior.

BREAKING: Entire Indiana Police Dept. Quits After Being Told To Do These 3 SICK Things
Unfortunately, liberalism has so infected our culture that disregard for our police officers is now widespread….. One of the main charges against the Bunker Hill Town Council is that they wanted to use the police to collect information on their political rivals. The police officers refused to take part in unethical abuses of their resources.

Baby Food: Arsenic Found in 65 Percent of It, Study Says
Sixty-five percent of baby food brands tested positive for arsenic, and smaller percentages also had lead, cadmium, and BPA, according to a new study.

Campaigners Demand ‘Urgent Action’ as Child Sex Grooming Cases Rise 64 Per Cent in Just One Year
..Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there were 1,771 grooming offences recorded across England and Wales in the year up to June, rising from 1,080 in the previous year.

Trump Directs State, USAID to Bypass United Nations, Deliver U.S. Aid More Directly to Christians, Yazidis In Iraq
President Trump has issued a White House directive forcing the State Department and USAID to bypass the United Nations and stop its “ineffective” relief efforts aimed at helping Iraqi Christians, Yazidis, and other persecuted religious minorities, and instead to provide the assistance either directly or through “faith-based groups.”


October 26, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — In the Mel Gibson film “Edge of Darkness,” a mysterious consultant to a group of conspirators says, in regard to covering their tracks for a series of murders, “Make it so convoluted that anyone can have a theory, but no one’s got the facts.” Many theories have been offered about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but the truth is not hard to find. The communists killed Kennedy. And they have the ideological motivation to kill President Trump…. (more)

October 26, 2017

FOX NEWS — The White House released 2,800 classified files related to former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Thursday, but said it would temporarily keep some “sensitive” records under wraps…. (more)


October 26, 2017
FOX NEWS — President Trump, in a wide-ranging sparring session with reporters Wednesday afternoon, blasted Hillary Clinton over new revelations her campaign helped fund a salacious anti-Trump dossier last year – – calling the project a “disgrace” and claiming the tables have turned on Democrats over the “Russia hoax.”… (more)

October 26, 2017

NEW YORK POST — After more than a year of lying denials, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee now stand exposed as the funders of that salacious dossier alleging years of collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump…. (more)


October 26, 2017

NEWSMAX — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for political research into Donald Trump that ultimately produced a dossier of allegations about his ties to Russia, The Associated Press has learned…. (more)


October 26, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — The revelation that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the ongoing production of the infamous anti-Trump dossier leads former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy to assert there are even more critical questions that need answers now…. (more)

October 26, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was accused of breaking election rules Wednesday as she and fellow Democrats faced fallout from the disclosure that her campaign and party operatives paid for research used in a salacious anti-Trump dossier…. (more)

October 26, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — The IRS admitted in court Wednesday that it wrongly targeted tea party and other conservative groups for intrusive scrutiny, placing specific blame on former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, and entered into a settlement designed to make sure that kind of political targeting never takes place again…. (more)


October 26, 2017
Dennis Prager’s complaint: ‘This is speech discrimination plain and simple’
BOB UNRUH — A conservative columnist, author and talk-radio host whose columns appear on the pages of WND has filed a lawsuit against YouTube and its owner, Google, for imposing “a political gag mechanism” on his work. The announcement of the lawsuit on behalf of Dennis Prager was made by Liberty Counsel…. (more)

October 26, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Police have arrested the brother of Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock on child pornography charges. Bruce Paddock, 59, was apprehended at an assisted living center in North Hollywood and taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center, a local Fox News affiliate reported Monday. He is being held on $60,000 bail. The LAPD said the investigation of Mr. Paddock began “after evidence was discovered inside a business located in the 9000 block of San Fernando Road in Sun Valley.”… (more)

October 26, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — In rallying the nation against drug addiction Thursday, President Trump spoke in unusually personal terms about the death of his older brother Fred from alcoholism, and about the lesson it holds for him in the value of abstinence. To an audience at the White House, Mr. Trump recalled his older brother as a “great guy.”… (more)

October 26, 2017
DAILY CALLER — Fox News host Tucker Carlson dropped a huge new detail on the days following the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Las Vegas Wednesday…. (more)

October 24, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — The acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that illegal immigration across the southwest border will be at a 45-year when final 2017 numbers are fully tallied, and he credited President Trump with the success…. (more)


October 24, 2017
BYRON YORK — Investigators looking into the so-called “Trump dossier” were not surprised when news broke Tuesday night that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC, working through the Democrats’ law firm, Perkins Coie, financed the “salacious and unverified” compilation of allegations of Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign…. (more)

October 24, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A controversial 2010 deal that cleared the way for a Kremlin-backed company to gain control of a huge chunk of America’s uranium supply is getting new scrutiny as a Capitol Hill inquiry gears up to probe the Obama administration’s suspected silencing of an FBI informant who reportedly had information on high-level corruption by Russian nuclear officials who engineered the deal…. (more)

October 24, 2017
THE HILL — Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), an outspoken critic of President Trump, shocked his colleagues on Tuesday by announcing that he will not run for reelection. Flake went on to blast Trump and Republicans in a Senate speech, accusing his party of abandoning “core principles” in favor of “anger and resentment.”… (more)

October 24, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Robert Epstein tried a simple experiment in the run-up to the presidential election: running searches on Google and Yahoo for political topics. The results were stunning. Google searches returned twice as many pro-Hillary Clinton news articles as Yahoo searches…. (more)

October 24, 2017

ALAN KEYES — U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan recently “ordered the government to allow an illegal immigrant minor in its custody to abort her preborn child ‘promptly and without delay.'” But the premise of the U.S. Constitution, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, is that all human beings are endowed by their Creator with the certain unalienable rights, including first of all the right to life…. (more)


October 24, 2017
WES VERNON — His name (for the moment) is CS-1 – presumably “Confidential Source-One.” That’s the undercover name accorded him for the time being by the FBI and others in government. That designation was handed to a Washington lobbyist who had been offered a role in the super-secret counterspy effort to push back against a deal originated in 2009 by Russians eagerly seeking to purchase about 20 percent of America’s stock of its vital war making-capable uranium to Russia. (See this column’s recent “not just unfit; actually dangerous” Part 3)…. (more)

October 23, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — The federal government posted a $666 billion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year 2017, the Treasury Department announced Friday, marking another year of deteriorating finances as the government slinks back toward the trillion-dollar mark…. (more)

October 23, 2017
How unaccompanied children in this country illegally are getting abortions
ROBERT KNIGHT — Under the Trump administration, the federal government no longer wants to be complicit in abortions performed on under-age teens who enter the country illegally. To the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), refusing to facilitate the killing of these unborn children is “unprecedented, it’s unconstitutional, and it’s also unconscionable,” according to Brigitte Amiri, a senior ACLU staff lawyer…. (more)

October 23, 2017

BOB UNRUH — Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has completed the reversal of state legislation that barred men from women’s public restrooms and showers. The move is drawing a warning from one of the state’s most prominent personalities: Franklin Graham…. (more)


October 23, 2017
BYRON YORK — Have you noticed? In recent public comments, the lawmakers investigating the Trump-Russia affair, along with some of the commentators who dissect its every development, seem to be focusing more on the facts of Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 election and less on allegations that Donald Trump or his associates colluded with those efforts…. (more)

October 23, 2017

NEWSMAX — North Korea should be again listed as a state sponsor of terrorism, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. A sanctions bill against Iran, Russia, and North Korea requires the secretary of state to decide within 90 days whether to relist North Korea, legislation that Cruz introduced, the senator said in a Sunday New York Times opinion piece…. (more)


October 22, 2017
Speakers include Alan Keyes, Joseph Farah, Matt Barber

WORLDNETDAILY — In today’s America, supporting traditional marriage is unlawful discrimination. To advocate for national borders is hateful. To exercise one’s faith in the public square is bigoted. The Bible wrote about it millennia ago: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”… (more)

Mid-Day Snapshot

Oct. 27, 2017

Gov’t Settles With Tea Party Groups for IRS Targeting

There will be payouts to conservative groups abused by the IRS, but still little real accountability for the guilty.

The Foundation

“States, like individuals, who observe their engagements, are respected and trusted: while the reverse is the fate of those who pursue an opposite conduct.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)


ZeroHedge Frontrunning: October 27

  • U.S. Economy Expected to Show Momentum, Despite Storms (Read More)
  • As Trump tax comes to floor, failure could spell stocks selloff (Read More)
  • Washington’s Biggest Mystery: What’s in the Republican Tax Plan? (Read More)
  • Spain set to impose direct rule in Catalonia as crisis spirals (Read More)
  • Catalans Send Emissary to Madrid to Plead for a Deal (Read More)
  • Catalan Leader Runs Out of Options as Streets Demand Secession (Read More)
  • Trump releases some JFK files, blocks others under pressure (Read More)
  • Fed Candidate Taylor Calls for Reforms That Echo Trump Agenda (Read More)
  • It’s Going to Stay a Yellen Fed No Matter Who Gets the Job (Read More)
  • CVS, Aetna in Talks Over $66 Billion Tie-Up Deal (Read More)
  • Energy, not tech or finance, in CEO line-up for Trump’s China visit (Read More)
  • Bond Managers Who Can Go Anywhere May End Up Lost (Read More)
  • Sinclair’s Washington Winning Streak Has Democrats Crying Foul (Read More)
  • U.S. probes Ford Fusion cars for potential detached steering wheels (Read More)
  • Weinstein Sues Former Firm, Seeking Access to Documents (Read More)
  • Hackers’ Latest Move: Using Your Computer to Mine Bitcoin (Read More)
  • Activist investors scupper $20 billion Clariant-Huntsman merger (Read More)
  • Americans Will Have to Wait Five Weeks to Get an iPhone X (Read More)
  • On North Korea Border, Mattis Says Kim Is Threatening ‘Catastrophe’ (Read More)
  • ECB, Fed Are Growing Apart, Moving Markets (Read More)
  • Barclays and U.S. Renew Talks Over Toxic Mortgages Lawsuit (Read More)
  • Mattis talks diplomacy on North Korea ahead of Trump’s Asia tour (Read More)
  • Tennessee Towns Heighten Security Ahead of White Nationalist Rallies (Read More)
  • Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Gains 3.2% as Stocks Soar (Read More)
  • After $6 Billion Wipeout, Wine County Fires Still Imperil PG&E (Read More)

Headlines – 10/27/2017

Australia PM to express support for two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Australian PM to shorten next week’s trip to Israel amid domestic political crisis

Fatah continues campaign against Balfour Declaration

Israel to green-light construction of 700 East Jerusalem homes

Despite Netanyahu’s pledge for more security measures, protesting settlers won’t budge

Top minister: Settlement boycott equals Israel boycott

Houston suburb cancels hurricane aid requirement that homeowners must denounce Israel boycotts

Firefighters battle massive day-old blaze west of Jerusalem

UN High Commissioner announces ‘blacklist’ of Israeli companies

UN rights official slammed for urging economic sanctions on Israel

When it comes to Israel, the Arab world isn’t a good sport

Goodbye Uzi, Hello Big Brother: The Israelis Arming the World With Sophisticated Cyber-weapons

As Elections Loom in Egypt, al-Sissi’s Supporters Urge Him to Run

Here, there, everywhere, Tillerson trip all about terrorism

Tillerson again insists Syrian leader Assad must go

Tillerson: The future in Syria will be written without Bashar al-Assad

In long run, Israel favors secular Assad over Shiite Islamist regime in Syria

UN Report: Syrian Government To Blame For April Chemical Attack

Tillerson says Iraq must resist Iran influece

Iraq rejects Kurdish offer to ‘freeze’ independence

US general says Iraq dispute impedes ISIS fight

Iraq, Syria converge on Islamic State’s last strongholds

Red Cross Warns of ‘Dehumanizing’ Rhetoric in ISIS Fight

Almost all American ISIS fighters unaccounted for, sparking fears they could slip through cracks and return

Canada settles with wrongly accused terror suspects for $24.6 mln

EU under mounting pressure to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is on a collision course with Iran in the Middle East

New US sanctions imposed for Iran’s ballistic missile program and support of Hezbollah

Hezbollah denounces new US measures against it

Former Western defense chiefs warn Hezbollah war ‘a matter of time’

Israel Will Take Military Action to Stop Iran Nuclear Program if Trump’s Efforts Fail, Intel Minister Warns

Ex-CIA chief: Let Israel buy bunker busters to deter Tehran

Pentagon chief Mattis stresses diplomacy in Korean crisis

Pentagon chief in South Korea amid North Korea nuke threats

Pentagon chief accuses N.Korea of threatening ‘catastrophe’

Trump says Russia hurting US efforts on North Korea nuclear issue

Pope Francis calls space station to boost Vatican-Russian ties

Trump delays release of hundreds of remaining JFK assassination documents, bowing to national security concerns

Delayed release of JFK records causes backlash

Number of billionaires worldwide jumps 10%: study

Asia Now Has More Billionaires Than the U.S.

Pressure Builds on Venezuela With Big Payments Due This Week

Rising Rents Are Pushing More Tenants Past the Breaking Point

Saudi Arabia becomes first country to grant citizenship to a robot

4.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Akureyri, Iceland

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

More than 73,000 Puerto Ricans flee for Florida after Hurricane Maria

Three killed, one missing in Bulgaria floods

Global wine output hits 50-year low: OIV

Arsenic: Baby Food Study Finds 65 Percent of It Contains Chemical

Campaigners Demand ‘Urgent Action’ as Child Sex Grooming Cases Rise 64 Per Cent in Just One Year

UK may deport man facing persecution in Morocco for being gay

Police refuse to give gender of suspects in transgender brawl – in case they get it wrong

Doctors clash over euthanasia for mentally ill

Pharmaceutical Founder Arrested In Alleged Nationwide Opioid Scheme

Trump Announces Opioid Crisis a Public Health Emergency

Officials Warn About Marijuana Edibles Being Given Out As Halloween Candy Treats

24,000 Homicides: Mexico On Pace For Most Violent Year In History As Drug Wars Spiral Out Of Control

Jonathan’s New Con — Selling a Paradigm of American Idolatry

Jonathan Cahn Sends Lamest Cease and Desist Letter EVER; Contends He Never Gave False Prophecy

Indian Guru Latest Rage Among Charismatic Christians

“Dr.” Lance Wallnau – Another Diploma Mill Doctorate

NAR’s Passion Translation plans Oct. 31 release for full New Testament

Pence: US Will Bypass UN and Aid Persecuted Iraqi Christians Directly

Canada considers medically assisted death for youth

Mike Ratliff – Are you a good soldier of Christ Jesus?

Michael Brown Again Promotes Fake Rabbi and False Prophet, Jonathan Cahn

Video – Former Supporter Exposes “Dr. Dino” Kent Hovind

Should a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

2 States Ravaged by Opioids Show Difference Faith Makes

UK National Healthcare – Having an atheist chaplain is about patient choice

Map of Britain Reveals High Levels Of Demonic Activity

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 06:30 AM PDT

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report uses the term “ghosts” but in reality, it is demonic spirits.

Uncover the terrifying truth about where you live by putting your postcode into our paranormal map of Britain…if you dare! Our database is crawling with thousands of spine-tingling real-life tales of ghost-sightings across the nation. All you have to do to reveal the scariest stories from your area is to put your postcode into the search engine below. Perhaps the ghost of a murdered landlady stalk the corridors of your local pub – or maybe a monk wanders around the cemetery near you at night?

Site boss Darren Mann, 44, from Suffolk said the number of sightings has stayed consistently high over the past two decades. He added: “I’ve had police officers reporting ghosts in their stations, bizarre beasts stalking through woodland, staff bumping into strange shadow people in shops and more. “Many of these ‘paranormal’ events become the new ‘normal’ for some witnesses.” READ MORE

Priest Experiences “Evil Presence” When Entering Las Vegas Shooter’s Hotel Room

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 06:22 AM PDT

A Catholic priest recently blessed the Las Vegas hotel room from which shooter Stephen Paddock fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition on Oct. 1, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds of others. The Rev. Clete Kiley of Chicago, Illinois, told Newsweek that he confronted evil when he approached a hallway inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s 32nd floor on Oct. 18 — and that he felt the same presence when he walked into the room. “I felt surrounded by the mystery of evil,” he told The Chicago Sun-Times.

In fact, Kiley told the outlet that he even felt something physically push him back as he made his way toward the room. “I felt like I was being pushed back, like, ‘Don’t come in here,’” he told Newsweek, noting that he started to pray the “St. Michael, the Archangel, to defend us in battle” invocation as he walked toward the room. “On the inside, I’m going, ‘Oh no, you have to go.’” READ MORE

Yellowstone spawned twin super-eruptions that caused volcanic winters

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 06:16 AM PDT

A new geological record of the Yellowstone supervolcano’s last catastrophic eruption is rewriting the story of what happened 630 000 years ago and how it affected Earth’s climate. This eruption formed the vast Yellowstone caldera observed today, the second largest on Earth. Two layers of volcanic ash-bearing the unique chemical fingerprint of Yellowstone’s most recent super-eruption have been found in seafloor sediments in the Santa Barbara Basin, off the coast of Southern California. These layers of ash, or tephra, are sandwiched among sediments that contain a remarkably detailed record of ocean and

climate change. Together, both the ash and sediments reveal that the last eruption was not a single event, but two closely spaced eruptions that tapped the brakes on a natural global-warming trend that eventually led the planet out of a major ice age. “We discovered here that there are two ash-forming super-eruptions 170 years apart and each cooled the ocean by about 3 °C (37.4 °F),” said U.C. Santa Barbara geologist Jim Kennett. Attaining the resolution to detect the separate eruptions and their climate effects is due to several special conditions found in the Santa Barbara Basin, Kennett said. READ MORE

Most Brits Think Only 6 of the 10 Commandments Are Relevant Today

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 06:09 AM PDT

Most Britons believe that only six of the Ten Commandments are relevant today, and Christians are split over whether some, like the Commandment to not worship other gods, are essential to their faith, according to a new survey. A YouGov research poll released on Wednesday found that 93 percent of Britons still find the Commandments against murder and stealing to be fundamental.

Another 87 percent agreed that “you shall not bear false witness against other people” is still relevant, along with 73 percent who agreed with the the Commandment against adultery. Sixty-nine percent said that honoring one’s father and mother is important, along with 61 percent who said the same for not coveting other people’s possessions. But only 31 percent said that not worshiping idols is still essential, and 23 percent agreed with not using God’s name in vain. READ MORE

British reporter knew about JFK assassination before shots fired

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 06:01 AM PDT

A senior reporter at a British newspaper received an anonymous phone call prior to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, alerting the reporter to “some big news” about 25 minutes in advance, according to a CIA file released Thursday. “The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up,” reads the document from former CIA Deputy Director James Angleton. The reporter, who was not identified in the Nov. 26, 1963,

report, “never received a call of this kind before and MI5 said that he is known to them as a sound and loyal person with no security record.” (MI5 is Britian’s Security Service, similar to the CIA in the United States.) After Kennedy’s death, the reporter told the Cambridge police about the call and the police informed MI5. “The important point is that the call was made, according to MI5 calculations, about 25 minutes before the President was shot.” CONTINUE

 

Madagascar Hospitals On High Alert: ‘No One Is Safe’ From The Black Plague

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 05:48 AM PDT

Travelers are being warned to keep their distance from areas of Madagascar affected by the bubonic plague. As the outbreak worsens, some doctors are even warning that “no one is safe” from the disease. The outbreak of the black plague in Madagascar has so far killed 97 people, and doctors are warning that it will be continuing to spread and worsen, meaning no one is safe. Health officials say the disease, which contributed to the deaths of more than 50 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages, has spread from rural areas to the more urban areas not usually affected. Hundreds of cases are

reported on the tropical island every year, but experts are warning the epidemic is “much more dangerous” than in previous years. Officials have reported infections in 17 of the island nation’s 22 regions since the outbreak started in August. And the number of cases is growing by the day, said Elhadj As Sy, the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as the nation put all hospitals on high alert. The hospitals have also begun implementing preventative measures with attempts to stall the spread of the bacterial infection. MORE

Disney Channel to Introduce First Ever Gay Storyline

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 05:43 AM PDT

The Disney Channel is set to introduce the children-oriented cable network’s first-ever gay storyline.
The storyline, set to air on Friday, will form part of the second season of the show Andi Mack and will explore the realization of a young male that he is attracted to one of his male classmates. The series, which premiered earlier this year, is a coming of age comedy-drama, which details the life of 13-year-old Andi Mack as she deals with some bizarre revelations surrounding her family life. The median age of the

Disney series’ viewers is 10 years old. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Friday’s episode will show how another 13-year-old, named Cyrus, confides his feelings for his classmate despite having a new girlfriend, which then jumpstarts his journey into discovering his sexuality. “Andi Mack is a story about tweens figuring out who they are; Terri Minsky, the cast and everyone involved in the show takes great care in ensuring that it’s appropriate for all audiences and sends a powerful message about inclusion and respect for humanity,” READ MORE

UNRAVELING: Teddy Roosevelt attacked at Museum of Natural History

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 05:40 AM PDT

Red paint was splashed at the statue of Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History early Thursday, according to cops. Someone was seen around the statue before it was vandalized on Central Park West between 3 and 7 a.m., law enforcement sources said. Police are checking for surveillance video of the incident and are looking for at least one person who was seen near the statue.

Images on social media show the base of the 10-foot-tall statue covered in red paint, which also streaks on the sides. The equestrian sculpture itself does not appear to be hit. The bronze statue by James Earle Fraser, which was erected in 1939, depicts the former president on horseback flanked by an indigenous African and an American Indian. READ MORE

Is Madagascar’s Spreading Plague Outbreak Precursor to End-of-Days Epidemic?

Posted: 27 Oct 2017 05:37 AM PDT

Bubonic plague, a terrifying disease that once killed off half the world’s population, is breaking out in Madagascar, defying the best efforts of world health organizations attempting to prevent its spread through East Africa. The key to understanding this dread disease lays in the Bible, which describes its Egyptian origins – and its terrifying role in the end-of-days. The number of deaths in Madagascar has almost doubled in the past week, with 124 dead and over 1,200 infections diagnosed. The majority of cases, 67 percent, were the pneumonic form of the disease, which is airborne and highly contagious,

spread via coughing or sneezing. Though international health officials insist the risk of the disease spreading to other regions is low, they have set up operations to prepare for such an occurrence in the nine East African nations adjacent to Madagascar. The strong reaction to the recent outbreak is understandable. Bubonic plague in the 14th century, also known as the Black Death, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and in Europe. If untreated, the disease has a 100 percent mortality rate, and the pneumonic form can be fatal within 12-24 hours. CONTINUE

 

Mike Pence Announces Major Policy Change That Iraqi Christians Have Been Begging For

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 04:24 PM PDT

Vice President Mike Pence promised Christian leaders from the Middle East Wednesday night that their days of receiving little to no help from the United States government to rebuild their ancient communities “are over.” While giving the keynote address at an annual solidarity dinner sponsored by the international advocacy organization In Defense of Christians, Pence announced that President

Donald Trump has ordered the State Department to enable U.S. aid funding to go directly to faith-based organizations actively supporting Christians and other religious minorities displaced by the Islamic State.The announcement comes as human rights advocates have urged the administration to make a change to a previous policy that required all U.S. humanitarian and reconstruction aid funding for Iraq to be funnelled through the United Nations. READ MORE

Scientists Baffled That Universe Survived The “Big Bang”

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 04:13 PM PDT

Despite the organization’s $1.24 billion annual budget for 2017, the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, are being forced to admit failure in their latest effort to explain why any of us are here. Indeed, why there’s even a “here” here at all. “The universe should not actually exist,” said Christian Smorra, a physicist at CERN’s Baryon–Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) collaboration. CERN, founded in 1954, features a circular tunnel some 17 miles around that houses a

particle accelerator, which uses peak energy of 14 trillion electron volts to speed particles to nearly the speed of light and allow them to collide. It is underneath Switzerland near its border with France. Smorra and other scientists are trying to resolve the mystery of why – given the assumption the universe is the result of the Big Bang – the resulting matter was not annihilated back into nothingness by the equal amount of resulting antimatter. READ MORE

 

 

Gay Icon Little Richard Renounces Homosexuality

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 04:06 PM PDT

Iconic musician Little Richard is renouncing his past life of sexual immorality, saying he believes same-sex relationships are “unnatural affections.” In previous interviews, the famous singer referred to himself as “omnisexual,” revealing in an interview with GQ five years ago that he lived a life of perversion, including orgies. But in an extensive interview with Three Angels Broadcasting Network, an

Illinois-based Christian and health-oriented television and radio network, Little Richard says he has repented and turned to Jesus Christ for salvation. “When I first came in show business, they wanted you to look like everybody but yourself,” he recalled. “And anybody [who] comes in show business, they gonna say you gay or straight,” he said. “God made men, men and women, women. You’ve got to live the way God wants you to live … He can save you,” the 84-year-old singer told the Christian broadcaster. READ MORE

U.S. widens surveillance to include ‘homegrown violent extremists’

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 04:00 PM PDT

The U.S. government has broadened an interpretation of which citizens can be subject to physical or digital surveillance to include “homegrown violent extremists,” according to official documents seen by Reuters.  The change last year to a Department of Defense manual on procedures governing its intelligence activities was made possible by a decades-old presidential executive order, bypassing congressional and court review. The new manual, released in August 2016, now permits the collection of

information about Americans for counterintelligence purposes “when no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s) has been established,” according to training slides created last year by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI). The slides were obtained by Human Rights Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request about the use of federal surveillance laws for counter-drug or immigration purposes and shared exclusively with Reuters. READ MORE

Jesus Campos reportedly left the country days after Vegas massacre

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 03:53 PM PDT

Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos mysteriously left the country just days after the Las Vegas massacre, a report says. Customs and Border Patrol documents obtained by Fox News show that the 25-year-old entered the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing in California — one week after the mass shooting. It’s unclear how long Campos was out of the country. The documents only show that he re-entered the US. The young man reportedly crossed the border at the same location in

January. While Campos was driving his own vehicle with Nevada plates during that trip, sources told Fox he took a rental car this time around — which was registered in California. The new information raises even more questions about Stephen Paddock’s Oct. 1 massacre — such as why authorities would allow Campos to leave the country in the middle of their investigation or how the security guard managed to make it down to Mexico with a gunshot wound to his leg. READ MORE

Trump Goes Light On JFK Records after National Security Agency Intervention

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 03:47 PM PDT

President Donald Trump will not release the full tranche of records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, instead following last-minute recommendations of his national security agencies that some of those records be redacted, White House officials said. The National Archives will release 2,800 records on Thursday, with the remaining documents remaining secret for the time being.

Trump’s decision to keep some documents secret is likely to keep conspiracy theories alive, fueling those who have long questioned official conclusions about the assassination and argued that the government has helped cover up the truth. Senior administration officials declined to discuss the contents of the files that will be released, including whether they contain evidence of a conspiracy surrounding Kennedy’s death. FULL REPORT

Twitter bans ads from Russian media outlets Russia Today and Sputnik

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 03:41 PM PDT

Twitter has banned ads from all accounts owned by Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik following the social media giant’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election. “This decision was based on the retrospective work we’ve been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government,” explained Twitter, in a blog post-Thursday. “We did not come to this decision

lightly, and are taking this step now as part of our ongoing commitment to help protect the integrity of the user experience on Twitter.” Last month, Twitter confirmed that state-owned RT spent $274,100 on U.S. ads on its platform during 2016. In its blog post-Thursday, Twitter said that it will be using RT’s ad spending (projected to be $1.9 million since 2011) for research around civic engagement and electoral misinformation. RT slammed Twitter’s move. READ MORE

Tectonic Tremor Detected In CA Raises Risk of Massive Earthquake

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 03:34 PM PDT

America’s most famous fault line, the San Andreas, is known for its frequent earthquakes, but one part of the system, the San Jacinto Fault zone, in inland Southern California, has been surprisingly quiet for the last 200 years. Now new research has detected small tremors deep under the fault system, suggesting it’s not as calm as we once thought and may be ready to release a massive earthquake sometime soon. The San Jacinto Fault zone in Southern California is not actually a plate boundary but

rather serves as the stress release point between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate as they grind together at the San Andreas Fault. An area of the San Jacinto Fault zone, known as the Anza Gap, is the main focus of the recent study.The researchers used a new highly sensitive detection method called multibeam back projection, which calculates plate movement while minimizing incoherent outside noise, to take measurements deep beneath the fault zone in inland Southern California.  FULL REPORT

Rasing up the Church from Dark Places!

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 11:21 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will show you how the Lord strategically goes to the darkest and lowest of places to handpick his leadership for the Church. What are the criteria that you are looking for in leadership today? Are you looking through the eyes of man or God? For the entire message watch the video below:

Severe hailstorm strikes Argentina damaging thousands of buildings and cars

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 10:31 AM PDT

A strong hailstorm hit the municipality of Formosa in northern Argentina late Wednesday afternoon (25). Thousands of buildings, cars, trees and boats on the Paraguay River were damaged by ice stones up to eight centimeters in diameter. National Weather Service (NMHS) issued an alert for severe weather

(wind, rain and hail) for Córdoba, part of Catamarca, Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, La Rioja, Misiones, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero and Tucumán. In rural areas, plantations were completely destroyed, including newly germinated soybeans. READ MORE


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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Christians, Sin and Repentance

It must always be the case that core Christian truths and basic biblical beliefs must be restated and reaffirmed on a regular basis. Even though they may be basic or elementary biblical truths, that does not mean we can just assume all believers have a good, solid grasp of them.

So the job of the Christian teacher never ends, and a constant affirmation and explanation of key Christian beliefs is always needed. So let me yet again do just that, this time concerning some basics about sin, repentance and the like. What inspired all this was a recent social media discussion on homosexuality and the church.

I had posted something on the Bible and homosexuality, with various comments following, and one fellow entered into a helpful discussion on all this. Hopefully our exchange helped to clarify a few things for others. What follows is pretty much how this discussion went:

Him: A friend – a Christian – asked me today, if two homosexual Christians were in a monogamous, loving relationship then will they lose their salvation under grace because of their lifestyle or will they still be saved but have their works burned up on the last day? Thoughts and scriptures please?

Me: Thanks, but we may need to ask a somewhat bigger question here. What does the Bible teach about those who claim to be Christians yet live in known, unrepentant sin (be it fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc)? Put another way, is there such a thing as a deliberately disobedient Christian? Or is that a contradiction in terms?

Him: Please don’t get me wrong I’m not defending the “case for grace no matter what”…. But am trying to understand the depth of love and power afforded by His blood. If the guy on the cross next to Jesus was a homosexual, and he asked to be remembered by Jesus when His kingdom came…would Jesus have said “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise”?

Me: But we know from what the thief said, he was repentant and he looked to God for mercy. And so Jesus could say what he did to him. But in your first scenario you had an ongoing and unrepentant sinful lifestyle. That makes all the difference in the world. We are all sinners, but only those who agree with God about their sin and repent are going to be forgiven!

Him: Yes Bill….I agree…what if he were repenting of homosexuality?

Me: It matters not what the sin is. What matters is if we agree with God about it and turn from it in repentance and faith

Him: Otherwise if unrepented and not turned from, even if the sinner dearly loves God he/she will be cast into the pit.

Me: Yes, how can we say that someone dearly loves God if they still doggedly hold on to their sin? That is like me saying, “I dearly love my wife, but I am doggedly holding on to my extramarital affair”. Once again, we have a contradiction in terms. A true Christian may sin, but he grieves over it, repents, and seeks to be set free from that sin. A fake, nominal Christian says he loves God but in fact loves his sin more. Until he agrees with God about his sin and turns from it, he is not a real Christian!

Several things can be said about this brief conversation. One, while this person was asking good and important questions, and was basically on the same page, for many other believers this would still be a hard thing to even consider or to get right. Confusion abounds on such matters.

Many folks really do not know the basics of the Christians faith, including the fundamental truth that a life of regular, defiant sin and rebellion is a pretty good indication of someone NOT being a Christian. So much emphasis has been placed on the love and mercy of God – and those are wondrous and glorious truths indeed – that many believers know or think very little about God’s holiness and righteousness.

So many folks think that because of God’s great love, people can claim to be Christians, live like the devil, and still be found to somehow be right with God. Um no, it does not quite work that way. A life of wilful rebellion and disobedience is not and cannot be what a true Christian is all about.

Related to this is the ongoing need to restate the basic truths about salvation. As I have said so often before, when it comes to the first step of salvation – justification – yes, it is all of God. We are saved by grace through faith and can add nothing to this initial step.

But that is just the beginning. The rest of the Christian life has to do with sanctification – the continued growth in Christ which is indeed a cooperative effort. God gives grace, the Holy Spirit indwells us, but we have to keep making right choices and keep obeying.

There are hundreds of commands in the New Testament. Believers are urged to do plenty to grow and mature as Christians. That includes saying yes to God and no to sin. So while we rejoice in the mercy and grace of God, we dare not take it for granted, nor be presumptuous about it.

Known, defiant sin and rebellion are pretty clear indications of where a person is at. As stated above in the conversation we had, yes the Christian still sins, but it is not something he seeks to excuse or condone or justify. The real Christian knows such sin is wrong, and seeks – with God’s help – to overcome it.

Related to this is just how much of the world’s thinking has permeated the churches. Instead of preaching holiness, godliness and repentance, we simply follow the spirit of the age, and try to make excuses for those wilfully defying the clear commands of Scripture.

The issue of homosexuality is a classic case in point. Instead of affirming the plain biblical teachings on this, we buy into all the world’s thinking on it. We refuse to call it sin, we refuse to affirm what Scripture teaches on this, and we reject God and his Word as we just emote our way through these areas.

We buy the lies of the world that “love is love” and as long as people “love” each other, that is all that matters. Nope, not at all. What matters is the truth of God and whether we align ourselves with it or not. Love is far more than lust or feelings. Biblical love is a much higher and nobler thing.

Many of those who are weak and compromised here will actually quote from the “love chapter”: 1 Corinthians 13. But let me remind them of what is actually found there. Verse 6 brings it all into proper focus: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

Love and truth always go together, and a rejection of evil is also always a part of this. So it simply is foolish to speak of Christians being in a “loving homosexual relationship.” One might as well try to argue that a Christian can be in a loving adulterous relationship. Sorry, sin is sin – end of story.

Those conversant with the basics of Christianity 101 will of course find nothing new here. But it is mainly for those who are not conversant with it that I write this – again. I have discussed such matters countless times before, and it looks like I will keep having to do so.

Hopefully however, some folks will get it this time around!

Source: Christians, Sin and Repentance

Spiritual Dry Spells: Causes and Cures

I’m willing to bet that most of us have experienced a spiritual dry spell—a time when we felt far from the Lord, unfruitful, unmotivated, and maybe a little lost. Feelings of closeness and communion with the Lord faded. That fiery desire to love and serve Christ dwindled.

Maybe that’s you, now. Maybe you’re wrestling with the host of emotions that accompany a spiritual drought—anything from confusion to doubt, apathy, even depression.

Three Causes of Spiritual Dry Spells

If we are Christians, if we have been freed from condemnation, united with Christ, and the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our souls, then how is it we still experience these dry spells? What causes them? How do we get through them?

Let’s look at three common causes and their cures.

1. Harbored Sin

In Romans 6:2, Paul asks, “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” The answer is…miserably. We cannot serve two masters. While “we know that our old self was crucified with [Christ]…so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin,” the battle between our flesh and our new spirit is still very much in play (Romans 6:6). The sinful part of our nature that is wired to respond to temptation is still a dividing force in our lives.

If you’re feeling far from the Lord, if you no longer feel drawn to spend time in his Word, if you’ve become hardened to serving him and maybe even hardened toward other people, odds are that there is a part of your life where sin is reigning free. Sin is always in the business of distancing us from the Father. Sin turns our focus inward instead of upward, and eventually downward into shame and despair.

The cure for this cause is simple—repentance. We have a painfully, yet beautifully clear picture of this in David. David was a man after God’s own heart, who at one point sank so deeply into sin that he justified murder as a means of hiding his indiscretions (2 Samuel 11). Look at his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51:11-12. He says,

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

David prayed for the Lord to restore the joy of his salvation because it had been lost to sin. He begged the Lord not to cast him away because he knew that sin has the power to divide and cut off.

If there is an area of habitual sin in your life, put it to death. As a believer, the cost to you is too great to continue in it, and the cost to your Savior was too great for you to ignore it. As John Owen so simply put it, “Always be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

2. Trust in Feelings

Our hearts are fickle. Our emotions are not to be trusted. In fact, Jeremiah goes so far as to say that our hearts are “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). Oftentimes when we feel far from the Lord, when we don’t feel God’s love the way we used to, it’s because we’ve mistakenly put our trust in feelings about our faith rather than facts, what God’s Word says about our faith. That’s what Proverbs 3:5 means when it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”


God’s Word is living and life-giving. It’s able to breathe new life into a dry and distant soul.
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The Lord is unchanging, immovable, and steadfast. The same cannot be said of our emotions. That’s why we’re commanded to trust in him with our hearts, rather than trusting in our hearts to understand him.

The cure, in this case, is Scripture. If this cause is ringing a bell, you’re probably spending more time dwelling on your thoughts and feelings than you are on the Word. Turn to passages like Romans 8:31-39 that remind us of the binding love we’ve received through Christ. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ, not even our ever-changing moods and affections. Look at 1 John 4:10 where we’re reminded that our salvation came out of God’s love for us, not our love for him. Our emotions didn’t save us, and they are not what will sustain us.

God’s Word is living and life-giving. It’s able to breathe new life into a dry and distant soul. Like the psalmist, make the Lord’s testimonies your delight and your counselor, not your emotions (Psalm 119:24).

3. A Forgetful Memory

Fear of the future or bitterness over the past can suck a soul dry and harden the heart. Though fear and bitterness are two different states, they spring from the same root. If you find yourself with a fearful or bitter heart, it’s likely that you’ve forgotten the goodness of the Lord. In the case of fear, you’ve forgotten all the Lord has already seen you safely through and his promise to never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6). In the case of bitterness, you’ve forgotten the Lord’s mercies woven through your past pain and his power to redeem lost days (Joel 2:25).

Deuteronomy 4:9 lays out this final cause and its cure beautifully with a warning we would all be wise to heed:

Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.

If we aren’t careful to remind ourselves of all the Lord has done for us, memories of his provision, protection, and grace will fade. Along with them, fruitfulness, confidence, and joy in the Lord will fade as well. When that happens, it’s no wonder we feel a sense of emptiness.

To combat this cause, we give thanks. Listing everything the Lord has done for us helps us call to mind his goodness and his faithfulness. We should again be like the psalmist and say, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1).

Washed in the Living Water

Regardless of why you find yourself in a spiritual dry spell—whether because of harbored sin, misplaced trust in feelings, a forgetful memory, or any other cause—pray for your soul, your heart. We know that God, alone, can remove a heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

This is why it’s so important that we preach the gospel to ourselves every day. Sin becomes less tempting the more I think on its deadly weight. The more I meditate on Jesus as Lord of all, the easier it is for my heart to submit to his sole lordship. When I remember the grace I’ve been given through my Savior, it’s more difficult for fear or bitterness to take root.

It’s hard for the soul to dry out when it’s daily washed in the living water of Christ, crucified and risen to save it.

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The post Spiritual Dry Spells: Causes and Cures appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

3 Reformation Day Links

How Should I Share the Gospel With a Roman Catholic? (Video)

Sugel Michelen answers: “How should we try to share the gospel with a Roman Catholic? Do we confront the differences between Protestants and Catholics head-on?”

Reformation 500: Can Roman Catholicism be Considered Christianity?

“It’s that time of year again when we remember the Protestant Reformation. But this year, it’s really something special: 500 years have passed since the greatest movement of God in church history next to the birth of the church at Pentecost. But was the Reformation really necessary?”

What is the Difference Between Catholics and Protestants? (Video)

Dr. Gregory Wills answers: “What is the difference between Catholics and Protestants?”

October 27, 2017: Verse of the day

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The Response of the Lord

And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (22:37–40)

Jesus responded without hesitation, and the answer He gave was in total accord not only with Mosaic law but with an ancient Jewish custom based on that law. The command, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, was part of the Shema (Hebrew for “Hear”), so named because it began with, “Hear, O Israel” The Shema comprised the texts of Deuteronomy 6:4–9; 11:13–21; and Numbers 15:37–41-by far the most familiar, most quoted, and most copied Scripture passages in Judaism. In Jesus’ day, every faithful Jew recited the Shema twice a day.

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21 were two of the four Scripture texts (with Ex. 13:1–10 and 13:11–16) that were copied on small pieces of parchment and placed in phylacteries that were worn on the foreheads and left arms of Jewish men during prayer. The practice was based on the admonition of Deuteronomy 6:8, “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead” (cf. 11:18). It was for the ostentatious display of phylacteries that Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees only a short while later, while He was still teaching in the Temple (Matt. 23:5). In a similar way, copies of Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21 were placed in mezuzahs, small boxes that Jews attached to their doorposts, following the instruction of Deuteronomy 6:9 and 11:20. Both phylacteries and mezuzahs are still used by many orthodox Jews today.

“I am declaring to you,” Jesus was therefore saying, “that the great commandment is the commandment of Moses that all of you recite every day and that many of you bind on your arms and foreheads every day.”

Aheb, the Hebrew word for love used in Deuteronomy 6:5, refers primarily to an act of mind and will, the determined care for the welfare of something or someone. It might well include strong emotion, but its distinguishing characteristics were the dedication and commitment of choice, It is the love that recognizes and chooses to follow that which is righteous, noble, and true, regardless of what one’s feelings in a matter might be. It is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek agapaō in the New Testament, the verb of intelligent, purposeful, and committed love that is an act of the will. This love is in contrast to the emotion and tender affection of phileō and the physical, sensual love of eros (which is not used in the New Testament).

To love the Lord with all one’s heart, … soul, and … mind (Mark’s account adds “strength,” 12:30) does not express separate and technical definitions of each element of human nature or a compartmentalizing of love into three or four categories, but rather connotes comprehensiveness. We are to love the Lord our God with every part of our being.

On the other hand, the areas are listed distinctly, each one preceded by its own with all your. It is therefore helpful to look at some distinctions in each of them in order to understand the fullness of what love for God should include.

To the ancient Hebrews, heart referred to the core of one’s personal being. The book of Proverbs counsels, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (4:23). The term soul is closest to what we would call emotion and is the word Jesus used when He cried out in the Garden of Gethsemane the night He was arrested: “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death” (Matt. 26:38). Mind corresponds to what is usually translated “might” in Deuteronomy 6:5. The Hebrew term had a broad connotation and carried the general idea of moving ahead with energy and strength. Mind is used here in the sense of intellectual, willful vigor and determination, carrying both the meaning of mental endeavor and of strength.

Genuine love of the Lord is intelligent, feeling, willing, and serving. It involves thought, sensitivity, intent, and even action where that is possible and appropriate. God has never sought either empty words or empty ritual. His desire is for the person himself, not simply what the person possesses. If He truly has the person, He inevitably has all that the person possesses as well. And just as God loves us with His whole being, we are to return His love with our whole being. His love for mankind was so great “that He gave His only begotten Son” for their redemption (John 3:16). Godly love, whether as His love for man or man’s love for Him, is measured by what it gives, not by what it might gain. It does not love because love is beneficial but because love is right and good.

God requires more than bare belief. James reminds us that even the demons believe that God exists; but instead of rejoicing in that belief, they shudder (James 2:19). The distinguishing mark of saving belief in God is love of God. Faith in Jesus Christ that is not characterized by a consuming love for Him is not saving faith but simply an acknowledgement of His divinity such as even the demons make.

I believe that the transforming new creation that takes place at salvation produces a new will, desire, and attitude deep within the person that can best be described as love for God. John makes love for God the true mark of the believer (see John 14:23–24; 1 John 2:5; 3:17; 4:12–13, 16–21). Peter declares that God is precious to those who believe (1 Pet. 2:7), pointing to the same truth that love for God and Christ characterize a true Christian.

The Ten Commandments themselves make clear that love for and obedience to God are inseparable. The Lord shows His “lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love [Him] and keep [His] commandments” (Ex. 20:6; cf. Deut. 7:9; Neh. 1:5). Jesus declared, “If you love Me, you will keep. My commandments” (John 14:15), and John wrote, “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:3–5). A person who belongs to God loves God and therefore obeys God. One of the most beautiful descriptions of a Christian is one who loves “our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible” (Eph. 6:24). And one of the most sobering descriptions of an unbeliever is “anyone [who] does not love the Lord” (1 Cor. 16:22).

True love of God declares with Paul, “For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (Rom. 7:15), In essence he was saying that, even though he did not always do what was tight, he always loved what was right and longed to do what was honoring to God. That was the opposite attitude of the scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus repeatedly condemned for making great pretense of love for God on the outside while having no inward love for Him at all. They were interested only in the outward religious ceremonies and actions that fed their self-righteousness, self-satisfaction, and hypocrisy. Although they recited the Shema with meticulous regularity, that verbal declaration of love for God was hollow and meaningless.

Just as belonging to God is loving God, not belonging to Him is hating Him (Ex. 20:5). God’s people are those who love Him, and the unsaved are those who hate Him and are His adversaries (Deut. 32:41; Prov. 8:36).

The person who truly loves the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind is the person who trusts Him and obeys Him. That person demonstrates his love by meditating on God’s glory (Ps. 18:1–3), trusting in God’s divine power (Ps. 31:23), seeking fellowship with God (Ps. 63:1–8), loving God’s law (Ps. 119:165), being sensitive to how God feels (Ps. 69:9), loving what God loves (Ps. 119:72, 97, 103), loving whom God loves (1 John 5:1), hating what God hates (Ps. 97:10), grieving over sin (Matt. 26:75), rejecting the world (1 John 2:15), longing to be with Christ (2 Tim. 4:8), and obeying God wholeheartedly (John 14:21).

Above all, the one who truly loves God is the one who truly obeys God Like Paul, he knows his love is imperfect and his obedience is imperfect, but he presses “on in order that [he] may lay hold of that for which also [he] was laid hold of by Christ Jesus,” pressing “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12, 14).

To say that Jesus died for man’s sin is to say that He died for man’s hatred of God, which is the essence of all sin. Christ died for man’s lack of love for God. And just as He offers forgiveness for past lack of love for God, Christ also provides for future love for God. The great Forgiver is also the great Enabler, because through Christ, “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).

Even before Christ came to earth, God’s way was the way of love, which was the way of obedience. The Jews of Jesus’ day should have been convicted of their lovelessness and their disobedience, because the Old Testament was clear-and nowhere more dear than in the Shema-that the person without obedience for God was without love for God and was therefore without God Himself

After stating the first and greatest commandment, Jesus did the Pharisees one better and added the second as well: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Not surprisingly, the second greatest commandment involves the same virtue as the first, namely, love. The command for genuine love of God, Jesus declared, is next followed in importance by the command for a love of your neighbor that is of the same order as the love you already have for yourself.

Just as the Pharisees had no genuine love for God, neither did they have genuine love even for their Jewish neighbor, not to mention their Gentile neighbor. Instead, as Jesus reminded the multitudes a short while later, the scribes and Pharisees “tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger” (Matt. 23:4). Like the mercenary Sadducees who extorted the Temple worshipers in the selling of sacrifices and exchanging of money, the scribes and Pharisees also abused and made religious merchandise of their fellow Jews.

Genuine love for one’s neighbor is of the same kind as genuine love for God. It is by choice purposeful, intentional, and active, not merely sentimental and emotional. And it is measured, Jesus said, by your love for yourself. When a person is hungry, he feeds himself; when he is thirsty, he gets himself a drink; and when he is sick, he takes medicine or sees a doctor-all because he is so consumed with caring for himself. He does not simply think or talk about food or water or medicine but does whatever is necessary to provide those things for himself. A person never simply says to himself, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” without doing anything to secure his needed clothing and food (see James 2:16).

Contrary to some contemporary interpretations of this passage, Jesus was not commanding that a person love himself but assumed he already does love himself. “No one ever hated his own flesh,” Paul states, “but nourishes and cherishes it” (Eph. 5:29). And just as a person looks out for his own welfare, both by the legitimacy of natural design as wall as because of sinful selfishness, he will also look out for the welfare of others if he truly loves them.

The basic requirements both of Judaism and of Christianity are summed up in the same dual command: to love God and to love one’s fellow man. “On these two commandments,” Jesus said, “depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Everything else in the Old Testament that God required of believers hung on those two commands. Likewise, every New Testament requirement of believers is based on them. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God” John declares; “and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7–8). “He who loves his neighbor,” Paul says, “has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the Law” (Rom. 13:8–10).

If people loved perfectly there would be no need for law, because the person who loves others will never do them harm. In the same way, the believer who loves God with all his being will never take His name in vain, will never worship idols, and will never fail to obey, worship, honor, and glorify Him as Lord.

The lawyer was favorably, and no doubt surprisingly, impressed by Jesus’ answer. “Right, Teacher,” he said; “ ‘You have truly stated that … to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ And when Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’ ” (Mark 12:32–34).[1]


37–39 Jesus first quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 (part of the Shema [Dt 6:4–9; 11:13–21; Nu 15:38–41]) and then Leviticus 19:18. The first is from the MT, the second from the LXX (cf. Gundry, Use of the Old Testament, 22–25; Blomberg, “Matthew,” in CNTUOT). From the viewpoint of biblical anthropology, “heart,” “soul,” and “mind” (v. 37) are not mutually exclusive but overlapping categories, together demanding our love for God to come from our whole person, our every faculty and capacity. “First and greatest” (v. 38) refers to one, not two, qualities. The “and” is explicative; i.e., this command is primary because it is the greatest. The second (v. 39) also concerns love, this time toward one’s “neighbor,” which in Leviticus 19:18 applies to a fellow Israelite or resident alien, but which Luke 10:29–37 expands to anyone who needs our help.

Bringing these two texts together does not originate with Jesus, as Luke’s parallel suggests (confirmed also by T. Iss. 5:2; 7:6; T. Dan 5:3, if these texts are pre-Christian).[2]


22:37–38. Jesus drew his answer from the most memorized and recited passage in all the Jewish Scriptures: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4–5).

Jesus quoted the Septuagint almost verbatim, but he substituted mind (dianoia) for the similar sounding “might” (dunameos). We are to take this list as an emphatic way of saying, “Love God with everything you are in every way possible.” But it was not without significance that our Lord deliberately substituted “mind” here rather than some other term. Christians need to take a lesson from this. We should learn to think critically and biblically.

Jesus emphasized his answer by identifying this commandment as the first and greatest commandment. This commandment was greatest because of the statement in Deuteronomy 6:4 which preceded it: “Yahweh is your God, Yahweh alone” (paraphrased). To honor Yahweh as the one true God is to love him exclusively, from among all others who claim to be gods.[3]


37–40. He answered him,

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the great and first commandment. And a second like it is this:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets.

Jesus here teaches that:

  • The whole duty of man, the whole moral-spiritual law, can be summed up in one word: love. Cf. Rom. 13:9, 10; 1 Cor. 13.
  • This love should be directed toward God (Deut. 6:5) and toward man (Lev. 19:18). In the Sermon on the Mount the obligation to love is set forth in greater detail (see especially 5:43–48; chapter 6; and 7:1–12).
  • Heart, soul, and mind must co-operate in loving God. The heart is the hub of the wheel of man’s existence, the mainspring of all his thoughts, words, and deeds (Prov. 4:23). The soul—the word used in the original has a variety of meanings (see footnote 334 on p. 349)—is here probably the seat of man’s emotional activity; the mind, not only of his purely intellectual life but also of his disposition or attitude. In the Hebrew original (and also in the LXX) of Deut. 6:5 the reading is “heart, soul, and might (or: power).” Mark 12:30 has “heart, soul, mind, and strength.” Cf. Luke 10:27. No essential difference is intended. We must not begin to over-analyze. What is meant in all these passages is that man should love God with all the “faculties” with which God has endowed him.
  • Man must use all these powers to the full; note triple “all … all … all,” or “whole … whole … whole.” The point is that God’s whole-hearted love must not be answered in a half-hearted manner. When God loves, he loves the world; when he gives, he gives his Son, hence himself. See N.T.C. on John 3:16. He gives him up; he spares him not. Greater love is impossible (John 15:13; Rom. 5:6–10; 2 Cor. 8:9). Surely, the response to such love must not be less than that indicated in Rom. 11:33–36; 1 Cor. 6:20; 2 Cor. 9:15; Eph. 5:1, 2; Phil. 2:1–18; Col. 3:12–17.
  • This commandment is called the great(est) because it epitomizes the most excellent response to the Most Wonderful Being, and is basic to all other genuine love.
  • “A second commandment which is similar to it” resembles the first, because it too requires love. Moreover, this love toward the neighbor, who is God’s image-bearer, flows forth from the love toward God (1 John 4:21; see also Matt. 5:43; 7:12; 19:19).
  • This twofold command (love for God and for the neighbor) is the peg on which the whole “law and the prophets” hang. Remove that peg, and all is lost, for the entire Old Testament, with its commandments and covenants, prophecies and promises, types and testimonies, invitations and exhortations, points to the love of God which demands the answer of love in return.[4]

37–38 Jesus draws his answer from the Shema, which was recited twice daily by the Jews. After the opening words, “Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” which are included in Mark 12:29, comes the commandment quoted by Jesus. The wording of the citation itself agrees nearly verbatim with the LXX of Deut 6:5, except for Matthew’s use of ἐν and the dative for ἐκ and the genitive (no doubt reflecting the Hebrew preposition בְּ, , “with,” of the Hebrew text of Deut 6:5) and the alteration of the third noun from δυνάμεως, “strength,” to διανοίᾳ, “mind” (the latter, however, occurs in a cognate passage in the LXX of Josh 22:5). διανοίᾳ is derived from Matthew’s source, Mark 12:30 (which, however, has four modifying nouns; cf. above Form/Structure/Setting §B). The first and great commandment is to love God with all one’s being: with heart, soul, mind, and whatever else one might care to add. This commandment from Deut 6:5 can easily be recognized as a kind of elaboration on the first commandment of the Decalogue: “I am the Lord your God … you shall have no other gods besides me.” In its fundamental character, this is clearly ἡ μεγάλη [cf. v. 36] καὶ πρώτη ἐντολή, “the great and first commandment.” Included within it is the duty of obedience to the other commandments given by God, and thus the answer would have been a good one in the eyes of the Pharisees.[5]


22:37, 38 In a masterful way the Lord Jesus summarized man’s obligation to God as the first and great commandment: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ” Mark’s account adds the phrase, “and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). This means that man’s first obligation is to love God with the totality of his being. As has been pointed out: the heart speaks of the emotional nature, the soul of the volitional nature, the mind of the intellectual nature, and strength of the physical nature.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Mt 22:36–37). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 522–523). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 358). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 809–810). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Hagner, D. A. (1998). Matthew 14–28 (Vol. 33B, p. 647). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1287–1288). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.