Daily Archives: November 4, 2017

November 4, 2017 News/Headlines


Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 11/04/2017

‘God Is the Judge,’ Hillsong’s Carl Lentz Tells ‘The View’ When Asked Whether or Not Abortion Is Sin   Nov 02, 2017 02:47 pm

Carl Lentz of Hillsong New York recently appeared on ABC’s “The View,” where he was asked whether or not abortion is considered a sin at his church. While the answer was unclear, Lentz said that “God is the judge” and that he would prefer to know a person’s name and beliefs before making a determination as to whether or not they have sinned. “Hillsong is seen as…

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Beer Enthusiast’s New ‘Calvinist’ Film Brews Concern for Blending in ‘Young, Restless & Reformed’ Speakers   Oct 28, 2017 02:57 pm

A craft beer enthusiast whose barroom pubcast and popular “Reformed Pub” Facebook group has attracted many who identify as Calvinist has released a film on Reformed theology, revisiting its past and discussing the present resurgence among the modern generation. The film features interviews with a number of well-known and respected Calvinistic preachers and…

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UK Student Expelled Over Facebook Comments Outlining Biblical Stance on Homosexuality Loses Appeal   Oct 28, 2017 11:34 am

LONDON — A student at a prominent university in the United Kingdom who was expelled over comments that he made on Facebook outlining the biblical stance on homosexuality has lost his appeal before the Royal Courts of Justice. While Judge Rowena Collins-Rice found that the “right to express the content of deeply held religious views deserves respect in a…

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Former StemExpress Worker Says She Passed Out Sorting Through Aborted Baby Parts at Planned Parenthood   Oct 30, 2017 02:23 pm

A new video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) features an interview with a former StemExpress worker, who recalls that she passed out on her first day on the job as she was trained in sorting through the body parts of an aborted child at Planned Parenthood. The video, entitled “First Day at StemExpress Inside Planned Parenthood,” is stated to be…

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Nurse Arrested for Not Allowing Blood to Be Drawn on Crash Victim Without Warrant Receives $500K Settlement   Nov 01, 2017 01:59 pm

Photo Credit: KUTV Screenshot SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah Hospital nurse who was dragged out screaming and placed in handcuffs for explaining to a police detective that he needed a warrant to withdraw blood from an unconscious crash victim has agreed to a $500,000 payment from Salt Lake City and the University of Utah to settle the…

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Disney Channel’s ‘Andi Mack’ Second Season Portrays Boy Coming Out as Homosexual   Oct 31, 2017 02:41 pm

Disney Channel’s second season premiere of the teen series “Andi Mack” featured a “coming out scene” on Friday, as one of the main male characters acknowledges that he is jealous of his female friend’s new relationship as he likes the boy that she is dating. In the episode, Cyrus, played by Joshua Rush, is questioned by Buffy, played by Sofia Wylie, when she…

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Episcopal Priest Leads Singing of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ During Sunday Services   Nov 02, 2017 07:08 pm

PASADENA, Calif. — An Episcopal priest led those gathered in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during this past Sunday’s services, according to a video posted to social media and blog post about “Dodger Blue Sunday.” The video was shared to the All Saints Episcopal Church Pasadena page by attendee Rick Murphy, who wrote, “hought he has seen…

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Kentucky Judge Facing Ethics Charges for Recusing Self From Same-Sex Adoption Cases Resigns   Oct 31, 2017 06:09 pm

GLASGOW, Ky. — A Kentucky judge who announced earlier this year that he would recuse himself from hearing any same-sex adoption cases has resigned after the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission decided to charge him with ethics violations over his recusal. Judge W. Mitchell Nance submitted a letter Thursday to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin advising that he would…

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Judge Rules California Can’t Require Pregnancy Centers to Provide Information on Govt Abortion Programs   Oct 31, 2017 11:53 am

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A superior court judge in California has ruled that a state law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to provide information about government abortion programs runs afoul of the California Constitution. “Here, the State commands clinics to post specific directions for whom to contact to obtain an abortion. It forces the clinic to point the…

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At Least 8 Killed in Manhattan as Man Plows Down Pedestrians, Bikers With Truck, Yells ‘Allahu Akbar’   Oct 31, 2017 06:36 pm

(New York Times) — Eight people were killed when a man drove 20 blocks down a bike path beside the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon before he crashed his pickup truck, jumped out with fake guns and was shot by a police officer, the authorities said. Federal authorities were treating the incident as a terrorist attack and were taking the lead…

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NOV. 4, 2017

“The accumulation of all powers … in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” —James Madison (1788)

Headlines – 11/4/2017

Rocket Sirens Sound in Israeli Community Near Gaza Border; Army: False Alarm

Gazans report easier entry into Israel after Palestinian Authority given control: ‘Everything’s better now’

Netanyahu Suggests a Sovereign State Might Not Work for Palestinians

The Balfour Declaration – A Thorn in the Flesh of Political Correctness!

Bomb threat cancels Balfour Declaration event at Florida Jewish museum

Times of Israel Hack Reveals Major Vulnerability in Jewish Media Infrastructure – and Not Just in Israel

Syria complains to UN over alleged Israeli airstrikes

Netanyahu says he will not let Iran take strategic control inside Syria

Netanyahu: As ISIS moves out, Iran moves in

Netanyahu: Iran threat forcing Mideast-Israel alliances

Netanyahu: ‘Iran is devouring one nation after another’

Iran and al-Qaeda: Best of Frenemies

Iranian Foreign Minister Slams Washington Think Tank Over Revelations of Tehran’s Backing of Al Qaeda

Iran displays missile during anniversary of embassy takeover

PM warns: Iran could have substantial nuclear arsenal within weeks

Netanyahu: A nuclear Iran ‘infinitely more dangerous’ than North Korea

North Korea calls for a halt to ‘brutal’ sanctions

Trump ‘coming after’ China unless it takes on North Korea, officials say

Communism’s Bloody Century

Russia accuses US of blocking humanitarian aid in Syria

In Rare Move, Israel Says Ready to Protect Syrian Druze Town Under Attack by Islamic Militants

IDF vows to protect Syrian Druze village after Syrian spillover

Reduced to Just Two Villages, Islamic State on the Verge of Final Defeat

US strikes Islamic State in Somalia for first time

Militants kill 8 Iranian border guards near Turkish border

Critics fear for Turkey’s secular foundations as religious marriage law passes

New CIA Footage Shows Osama bin Laden’s Son Is New Face of Al-Qaeda

Bowe Bergdahl Avoids Prison for Desertion of the Military; Trump Calls Sentence a ‘Disgrace’

Flashback: The 5 Terrorists Obama Let Out Of Gitmo For Bergdahl

Antifa apocalypse? Anarchist group’s plan to overthrow Trump ‘regime’ starts Saturday

Man arrested for claiming he had explosives near White House

Mueller is ‘compromised,’ should resign: GOP congressional resolution states

Trump: DOJ must do ‘what is right and proper’ and investigate Hillary Clinton

Gregg Jarrett: Hillary Clinton’s scheme in ‘rigging’ the nomination may have been criminal

Hannity on Clinton-DNC Revelations: ‘Highest Level of Corruption We Have Seen in Our Lifetime’

Network newscasts don’t mention Brazile Clinton-DNC revelations

Millennials think socialism would create a great safe space, study finds

Ousted Catalan leader says ready to stand in snap regional election

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Tomatlan, Mexico

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Inza, Colombia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Damrey: Strongest typhoon in 16 years makes landfall in southern Vietnam with flooding, damaging winds

India: Death toll rises to 14 as monsoon rain tops 350 mm in Chennai

Weekly wrap-up: Ferocious storm tears across northeastern US; Storm Herwart kills 6 in central Europe

Ocular syphilis is a real STD, it causes blindness and it’s on the rise

Sexually active students must be reported to law enforcement or state officials because they cannot legally give consent, Ore. school district says

As Weinstein effect spreads, feminist activists say ‘there’s no turning back’

Female members of US Congress allege harassment by colleagues

Pope Francis Open to Debate on Married Priests to Counter Evangelicals, Pagans Displacing Catholics

Coming Mega-Quake Will Be Worst Natural Disaster in North American History

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 04:11 PM PDT

The last time the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate jolted under the North American plate, unleashing a 9.0 earthquake, was in 1700. With the event scheduled to happen once every 500 years or so, we are due for another any day now. Although it’s not clear what will happen when this mega quake does hit, researchers at the University of Washington recently presented 50 possible scenarios of how the event might unfold. Earthquakes are typically measured using the Richter scale, named after the geologist who invented it in the 1930s.

The scale is numbered from 0-10, although no magnitude 10 earthquake has ever been observed, making a 9.0 one of the most powerful quakes in recorded history. The predicted earthquake dubbed the “Really Big One,” will take place where the Juan de Fuca and North American plates meet along Cascadia subduction zone, just north of the San Andreas fault line. The earthquake would affect those living in coastal Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Northern California, READ MORE

Mysterious boom and light in NJ, Unexplained booms and shaking in CA

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 03:55 PM PDT

A mysterious boom shook homes in Bridgewater, New Jersey on November 1, 2017. A day later, San Diego residents reported loud booms and sensations of shaking. But nobody knows why. The mystery booms are increasing again across the US. Two days in a row, Nov. 1st and Nov. 2nd, loud and still unexplained booms have rattled homes on both sides of the USA: New Jersey and California.

The mysterious loud boom in Bridgewater, New Jersey – November 1, 2017 Residents in the Bridgewater and Branchburg area are reporting what sounded like a loud explosion around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Some reported seeing a bright flash in the sky prior to the boom and which was caught on a home video: CONTINUE

DEVELOPING: Strongest typhoon in 16 years set to slam Vietnam

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 03:47 PM PDT

Typhoon “Damrey” is expected to slam into southern Vietnam around UTC midnight on November 4 (07:00 local time) with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h (86 mph), likely the strongest typhoon to make landfall over southern Vietnam in 16 years. This tropical cyclone is expected to have a high humanitarian impact based on the storm strength and the affected population in the past and forecasted path. Up to 2.4 million people can be affected by wind speeds of cyclone strength or above. Authorities

in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, provinces that are likely to be affected by the typhoon, have developed plans to evacuate a total of 389 143 people, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control. Earlier on Thursday, the search and rescue committee in Phu Yen already evacuated 759 households with 1 958 residents in flooded areas to safe places, Tuoi Tre News reports. CONTINUE

Scientists warn that Mt.Tiede volcano could produce “Mega-Eruption”

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 03:40 PM PDT

Mount Tiede could erupt soon as scientists reveal the Tenerife rock could actually be a mega volcano. Fears have been mounting in Tenerife that the volcano could be about to blow after 22 quakes hit the popular holiday spot over the weekend. The biggest island in the Canaries was hit by a seismic swarm of

22 earthquakes between Saturday, October 28 and Tuesday from Mount Teide. And new research has shown that leftover magma from old volcanoes on the popular island could have come together to create a super volcano. Giant landslides caused by volcano explosions pushes fiery magma through cracks in the earth’s crust to form a new volcano “of greater or equal size” to the previous one. CONTINUE

California Wildfires Resulted In 14,720 Homes Destroyed, 43 Deaths, $3.3 Billion Loss

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 02:10 PM PDT

The wildfires that ravaged parts of California in October caused at least $3 billion in insured losses, a total of 14,720 damaged or destroyed homes, and nearly 3,200 personal vehicle losses, officials said Tuesday. As of November 2, the death toll stands at 43. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Tuesday, October 31 the new total of insured losses from the October wildfires in California now tops $3 billion. This is a three-fold increase in just two weeks. However, the number is still expected to climb, according to California Department of Insurance officials.

“As shocking as $3 billion in insured losses are, the number is sure to grow, as more claims are coming,” Jones said. “The insured losses only tell part of the tragic story of the October fires. We must remember that 43 people lost their lives and behind every insurance claim is someone who has lost their home, their business, and their precious memories. It will take years for these communities to recover and rebuild.” CONTINUE

STD outbreak that causes blindness on the rise…

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 02:03 PM PDT

New reports have revealed that there is currently an “outbreak” of ocular syphilis – the sexually transmitted infection that can make you go blind.  According to the Centres for Disease Control, there were 12 cases of this STI reported in the four months between December 2014 to March 2015, with a further 200 cases reported in the US over the past two years. The CDC say this is suggestive of an

outbreak. Most of the cases are found in HIV-infected homosexual men but a small number of cases have occurred in non-HIV-infected heterosexual men and women. As the infection can result in going blind, this has prompted the CDC to issue a warning to doctors to look out for the signs with patients. The symptoms you need to look out for with a syphilis infection include: 

Iran urges help from Russia to ‘isolate the Americans’ by ditching dollar

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 06:32 AM PDT

The best way to beat US sanctions against Iran and Russia is joint efforts to dump the American currency in bilateral trade, according to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. “By ignoring the negative propaganda of the enemies, that seek to weaken relations between countries, we can nullify US sanctions, using methods such as eliminating the dollar and replacing it with national currencies in transactions between two or more parties; thus, isolate the Americans,” he said on Wednesday at a

meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Tehran. According to Khamenei, economic relations have vast room for improvement. “In the transportation sector, we can expand cooperation, using the main axis of Chabahar port to the port of Saint Petersburg, as well as in other economic areas,” he said. During the meeting, which lasted about an hour and a quarter, Putin replied that Russia considers Iran “a strategic partner and a great neighbor, and we will take advantage of every opportunity to expand and consolidate relationships in all dimensions.” READ MORE


7 Las Vegas Shooting Witnesses Now Dead Within 1 Month of Attack

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 06:28 AM PDT

One month on from the Las Vegas shooting massacre on October 1st, and we still have no satisfactory answers for horrific events that took place at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.The mainstream media has all but given up on reporting on the attacks, now that it seems as though the public has swallowed the “lone wolf” shooter narrative, that claims Stephen Paddock acted alone in killing 59 people and injuring hundreds more.In the month that followed the incident, a staggering seven key witnesses have

died in very suspicious circumstances.Of all of those seven people, every single one of them had something in common, other than being there during the shooting: They all had information on the attack that contradicted the “official” narrative.What’s even more suspicious is that four of those seven eyewitnesses had given accounts that stated there was more than one shooter, and others died before they had a chance to speak. As the MSM and sits back, safe in the knowledge it pushed the failing “lone wolf” shooter narrative onto the public, people who hold vital information about the actual events that took place are being silenced.  READ MORE


How Martin Luther Confronted False Prophets—And Why We Need to Follow Suit Today

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 06:19 AM PDT

(By Eddie Hyatt) The Reformation opened the door to all sorts of wild theories about the church, the end of the world and the kingdom of God and how it would be established. Some said the kingdom of God would be established by God’s people taking up the sword, slaying the wicked and establishing righteousness by force. Other said it would be established by a “second commissioning” of apostles and prophets who would go forth with such power, signs and wonders that no one would be able to resist them. It was within this milieu of religious fervor and expectation that Luther had his notorious run-in with the

“Prophets of Zwickau.” While he was hiding in the Castle of Wartburg, after his condemnation at the Diet of Worms, three men from Zwickau came to Luther’s hometown of Wittenberg, which was the center of the Reformation. Led by a weaver named Nicholas Storch, they claimed divine visions, dreams and visits from the angel Gabriel. Storch and his two friends wowed the people with their revelations and began taking the reform movement in Wittenberg in a radical direction that was not compatible with Luther’s desire or with Scripture. Luther was for gradual change as a result of the people’s hearts being changed by the preaching of the Word. CONTINUE

Man Gives Free Haircuts To Homeless On Street Corners So Stranger Buys Him His Own Barbershop

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 06:13 AM PDT

Brennon Jones loves cutting hair, but there’s one thing he loves even more: cutting hair for the homeless. He’s been at it for a while now and knows how much of a difference it make in each person’s life. In fact, he gives much more than haircuts as part of his Haircuts for the Homeless campaign. According to Fox 35, Brennon says his haircuts are totally free. Additionally, he feeds them and provides them with clothing and toiletries. Brennon describes it as a makeover for the inside and outside, giving each homeless person a new look and newfound confidence. When a stranger named Sean Johnson

found out about Brennon’s mission and the trouble he would have continuing into the winter, he decided to sacrifice the expansion of his own barbershop and opened up a new one — just for Brennon. In the video below, posted on October 30, 2017, Sean explains: “It wasn’t about me giving a barbershop. I looked at it more as I built something and I want to see it keep going and I want to see it do a great thing.” CONTINUE

Artificial Intelligence may replace humans’ & become new form of life – Stephen Hawking

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 06:04 AM PDT

One day robots could entirely edge out human beings and become a new life form that is even capable of replicating itself, Stephen Hawking has warned, once again predicting a rather grim future for humankind.  “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether,” the renowned physicist told Wired magazine, as cited by the Cambridge News. “If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI

that improves and replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans,” Hawking added.  However, humanity itself has already reached “the point of no return” and may destroy itself first, the 75-year-old academic predicts. “Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.” READ MORE

Gigantic dinosaur-eating plane-size reptile discovered in Mongolia

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:59 AM PDT

A monstrous, meat-eating flying reptile that had a wingspan of a small airplane, could walk on all fours and stalked its prey on land has been found in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Fortunately for us humans, who would have made for a delightful midday snack, this pterosaur is dead. Long dead. Seventy million years dead. With an approximately 36-foot wingspan, “It might have been this quite robust, formidable

predator,” Mark Witton, an expert on pterosaurs at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K., told National Geographic. “They seem to be feeding on things on the ground and are generalist in their ability to grab basically whatever they can fit in their beaks.” Thankfully, that didn’t include humans, who weren’t around at the time. Scientists think this pterosaur had to settle for a diet of little dinosaurs. READ MORE

The 10 Safest Countries If World War 3 Broke Out

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:54 AM PDT

World War Three fears have heightened in recent months as a conflict between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump escalates. These are the safest places to hide if world war does break out.  North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un is said to be preparing another ballistic missile test. This has sparked fears of World War 3 breaking out if the North Korean leader decides to put his missiles into effect – especially given his conflict with US President Donald Trump. In an event of war, some are forced to move to different countries to avoid getting caught up in the action. The map below shows the safest countries to go to, according to the Global Peace Index.

Canada – Canada ranks 8 out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index 2017. It maintained the same spot on the list from last year, with a score of 1.1 out of 5 for domestic and international conflict (the lower the better, in this case).

Denmark – While Denmark might suffer in a European conflict because of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation status, it contains the remote, non politically aligned region of Greenland. FULL LIST

The Rise Of American Christianity: Ticket to Heaven-on-Your-Own-Terms Gospel

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:47 AM PDT

(By Bert Farias) The future of America is an uncertain one. That old crafty serpent, the devil, has slithered his way into the core of our culture and is busy eroding the moral values that once made our nation great. America is no longer great because she is no longer good. A nation that outlaws the mention of God in the public square, celebrates the killing of its own children and destroys the most basic unit of society, the family, cannot survive much longer. I’m afraid that unless there is major heartfelt repentance and the glory of God is restored to the church, she will have to go underground, and our children and grandchildren will be living in a very different America than our ancestors knew. A recent Barna poll divides Americans into four religious categories, measuring their percentages of the American population:

Evangelical Christians (6 percent)

Non-evangelical born-again Christians (25 percent)

Notional or Mythical Christians (42 percent)

Adherents of non-Christian faiths (6 percent)

Religious skeptics (23 percent)

A most shocking belief system has been uncovered in the significant number of non-evangelical “born-again” Christians, which represents one-quarter of the American population, or approximately 81 million people. MORE

Witchcraft and Occultism On the Rise in America

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:40 AM PDT

On a Wednesday evening last week, I sat in on a class called “Witchcraft 101: Curses, Hexes and Jinxes,” at Catland, a fashionable occult boutique in Bushwick, Brooklyn. More than a dozen people, most of them young women, sat in folding chairs in the store’s black-walled event space. The instructor was one of Catland’s co-owners, Dakota Bracciale, a charismatic, foul-mouthed 28-year-old former M.A.C. makeup artist dressed in flowing black, with a beard and long, lavender nails. “If you’re not ready to admit that the universe is chaos, I’m not sure how far you’re going to go,” Bracciale said to the class, describing witchcraft as a way to exercise power in a world without transcendent moral rules, a

supernatural technology for taking care of yourself when no one else will. Witchcraft, Bracciale said, lets you be the “arbiter of your own justice.” I suspect that this assumption of chaos — the sense that institutions have failed and no one is in charge — helps explain the well-documented resurgence of occultism among millennials. Attempts at spell-casting are obviously not unique to today’s young people; the Washington writer and hostess Sally Quinn just published a book in which she boasts about hexing the renowned magazine editor Clay Felker, my former journalism professor, before his death from cancer. Still, magic and witchcraft have a renewed cachet, one that seems related to our current climate of political and cultural breakdown. CONTINUE

Deadly airborne plague in Madagascar now at ‘crisis’ point, Could reach 20,000 in weeks

Posted: 03 Nov 2017 05:35 AM PDT

The deadly airborne plague spreading rapidly across Madagascar is now at ‘crisis’ point as cases have rocketed by 37 percent in just five days, official figures reveal. The outbreak, the ‘worst in 50 years’, is being fueled by a strain more lethal than the one which usually strikes the country off the coast of Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) now states there are 1,801 suspected cases – significantly higher than the 1,309 it reported last Thursday. Academics have revealed such a jump in cases over the period

of five days is concerning and have predicted it could get worse. The most recent statistics show there have been 127 deaths. Professor Robin May, an infectious diseases expert at Birmingham University, told MailOnline that ‘whichever way you look’ at the outbreak, it’s ‘concerning definitely’. Analysis of figures by MailOnline shows the epidemic could strike a further 20,000 people in just a matter of weeks if current trends continue. It could be made worse by crowds gathering for an annual celebration to honor the dead earlier this week. MORE


DEVELOPING: Explosion strikes night club in Malmo, Sweden

Posted: 02 Nov 2017 06:28 PM PDT

According to reports, A powerful explosion has mangled the doors of a nightclub in Malmo, Sweden, on Thursday, but no casualties have so far been reported.

The city has recently been hit by a series of blasts. This is a developing story and we will update you with more information as we revive it. MORE

132 dead seals wash up on the shores of Lake Baikal in Russia

Posted: 02 Nov 2017 06:09 PM PDT

The number of dead seals discovered on the shore of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Region and Buryatia has increased to 132, the Interfax agency in the Baikal interregional department of Rosprirodnadzor reported Tuesday. “Three carcasses of the dead seals have been raised at three sites of the Baikal coast near the village of Noviy Enkhaluk (Buryatia), near the village of Murino (Irkutsk Region) and along the Circum-Baikal Railway (between the villages of Port Baikal and Kultuk in the Irkutsk Region – IF). mass death of animals is established, “- said the assistant head of the department Irina Shushakova.

According to preliminary data, the largest number of dead animals – more than 90 – was found in Buryatia. In the Irkutsk region 39 carcasses were raised. Shushakova noted that the death of seals from any infection is not yet confirmed – the first samples gave a negative result. Poacher shooting is also excluded. Therefore, the main version is the natural cause – for example, death during a storm. READ MORE

Balfour Declaration Was “Biblically-Based Miracle” Bringing Christians and Jews Together

Posted: 02 Nov 2017 05:46 PM PDT

The Balfour Declaration, a document that led to the establishment of the state of Israel, was the result of Biblically-based miracles, said a political expert on Thursday at a conference focused on continuing the path of Christian-Jewish cooperation begun by Balfour. Speaking at a panel named for the conference, “From Balfour to Nikki Haley: 100 Years of Christian Zionist Diplomacy”, Barry Shaw, Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, noted that the Balfour Declaration was

not simply a political move. “The declaration was part of a series of modern miracles leading up to Messiah,” Shaw said. “A miracle is not a magic trick. It is something we can’t comprehend. When Allenby marched into Jerusalem one hundred years ago, he walked in on foot because, as a devout Christian, he believed that only the Messiah rides into Jerusalem on horseback. The motivations and energy behind the creation of Israel was a Biblically-based miracle.” READ MORE



OOPS! Trump’s Twitter account briefly “disappeared” but later restored

Posted: 02 Nov 2017 05:33 PM PDT

President Donald Trump’s Twitter account appeared to briefly disappear Thursday evening, but is now back up and running. Shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday, social media reports surfaced that the president’s personal account, @RealDonaldTrump, was unavailable, providing the error message that the user

“does not exist.” The account was restored by 7:03 p.m. It is not clear what caused the outage, which appeared to last under 10 minutes. Spokespeople for the White House and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment. CONTINUE

Facebook post claims DOD training will cause a massive blackout

Posted: 02 Nov 2017 05:25 PM PDT

Recently a viewer reached out to a local news station and inquired about a viral video she’s seen on the internet. You too have likely seen it too. It claims in just a few days, the entire country will go dark because of a Department of Defense training exercise. It’s causing a lot of panic, but is it News or Noise? In the video, the user claims, “November 4th through the 6th there will be an electronic magnetic pulse going through the entire continent of North America. Like Geo Storm. Like the movie Geo Storm.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: I recently had to clear up this confusion myself regarding this upcoming drill on our recent “Viewpoint Segment” which can be viewed HERE

The woman claims this Saturday there will be a massive blackout, but she doesn’t stop there. “It’s worse than a blackout, ok your car isn’t going to work, your phones aren’t going to work, nothing that got electricity going through it is going to work. A lot of people are going to die in America because generators aren’t going to work.” Her nearly eight-minute rant continues to trash the government agency that protects all Americans. “Go to the Department of Defense’s website, this is how much they really care about Americans. They aren’t even letting us know it’s going to happen, they’re saying it’s a drill.”  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:


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).

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The grip of the cult-like New Apostolic Reformation & Co.

Our good friend Rick Becker from ‘Famine In The Land’, introduces the first in a series of three articles on the New Apostolic Reformation:

“The grip of the cult-like New Apostolic Reformation & Co.”

 You probably have friends and family caught up in New Apostolic Reformation churches (Bethel, Hillsong etc) and you have found it extremely difficult to persuade them they are being deceived.  You may have been accused of having a critical spirit, of being divisive, judgemental, or of being a heresy hunter when warning them of the false doctrines in this movement.  Why is it so difficult for those caught up in the New Apostolic Reformation, word of faith and prosperity gospel movements (NAR & CO) to break free?

These movements have characteristics similar to cults, making it almost equally difficult to come out from their grip and deception. There are reasons why it is so difficult for people to…

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Rolling Out the ‘T’ – and it’s not Tolerance

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

Many people think the transgender movement has been more of a recent development in America, but it goes back to 1952 when the first alleged “sex change” was credited to a man named Christine Jorgensen. Remember, the “T” in LGBTQ has always been there, waiting in the wings as the groundwork was laid by moral relativists and same-sex marriage activists.

By 2015, the stage was set quite nicely for Bruce Jenner to catapult himself into a culture shaping icon by selling the public on his transition into Caitlyn. Transgender individuals had been quietly waiting for the right time culturally, politically, and socially, and the election of Barack Obama and his policies encouraged them, giving the green light to deny God’s truth, rebel against their Maker, and come out in full force.

Sadly, we now live in a society that largely thinks moral absolutes and truth are ‘so yesterday’ and unnecessary…

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‘God’s Dream’ – From the ‘Jesus’ of Jesus Calling – A Deceptive Scheme

“Sarah Young’s ‘Jesus’ plays right into this clever conditioning when he introduces the concept of God’s Dream in Jesus Calling and in no less than three of Sarah Young’s other books,” says Warren B. Smith. Young’s not alone. There are others such as Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and Richard Foster who proclaim the unbiblical notion that God has a dream for your life. Learn more about the blending of Christianity with New Age spirituality over at Lighthouse Trails:

Consistent with many other New Age implications contained in her channeled messages, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” introduces the New Age idea of “God’s Dream” in Jesus Calling when he states:

I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach.

In Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the January 6th message/devotion is titled—and has “Jesus” telling the children—“Dare to Dream My Dream.”

View article →

Source: ‘God’s Dream’ – From the ‘Jesus’ of Jesus Calling – A Deceptive Scheme


Voice of The Apostles: Deceiving Spirits and Demonic Transference

EmergentWatch reminds us that “there are multiple verses in the Gospels showing demons manifesting similar symptoms [that occur at the conference] – being seized by evil spirits, falling to the ground and convulsing (twitching and jerking, etc.).”

EW has produced a video of a Voice of The Apostles conference that was held Oct. 17-20 in Lancaster, PA. Watch the video and you will witness what happens when NAR wolves lay their hands on people. It’s not a pretty sight.

Is the Holy Spirit really responsible for this sort of bizarre behavior? No. Why? Because it doesn’t glorify God.

False teachers Benny Hinn, Randy Clark & Bill Johnson

This event is where top false prophets of the NAR ordain and “anoint” their disciples. The EmergentWatch documentary video is a composite of over 8 hours of video taken during the 3 day event. In this video one can witness the demonic transference from these false “apostles”, and the demonic spiritual effect this has on their followers. These effects have been compared to those seen in occultic Kundalini awakening and the uncontrollable movements known as “Kriyas”.

MUST WATCH video  View article →

Related: Angels, Demons & Spiritual Warfare

Source: Voice of The Apostles: Deceiving Spirits and Demonic Transference

November 4, 2017: Verse of the day


Wrestling with God

Genesis 32:22–32

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

There is no more moving episode in the life of Jacob than his wrestling with God at the Jabbok the night before he was to meet Esau. Besides, it is terrifying. The thing to note is that Jacob was wrestling with God and that, in this incident at least, God was his adversary. Until now this possibility had not entered Jacob’s mind. He had possessed an enemy in Laban. He anticipated an enemy in Esau and was terrified of him. But God? God was no enemy. God was a benign, friendly, heavenly father-figure to whom he could turn when things got rough but ignore when he wanted to order his own life and formulate his own plans. There was nothing to fear from God.

How wrong Jacob was! He had been using God all this while. Now he would discover to his horror that God will not be so used indefinitely. He would discover that, as a student once said in reference to C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, “Aslan is no tame lion.”

This incident was so significant in Jacob’s life that one of my friends regards it as the moment the patriarch became a true child of God. He believes that up to this time Jacob was no true child of God and that it was only after this traumatic battle with God that Jacob can be said to have been born again. I believe that Jacob was God’s man prior to this and had merely been living an undisciplined and disobedient life. But I see the force of the argument. For whether born again on this occasion or not, Jacob was certainly changed profoundly by this experience.

As we study this passage, the crucial question is whether each of us has been similarly changed. If we have not, what must happen for us to become the kind of person Jacob became through this experience?

Alone and Trembling

We see Jacob in a number of postures in these verses, and the first is not flattering. He is trembling. This is the point where we left him at the end of our last chapter. Jacob had been afraid of his brother Esau all along, but when he learned that Esau was coming toward him with four hundred men, he was more terrified than he had ever been in his life. Esau was not hostile. But Jacob did not know that. To him, four hundred men were a great army, and he was convinced that Esau was coming to extract vengeance for the way he had cheated him out of his father’s blessing years before. He divided his company into two parts: “If Esau comes and attacks one group, the group that is left may escape” (Gen. 32:8). Then he hit upon the plan of appeasing his brother with gifts. So he sent his possessions across the plain toward Esau. He sent two hundred female goats, twenty male goats, two hundred ewes, twenty rams, thirty female camels with their young, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys, and ten male donkeys. Each of these was in a group by itself, accompanied by a servant who was to offer them to Esau, saying, “They are a gift sent to my lord Esau” (v. 18). Jacob thought, “I will pacify him with these gifts I am sending on ahead; later, when I see him, perhaps he will receive me” (v. 20).

It is interesting that Jacob said, “Perhaps he will receive me.” For, of course, he could not be sure that his plan would work. In spite of his conniving, he was still terrified. The previous verses ended by saying that Jacob spent that night in the camp. What a terrible night! How fearfully he must have awaited the morning hours!

Verses 22–23 give a further clue to Jacob’s state of mind: “That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.” These possessions must refer to his personal property and remaining livestock, not to the flocks that had already been sent ahead as a pacifying gift for Esau. The picture here is of a restless and agitated man. Nights are dark in the desert. No work is done at night. But Jacob was so fearful of his anticipated meeting with Esau that he could not sleep. He had to do something. So he got up, roused his household, and then moved them all across the Jabbok. Probably he kept pacing back and forth with nervous activity. Finally—although the passage does not say so explicitly—he went back across the stream and awaited the morning.

The chapter says, “So Jacob was left alone” (v. 24). This is good. For the first time, Jacob is not among the distracting demands of his encampment. He is quiet. The night is hushed. Jacob looks backward, forward, to the right, the left. He looks upward toward the stars.…

The Heavenly Wrestler

Suddenly, out of the darkness, a hand seized Jacob. What a frightful moment! Who was this? Was it a wandering bandit who might be expected to murder him for the sake of his clothing, staff, or sandals? Was it an assassin sent ahead by the furious Esau to kill him? In a moment, Jacob found himself in hand-to-hand combat, wrestling grimly as if his life depended on the outcome.

Who was this individual whom the text in Genesis simply calls “a man”? In Hosea 12:4, a later inspired commentary on this passage, he is called “the angel.” But even this does not give the whole picture, unless we recognize that “the angel” is not just any angel but “the angel of the Lord,” whom we have already seen on other occasions. Presumably it was this figure who appeared to Abraham as he sat under the great trees of Mamre (Genesis 18). On that occasion there were three figures, two of whom seem actually to have been angels, while the third (who spoke to Abraham) seems to have been God himself in some form. We are alerted to this at the beginning of the passage, where we are told: “The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day” (Gen. 18:1). Most scholars consider this figure a preincarnate manifestation of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

What is most significant about this text is that the man (Jesus) is said to have wrestled “with Jacob” and not that Jacob wrestled with the man, which would be the wrong way around. This is important for understanding the passage. We must not think—as many commentators have suggested—that this passage is primarily an encouragement to what we would call prevailing prayer. It is not that Jacob was seeking God so earnestly that when God, as it were, got close to him, he grappled with him and refused to let him go until he blessed him. It is true that Jacob later begged for a blessing. But at the beginning it is not Jacob who seeks God to wrestle with him; rather, it is God, who comes to wrestle with Jacob to bring him to a point of both physical and spiritual submission.

Arthur W. Pink writes, “Jacob was not wrestling with this Man to obtain a blessing[;] instead, the Man was wrestling with Jacob to gain some object from him. As to what this object is the best of the commentators are agreed—it was to reduce Jacob to a sense of his nothingness, to cause him to see what a poor, helpless and worthless creature he was; it was to teach us through him the all important lesson that in recognized weakness lies our strength.”

Have you ever had God wrestle with you—when you have wanted your way or were persisting in some course that you knew displeased him? I imagine you have, since most of us have fought with God at some period of our Christian experience.

If you have had that experience, then you can easily understand two of the details that follow. First, the man wrestled with Jacob “till daybreak” (v. 24). From dusk till daybreak! That is a long time, and, frankly, I do not know how Jacob managed to keep up the struggle that long. Years ago, when I was in high school and in better physical shape than I am in now, I spent several winters on the varsity wrestling team. I wrestled at 138 pounds. Wrestling matches lasted only six minutes. There were three periods of two minutes each, and the entire contest consisted of about ten of these six-minute matches. Six minutes! That seems hardly any time at all. Yet so intense is wrestling that I found myself more exhausted at the end of those six minutes (if the match lasted that long) than after an entire game of football. How did Jacob ever manage to keep up his struggle throughout the entire night? I do not know. But I do know that his determination to hang in there was no greater than our frequent determination to have our own way and eventually win out over God.

Is this not the way sin is? Sin hangs on. It refuses to give up. This is one reason why God must sometimes become our fierce antagonist to overpower self and destroy sin’s power.

The second detail of the passage that I think we can readily understand because of our own willfulness is God’s touching Jacob so that “his hip was wrenched as he wrestled” (v. 25). Because I think we do understand this I want to make one observation; even so, I hesitate, lest I be misunderstood. What I want to say is: God does not play fair. Now, please, when I say “God does not play fair,” I do not mean that God ever does anything that is sinful or unjust. The Lord of all the universe does right. He is perfection itself. What I mean is: God does not play by our rules, and he never loses. He is the sovereign God. His will is done. So, whether we like the way he plays or not, God always wins the contest. If we are smart, we recognize this early and submit to it.

Have you never had your life put out of joint by God? Have you never had your own little plans dislocated? Of course you have. You were trying to do something contrary to God’s will, and suddenly, out of the blue, God used sickness or a loss of a job or some severe setback or a disappointment to bring you to the end of yourself and turn you to him. I do not suggest that every sickness, loss, or disappointment comes because we are out of the will of God. God sometimes has other purposes with these things. But sometimes—sometimes quite often—he uses them to bring us to our senses.

Clings My Soul

We have seen Jacob trembling and wrestling. In the third place, we see him clinging to the one who has triumphed over him. By now the change has taken place, and we see a totally different Jacob. At first, Jacob is wrestling in his own strength for his own way. Later, Jacob’s strength is broken, and he is simply clinging to Christ for his blessing. “Helpless, lame, and ready to fall, he can but cling with desperate tenacity to the very Being who has so sorely smitten him.”

What do you think about this picture of Jacob as he clings desperately to the angel? Does it seem pitiful? Does Jacob seem to be a loser now, a weakling? If so, you have not progressed far in spiritual things. This is not a sad picture. It is a picture of a man now remade in God’s image, surrendered to the will of God. It is a picture of faith.

I have been helped at this point by the studies of Robert Candlish, who begins with Jacob’s discovery, made during the contest, that he was not wrestling with a mere man but with God.

Who then can this mysterious adversary be …? Can it be a secret emissary of Esau’s—a hired bravo or assassin, or one of his followers bent on carrying that old threat into execution—“I will slay my brother Jacob”? No. That is not Esau’s mode of warfare. Is it Esau’s guardian angel interposing to prevent any injury being done to him? So the later Jews have fabled; but no such belief belonged to the age or the faith of Jacob. Is it, then, the great adversary of God’s people, who would fain prevent the entrance of the patriarch into the promised land? Even if it be, Jacob will not give way.

No! Not even when he finds out that it is the very “Angel of the Covenant himself”—the “Fear of his father Isaac”—the God who had twice appeared to him in Bethel, who is now stopping the way, and, as a mighty man, seeking to overthrow him—not even then will he give way.

When he makes that discovery, he may have many misgivings; and were his desire less intense and his faith less strong, in reference to the country he seeks and the promises he has received, he might be inclined to call back his family and flock and wend his way again to the luxurious pastures and the sumptuous dwelling of his kinsman Laban—or to some new home among earth’s many vacant places, where he might hope to win ease and honour. If he wanted an excuse, he had it now. It was not Esau only who threatened him; God himself was against him. After a decent show of reluctance and pretence of resistance, he might have submitted to necessity, as it might have appeared, and turned his back on Canaan.

But he would not. His longing for Canaan was too intense—his warrant for claiming it was too clear—to admit of his giving it up. God had taught him to look for it; God had given him the promise of it. And now, not even when God himself seems to be against him, will he be beaten back. He may wrestle with me, but “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” He shall not hinder me, while I have life, from passing this brook.

Again I say—O Jacob! great is thy faith! It is like the faith of one who, though not thy child after the flesh, was yet like-minded with thee, in the days when that divine Saviour who wrestled with thee dwelt on the earth, and went about doing good. The woman, who was “a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation” (Mark vii. 26), coming to Christ on behalf of her poor daughter, met with much the same treatment with thyself; and like thee, she was not to be overcome. Jesus wrestled with her—dealt with her harshly—spurned her, it might almost seem with his foot—and called her dog. But she stood her ground. The divine Wrestler saw that he prevailed not against her; he was as it were forced to give in; the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and this violent assailant took it by force—“O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (Matt. xv. 28).

Charles Wesley expressed the clinging nature of faith in one of his hymns, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” Wesley wrote:

Other refuge have I none—

Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;

Leave, ah, leave me not alone,

Still support and comfort me!

All my trust on Thee is stayed—

All my help from Thee I bring.

It is the determination and strength of faith to hang “helpless” on Christ and know that he is able to support and comfort the one who thus clings to him.

Limping Forward

The final picture is of the patriarch limping forward to meet Esau, limping because of the wound inflicted on his hip. Again I ask, is this a pitiful picture? It is not, as anyone with perception knows. It is a strong picture, for now Jacob is moving forward at the command, and in the power, of God.

This is the significance of his new name. Before this, his name was Jacob, which means “heel grasper,” “cheat,” or “supplanter.” God forced him to confess this (v. 27). Now, Jacob’s name is changed to Israel. I am convinced that the meaning of this name has been misconstrued by most commentators, including those who added the footnotes to the text of the New International Version. Israel is a compound of two words: sarah (meaning “fight,” “struggle,” or “rule”) and el (meaning “God”). Commentators have taken this to mean “he struggles with God” or “he prevails with God” because of verse 28: “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

In other cases, however, of names compounded from a verb and the name of God, God is not the object of the verb. He is the subject. Thus, Daniel means “God judges,” not “he judges God.” Samuel means “God heard,” not “he heard God.” If we are to follow the same principle of interpretation here, Israel means “God rules,” “God commands,” or “God prevails.”

But what of verse 28, which calls the patriarch Israel because “you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome”? I think the verse is ironic. With men, Jacob had contended successfully … and lost. He cheated Esau of the blessing but lost Esau’s good will. He outwitted his blind and ailing father but lost his good name. None of these victories had brought satisfaction, and now on the banks of the Jabbok he is bottled up between enemies. He even has God for his antagonist. However, in his battle with God, Jacob suffers a reversal of his fortunes, which is actually his victory. He loses his wrestling match with God; God touches his hip and he is permanently wounded. But in the divine logic, which is beyond our full comprehension, this loss is Jacob’s victory. For at last Jacob surrenders himself. He wins by losing and is now able to go on in new strength as God’s man.

I love this picture of the limping Jacob, for it describes us. We limp, so far as our own strength is concerned. In the world’s eyes we are cripples. But God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and it is when we appear weakest that we are strong. An army like that (even a single individual like that) is invincible.[1]

[1] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary (pp. 814–820). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.