Daily Archives: November 7, 2017

November 7, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump toned down his harsh rhetoric toward North Korea during a visit to Seoul, telling reporters the Pyongyang regime should “come to the table” to make a deal and refusing to rule out direct talks.

Richard Trumka, the head of America’s biggest labor organization, opened its October national convention in an unusual way: the AFL-CIO president read a passage from the code-of-conduct and gave out the contact information of two people designated to field any complaints about sexual harassment or other discriminatory or inappropriate behavior.

The push to salvage a Pacific-rim trade pact will come to a head this week as nations diverge on whether it should be preserved, abandoned or renegotiated from scratch after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal.

The first country to give women the vote has another world-leading ambition: closing the gender pay gap. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the world’s youngest female leader, says her government aims to achieve pay equity for women in the public service within four years as a catalyst for widespread change.

Saudi Arabia’s surprise crackdown, which led to the arrests of princes, billionaires and officials over the weekend, is expanding beyond those previously detained in what authorities described as an anti-corruption drive.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on some of Saudi Arabia’s richest and most powerful men has put $33 billion of personal wealth at risk.

OPEC said shale oil production will grow considerably faster than expected over the next four years after the group’s output cuts triggered a crude-price recovery that helped U.S. producers. North American shale output will soar to 7.5 million barrels a day in 2021, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said.

Offers are starting to trickle in for the world’s most expensive house. Villa Les Cedres, a 14-bedroom mansion set in 35 acres on the French Riviera and listed at $405 million, has received interest, visits and offers. None of the bids were acceptable to a committee of the Marnier-Lapostolle family that’s administering the sale.

The $5.1 trillion-a-day currency market is losing its human touch. That’s the conclusion of trading and foreign-exchange heads surveyed by the organizers of the TradeTech FX conference in Miami. Of the 100 North America-based respondents, 94 said they aimed to automate more of their foreign-exchange trading operations in the next three years.

AP Top Stories

The presidents of South Korea and the United States agreed Tuesday to completely remove the limit on the payload of South Korean ballistic missiles and discuss Seoul’s introduction of nuclear-powered submarines and other advanced weapons, Seoul officials said.

Tesla is moving to turn around its output challenges with the Model 3, with a new acquisition reported by Bloomberg of a supplier whose focus is on automating production.

Saudi Arabia says Lebanon has declared war because of what it calls Hezbollah’s acts of aggression against it. It’s a dramatic escalation of a regional crisis that threatens to destabilise Lebanon.

If reports from in country are accurate, it appears that the North Korean people in the area are paying a high price for the regime’s nuclear ambitions.

The United States said Monday it is resuming limited visa services in Turkey, following an almost month-long suspension in a diplomatic row between the two NATO allies.

A debate over whether to bury Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed body remains on display on Red Square, has risen again and even led to a stabbing ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. The ruling party has tried to play down Tuesday’s centennial as the antithesis of Vladimir Putin’s tenets of stability and traditional values.

At least 17 people were killed after dozens of masked militants stormed a Yemeni government security compound yesterday, sparking a gun battle that continued into the night.

It’s unclear whether Tiffany & Co. is trolling or fishing for press, but they’re definitely succeeding with the latter. The line is described on the company’s website as a collection that “transforms utilitarian items into handcrafted works of art.” It features a $1,500 Sterling silver coffee can, a $9,000 ball of yarn, and $350 straw.

Officials say Offutt Air Force Base, south of Omaha, has expanded its defenses against drones and can stop any that venture within its boundaries of airspace.

BBC

The US has announced that in January 2019 it will terminate a program which gave Nicaraguan immigrants protection from deportation.

People with malaria give off a distinctive “breath-print” that could be used as a test for the disease, according to American scientists. The test was reasonably good at detecting cases in children, but needs developing to become a routine device.

Panic has gripped the Indian capital, Delhi, as residents woke up to a blanket of thick grey smog on Tuesday. Visibility is poor as pollution levels reached 30 times the World Health Organization’s recommended limit in some areas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for elite soldiers in a new force – the National Guard – to protect the country’s regional governors.

WND

Wall Street is bracing for more signs of the retail apocalypse this week when Macy’s and Nordstrom (JWN) detail the latest pain from the loss of mall shoppers who’ve migrated online. Worse than slumping sales, department stores are likely to paint a gloomy picture about their busiest and most critical time of the year.

The Zika virus, which caused a panic in Miami last summer, is back, but only in the form of one sexually transmitted case caused by a mosquito bite in another country, the Florida Department of Health reported on Friday.


News – 11/7/2017

Arm the churches, Minnesota preacher says
In wake of Texas shooting, Rev. Robert Bakke tells pastors to stop teaching weakness. The only answer to the Texas church shooting is for houses of worship to arm themselves, said a Minnesota preacher who also has a black belt in Shotokan karate. “This is not about gun control, rental trucks or fertilizer bombs. It is about evil, and you will never stop evil because it is in the world,” said Rev. Robert Bakke. “But you can deter a coward by letting him know you have plenty of firepower on the premises.”

German Army Prepares For “Break-Up Of European Union” Or Worse…
The future projection describes a world in which the international order erodes after “decades of instability”, the value systems worldwide diverge and globalization is stopped. “The EU enlargement has been largely abandoned, other states have left the community Europe has lost its global competitiveness,” write the Bundeswehr strategists: “The increasingly disorderly, sometimes chaotic and conflict-prone world has dramatically changed the security environment of Germany and Europe.”

Saudi mass arrests jolt markets, play to ire over corruption
Most major Gulf stock markets slid early on Tuesday on jitters about Saudi Arabia’s sweeping anti-graft purge, a campaign seen by critics as a populist power grab but by ordinary Saudis as an overdue attack on the sleaze of a moneyed ultra-elite. But some analysts see the arrests as the latest in a string of moves shifting power from a consensus-based system dispersing authority among the ruling Al Saud to a governing structure centered around 32-year-old Prince Mohammed himself.

Putin, wary of political tumult, shuns Russian Revolution centenary
Vladimir Putin stayed away from events marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution on Tuesday, an event that changed the world but has awkward associations for the former KGB operative who was trained to keep a lid on dissent, not celebrate it.

Early Comey memo accuses Clinton of ‘gross negligence,’ a federal felony – report
New memos presented to Congress show former FBI director James Comey initially accused ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of “gross negligence” in her handling of classified information, a crime punishable by imprisonment, according to a new report. In an early draft statement on the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, the FBI reportedly said there was evidence that she and her team were “grossly negligent” in handling classified information, The Hill reported Monday. The Senate Judiciary Committee reportedly sent a letter to current FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday, demanding the FBI to reveal who was behind the changes.

Saudi Arabia says Lebanon has declared war against its kingdom
Saudi Arabia accused Lebanon on Monday of declaring war against it because of aggression by the Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, a dramatic escalation of a crisis threatening to destabilize the tiny Arab country. Lebanon has been thrust to the center of regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran since the Saudi-allied Lebanese politician Saad al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Saturday, blaming Iran and Hezbollah in his resignation speech.

Saudi Crown Prince: Iran supply of rockets is military aggression
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said Iran’s supply of rockets to militias in Yemen is an act of “direct military aggression” that could be an act of war, state media reported on Tuesday, remarks reflecting sharply heightened strains between Riyadh and Tehran.

Moderate earthquake, 5.7 mag has occurred near Lambasa in Fiji
A moderate earthquake with magnitude 5.7 (ml/mb) was reported 261 km ESE of Lambasa, Fiji (162 miles) on Monday. The epicenter was at a depth of 554.72 km (345 miles). A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist).

WOW! Journalists Suspected Of Taking Bribes To Spread “Russian Collusion” Fake News
The House Intelligence Committee suspects journalists may have been paid to report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama hid al-Qaida threat, Iran link
The killing of America’s archenemy, Osama bin Laden, by a Navy SEAL team in 2011 was a campaign coup for Barack Obama, who hailed it during his reelection bid as proof that the U.S. had al-Qaida “on the run.” But the 470,000 files recovered from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound – released only this month by the CIA – tell a much different story, documenting al-Qaida’s global strength as well as its relationship with Iran prior to the Obama administration’s nuclear pact with the mullah-led regime.

First Comey Memo Concluded Hillary Was “Grossly Negligent,” Punishable By Jail
According to a new report from The Hill, early drafts of former FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s email case accused the former Secretary of State of “gross negligence” in her handling of classified information as opposed to the “extremely careless” phrase that made its way into the final statement.

Blaming Iran, Saudi says Huthi strike may be ‘act of war’
Saudi Arabia and Iran traded fierce accusations over Yemen on Monday, with Riyadh saying a rebel missile attack “may amount to an act of war” and Tehran accusing its rival of war crimes.

Pope Francis to Urge Priests to ‘Find Wives’ to Fight Pedophile Epidemic
Pope Francis has raised the prospect of allowing married men to become priests in a bid to tackle the pedophile epidemic amongst clerics.

White House Prepares Executive Order to Weaken Obamacare
President Donald Trump’s White House staff have prepared an executive order that would weaken the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, The Washington Examiner reports.

First In Israel: Surgery That Removes Shaking Due To Parkinson’s Disease
In a medical breakthrough, a treatment has been found to treat Parkinson’s disease. In a rare procedure, brain surgery was performed to treat Parkinson’s and its subsequent shaking via ultrasound waves.

FBI Raided Muslims’ House In Virginia – Walked In On Final Step Of America’s Worst Nightmare
The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic 30-year plan for taking over America from within was a closely-guarded secret until the FBI raided a house in Annandale, Virginia, where agents found a disturbing bundle of documents containing a blueprint for the Muslim takeover of our country. Now that the cat is out of the bag, we must do everything in our power to expose what’s going on, as startlingly, these American-hating vermin are in the final phase of their 5-step plan to destroy our country.

Muslims Fleeing Town In Droves After What Fed-Up Mayor Just Made It Legal For People Do To Them
…Knowing that his city is on ISIS’ target as terrorism begins to rapidly escalate across Europe, the mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnar, isn’t taking any chances of Muslims launching an attack in his city. He just issued a formal warning that anyone heard yelling “Allahu Akbar” on the streets will be shot dead on sight.

Newborn Babies Dying En Masse in Flint Due To Manmade Water Crisis
Women from the largely low income and black community told Rewire News they now believe that the poisoned water contributed to their recent miscarriages.

SHAMEFUL: UN Launches ‘Unprecedented’ $1.3 Billion Legal Campaign Against Israel, in Latest Bid to Destroy Jewish State
The United Nations has earmarked some $1.3 billion to fund Palestinian legal campaigns against Israel and to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state, in what experts are calling an unprecedented act singling out the Jewish state at the world body.

Podesta Didn’t File FARA For Uranium One
Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, represented the Russian-owned company Uranium One during former President Barack Obama’s administration and did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, The Daily Caller News Foundation has determined.

November 7, 2017
WES VERNON — This column, in reviewing the enemy’s century-old (at least) effort to take over the United States, has tried to shine the light on those who would bring America down, whether from afar or from within. Their nefarious efforts could rid the globe once and for all of U.S. influence in the cause of freedom…. (more)

November 7, 2017
ALAN KEYES — It has now been a year since Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election. Though I long supported many of the policies he eventually claimed as his own during his campaign, I was not one of the Trumpeters, confidently proclaiming that he was the changed man, chosen of God to “make America great again.”… (more)

November 7, 2017
JOAN SWIRSKY — “…The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Joseph Stalin, 1923 On Tuesday, American voters will once again go to the polls hoping that the candidate(s) they vote for will fulfill what should be their one and only mission, i.e., to serve the needs of We the People…. (more)

November 6, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — A former National Rifle Association instructor has come forward as the “good Samaritan” who shot and wounded the gunman who attacked the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Stephen Willeford, 55, has been hailed as a hero for confronting the shooter and forcing him to flee, but he insisted in an interview Monday that “I’m no hero.”… (more)


November 6, 2017
CNN — Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas Baptist church, suffered three gunshot wounds, including a self-inflicted shot to the head, Texas authorities said Monday…. (more)

November 6, 2017

NEWSMAX — The gunman who slaughtered 26 people at a Texas church was able to buy weapons because the Air Force failed to report his domestic-violence conviction to the federal database that is used to conduct background checks on would-be gun purchasers, authorities said Monday…. (more)


November 6, 2017

DAILY MAIL — New details about the Texas church shooter paint the picture of a menacing bully, who was prone to violent outbursts and had a disturbing interest in teen girls. Public records detail Devin Patrick Kelley’s history of physical abuse – including arrests for animal cruelty and domestic violence…. (more)


November 6, 2017
FOX NEWS — Shocked former classmates who attended middle and high school with Texas church gunman Devin Patrick Kelley described him Monday as being heavily medicated and someone who kept to himself – – despite a deluge of posts on his apparent Facebook profile about weapons and atheism…. (more)

November 6, 2017
NEWSMAX — Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday hailed the bravery of an “ordinary citizen” who tried to thwart a deranged shooter during his killing spree at a small-town church – – and berated the media for asking about gun control and “politicizing” the tragedy…. (more)

November 6, 2017

THE BLAZE — Matt Drudge, founder of the famed Drudge Report, doesn’t tweet much and keeps a very low profile on the internet. But when he does tweet, his statements usually make a very large impact. Saturday was no different…. (more)


November 6, 2017
NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump’s White House staff have prepared an executive order that would weaken the requirement that all Americans have health insurance, The Washington Examiner reports…. (more)

November 6, 2017
ROBERT KNIGHT — The deadly Islamic terrorist truck attack in New York City on Halloween exposed a caldron of issues, from national security to immigration policy. But it’s about much more than that. The attack and its aftermath have shone a light on the left’s campaign to radically transform America through cultural Marxism. That’s the revolutionary philosophy that aims to cure inequality by destroying traditional Western culture. This includes massive, unrestricted immigration…. (more)

November 6, 2017

WASHINGTON TIMES — A gunman wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest killed 26 congregants Sunday at a small South Texas church, fled after being shot at by a local man, and died a short time later as his car veered off the road and crashed. The shooting, the worst in state history, left Texans stunned by the extent of the carnage and the unlikely location, a tiny First Baptist Church in the remote town of Sutherland Springs, population 683…. (more)


November 6, 2017
NEWSMAX — Texas authorities are offering more details about the timeline of a deadly church shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a community 30 miles southeast of San Antonio…. (more)

November 6, 2017
MY SAN ANTONIO — As emergency responders rushed into Sutherland Springs following the state’s deadliest shooting, two men were headed the opposite direction – chasing after the suspected shooter…. (more)

November 6, 2017
NEWSMAX — South Korea announced new unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang – – the first under President Moon Jae-In – – on Monday, a day before US President Donald Trump arrives in Seoul on an Asian tour dominated by the North’s nuclear programme…. (more)

November 6, 2017
BOWLING GREEN DAILY NEWS — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has five rib fractures and lung contusions as a result of an apparent assault Friday by a neighbor at Paul’s home in Bowling Green, a spokesman for Kentucky’s junior senator said Sunday…. (more)

November 6, 2017

CBS SPORTS — Saturday night, former Dodgers announcer and Hall of Famer Vin Scully was at the Pasadena Civic Center for an event called “An Evening With Vin Scully.” At some point during the event, Scully was asked about the NFL’s national anthem protests, in which players have taken a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality and racism. Scully said he “will never watch another NFL game” because of the protests…. (more)


November 5, 2017
CBS NEWS — President Trump paid a solemn visit Friday to Pearl Harbor and its memorial to the USS Arizona, a hallowed place he said he had read about, discussed and studied but had never visited until just before opening his first official visit to Asia, the longest trip to the continent by a sitting president in more than 25 years…. (more)

November 4, 2017

NY DAILY NEWS — They say they want a revolution. Hundreds of protesters calling on President Trump to resign took to the streets of Manhattan on Saturday – – beginning their day with a rally in Times Square and a plan to force the commander-in-chief from office. “One of the things we say is we need to make a wake up call,” said co-organizer Luis Barrios, 65…. (more)


November 4, 2017

REUTERS — U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl on Friday was spared prison time for endangering fellow troops when he deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009, but a military judge ordered he should be dishonorably discharged from the service…. (more)


November 4, 2017
INDEPENDENT SENTINEL — During an interview on Fox News with Tucker Carlson, an attorney for the Las Vegas victims of Stephen Paddock revealed that not only did police officers respond to the Mandalay security guard Jesus Campos after he was shot, they were right outside of Paddock’s door before he began shooting out of his hotel room window…. (more)

November 2, 2017

DONNA BRAZILE — Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call. I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested…. (more)


November 2, 2017

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump on Thursday tapped Fed Governor Jerome Powell to become head of the U.S. central bank, promoting a soft-spoken centrist to replace Janet Yellen when her term expires in February 2018…. (more)


November 2, 2017

USA TODAY — Despite railing against the Republican establishment during his primary campaign, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore came to Washington on Tuesday to address the GOP senators he hopes will be his future colleagues…. (more)


MID-DAY SNAPSHOT

NOV. 7, 2017

The Truth About the Texas Attack

The NRA isn’t to blame. In fact, a former NRA instructor with an AR-15 stopped the attack.

THE FOUNDATION

“Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: November 7

  • U.S. Allies Fear Trump Will Pull a Nixon in China (Read More)
  • Partisan Tensions Flare as GOP Revises Tax Bill (Read More)
  • Tax Overhaul Faces Major Hurdles (Read More)
  • Multinationals Scurry to Defuse House Tax Bill’s ‘Atomic Bomb’ (Read More)
  • Parties Watch New Jersey, Virginia Votes for Wider Signals (Read More)
  • Trump Softens Tone on North Korea, Urges Deal on Nuclear Weapons  (Read More)
  • Saudi Crackdown Widens as More Bank Accounts Said Frozen (Read More)
  • Texas Gunman’s Violent Past Didn’t Prevent Him From Buying Guns (Read More)
  • New Delhi pollution hits dangerous level, putting runners at risk  (Read More)
  • Amazon’s Price Left Alleged Trail of Harassment (Read More)
  • Broadcom Bid Marks Upheaval in Chip Industry (Read More)
  • Trump’s Longtime Bodyguard Schiller Faces Russia Probe Scrutiny (Read More)
  • Chinese fans prepare to welcome rich, powerful, ‘free-spirit’ Trump (Read More)
  • ‘Buy Bitcoin’ Overtakes ‘Buy Gold’ as Online Search Phrase (Read More)
  • Tesla Learned About Dyson’s Secret Car Plans Two Years Early (Read More)

Featured Blogs


Headlines – 11/7/2017

Sisi reiterates commitment to Israeli-Palestinian peace during Abbas visit

Not just Gush Katif: Settlers sue state for compensation

Israel to clear mines from over 15 acres to expand West Bank settlement

Netanyahu promises to ‘bring our boys home,’ rejects demand to return terrorists’ bodies

‘No free gifts,’ Netanyahu tells Hamas on return of bodies

Israeli army calls for Gaza ‘Marshall Plan’ to thwart takeover by forces more extreme than Hamas

ADL reports 67% hike in US anti-Semitic incidents

Iraq Federal Court rules no region can secede after Kurdish independence bid

Iraqi Kurds’ Independence Vote Exposed Risks to Energy Strategy

Trump praises Saudi corruption purge, claiming targets are ‘milking’ kingdom

Caroline Glick: Saudi purges and duty to act

Abbas heads to Riyadh for impromptu meeting with Saudi rulers

Saudi FM accuses Hezbollah of missile launched at Riyadh

UN halts clearances for ships heading to Yemen

New Allies: Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Report: Israel aligns with Saudis against Iran in Lebanon

Lebanon president urges unity after PM Hariri quits, toppling coalition of sectarian groups

Amid intrigue, Saudi king receives Lebanon’s outgoing PM

Saudi minister: We will treat Lebanese govt as ‘declaring war’ on Saudi Arabia

Saudi says reserves right to respond to Iran ‘hostile actions’

Saudi minister: Lebanon becoming ‘platform for terrorism’ is unacceptable

Iran foreign minister says Kushner to blame for Lebanon crisis

Kerry defends Iran deal, says ‘extraordinarily dangerous’ to scrap it

Trump extends 36-year state of emergency with Iran

UN condemns violence in Myanmar forcing Rohingyas to flee

Trump seeks billions of dollars to counter North Korean missiles

Trump says US will arm Japan to knock down N. Korea missiles

Japan’s Abe: North Korea Shows ‘Dialogue for the Purpose of Dialogue is Meaningless’

China Deports Hundreds of South Korean Christians Helping North Korean Defectors

Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through Kushner associate

Howard Dean Expects Jared Kushner To Be Indicted For Money Laundering

Comey draft statement on Clinton emails called her actions ‘grossly negligent,’ new memos show

Air Force didn’t report Texas shooter’s domestic-violence conviction to federal database, allowing him to buy guns

Texas church shooter killed grandmother-in-law during shooting, reports say

Secret Service: Man who reportedly traveled to DC to kill ‘all white police’ at White House arrested

German army ‘plans for break up of the European Union’ in war game scenario

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near the Banda Sea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Poas volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 10,000ft

Typhoon death toll in Vietnam climbs amid widespread floods

New tropical depression to lash Thailand, Myanmar into midweek

Tropical Storm Rina forms in the central Atlantic

US will continue participation in climate talks

Jerry Brown: World Needs ‘Brain Washing’ on Climate Change

US ‘doesn’t give a crap’ about Mexico sewage spills sickening Calif. beachgoers, critics say

Beware radioactive wild boars: Hunters in Sweden concerned about Chernobyl’s frightening legacy

Canadian doctors face questions over assisted suicide, euthanasia for minors

Red Cross: $6 Million Meant to Fight Ebola Was Stolen Through Fraud

Mumps Makes a Comeback, Even Among the Vaccinated

Australia gonorrhoea cases surge 63%

1st Sexually Transmitted Zika Case Confirmed In Miami-Dade

Weinstein allegedly paid ‘army’ of investigators, ex-Mossad agents to keep actresses, journalists from revealing predatory behavior

Billy Graham Set to Mark 99th Birthday; Son Franklin Gives Update on Health, Plans for 100th Year

Bethel Teaches to Declare God is in a Good Mood and Other Insanities

Does Jesus love you more if you send your pastor a thousand bucks?

Should we take our kids to see ‘The Star’ film?

God’s Help and Comfort Through It All

Texas Gunman Was Atheist Who Taught Vacation Bible School

Atheist Immigrant Sues Gov’t to Remove ‘So Help Me God’ in US Citizenship Oath

Former Abortionist Turned Pro-Life OB/GYN Tells Congressional Committee: ‘I Am a Mass Murderer’

Transgender Makeup Artist Leads Thousands of Occultists in Monthly Hexes on Trump

Sam Storms – Replacement Theology or Inclusion Theology?

The difference between apostolic gift vs apostolic office and how to recognize NAR apostles; C. Peter Wagner

What Does Russell Moore and These Leftist God-Haters Have in Common? More Than You Might Expect…

Lysa TerKeurst coming to Athens. Do not go to see her

Update: Tennessee Baptists Kick Out Church with Lady Impastor

Labyrinths Have Found Their Place in the Christian Church

Destiny Church accused of stalling over charity status

Florida church changes sign after message misinterpreted as sexual

Christians Targeted: 26 Dead in Texas Church Shooting

Hindu Extremists Beat Pastor Unconscious in Southern India Following Conversions Among Banjaras

90,000 Christians Killed in 2016, 1 Every 6 Minutes: Study

Secret Service arrest man near White House targeting ‘all white police’

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:18 PM PST

A man who was arrested Monday in Washington, D.C. allegedly traveled to the nation’s capital to kill “all white police” at the White House. Michael Arega, of Dallas, Texas, was arrested Monday afternoon after the Secret Service Protective Intelligence Division received an alert just before 3 p.m. from the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department to be on the lookout for Arega. He reportedly traveled

from Texas to kill “all white police” at the White House, according to a statement from the U.S. Secret Service. Secret Service at the White House searched for Arega until he was arrested without incident around an hour later. He was found on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue near Lafayette Park. Arega was brought to the Metropolitan Police Department and is awaiting charges. MORE

Sexually transmitted case of Zika confirmed in Florida

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:12 PM PST

The Zika virus, which caused a panic in Miami last summer, is back, but only in the form of one sexually transmitted case caused by a mosquito bite in another country, the Florida Department of Health reported on Friday. Although the patient has not recently traveled, officials said his or her partner had just traveled to several countries, including Cuba, which is still battling the mosquito-borne virus. The

couple lives in Miami-Dade County, but the health department did not specify where. Both partners tested positive for Zika. Though there is no evidence of ongoing, active transmission of Zika anywhere in Florida, officials are warning Floridians to take precautions if they or their partners have recently traveled. “If the department identifies an area where ongoing, active transmission of Zika is taking place, we will notify the public immediately,” the department said. CONTINUE

RUMORS OF WAR: Is Saudi Arabia Heading For War With Iran?

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:02 PM PST

(By Michael Snyder) Is a major war in the Middle East looming on the horizon?  Most of us living in the western world simply do not realize how much Saudi Arabia and Iran truly hate one another.  Saudi Arabia is the global center for Sunni Islam, and Iran is the global center for Shia Islam, and the two major sects of Islam have a history of bad blood that literally goes back for over a thousand years.  The Saudis and the Iranians are already engaged in “proxy wars” in Syria and in Yemen, and now a missile that was fired at Riyadh’s international airport threatens to turn the conflict between the two regional powers into a hot war. If you

are tempted to think that I am exaggerating one bit, just consider what the New York Times is saying about this… Saudi Arabia charged Monday that Iran had committed “a blatant act of military aggression” by providing its Yemeni allies with a missile fired at the Saudi capital over the weekend, raising the threat of a direct military clash between the two regional heavyweights. The accusations represent a new peak in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran at a time when they are already fighting proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, as well as battles for political power in Iraq and Lebanon. And Yahoo is reporting that the Saudis are saying that this missile attack “may amount to an act of war”… CONTINUE

U.S. to launch drill with three carriers as Trump visits Asia

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 05:57 PM PST

Three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups will exercise together in the Western Pacific in the coming days in a rare show of force as President Donald Trump visits Asia with warnings about the nuclear threat from North Korea, U.S. officials say.  U.S. officials have previously said the drill was under consideration and that planning was underway. The decision to soon go forward with the exercise in the Western Pacific has not been previously published. The drill will include the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz, the

Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and their accompanying warships. Three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have not exercised together in the region since 2007. The four officials who discussed the drill with Reuters spoke on condition of anonymity and did not disclose the precise date or location of the exercise. The Pentagon and the Navy’s Pacific Fleet declined to comment on future operations. Reuters was not aware of any plans for Trump to visit the carriers. READ MORE

Pastor Rick Warren On Whether Homosexuality Is A Sin

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 02:04 PM PST

Pastor Rick Warren, the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, in Lake Forest, California recently conducted an interview on the Piers Morgan show and was asked about homosexuality and whether or not it is a sin and here was his response:

 

They Lost a Child, Grandchild and Great-Grandchildren During TX Church Massacre — Here’s Their Powerful Response

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 01:51 PM PST

Joe and Claryce Holcombe lost nine family members during Sunday’s horrific mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, but, despite the unimaginable carnage, the couple are remaining firm and resolute in their Christian faith.  The extent of the impact that the event had on the Holcombe family is both staggering and unfathomable, as the elderly couple lost their son,

Bryan Holcombe, and his wife, Karla, in addition to their grandson, Marc Daniel Holcombe, as well as his baby daughter — and their great-granddaughter — Noah. They also lost Crystal Holcombe, the wife of their grandson, John Holcombe, three of their great-grandchildren — Emily, Megan and Greg — and the unborn baby Crystal was carrying, who was reportedly due to be born in April; John Holcombe and two additional children survived. MORE

Madagascar Plague Cases Rise 37 percent in 5 days

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 12:32 PM PST

The Plague epidemic sweeping across Madagascar has reached crisis point after cases of the deadly disease soared by 37 percent in just five days, officials figures revealed last week.  The outbreak has been dubbed “the worst in 50 years” after the number of suspected cases rocketed to 1,801 – up from 1,309 last week, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

At least 127 deaths have been recorded as Madagascar enters peak epidemic season, which began in November and lasts until April and is when cases of plague are usually recorded. The World Bank has released an extra £3.8million ($5million) to tackle the deadly plague outbreak in Madagascar. Madagascar’s finance and budget minister, Vonintsalama Andriambololona, welcomed the World Bank’s decision. READ MORE

Retail Apocalypse Picks Up Steam!

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 12:18 PM PST

More trouble in mall land: Wall Street is bracing for more signs of the retail apocalypse this week when Macy’s and Nordstrom (JWN) detail the latest pain from the loss of mall shoppers who’ve migrated online. Worse than slumping sales, department stores are likely to paint a gloomy picture about their busiest and most critical time of the year. Morgan Stanley recently warned that sales will outright decline during the holiday quarter at both Macy’s (M) and Nordstrom. The obvious reason for shrinking

sales is that fewer and fewer Americans are heading to the malls to do their Christmas shopping. Instead of battling the crowds, they’re finding great deals and more convenience on Amazon and elsewhere online. Not only is online shopping growing more popular, but Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) is becoming an increasingly-powerful player, despite serious efforts by Walmart (WMT) and other traditional retailers to catch up. Boosted by innovations like Alexa and its Dash buttons, Amazon is expected to capture 35% of total e-commerce sales during the fourth quarter, according to Morgan Stanley. That’s up from about 20% in early 2016.  MORE

 

 

US warships, bombers, missiles and 80,000 soldiers ready and waiting for war!

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:59 AM PST

North Korea is nearly totally surrounded by a wall of US warships, bombers, and missiles with more than 80,000 soldiers on alert as Donald Trump heads for Asia. The US President is jetting into the Pacific this week for a whistle-stop tour of the nations surrounding North Korea. Trump will be popping in for one-on-one meetings with the leaders of China, South Korea, and Japan – with Kim Jong-un’s nukes right at the top of the agenda.

At his back with what looks to be the world’s largest military war machine – poised to strike should the crisis go south with North Korea. He visited the US Pacific Command just days ago – who will oversee every single vessel, plane, and soldier sitting in a ring of steel around Kim. Daily Star Online can now reveal the monstrous arsenal at Trump’s fingertips as he faces down North Korea. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: Kim ready to send message to Trump, May Launch Largest Missile Yet

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:52 AM PST

North Korea is feared to be ready for missile test tonight in a final warning to Donald Trump as he arrives on Kim’s doorstep.   Trump will bet jetting into South Korea today on his tour of Asia – set for a one-on-one chat with President Moon Jae-in.  The US President will be in Seoul, which is just 35 miles from the border with North Korea and just 120 miles from the capital Pyongyang. Spooks now fear the

rogue state will be planning a massive missile launch to send a message to Trump as he gets the closest he has ever been to Kim. Missile movements have been detected across North Korea, while US and South Korean spy planes have been working overtime as they try to sniff out what Kim is up to.  War fears have reached an all-time high this year as the two powers square-up to each other promising nuclear annihilation.  READ MORE

Homeless explosion on West Coast pushing cities to brink…

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:46 AM PST

Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians, and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do. “I’ve got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I’ve got thousands of homeless people that actually are

working and just can’t afford housing,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien. “There’s nowhere for these folks to move to.” That struggle is not Seattle’s alone. A homeless crisis is rocking the entire West Coast, pushing abject poverty into the open like never before. Public health is at risk, several cities have declared states of emergency, and cities and counties are spending millions — in some cases billions — in a search for solutions. MORE

Hindu Extremists Savagely Beat Pastor After 5 Families Convert to Christianity

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:38 AM PST

A group of drunken Hindu nationalists brutally beat a 26-year-old pastor in southern India who had been falsely accused of “forcibly” converting five families. It was an attempt to murder, the victim’s wife says. Pastor Banothu Sevya was in a coma for two days following the attack by masked men near Jamandlapalli village in Telangana state last month while he was returning from a prayer meeting on a motorcycle, Morning Star News reported Sunday. “They pushed me off the bike and started beating me

with sticks and kicking me,” the pastor was quoted as saying. “My nose and ears were bleeding. I lost my consciousness.” Local rightwing Hindus had threatened and warned the pastor against “converting” tribal families in his village. “Most Banjaras (aboriginals) say they get afflicted by evil spirits,” the pastor explained. “They want them to be sent away. Some want to be healed, some need the Lord’s help in their pursuits to get educated. I share the gospel and pray for them. We witnessed the Lord doing miracles among them. He does not forsake anyone who comes to Him.” CONTINUE

Atheist Immigrant Sues Gov’t to Remove ‘So Help Me God’ in US Citizenship Oath

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:33 AM PST

A French national and green card holder who lives in Massachusetts has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government over its citizenship oath, which ends with “so help me God.” In her lawsuit, Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, an atheist and a resident of Scituate, claims she wants to become an American citizen but she can’t do so because the oath requires her to say those four words, according

to MassLive.com.  “By its very nature, an oath that concludes ‘so help me God’ is asserting that God exists,” says the lawsuit. “Accordingly, the current oath violates the first 10 words of the Bill of Rights, and to participate in a ceremony which violates that key portion of the United States Constitution is not supporting or defending the Constitution as the oath demands.” CONTINUE

Powerful Sermon Sutherland Springs Pastor Delivered Just Days Before Horrific Mass Killing at His Church

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 11:27 AM PST

Just one week before a horrific mass shooting devastated First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Pastor Frank Pomeroy had a stirring message for his congregation.  Pomeroy, who was not at the church during the shooting on Sunday, certainly had no idea just how pertinent his message — titled, “You Don’t Need Training Wheels, You Need Christ!” and based on Proverbs 3 — would be when he

delivered it on Oct. 29, just days before the mass shooting. Citing Proverbs 3:5, which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding,” Pomeroy encouraged his congregation to focus on God while navigating life’s storms.“You’re going to have ups, you’re going to have downs, you’re going to have curves, you’re going to have speed you’re going to have slow,” he said, encouraging parishioners to trust God through it all.  READ MORE

Harry Connick Jr. Boldly Professes His Faith, ‘I Want to Do God’s Will’

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:44 AM PST

Singer, actor, and talk show host Harry Connick, Jr., says God is the foundation for everything he does. “If I had three wishes I want to do God’s will, I want to do God’s will, I want to do God’s will,” he told Matthew Faraci during an interview on the Dove Channel. While some may view doing God’s will as boring or unexciting, Connick believes it gives him more creativity and energy. “I just want to do what

I’m supposed to do and for me, knowing that that is the premise on which everything is built, it allows me to be childlike. It allows me to be spontaneous and more creative.” Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the country and has reached chart-topping success with multiple jazz albums. He made a quick name for himself in the music industry back in the ’90s. From there, he got into movies and television, and onto Broadway. READ MORE

Teenage Girls Turn to Prostitution to Fight Starvation in Venezuela

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:37 AM PST

A growing number of young girls in Venezuela are turning to prostitution in exchange for food as the crisis-stricken country’s humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. A report from the American Spanish-language channel Telemundo recounts a 13-year-old girl’s experience of the sex trade. “Neither my

mother nor my father can give me the things I need, such as food or school necessities,” the girl said. “Now what we need is food, you know, you wake up with nothing to eat,” another child prostitute said. “I’ve been two weeks just eating plantains and with nothing—boiled plantains, fried plantains, boiled plantains, with nothing. So what am I going to do? Get to work.”  MORE

Australia struck by giant hail, unseasonal snow and destructive winds

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:33 AM PST

A severe weather anomaly swept across New South Wales, Australia on November 6, 2017. Two people were sent to hospital after a roof collapsed due to intense rain, giant hail and destructive winds across NSW. Unseasonal snow also reported. Some describe the storm as the most severe hailstorm experienced in 30 years in the area. The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe thunderstorm warnings, a

marine wind warning and hazardous surf warning for Monday over the North West Slopes and Plains, parts of the Upper Hunter and inland parts of the Mid-North Coast, NSW. Officials also warned of “giant hail and destructive winds” with thunderstorms for the whole Monday mostly from Port Macquarie, Taree, Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, Walgett to Lightning Ridge. MORE

Should All Churches In America Have Armed Security?

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:26 AM PST

(By Michael Snyder) The mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday morning is already being called the deadliest church shooting in modern U.S. history, and we need to be in prayer for the victims and for their families.  At about 11:30 AM, a heavily armed man entered the sanctuary and began shooting.  At this point it is being reported that “at least 27 people have been killed” and at least another 30 have been injured.  Tragically, reports indicate that several small children are among

those that were murdered. As I write this, we are still waiting to hear from authorities about a motive.  We do know that the gunman is dead, but we haven’t been given any information about his identity. But whatever the motive was, this just goes to show that something like this could literally happen anywhere.  Only about 400 people live in Sutherland Springs, and I am sure that nobody ever expected something like this to happen on a Sunday morning… At least 27 people have been killed and 30 people have been injured in a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. CONTINUE

Mumps Makes a Comeback, Even Among the Vaccinated

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:15 AM PST

If you think you’ve been seeing mumps in the news more often in the past couple of years, you’re absolutely right. “Mumps outbreaks are on the rise,” said Dr. Janell Routh, a pediatrician who is a medical officer on the mumps team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 6,000 cases of mumps were reported in the United States last year, the highest number in 10 years. Around 2010, total annual cases were down in the hundreds.

Most of the recent cases occurred in outbreaks, including a large one in Arkansas, rather than as a sporadic here-a-case, there-a-case disease. And most of the outbreaks were among people 18 to 22 years old, most of whom had had the requisite two doses of mumps vaccine in childhood. “We are seeing it in a young and highly vaccinated population,” Dr. Routh said. READ MORE

The No. 1 Lie People Tell Themselves About Pornography

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:12 AM PST

One of the greatest lies men tell themselves when viewing pornography is that it isn’t hurting anyone else. The truth is that the pornography industry regularly exploits the women and children used in its making. Over 620,000 child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. More than 30 percent of the searches conducted in one adult pornography network were related to child sexual abuse. In their analysis of over 80 million child pornography images since 2002, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found that 1 in 6 of runaways reported in 2016 were likely sex-trafficking victims.

This means these children were likely involved in either the adult entertainment industry (pornography) or sex trafficking. These telling statistics also reveal many “porn stars” are involved against their own will. A common practice is to “groom” women through online ads luring them to serve in an escort service. A trafficker or “madam” (female leader of trafficking victims) then continues to push the victim toward a one-time and then ongoing role in prostitution, pornography filming or a combination of these practices. READ MORE

Four Mideast Conflicts to Watch

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 06:04 AM PST

Islamic State is making a last stand in Iraq and Syria. But the region will not rest with the group’s defeat, and is gearing up for a war for influence among the regional and international players that were drawn into conflict with the radical militants. A sign of the escalating tensions emerged in Lebanon on

Saturday, when Prime Minister Saad Hariri abruptly announced his resignation, blaming Iran in an announcement from Saudi Arabia, its rival for regional hegemony. “Now the real war starts, after the players stop fighting their common enemy, Islamic State,” said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs. Here are potential conflicts to keep an eye on: MORE

Markets hit highs not seen since Black Tuesday

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 05:59 AM PST

A boom in stock market valuations on either side of the Atlantic have sparked fears of an imminent financial crash. There is a growing sense of foreboding amongst economists who believe the market is poised to repeat what happened during the dotcom bubble and the Wall Street crash.  Stock values have reached levels not seen since those two disasters and a correction would throw the world economy –

currently seeing an ongoing boom period – into disarray. Graham Hacche at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said:“In both cases, sharp market ­declines followed these high readings.”He went onto say the cyclically adjusted price-earning ratio (the Shiller CAPE ratio) has risen above 30 which shows “markets may have become increasingly vulnerable to shocks.”  READ MORE

Has This Evil Trend Sneaked Into Your Home and Trapped Your Teen?

Posted: 06 Nov 2017 05:52 AM PST

What are your teens reading these days? You really should find out. Especially if they’re into the newest trend in young adult fiction. For the first decade or so of the 21st century, the hottest trend in young adult fiction was dystopian novels. Book series like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent sold tens of millions of copies, were turned into successful film franchises and spawned so many imitators that the genre became, as Vox.com put it, a cliché.

While there are still plenty of young adult dystopians being written, a new genre seems to be emerging—one that will make us look back on the young adult dystopia boom as the “good old days.” That genre is teen suicide. In a recent article in Vox, Constance Grady pointed out that young adult dystopias have been “a license to print money” for publishers. Though there are many theories about why the genre exploded, virtually everyone agrees that the popularity of the books, like pop culture in general, reflects the readers’ concerns and moods. 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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Albert Mohler Blog: “Tragedy in Texas: Christian Testimony in the Face of Evil”

In this essay, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. reflects on the recent tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Mohler writes:

“Christians have learned that sometimes we have to wait for an answer, and sometimes that wait goes beyond any answer we can get in this life. Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of the 19th century in London stated this beautifully: ‘When we cannot trace God’s hand, we are simply to trust his heart.'”

Click Here to Read More

Barna Update | How Faith Influences Military Service

As Americans prepare to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces on Veterans Day (November 11), new Barna data explores the presence of faith in the military. The study, in partnership with American Bible Society, reveals a military made up of men and women who think positively of Christians, welcome the Bible’s influence and are shaped by their profession.

Read more

Does Jesus love you more if you send your pastor a thousand bucks?

In an interview on CNN, Costi Hinn, nephew of televangelist Benny Hinn, explains what changed his mind about heretical Word of Faith/prosperity/health & wealth teaching and why he now believes that, as a child, he was introduced to false teaching. Costi is now an outspoken critic of the prosperity gospel and speaks out against it. As a result, he is estranged from his family. The video is followed by an exposé on the Hinn family empire written by liberal CNN news anchor Carol Costello who also conducted the interview:

Head of the Hinn Family Empire, Benny Hinn

We use Jesus’s name in twisted — and often awful — ways to make points that are more about us and less about Jesus and his teachings. Pro-life and want to pack heat? Numerousarticles are dedicated to which gun Jesus would carry to protect the “weak and defenseless.”

Certain leaders, who claim to be religious, are dedicated to a greedy notion of Jesus who just wants one thing for his loyal followers: money, money and more money.
My interest in this exploitation of Jesus deepened after I met Costi Hinn. His uncle, Pastor Benny Hinn, claims God uses him as a conduit to cure disease: He simply “lays hands,” Jesus-like, on a chronically ill person, pushes them to the ground and — bam! — the person bounces back to health.

Who Will Go Into the ‘Furnace of Fire’ Jesus warned about? – Part 2

Following is part 2 of a series we published entitled “Hell Interrupted” by Tim Barnett and Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason. Barnett and Koukl go to the scriptures to answer the burning question: Is the future punishment of the wicked a place of eternal fire?

Hell is not a pleasant topic. It’s an ugly, unsettling, dangerous reality—expedient to dismiss, easy to avoid serious discussion about, convenient to disregard by joking about in a way that trivializes it.

This will not do, though, because the sobering certainty about Hell is this: One day every person who has ever lived will stand in judgment for their conduct in this life. For multitudes, that will not go well because for them, when the final gavel falls, Hell will be their sentence.

The nature of that sentence is our concern here. However, regardless of how one construes what happens in Hell, one point is clear: Hell is the end of the line. It is the final state. It is the ultimate destination for the damned. Hell’s door is shut forever, and its sentence can never be undone, revoked, or reversed. Ever.

View article →

Read part 1 here

Source: Who Will Go Into the ‘Furnace of Fire’ Jesus warned about? – Part 2

Christians, We Need To Talk About Hollywood

From Berean Research:

Tim Challies addresses the Hollywood crisis. He reminds us that there is a lack of godly character in the entertainment industry. In light of the serious allegations, Christians must consider our relationship to Tinseltown, says Challies. “I think we as believers need to think seriously at this juncture about our participation in this world, this world which is proving itself to be absolutely vile, absolutely full of the worst kind of sin and depravity.”  Tim has done a short video and includes a transcript. So you can watch or read — or both!

These have been some dark days for Hollywood. I’m not talking about box office receipts. I’m not talking about Rotten Tomatoes reviews. I’m talking about scandal. A few weeks ago, a scandal erupted in Hollywood. Since then, it’s risen, it’s grown, and it’s threatened to become a full-blown crisis that might disrupt the whole industry there in Hollywood. I think it’s important that we as Christian at a place like this start to think about our relationship to Hollywood. Christians, I think we need to talk about Tinseltown.

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Source: Christians, We Need To Talk About Hollywood

The Spirit of God Provides Assurance of Salvation

Josh Buice of Delivered by Grace examines 1 John. Find out how a person can know if they are a true Christian:

Yesterday I had the opportunity of preaching from 1 John 4:13-21 in our series through the epistle of 1 John.   As we’ve pointed out all through the series, John has a desire for his readers to know some things about God, about themselves, and to have assurance of their salvation.   We have purposely titled the series, “Know” for that reason.

Millions of professing Christians wake up everyday and approach life without concrete assurance of their salvation.  They ask themselves often if their faith is real, if their religion is genuine, and if they have truly pleased God.  However, they continue to fall back into ongoing patterns of sin and seem to have very little if any love for God’s Word and their local church.  How can a person know they are indeed a true Christian?

View article →

Source: The Spirit of God Provides Assurance of Salvation

November 7, 2017: Afternoon Verse Of The Day

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14 “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” is a rhetorical question that demands the answer no. God, this passage teaches, is both omniscient and omnipotent. As Sternberg points out, these beliefs inform the whole of biblical narrative, but rarely are they quite so explicit as here.

“Too difficult” (niphal of פלא) is used elsewhere of lawsuits too difficult for lower judges to handle (Deut 17:8), of the impossibility of Amnon marrying Tamar (2 Sam 13:2), and of the unimaginable future peace of Jerusalem (Zech 8:6). But Jer 32:17 and 27 offer the closest parallels to Gen 18:14. In both, God’s almighty power is explicitly affirmed.

“At the set time next year I shall come back to you, and Sarah will have a son.” The original assurance of v 10 is repeated. But note the addition of “at the set time” from 17:21, thereby reaffirming both that promise to Abraham and the one just made to Sarah.[1]


18:14 too hard. Despite her initial skepticism, Sarah too came to believe the promise (Heb. 11:11), and joined her husband in faith (Rom. 4:13–25).[2]


18:14 Is anything too hard for the Lord: That is, there is no wonder that God cannot do. The verb for “too hard” (Heb. pale’) is a term of “wonder-working.” One of the names for the Coming One is “Wonder-Working (Heb. pele’, a noun) Counselor” (Is. 9:6). At the appointed time: This section makes much of the fact that God chose the timing (Gen. 17:21; Eccl. 3:9–11). time of life: A reference to the length of pregnancy.[3]


[1] Wenham, G. J. (1998). Genesis 16–50 (Vol. 2, p. 49). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 39). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 37). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

November 7, 2017: Morning Verse Of The Day

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The Evidence of the Spirit’s Coming

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (2:1–4)

The events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, according to Paul, were not held in a quiet corner (Acts 26:26) but out in the open before all the people. The same could be said of the birth of the church. It did not begin in an obscure manner in some out of the way place. Rather, it was born with a startling, dramatic event in the very heart of Jerusalem.

The coming of the day of Pentecost found the believers all together in one place, undoubtedly the same upper room described in 1:13. As already noted, that room was located just inside the Eastern Gate, probably in the vicinity of the temple. There is no reason to restrict all to the twelve apostles. It encompasses the entire gathering of 120 believers (1:15).

It was on the day of Pentecost that God’s sovereign timetable called for the Spirit to descend. It should be noted that the Spirit was not induced into coming because the believers prayed, tarried, or met certain spiritual requirements. Luke’s account points only to the sovereign timing of God as the cause of the Spirit’s descent.

Pentecost means “fiftieth.” It is the New Testament name for the Feast of Weeks (Ex. 34:22–23), or Harvest (Ex. 23:16), which was celebrated fifty days after Passover. In post-exilic Judaism, it also celebrated the giving of the Law to Moses. The Spirit’s coming on that day was linked to the pattern of feasts in the Old Testament.

God’s redemptive New Testament timetable is pictured in the feasts of Leviticus 23. The first great feast mentioned in that chapter is Passover. The killing of the passover lamb pictured the death of Jesus Christ, the ultimate Passover Lamb (1 Cor. 5:7). A second feast was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, celebrated on the day after Passover. During that feast, an offering of the first fruits of the grain harvest was made. Leviticus 23:15 commands that offering to be made on the day after the sabbath. The Sadducees and Pharisees differed on what that sabbath was. The Sadducees interpreted it as the weekly sabbath, and hence the grain offering would always be on a Sunday. The Pharisees interpreted the sabbath as the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. According to that interpretation, the grain offering would always fall on the same day of the month but not the same day of the week. Until the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70, the Sadducees’ interpretation was normative for Judaism (F. F. Bruce, The Book of the Acts [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971], 53 n. 3). Hence, the day the first fruits were offered would have been on Sunday. That provides an apt picture of the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection as the “first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20).

Fifty days after the first Sunday following Passover, the Feast of Pentecost was celebrated (Lev. 23:15ff.). At Pentecost, another offering of first fruits was made (Lev. 23:20). Completing the cycle of the typical fulfillment of the feasts, the Spirit came on Pentecost as the first fruits of the believers’ inheritance (cf. 2 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13–14). Further, those gathered into the church on that day were the first fruits of the full harvest of believers to come. God sent the Spirit on Pentecost, then, following the pattern of Leviticus 23, not in response to any activity of men.

Luke describes this sovereignly designed event by taking us to the upper room, where the believers were gathered. Suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind. Luke’s use of the word suddenly emphasizes the element of surprise. Even though the believers knew the Spirit’s coming to be imminent (cf. 1:5), they were nevertheless caught by surprise. The same will be true when the Lord returns to earth. Believers will know from the signs that His coming is imminent. Yet He will still come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:2; cf. Matt. 24:44). Those gathered in the upper room could not have expected the dramatic signs that accompanied the Spirit’s coming.

By describing the noise as emanating from heaven, Luke emphasizes that this was a supernatural action. That it was not a weather phenomenon, a physical violent, rushing wind is evident from the use of the term like. The supernatural activity of God is so utterly beyond the grasp of humans that the Bible writers have to employ similes to describe His manifestations to men (cf. Ezek. 43:2; Rev. 1:15).

In both Hebrew and Greek, the words for wind and spirit are the same. Wind is frequently used as a picture of the Spirit (cf. Ezek. 37:9ff.; John 3:8). Although the sound of the heavenly wind may have attracted the crowd that soon gathered, the Spirit’s presence filled only the whole house where the believers were sitting. They alone received the promised baptism with the Spirit (Acts 1:4–5; 11:15–17). That they were sitting offers further proof that they were not praying for the Spirit’s coming. Standing and kneeling were the postures for prayer.

After the auditory manifestation of the Spirit’s arrival came a visual one (cf. Luke 3:22). There appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. That these were not flames of literal fire, any more than the wind was moving air, is clear from the use of the phrase as of.

Some have tried to link the fire here with that of Matthew 3:11. As the context of that passage indicates, however, the fire in view there is the fire of eternal judgment (cf. Matt. 3:12). That the tongues rested on each one of them shows that all who were present received the Spirit in that moment. It was a uniform, sovereign work of God on all collectively, not something sought individually. At this point, by the baptism with the Spirit, they were all made into one spiritual body—the body of Christ.

Being filled with the Spirit must be distinguished from being baptized with the Spirit. The apostle Paul carefully defines the baptism with the Spirit as that act of Christ by which He places believers into His body (Rom. 6:4–6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27). In contrast to much errant teaching today, the New Testament nowhere commands believers to seek the baptism with the Spirit. It is a sovereign, single, unrepeatable act on God’s part, and is no more an experience than are its companions justification and adoption. Although some wrongly view the baptism with the Spirit as the initiation into the ranks of the spiritual elite, nothing could be further from the truth. The purpose of the baptism with the Spirit is not to divide the body of Christ, but to unify it. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, through the baptism with the Spirit “we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13; cf. Gal. 3:26–27; Eph. 4:4–6).

Unlike the baptism with the Spirit, being filled with the Spirit is an experience and should be continuous. Although filled initially on the Day of Pentecost, Peter was filled again in Acts 4:8. Many of the same people filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 were filled again in Acts 4:31. Acts 6:5 describes Stephen as a man “full of faith and the Holy Spirit,” yet Acts 7:55 records his being filled again. Paul was filled with the Spirit in Acts 9:17 and again in Acts 13:9.

While there is no command in Scripture to be baptized with the Spirit, believers are commanded to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The grammatical construction of that passage indicates believers are to be continuously being filled with the Spirit. Those who would be filled with the Spirit must first empty themselves. That involves confession of sin and dying to selfishness and self-will. To be filled with the Spirit is to consciously practice the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and to have a mind saturated with the Word of God. Colossians 3:16–25 delineates the results of “letting the word of Christ richly dwell” in us. They are the same ones that result from the filling of the Spirit (Eph. 5:19–33). As believers yield the moment by moment decisions of life to His control, they “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16). (For a further discussion of the filling with the Spirit, see Ephesians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 1986].) The baptism with the Spirit grants the power that the filling with the Spirit unleashes. (For a further discussion of the difference between the baptism and the filling with the Spirit, see my book Charismatic Chaos [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992], 191–93.)

After being filled with the Spirit, they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. There has been much dispute in recent years over what it meant to speak with other tongues. The text, however, is not ambiguous. Far from being ecstatic speech, the tongues spoken on the Day of Pentecost were known languages. The term glōssa is the word for languages, and the context allows for no other interpretation (cf. the discussion of verses 8–11 below).

In contrast to much teaching today, being given the ability to speak in languages is associated not with the baptism with the Spirit but here with the filling with the Spirit. Nor is speaking in languages the normal response to being filled with the Spirit. Acts 4:8, 31, 6:5; 7:55; 9:17; and 13:9 all record instances where speaking in tongues did not accompany the filling with the Spirit. Paul taught that the filling of the Spirit should result in many things, such as worship, thankfulness, love, submissiveness, and obedience—but not speaking in tongues (Eph. 5:18ff.).

Paul states the purpose of speaking in languages in 1 Corinthians 14:21–22: they were to be a sign to unbelieving Israel. While that was true on the one hand, on the other they were the links given to show that Jews, Gentiles, and Samaritans were all equal in the church (Acts 15:8–9). The Samaritans received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:14–19. Although there is no reference to languages, that there was likely that supernatural sign is evident from Simon’s reaction (cf. verses 18–19). Acts 10:44–47 describes the receiving of the Spirit by the Gentiles of Cornelius’s household. That they spoke in languages convinced the Jewish believers, as well as Peter, that the Gentiles had received the Spirit too (cf. verses 45, 47). The last group to speak in tongues were John the Baptist’s disciples whom Paul encountered in Ephesus (Acts 19:1–7). They were among the last remnants of Old Testament saints, now coming to faith in Christ. They were given the ability to speak in languages in order to demonstrate their full equality with Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles in the church. Each case describes a unique, historical transition. No doctrinal teaching for today can be established from those incidents.

That the true biblical gift of languages no longer exists is clear from the following lines of evidence. First, it was a miraculous gift, and the age of miracles ended with the passing of the apostles (Heb. 2:3–4). It is significant that outside of Acts the miraculous gifts of the Spirit are mentioned only in the early epistle of 1 Corinthians. Later epistles, such as Ephesians, Romans, and 1 Peter, discuss spiritual gifts but make no mention of miraculous ones.

Contrary to much teaching today, the purpose of the gift of languages was not the edification of believers. As noted above, they were a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor. 14:21–22), showing that the church would encompass people from all nations and languages. The gift of languages was therefore a sign of the transition between the Old and New Covenants—a transition completed nearly two thousand years ago.

Having thus fulfilled its purpose, the gift of languages passed from the scene, just as 1 Corinthians 13:8 said it would. That fact is confirmed by church history. Speaking in tongues was unknown from the close of the apostolic era until the beginning of this century, except in heretical groups. (For a further discussion of speaking in tongues, see my book Charismatic Chaos [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992], and 1 Corinthians, MacArthur New Testament Commentary [Chicago: Moody, 1984].)

Those who spoke the languages at Pentecost did not have to be taught how to do so by reading a book, attending a seminar, or being coached by other people. Nor did they have to develop the gift through repeated practice on their own. Rather, they spoke as the Spirit was giving them utterance. He was in total control of the situation. They simply received what He gave.

The evidence of the Spirit’s coming was unmistakable. He manifested His presence to the ears, eyes, and mouths of the believers. But it didn’t stop there. His coming had a profound effect on the people of Jerusalem as well.[1]


4 In OT times, prophetic utterances were regularly associated with the Spirit’s coming on particular persons for special purposes (cf., e.g., Eldad and Medad in Nu 11:26–29; also Saul in 1 Sa 10:6–12). In Judaism, however, the belief arose that with the passing of the last of the writing prophets in the early postexilic period the spirit of prophecy had ceased in Israel, and that since then God spoke to his people only through the Torah as interpreted by the teachers (cf. such passages as the prologue to Sirach and ch. 1 of m. ʾAbot). But Judaism also expected that with the coming of the messianic age there would be a special outpouring of God’s Spirit, which would be in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37, and that prophecy would once again flourish. And this is exactly what Luke portrays as having taken place at Pentecost among the followers of Jesus: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

The “tongues” here are often identified with ecstatic utterances of the sort that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 12–14. This identification is made largely because (1) in both instances (Ac 2; 1 Co 12–14) the expression “other tongues” (heterais glōssais; heteroglōssois [GK 2280]; NIV, “strange tongues,” 1 Co 14:21) is used, and (2) because the verb translated “enabled” or “gave utterance” (apophthengomai, GK 710) is frequently used in other Greek literature in connection with ecstatics—whether of the givers of oracles (cf. Diodorus of Sicily, Bibl. hist. 16.27.1; Plutarch, Pyth. orac. 23) or of the interpreters of oracles (cf. Mic 5:12; Zec 10:2). But the words spoken at Pentecost under the Spirit’s direction were immediately recognized by the hearers as being languages then current, while at Corinth no one could understand what was said until someone present received a gift of interpretation. Furthermore, the verb apophthengomai used by Luke in Acts (its only three NT occurrences) appears in contexts that stress clarity of speech and understanding: (1) here in 2:4; (2) in 2:14, in Peter’s address to the crowd at Pentecost; and (3) in 26:25, in Paul’s defense before Agrippa II, where it is explicitly contrasted with mainomai (GK 3419), which means babblings stemming from madness over which the speaker has no control. The tongues of 2:4, therefore, are probably best viewed as “languages” and so to be understood in accord with Philo’s reference (Decal. 33) to understandable language as one of the three signs of God’s presence in the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was of utmost significance for the early church, both theologically and practically. As to the question of whether Pentecost was the birthday of the Christian church, a great deal depends on what one means by “church” (ekklēsia, GK 1711). Amid a variety of uses, the word appears in the NT for both “the body of Christ” (i.e., people who have been redeemed throughout all the ages) and “an instrument of service” (i.e., new-covenant people who are distinguished from the nation of Israel and appointed by God for his redemptive purposes). Of the first (the church as the body of Christ), it can hardly be said that it had its beginning only at Pentecost. What can be said, however, and what Luke seems to be stressing in reporting that the tongues of fire separated and came to rest on each believer individually, is (1) that the relationship of the Spirit to the members of the body of Christ became much more intimate and personal at Pentecost, in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise (Jn 14:17) that the Spirit who “lives with you [par’ hēmin menei] … will be in you [en hēmin estai],” and (2) that at Pentecost a new model of divine redemption was established as characteristic for life in the new covenant—one that, while incorporating both individual and corporate redemption, begins with the former in order to include the latter.

With regard to the church as an instrument of service called into being by God to take up the mission formerly entrusted to Israel, Luke is certainly presenting the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost as the church’s birthday. Thus he parallels the Spirit’s coming on Jesus at his baptism with the Spirit’s coming on the earliest believers at Pentecost, for neither Jesus’ ministry nor the mission of the early church would have been possible apart from the Spirit’s empowering. So also he emphasizes Jesus’ explicit command to the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they were empowered from on high by the Spirit (Lk 24:49; Ac 1:4–5, 8).[2]


2:4 / But it was nonetheless also a subjective experience. Luke says as much with his expression all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. To be “filled” (as distinct from being “full,” see disc. on 6:3) expresses the conscious experience of the moment (see disc. on 4:8). They felt as well as saw and heard, and gave expression to their feelings by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. This particular verb “to speak” (Gk. apophthegesthai) is peculiar to Acts in the New Testament (cf. v. 14; 26:25), but is used elsewhere in biblical Greek of the utterances of the prophets (e.g., lxx 1 Chron. 25:1; Ezek. 13:9; Mic. 5:12).

Their speaking in other tongues seems to mean something different from similar references elsewhere. Here, because “tongue” is used interchangeably with a word meaning “language” or “dialect” (Gk. dialektos, vv. 6, 8) and because what was said was apparently intelligible, we must suppose that recognized languages were spoken. But there is no reason to think that this was so on the other occasions in Acts when something like this happened (10:44ff.; 19:1ff.) and every reason to think otherwise in 1 Corinthians 12–14, where Paul’s whole argument rests on the “tongues” not being understood and needing “interpretation” (not translation). It would appear, then, that in the Corinthian church and probably in Acts 10 and 19, the “tongues” were some kind of ecstatic utterance, what the neb calls “the language of ecstasy” (1 Cor. 14:2) and Paul, on one occasion, “the language of angels” (1 Cor. 13:1), and on another, perhaps, “groans that words cannot express” (Rom. 8:26).

But is it likely that we should have two different phenomena? On the assumption that it is not, Luke has been accused of misunderstanding or reinterpreting an earlier tradition in which the “tongues” of Acts 2 were the ecstatic utterances of the other references. Either that, or the tradition came to him in a garbled form, and what really happened was that the disciples spoke in “tongues” (in the usual sense), but their hearers thought they heard the praise of God in their own languages. Dunn steers a middle course between these two explanations. He refers to the phenomena of modern Pentecostalism: “Perhaps the most striking feature of glossolalia in Pentecostalism for the present discussion is the number of claims of an ‘unknown tongue’ which was actually a foreign language unknown to the speaker.… If such claims can be made with such conviction in the twentieth century, it is more readily conceivable that they were made at the time of the first Christian Pentecost” (Jesus, p. 151). He then suggests that many of those present identified some of the sounds uttered by the disciples with the languages of their homelands. The impression that they were speaking in those languages was heightened by the powerful spiritual impact of the disciples’ ecstasy, and this is the story that came down to Luke. He, for his part, gave it greater precision by clarifying the glossolalia into foreign languages proper and by introducing the note of universalism (cf. v. 5). So Dunn cautiously sums up: “There is no reason to doubt that the disciples experienced ecstatic speech on the day of Pentecost. And there is good reason, both from the text itself and from religious history parallels, to believe that the glossolalia and disciples’ behavior was such that many present thought they recognized words of praise to God in other languages” (Jesus, p. 152).[3]


2:4. A third physical phenomenon experienced on the Day of Pentecost was the use of different languages. Throughout Acts, Luke uses different verbs to describe the coming of the Spirit upon new believers. This first time was a unique event, never again repeated in exactly the same way. When we look at the entire New Testament teaching on the Holy Spirit, we see the word baptism associated with initial conversion and the word filling with ministry. The first seems to happen once without repetition; the second occurs with frequency as believers allow God’s Spirit to produce powerful work through them.

Most evangelical scholars believe the tongues of Pentecost were genuine languages, not the ecstatic sounds Paul dealt with at Corinth (1 Cor. 14:1–12). Two arguments rise strongly to emphasize that these tongues represented languages not previously learned. First, the use of the word dialektos in verses 6 and 8 can only refer to a language or dialect. Second, the paragraph that follows (vv. 5–12) specifically emphasizes the fact that people of different languages understood the message of the Christians in their own language.

Some argue for a miracle of hearing as well as speaking in this chapter. The text does not really justify that. On the other hand, when people filled with the Holy Spirit proclaim the gospel, a supernatural ministry always takes place. When the hearers respond, a miracle of understanding certainly follows.[4]


2:4 The miracle to experience, connected with Pentecost, was the filling of the Holy Spirit, followed by the speaking with other tongues.

Up to now, the Spirit of God had been with the disciples, but now He took up His residence in them (John 14:17). Thus the verse marks an important turning point in the Spirit’s dealings with men. In the OT, the Spirit came upon men, but not as an abiding Resident (Ps. 51:11). Beginning with the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God indwelt people permanently: He came to stay (John 14:16).

On the Day of Pentecost, the believers were not only indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but they were filled with Him as well. We are indwelt by God’s Spirit the moment we are saved, but to be filled with the Spirit we must study the Word, spend time in meditation and prayer, and live in obedience to the Lord. If the filling of the Spirit were automatically guaranteed today, we would not be exhorted, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost also formed believers into the church, the Body of Christ.

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Henceforth, believing Jews and Gentiles would become one new man in Christ Jesus and members of the same Body (Eph. 2:11–22).

The disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. From the following verses, it is clear they were given the miraculous power to speak actual foreign languages which they had never studied. It was not gibberish or ecstatic utterances but definite languages then in use in other parts of the world. This gift of tongues was one of the signs or wonders which God used to bear witness to the truth of the message which the apostles preached (Heb. 2:3, 4). At that time, the NT had not been written. Since the complete word of God is now available in written form, the need for the sign gifts has largely passed (though, of course, the sovereign Spirit of God could still use them if He so desired).

The occurrence of tongues on the Day of Pentecost should not be used to prove that tongues are the invariable accompaniment of the gift of the Spirit. If that were the case, why is there no mention of tongues in connection with:

  1. The conversion of the 3,000 (Acts 2:41)?
  2. The conversion of the 5,000 (Acts 4:4)?
  3. The reception of the Holy Spirit by the Samaritans (Acts 8:17)?

In fact, the only other occurrences of the gift of tongues in the Book of Acts are:

  1. At the conversion of the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:46).
  2. At the rebaptism of John’s disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:6).

Before leaving verse 4, we should mention that there is considerable difference among Bible students concerning the whole subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, both as to the number of times it has taken place, and the results flowing from it.

As to its frequency, some believe that:

  1. It took place only once—at Pentecost. The Body of Christ was formed at that time, and all believers since then have entered into the good of the baptism.
  2. It took place in three or four stages—at Pentecost (chap. 2); at Samaria (chap. 8); at the house of Cornelius (chap. 10); at Ephesus (chap. 19).
  3. It takes place every time a person is saved.

As to its effect in the lives of individuals, some hold that it is a “second work of grace,” commonly taking place after conversion, and resulting in a more or less complete sanctification. This view lacks scriptural support. As has already been mentioned, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that operation by which believers were:

  1. Incorporated into the church (1 Cor. 12:13).
  2. Endued with power (Acts 1:8).[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1994). Acts (pp. 38–42). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Longenecker, R. N. (2007). Acts. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 735–736). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Williams, D. J. (2011). Acts (pp. 41–42). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Gangel, K. O. (1998). Acts (Vol. 5, pp. 25–26). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1583). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

November 6, 2017: Evening Verse Of The Day

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Faith

Come to Me, (11:28a)

Just as man’s part in salvation is to come humbly, it is also to come in faith. Although finite minds cannot fully comprehend the truth, divine grace and human faith are inseparable in salvation. God sovereignly provides salvation, which includes the fact that man must give himself to the Lord Jesus Christ in commitment before it becomes effective. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,” and then immediately added, “and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37).

Salvation is not through a creed, a church, a ritual, a pastor, a priest, or any other such human means-but through Jesus Christ, who said, Come to Me. To come is to believe to the point of submitting to His lordship. “I am the bread of life,” Jesus declared; “he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Comes and believes are parallel just as are hunger and thirst. Coming to Christ is believing in Him, which results in no longer hungering and thirsting. Other biblical synonyms for believing in Christ include confessing Him, receiving Him, eating and drinking Him, and hearing Him.

Peter declared, “Of Him [Jesus Christ] all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43). And the Lord Himself said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14–16).

Repentance and Rest

all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (11:28:b)

All who are indicates a condition that already exists. Those whom Jesus invites to Himself are those who already are weary and heavy-laden. Although this aspect of Jesus’ invitation is mentioned after faith (“Come to Me”), chronologically it precedes faith, referring to the repentance that drives the humble, seeking person to Christ for salvation.

Kopiaō (to grow weary, or “to labor”) carries the idea of working to the point of utter exhaustion. John uses the term to describe Jesus’ fatigue when He and the disciples reached Sychar after a long, hot journey from Jerusalem (John 4:6).

Weary translates a present active participle and refers figuratively to arduous toil in seeking to please God and know the way of salvation. Jesus calls to Himself everyone who is exhausted from trying to find and please God in his own resources. Jesus invites the person who is wearied from his vain search for truth through human wisdom, who is exhausted from trying to earn salvation, and who has despaired of achieving God’s standard of righteousness by his own efforts.

Heavy-laden translates a perfect passive participle, indicating that at some time in the past a great load was dumped on the wearied person. Whereas weary refers to the internal exhaustion caused by seeking divine truth through human wisdom, heavy-laden suggests the external burdens caused by the futile efforts of works righteousness.

In Jesus’ day, the rabbinical teachings had become so massive, demanding, and all-encompassing that they prescribed standards and formulas for virtually every human activity. It was all but impossible even to learn all the traditions, and was completely impossible to keep them all. Jesus spoke of the heavy loads of religious tradition that the scribes and Pharisees laid on the people’s shoulders (Matt. 23:4); and at the Jerusalem Council, Peter noted that the Judaizers were trying to saddle Christianity with the same man-made “yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10).

Although the term itself is not used in the text, Jesus gives a call to repent, to turn away from the self-centered and works-centered life and come to Him. The person who is weary and heavy-laden despairs of his own ability to please God. He comes to the end of his own resources and turns to Christ. Desperation is a part of true salvation, because a person does not come to Christ as long as he has confidence in himself. To repent is to make a 180-degree turn from the burden of the old life to the restfulness of the new.

Repentance was the theme of John the Baptist’s preaching (Matt. 3:2) and the starting point of the preaching of Jesus (4:17), Peter (Acts 2:38; 3:19; cf. 5:31), and Paul (17:30; 20:21; cf. 2 Tim. 2:25). The person who humbly receives God’s revelation of Himself and His way of salvation, who turns from the unbearable burden of his sin and self-effort, and who comes to Christ empty-handed is the only person God will save.

Anapauō (to give … rest) means to refresh or revive, as from labor or a long journey. Jesus promises spiritual rest to everyone who comes to Him in repentance and humble faith.

God’s rest is a common Old Testament theme. The Lord warned Israel, “Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness; when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me, though they had seen My work. … Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest” (Ps. 95:7–9, 11). After quoting that passage, the writer of Hebrews warns those who make a pretense of faith in Christ but have not really trusted Him: “Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in failing away from the living God” (Heb. 3:12). To intellectually acknowledge Christ’s deity and lordship is a dangerous thing if it does not lead to true faith, because it gives a person the false confidence of belonging to Christ.

In the time of the early church many Jews were attracted to the gospel and outwardly identified themselves with the church. But for tear of being unsynagogued, ostracized from the worship and ceremonies of Judaism, some of them diet not truly receive Christ as saving Lord. They went part way to Him but stopped before full commitment. “As a result” of such superficial allegiance, John says, “many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore” (John 6:66). Consequently they would not enter God’s rest, that is, His salvation, because they still possessed “an evil, unbelieving heart” (Heb. 3:11–12).

Just as those Israelites who rebelled against Moses in the wilderness were denied entrance into the Promised Land because of unbelief, so those who refuse to fully trust in Christ are denied entrance into God’s kingdom rest of salvation for the same reason (v. 19). “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest’ ” (4:1–3).

The dictionary gives several definitions of rest that remarkably parallel the spiritual rest God offers those who trust in His Son. First, the dictionary describes rest as cessation from action, motion, labor, or exertion. In a similar way, to enter God’s rest is to cease from all efforts at self-help in trying to earn salvation. Second, rest is described as freedom from that which wearies or disturbs. Again we see the spiritual parallel of God’s giving His children freedom from the cares and burdens that rob them of peace and joy.

Third, the dictionary defines rest as something that is fixed and settled. Similarly, to be in God’s rest is to have the wonderful assurance that our eternal destiny is secure in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It is to be freed from the uncertainties of running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, from guru to guru, hoping somehow and somewhere to discover truth, peace, happiness, and eternal life.

Fourth, rest is defined as being confident and trustful. When we enter God’s rest we are given the assurance that “He who began a good work in [us] will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Finally, the dictionary describes rest as leaning, reposing, or depending on. As children of God, we can depend with utter certainty that our heavenly Father will “supply all [our] needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).[1]


28 The “me” is grammatically unemphatic but in the wake of v. 27 extremely important. Jesus invites the “weary” (the participle suggests those who have become weary through heavy struggling or toil) and the “burdened” (the passive side of weariness, overloaded like beasts of burden) to come to him; and he (not the Father) will give them rest. There is an echo of Jeremiah 31:25, where Yahweh refreshes his people through the new covenant.

While there is no need to restrict the “burdens,” it is impossible not to be reminded of the “heavy loads” the Pharisees put on men’s shoulders (23:4; cf. 12:1–14; see M. Maher, “ ‘Take my yoke upon you’ [Matt. xi.29],” NTS 22 [1976]: 97–103). The “rest” (cf. use of cognate term in Heb 3–4) is eschatological (cf. Rev 6:11; 14:13) but also a present reality.[2]


28 Jesus has previously given an invitation to discipleship with the words δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, “come after me” (4:19), but only here in all the NT is the direct invitation δεῦτε πρός με, “come to me,” found. Jesus furthermore here continues to call πάντες, “all,” thus including Israel, to himself. The invitation “come to me” is spoken by personified Wisdom several times in Sirach (24:19, 51:23). Sir 51:23–27 (cf. too Sir 6:23–31) serves as a particularly promising background for the present passage. Direct dependence, though probable, cannot be proved. (On the alternative theory of Davies-Allison, arguing for dependence on Exod 33:12–14, see the concluding Comment on v 27 above.) After the initial invitation “draw near to me,” Sirach exhorts his readers to “put your neck under the yoke” (51:26) and notes that after laboring “little” one may find “much rest” (51:27). Jesus thus speaks here in the way that Wisdom was regarded as speaking (rightly Suggs, Wisdom, 106–7), and we have here another important element in wisdom Christology (cf. on 11:19b; see too 23:34), where the Christ is identified with the Wisdom that existed with God from the beginning (cf. Prov 8:1–21, 32–36; 9:4–6). The invitation of Jesus is offered in particular to οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφορτισμένοι, “those who are laboring and bearing burdens.” These are not the disciples of Jesus (pace Stanton) but those who are not yet his disciples (rightly Deutsch, Hidden Wisdom; Davies-Allison). From the context that follows (see v 29) with its reference to “the yoke,” the reader naturally assumes that this refers to those who are burdened with the effort to obey the law and in this way to arrive at the goal of righteousness (cf. Sir 6:25). It was, however, not the law itself that was burdensome (the law instead was the delight of the pious Israelite; cf. Ps 119 passim) but rather the overwhelming nomism of the Pharisees. The tremendous burden of the minutiae of their oral law fits the description especially well (cf. 23:4: “They bind heavy burdens [φορτία], hard to bear, and lay them on peoples’ shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger”). The Pharisees spoke of 613 commandments, and their hălākôt (“rulings”) involved a complicated casuistry. Jesus appeals particularly to the Pharisaic scribes, the Pharisees and their disciples. Jesus promises to give rest to those who come to him and thus speaks not only as Wisdom does (cf. Sir 6:28; 51:27) but as Yahweh does to Moses in Exod 33:14: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Astonishingly Jesus calls people in the first instance to himself and only subsequently to the yoke of discipleship. It is moreover he, rather than God, who gives rest. Jesus stands not only in the place of Wisdom and truth but even in the place of Yahweh. ἀναπαύσω, “I will give you rest,” connotes here a refreshing and a fulfillment, and thus anticipates messianic or eschatological blessing (on the present experience of the eschatological sabbath, cf. Heb 4:1–11; see Bacchiocchi).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (p. 275). 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. 321–322). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hagner, D. A. (1998). Matthew 1–13 (Vol. 33A, p. 323). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.