Monthly Archives: October 2017

Martin Luther, Pastoral Counseling, and Mental Illness

A Word from Bob: It is vital that we minister with love and wisdom in all situations related to mental illness and the church. For an expanded look at this issue, please download my free resource Mental Illness and the Church. This resource explores how God calls us to compassionate, comprehensive care for those struggling with deeply distressing and chronic emotional and mental health concerns.

The Gospel and Mental Health 

In my previous post, we examined Martin Luther, Pastoral Counseling, Sola Scriptura, and the Sufficiency of Scripture. We might think:

“Well, sure Luther could use Scripture for the easy, spiritual stuff. He didn’t have to deal with modern issues that we would now label mental illness. Had he done that, then he would not have found gospel-centered counseling to be sufficient.”

Let’s take a look at the historic facts…

Luther’s Compassionate, Competent, and Comprehensive Pastoral Counseling

Winfried Schleiner examined 500 years of the treatment of schizophrenia, psychosis, and melancholy from the Renaissance through the Reformation. Schleiner concluded that “medical writers of the period rarely show any sympathy for such delusive conditions.”[I]

Renaissance doctors delighted in mocking psychotics (persons thinking themselves other than they were—a clay jar, a cock with flapping wings). They were considered comic fools. “The sense of ridicule overcomes pity. Of course the pain and inhumanity resulting from unsympathetic attitudes towards psychotics have mostly gone unrecorded.”[ii]

Schleiner set as his task finding some source whose treatment and healing methodology might be more compassionate.

If, then, a certain kind of psychotic case tended to attract medical ridicule and …did not lead to serious consideration of therapy, we may have to look elsewhere in the Renaissance for a glimpse of what has become so strikingly obvious in our times: that a knowledge of the patients’ histories, empathy with their condition, and endeavors to understand their particular thought processes are important in the treatment of psychotics, whose suffering and pain are beginning to be fully recognized.[iii]

According to Schleiner, “one must look to theologians…to find sympathetic treatments of the condition” (of schizophrenia).[iv] Only in Luther did he find someone manifesting “an encompassing sympathy for the psychotic.”[v]

Redemptive Relationships 

Schleiner’s work bears examination because it highlights what was so important to Luther—personal encounter or cure by redemptive relationships. He called Luther’s cure, the cure by charity and company—“societas.” Schleiner summarizes his findings by noting that compassionate care was a major part of the cure in Luther:

“Indeed it can be said that this sense of caring becomes a vehicle of therapy.”[vi]

And Schleiner notes that “clearly human company is the essential ingredient in the cure of the melancholic.”[vii]

3 Difficult Cases 

What sort of strugglers does Luther interact with? One was a “melancholic who refused to eat and drink and hides in a cellar. He rebuffs any charitable helpers with the words ‘Don’t you see that I am a corpse and have died? How can I eat?’”[viii] Here is a person who is both depressed and psychotic—thinking he is dead.

In a second case, Luther dealt with an individual who thought he was a rooster “with a red comb on his head, a long beak, and a crowing voice.”[ix]

What was Luther’s care and cure for these two individuals? Schleiner says the two elements common in every one of Luther’s cases were “the consideration of the psychotic’s past and the role of societas (company, relationship) in re-integrating such a person into the community.”[x]

Reintegrating the soul through compassionate relationships was an essential element in Luther’s soul care. He used his personal relationship as a way of encountering another person on behalf of God so that the other person’s image of God and relationship to God could be altered in ways which brought integration to their personality. In fact, Schleiner even labeled Luther’s approach “compassionate reintegration.”[xi]

In his conclusion, Schleiner writes:

Luther shows none of the dehumanizing amusement that often animates even learned physicians when they report certain kinds of cases. The “cure” is brought about not by trickery but by friendly persuasion, by appeal to common humanity, by company. The entire story is informed by a strong sense of sympathy for a patient who becomes stigmatized by society.[xii]

Luther believed that spiritual wholeness or integration was achieved through personal encounter. This was true in his ministry to others and in his openness to being ministered to by others. After reading 1,000s of pages of first-hand accounts of Luther’s interactions, August Nebe said of Luther, “He never regarded himself as all-sufficient, nor as highly lifted up above all others; humbly and urgently he besought help in hours of trial.”[xiii]

Schleiner discussed a third case that Luther addressed. This person was labeled a “voluntary retentive”—someone who refused to urinate. In most Renaissance cases like this, no history was taken or given. Not so with Luther. In talking with this person, Luther traced the beginning of this disorder to a sermon this person heard about works-righteousness. The person came to believe that if he could perfectly control his body and soul, that he would be accepted by God.[xiv]

Having gleaned this history, Luther then gives an etiology or cause as he calls this person a “iustitiarius”—someone attempting to justify himself by works rather than by faith.”[xv] His cure was redemptive/gospel-centered—pointing the person away from works of righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. His interactions with the voluntary retentive person helped him to see that his behavior was rooted in the pride of self-sufficiency. Luther also helped this man see that he must put on renewed images of God in Christ as a God of grace.

This vignette is one of many examples of how Luther encouraged his followers to reinterpret life by exegeting it from a gospel perspective. He cared for souls by promoting the curative attitude of spiritual insight into the redemptive meaning behind events and experiences: cure through looking at life through the lens of the cross of Christ.

Note: I excerpted the preceding material from Chapter 7 of my recently-released book, Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied the Gospel to Daily Life.

[i]Schleiner, “Renaissance Exempla of Schizophrenia: The Cure by Charity in Luther and Cervantes,” 157-176.

[ii]Ibid., 159.

[iii]Ibid., 158.

[iv]Ibid., 163.

[v]Ibid., 163, 165.

[vi]Ibid., 163.

[vii]Ibid., 163.

[viii]Ibid., 173.

[ix]Ibid., 166.

[x]Ibid., 172 .

[xi]Ibid., ibid.

[xii]Ibid., 172.

[xiii]Nebe, Luther as Spiritual Advisor, 13.

[xiv]Schleiner, 164.

[xv]Ibid. 164.

The post Martin Luther, Pastoral Counseling, and Mental Illness appeared first on RPM Ministries.

October 29, 2017: Verse of the day

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119:114 The Lord is our hiding place when we are pursued and our shield when we are being directly attacked. Those who hope in His promise will never be disappointed because He cannot deceive or be deceived.[1]


119:114 my hiding place and my shield Common images of protection in the Psalms (compare Ps 91:1–4). This description connects with the psalmist’s requests in vv. 116–117 (see note on vv. 116–117).[2]


[1] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 744). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 119:114). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

October 28, 2017: Verse of the day

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33 And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34 When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35 and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. [1]


33–35 The final passage of the section alludes to the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV in the aftermath of his failed second Egyptian campaign (vv. 33–35). As Baldwin, 195, iterates, these verses highlight the polarization between those who are seduced by “flattery” (v. 32a) and those “who know their God” (v. 32b), since “persecution eliminates the waverers.” The expression “those who are wise” (v. 33a) refers to those Jews who remain faithful to Yahweh’s covenant despite the atrocities committed against them by their Seleucid oppressors (i.e., those with “spiritual discernment,” according to Miller, 302). These “wise” (Heb. maśkîlîm) Jews will also teach or instruct (Heb. byn) many others during the time of the Seleucid persecution (v. 33a).

Goldingay, 303, describes the wise or discerning Jews as the “conservative leaders who possess the wisdom which consists in awed submission to Yahweh, that understanding which has reflected deeply on his ways in history, and that insight which perceives how his cause will ultimately triumph.” Presumably, this comprised the instruction the wise shared with others, along with their modeling of obedience to the stipulations of the Mosaic law. The fact that some “will fall” (v. 33b) indicates the Jews faithful to Yahweh’s covenant risk capture, torture, and even martyrdom, whether death by the sword or by burning (v. 33c; cf. Heb 11:34–35).

The revealing angel goes on to indicate that those who fall “will receive a little help” (v. 34a). Seow, 181, comments that two responses to the persecution of Antiochus were available to the Jews: a more passive resistance, as reflected in the example of the “wise”; and an active resistance, exemplified among the “zealous” or “devout Jews” (Heb. asîdîm) described in 1 Maccabees 2:42. The enigmatic allusion “help” may refer to the Maccabean freedom fighters, who rose up actively to resist the forced Hellenism of Seleucid rule by means of guerilla warfare (e.g., Baldwin, 196–97; cf. 1 Macc 3). The rest of the verse (“many will join them in hypocrisy,” NASB; v. 34b) may allude to the harsh actions the Maccabees took against those Jews who complied with the edict of Antiochus, thus leading “some to join them out of fear rather than out of principle” (Lucas, 287; cf. 1 Macc 2:44–47; 3:5–8).

The Antiochene persecution leading to the capture, imprisonment, and even martyrdom of some of the “wise” Jews has the effect of refining and purifying them—making them “spotless” (v. 35a). Their suffering is not viewed as divine judgment in punishment for sin, but rather as “a means of testing and purifying their commitment” (Lucas, 287). Hartman and Di Lella, 300–301, understand the suffering in a communal sense as the purification of the Israelite nation and the vindication of the worship of Yahweh. It seems more likely that Collins (Daniel, 386) is correct to view the test of suffering in more individualistic terms as “purification [that] bespeaks an interest in individual salvation as distinct from (though not opposed to) the deliverance of the nation.”

No doubt the Antiochene persecution also had the effect of further purging the faithful Jews by winnowing out the insincere (so Goldingay, 303). Yet “the death of the martyrs is not vicarious. They are the ones who are purified,” and they have their primary effect on the community by their instruction (Collins, Daniel, 386). For the third time in this section (v. 35c; cf. vv. 24–27), the revealing angel indicates that the period of suffering the Jews must endure as a result of the persecution of Antiochus is an interim one. There is an “appointed time” for its end (v. 35c)—yet another reminder of God’s sovereign control of human history and Israel’s destiny (see comment on v. 27d).[2]


11:33–35 the wise among the people shall make many understand. This likely refers to those who truly fear God and who will encourage others to fight and even die rather than perform abominations before God. This refers primarily to the Maccabean Revolt. In that process many (tens of thousands) would die. In this time of persecution, the nation will receive a little help, which probably refers to the small forces that initially rebelled against the Syrians in Modein, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Jerusalem, led by Mattathias and later his third son Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc. 2–4). The rest of Dan. 11:34 probably has in view the many who would join themselves to the Maccabean rebellion out of necessity to save their lives, though it may more specifically refer to the Hasidim who joined with the Maccabeans and killed those who were sympathetic to the Seleucids (cf. 1 Macc. 2:42–48). Some of the wise shall stumble likely describes true believers who would die in this persecution; through this persecution they would be refined, purified, and made white. Similarly, church history has shown that the Christian church has flourished under times of intense persecution, which may be what Dan. 11:35b is referring to (until the time of the end). But at least it refers to the end of Antiochus IV’s persecution, which ended with his death in 164 b.c. while he was on a campaign in Persia.

11:35 The refining process looks forward to God’s refining of the church (Rom. 5:3–5; Heb. 12:3–11; 1 Pet. 1:6–7).[3]


11:33 give understanding to the many. Those who believe and know the truth will instruct others in the Scriptures, while also suffering continued persecution.[4]


11:33 those who have insight Refers to wise men who taught the apocalyptic wisdom of Daniel and lived righteously in the midst of turmoil. The language is borrowed from Isaiah’s “Suffering Servant” motif (see 12:3; Isa 52:13; 53:11).

by sword and by flame Many were killed during Antiochus’ reign because of their refusal to comply with his policies; see 1 Maccabees 1:62–63.[5]


11:33–35. The Jews who refused to submit to Antiochus’ false religious system were persecuted and martyred for their faith. The word fall (vv. 33–34), literally “stumble” (kāšal), refers to severe suffering on the part of many and death for others. This has in view the rise of the Maccabean revolt. Mattathias, a priest, was the father of five sons. (One of them, Judas, became well known for refurbishing and restoring the temple in late 164 b.c. He was called Judas Maccabeus, “the Hammerer.”) In 166, Mattathias refused to submit to this false religious system. He and his sons fled from Jerusalem to the mountains and began the Maccabean revolt. At first only a few Jews joined them. But as their movement became popular, many joined them, some out of sincere motives and some from false motives. The suffering that the faithful endured served to refine and purify them. This time of persecution was of short duration. It had previously been revealed to Daniel that the temple would be desecrated for 1,150 days (8:14; see comments on 8:23–25). Here Daniel was assured that this persecution would run its course and then be lifted, for its end will still come at the appointed time.[6]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Da 11:33–35). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Hill, A. E. (2008). Daniel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, pp. 197–198). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1616). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Da 11:33). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Da 11:33). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Pentecost, J. D. (1985). Daniel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1370). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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.

October 26, 2017: Verse of the day

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Happy Are the Meek

Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. (5:5)

Like the first two beatitudes, this one must have been shocking and perplexing to Jesus’ hearers. He taught principles that were totally foreign to their thinking.

Jesus’ audience knew how to act spiritually proud and spiritually self-sufficient. They were proficient in erecting a pious facade. They actually believed that the Messiah was coming soon and would commend them for their goodness. He would, at last, give the Jewish people their rightful place in the world-position above all other people, because they were the chosen of God.

They eagerly anticipated that the Messiah would deal gently with them and harshly with their oppressors, who for nearly a hundred years had been the Romans. After the Maccabean revolution that freed them from Greece, the Jews had a brief time of independence. But Rome’s rule, though not as cruel and destructive, was much more powerful than that of Greece. Since 63 b.c., when Pompey annexed Palestine to Rome, the region had been ruled primarily by puppet kings of the Herodian family and by Roman governors, or procurators, the best known of which to us was Pilate.

The Jews so despised Roman oppression that sometimes they even refused to admit it existed. One day as He taught on the Mount of Olives,Jesus had one of His strongest exchanges with the Pharisees. When He said “to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,’ ” the Pharisees’ response was strange. “We are Abraham’s offspring,” they said, “and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free?’ ” (John 8:31–33). The fact was, of course, that Israel’s history was one of repeated conquest and oppression-by Egypt, Assyria, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and, at that very time, Rome. Apparently pride would not allow those Pharisees to acknowledge one of the most obvious facts of their nation’s history and of their present situation.

All Jews hoped for deliverance of some sort, by some means. Many were expecting deliverance to come through the Messiah. God had directly promised the godly Simeon “that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” that is, the Messiah (Luke 2:26). Simeon’s expectation was fulfilled when he was given the privilege of seeing the true Messiah as an infant. Others, however, such as the Pharisees, expected the Messiah to come with great fanfare and a mighty show of supernatural power. They assumed He would miraculously throw off the yoke of Rome and establish a Jewish state, a revived theocracy and holy commonwealth that would rule the world. Others, such as the materialistic Sadducees, hoped for change through political compromise, for which they were despised by many fellow Jews. The monastic Essenes, isolated both physically and philosophically from the rest of Judaism, lived largely as if Rome and the rest of the world did not exist.

The Zealots, as their name implies, were the most vocal and active proponents of deliverance. Many of them expected the Messiah to come as a powerful, irresistible military leader who would conquer Rome in the same way that Rome had conquered them. They were not, however, waiting passively for their Deliverer, but were determined that, whenever and however He might come, they would do their part to make His job easier. Their numbers, influence, and power continued to grow until Rome brutally attempted to crush Jewish resistance. In a.d. 70 Titus totally destroyed Jerusalem and massacred over a million Jews. Three years later Flavius Silva finally succeeded in his long siege against the stronghold at Masada. When Jewish rebelliousness continued to frustrate Rome, Hadrian swept through Palestine during the years 132–35 and systematically destroyed most of the cities and slaughtered the Jews living there.

In Jesus’ day the aggressive, rebellious Zealots were not many in number, but they had the sympathy and moral support of many of the people, who wanted Rome to be overthrown, however it was done.

Consequently, in whatever way various groups of people expected the Messiah to come, they did not anticipate His coming humbly and meekly. Yet those were the very attitudes that Jesus, the one whom John the Baptist had announced as the Messiah, was both teaching and practicing. The idea of a meek Messiah leading meek people was far from any of their concepts of the messianic kingdom. The Jews understood military power and miracle power. They even understood the power of compromise, unpopular as it was. But they did not understand the power of meekness.

The people as a whole eventually rejected Jesus because He did not fulfill their messianic expectations. He even preached against the means in which they had put their hope. They first rejected, then hated, and finally killed Him because, instead of approving their religion He condemned it, and instead of leading them to independence from Rome He disdained revolutionary acts and offered a way of even greater subservience.

In their minds Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah, and the final evidence was His crucifixion. The Old Testament taught that anyone hanged on a tree was “accursed of God” (Deut. 21:23), yet that is exactly where Jesus’ life ended-ignominiously on a cross, and a Roman cross at that. As He hung dying, some of the Jewish leaders could not resist a last taunt against His claim to be Savior and Messiah: “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’ ” (Matt. 27:42–43).

In the early days of apostolic preaching, the death and resurrection of Christ were the greatest hindrances to belief in the gospel. The ideas were foolishness to Gentiles and a stumbling block to Jews (1 Cor. 1:23). The gospel was foolishness to those Gentiles who considered the body to be inherently evil and thought it absurd that the Savior of the world not only would allow Himself to be killed but would come back from the dead in bodily form. To the Jews the gospel was a stumbling block because the idea of the Messiah dying at all, much less on a cross, was unthinkable. How could a Messiah who taught for a few years, accomplished absolutely nothing as far as anyone could see, and then was rejected by the religious teachers and put to death be worth believing in? (cf. Acts 3:17–18).

But rejection of Jesus started long before His crucifixion. When He began the Sermon on the Mount by teaching humility, mourning, and meekness, the people sensed something was wrong. This strange preacher could hardly be the deliverer they were looking for. Great causes are fought by the proud, not the humble. You cannot win victories while mourning, and you certainly could never conquer Rome with meekness. In spite of all the miracles of His ministry, the people never really believed in Him as the Messiah, because He failed to act in military or miracle power against Rome.

The Jews were not looking for the Messiah that God had told them was coming. They disregarded such parts of His Word as Isaiah 40–60, which so clearly and vividly portrays the Messiah as the Suffering Servant as well as the conquering Lord. They could not accept the idea that such descriptions as, “He has no stately form or majesty … He was despised and forsaken of men … He was oppressed and He was afflicted…like a lamb that is led to slaughter … that He was cut off out of the land of the living,” and “His grave was assigned with wicked men” (Isa. 53:2–3, 7–9) could apply to the Messiah, to the coming great deliverer of the Jews.

Jesus’ teaching seemed new and unacceptable to most of His hearers simply because the Old Testament was so greatly neglected and misinterpreted. They did not recognize the humble and self-denying Jesus as the Messiah because they did not recognize God’s predicted Suffering Servant as the Messiah. That was not the kind of Messiah they wanted.

The Meaning of Meekness

Gentle is from praos, which basically means mild or soft. The term sometimes was used to describe a soothing medicine or a soft breeze. It was used of colts and other animals whose naturally wild spirits were broken by a trainer so that they could do useful work. As a human attitude it meant being gentle of spirit, meek, submissive, quiet, tenderhearted. During His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus was hailed as the coming King, though He was “gentle, and mounted on a donkey” (Matt. 21:5). Paul lovingly referred to the “meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:1) as the pattern for his own attitude.

The essential difference between being poor in spirit and being meek, or gentle, may be that poverty in spirit focuses on our sinfulness, whereas meekness focuses on God’s holiness. The basic attitude of humility underlies both virtues. When we look honestly at ourselves, we are made humble by seeing how sinful and unworthy we are; when we look at God, we are made humble by seeing how righteous and worthy He is.

We again can see logical sequence and progression in the Beatitudes. Poverty of spirit (the first) is negative, and results in mourning (the second). Meekness (the third) is positive, and results in seeking righteousness (the fourth). Being poor in spirit causes us to turn away from ourselves in mourning, and meekness causes us to turn toward God in seeking His righteousness.

The blessings of the Beatitudes are for those who are realistic about their sinfulness, who are repentant of their sins, and who are responsive to God in His righteousness. Those who are unblessed, unhappy, and shut out of the kingdom are the proud, the arrogant, the unrepentant-the self-sufficient and self-righteous who see in themselves no unworthiness and feel no need for God’s help and God’s righteousness.

Most of Jesus’ hearers, like fallen men throughout history, were concerned about justifying their own ways, defending their own rights, and serving their own ends. The way of meekness was not their way, and therefore the true kingdom was not their kingdom. The proud Pharisees wanted a miraculous kingdom, the proud Sadducees wanted a materialistic kingdom, the proud Essenes wanted a monastic kingdom, and the proud Zealots wanted a military kingdom. The humble Jesus offered a meek kingdom.

Meekness has always been God’s way for man. It is the way of the Old Testament. In the book of Job we are told that God “sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety” (5:11). Moses, the Jews’ great deliverer and law-giver, “was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3). The Jews’ great King David, their supreme military hero, wrote, “He [the Lord] leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way” (Ps. 25:9).

Meekness is the way of the New Testament. It is taught by Jesus in the Beatitudes as well as elsewhere and is continued to be taught by the apostles. Paul entreated the Ephesians to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love” (Eph. 4:1–2). He told the Colossians to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). He told Titus to remind those under his leadership “to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1–2).

Meekness does not connote weakness. The word was used in much extrabiblical literature to refer to the breaking of an animal. Meekness means power put under control. A person without meekness is “like a city that is broken into and without walls” (Prov. 25:28). “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32). An unbroken colt is useless; medicine that is too strong will harm rather than cure; a wind out of control destroys. Emotion out of control also destroys, and has no place in God’s kingdom. Meekness uses its resources appropriately.

Meekness is the opposite of violence and vengeance. The meek person, for example, accepts joyfully the seizing of his property, knowing that he has infinitely better and more permanent possessions awaiting him in heaven (Heb. 10:34). The meek person has died to self, and he therefore does not worry about injury to himself, or about loss, insult, or abuse. The meek person does not defend himself, first of all because that is His Lord’s command and example, and second because he knows that he does not deserve defending. Being poor in spirit and having mourned over his great sinfulness, the gentle person stands humbly before God, knowing he has nothing to commend himself.

Meekness is not cowardice or emotional flabbiness. It is not lack of conviction nor mere human niceness. But its courage, its strength, its conviction, and its pleasantness come from God, not from self. The spirit of meekness is the spirit of Christ, who defended the glory of His Father, but gave Himself in sacrifice for others. Leaving an example for us to follow, He “committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:21–23).

Though He was sinless, and therefore never deserved criticism or abuse, Jesus did not resist slander or repay injustice or threaten His tormentors. The only human being who did no wrong, the One who always had a perfect defense, never defended Himself.

When His Father’s house was profaned by moneychangers and sacrifice sellers, “He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables” (John 2:14–15). Jesus scathingly and repeatedly denounced the hypocritical and wicked religious leaders; He twice cleansed the Temple by force; and He fearlessly uttered divine judgment on those who forsook and corrupted God’s Word.

But Jesus did not once raise a finger or give a single retort in His own defense. Though at any time He could have called legions of angels to His side (Matt. 26:53), He refused to use either natural or supernatural power for His own welfare. Meekness is not weakness, but meekness does not use its power for its own defense or selfish purposes. Meekness is power completely surrendered to God’s control.

The Manifestation of Meekness

The best way to describe meekness is to illustrate it, to see it in action. Scripture abounds with instructive accounts of meekness.

After God had called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans to the Promised Land and had made the marvelous unconditional covenant with him, a dispute about grazing lands arose between the servants of Abraham and those of his nephew Lot. All the land of Canaan had been promised to Abraham. He was God’s chosen man and the Father of God’s chosen people. Lot, on the other hand, was essentially a hanger-on, an in-law who was largely dependent on Abraham for his welfare and safety. Besides that, Abraham was Lot’s uncle and his elder. Yet Abraham willingly let Lot take whatever land he wanted, thus giving up his rights and prerogatives for the sake of his nephew, for the sake of harmony between their households, and for the sake of their testimony before “the Canaanite and the Perizzite [who] were dwelling then in the land” (Gen. 13:5–9). Those things were much more important to Abraham than standing up for his own rights. He had both the right and the power to do as he pleased in the matter, but in meekness he gladly waived his rights and laid aside his power.

Joseph was abused by his jealous brothers and eventually sold into slavery. When, by God’s gracious plan, he came to be second only to Pharaoh in Egypt, he was in a position to take severe vengeance on his brothers. When they came to Egypt asking for grain for their starving families, Joseph could easily have refused and, in fact, could have put his brothers into more severe slavery than that into which they had sold him. Yet he had only forgiveness and love for them. When he finally revealed to them who he was, “he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it” (Gen. 45:2). Then he said to them, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life … Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (vv. 5, 8). Later he told them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” ( 50:19–20). In meekness Joseph understood that it was God’s place to judge and his to forgive and help.

Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating some Hebrew slaves; faced up to Pharaoh to demand the release of his people; and was so angry at the orgy that Aaron and the people were having around the golden calf that he smashed the first set of tablets of the Ten Commandments. Yet he was called “very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3). Moses vented his anger against those who harmed and enslaved his people and who rebelled against God, but he did not vent his anger against those who abused him or demand personal rights and privileges.

When God called him to lead Israel out of Egypt, Moses felt completely inadequate, and pleaded, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11). After God explained His plan for Moses to confront Pharaoh, Moses again pleaded, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (4:10). Moses would defend God before anyone, but he did not defend himself before God.

David was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to replace Saul as Israel’s king. But when, in the cave of Engedi, he had the opportunity to take Saul’s life, as Saul often had tried to take his, David refused to do so. He had such great respect for the king’s office, despite that particular king’s wickedness and abuse of him, that “David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. So he said to his men, ‘Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed’ ” (1 Sam. 24:5–6).

Many years later, after David’s rebellious son Absalom had routed his father from Jerusalem, a member of Saul’s family named Shimei cursed David and threw stones at him. When one of David’s soldiers wanted to cut off Shimei’s head, David prevented him, saying, “Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him. Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day” (2 Sam. 16:5–12).

By contrast, King Uzziah, who began to reign at the age of sixteen and who “did right in the sight of the Lord,” and “continued to seek God” (2 Chron. 26:4–5), became self-confident after the Lord gave him great victories over the Philistines, Ammonites, and other enemies. “When he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense” (v. 16). Uzziah thought he could do no wrong, and arrogantly performed a rite that he knew was restricted to the priests. He was so concerned with exalting himself and glorying in his greatness, that he disobeyed the God who had made him great and even profaned His Temple. As a consequence “King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death; and he lived in a separate house, being a leper, for he was cut off from the house of the Lord” (v. 21).

Of the many examples of meekness in the New Testament, the greatest other than Jesus Himself was Paul. He was by far the most educated of the apostles and the one, as far as we can tell, that God used most widely and effectively. Yet he refused to put any confidence in himself, “in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). He knew that he could do all things, but only “through Him who strengthens me” (4:13).

The Result of Meekness

As with the other beatitudes, the general result of meekness is being blessed, being made divinely happy. God gives the meek His own joy and gladness.

More specifically, however, the gentle … shall inherit the earth. After creating man in His own image, God gave man dominion over the whole earth (Gen. 1:28). The subjects of His kingdom are going to come someday into that promised inheritance, largely lost and perverted after the Fall. Theirs will be paradise regained.

One day God will completely reclaim His earthly domain, and those who have become His children through faith in His Son will rule that domain with Him. And the only ones who become His children and the subjects of His divine kingdom are those who are gentle, those who are meek, because they understand their unworthiness and sinfulness and cast themselves on the mercy of God. The emphatic pronoun autos (they) is again used (see vv. 3, 4), indicating that only those who are meek shall inherit the earth.

Most Jews thought that the coming great kingdom of the Messiah would belong to the strong, of whom the Jews would be the strongest. But the Messiah Himself said that it would belong to the meek, and to Jew and Gentile alike.

Klēronomeō (to inherit) refers to the receiving of one’s allotted portion, one’s rightful inheritance. This beatitude is almost a direct quotation of Psalm 37:11-“But the humble will inherit the land.” For many generations faithful Jews had wondered, as God’s people today sometimes wonder, why the wicked and godless seem to prosper and the righteous and godly seem to suffer. Through David, God assured His people, “Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there” (v. 10). The wicked person’s time of judgment was coming, as was the righteous person’s time of blessing.

Our responsibility is to trust the Lord and obey His will. The settling of accounts, whether in judgment or blessing, is in His hands and will be accomplished exactly in the right time and in the right way. In the meanwhile, God’s children live in faith and hope based on the certain promise, the divine pronouncement, that they shall inherit the earth.

Paul both warns and assures the Corinthians, saying, “So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God” (1 Cor. 3:21–23). Because we belong to Christ, our place in the kingdom is as secure as His.

It is also certain “that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9). One day the Lord will take the earth from the hands of the wicked and give it to His righteous people, whom He will use “to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishment on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the judgment written” (Ps. 149:7–9).

Our inheritance of the earth is not entirely future, however. The promise of the future inheritance itself gives us hope and happiness now. And we are able to appreciate many things, even earthly things, in ways that only those who know and love the Creator can experience.

In the beautiful words of Wade Robinson,

Heav’n above is softer blue,

Earth around is sweeter green;

Something lives in ev’ry hue

Christless eyes have never seen!

Birds with gladder songs o’erflow,

Flow’rs with deeper beauties shine,

Since I know, as now I know,

I am His and He is mine.

Nearly a century ago George MacDonald wrote, “We cannot see the world as God means it in the future, save as our souls are characterized by meekness. In meekness we are its only inheritors. Meekness alone makes the spiritual retina pure to receive God’s things as they are, mingling with them neither imperfection nor impurity.”

The Necessity for Meekness

Meekness is necessary first of all because it is required for salvation. Only the meek will inherit the earth, because only the meek belong to the King who will rule the future kingdom of the earth. “For the Lord takes delight in His people,” says the psalmist; “he crowns the humble with salvation” (Ps. 149:4, niv ). When the disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom, “He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’ ” (Matt. 18:2–4).

Meekness is also necessary because it is commanded. “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility” (Zeph. 2:3). James commands believers, “Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Those who do not have a humble spirit are not able even to listen rightly to God’s Word, much less understand and receive it.

Meekness is necessary because we cannot witness effectively without it. Peter says, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15). Pride will always stand between our testimony and those to whom we testify. They will see us instead of the Lord, no matter how orthodox our theology or how refined our technique.

Meekness is necessary because only meekness gives glory to God. Pride seeks its own glory, but meekness seeks God’s. Meekness is reflected in our attitude toward other children of God. Humility in relation to fellow Christians gives God glory. “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus; that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God” (Rom. 15:5–7).[1]


God’s Gentlemen

Matthew 5:5

Some time ago I heard of a person who had been converted to Christianity because, as he said, he needed “an easy religion.” I was amused by the incongruity of his statement. An easy religion! If he wanted an easy religion, he should not have become a Christian. As it was, he was a little like a bartender at a Methodist Sunday school picnic or a comedian at a funeral—he had come to the wrong place.

The preceding studies on the Sermon on the Mount should already have made this fact clear. Christ’s statements are intended to teach, among other things, that the kind of life he requires actually is impossible for men. And it remains impossible until men first come to Christ acknowledging that they cannot live it and asking him to live it in them. The poor in spirit are blessed, not the proud. And the comfort Christ promises is for those who first mourn for their sin and for the sin of others. At this point, however, Jesus makes his description of the happy life even more difficult, for he goes on to show that the way of blessing is also through meekness. He says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). According to Jesus it is the meek—not the haughty, forward, arrogant, or aggressive—whom God blesses.

A Difficult Statement

This third beatitude must have been received in shocked silence by Christ’s listeners. But they could not have been much different from the people we know today. To most men and women the association of an earthly inheritance with meekness seems incredible. The world associates happiness with worldly possessions, and it believes that the way to gain them is through ability, strength, hard work, self-assurance, and at times, even through self-assertion and conquest. The religious leaders of Christ’s day sought happiness through a materialistic and militaristic kingdom. Christ’s statement would have been a shock to them. We seek it through homes and their contents, success and the praise of men for it, power and the stature it confers. So it is a shock to us also. Against all these outlooks on life and these ambitions Jesus teaches that meekness must be a characteristic of those who are to share his kingdom.

Moreover, the other biblical writers say this also. James writes that meekness is to characterize our initial response to God’s truth: “Wherefore, put away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21 nsb). Peter says that Christians are to witness to others in a spirit of meekness: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15 nsb). Paul lists meekness as one of the fruits of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23 nsb). Several times Paul speaks of meekness as the spirit of mind in which one was to deal with problems in the early Christian congregations (Gal. 6:1; 1 Cor. 4:21; 2 Cor. 10:1), and in Colossians he writes, “Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering” (Col. 3:12 nsb).

Taken together these verses teach that meekness is a characteristic by which God promises to bring blessing in the lives of Christians and through them to others, and that it is not a natural characteristic in man but is the result of the supernatural working of God’s Spirit.

What Is Meekness?

Now we shall never get far in understanding Christ’s statement until we realize that in the Bible meekness does not mean what most people think it means. It does not mean spiritlessness. It does not mean weakness or indolence or cowardice. Actually, it is compatible with high spirits, courage, and great strength.

The first clue to the biblical meaning of meekness lies in the discovery that the word it translates was one of the great words in Greek ethics. The word is praus, and it is defined with great care in Aristotle’s work on ethics. For Aristotle the virtues of life were always defined as the mean between an excess of the virtue and a deficiency in it. For instance, courage is a virtue because it is the mean between cowardice (which is a deficiency in courage) and foolhardy actions (which result from too much). Generosity is the mean between stinginess and a profligate waste of one’s resources. To Aristotle meekness was also a virtue because it was the mean between excessive anger and the inability to show anger at all. He describes as meek the man “who is angry on the right occasion and with the right people and at the right moment and for the right length of time.”

On the basis of this definition it would be possible to translate the beatitude fairly as Barclay does in his excellent commentary on Matthew: “Blessed is the man who is always angry at the right time, and never angry at the wrong time.” And we could look to the example of Jesus Christ for insight into such a controlled and righteous anger.

Barclay adds, “If we ask what the right time and the wrong time are, we may say as a general rule for life that it is never right to be angry for any insult or injury done to ourselves; that is something that no Christian must ever resent; but that it is often right to be angry at injuries done to other people. Selfish anger is always a sin; selfless anger can be one of the great moral dynamics of the world.” Thus does Aristotle provide part of the picture.

A second sense of the word comes from the fact that praus also was used of animals to designate those that had been domesticated. These were animals who had learned to accept control by their masters and who were therefore properly behaved. By extension, the word was then used of persons who also knew how to behave. And the word came to refer to those who were of the upper classes because they were well-mannered, balanced, or polite. This sense of the word “meek” is far better preserved in English by the related word “gentle” from which we get our compounds: gentlefolk, gentlewoman, and gentleman. Gentleness is a soft and loving behavior, the opposite of awkwardness or rudeness. In this sense the Christian is also to be meek. He is to be loving, well-mannered, polite, balanced, and well-behaved. He is to be God’s gentleman.

A final sense of the word “meek” comes from the fact that in biblical language the word is used most often to indicate a subservient and trusting attitude before God, and this makes meekness generally a vertical virtue rather than a horizontal one. It is the characteristic that makes a man bow low before God in order that he may stand high before other men; it makes him bold because he knows that his life has been touched by God and that he comes as God’s messenger.

I believe that this was the primary sense in which Christ used the word “meek” in this beatitude, because the beatitude itself is quoted from a context in which that thought is prominent. I know that someone will say, “What? I thought Jesus originated the Beatitudes, that he made them up.” Well, it is true that he did make most of them up, but not this one. This beatitude actually comes from the thirty-seventh psalm. And it comes at the end of a long list of commands that encourage a person to place his trust in God. The psalmist writes:

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

He then closes the section by saying:

A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.

Psalm 37:3–7, 10–11

Who then are the meek according to the thirty-seventh psalm? They are those who trust in the Lord, who delight themselves in the Lord, who commit their way unto the Lord, who rest in the Lord. It is these who are happy, according to Jesus Christ; and it is these who shall inherit the earth.

The Meekest Man

All of this is illustrated in a remarkable story from the Book of Numbers. One sentence embedded in the midst of the story tells us that the main character was, in God’s sight, the meekest man who ever lived. The man was Moses. And the sentence says, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3 nsb). The story is about a rebellion against Moses led by Miriam, his sister, and Aaron, his brother, the first high priest of Israel.

This is the story. When Moses had fled from Egypt forty years before God used him as the deliverer of his people, he had gone to Midian where he had settled and married Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel, a priest of Midian. Zipporah was of the same stock as the other Israelites and had borne children to Moses. But she had died by the time of the story recounted in the twelfth chapter of Numbers, and Moses was marrying another wife. This new wife was a Cushite, a name given to the inhabitants of ancient Ethiopia. And the point of the story lies in the fact that the Cushite was black. She was not a Semite. And those who were closest to Moses, his sister and brother, felt that the stock of Israel was being compromised by the mixed marriage.

I have noticed in preparing this study that not all of the commentators on Numbers are willing to accept this understanding of the story; in fact, most of them simply ignore the girl’s racial characteristics. But we have every reason for believing that this was the case and that the rebellion was based purely on racial prejudice. Some conservative commentators would dismiss this view on the grounds that the people of Israel were later forbidden to marry among the Canaanites, who inhabited the land of Canaan before their conquest under Joshua. But this was later, and it was based in the debased religion and sexual malpractices that characterized the people of the land (Exod. 34:16). At this time there were no such injunctions. Joseph had married an Egyptian girl, Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian priest. And many persons of other oppressed nations had left Egypt with Israel at the Exodus and presumably were incorporated into the newly emerging nation (Exod. 12:38). It was one of these whom Moses married, and it seemingly was against her racial characteristics and skin color that Miriam and Aaron rebelled. The Bible says, “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the Lord heard this” (Num. 12:1–2).

Now if there are still doubts about this interpretation of the story these should be dispelled by the sequel. For God gave a punishment to Miriam, the instigator, that was frighteningly appropriate to her prejudice. The Bible says, “At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you.’ So the three of them came out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, he said, ‘Listen to my words: When a prophet of the Lord is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?’ The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, like snow” (Num. 12:4–10).

In other words, God said to Miriam, “You’re brown, this girl is black; and you think white is better. All right, have more of it.” So she became a leper, as God used the incident to teach that there was to be no racial prejudice in Israel.

As we come to the end of the story we find that Moses prayed for Miriam, and she was healed. But we ask, “What was the conduct of Moses through the incident? What was the conduct of the man whom God says was the meekest man who ever lived? Did he fight back? Did he seek to defend himself against his accusers?” Not at all. Moses submitted himself to God. That was his meekness. He bowed low before God and was vindicated. Thus, in this response Moses became a forerunner in conduct of Jesus Christ, “ ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22–23). Meekness of this sort will take off its shoes before the burning bush, yet will obey God by walking up to the mightiest ruler of the day and demanding, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go’ ” (Exod. 5:1).

To Inherit the Earth

The second beatitude goes on to teach that the meek “shall inherit the earth.” What does this mean? Well, it is not a promise that the children of God will own oil wells, or blocks of downtown Manhattan, or orchards in southern California. It is a promise for the future.

Yet there is a sense in which the meek shall inherit the earth now. For the meek man is the man who is satisfied and is therefore content. Paul was such a man. He owned very little, yet he spoke of himself as “possessing everything” (2 Cor. 6:10). He wrote to the contentious Corinthians: “So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor. 3:21–23). With such a spirit I can cross the Alps, gaze upon the Bay of Naples, visit a museum, cross the wide expanses of the American continent, attend a concert, listen to the teaching of the Bible, or do anything else, and I can know that these things are mine as much as they are anyone’s. And I can thank God for the people who maintain them for me.

At the same time I can know that Christ’s promise has a future reference also, for it falls in line with Paul’s reminder that “the saints will judge the world” (1 Cor. 6:2). You shall judge the world if you are a Christian, for you are God’s heir and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. There may be sorrow now. There may be suffering. But when Jesus returns, we shall reign with him (2 Tim. 2:12).

Now you may be saying, “All that is wonderful, but for me it is in the area of fantasy. It is a beautiful thought, but it is not possible. I am not meek, and I shall never become meek by any amount of effort.” The answer is that of course it is impossible by your own effort. This characteristic is not in man. But it can be created in a man by Jesus. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28–29). Jesus can do what you think is impossible. He can teach you meekness, and you will find rest to your soul.[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (pp. 166–176). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 31–36). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

October 25, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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BLOOMBERG

The U.S. Senate moved Tuesday to overturn a rule aimed at making it easier for customers to sue banks, handing financial firms a big win in their battle against post-crisis regulations.

Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov heads a group of officials and executives due to attend the U.S.-Russia Business Council’s annual meeting in New York on Thursday, where discussions will focus on prospects for future relations amid FBI and congressional probes into possible links between the Kremlin and Trump campaign officials.

Venezuela’s biggest market for crude sales — the U.S. — is becoming a harder and harder place for the socialist nation’s oil producer to do business as sanctions and diminishing quality controls discourage would-be buyers.

South Africa forecast higher debt and wider fiscal deficits over the next three years, heightening the risk of further credit ratings downgrades as a fight for control of the ruling party limits policy choices.

Amazon is going to start delivering packages not just to doorsteps, but inside homes as well. The new service, called Amazon Key, incorporates a smart lock fitted to a customer’s door, as well as a new Amazon security camera to record the movements of the delivery person.

AP Top Stories

Nearly two-thirds of Americans, mostly in Western states and on the Eastern seaboard, have endured more days of extreme summer heat over the past 10 years than in previous decades, a leading environmental group said in a study unveiled on Tuesday.

Buddhists in Myanmar on Wednesday blocked aid workers from visiting a camp for displaced Muslims in the central part of Rakhine State, where the United Nations fears the spread of violence that has already displaced hundreds of thousands.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is prepared to help Iraq’s central government export oil through a pipeline that would largely bypass Iraq’s Kurdish region.

The Trump administration will temporarily delay processing of most refugees from 11 countries (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as Palestinians who lived in those countries) identified as high-risk, while resuming refugee admissions for other countries, government officials said on Tuesday.

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore said he believes a Supreme Court ruling allowing loving adults to marry is worse than the court’s 1857 decision that upheld slavery.

A $300m contract to help fix Puerto Rico’s crippled electricity network has been awarded to a tiny Montana firm located in the hometown of a cabinet member of the Trump administration.

For the second time this year, the U.S. Navy has three aircraft carrier strike groups operating in the Western Pacific, as the security belt tightens before President Donald Trump’s visit to South Korea and China next month. The Navy says that the USS Nimitz arrived on Wednesday after three months in the Arabian Gulf, supporting the fight against the Islamic State.

North Korea said they were nearing a “final victory” and promised to wipe out Donald Trump and despot Kim Jong-un’s other rivals. The threat was made in a state-run newspaper in Pyongyang, which effectively acts as a mouthpiece for the one-party government.

Kurdish authorities in Iraq offered on Wednesday to put an independence drive on hold, stepping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means.

On Oct. 20, 2017, the Kurdish Peshmerga claimed to have destroyed an Iraqi M-1A1 Abrams tank during fighting in Kirkuk province and took grainy video footage to prove it. It was an especially noteworthy clash given that Western allies supplied many of Iraqi Kurdistan’s anti-tank missiles and Iraq’s Abrams tanks.

The four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on October 4 had been pursuing a senior recruiter for the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) who escaped when they were ambushed, NBC News reports.

Millions of lives could be lost through mass starvation, disease and societal collapse following a N. Korean electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, according to the author of a congressional report.

Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran’s prosecutor said on Tuesday.

BBC

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the return of “moderate Islam” is key to his plans to modernize the Gulf kingdom. He told reporters 70% of the Saudi population was under 30 and that they wanted a “life in which our religion translates to tolerance”.

More than 500 people have been publicly flogged in Indonesia in the past two years, a rights group says. This was permitted as part of a peace deal with separatists in 2006, but the law has become increasingly conservative, particularly regarding gay and extra-marital sex.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has followed through on his plan to boost power resources in Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Mr Musk’s firm, Tesla, has set up solar panels and energy storage batteries at Hospital del Nino, a children’s hospital in San Juan.

A new strain of ransomware nicknamed “Bad Rabbit” has been found spreading in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

WND

A Catholic student group at Georgetown University could be stripped of its funding for its belief in traditional marriage.

In California-which with a July 2016 population of 39,250,017 is the nation’s most populous state – 44.6 percent of the people five years of age and older do not speak English at home, according to data released this week by the Census Bureau.

A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites.


The Briefing 10-25-17

Breathtaking account of prenatal surgery highlights dignity of life, wonder of creation

Chink in pro-abortion armor exposed as life is celebrated in New York Times science section

Awful argument wins as federal appeals court rules government must facilitate abortion

The post The Briefing 10-25-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

News – 10/25/2017

In Unusual Letter Kim Jong Un Announces N. Korea “Fully Nuclear”
In a peculiar letter to the Australian Foreign Minister, North Korean despot Kim Jong Un stated that his country is ““fully-fledged nuclear power”. In an extraordinary manner, the letter was sent via North Korea’s embassy in Jakarta to Australia’s Indonesian embassy. Dated September 28, the letter appears to have been distributed about a week after Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, when he said “the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Iran Sentences Alleged Mossad Agent to Death For Nuclear Scientist Assassinations
An Iranian man was convicted in Tehran on Tuesday of providing information to the Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, which was used to assassinate several people connected to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The man convicted of helping the Israelis was sentenced to death.

WATCH: 1,000 new precision missiles to boost IDF’s offensive capabilities
Defense giant Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been awarded a contract with the IDF to rapidly produce more than a thousand Spike LR2, fifth-generation electro-optical, precision-guided missiles, the company announced on Tuesday. “This substantial production order… for the IDF will kick-start the Spike LR2 missile production earlier than expected,” read the statement, adding that “the IDF and future customers will be assured technical maturity, low risk and readiness for operation.”

Kurds offer to suspend independence vote, seek talks with Baghdad
Kurdish authorities in Iraq offered on Wednesday to put an independence drive on hold, stepping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means. But a Iraqi military spokesman suggested an offensive — launched to wrest back territory after Kurds voted overwhelmingly for independence in a disputed referendum in September — would continue regardless.

Syria: Russia vetoes extension of chemical weapons inquiry
Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution extending the mandate of the only official mission investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) was set up in 2015 to identify perpetrators of chemical attacks. It is due to report later this week on a deadly nerve agent attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

Brazil’s Chapada dos Veadeiros park ravaged by fire
A fire in a national park in the state of Goias in central Brazil has destroyed almost a quarter of the protected area. The park’s director told BBC Brasil [in Portuguese] he suspected arson was the cause of the fire. Chapada dos Veadeiros national park is a Unesco World Heritage site and famous for its biodiversity. About 54,000 hectares (130,000 acres) have been razed by the fire so far, park officials said.

Crown prince says Saudis want return to moderate Islam
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the return of “moderate Islam” is key to his plans to modernise the Gulf kingdom. He told reporters that 70% of the Saudi population was under 30 and that they wanted a “life in which our religion translates to tolerance”. The prince vowed to “eradicate the remnants of extremism very soon”.

Maryland development under fire after selling homes only to Muslims
Dueling legal complaints and allegations of Islamophobia have marred an unfinished retirement community in Maryland after homes were sold only to Muslims. Planners say interest in the River Run development was strong before stalled county permits halted construction. Some elected officials and residents complained that the community violated fair-housing laws.

Out of the Broom Closet: DC Witches in Their Own Words
To celebrate Samhain, a Wiccan festival that falls on the evening of Oct. 31, Washington, D.C. resident Elizabeth Stephens usually prepares a pot of jambalaya to honor her late grandmother and a plate of roast beef in memory of her parents. She marks the festival with witches and fellow Wiccans, who offer their own dishes as a part of the day’s feast. The table they set becomes patterned with platters that were the favorites of family members and friends.

US study finds rise in human glyphosate levels
Levels of glyphosate, a controversial chemical found in herbicides, markedly increased in the bodies of a sample population over two decades…The increase dated from the introduction of genetically-modified glyphosate-tolerant crops in the United States in 1994. The findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) came as the European Commission proposed on Tuesday to renew the license for glyphosate for a shorter than usual five to seven years.

“It’s A Huge Story”: China Launching “Petroyuan” In Two Months
“…the yuan-based oil contract will be a ‘wake up call’ for investors …besides serving as a hedging tool for Chinese companies, the contract will aid a broader Chinese government agenda of increasing the use of the yuan in trade settlement…it’s a ‘huge story’…”

Why the Israeli Air Force Destroys Its Enemies in Battle
Instead of pursuing its own fighters, Israel has lately preferred to extensively modify the aircraft it buys from the United States. Both planes have increased range and improved avionics, enabling the IDF to fight effectively at great distance from its bases. Since the 1960s, the air arm of the Israel Defense Forces (colloquially the IAF) has played a central role in the country’s defense.

Colin Kaepernick lands million-dollar book deal
Colin Kaepernick has inked a book deal worth just over $1 million with Random House imprint One World, Page Six has exclusively learned. One World’s headed by book world superstar Chris Jackson, who also publishes Jay-Z and Ta-Nehisi Coates. He launched One World last year.

Geo-Engineers Want More Chemtrails to Save the Coral
Researchers are openly calling for releasing sulphate aerosols in the sky to literally dim the sun in an attempt to stop coral bleaching.

US Spy Chiefs Implore Congress to ‘Reauthorize’ Mass Surveillance of Internet Users
US intelligence officials are fighting to renew the controversial spying program which allows agencies to conduct bulk surveillance on internet users.

Churches merge, close: ‘We no longer live in Christendom. We really have to accept that it’s a thing of the past’
…The merger would be the latest example of an increasingly common phenomenon: faith leaders closing or consolidating houses of worship as a way of adjusting to a culture that has grown less hospitable to their mission.

FBI, DHS Issue Joint Cyberalert, Warning of Attacks on Infrastructure
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a joint alert, warning companies of the persistent threat of cyberattacks in critical infrastructure sectors, including nuclear, water and aviation.

1.5 million Off Food Stamps Since Trump Took Office
…The enrollment in the food stamp program dropped to 41,203,721 people for a decrease of 1,487,642 since Trump was sworn in. the website reported. The biggest decrease was recorded in March-April with over 500,000 people dropping off the rolls.

Mueller’s Special Investigation is Illegal – Rosenstein Did Not Have Right to Set Up Without Preliminary Investigation First
…Obviously, all of this is very corrupt – the phony special investigation of President Trump, the appointment of Mueller by Rosenstein, the FBI investigation in 2009 that was hidden from Congress, the press and all Americans which involved with real collusion with Russia by the Obama Administration and the Clintons.

“It’s Out There” Wikileaks Shows Clintons Knew Uranium One Was Major Scandal in 2015
Hillary Clinton likes to laugh off the Uranium One scandal as a ‘debunked’ right-wing conspiracy, however; internal emails show the Clinton camp was panicking as the conservative media revealed the dirty details of pay-to-play.

EPA ‘Sue And Settle’ Cost $70 Billion In New Regulations
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision to curb a common Obama-era legal practice could keep billions of dollars worth of regulations off the books, according to a new report.

John Kerry: Bible Says U.S. Must Protect Muslim Countries From Global Warming
If John Kerry really read his bible, he would clearly see that the U.S needs to stand with Israel…

Resistance Leader Sneak Attack ALERT
The anti-American ex-president, who will continue to antagonize and haunt Americans during his natural lifetime and will NEVER go away; his hand-picked protégé who lost last November’s election but acts as though she’s the current president anyway, have managed to insert themselves into the underpinnings of the entire electoral process. Self-crowned ‘Resistance Leader’ Barack Hussein Obama has discovered a workable loophole to take the Democrat Party out of exile back into power.

HELL YEAH: Trump Admin Expected to Kill Massive Landmark Boeing Plane Sale to Iran Approved Under Obama
The Trump administration is coming under increased pressure from Congress to kill a landmark deal between Boeing and an Iranian airline known for engaging in terrorism over concerns the Western airline company would enable Tehran’s transfer of militant fighters across the region, according to multiple sources, who told the Washington Free Beacon the administration is likely to nix the multi-billion dollar deal.


Proof Positive That Crooked Hillary And The DNC Funded Phony Trump-Russia Story Comes To Light

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Within the past 24 hours, two enormous, blockbuster stories connecting Hillary Clinton with Russian uranium, Russian collusion, and a phony Trump story attempting to connect Trump with Russian prostitutes. Both these stories have mountains of proof attached to them, and today the Clinton spox are on every news program that will have them, desperately trying to spin it all away. What is coming to light now is exactly what we have been saying would happen, and exactly what ever one of the tens of millions of Trump voters have known to be the truth the entire time. It is time to #LockHerUp

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Seattle-based Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’ research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’ research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele.

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for anti-Trump dossier research:

The dossier has become a lightning rod amid the investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. Trump tweeted as recently as Saturday that the Justice Department and FBI should “immediately release who paid for it.”

Steele previously worked in Russia for British intelligence. The dossier is a compilation of reports he prepared for Fusion. The dossier alleged the Russian government collected compromising information about Trump and the Kremlin was engaged in an active effort to assist his campaign for president.

U.S. intelligence agencies later released a public assessment, which asserted that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to aid Trump. The FBI has been investigating whether any Trump associates helped the Russians.

Trump has adamantly denied the allegations and has dismissed the FBI probe as a witch hunt.

Fusion GPS’ work researching Trump began during the Republican presidential primaries when the GOP donor paid for the firm to investigate.

When the Republican donor stopped paying for the research, Elias, acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue.

The Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million in legal fees from June 2015 to December 2016, according to campaign-finance records, and the DNC paid the firm $3.6 million in “legal and compliance consulting’’ since Nov. 2015 — though it’s impossible to tell how much of that work was for other legal matters and how much of it related to Fusion GPS.

After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified.

The dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January. Fusion GPS has said it did not give BuzzFeed the document. Officials have said the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier. Other details have yet to be verified and may never be. source

MID-DAY SNAPSHOT

OCT. 25, 2017

WaPo: It Was Clinton Who Colluded With Russia

As it turns out, Hillary’s campaign and the DNC funded the infamous fake dossier that started the delusion.

THE FOUNDATION

“A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.” —Alexander Hamilton (1775)

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-pesunmably “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 that originated back 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)


October 22, 2017
LLOYD MARCUS — For those of you who haven’t heard, Mary and I moved from Florida to a tiny town in West Virginia to be closer to our parents. We are experiencing wonderful culture shock. I am not a fan of the winding mountain roads. Supermarket and hardware stores are over 20 miles away. And yet, we unexpectedly love our new heavenly haven of Americana…. (more)

October 22, 2017
THE HILL — A photo of pop music star Lady Gaga and all five living former presidents went viral on social media this weekend as the group united to raise money for disaster relief. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama gathered for a benefit concert at the One America Appeal fundraiser…. (more)

October 22, 2017
FEDERALIST PAPERS — An investigative team from the New York Times has compiled all of the footage from the Las Vegas massacre to construct the most complete picture that exists to date of this tragic event. We have embedded it below…. (more)


October 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump doesn’t plan to prevent the government from publishing classified files detailing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he tweeted Saturday, paving the way for the likely release next week of thousands of secret CIA and FBI documents…. (more)


October 21, 2017
BOB UNRUH — The Washington Post apparently has misfired in a political attack on former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, now the GOP candidate for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions…. (more)

October 21, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — The company behind the anti-Trump intelligence dossier that rocked last year’s U.S. election is mounting a legal challenge to block the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from getting access to its banking records. Committee Chairman Devin Nunes issued a subpoena seeking bank records of Fusion GPS on Oct. 4 and the company fired back Friday, filing a complaint in federal court to block the bank from turning over the records…. (more)


October 21, 2017
ANDREW MCCARTHY — Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads – – the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump…. (more)

October 21, 2017
DAILY CALLER — Gold star widow Natasha De Alencar released the audio of a phone conversation she had with President Donald Trump in April about the death of her husband who was killed in Afghanistan…. (more)

October 21, 2017
FOX NEWS — Melania Trump is embracing a more active and public schedule as first lady – – but she still runs one of the leanest East Wing operations in recent history. According to a Fox News analysis of White House personnel reports, Melania Trump has significantly reduced the number of aides on the first lady’s office payroll in comparison to her predecessor, Michelle Obama…. (more)

October 21, 2017
NEWSMAX — The U.S. birthrate hit a record low last year – – due largely to a decline in the numbers of teenagers having babies, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to numbers released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 62 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age – – those between 15 years old and 44 years old – – in 2016, down one percent from the prior year…. (more)

October 21, 2017
SF GATE — It was 2 a.m. when Dr. Scott Witt got a call at home telling him he was needed to help evacuate the babies under his care in the neonatal intensive care unit at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital. The Tubbs Fire, which had erupted hours earlier, was sweeping across much of the city and its flames were nearing the hospital…. (more)

October 20, 2017
LOS ANGELES TIMES — I drove as far as I could on Sweetland Road, a private dirt lane up a mountain in Redwood Valley northeast of Ukiah. When I came upon two incinerated vehicles – – Jon and Sara Shepherd’s cars – – I got out and walked the rest of the way. Soon I came upon the smoldering remains of the home the Shepherds built two years ago a mile and a half from the main road in this sparsely populated part of Mendocino County…. (more)

October 19, 2017
WES VERNON — Months ago, this column, along with others, focused on a super scandal super scandal ignored by the fake news outlets, about the Clintons through their foundation, which was up to its ears in an operation whose effect was to line the Clinton’s pockets, and more importantly, possibly put us on the path to nuclear disaster. Hillary was then in the midst of her doomed presidential campaign…. (more)

October 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump said Thursday that “the real Russia story” involves reports that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama allowing Moscow to gain control of much of the U.S. supply of uranium…. (more)


October 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump on Thursday fumed about the discredited opposition-research dossier that first linked his campaign to Russia, after executives from the firm that created it invoked the Fifth Amendment right not to testify in Congress’ Russia probe…. (more)

October 19, 2017
CHERYL CHUMLEY — The tables have turned and what was once the media’s favorite message – – President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election – – has now grown silent. Apparently, it’s Bill and Hillary Clinton who’ve been doing the behind-scenes and suspicious dealings with Russia all along. Oh, and perhaps others in the Barack Obama administration, too…. (more)

October 19, 2017
BOB UNRUH — A new undercover video from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas in a series targeting establishment-media bias features a longtime New York Times employee confessing his coworkers hate Trump “like the plague, dude.”… (more)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: October 25

  • Rift Widens Within GOP in Battle for Control of Party (Read More)
  • Trump Courted a GOP Rebellion. Now He’s Got One (Read More)
  • Xi Jinping Is Alone at the Top and Collective Leadership ‘Is Dead’ (Read More)
  • Dollar hits 3-1/2-month high vs. yen, boosted by Fed chair talk (Read More)
  • Congress Votes to Overturn CFPB Arbitration Rule (Read More)
  • Kaspersky says it obtained suspected NSA hacking code from U.S. computer (Read More)
  • Yellen Finds Unlikely Advocate at White House: Trump (Read More)
  • China’s Markets Are Calm, but Its Traders Are Restless (Read More)
  • Inside Apple’s Struggle to Get the iPhone X to Market on Time (Read More)
  • Massachusetts Mulls Switching to Atlantic Time—and Staying There (Read More)
  • Why Italy faces worst shock in Europe as ECB prepares to taper bond buys (Read More)
  • Bombardier reviewing CSeries deliveries due to UTC engine fixes (Read More)
  • Can Tesla Make Up for Autopilot’s Lost Year? (Read More)
  • U.S. widens surveillance to include ‘homegrown violent extremists’ (Read More)
  • Do Democrats Really Need Wall Street? (Read More)
  • The Bond Market’s Moment of Truth Is Now (Read More)
  • Boeing revenue rises 1.7 percent (Read More)
  • Mall Operator Does the Unthinkable—Builds a Mall (Read More)

Featured Blogs


Headlines – 10/25/2017

Trump: “On United Nations Day, we recognize the more than seven decades of contributions the United Nations has made to PEACE and SECURITY among nations.”

Trump urges UN nations to confront those who threaten terror

In major expansion, Israel approves 176 new homes in East Jerusalem

Israeli Ministers Set to Vote on Annexing West Bank Settlements to Jerusalem

Martin Luther paved the way for the Holocaust

Poland honors historian who said Nazi invasion wasn’t so bad for Jews

Dutch Should Stop Pounding Israel and Confront Their Own Problems-Past and Present

After unity deal, Qatar to fund new Palestinian government HQ in Gaza

Hamas sees internal stirrings of dissent over reconciliation deal

With visit to Iran, Hamas thumbs nose at Palestinian reconciliation

Hamas threatens to bomb Tel Aviv

Hamas leader: Our differences with Iran are history

Draft Senate Iran legislation sets tough new US terms for deal

Iran sentences alleged agent for Israel’s Mossad to death

Iran Rejoices Over Defeat of ‘Second Israel,’ as Netanyahu Urges Support for Kurds

Netanyahu: the world must be concerned about the future of the Kurds

Kurdistan region offers to freeze independence vote, engage in talks with Baghdad

Iraq paramilitaries battle Kurds in push towards Turkish border oil hub

Iraqi Christians forced to flee homes again after skirmishes between Kurds and central government

Russia veto puts an end to Syria chemical weapons probe

Iraqi forces say about to launch final offensive on Islamic State near Syria border

The Horrifying Death Of A Syrian Infant Underscores The Brutality Of Assad’s Siege Warfare

Saudi ex-intel chief says Assad is the biggest terrorist, praises Trump’s harsh Iran stance

Saudis face daunting challenge in drawing Iraq away from Iran

Tillerson says US sanctions targeting Iran’s ‘malign behaviors’

Saudis set $500 billion plan to develop zone linked with Jordan and Egypt

Saudi plans to modernise Mecca slammed as ‘destroying the cradle of Islam’

Getting tough on the Taliban: Trump admin said to be urging closure of the militant group’s Qatar office

US may intervene in Qatar crisis as fears grow over long-term rupture

Human rights activists accused of aiding terror groups on trial in Turkey

US declaration of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar on way

Trump to announce new refugee admissions cap, stronger vetting rules as ban expires

Russia to test new generation of intercontinental missile that can ‘beat US defence systems’

Russia to conduct two tests of its new ‘Satan’ ballistic missile

Companies in Ukraine, Russia come under new cyberattack

House intelligence committee to investigate Obama’s uranium deal with Russian company

Clinton campaign, DNC helped fund research that led to salacious Trump dossier

The FBI’s Political Meddling – Mueller is the wrong sleuth when his ex-agency is so tangled up with Russia

Media admit that the Hill’s Russia probes seem to be going nowhere

Violence! Sex! Defiance! Trump’s over-the-top presidency has changed the rules for prospective candidates

Cuba: Trump claim about diplomat attack is ‘science fiction’

UK officials want to know if Russia meddled in the Brexit vote

Donald Tusk: EU must stay united or face Brexit ‘defeat’

Connecticut’s capital faces fiscal meltdown tied to union promises, default deemed likely

Super-rich fear their financial details will be exposed following Bermuda cyber hack

MS-13 spreading across US as AG Sessions vows to take down gang

Terror from skies as Mexican cartel attaches bomb to drone

India tells U.S. it plans to retain North Korea embassy as a channel of communications

The universe shouldn’t exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter

Elon Musk is worried about people who talk of “AI gods”

AI that predicts earthquakes

Strong earthquake 6.7 mag, 141 km NNE of Palue, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tres Picos, Mexico

Earthquake activity in south part of Bardarbunga volcano caldera

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Tropical Storm Saola to strengthen, target Japan following deadly Typhoon Lan

Hurricane season may not be over yet: Tropical Storm Philippe could form in Caribbean

Israelis, Jordanians, Palestinians find a common enemy: Natural disasters

Senate passes $36.5B disaster aid bill, Trump set to sign

World leaders rehearse for a pandemic that will come ‘sooner than we expect’

In the market for human bodies, almost anyone can sell the dead

George H. W. Bush Apologizes to Actress After She Claims He ‘Sexually Assaulted’ Her During a Photo Shoot

LGBTQ Gun Group launched: ‘We have each others back’

Iowa “Church” Holding Youth Drag Competition for 6th-12th Graders

1 in 4 Church of England Congregations Did Not Have Any Children Attend Worship: Report

UN expert says most of world lacks real religious freedom

A growing number of witches are coming “out of the broom closet”

New Post – Joseph Farah – Ignorance, Pandering or Deception?

The Practical Dangers of Scriptural Relativism

Lou Engle Cites the Pope, Urges “God’s Artists” to Arise

Benny Hinn’s Nephew: Hinn Clan Like ‘Royal Family’ and ‘Mafia,’ Prosperity Teaching Is ‘Twisted’

Destiny Church’s Brian and Hannah Tamaki move into $1.58m luxury home

Lesbian Singer Julien Baker Releasing New Album Inspired by Hymns; Christian Parents Said She’s Not Going to Hell

Trials in Word of Faith beating case moved to Buncombe

Elon Musk is Worried About People Who Talk of AI Gods

Appeals Court Forces Taxpayers to Facilitate Illegal Teen Immigrant’s Abortion

Shocking Video Catches Planned Parenthood Showing Off Aborted Baby Parts: “This is an Arm, This is a Leg”

 

Jackie Alnor – The Fatima of Oz

Costi Hinn Shares Gospel on CNN, Shatters Prosperity Teachings of His Uncle

Steven Furtick to Host Anti-Trinitarian Prosperity Preacher, TD Jakes

Robert Jeffress Demands Apologies from Critics, Claims Hannity Interview Shared The Gospel

Grace Ministry Center, pastor Mitch Olson sued by woman who alleged sexual assault

“True Revival in the Midst of Persecution” by a Pastor Who Went to Prison For His Faith

Pastors Debate: Is God OK With Gay Marriage?

Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology

Bill O’Reilly ‘mad at God’ over sexual misconduct allegations

UK: Up to 50 children a week – some as young as four – are being referred to gender reassignment specialists

Black Death Plague Continues To Spread, 124 DEAD and Hundreds Infected

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:18 AM PDT

A deadly outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague, which has been attributed to the Black Death, has killed at least 124 people with health officials warning “the number of cases is growing”. The death toll from Madagascar’s plague outbreak has reached 124 with a total of 1,133 infected, as it rapidly spreads through the African nation. More than 50million people in Europe were killed by the Black Death in the

1300s, which many historians believe was caused by several killer diseases including the pneumonic plague. Most of the victims recorded in Madagascar have been infected with the highly contagious pneumonic form. The bubonic variant is considered less dangerous. Health officials have warned “the number of cases is growing” despite claims from the Madagascar government there has been a decrease. READ MORE

Nestle airbrushes Christian cross from yogurt packaging

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:11 AM PDT

The world’s largest food and beverage company is erasing Christian crosses in photographs on its product packaging. Nestlé uses a picture of the famous blue domes of the Church of the Resurrection on the Greek island of Santorini for its yogurt packaging. The popular “Greek” yogurt proudly displays one of the most instantly-recognizable images in Europe. The huge, beautiful church domes are topped by white crosses as they majestically line the sparkling Aegean seashore. But recently the Switzerland-based

company began photoshopping the crosses out. It’s a growing trend across secularized Europe, with the French retailer Carrefour, the Greek dairy company Mevgal, and the German supermarket chain Lidl also digitally amputating the Christian cross. A Lidl spokesman tried to explain the eradication of the Cross by referencing spiritual tolerance. “We avoid the use of religious symbols because we do not wish to exclude any religious beliefs.” READ MORE

Google’s artificial intelligence computer ‘no longer constrained by limits of human knowledge’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:08 AM PDT

The computer that stunned humanity by beating the best mortal players at a strategy board game requiring “intuition” has become even smarter, its creators claim. Even more startling, the updated version of AlphaGo is entirely self-taught — a major step towards the rise of machines that achieve superhuman abilities “with no human input”, they reported in the science journal Nature. Dubbed AlphaGo Zero, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system learned by itself, within days, to master the ancient Chinese board game known as “Go” —

said to be the most complex two-person challenge ever invented. It came up with its own, novel moves to eclipse all the Go acumen humans have acquired over thousands of years. After just three days of self-training, it was put to the ultimate test against AlphaGo, its forerunner which previously dethroned the top human champs. AlphaGo Zero won by 100 games to zero. READ MORE

Fears of La Palma volcano eruption after Canary Islands struck by another quake overnight

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:58 AM PDT

The Canary Islands has been rocked by an earthquake as fears grow a volcano in nearby La Palma could erupt at any moment. North of the Spanish archipelago was struck by the 3.5 magnitude quake at 8.25pm on Tuesday night. The seismic activity is just the latest to hit the Spanish islands, popular with British holidaymakers after it was struck by a flurry of earthquakes beneath the surface causing red-hot magma to lift the ground of La Palma. Experts investigating recent tremors from La Palma volcano

Cumbre Vieja – which saw nearly 400 mini earthquakes in 15 hours – found the earth has risen up to 3.5cm in the past year. And, after four days of inactivity, La Palma recorded another tremor last week when a 1.9 magnitude quake was felt nine kilometers deep. There are increasing fears such tremors could spark an eruption from the La Palma earthquake. A ship has now been sent in to study the submerged base of the volcano for two days at the south of La Palma. READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Three massive ships deployed to North Korea path ahead of Trump visit

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:54 AM PDT

The United States has deployed two fleets of warships to the Pacific Ocean to send a message to North Korea and China ahead of Donald Trump’s visit to the region.  Two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have arrived in the past two days, bringing the number of giant warships in the region up to three. Mr Trump will visit Asia for the first time in early November on a 12-day trip which will include

China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam. USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz, along with their cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, joined the US Navy’s 7th Fleet area of operations, which covers the eastern Indian and western Pacific oceans, the Navy confirmed. The ships’ accompanying nine cruisers and destroyers are equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system, which the US see as a key defense mechanism against any possible attack by North Korean missiles. READ MORE

UK Gov’t Demands Phrase ‘Pregnant Women’ Be Replaced with ‘Pregnant People’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:49 AM PDT

The UK government is opposed to the use of the phrase “pregnant woman” because it could be perceived as excluding transgender people who have also given birth. The statement comes in Britain’s official submission on proposed amendments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the UK has been a signatory since 1976. The UN treaty says a “pregnant woman” must be

protected, including not being subject to the death penalty. In the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) submission, Britain opposes the term “pregnant woman” because it may “exclude transgender people who have given birth”.The suggested term is “pregnant people”, the Sunday Times reported. “We requested that the UN human rights committee made it clear that the same right [to life for pregnant women] extends to pregnant transgender people,” an FCO statement said. READ MORE

Journalists Are Being Advised to Avoid Saying a Transsexual Person Was ‘Born Boy or Girl’

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:44 AM PDT

Journalists working for the Associated Press (AP) have been urged not to refer to transsexual people as having been “born” a specific sex. The AP has updated its official style guide to include pro-transsexual terms, confirming the move on its Twitter page. Jeff McMillan, of the AP Stylebook team, said “sex reassignment or gender confirmation” should be used for medical procedures. “Call people transgender only if relevant; give the name they use publicly; avoid references to being born a boy or girl.” “Transition is the process by which people match their physical characteristics to their gender identity”, he added.

The AP has headquarters in New York City, as well as teams in more than 100 countries around the world. Earlier this month, a prestigious women-only college at the University of Cambridge announced that men will now be allowed to apply if they ‘identify’ as women. Murray Edwards College, whose alumni include Sue Perkins, Claudia Winkelman and Tilda Swinton, will now consider any student who “at the point of application identifies as a woman”. READ MORE

Franklin Graham Warns That Only God Can Fix America

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 07:20 PM PDT

On the last night of his Decision Texas Tour in Longview, Texas, Franklin Graham handed down a powerful warning about the state of America. “Our country is in trouble,” he said, adding that hatred and division is running rampant. “The Republicans cannot fix our country. I don’t care how much the President tries to drain the swamp. I think that swamp is just too big and too deep,” he said. “The

Republicans aren’t going to be able to fix it. The Democrats aren’t going to be able to fix it. The only person who can fix the problems of this nation is God. Graham urged believers everywhere to pray that God would heal the hearts of the nation’s leaders so they will “work together for the good of all Americans.” READ MORE

Rare Infectious Disease Spreading in Puerto Rico

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 07:08 PM PDT

Federal assistance for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria may not be around “forever,” but an infectious component of the storm’s impact on the US territory may linger. According to reports in multiple media outlets, including the Washington Post, clinicians on the storm-ravaged island have already identified at least 10 cases of leptospirosis, a water-borne infection. Given that as many as one-third of Puerto Rico’s residents still do not have running water—some 4 weeks after Maria touched down

—it is expected that more cases of the bacterial disease will emerge as residents have been forced to stand in line for access to communal water supplies. Leptospirosis is also spread via dogs and cats, livestock, and rodents—relevant considering a report by the SunshineStateNews.com, which suggests that garbage collection has not resumed on much of the island and that there have been sightings of dead animals in the streets in some areas. All of which makes Puerto Rico a potential ground zero for a major outbreak of an infectious disease, experts say. READ MORE

Unidentified object crashes to the ground in Canada

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:54 PM PDT

Andrew Wilkins was eating dinner at a downtown St. John’s pub, looking out over the city’s iconic harbor when a flash of green light caught his attention. “The whole sky just lit up,” he said. “It was coming in on a 45-degree angle, coming down to the right.”  Wilkins stopped eating and stared as the moving ball of light crashed down on the opposite side of the harbor, towards the largely uninhabited

Southside Hills area. He paused to determine if he could hear a crash, but the noisy chatter of the busy pub prevented him from hearing any sound the flash of light may have made. “It was like a big green ball of fire, is what it looked like. At first I thought, ‘Wow, geez, that’s a really bright firework,’ but fireworks don’t shoot downwards.” READ MORE

Severe storm, Destructive tornadoes roll through Carolinas, 98,000 without power

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:38 PM PDT

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 7 tornadoes sightings were reported across the Carolinas on Monday, October 23, 2017, as a line of severe storms swept through the region, bringing much-needed rain. At least 98 000 people lost power at the peak of the storm and at least 75 000 remained in the dark Tuesday morning. Several people were injured but there were no deaths. Four possible tornadoes were reported in South Carolina between 18:54 and 19:36 UTC (12:54 – 13:36 EDT). Numerous trees and power lines were downed and several houses and mobile homes damaged in

Spartanburg and Cherokee counties. There were 3 possible tornadoes in North Carolina, between 20:37 and 20:45 UTC (14:37 – 20:45 EDT). Multiple structures were damaged in Hildebran (Burke County) and Hickory (Caldwell County). At least 8 people were treated for minor storm-related injuries in Spartanburg, SC where ’18-wheelers were tossed like toy trucks at one auto plan,’ AP reported, adding that fire could be seen shooting from gas lines after the storm passed through. There are also reports of cars overturned at an intersection in the county and numerous damaged homes. FULL REPORT

European Council President Calling For “EU Army” to Defend Borders

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:27 PM PDT

Donald Tusk is pushing to set up an EU army by the end of the year to protect the bloc’s borders and fight back against “destabilization around Europe”. The European Council President called for the 27-nation superstate to introduce Permanent Structured Cooperation on Defence (PESCO) to protect the bloc from the effects of the migrant crisis, hostile bordering states and forces that risk tearing the bloc apart. He added the EU should be prepared to spend huge amounts on the project, which will come with

its own centralized headquarters and ambitious plans for EU military missions abroad. Critics have repeatedly warned that the new system is a gateway to the creation of an EU army, although Brussels itself denies this and says it is just facilitating better military cooperation. It goes hand in hand with plans for a centralized European Defence Fund, which is designed to help create an EU defense industry and reduce reliance on foreign powers like the US for military equipment. READ MORE

Benny Hinn blasted by Nephew, Claims prosperity theology is “twisted”

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:14 PM PDT

The nephew of Benny Hinn, who is a pastor in Southern California, is criticizing his uncle’s prosperity theology and teaching, explaining how it cost him personally as a member of the Hinn family. The theology his uncle espouses is “twisted,” he said. In an HLN exclusive interview with Carol Costello, Costi Hinn described growing up in the Hinn family as a hybrid of being a “royal family” (lavish riches) and the “mafia” (strict enforcement of the mafia).

“You keep to your own, you defend your own. You never, ever, regardless of what the truth might be, do anything to harm or expose at the expense of family. It’s just a tight-knit, tight-lipped community,” Hinn explained. He recounted that the first time he ever said anything publicly about his family — as people had been asking — he got a phone call from a family member who told him “you need to pipe down, don’t talk about family.” READ MORE

US will keep floodgates open to Refugees From ALL Countries…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:02 PM PDT

The Trump administration will allow refugee admissions to the U.S. to resume under a new executive order issued Tuesday, but people from 11 targeted countries won’t be allowed in unless they can show their arrival to be in the U.S. “national interest,” administration officials said Tuesday. The result is that more than half of refugees will still be barred from admission during a fresh review period meant to

assess risks posed by those 11 countries, officials said, in what some see as a de facto extension of the ban that has been in place since June. Technically, the program will resume for all countries following a 120-day suspension that was ordered by President Donald Trump early this year. That pause gave officials time to write rules meant to better vet applicants, administration officials said. READ MORE

Princeton Evangelical Fellowship Drops ‘Evangelical’ From Its Name

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:19 PM PDT

An expert on culture and religion maintains it is unfortunate that a student group at Princeton University has decided to drop the word “evangelical” from its name. Princeton Evangelical Fellowship has changed its name to Princeton Christian Fellowship because members felt that the word “evangelical” now has a negative perception in contemporary American culture. However, Christian apologist Dr. Alex McFarland, insists that “evangelical” is a word that should be celebrated – not swept

under the rug because it refers to the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ. “You can be Christian but not be evangelical, but if you are evangelical, you are a Christian,” McFarland pointed out. “So, I’m just uncomfortable any time the people of God and Christian organizations are changing who they are – merely to respond to the spirit of the times. We’re not to be impacted by the times – we are to impact the times.” READ MORE

Finding your Well in your Weary Season!

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:08 PM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message, we will show you the importance of having your own personal well to be available to bring refreshing in the weary seasons of our walk with the Lord. For the entire message, watch the video below:

Parents outraged after sex worksheet given out at Oklahoma middle school

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 01:04 PM PDT

Jay Middle School in Jay, Oklahoma, is under fire from some parents who say the school took a sex education class way too far. Parent Mandy Callihan posted on Facebook that her 12-year-old daughter came to her in tears earlier this month after she was too embarrassed to complete her sex education assignment. Callihan said she understood why as soon as she read the worksheet. “I was appalled at

what someone in our school system had deemed appropriate to talk to my child about. My TWELVE year old child (who still colors in coloring books). In a room where boys and girls are combined. With male instructors (or female, depending on the time of day, I guess) who are not teachers (or Nurses) in our school system,” Callihan wrote, infuriated that she was not made aware of the school’s plans to teach the students about these things.  READ MORE

LGBT Group Bans Pro-Life Students From Sexual Health Fair in Ohio

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 12:55 PM PDT

A pro-life student group says its request to participate in a sexual health awareness fair at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, a Methodist college, has been denied by the LGBT group organizing the event amid claims that they fail to promote “sex positivity.” Bryan Istenes, president of Baldwin Wallace Right-to-Life, said in a statement posted on Students for Life on Monday that his group was aiming to

set up a table at the Relationship and Sexual Health Awareness fair, which is scheduled for Nov. 3. Istenes explained that the pro-lifers wanted to highlight the negative physical and mental effects of abortion, and offer alternative options to pregnant women. “It’s a sexual health fair, and we wanted to educate students about the physical, mental, and emotional consequences of abortion, in order to ensure students were making truly informed choices,” said Istenes. READ MORE

CRISPR Scientists Create Low-Fat Pigs

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 12:51 PM PDT

For people who love bacon but hate everything it does to their diet, scientists in China may have created a way to have your pig and eat it too. A team of researchers has genetically altered pigs to carry nearly 24 percent less body fat. Using the CRISPR-Cas 9 gene-editing technique, the team reportedly modified a group of pigs which gave birth to much leaner piglets. The experiment, published in Proceedings of the

National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is looking to make pigs less susceptible to the cold. Scientists noted that modern pigs, especially younger ones, lack the ability to deal with colder temperatures and build up unhealthy levels of fat. The researchers added that the change could create a huge savings for the pig farming industry. Jianguo Zhoa, one of the Chinese scientists leading the research, added that he doubts the taste of the genetically modified pigs would be any different from normal ones. READ MORE

America is completely unraveling at the seams!

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 11:03 AM PDT

Western civilization is thoroughly battered in Europe, and America is on course for the same fate unless it once again embraces the ideas that made it strong and resists the tide of progressive momentum that seeks to destroy it, according to Sovereign Nations founder and editor in chief Michael O’Fallon. Sovereign Nations is hosting a three-day conference in the nation’s capital next week designed to highlight the threats to the founding principles and how to thwart them. The conference will be held at

the Trump International Hotel from Oct. 30-Nov. 1. O’Fallon told WND and Radio America that he started Sovereign Nations as he watched America turn against the very things that made it strong. “I imagine most [people] have noticed that there are things around them, especially in the last eight to 10 years, that just don’t make sense. What was once heresy is now law and what was once law is now heresy. MORE

 

California rocked by flurry of tremors prompting fears of a huge quake

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:57 AM PDT

A flurry of earthquakes has rocked California leaving locals worried that the Big One is coming. For decades, residents of the southwestern state have been concerned a huge earthquake, known as the Big One, is on its way. Now today, there have been five relatively strong tremors which could suggest that a powerful quake is coming to devastate California. The biggest of the lot was a 3.9 magnitude tremor which struck just off the coast of San Clemente Island. The next biggest was a 2.5 tremor which rocked

Planada in central California. These were accompanied by smaller quakes which has led some locals to believe that a powerful earthquake is on its way. One local wrote on Twitter: “California, stop with the earthquakes.” Another added: “More seismic activity is heating up in Southern CA again so far.” This follows on from October 21 where more than 40 earthquakes hit California in one day. California sits on top of the potentially deadly San Andreas Fault, a chasm between two massive plates of the Earth’s crust that extends hundreds of miles across California. MORE

Dabbling With the Dark Side? The Bible Clearly Condemns Halloween

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:49 AM PDT

(By Ben Godwin) Darkness is used in Scripture as a metaphor for evil to represent all that is sinful and satanic. In contrast, light is a biblical metaphor for good to represent truth and all that is of God. The apostle Paul instructed, “Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth … And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them” (Eph. 5:7-9, 11).

It’s a tricky balance for Christians to be in the world without conforming to it. Jesus prayed, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). If we imitate the world, we lose our distinction; if we isolate from the world, we lose our influence. Christians need to engage the culture if we expect to make an impact. It’s perfectly fine for a boat to be in the water, but if too much water gets in the boat, now that’s a problem. This brings up the question, “How should Christians treat Halloween?” The origin of Halloween incorporated a mixture of Christian and pagan practices. CONTINUE

 

Mark Wahlberg Asked God to Forgive Him for ‘BOOGIE NIGHTS’…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:44 AM PDT

Almost on a daily basis of late, we’ve been receiving further confirmation for what we’ve already known — Hollywood is a cesspool of vice and corruption. From the Weinstein scandal to the growing pedophilia scandal, Hollywood is being revealed as an industry that should be steered clear of by anyone who desires to pursue God’s righteousness. The scandals aside, Hollywood’s product often violates the standards of righteousness demanded by God to begin with. One of the clearest examples in the past

twenty years has been Boogie Nights starring Mark Wahlberg, who is a committed Roman Catholic. In fact, Wahlberg has admitted to praying to God and seeking forgiveness for his role in Boogie Nights. Last week, while in Chicago to help Cardinal Blase Cupich in his efforts to bring younger people back to the Catholic Church, Wahlberg told Kim Janssen of the Chicago Tribune that “I just always hope that God is a movie fan and also forgiving because I’ve made some poor choices in my past.” READ MORE

Protester Breaches Security As Trump Enters Capitol

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 10:40 AM PDT

A protester managed to breach security at the Capitol Building as President Donald Trump arrived for a lunch with Republican Senators to talk tax reform. The protester, who some reporters have identified as Ryan Clayton, the president of Americans Take Action, began yelling at the press gaggle and threw Russian flags on the floor as Trump passed. “Trump is treason,” Clayton yelled. “This is not about tax reform!” It is unclear how Clayton was able to make it into the press area–he would need valid press

credentials in order to get past Capitol security. “That’s a very unusual breach of decorum for us to experience here,” MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt said. Andrea Mitchell confirmed, “the president was walking down the corridor right off the Senate floor on the second floor of the Capitol, one of the most secure places in Washington. We saw something we’ve never seen here before.” READ MORE

Urgent Call to Intercession: It’s Time to Walk in the Watchman Anointing

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:58 AM PDT

(By Grant Berry) “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace day nor night. You who remind the Lord, do not keep silent; give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a glory in the earth” (Isa. 62:6-7).

I think it is clear to all of us who are pressing into the Lord presently that we are in a final act of restoration for His church, as though He is forming a new wineskin through His body with a good number of reforms and adjustments in order for His Kingdom to be more effective upon the earth. These reforms will once again properly mobilize God’s body into the works of the ministry and away from the old pew focus that has had most of the ministry works fall upon its leadership. This is one of the major

advantages of the church moving back towards a fivefold ministry focus. From within this context, I would like to address the prayer focus and directives that are already arising in and through us, as many of the reforms in His body are already beginning to take place without us necessarily fully recognizing them as such. This is what is so amazing about this time, whether we agree or not. God is in charge here and moving His body into position. He is bringing these reforms to pass and ultimately as His children, we have a choice to make, speaking metaphorically, to either get on the train or to be left at the station. It’s not that He will love us any less, but that there is so much more for us to gain by fully trusting Him with these changes for His church. MORE

AFTERMATH: Over 8,400 Structures in Northern California Consumed by Wildfires

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:54 AM PDT

The wine country wildfires destroyed at least 8,400 homes and other buildings, authorities said Monday, a significant increase in the already staggering property loss. Efforts continued by firefighters to gain control of the fires and by searchers looking for more victims. The death toll as of Monday remained at 42, making the fire series the deadliest in California history. The estimate of structure losses

jumped from 7,700 reported over the weekend. Officials said 5,000 firefighters remain on the lines, battling 10 different fires across Northern California. About 100,000 people were displaced by the fires, and some evacuees are wondering whether they can stay in the region for the long term. Sitting on a bed inside an evacuation center, Imelda Flores had nothing to do but think. Her Santa Rosa home had been spared by a massive wildfire, but her son’s caretaker wasn’t so lucky. READ MORE

Russia to test new missile that can ‘penetrate any defense system in existence’…

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:49 AM PDT

Russia is preparing to test-launch its new generation of nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it has claimed will be able to penetrate the US’ defensive shield. Delayed several times, the tests of the RS-28’s launch and first few seconds of flight are to be carried out at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, in Russia’s north-west, before the end of the year. The trials had been postponed because launch silos and the projectiles themselves were not ready, according to the state-controlled Sputnik

website, which cited the Kommersant newspaper. The RS-28 Sarmat, a 100-plus-ton ICBM that government-controlled media has claimed could destroy an area the size of Texas, is designed to evade missile defenses with multiple hypersonic warheads, known as MIRVs. Talking up its capabilities, state-linked Russian sites have claimed an 11,000km range, a payload of up to 15 warheads and the ability to “speed past every missile defense system in existence”. READ MORE

World leaders prepare for future pandemic

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 06:44 AM PDT

The government ministers were facing a new infectious disease outbreak. The mysterious virus was sickening and killing people with alarming speed. Some patients had to be placed on ventilators to help them breathe. The new virus seemed resistant to antibiotics and antiviral medicine. Within a week,

officials had closed a major hospital and schools and […]Related: U.S. abortion rate fell 25 percent from 2008 to 2014; one in four women have an abortion State laws have reduced concussion risks in high school kids, study finds Cutting-edge immunotherapy treatment approved for another deadly cancer. CONTINUE

Indonesia struck by powerful 6.7 earthquake – just miles from Bali volcano

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:41 AM PDT

Indonesia has been hit by a huge earthquake just miles from where the Mount Agung volcano in Bali is at risk of eruption. The 6.7 magnitude quake hit this morning just between the Pacific and Indian oceans. It landed in the Ring of Fire, so-called because a huge number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place there. The quake, which hit deep in the ocean, arrived at just after midday UK time.

It is not known yet if there are any injuries and no tsunami warnings . Bali’s Mount Agung has recorded a drop in seismic activity this week but is still at risk of eruption. The volcano has been at the maximum level for more than a month and has seen nearly 200,000 people evacuated. The epicentre of today’s volcano was 60 miles from Basira Satu and at a depth of 300 miles. READ MORE

Florida woman ordered to remove Trump sign from her property

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:37 AM PDT

A Florida woman who had a pro-Donald Trump sign standing on her property for more than a year, was ordered to remove the sign after it was changed to say she stands for The Star-Spangled Banner. Elaine Simmons, 72, of Minneola, told Fox News that she didn’t receive any complaints about the sign — which said “Toot for Trump” — until about a month ago, when she edited the message to say: “Proud to be an American. We stand for the national anthem.”  “To me, if you can’t stand for the national anthem and

represent the flag for which your veterans have given you freedom, then you need to buy a one-way ticket to somewhere,” Simmons told Fox 35 Orlando. Simmons said that after she posted a photo of her sign on Facebook, the county received a complaint and issued her a code violation notice. “No one complained about it until after I put up… that ‘we stand for the national anthem,’” said Simmons. Simmons added she didn’t realize that her sign violated county codes. MORE

100,000 Brits sign up for polygamous dating site helping Muslim men find multiple wives

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:29 AM PDT

A website that helps Muslim men find “second wives” in Britain has more than 100,000 users registered, it has been revealed. The practice has been accused of opening women, often younger than their husbands, to physical abuse and even trafficking. In the UK, polygamous marriages – in which a person has more than one spouse – are only recognized if they took place in countries where they are legal.British law, however, does not stop unregistered religious ceremonies from taking place. Most Muslims in Britain do not practice polygamy, but some interpretations of the Quran say that a man may marry two, three, or four women, so long as he can deal justly and fairly with each of them. SecondWife.com creator Azad Chaiwala says the website came from his “need” and “thinking there’ll be other people in my situation.” READ MORE

Lesbian Singer Releasing New Album Inspired by Hymns; Christian Parents Say She’s Not Going to Hell

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:24 AM PDT

Tennessee-born singer and guitarist Julien Baker, who identifies as gay and Christian, said many of her songs on her new album were inspired by hymns that she heard growing up. “Many of my songs just come together in quatrains because that’s how a hymn goes,” the singer explained in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday ahead of her second album, Turn Out the Lights, which is being released Oct. 27. “Another thing that I love about hymns is that despite being antiquated modes of worship — maybe — they contain these really emotive phrases. All of my favorite hymns are admissions

of faults, and finding redemption even in those.” Baker, 22, grew up in a religious household, “soaking up evangelical doctrine” and participating in church music, the NYTimes described. “At 17, she came out as gay to her parents, expecting the worst. But instead, her father combed the Bible for passages about love and acceptance,” the article pointed out. In a 2016 interview with noisey, she recalled saying “I think I’m going to hell” when she came out to her parents. But her father told her she’s not going to hell and her mother told her God loves her. READ MORE

Multiple countries issue travel advisories about US citing natural disasters, ‘political violence’

Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:19 AM PDT

Several countries have issued warnings recently to their citizens about traveling to the United States. Countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Germany have warned would-be U.S. tourists about safety, for reasons ranging from mass shootings to hurricanes and wildfires. Ed Daly, editor-in-chief of the travel intelligence firm, iJET’s Global Intelligence Division, told Fox News that while other countries have issued travel warnings about visiting the United States in the past, there’s a new dimension to

concern about violence. “Each time there’s a high-profile event that gets lots of coverage overseas, there’s an advisory,” said Daly, referring to the Las Vegas shooter who killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds who were attending a country music festival several weeks ago. “If you look back in recent years, even a decade, the difference is they’re larger, the number of victims appears to be getting larger,” Daly said. “The frequency and scale to which they happen cause concerns.” CONTINUE


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

Let there be no doubt that Jonathan Cahn is a false prophet for the reason that his prophecies haven’t come to pass. Dr. Michael Brown certainly knows that, right? Yet Pulpit & Pen News reports that Brown interviewed Cahn on Line of Fire “to help him sell yet another book attempting to portend future events.” One cannot help but wonder why a highly regarded Bible scholar like Brown would want to sell the books of a false prophet like Cahn to those who tune into his show, those who trust his judgment. “Keep in mind,” reminds P&P, “Cahn’s failed Shemitah prophecies followed on the heels of The Harbinger, which also contained failed prophecies.” Here’s P&P’s report:

How many times does someone have to make false prophecies before you can call them a false prophet? According to the Bible, the answer is “only once” (Deuteronomy 18:22). How many time does someone have to make false prophecies before Michael Brown calls them a false prophet? There doesn’t seem to be a limit.

Twenty-five months ago today, Jonathan Cahn’s The Mystery of the Shemitah prophecy failed to come to fruition. His New York Times best-selling book (it made it to #2 in prophecy, #3 in religion and #129 in books overall) claimed that America was on a seven-year cycle and that upon the Jewish “Shemitah” there would be an imminent national collapse, signaling God’s final judgment of the nation. The charismatic prophets – including Dr. Michael Brown – all nodded their heads in approval of Cahn’s thesis, with Charisma Mag writing, 10 Things that are Going to Happen Within 15 Days of the End of Shemitah. When asked on September 23, 2015 where he stood on the Shemitah (two days before it was to end), Dr. Brown said, “the jury is still out, and we will watch and see what is going to happen in the coming weeks.”

View article →

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

Should a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

I am writing this for my church. I think it might be helpful for others, and so I will make it available here.

Clearly, certain questions are a matter of adiaphora, and no one should deny the reality that certain ethical questions fall into that category. Adiaphora is a term developed by stoic philosophers and adopted by Christians to describe decisions that are neither inherently moral or immoral, right or wrong, or necessarily good or bad. As a category or framework to understand ethical conundrums the concept of adiaphora is often helpful.

However, not every ethical question can be answered by categorizing the matter adiaphora. There are also questions with answers that do not echo sentiments of Christian liberty, but can rather be clearly categorized as moral or immoral, right or wrong, righteousness or sin. Christians seem all-too-eager today to silence the collective conscience by putting every issue in the pigeon hole of adiaphora, shrugging their shoulders and mumbling something about floating your boat. In reality, even if something is adiaphora – meaning that it is neither explicitly forbidden or explicitly commanded – it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t a wise or unwise, helpful or unhelpful, healthy or unhealthy decision to be made regarding that ethical decision. In short, even if something is adiaphora, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook of thinking out the costs and benefits, implications and consequences of ethical decisions.

Paul references this notion in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” Clearly for the Apostle, even those things that may not necessarily be wrong, may still be unwise, unhelpful or unedifying. It would be foolish of the Christian to embrace “all things are lawful” while neglecting his admonition, “but not all things are helpful.”

First, we need to ask if it is sinful for a Christian to celebrate Halloween. Then, we must ask – if it is not sinful – if it is wise, helpful or edifying to celebrate Halloween.

In order to answer the first question, I need to explain the holiday known as “Halloween.”

HISTORY

First, Halloween is a “holiday” as the term defines it. It was designed as a “holy day.” Known originally as “All Hallows Evening,” it is celebrated the evening prior to “All Hallows Day.” That holiday (also known as “All Saints Day”) originated with the Roman Catholic church (Eastern Orthodox celebrate the holiday as well, but immediately following Pentecost) and is a “Holy Day of Obligation,” which is a day that idolaters are expected to attend Mass. Beginning with Pope Boniface IV (although not systematized until much later).

Roman Catholic historians suspect that the day was chosen to co-opt a pagan holiday known as “Feast of the Lemures,” which the Romans observed to help exorcise evil spirits from their homes, and those evil spirits out and about at night working mischief. This is why Pope Boniface IV consecrated the day on May 13 (the same day as Feast of the Lemures), which was only later changed to the end of October by Pope Gregory III.

After a mixture with pagan tradition (described below), the holiday came to the United States through Anglicans who still observed the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. However, the holiday did not receive widespread celebration until a large influx of Roman Catholic Irish immigrants came to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

THEOLOGICAL ORIGINS

All Saints Day was designed by Papists to celebrate all those who have died and already made it to Heaven. This is in contrast to All Souls Day, held a few days later, which commemorates all those who have died and have not yet made it to Heaven, stuck in purgatory to purge their own sins until they reach perfection. The point of the holiday for Roman Catholics was to pray for the dead.

As Nordic areas became Catholicized, pagan nativist religions slowly merged with Romish traditions, and various familiar aspects of the holiday eve’s celebration came into being. As it was celebrated at the end of Harvest, Gaelic tradition held that it was a “liminal time,” in which the barrier between the “other world” (the supernatural beyond, or afterlife) and this world was exceptionally thin, on account of the transition of seasons. It was during this liminal time that spirits were seen as being especially active, with ghosts, gobblins and demons running about causing mischief. In Ireland, nativist peoples would burn candles for those departed souls meandering about and leave out treats for them to enjoy, in exchange for being left alone. Likewise in Ireland and Britain, festivities would be held to divine the future, give prophecy, and engage in general revelry.

In Ireland, Britain and Wales, people began to dress in costumes and go from house to house, reciting songs or verses in exchange for food (essentially playing the role of dead spirits). In fact, most of what you’ve heard about the pagan origins of Halloween are remarkably accurate, historically. Trick or treating began as a house-to-house blackmailing for gifts in exchange for protection against vandalism or pranks, “bonfires” really were “bone fires” and jack’o’lanterns really did begin by pumpkins or gords lit with candles to show evil spirits their way.

In every sense of the word, the origins of Halloween are religious in nature, and a perfect mixture between the paganism of Rome and the paganism of nativist religions in northern Europe.

IS HALLOWEEN STILL A RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE?

Clearly, Halloween is still a religious observance among Papists and it’s still a part of their liturgical calendar. However, one would be hard-pressed to argue that most of those celebrating the holiday in America see it as a religious observance. And yet, there does seem to be a religious zeal for the holiday that is ever growing and expanding. Modern pagans are increasingly excited about the holiday and spend increasingly amounts of time and money in its observance. There certainly seems to be a correlation the increased lostness in our culture and the increased fervency displayed in observance of Halloween.

This doesn’t mean, however, that it is an overtly religious observance for most people. Its origins, however, are inarguably religious in nature.

ASSUMING HALLOWEEN IS A RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, IS IT A SIN TO OBSERVE IT?

There is no doubt that it’s a sin to take part in what is on overtly religious observance of false religion. I would admonish Christians to never step foot into a Roman Catholic church unless it is under protest, to never take part in its blasphemous Mass, and to never engage in syncretistic prayer with members of a false religion. Obviously, Christians mustn’t take part in any exercise that explicitly or implicitly worships a false god or is an intrinsic part of false religion. Christians need not take part – indeed, must not take part – in any religious service of worship of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Islam, Hinduism, the Church of Satan, or any other false religion.

However, the assumption that Halloween is a religious observance for all related festivities, is just that – an assumption. The fact is, religious observances often fade into purely cultural – and secular – reflections of those celebrations. We have seen this with our own celebration of Christmas. Christmas began as a Papist construct (and arguably nativist pagan before that), was co-opted by Protestants and evangelicals who divorced it from virtually all Papist strings except for the name itself (Christ-Mass), and it has since been co-opted by secularists with no religious sympathies and who observe it with all the zeal and consumerist fervor as the most religious of its celebrators.

In the same way that Christ-Mass could be uniquely Roman Catholic, uniquely Protestant, historically pagan, or contemporarily secular, Halloween likewise ranges from religious to irreligious in nature, even though it is of religious origin.

Please note: Although Christmas and Halloween are both traditions born in the Roman Catholic church, there is a difference. There is nothing inherently flawed in celebrating the birth of Jesus. The notion of praying for the dead, on the other hand, is at its onset theologically wrong.

To answer the question in the above heading as clearly as I’m able, if Halloween is treated as a religious holiday belonging to a false religion (as it is to some), it is clearly a sin to observe it.

IF HALLOWEEN IS A CULTURAL, RATHER THAN RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY, IS IT A SIN TO OBSERVE IT?

There is a hint in Scripture that First Century Christians had to deal with this very topic. What if pagans are having a holiday, and giving away free food? Can we eat the free food?

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”  For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—  yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.  Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.  But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (1 Corinthians 8).

What the Apostle is writing to the church in Corinth is that it may very well be acceptable to eat food sacrificed to false gods. It is free food, after all. If there is a giant pagan festival and they’re worshiping their dumb, little deities it may be acceptable to come along afterward and eat some of the barbeque that is being passed out to the crowd. However, they were told to abstain from eating such if they have someone onlooking who is drawn toward such idolatry and it may weaken their conscience and put them in a compromising position to embrace that which what they shouldn’t.

To give the plainest answer from the Scripture, it does not seem to be a sin to take part in a free candy giveaway. However, if someone was saved out of a life of demonic revelry and worldliness, perhaps it is best that they and the Christians around them abstain from benefiting from the candy-giving generosity of the pagan culture. In this sense, taking part in the candy-giving aspect of Halloween does not seem to be at face value a religious exercise, being sufficiently divorced from its religious origins. It is doubtfully not a sin to give or receive candy as a part of that cultural celebration.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

It would only be foolish to pretend as though there is no connection between the pagan religious roots of Halloween and its cultural observance, in the same way it would be foolish to pretend the two can’t be sufficiently divorced in the mind of the participant.

Regardless of whether or not the culture understands why it’s been a tradition to dress up as ghouls and goblins and evil things (historically, to imitate and ward off scary spirits), this is an element that remains. It is my belief that Christians must not dress in any way that is imitating evil things – even if they are fictional evil things. Vampires and monsters may not exist, but these are but fictional representations of a very real and demonic evil that exists in our age. There is nothing that I see in the Holy Bible that would lead me to believe it is acceptable for Christians to engage in revelry that includes dressing up as the devil. Such is a lostness that shouldn’t even be named among God’s people.

For those of you dressing up your children as evil things, shame on you.

For those of you decorating your home to make it look demonic or frightening, this does not accord with sound doctrine or a holy lifestyle imitating Jesus.

Furthermore, there is a stark difference between being in a candy line and going “all in” for the pagan cultural celebration of Halloween. The First Century Christian, in the context of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, was permitted to take some grilled meat from the open buffet. However, they would not have considered actually taking part in the pagan worship service in which the meat was sacrificed. At the most, Christians should be on the periphery of such events, and not organizing, leading, or decorating for such events. We may not turn down free candy, in the same way that Christians in the First Century wouldn’t necessarily turn down free meat, but we shouldn’t be the ones doing the sacrificing.

Finally, I would ask you to look at this situation through the lens of priority. Do you have a zeal for Halloween – a holiday that at best we should only take part reluctantly and cautiously as dwellers in a pagan land – that is greater than your zeal for Resurrection Sunday? If you are Reformed, shouldn’t your zeal for Reformation Day (which is the same day as Halloween) exceed that which you have for Halloween? Are you making a candy-centered holiday more important than a Christ-centered holiday?

As for my family, I’ve made the decision (only in the last several years) that I don’t want to touch any unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17), and I consider Halloween to be unclean. However, we do hand out candy for the few trick-or-treaters who knock on our door (along with tracts) and we let people give candy to our kids without protest at stores or other places they happen to be in public. For my Christian brothers and sisters to dress their child up like a non-demonic object and knock on doors to receive candy, I choose not to judge them in the matter, and place it within the category of adiaphora.

But, for those who treat Halloween like a great and noble event worthy of expense, planning and revelry, I stand aback as the weaker brother as it deeply offends my conscience. I pray that it doesn’t deeply offend God, who has called us unto holy separation.

Source: Should a Christian Celebrate Halloween?

Causes of Spiritual Decline (Newton)

The Reformed Reader

Sadly, there is such a thing as backsliding in the Christian life.  It’s also called wandering from the path of following Jesus.  Indeed, we are prone to wander!  There are various reasons why Christians do sometimes wander or backslide.  We could put it in the form of a question: What are some of the causes of spiritual decline in the Christian life?  John Newton gave a few helpful answers.  I’ll summarize them below:

  1. One of the chief causes of spiritual decline is error.  There are some errors that may be compared to poison.  Thus the Galatians, by listening to false teachers, were seduced from the simplicity of the gospel.  The consequence was that they quickly lost the blessedness they had once spoken of.  Poison is seldom taken alone, but if it is mixed with food, it is not suspected until it is discovered by the effect.  Whoever is…

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‘Reformed charismatics’ and the ‘broad brush’ complaint.

Back in 2013, Phil Johnson addressed the complaint of charismatics that cessationists ‘paint with a broad brush’. As Phil clearly states – ‘both historically and by direct line of descent, the whole movement stems from a rotten root. Error and delusion are the phloem and xylem of its central belief system’.

Fast forward to 2017, has anything changed?


This article was originally posted 28 October 2013

Without question, the most common complaint I hear from my charismatic friends about the Strange Fire conference is, “You always paint with a broad brush!

“I hate being pedantic, but I can’t resist pointing out that such a criticism itself is a fairly sweeping overstatement. It’s true that some broad generalizations were made during the conference. Language without nuance can sometimes be useful to make one’s meaning forcefully clear (Jesus often used hyperbole for emphasis).

But it can also have the opposite effect, especially in a hotly contested family dispute…

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HBF Audit, MacDonald’s Character and a Little Matter Called “Hush Money”

The Elephant's Debt

24 October 2017 Update copyIn our previous post, regarding HBC Elder discipline of James MacDonald following questions over the management of Harvest Bible Fellowship funds, we stated that we would unpack the details of this audit process and the questions raised by the HBF leadership.  Since that post HBF has rebranded, and it is now known as Great Commission Collective (GCC). The authors of TED have debated how best to tell this story. In short, rather than have us tell you the story and interpret the facts for you, we have decided that the story is best understood from someone who was “in the room” during this process. Here is his testimony … with our standard set of questions.

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Counting Our Blessings

Code: B171025

Imagine you’re sitting in church this coming Sunday morning. Your pastor steps up to deliver his sermon and starts speaking in a language almost entirely foreign to you. You might recognize a few words, but the majority of what he says flies past you as gibberish. You can’t even follow along with the text—there are no pew Bibles, and you don’t own a copy to study for yourself.

Imagine if that were your entire spiritual intake for the week—a message preached in a language you don’t understand, from a text you can’t read, in a book you’re not allowed to own.

Such was life in the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. The pope and his priests had a stranglehold on the text of Scripture, withholding it from the common man. There was no personal study of God’s Word to speak of—you only got whatever you heard from week to week during mass. Those who couldn’t speak Latin—which was often the majority of the people—got even less.

These days, when information is so easily accessible, it’s hard to imagine being totally separated from God’s Word. An inaccessible Bible is a foreign concept to most of us in the developed world. You’ve likely got several copies laying around your house. As I type this, I have about ten Bibles within reach of my desk, not counting the digital versions on my computer and phone.

Because of such immediate and abundant access to God’s Word, believers today have a tendency to grow complacent and cold to Scripture’s preciousness. We purchase Bibles like accessories, giving more thought to their external appearance than the spiritual riches they contain. It’s the natural progression of the trend Charles Spurgeon famously described to his congregation more than 150 years ago:

Most people treat the Bible very politely. They have a small pocket volume, neatly bound; they put a white pocket-handkerchief around it, and carry it to their places of worship; when they get home, they lay it up in a drawer till next Sunday morning; then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes to chapel; that is all the poor Bible gets in the way of an airing. That is your style of entertaining this heavenly messenger. There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers.[1]

Most of us don’t know what it is to truly hunger for God’s truth, since we’ve never been without access to it for more than mere minutes.

Consequently, we don’t appreciate the widespread spiritual starvation that set the stage for the Reformation. We can’t fathom the bravery of men like John Huss, who was banished from his pulpit for daring to preach in the common language of his parishioners. We can’t understand the revolutionary work of men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, who labored tirelessly to translate and publish the Bible in English. We can’t appreciate the seismic impact of Gutenberg’s movable-type printing press, and the unprecedented access it gave God’s people to His Word.

What we can appreciate, from our vantage point in church history, is how the Lord sovereignly orchestrated events to bring about the Reformation in His perfect timing. We can see how He gifted and used His servants to recover His Word and shine the light of His truth into a world dominated by the darkness of Catholic lies. We can see the immense price so many paid to protect and preserve God’s Word for future generations of church history.

As beneficiaries of the Reformers’ tireless efforts, we’re right to recognize their lives and ministries. But don’t make the mistake of celebrating the Reformers while missing the point of the Reformation itself. Scripture alone is the authority in the church. Scripture alone defines and declares the truth about Christ and the power of His gospel. And Scripture alone is our standard for life and godliness.

In many ways, the church today is in at least as bad a shape as it was prior to the Reformation—it’s probably even worse . Overrun with worldliness, charlatans, and heresy, the Protestant church needed less than five hundred years to dig a deeper well of apostasy than the one it was originally born out of. And while the corruption might be more pervasive, the remedy is the same. The modern church does not need some new marketing strategy or public relations campaign—it doesn’t need to further mimic the tastes and trends of this wretched world.

Just as the Reformers before us, God’s people need to recover the authority and sufficiency of Scripture and return it to its preeminent place in our congregations. We need to shake off our indifference and complacency and get busy with the work of God’s kingdom. Like the Reformers, we need to expend ourselves—even unto death—to shine the life-transforming light of God’s Word into a world dominated by spiritual darkness.

And thanks to those faithful Reformers and Bible translators, much of the hard work has already been done for us. We don’t have to wrestle God’s Word out of the clutches of Satan—we simply have to submit to it and faithfully proclaim it.

The Reformers understood that God’s Word is a treasure worth fighting and dying for—it alone can bring life to the dead and sight to the blind. You can’t truly celebrate the Reformation if you don’t share that conviction.

 


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B171025
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

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Should Christians Participate in Halloween? 7 Scriptures to Consider

Michelle Lesley

Originally published October 24, 201410394788_860513210656281_4509180524943822101_n

Should Christians participate in Halloween? 

Since there is no specific Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt/shalt not participate in Halloween and its related activities,” this is an area of Christian liberty that must be decided by each individual or couple on the basis of scriptural principles and prayer. If there are Halloween activities available to you that do not violate scriptural principles or your conscience or cause you to become a stumbling block to someone weaker in the faith (which may even be your spouse or child), you are free to participate in those aspects of Halloween.

Here are some Scriptures and principles that may be of help as you make your decision:

1 Corinthians 10:23:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

Is it helpful? Does it build you/your family up?

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October 25, 2017: Verse of the day

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12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great earthquake: “Blessed be the glory of the Lord from its place!” 13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of a great earthquake.[1]


12–13 The vision concludes with Ezekiel’s being raised up by the Spirit (v. 12; cf. 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5) and hearing a final benediction that assures him that he has witnessed a revelation of God’s glory (v. 13).

Ezekiel’s transportation is not a case of hypnotism, autosuggestion, or parapsychic bodily levitation. The text demonstrates that the transportation is in a vision, experienced under the compulsion of the Holy Spirit (cf. Edward J. Young, My Servants, the Prophets [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952], 182–87).[2]


12–13 The translocation of Ezekiel by the spirit is the first of a number of such experiences (see 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5; cf. 37:1). V 14 will continue the topic, but first the departure of the apparition is recorded, in terms of sounds heard. It is implied that it had stood stationary on the ground since the point of 1:15. The term כבוד יהוה “the glory of Yahweh,” which had been used in 1:28 to describe the enthroned divine figure, is evidently employed here as a literary shorthand to refer to the whole apparition. Its “standing place” (מקום) corresponds to the similar verb עמד “stand” in v 23 and to its use with reference to the stationary apparition in 1:21, 25. The noise is explained in v 13. The noise of the flapping wings corresponds to that heard in 1:24. Only here is there mention of the (squeaking, rumbling) noise of the wheels. Does it refer to a taxiing, as if along a runway, before takeoff? Strictly one expects the wheels to have been heard before the wings. Perhaps the louder noise is explained first, unless the wings flapped even when the apparition was moving on the ground. The stem רעשׁ, here rendered “pulsating sound,” is used of the noise of war chariots in Jer 47:3 and of their wheels in Nah 3:2.[3]


3:12 the Spirit lifted me up. Simultaneous events are being described: Ezekiel is being taken away, but at the same time the throne of the Lord is departing. There is ambiguity in the Hebrew ruakh: “Spirit” implies the divine spirit (see notes on 1:4 and 1:12) but, given the stormy setting, “wind” (ESV footnote) or the Spirit manifested in the form of wind is also possible. However, there is a tacit “transportation” here (see 3:15), and the parallels in 8:3 and 37:1 point toward this certainly being the divine Spirit in action in some form.

3:12 The empowering by the Spirit prefigures the role of the Spirit in Christ’s prophetic ministry (Luke 4:18), and then his empowering of gospel proclamation (Acts 1:8).

3:13 In the audience with God, the living creatures have been momentarily forgotten, but their movement brings them dramatically into focus once more.[4]


3:12 And the Spirit lifted me up See note on 2:2.

the sound of a great earthquake A theophany is often accompanied by sounds and storm imagery (compare Exod 19:18; Psa 68:8; Matt 27:54). See note on Ezek 1:4.[5]


3:12 Spirit lifted me up. Ezekiel more than once describes his visionary experiences in terms of transport by the Spirit (3:12, 14; 8:3; 11:1, 24; 40:1–3; 43:5). See 2 Kin. 2:11, 16; 2 Cor. 12:1, 2.[6]


3:12, 13 Blessed … from His place: This thunderous acclaim in praise of the living God came from His myriad of angelic armies (compare Is. 6:3). glory: The word suggests “weight” or “significance,” indicating the wonder, majesty, and worthiness of the living God.[7]


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eze 3:12–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] Alexander, R. H. (2010). Ezekiel. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Jeremiah–Ezekiel (Revised Edition) (Vol. 7, p. 670). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Allen, L. C. (1998). Ezekiel 1–19 (Vol. 28, p. 43). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1505). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eze 3:12). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[6] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1147). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 961). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.