Daily Archives: November 27, 2017

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

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump has made pressuring Pakistan to rein in fundamentalist groups central to his South Asia policy. Protests that rocked country’s capital are raising new questions about its capacity to respond.

Russia’s deputy foreign minister said North Korea’s current pause in provocations — the longest since last winter — indicates a step toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin might maintain a strong grip on Russia, but since a Sept. 10 election, the ancient fortress on the Moscow River is surrounded by the opposition. Anti-Putin liberals have filled local councils in the Russian capital’s historic and commercial core as well as a few upmarket residential areas-attaining majorities in 17 of the city’s 125 municipal districts. In some others, the opposition has sizable minorities. While these councils have only the slightest power to effect change, on par with a New York City community board at best, the symbolism is what really seems to matter to the election’s victors.

The U.S. Supreme Court steered clear of the intensifying gun debate after the mass shootings in Nevada and Texas, turning away two appeals from firearms advocates, including one that sought a constitutional right to own a semiautomatic assault rifle.

Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who won a new five-year term last year, said it’s time for him to step aside and let the Kremlin choose a successor. The Kremlin said Kadyrov is staying in his post. “There was a time when people like me were needed — to fight, to bring order,” Kadyrov, 41. “Now we have order.”

Bitcoin blew past $9,700 just a week after topping $8,000 and approached its closest ever to five figures, gaining mainstream market attention as it defies bubble warnings.

Cyber Monday — the biggest online spending day of the year. Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are vying for holiday spending with competing deals on flat-screen televisions, toys and gadgets. Traditional retailers Macy’s Inc., Sears Holdings Corp. and JC Penney Co. have all shuttered stores, creating an opportunity for retailers to fill the void online

In signs traffic is surging, Mumbai on Friday handled 969 flights in a 24-hour period, a world record for an airport that operates only one runway at any given point of time. The aim is to reach 1,000 aircraft movements.

Jeff Bezos is the world’s newest $100 billion mogul. The Amazon.com Inc. founder’s fortune is up $2.4 billion to $100.3 billion, as the online retailer’s shares jumped more than 2 percent on optimism for Black Friday sales.

AP Top Stories

In the midst of a national wake-up call regarding the prevalence of sexual assault, a new report highlights hundreds of allegations of such violations against a chain of massage spas. As reported by BuzzFeed, Massage Envy has faced some 180 different allegations of sexual assault from customers of the franchise.

Pakistan’s law minister resigned Monday after the embattled government bowed to demands from a small Islamist group, striking a deal with the help of the military to end a weeks-long anti-blasphemy protest.

Indonesian and regional authorities heightened flight warnings around Bali’s Mount Agung on Sunday as the volcano’s eruptions sent a plume of volcanic ash and steam more than 6,000 meters into the skies above the popular holiday island. The eruptions marked the first major activity from Mount Agung since 1963.

Ten days after the missing Argentine submarine San Juan went silent, grieving relatives have begun mourning the loss of its 44 missing crew members with a religious ceremony Saturday, even though the navy has yet to declare them dead.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance.

More than 11 million children in war-torn Yemen are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, the United Nations children’s fund warned on Sunday.

A court in central Vietnam on Monday sentenced an activist to seven years in prison for producing online videos and interviews related to an environmental disaster that instigated anti-government protests, in the authorities’ latest crackdown on dissent.

A church in upmarket Malibu has decided to stop providing free meals for those in need after claiming they were told by officials they were attracting too many homeless people.

An explosion that ripped through a motor wheels factory in the eastern China province of Jiangsu killed 71 people and injured 186, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

BBC

Zimbabwe has officially declared 21 February to be Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day, thereby making the former president’s birthday a public holiday, the Herald newspaper reports.

Nigeria’s government plans to write to 500 wealthy Nigerians with property and trusts abroad, urging them to come clean about their tax status or risk being being prosecuted and fined.

The number of young people caught acting as “money mules” has doubled in the past four years, according to the UK’s fraud prevention service, Cifas. A mule allows their bank account to be used by others to transfer money in and out of it, and in return, keep some of the money for themselves. The money to be laundered is likely to have come from drug smuggling.

WND

Allegedly unbiased Washington Post reporter Janell Ross spoke at a top-secret meeting of liberal movers and shakers last week, where Democratic donors including billionaire George Soros outlined the future of their progressive agenda.

University of Michigan research finds an essential oil in cinnamon attacks fat cells and could be used as a treatment to fight obesity.


The Briefing — Monday, November 27, 2017

1) Theology roars back into the headlines after mosque attack in Egypt

Washington Post (Amanda Erickson) –
Why Muslim extremists attacked this mosque in Egypt

New York Times (Rukmini Callimachi) –
To the World, They Are Muslims. To ISIS, Sufis Are Heretics.

2) Flawed justice in genocide conviction of Ratko Mladic

New York Times (Marlise Simons, Alan Cowell, and Barbara Surk) –
Mladic Conviction Closes Dark Chapter in Europe, but New Era of Uncertainty Looms

Wall Street Journal (Drew Hinshaw and Lawrence Norman) –
Bosnian Serb Commander Ratko Mladic Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for War Crimes, Genocide

New York Times (Janine di Giovanni) –
Flawed Justice for the Butcher of Bosnia

3) Why Robert Mugabe is but one in a long line of the left’s tyrannical heroes

New York Times (Bret Stephens)
Mugabe and Other Leftist Heroes

The Economist –
The man who ruined a country: How Robert Mugabe held on to power for so long

4) How the New York Times wants to secularize Thanksgiving

New York Times (Editors) –
What America Celebrates on Thanksgiving


News – 11/27/2017

Have Sodom and Gomorrah been found?
Archaeologist calls discovery near Dead Sea a ‘no-brainer’. Is the Bible’s account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah just a myth? Not likely, says an archaeologist who believes, following 12 years of sifting sand near the Dead Sea in Jordan, that he has found the ruins of the largest twin cities in the area, one that fits all the criteria of the Bible account.

‘Ignorant infidels’ in U.S. may have to be ‘forced’ to accept Islam
Radical imams from Virginia, Maryland and Texas recently attended a fund-raising event organized by an Islamist charity in which they were treated to a smorgasbord of teachings from foreign-based Islamic thinkers. Ludhiavi believes America is a “land of infidels,” whom he described as “ignorant.” His comments are a ringing example of what Muslim leaders say when they are behind closed doors and in the company of other Muslims, as opposed to the public comments meant for gullible infidel ears, security experts tell WND.

Saudi-led ‘Arab NATO’ declares total war on terrorism; Iran, Iraq & Syria not invited
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman has vowed to “wipe” terrorists from the “face of the earth” using resources available to the Islamic Military Alliance, a so-called ‘Arab NATO’ which claims to be targeting a “faceless enemy,” rather than any particular “sect” or “country.”

The World in 2018 from The Economist highlights key global themes to watch for next year
“It will be a critical year on many fronts, including North Korea’s nuclear challenge, the Brexit negotiations, China’s economic reforms and America’s mid-term elections as well as the presidential polls in Brazil and Mexico. We will see intriguing battles for influence, ideas and leadership.”

Israeli Researchers Debunk Transgender Craze That’s Sweeping America
The Bible warned that a day would come when good was called evil, and evil was called good. In other words, a day when reality and truth were turned on their heads. Anyone living in a Western society currently steeped in the transgender phenomenon might understandably think that day has arrived. Israel, at least in this context, is looking to play its role as “light to the nations” by releasing a fact-based rebuttal of the notion that gender is a matter of personal feeling and choice.

Quake of magnitude 6.2 strikes off Papua New Guinea – USGS
An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 struck off the Pacific Ocean nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries from the quake…

Indonesia orders immediate evacuation as highest alert issued for Bali volcano
Indonesia closed the airport on the tourist island of Bali on Monday and ordered 100,000 residents living near a glowing volcano spewing columns of ash to evacuate immediately, warning that the first major eruption in 54 years could be “imminent”.

World’s 1st robot citizen wants her own family, career & AI ‘superpowers’
Sophia, the first robot to be awarded citizenship in the world, has said she not only wants to start a family but also have her own career, in addition to developing human emotions in the future. In an interview with The Khaleej Times at the recent Knowledge Summit, Sophia shared her thoughts on the future that awaits both human and robot kind. Sophia was built and developed in Hong Kong by Hanson Robotics and her appearance was reportedly modelled on Audrey Hepburn.

MAGNETIC STORMS IN THE OFFING
A high-speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Nov. 27th. The onset of the solar wind could kick off 3 days of polar geomagnetic activity, boosted to G1-storm levels by the glancing impact of a CME on Nov. 29th

ISIS Group to Jihadists: ‘The Crusaders’ Feast is Approaching… Show Them the Meaning of Terrorism’
A pro-ISIS media group continued its online verbal jihad against the Vatican and Christmas today with a threat accompanied by an image of a jihadist and a wolf overlooking St. Peter’s Square. On Tuesday, the Wafa’ Media Foundation released an image of smoke rising from Rome with a fighter jet overhead and a jihadist standing next to the sort of makeshift armored vehicle ISIS uses for suicide bombings in Iraq and Syria.

Mount Agung: Bali volcano alert raised to highest level
About 100,000 people near Bali’s Mount Agung have been ordered to evacuate as officials fear a major eruption. Indonesian authorities have raised the state of alert to its highest level, and expanded the exclusion zone around the rumbling volcano. The island’s airport has now closed, leaving thousands stranded in the tourist hotspot.

PDVSA: Maduro names general to head Venezuela oil firm
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has named a general to head the state oil company, PDVSA, and the country’s energy ministry. Mr Maduro said the appointment of Major General Manuel Quevedo was “a new oil revolution” to tackle corruption. Last week executives of Citgo, the oil company’s US refining subsidiary, were arrested over corruption allegations.

Syria: Russian air strikes ‘kill dozens of civilians’
At least 53 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in the east Syrian village of Al-Shafah, a monitoring group says. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said 21 of those reportedly killed on Sunday morning were children. The village is in Deir al-Zour, one of the last provinces where Islamic State still holds territory.

Surge in Migrants Creates Abysmal Conditions on Greek Islands
Three months ago, Shehab Kabalan, a 20-year-old from Syria, traveled in a small boat from Turkey to Greece in the hope of receiving asylum in Europe and starting a new life. Instead he is trapped on the island of Samos, living in a flimsy tent among dozens of other migrants and refugees, prevented from traveling to the mainland and now bracing for a hard winter.

Congress poised to jam through reauthorization of mass surveillance
Congress doesn’t have much time left on the legislative calendar for the year, but… In the few remaining days, Republicans hope to pass a tax reform bill and either another short-term continuing resolution or an omnibus to fund the government. Another item on the agenda is the reauthorization of Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including the controversial Section 702.

Justices to weigh cell phone privacy in landmark case
The privacy of emails, photos stored in the cloud, even heart rate history from a smartwatch could be at stake, according to civil libertarians, as the Supreme Court takes up a potential blockbuster case after Thanksgiving. When they return to the bench after the holiday, the justices will weigh whether the history of cell phone locations stored by a phone service provider is searchable without a warrant.

Russian diplomat warns ‘apocalyptic scenario’ on Korean Peninsula possible
An apocalyptic scenario of developments on the Korean Peninsula is possible, but Russia hopes that a common sense would prevail among the involved parties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said… “A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” Morgulov said speaking at the opening of the eighth annual Asian Conference of the Valdai discussion club in Seoul.

Saudi vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance. “In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” among national authorities, Prince Mohammed bin Salman…said in his keynote address to the gathering in Riyadh.

Exorcists on call to raise French spirits amid surge in private treatment for demonic possession
Out, out,” chanted Jean Clément, as he performed a ceremony to rid a Parisian businessman of “negative spirits” supposedly conjured up by a jealous rival….He is one of a growing number of people in France who are turning to exorcists to save their careers or restore love to troubled relationships.

Have Sodom and Gomorrah been found?
Is the Bible’s account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah just a myth?Not likely, says an archaeologist who believes, following 12 years of sifting sand near the Dead Sea in Jordan, that he has found the ruins of the largest twin cities in the area, one that fits all the criteria of the Bible account.

Geologists see 2018 as year of monster quakes
Geophysicists who studied seismic activity over the past 117 years report 2018 could be shaping up as a year of monster earthquakes – especially around the equator.

Democrat Conyers Threatens To Take The Whole Damn Swamp Down With Him!
The lawyer for Rep. John Conyers hinted the Michigan Democrat may take down “many others” with him if he is pushed too hard!

SWAMP MONSTER DEFEATED: Obama-Holdover John Conyers Steps Down From House Judiciary Committee, Millions Cheering
On Sunday, not even hours after Nancy Pelosi went on national television to defend him with calls for the right of “due process” and praising him as someone who has defended the rights of women, Washington’s top Democrat is stepping aside from his committee in the face of two sexual misconduct allegations.

Assad to Netanyahu: Ready to discuss Golan demilitarization on Syrian side of the border, as Israel had made it known they will NOT tolerate an Iranian presence there
…During his visit to Sochi last week, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad conveyed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a message that Damascus was ready to discuss the disarmament of the Golan Heights up to 40 kilometers from the separation line, and to examine autonomy for the Kurds and Druze in the country as part of a comprehensive agreement that would leave the current Syrian regime in power, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida as reported by Nana 10 news.

Muslim students demand prayer rooms in every ‘major building’
Students at the University of Maryland have released a list of 64 demands in their effort make the campus more amenable to “marginalized student populations.”


DARPA Begins Experiments To Change People’s Behavior By Implanting Microchips In Their Brains

darpa-microchip-brain-implants

Microchips implanted into people’s skulls are being developed by boffins funded by the US military’s research division DARPA.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16,17 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just a few years ago, a story like this would have lit up social media, and people would rightly be connecting human implantable microchips with the coming Mark Of The Beast during the time of Jacob’s trouble. But as technology like iPhones with facial recognition are now becoming commonplace, we are losing our fear of invasive technology and embracing it. They don’t even make credit or debit cards without the chip now, no longer optional. ‘Life on a chip’ is exactly what the Bible say coming 2,000 years ago. And oh, ‘boffins’ is British slang for someone who does scientific research

These implants will use electronic pulses to alter the chemicals in people’s brains in a process called “deep brain stimulation”. This will then change people’s moods and is believed to be able to treat mental illness and provide therapy.

Artificial intelligence in microchip implants will detect and study the brain to know what pulses to send – described by scientists as a “window on the brain”. DARPA has handed the cash to teams form the University of California and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Testing suggestions the mood implants can be used to treat disorders such as Parkinson’s. Experiments have been also carried out on people with depression – but the the results are inconclusive so far.

DARPA Implants Chips In U.S. Soldiers’ Brains

DARPA is funding the project with the long-term goal of being able treat traumatised soldiers.

The current work – which includes human testing – was presented at the Society of Neuroscience in Washington, reports Nature.

Neuroscientist Edward Chang said: “The exciting thing about these technologies is that for the first time we’re going to have a window on the brain where we know what’s happening in the brain when someone relapses.”

He added: “We’ve learned a lot about the limitations of our current technology,”

Chang also denied the technology will be able to ready people’s minds, explaining they will simply “have access to activity that encodes their feelings”. Scientists hope the new implant will allow doctors and scientists are window into people’s minds.

This will also personalized treatments for people to better treat illnesses and regulate feelings. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are also hoped to be treated using the implants. source

Mid-Day Snapshot

Nov. 27, 2017

CNN: What Democrat Sex Scandals?

The list of Democrats who are implicated in sex scandals nationwide is long and arduous. And the Leftmedia shrugs.

Obama Lackey Sues to Limit Trump

Outgoing director of the CFPB names replacement in a politically calculated #Resistance move.

Hedonism’s Predictable Horrors

At the center of today’s outbreak of sexual deviancy lies hedonism and modern liberalism.

Billionaire Bezos’ Amazon/Washington Post/CIA Alliance

Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man, and his influence is becoming more problematic.

Col. Wesley Lee Fox, RIP

The Medal of Honor recipient for actions in Vietnam drew his last breath Saturday at age 86.

Trump Finally Weighs in on Moore

“We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” the president said. So it’s a binary choice.

Monday Short Cuts

Sarah Silverman admits she “fell in love with” Trump voters. Amazing what happens when elitists step outside their bubble.

Monday Opinion

Read Jeff Jacoby, Erick Erickson, Ed Feulner, Burt Prelutsky, Michael Barone and more.

Monday Top Headlines

GOP pushes tax reform, Franken back at work, record gun sales, God’s preferred pronoun and more.

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

The Foundation

“A better system of education for the common people might preserve them long from such artificial inequalities as are prejudicial to society, by confounding the natural distinctions of right and wrong, virtue and vice.” —John Adams (1786)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: November 27

  • $10,000 in sight for bitcoin as it rockets to new record high (Read More)

  • Senate Plans Tax Vote Amid Trump Sales Pitch (Read More)

  • Tax-Hike Fears Trigger Talk of Exodus From Manhattan and Greenwich (Read More)

  • Retailers’ Emails Are Misfires for Many Holiday Shoppers (Read More)

  • Uncertainty Hangs Over CFPB as Two Vie to Lead Agency (Read More)

  • China Shares Resume Decline as Year’s Top Performers Take a Hit (Read More)

  • Stocks Around the Globe Stage Most Widely Shared Rally in Years (Read More)

  • The Economy Is Humming, but Businesses Aren’t Borrowing (Read More)

  • ‘Ashamed’ Franken says he won’t quit Senate over groping accusations (Read More)

  • Cyber Monday showdown – Wal-Mart closes in on Amazon in online price war (Read More)

  • Rising Oil Prices Reignite the OPEC-U.S. Shale Rivalry (Read More)

  • Amazon Plays Catch Up in a Corner of the Cloud Where It Lagged (Read More)

  • AT&T-Justice Department Clash Puts Outspoken Judge Back in Focus (Read More)

  • Keystone’s existing pipeline spills far more than predicted to regulators (Read More)

  • Russia Suggests North Korea Take Step Toward Denuclearization (Read More)

  • Barely a quarter of Catalans want to pursue split from Spain: poll (Read More)

  • Enlisting Viruses as Allies to Fight ‘Superbugs’ (Read More)

  • Chicago Immigration Raid Leaves Swiss Baker Scrambling to Restaff (Read More)

  • Prince Harry And Actress Meghan Markle to Wed Next Year (Read More)


Headlines – 11/27/2017

Report: Israel vows to destroy Iranian positions within 40 km of Syrian border

Assad to Netanyahu: Ready to discuss Golan demilitarization

Israel’s security cabinet to convene on threats along northern border

Syria: Russian air strikes ‘kill dozens of civilians’

Syria: At least 23 civilians killed ahead of UN talks on Monday

Palestinians’ Washington office can remain open, but only for peace activities

Saudi Arabia ‘doesn’t care’ about the Palestinians as long as it can make a deal with Israel against Iran, says former Netanyahu advisor

Saudi crown prince leads Islamic military alliance meeting

Saudi vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’

Saudi Prince: Islamic military coalition will fight terrorism until ‘eradicated’

Saudi Crown Prince: ‘Terrorism won’t distort Islam’s peaceful image’

Riot fears as Netanyahu heads to inauguration of Kenyan president

In the face of massacre, Egypt scrambles to improve its counter-terrorism efforts

Egyptian village where mosque was attacked had been warned

ISIS Raises The Stakes In Egypt After Deadly Sinai Mosque Attack

Congressman Calls Trump ‘An Idiot’ For Using Egypt Mosque Attack To Promote Border Wall

Pakistani Islamist group to call off nationwide protests after govt backs down

Rohingya crisis looms large as pope travels to Myanmar

North Korea Says Only U.S. Should Be Afraid of Its Nuclear Weapons, Other Nations Are Safe

South Korea taunts North Korea over defecting soldier by broadcasting news through loudspeakers, report says

With Germany in crisis, Europe-watchers contemplate an E.U. after Merkel

Russia’s Chechnya leader says he is ready to resign, Kremlin to pick successor

As he investigates Trump’s aides, Robert Mueller’s record shows surprising flaws

Clock ticking down on NSA surveillance powers

Justices to weigh cell phone privacy in landmark case

FBI failed to warn US targets of Russian hackers

Six years after tsunami, debate on what to do with Fukushima’s tanks

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taron, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 11,000ft

Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes airport

Bali volcano: Danger zone is expanded, 100K told to flee

Advocates say Texas exploiting day laborers after Harvey

Archbishop Of Canterbury: ‘I Genuinely Do Not Understand’ Christians Who Back Trump

Pelosi: Trump election, not Weinstein, opened sexual misconduct floodgates

Franken will not resign, but ’embarrassed and ashamed’ over misconduct allegations

Congressional leaders face internal pressure to act on harassment

A panic is not an answer: We’re at imminent risk of turning this #metoo moment into a frenzied rush to blame all men

Massage Envy accused of sexual assault by more than 180 women across U.S.

Beijing kindergartens get permanent inspectors after abuse scandal

How to Help Indoctrinated Cult Members Break Free

Virginia pastor charged in Thanksgiving Day killing of his family

Todd White: How Much Money Does He Actually Make?

Getting wasted with the Holy Spirit at Bethel Redding

Michael Brown & Lou Engle upholding their heretical roots

Identifying New Apostolic Reformation churches in your city

Ravi Zacharias Busted For Fake Doctorate 

New Research Reveals Angry People Have Shorter Life Spans

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 06:37 AM PST

New Research Reveals Angry People Have Shorter Life Spans

Researchers from Iowa State University found that angry men aged 20 to 40 were one-and-a-half times more likely to be dead 35 years later than those who were calmer. Scientists believe this is due to a number of factors linking stress to physiological damage. The frequent release of adrenaline during periods of stress damages DNA, which could lead to life-threatening illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Feelings of anger produce a heightened response in the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with survival instincts.

Angry emotions prompt the amygdala to signal a heightened state of anxiety to the rest of the brain and the body, increasing blood flow to the limbs and heart, which makes relaxation almost impossible.  Those exposed to anger-inducing stimuli – without discussing how it made them feel – are more likely to experience insomnia than those who engage in an emotional ‘debrief’, according to neuroscientists at the University of Massachusetts.  ‘Writing down the cause of your anger frees up the space in your head, dampening the fear response and encouraging relaxation,’ says Mike Fisher, director of the British Association of Anger Management. READ MORE

 

The Spirit of Offense Wants to Attack You in These 8 Ways

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 06:31 AM PST

The Spirit of Offense Wants to Attack You in These 8 Ways

(By Ryan Johnson) Offense: It’s a word we have either experienced or seen others go through it. It’s a hot-topic word as it seems more and more individuals are going through battles of being offended. Whether it is being offended over politics, religion, freedom, protests or choices, the list is long with so many dealing with being offended on some level. To understand more about how offense works against individuals who have a relationship with Jesus, I began to consider how the mindset of offense works.

And that’s when I saw an octopus. Yep, I know it sounds strange, but it was the image that first came to me. I began to see how offense operates like the arms and the legs of an octopus. Offense has the sole purpose to attach itself to you (to entangle you), and I believe that the Lord is detailing how a spirit of offense will come against you in eight different ways.

1. Mind – Romans 8:5-8: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace, for the carnal mind is hostile toward God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” When offense takes root, the first place it’s coming after is your mind. If offense can attach itself to your thoughts, it owns your ability to process understanding. The moment offense attaches itself to your mind, the ability to have clarity and peace is diminished, as everything now becomes about feeding every thought that is only directed at the hurt through offense.  FULL LIST

Urgent Prayer Alert as End Times Prophecies Manifest

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 04:46 AM PST

Urgent Prayer Alert as End Times Prophecies Manifest

(By Joni Koski) For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly destroyed. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious (Isa. 60:12-13). In the game pick-up-sticks, spiked sticks of different colors are thrown into the air and fall randomly. The winner extracts the most sticks without disturbing the pile. However, care must be taken because the

sticks are sharp and misuse can cause injury. Likewise, the vying spiritual and political influences in Lebanon—Shia, Sunni and Christian—this month have been thrown in the air and now is the time to pray that they fall in such a way that the kingdom of God will advance forcefully in the Middle East. The catalyst for throwing these sticks into the air was Saad Hariri’s November 4 controversial resignation as Lebanese prime minister. Lebanon has been described as a “playground for foreign powers” since its borders were drawn by the French-British 1916 Sykes-Picot axis agreement.  READ MORE

Bitcoin crushing US dollar & governments can do nothing to stop it

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 04:40 AM PST

Bitcoin crushing US dollar & governments can do nothing to stop it

While some have suggested bitcoin’s meteoric rise signals a potential cryptocurrency bubble, RT’s Max Keiser says fiat currencies like the US dollar are collapsing against it. “I think we are seeing fiat currencies in a hyperinflationary collapse against bitcoin,” he said, adding that we’ll see a major price correction somewhere at the $25,000 per bitcoin level. “Up until that price is achieved it looks like we’ll see a pretty strong upward move.” On Monday, the digital currency smashed another all-time high, trading above $9,700 on growing signs of mainstream adoption by institutional investors. According to

Keiser, there is a huge market for other cryptocurrencies, but bitcoin has an entrenched network that is now growing exponentially. It is beyond the reach of any competition, of any nation-state and any cooperation to defeat it, the host of ‘Keiser Report’ said. “Bitcoin is a perfect currency, something that is utterly changing the global finance and market and is putting banksters and the central banks out of business,” which, according to Keiser, “should be applauded because they’ve been horribly bad actors. We need to get rid of them and let bitcoin transform our world.”  READ MORE

Russia warns of ‘apocalyptic scenario’ on Korean Peninsula…

Posted: 27 Nov 2017 04:36 AM PST

Russia warns of ‘apocalyptic scenario’ on Korean Peninsula…

An apocalyptic scenario of developments on the Korean Peninsula is possible, but Russia hopes that a common sense would prevail among the involved parties, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said on Monday. “A scenario of the apocalyptic development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula exists and we cannot turn our blind eye to it,” Morgulov said speaking at the opening of the eighth annual Asian Conference of the Valdai discussion club in Seoul. “I hope that a common sense,

pragmatism and an instinct of self-preservation would prevail among our partners to exclude such negative scenario,” the Russian diplomat said. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain high as North Korea actively develops its nuclear and missile programs, while the US and its allies in the region carry out their military maneuvers. On September 3, Pyongyang announced a successful hydrogen bomb test. The UN Security Council stepped up sanctions against North Korea.  READ MORE

 

 

The IRS Will Not Process Your Tax Return Unless You Prove You Have Health Insurance Or Not

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:50 PM PST

The IRS Will Not Process Your Tax Return Unless You Prove You Have Health Insurance Or Not

(By Michael Snyder) Yes, this is a true story.  I was completely shocked when I learned about this too, and this just underscores the importance of repealing the individual mandate immediately.  Shortly after taking office, President Trump issued an executive order which was intended to move the IRS away from enforcing Obamacare’s individual mandate, but now the IRS has found a way around that executive order.  According to the official AARP website, the IRS has announced that it will not process any tax

returns from individuals that are not willing to disclose whether they currently have health insurance or not… The Internal Revenue Service won’t process individual tax returns in 2018 unless taxpayers indicate whether they have health insurance coverage or an exemption. The move, announced last month, reverses course from this year, when the IRS said it would not require filers to indicate on 1040 tax forms whether they had health insurance. Filers were still required to have medical insurance or pay a penalty, but the IRS accepted and processed returns even if taxpayers didn’t indicate coverage status. READ MORE

 

California Rocked By 698 Earthquakes Within The Past 30 Days

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:37 PM PST

California Rocked By 698 Earthquakes Within The Past 30 Days

(By Michael Snyder) Why is the west coast shaking so violently?  According to the latest data from Earthquake Track, there have been 698 earthquakes in California within the past 30 days.  By the time that you read this article, that number will undoubtedly have changed.  In recent days I have felt such an urgency to write about the seismic activity on the west coast, and I am quite concerned that so few people seem to be paying attention to what is happening.  As I have covered previously, scientists tell us that when seismic activity

begins to escalate the probability of having a major earthquake jumps significantly.  Over the past month there have been more mainstream news articles about earthquake swarms in California than I have seen in years, and the magnitude 4.6 earthquake that rattled Monterey County earlier this month made headlines all over the world.  And it isn’t just the U.S. section of the “Ring of Fire” that seems to be awakening.  I have written about Mt. Popocatepetl down in Mexico several times recently, and on Friday it erupted three more timesREAD MORE

Gospel Singer & Pastor Shawn Jones Collapses, Dies During Performance

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:32 PM PST

Gospel Singer & Pastor Shawn Jones Collapses, Dies During Performance

Shawn Jones, gospel singer and the founding pastor of the New Thing Empowerment Church in Auburn, Alabama, collapsed and died during a performance with his band recently in Pensacola, Fla.  Jones was 32.  The church and Jones’ supporters are holding The Shawn Jones Legacy Concert on Monday, November 27, at 6:00 pm, as well as a memorial service on Tuesday morning at Pilgrim Rest Baptist

Church.According to The Christian Post, shortly after Jones began singing “Worthy Is He,” he passed out on stage to the shock of the audience.  “They were doing a fantastic job. It was a nice show,” Kenneth Woodson, manager of The Event Center, recalled to The Christian Post of the Shawn Jones & The Believers band Monday evening. READ MORE

Was Jesus a ‘Feel-Good’ Preacher?

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:19 PM PST

Was Jesus a ‘Feel-Good’ Preacher?

(By Ben Goodwin) We live in an age of “feel goodism” in a super-sensitive society in which people are offended by any perceived slight. Politically correct police patrol the air waves, red-flag certain buzzwords and label those who use them as bigots, racists, sexists and extremists. Freedom of speech is under attack, especially religious speech, which is often tagged “hate speech” by secularists who reject biblical truth. Paul warned Timothy, “For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their

ears away from the truth and turn to myths” (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Contrary to some opinions, Jesus wasn’t always a Mr. Nice Guy who never offended anyone with His words and carefully avoided controversy. Some people have the misguided notion that Jesus was a “feel-good” preacher who was always sweet, kind, diplomatic and never made waves or rocked the boat. Are you kidding me? What Bible have they been reading?  READ MORE

Geologists Warn Of 2018 as “Year of Monster Quakes”

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:08 PM PST

Geologists Warn Of 2018 as “Year of Monster Quakes”

Geophysicists who studied seismic activity over the past 117 years report 2018 could be shaping up as a year of monster earthquakes – especially around the equator. Why? The signal that causes the alarm from a historical pattern, they say, is the slowing of the Earth’s rotation.  The new study, presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, in Seattle, is published in Geophysical Research

Letters by geologists Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Rebecca Bendick of the University of Montana.  It tracked the incidence of magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes worldwide since 1900, revealing through recent history, such major quakes occur about 15 times per year. Yet, over the last 117 years, there have been evenly spaced intervals in which the annual total jumped to between 25 and 30.  “Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study,” said Bilham.  READ MORE

 

Have Sodom And Gomorrah Been Found?

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

Have Sodom And Gomorrah Been Found?

Is the Bible’s account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah just a myth? Not likely, says an archaeologist who believes, following 12 years of sifting sand near the Dead Sea in Jordan, that he has found the ruins of the largest twin cities in the area, one that fits all the criteria of the Bible account.  Steven Collins, a professor of biblical studies and apologetics at Trinity Southwest University, says a “monstrous” site in Tall el-Hammam in the southern Jordan Valley, which lies eight miles northeast of

the Dead Sea, perfectly matches the biblical descriptions of the “city of sin,” destroyed in a day by fire and brimstone. Collins began exploring the rubble in 2005 and eventually concluded that it is indeed the site inhabited by Lot who was saved by Abraham from the judgment of the dominant city-state of the era. “When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to 10 times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region.”  READ MORE

 

Top scientist warns Madagascar plague must be brought under control amid fears of fourth pandemic

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 01:17 PM PST

Top scientist warns Madagascar plague must be brought under control amid fears of fourth pandemic

Epidemiology expert Professor Allen Cheng said it is crucial to stop the spread amid claims the disease has reached “crisis point” with over five months to go until the end of plague season.  The medieval disease has swept through Madagascar, infecting thousands of people and killing hundreds in the worst outbreak of the Black Death in 50 years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) described the outbreak as “uncharacteristic” and drastic measures have been put in place to stop it spreading. This has included

closing schools and sending supplies and medical officials to affected regions. Professor Cheng, who specializes in epidemiology and preventative medicine at Monash University, said current measures that have been introduced are needed for the “degree of risk”.  Rules including screening travelers and preparing countries for an outbreak have been out in place over fears the deadly disease could become a global pandemic. READ MORE

Malibu church ‘pressured to end meals for the homeless’ because it ‘lures the needy’

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 01:10 PM PST

Malibu church ‘pressured to end meals for the homeless’ because it ‘lures the needy’

church in upmarket Malibu has decided to stop providing free meals for those in need after claiming they were told by officials they were attracting too many homeless people.  The United Methodist Church, one of many churches that provides food and help, has been offering free meals twice a week. But it said it was going to stop after being told the meal service was luring too many homeless people.

Dawn Randall, a member of the church, said it recently received an email from city officials. “Very succinctly, they claimed we are increasing homelessness,” she told CBS.  Reports suggest that the California city of Malibu, famed for its gorgeous beaches and multi-million dollar homes, has a growing problem with homelessness, an issue that was met with both charity and taxpayer money. The Los Angeles Times said the city, which has a population of 13,000, has roughly 180 homeless residents, but no shelter or housing for poor people. READ MORE

Exorcists on call amid surge in private treatment for demonic possession…

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 12:49 PM PST

Exorcists on call amid surge in private treatment for demonic possession…

Out, out,” chanted Jean Clément, as he performed a ceremony to rid a Parisian businessman of “negative spirits” supposedly conjured up by a jealous rival.  As the chanting went on, Robert — the “patient”, as Mr Clément calls him — appeared to have entered a trance-like state. In his 50s, with purple circles below his puffy eyes so deeply indented that they look like bruises, he said he had been suffering from

chronic insomnia and anxiety as his business goes through a bad patch. He is one of a growing number of people in France who are turning to exorcists to save their careers or restore love to troubled relationships. As he prepared for the exorcism, Mr Clément lit candles and incense and placed them beside a crucifix and semi-precious stones on a coffee table in the man’s elegant apartment. READ MORE

New Saudi prince vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’…

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 12:44 PM PST

New Saudi prince vows new Islamic alliance ‘will wipe terrorists from the earth’…

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince vowed to “pursue terrorists until they are wiped from the face of the earth” as officials from 40 Muslim countries gathered Sunday in the first meeting of an Islamic counter-terrorism alliance.  “In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination” among national authorities, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defense minister, said in his keynote address to the gathering in Riyadh. “This ends today, with this alliance.”

The summit is the first meeting of defense ministers and other senior officials from the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, which officially counts 41 countries and identifies as a “pan-Islamic unified front” against violent extremism. The alliance was announced in 2015 under the auspices of Prince Mohammed, whose rapid ascent since his appointment as heir to the throne in June has shaken the political scene across the region. READ MORE

Virginia pastor charged in Thanksgiving Day killing

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 11:40 AM PST

Virginia pastor charged in Thanksgiving Day killing

A Virginia youth pastor remained in jail Saturday after being charged in the Thanksgiving night shooting deaths of his wife, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend, police said.  Christopher Gattis, 58, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, Sergeant P.H. Zoffuto of Chesterfield County Police said in a statement issued

Friday. Police said Jeanett Gattis, 58; her daughter Candice Kunze, 30; and Andrew Buthorn, 36, who was Kunze’s boyfriend, were shot to death at the home in Chester that they shared with Gattis shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Thursday. The incident appeared to be domestic in nature, police said, but they were still investigating. READ MORE

Bali volcano shuts down flights, sends thousands of residents fleeing for safety

Posted: 26 Nov 2017 07:31 AM PST

Bali volcano shuts down flights, sends thousands of residents fleeing for safety

Volcanic eruptions on the Indonesian resort island of Bali have prompted officials to cancel flights and move about 24,000 residents out of the way as a thick ash cloud from Mount Agung, thousands of meters high, drifts east and southeast along the archipelago. Residents were evacuated from 224 points around the island while Lombok International Airport on Pulau Lombok, the island due east of Bali, has

closed temporarily, said Ari Ahsan, spokesman for Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. At Ngurah Rai, Bali’s main airport, flight cancellations stranded roughly 5,500 passengers, Ahsan said.
Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised its aviation notice from an orange alert to a red one Sunday.  READ MORE


What is The Gospel?


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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Lest There be any Confusion as to Grace, Works, Faith, and Salvation

“That the guilty should stand before God with self-complacency, and refer his salvation in any measure to his own merit, is so abhorrent to all right feeling that Paul assumes it (Rom. 4:2) as an intuitive truth, that no man can boast before God. And to all who have any proper sense of the holiness of God and of the evil of sin, it is an intuition; and therefore a gratuitous salvation, a salvation which excludes with works all ground of boasting, is the only salvation suited to the relation of guilty men to God.”

How many works are necessary for final salvation? There are some out there who might be prone to see this question as indicating a legal spirit in the questioner. Well, inasmuch as the question relates to the recent discussions of “final salvation” or “final justification” they would be wrong. Rather, the question is asked not to pin down a quantifiable number of good works needed, but posed rhetorically to make the very important point that when it comes to the question, the answer is NONE. In the same way, one could ask, how sincere or of what quality must our evangelical works be in order to secure final salvation? If the answer is this or that level then, as the marine in the movie Aliens said, ‘Game over, man! Game over!’

And as Charles Hodge wrote, Salvation is in no sense, and in no degree, of works.’ 

Let me repeat what has already been asserted countless time by many others, including myself. Good works are indeed necessary in a believer’s life. We are called to obedience in Christ. Good works are believing in Christ (John 6:29). Good works are fighting (mortifying) sin through the blood of Christ and repentance. Good works are loving and serving others. In short, good works are our obedience and duty to God. But to what purpose are these works necessary in the one who trusts in Christ for salvation? They are necessary in that our obedience shows forth a true and lively faith. Good works or the fruit of faith is how one judges the presence of a saving faith (James 2:18). Yet those necessary works which follow after faith are not necessary works as a means or ground for the securing or ensuring of one’s salvation. The weight of that burden was willingly taken for us by the One who was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:8; Matt 11:28-30). When it comes to works, faith, and acceptance by God it doesn’t get any clearer than this:

XII. Of Good Works. (39 Articles of Religion)
Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.

All those whose names are written in the Book of Life (btw, written before the foundation of the world) will necessarily possess goods works (Eph 2:10) as evidence of their trust in Christ alone for eternal life – yet even more – evidence of Christ having chosen them not they having chosen him (John 15:16).

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Screwtape’s Advice on How to Attack a Man’s Faith

My dear Wormwood,

Necessity compelled me to write. I hear that your man suffers from disappointment and unwanted circumstances, and I have only to say this: Take full advantage of your opportunity.

Likely, he is weakened in faith because his situation has not afforded him the luxury of resting upon the Enemy’s sovereignty. But an attack of this nature is not what we are after. (It’s quite easy to believe the providence of the Enemy, who makes the human’s little world go round and—to our repulse—delights to raise up their sun each day, no matter how ignorant they are.)

No—we are after the Enemy’s goodness.

Deceive Your Man

Fingerprints are best seen under a microscope, so don’t let your man closely consider his surroundings. The Enemy’s goodness is printed all over their earth, so it’s a great challenge to get around it, but you’d better try your best.

The key is to magnify something else, something worse. It’d be a whole lot better for us if the Enemy hadn’t made beauty like roses. But we have the curse on our side. So when your man runs by a rose, draw his mind to the thorns. When it rains, make him pity the wetness, rather than think on the growth of his tomatoes. When he sees the roaring sea the Enemy has bound by shores for the man’s enjoyment, the display of His power, remind him of the disaster it has wrought around the world.

We cannot rid creation of the grooves of God’s goodness, but we can overshadow them by rumination on its temporary ruin. We can deceive.

The Enemy even snuck His whole story in the seasons. Ugh, the knack! Don’t awaken your man to the hope written in every fallen leaf, that life will take its place not a few months later. Don’t let your man think on the whiteness of snow, a picture of death engulfed by purity and beauty from the sheer grace of heaven. When the snow is gone, stick your man’s foot in many a mud puddle, that it may muck up his ideas of new birth in spring, that mirrors the Enemy’s miracle in human souls.

Distract Your Man

I am ashamed I must mention the next strategy; for, you’re no true devil of hell if you have forgotten it! Don’t let him settle on the cross. There, the fingerprint of the Enemy’s goodness resembles a crater, the hole left by His heavenly fist punched through death and into their hearts. (Remember how the ground shook that day!)

Next, crowd your man’s mind with distraction, disillusions, divisive thoughts, discouragement, his fears, and his failures. Self is the key. We want him thinking about his life, his frustrations, and his problems. When he lifts his eyes to the Enemy, we’re in trouble. For the Son of the Enemy was lifted up—we need to keep your man’s eyes down. As soon as he looks up, he’ll see how his existence is not about himself, but his Lord.

Funny, how the Enemy did suffer for those that belong to Him—your man included. You know King Jesus suffered for their ultimate joy, and He takes delight in them, giving them fullness of life. By golly, He wept over them, and more than once! Make men and women? I might have. But had they shook their fleshy fists at me the way they did their King, I’d have destroyed them. Die for them? Absolutely not.


We look through labyrinths of tasks to earn God’s favor, rather than have Him as He offers Himself.
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Right now, we can only prod and pick at the redeemed ones for sport; there’s nothing for us to win in the end. He will have what He made. He won’t let humanity go to rot, though they’re born more rotten than their ignorant selves know! See, He would plant a new seed, create some anew. How? The Son of God wouldn’t stay on his throne, but became one of them—and an ugly one at that! All so they’d one-day crawl all over his place and share in a wealth they don’t know the half of now.

They’ll worship Him again. (Try to make your man think this is arrogance, on the Enemy’s part, to desire worship. It will keep your man from happiness in Him). They go around worshiping their spandex-covered athletes, though the game will be forgotten tomorrow; their spouse, though she will grow old; their new this or that, when next year it’ll be old; and they waste their affections when they could have Him.

Discourage Your Man

The Enemy made it far too easy: He can reach your man’s heart, you know, far better than we ever could. The Enemy puts faith in his people. They look up and see him clearly. Our task is to keep your man’s eyes level, looking through labyrinths of tasks to earn the Enemy’s favor, rather than have Him and see Him as He offers Himself.

We don’t want your man asking for what the Enemy freely gives—we want him anxious over how to earn the free gift. We don’t want him looking at the Giver, but livid over his failure to provide for himself. Our task is to blind him to the goodness of the Enemy that surrounds him, lest he respond in joyful worship.

That is all for now.

Your mentor,

Screwtape

[This article is styled after C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters.]

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But what is a broken heart? I say, first, that a broken heart implies a very deep and poignant sorrow on account of sin

Reformedontheweb's Blog

But what is a broken heart? I say, first, that a broken heart implies a very deep and poignant sorrow on account of sin. A heart broken-conceive of that. If you could look within and see everything going on in this great mystery called man, you would marvel at the wonders thereof, but how much more astonished would you be to see its heart, not merely divided in twain, but split into atoms. You would exclaim, “What misery must have done this! What a heavy blow must have fallen here!” By nature the heart is of one solid piece, hard as a nether millstone; but when God smites it, it is broken to pieces in deep suffering. Some will understand me when I describe the state of the man who is feeling a sorrow for sin. In the morning he bends his knees in prayer, but he feels afraid to…

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The One Genuine Cure for Legalism and Antinomianism

Antinomianism takes various forms. People do not always fit neatly into our categorizations, nor do they necessarily hold all the logical implications of their presuppositions. Here we are using “antinomianism” in the theological sense: rejecting the obligatory (“binding on the conscience”) nature of the Decalogue for those who are in Christ. Antinomianism, it was widely assumed in the eighteenth century, is essentially a failure to understand and appreciate the place of the law of God in the Christian life. But just as there is more to legalism than first meets the eye, the same is true of antinomianism.

Opposites Attract?

Perhaps the greatest misstep in thinking about antinomianism is to think of it simpliciter as the opposite of legalism.

It would be an interesting experiment for a budding doctoral student in psychology to create a word-association test for Christians. It might include:

  • Old Testament: Anticipated answer → New Testament
  • Sin: Anticipated answer → Grace
  • David: Anticipated answer → Goliath
  • Jerusalem: Anticipated answer → Babylon
  • Antinomianism: Anticipated answer → ?

Would it be fair to assume that the instinctive response there at the end would be “Legalism”?

Is the “correct answer” really “Legalism”? It might be the right answer at the level of common usage, but it would be unsatisfactory from the standpoint of theology, for antinomianism and legalism are not so much antithetical to each other as they are both antithetical to grace. This is why Scripture never prescribes one as the antidote for the other. Rather grace, God’s grace in Christ in our union with Christ, is the antidote to both.

This is an observation of major significance, for some of the most influential antinomians in church history acknowledged they were on a flight from the discovery of their own legalism.

According to John Gill, the first biographer of Tobias Crisp, one of the father figures of English antinomianism: “He set out first in the legal way of preaching in which he was exceeding jealous.”

Benjamin Brook sets this in a larger context:

Persons who have embraced sentiments which afterwards appear to them erroneous, often think they can never remove too far from them; and the more remote they go from their former opinions the nearer they come to the truth. This was unhappily the case with Dr. Crisp. His ideas of the grace of Christ had been exceedingly low, and he had imbibed sentiments which produced in him a legal and self-righteous spirit. Shocked at the recollection of his former views and conduct, he seems to have imagined that he could never go far enough from them.

But Crisp, in keeping with others, took the wrong medicine.

The antinomian is by nature a person with a legalistic heart. He or she becomes an antinomian in reaction. But this implies only a different view of law, not a more biblical one.

Richard Baxter’s comments are therefore insightful:

Antinomianism rose among us from an obscure Preaching of Evangelical Grace, and insisting too much on tears and terrors.

The wholescale removal of the law seems to provide a refuge. But the problem is not with the law, but with the heart—and this remains unchanged. Thinking that his perspective is now the antithesis of legalism, the antinomian has written an inappropriate spiritual prescription. His sickness is not fully cured. Indeed the root cause of his disease has been masked rather than exposed and cured.

There is only one genuine cure for legalism. It is the same medicine the gospel prescribes for antinomianism: understanding and tasting union with Jesus Christ Himself. This leads to a new love for and obedience to the law of God, which he now mediates to us in the gospel. This alone breaks the bonds of both legalism (the law is no longer divorced from the person of Christ) and antinomianism (we are not divorced from the law, which now comes to us from the hand of Christ and in the empowerment of the Spirit, who writes it in our hearts).

Without this both legalist and antinomian remain wrongly related to God’s law and inadequately related to God’s grace. The marriage of duty with delight in Christ is not yet rightly celebrated.

Ralph Erskine, one of the leading Marrow Brethren, once said that the greatest antinomian was actually the legalist. His claim may also be true the other way around: the greatest legalist is the antinomian.

But turning from legalism to antinomianism is never the way to escape the husband whom we first married. For we are not divorced from the law by believing that the commandments do not have binding force, but only by being married to Jesus Christ in union with whom it is our pleasure to fulfill them. Thomas Boston himself is in agreement with this general analysis:

This Antinomian principle, that it is needless for a man, perfectly justified by faith, to endeavour to keep the law, and do good works, is a glaring evidence that legality is so engrained in man’s corrupt nature, that until a man truly come to Christ, by faith, the legal disposition will still be reigning in him; let him turn himself into what shape, or be of what principles he will in religion; though he run into Antinomianism he will carry along with him his legal spirit, which will always be a slavish and unholy spirit.

A century later, the Southern Presbyterian pastor and theologian James Henley Thornwell (1812–1862) noted the same principle:

Whatever form, however, Antinomianism may assume, it springs from legalism. None rush into the one extreme but those who have been in the other.

Here, again, is John Colquhoun, speaking of the manifestation of this in the life of the true believer:

Some degree of a legal spirit or of an inclination of heart to the way of the covenant of works still remains in believers and often prevails against them. They sometimes find it exceedingly dificult for them to resist that inclination, to rely on their own attainments and performances, for some part of their title to the favor and enjoyment of God.

If antinomianism appears to us to be a way of deliverance from our natural legalistic spirit, we need to refresh our understanding of Romans 7. In contrast to Paul, both legalists and antinomians see the law as the problem. But Paul is at pains to point out that sin, not the law is the root issue. On the contrary, the law is “good” and “righteous” and “spiritual” and “holy.” The real enemy is indwelling sin. And the remedy for sin is neither the law nor its overthrow. It is grace, as Paul had so wonderfully exhibited in Romans 5:12–21, and that grace set in the context of his exposition of union with Christ in Romans 6:1–14. To abolish the law, then, would be to execute the innocent.

For this reason it is important to notice the dynamic of Paul’s argument in Romans 7:1–6. We have been married to the law. A woman is free to marry again when her husband dies. But Paul is careful to say not that the law has died so that we can marry Christ. Rather, it is the believer who was married to the law who has died in Christ. But being raised with Christ, she is now (legally!) free to marry Christ as the husband with whom fruit for God will be brought to the birth. The entail of this second marriage is, in Paul’s language, that “the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

This is the sense in which the Christian’s relationship to the law is that of being an “in-law”! We are not related to the law directly as it were, or the law in isolation as bare commandments. The relationship is dependent on and the new fruit of our prior relationship to Christ. In simple terms, just as Adam received the law from the Father, from whose hand it should never have been abstracted (as it was by the Serpent and then by Eve), so the new-covenant believer never looks at the law without understanding that his relationship to it is the fruit of his union with Christ.

Bunyan saw the meaning of Romans 7. An “inclination to Adam the First” remains in all of us. The believer has died to the law, but the law does not die. The law still exists to the believer. But united to Christ the believer is now able to fulfill the law of marriage and bear fruit!

Thus grace, not law, produces what the law requires; yet at the same time it is what the law requires that grace produces. Ralph Erskine sought to put this in verse form:

Thus gospel-grace and law-commands
Both bind and loose each other’s hands;
They can’t agree on any terms,
Yet hug each other in their arms.
Those that divide them cannot be
The friends of truth and verity;
Yet those that dare confound the two
Destroy them both, and gender woe.
This paradox none can decipher,
That plow not with the gospel heifer.

So, he adds,

To run, to work, the law commands,
The gospel gives me feet and hands.
The one requires that I obey,
The other does the power convey.

Head and Heart

This is a fundamental pastoral lesson. It is not merely a matter of the head. It is a matter of the heart. Antinomianism may be couched in doctrinal and theological terms, but it both betrays and masks the heart’s distaste for absolute divine obligation, or duty. That is why the doctrinal explanation is only part of the battle. We are grappling with something much more elusive, the spirit of an individual, an instinct, a sinful temperamental bent, a subtle divorce of duty and delight. This requires diligent and loving pastoral care and especially faithful, union-with-Christ, full unfolding of the Word of God so that the gospel dissolves the stubborn legality in our spirits.

Olney Hymns, the hymnbook composed by John Newton and William Cowper, contains the latter’s hymn “Love Constraining to Obedience,” which states the situation well:

No strength of nature can suffice
To serve [the] Lord aright;
And what she has, she misapplies,
For want of clearer light.
How long beneath the law I lay
In bondage and distress!
I toil’d the precept to obey,
But toil’d without success.
Then to abstain from outward sin
Was more than I could do;
Now, if I feel its pow’r within,
I feel I hate it too.
Then all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose his ways.
What shall I do was then the word,
That I may worthier grow?
What shall I render to the Lord
Is my enquiry now.
To see the Law by Christ fulfil’d,
And hear his pard’ning voice;
Changes a slave into a child,
And duty into choice.

We are dealing here with a disposition whose roots go right down into the soil of the garden of Eden. Antinomianism then, like legalism, is not only a matter of having a wrong view of the law. It is a matter, ultimately, of a wrong view of grace, revealed in both law and gospel—and behind that, a wrong view of God Himself.

Taken from The Whole Christ by Sinclair B. Ferguson, © 2016, pp. 155–162. Used by permission of Crossway. Sinclair Ferguson’s new companion teaching series is also available here.

Source: The One Genuine Cure for Legalism and Antinomianism

Do not be unequally yoked with believers

In 2014 the late Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries penned a piece that addressed the growing apostasy and syncretism within the mainstream of evangelicalism. He wrote:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

So What Does A Believer Have In Common With An Unbeliever?

Well, this would seem clear enough; but unfortunately, not so today e.g. because evangelicalism made the fateful decision to embrace the apostate and sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church—with its “big tent” Progressive Christianity aka Emergence Christianity. This is the root reason why we’re witnessing such syncretism within the mainstream right now.

The tragic fact is that the EC brought in its core doctrine of anti-biblical Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism and spread it throughout the younger sectors of the evangelism. Then in On Contemplative Spirituality and Charismania I showed you the further progression away from sola Scriptura currently going on throughout the heart of the church visible.

View article →

Source: Do not be unequally yoked with believers

Matt Chandler’s Concerning Spiritual Teachings, Experiences, and Practices on Sign Gifts

This is a follow-up to Is Not Satire’s recent post Matt Chandler Appears to Affirm White Light Experience of Appearance of Jesus to Woman:

Matt Chandler is teaching and practicing some things that are concerning to many in the Reformed camp. Below are seven things you’ll see in the first video.

  1. Says that after a random guy blew on his head the effectiveness of his ministry increased.
  2. He affirms and promotes a testimony from a woman who claims she saw a bright white light in her room and perceived it as an appearance of Jesus
  3. Describes an experience where he asked God for direct revelation and was given an impression of a guy at a Whataburger.

View article →

Source: Matt Chandler’s Concerning Spiritual Teachings, Experiences, and Practices on Sign Gifts

Sexual Assault and the Scandal of Repentance

by Trevin Wax

During his lengthy tenure as an evening commentator on CNN, Larry King often posed two questions to pastors and theologians who came on as guests.

First, is Jesus was the only way to God? This was Larry’s way of seeing if the Christian representative would insist on the uniqueness of Jesus no matter how offensive that claim might come across in a pluralistic world. You mean good people from other religions might be condemned?

The second question came from a different angle. Could a serial killer, or someone like Hitler, or a rapist, or a pedophile receive forgiveness and wind up in heaven? This was Larry’s way of seeing if the Christian representative would insist on the offer of grace, no matter how offensive that pronouncement might come across in a world that demands justice. You mean abhorrently wicked people might repent and be saved?

Larry King is not a Christian. But he knows where the scandalous power of Christianity is found. It’s in the narrowness of insisting on universal, eternal condemnation for all sinners who fall short of God’s glory, and in the broadness of calling everyone to repent of their sins, trust in Christ and be saved. Everyone, even the “vilest offender,” in the words of the old Isaac Watts hymn.

The “vilest offender” today is the person who engages in sexual assault and abuse.

Vileness Knows No Bounds

Once upon a time, Hollywood elites winked and nodded at those who were well known for their brazenness. But no more. The dynamic has shifted. Women’s testimonies are (finally) taken seriously. More and more people feel the freedom to speak up. Contracts have been canceled. Stars find themselves blacklisted.

In politics, from the far right to the far left, we are discovering case after case of lecherous and predatory behavior, and we are coming to grips with a cultural sickness that promotes and protects such travesties.

(Unfortunately, partisan impulses that have been present since the Bill Clinton era have ossified into tribalism so powerful that it’s unclear if there’s anything egregious enough to cause voters to abandon their party’s candidate. Far too many have fallen for the myth that candidates who promise to vote the right way are to be preferred no matter their honor or character. This was the myth that many conservative Christians rightly exposed during the era of Clinton, before succumbing to the same line of reasoning in the era of Trump.)

Religious people have no room to point the finger and say, “I told you so!” to Hollywood moguls and corrupt politicians. In our own churches and institutions, we’ve seen how sexual abuse and assault can thrive in the shadows of piousness and self-protectiveness. Moral laxity is not the only condition necessary for evil to flourish. High moral standards or the “right positions” on biblical morality do not serve as a safeguard against those who would abuse their power in their pursuit of prey.

Beautiful Paradox

How then should we respond?

As Christians, there should be no equivocation or excusing of inappropriate sexual advances or abuse. Lord forbid the world be clearer than the church in naming and shaming evil deeds!

The church must be unflinching in its naming of sin. And yet the church must also not shrink back from the call to repentance. Repentance is the hope-filled call of the gospel: anyone can repent and be restored. Yes, anyone can turn from sin and find forgiveness.

Herein lies the scandal of the gospel. Christians name evil for what it is. Yet we also believe that evil desires and deeds can be confessed and overcome, that sin can be forgiven, and that people can be redeemed. The church is the peculiar society that insists that certain acts the world finds praiseworthy are sinful, while certain sins the world finds unforgivable can be wiped away.

So, the offense of the Christian gospel is twofold. We will seem narrow and strict when we insist on calling out sins. And yet, we will seem too generous when we insist that anyone no matter their past can repent and be restored. Our stark vision of sin is grace to the victim; our call to repentance is grace to the offender.

Repentance and Restoration

Repentance and restoration are powerful realities, but they are neither cheap nor easy.

True repentance over sin is more than remorse over consequences. It is a change wrought in the depths of one’s heart. Sexual offenders no longer dismiss or downplay their actions. No longer do they blame the victims, retreat into defensiveness, or seek to discredit the men and women who come forward. The church calls the offender to agree in naming the evil deed and refusing to make any excuses for it.

Likewise, forgiveness and restoration does not mean we abandon precautions in how we live among people who are guilty of sexual assault. It does not mean we overlook past offenses or set aside earthly consequences. The outworking of restoration must be applied with wisdom and care and prudence. Full restoration of human relationships (where a victim stays in contact with a repentant abuser) may not be advisable or possible on this side of eternity.

But the gracious call to repentance still goes out, and it is still powerful. We worship a generous God who takes sin so seriously that he gave up his body to be crucified, for the sins of victim and abuser alike. The rugged grace that flows from the cross does not minimize sin or redefine wickedness; it floods the cavernous heart and washes away our stains.

So, if the world is shocked that we still believe in sin, let the world be even more shocked that we still believe in repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. When the world is rushing headlong into sexual libertinism of all types, we continue to bear witness to the truth of God’s design for sexuality and the reality of sexual sinfulness. But when our vilest sins make us retreat in shame or double down in guilt, the dhurch bears witness to the truth that any person, no matter how vile, who repents and believes will be forgiven and restored.

Source: Sexual Assault and the Scandal of Repentance