Daily Archives: December 13, 2017

December 13 Worship of Distinction

“When He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him’” (Heb. 1:6).

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Jesus Christ is greater than angels because He is worshiped.

Even though Jesus Christ humbled Himself and was made lower than the angels for a time, angels are still to worship Him. Since angels are to worship Him, Christ must be greater than them.

Angels have always worshiped Christ—as God. It wasn’t until His incarnation that angels were commanded to worship Him as God’s Son. It is a sin to worship anyone or anything but God. In fact, note how sternly the Apostle John was rebuked for worshiping angels (Rev. 19:10; 22:8–9). The very fact that angels are to worship Christ verifies that Christ is indeed God.

At present, the angels don’t fully understand the entire picture of God’s redemptive plan. Peter tells us that the prophets didn’t understand all that they wrote, “seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow” (1 Peter 1:11). Then he added, “… things into which angels long to look” (v. 12). They are still trying to figure out things they don’t understand.

But that won’t always be the case. Notice that Hebrews 1:6 says, “When He again brings the first-born into the world . . .” (emphasis added). God already brought Christ into the world once; at the Second Coming He will bring Him into the world in blazing glory. Then the fullness of the prophecy of Psalm 97:7, quoted in Hebrews 1:6, will come to pass: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

In His Second Coming Christ will be revealed in full glory as the Son. More than ever we will have reason to join the heavenly chorus in declaring, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for His wonderful plan of salvation. Ask Him to make it more real to you every day.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 5:1–12, and note the reactions of the angels to the Lamb of God. What specific event motivated their response?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 360). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

December 13 SPIRITUAL PRIDE: ASKING GOD ONCE IS ENOUGH

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

COLOSSIANS 4:2

I have met Christians who insist that it is wrong to pray for the same thing twice, the reason being that if we truly believe when we pray we have the answer the first time; any second prayer betrays the unbelief of the first!

There are three things wrong with this teaching. One is that it ignores a large body of Scripture; the second is that it rarely works in practice, even for the saintliest soul; and the third is that, if persisted in, it robs the praying man of two of his mightiest weapons in his warfare with the flesh and the devil—intercession and petition.

For let it be said without qualification that the effective intercessor is never a one-prayer man, neither does the successful petitioner win his mighty resources in his first attempt!

It must be noted that such a teaching will very often result in an unconscious spiritual pride.

One has but to note the smug smile of superiority on the face of the one-prayer Christian to sense that there is a lot of pride behind the smile. While other Christians wrestle with God in an agony of intercession they sit back in humble pride waiting it out. They do not pray because they have already prayed. The devil has no fear of such Christians. He has already won over them, and his technique has been false logic.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

December 13, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

The defeat of Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race by Democrat Doug Jones was a stunning rebuke to the GOP’s anti-establishment wing led by Steve Bannon and a major political embarrassment for President Donald Trump.

A Japanese court overturned a ruling that allowed a nuclear reactor in the country’s south to operate, frustrating the government’s push to bring online dozens of plants shut in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

U.S. inflation picked up in November thanks to a jump in energy prices yet unexpectedly cooled when excluding food and fuel costs, which could factor into Federal Reserve discussions this week on how fast to raise interest rates.

AP Top Stories

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by a Georgia security guard who said she was harassed and forced from her job because she is a lesbian, avoiding an opportunity to decide whether a federal law that bans gender-based bias also outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s mistreatment of political prisoners is at least as egregious as that carried out in World War II concentration camps, according to a former international judge who survived Auschwitz.

A U.S. federal judge in the criminal conspiracy trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three other men on Monday warned that prosecutors’ failure to produce documents that could support defense arguments may lead to a mistrial.

Tens of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians attended a Hezbollah rally in Beirut on Monday, where the militant group’s leader vowed to return its focus to Israel after years of fighting in Syria’s civil war.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In began his first state visit to China on Wednesday to soothe relations strained by the US deployment of an anti-missile system that has angered Beijing.

On December 5, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Ministry announced the creation of a joint cooperation and coordination committee with Saudi Arabia. This committee provides an official forum for Saudi Arabia-UAE security collaboration outside the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Immediately after the UAE’s statement, many Western and Arab analysts described the committee’s creation as a major escalation of the Qatar crisis and a critical step towards a strengthened Riyadh-Abu Dhabi alliance.

Five years after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, advocates who are disappointed with the failure of efforts to limit access to firearms are changing their strategy. Instead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves. Nine of 13 volunteers trained by the group ran for office this year and won seats, ranging from New Hampshire state representative to city council member in West University Place, Texas. Fourteen more have already declared their intentions to run for office in 2018, seeking seats in Congress, state legislatures and local government, all running as Democrats.

A Chinese diplomat in Washington recently threatened that China would invade Taiwan if the U.S. Navy sent a ship to visit the democratic island, something that Congress has called upon the Pentagon to do in 2018. Is this just empty rhetoric? Or does it reflect Beijing’s actual intentions? It’s actually a bit of both.

Poland’s media regulator fined a private news channel nearly $420,000 for what it alleged was unfair reporting during a political crisis last year, but some saw the penalty as an attack on press freedom.

One of the best meteor showers of the year will streak across the sky this Wednesday night and Thursday morning. At its peak, the Geminid Meteor Shower can produce up to 120 multicolored meteors, which is why it’s so fun to watch, despite the nippy weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

Underlying U.S. consumer inflation slowed in November amid weak healthcare costs and the biggest drop in apparel prices since 1998. The moderation in underlying prices will likely attract the attention of Federal Reserve officials meeting on Wednesday for a second day. There are concerns among some policymakers that the factors behind the tame inflation could prove more persistent.

BBC

The leaders of 57 Muslim nations have called on the world to recognise “the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.

Merriam-Webster, a leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches.

The Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties has consumed 234,000 in just over a week. Firefighters reported that 20% of the blaze had been contained by Tuesday morning. Destroying 900 properties, including 690 homes, it has become the fifth largest wildfire in recorded state history. Some 94,000 residents have been displaced in the last week. Around 7,000 firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze.

The owner of Westfield shopping centers is being bought for $24.7bn in a deal that will see the malls launched in new markets.

WND

As one big store closes, it can take several smaller stores along with it like a house of cards. Experts predict that a quarter of American malls will close in five years — around 300 out of 1,100 that currently exist.

The Orange County, California, district attorney’s office has announced that two baby-body-parts dealers investigated after a series of undercover videos about the abortion industry’s profits on fetal tissue have been ordered to close down.


The Briefing — Wednesday, December 13, 2017

1) A political earthquake in Alabama

New York Times (Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin) –
Once a Long Shot, Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Race

2) The limits of conservative tolerance on questions of character

 

3) Elections have consequences—in the Senate and in the womb

4) Secular attempts to resolve the sin problem with therapy

New York Times (Benedict Carey) –
Therapy for Sexual Misconduct? It’s Mostly Unproven

5) New investigation that threatens to tell the truth about Planned Parenthood

New York Times (Nicholas Fandos) –
Justice Dept. Investigating Fetal Tissue Transfers by Planned Parenthood and Others


News – 12/13/2017

President Trump Merits Prestigious “Friend of Zion” Award
The Friends of Zion Museum presented US President Donald Trump with the Friends of Zion Award at the White House on Monday for his uncompromising support of Israel, epitomized by his recent historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital. “We believe no American president in history has done more to defend the Jewish people in the United Nations,” Evans said of Trump.

Earth’s mysterious hum recorded underwater for 1st time
Earth is “humming.” You can’t hear it, but it’s ongoing. And now scientists have measured that persistent hum from the ocean floor, for the first time. Most of the movements in the ground under our feet aren’t dramatic enough for people to feel them. Since the 1990s, researchers have known that Earth is constantly vibrating with microseismic activity, known as “free oscillation,”

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities
Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials. The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.

Switzerland Is Well-Prepared For Civilizational Collapse
More than any other country, Switzerland’s ethos is centered around preparing for civilizational collapse. The Swiss have been tunneling the Alps for hundreds of years creating innumerable secret hideaways for people and stores.

Tillerson says U.S. ready to talk to North Korea; Japan wants pressure
Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range of its nuclear weapons. “Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said in a speech to Washington’s Atlantic Council think tank on Tuesday.

Iran calls on Muslim nations to step up efforts against Trump’s Jerusalem decision
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday all Muslim nations should work together to defend the rights of Palestinians against Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israeli security forces arrest senior Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank
Israeli security forces arrested senior Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank Hassan Yousef on Wednesday morning, an IDF spokesman said. Yousef’s arrest came just over three months after Israel released him from prison, where he was held for nearly two years under administrative detention. A Shin Bet spokesman said Yousef, one of Hamas’s founders, was detained for his “involvement in advancing and promoting Hamas activities” in the West Bank, without elaborating.

Vice President Pence to visit Western Wall on Sunday
United States Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Western Wall on Sunday soon after arriving in the country for a two day visit, sources familiar with details of his trip confirmed on Wednesday. The visit to the site will come seven months after US President Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the site. Trump visited the Western Wall with his family, but was not accompanied by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…

Mogherini: Jerusalem should be shared between Israelis and Palestinians
After stating for a week that the final status of Jerusalem should be determined by Israelis and Palestinians…the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs said…that she has committed to the Palestinian Authority she will work toward its division…Federica Mogherini said she “guaranteed” in a phone call with PA President Mahmoud Abbas that Europe would work to ensure the city is shared by Israel and Palestinians in a future two-state solution.

Yemen war: Air strikes on rebel prison in Sanaa ‘kill 30’
At least 30 people are reported to have been killed in Saudi-led coalition air strikes on a rebel military police camp in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. Most of the dead were said to be detainees at a prison inside the camp. A guard said an initial attack damaged one wing of the jail, prompting some inmates to try to escape. Then another strike almost demolished the building.

Erdogan: World should recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged leaders of Muslim nations to recognise Jerusalem as the “occupied capital of the Palestinian state”. Addressing a summit of the Organisation for Islamic Co-operation, he said the US decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital was “null and void”. Mr Erdogan also again accused Israel of being a “state of terror”.

Russia Sharply Expanding Nuclear Arsenal, Upgrading Underground Facilities
Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials. The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.

Bahrain interfaith group pays unprecedented visit to Israel
An interfaith group from the Gulf state of Bahrain is paying an unprecedented public visit to Israel this week, receiving a warm welcome but generating uproar across the Arab world. The visit comes at a time when Israel is boasting of warming, albeit covert, ties with moderate Arab countries in a shared front against archrival Iran.

Democrat Jones wins U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump
Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a political blow to President Donald Trump in a race marked by sexual misconduct accusations against Republican candidate Roy Moore. The stunning upset makes Jones the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century and will trim the Republicans’ already narrow Senate majority to 51-49…

Kremlin calls U.S. allegations of subversive activity ‘groundless’
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that U.S. allegations it was involved in a new generation of warfare, including internal political subversion, against the United States, were groundless and not backed by facts. White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster made the allegations on Tuesday.

Surveillance AI Now Has 2 Billion Faces In DataBase From Shanghai Subway
A Chinese company has developed a special artificial intelligence that has gathered over 2 billion faces in its database since its surveillance camera was installed in a subway in Shanghai.  The Orwellian AI algorithm named Dragonfly Eye was developed by Shanghai-based tech firm Yitu.

DOJ escalates fight over transgenders in Armed Forces
The Department of Justice has escalated to a higher court the legal fight over whether the U.S. military will be forced to follow a district judge’s agenda and accept transgender recruits starting Jan. 1, arguing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that denying a delay could “harm military readiness.”

Major world leader threatens to wipe out Jews
President Obama praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “a man of action” and one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bond….But at a convention of his ruling party Sunday, Erdogan invoked a Muslim hadith…that made clear his view of Jews and the state of Israel, according to dissident Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt, the Investigative Project on Terrorism reported.

Netanyahu: Iran eyes sending 80,000 Shiite fighters to ME
In press briefing before concluding European trip, PM Netanyahu says Iran seeks to shore up Syrian entrenchment, intends to use 80,000 Shiite fighters to ‘spark religious wars anew’; in prior statement to 28 EU foreign ministers, Netanyahu chides them to ‘stop pampering Palestinians’, says Palestinians need ‘reality check.’

BOMBSHELL: Evidence Of CIA Role In Forging Obama’s Birth Certificate
Infowars.com has learned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s investigators had discovered bombshell evidence that the CIA and or other government entities illegally hacked into Hawaii Department of Health records searching for birth records on Barack Obama.

Pope Francis: Satan’s Been Misunderstood, Let’s Give Him A Chance
It’s strange to think that the Pope and the College of Cardinals are actually Satanists, but if you look at how the Pope continually facilitates the New World order agenda, it’s not really that far of the fetched.

TRUMP DECLARES: “We’ve already started the process” of ending Visa Lottery that allowed NYC jihad murderer to enter US – Muslims are outraged
And not a moment too soon. “Trump: We’ve Already Started Process of Ending Visa Lottery that Allowed Suspected NYC Terrorist into U.S.,” by John Binder, Breitbart, December 8, 2017: President Donald Trump says his administration has “already started the process” of ending the Diversity Visa…

‘Unknown’ soldiers: US won’t disclose location of thousands of its troops
The White House has omitted, from a report prepared for Congress, the number of US troops fighting around the globe, including in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The expunged data coincides with a Pentagon report listing the location of 44,000 military personnel as “unknown”.

Hitler-themed pony in school assignment shocks parents in Illinois
Eighth-grade students in northeastern Illinois were given a task involving a pony with a Nazi swastika, along with a Hitler-style haircut and moustache. Parents were not impressed with the school’s methods, forcing it to apologize.

Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency
…it’s now becoming increasingly evident that Bitcoin may be a creation of the NSA and was rolled out as a “normalization” experiment to get the public familiar with digital currency. Once this is established, the world’s fiat currencies will be obliterated in an engineered debt collapse (see below for the sequence of events), then replaced with a government approved cryptocurrency with tracking of all transactions and digital wallets by the world’s western governments.

EX CIA Chief: I Was Part Of New World Order’s Plan To Remove Donald Trump
An ex CIA spy chief has blown the whistle, while inspiring other intelligence figures to do the same, admitting his leading role in on waging political war on president Donald Trump.

George Soros Caught Faking Documentary to Smear Donald Trump for Sexual Abuse
…Multiple women have now come forward accusing the president of sexual abuse, but now evidence has emerged that Soros’s film company has been paying them to make false statements against the POTUS.

President Trump Withdraws U.S. from Participation in Globalist Migration Compact
…The Trump administration has decided to withdraw from participation in the United Nations Global Compact on Migration, representing another significant departure from the global governance policies of the Obama administration.


Cryptocurrency Chaos: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum All Keep Surging To New Record Highs With No End In Sight

The cryptocurrency revolution is the biggest story in the financial world right now. In recent days I have spent a lot of time writing about Bitcoin, but the truth is that all of the major cryptocurrencies have been on an unprecedented run lately. In fact, some of them have been rising much faster in price than Bitcoin has. So even though Bitcoin is now worth almost 18 times as much as it was at the beginning of 2017, that actually pales in comparison to how fast Litecoin has been rising. Of course not all of these cryptocurrencies will eventually succeed. There are about 1000 different cryptocurrencies in existence at the moment, and most of them will inevitably fail. But for now virtually every cryptocurrency is soaring, and the total market cap for all cryptocurrencies combined is rapidly approaching half a trillion dollars. (Read More…)


Mid-Day Snapshot

Dec. 13, 2017

Jones Wins, Democrats Lose

Roy Moore was narrowly defeated by Doug Jones — but Democrats take a big hit.

The Foundation

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life.” —George Washington (1790)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: December 13

  • Democrat wins Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump (Read More)
  • Capital Journal: With Alabama Loss, Trump and GOP Face Political Reckoning (Read More)
  • Democratic Victory Stirs GOP Anxiety Over Midterm Elections (Read More)
  • Fed Expected to Raise Rates (Read More)
  • With rate hike in the bag, Fed may hint at Trump effect on economy (Read More)
  • Fed 2018 Dots in Focus for Yellen Swan Song: Decision Day Guide (Read More)
  • GOP Eyes Cut for Top Earners, 21% Corporate Rate in Tax Plan (Read More)
  • EU parliament backs starting next phase of Brexit talks (Read More)
  • Stocks Struggle Ahead of Fed Meeting; Bonds Fall: Markets Wrap (Read More)
  • The date for next year’s Italian general election has been set: reports (Read More)
  • GOP to Grill Rosenstein on Anti-Trump ‘Bias’ in Mueller’s Probe (Read More)
  • This Electric Truck Will Probably Beat Tesla’s to Market (Read More)
  • As U.S. Unwinds Web Rules, Industry’s Voice Echoes the Loudest (Read More)
  • Manhattan luxury condo sales skew apartment prices: survey (Read More)
  • Traders See No End to the Dollar’s Pain in 2018 (Read More)
  • This English Town Backed Brexit. Now the Poles Are Leaving (Read More)

Headlines – 12/13/2017

Muslim leaders to convene extraordinary summit for Jerusalem

Turkey: World must recognize east Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Erdogan seeks to galvanize Muslim leaders over Jerusalem

Israel and Turkey on a course of collision?

Saudi King, Crown Prince discuss Jerusalem issue with Jordanian King

Soleimani Says Iran Is Ready to Back Palestinian Forces

Trump’s Jerusalem move seen to impede regional alliance against Iran

Netanyahu told Macron he’d make ‘concessions’ within Trump peace plan – report

Tillerson says US embassy unlikely to move to Jerusalem before 2020

Pence, an architect of Jerusalem recognition, plans triumphant visit

How Trump fooled everyone with his Jerusalem declaration

Hundreds of Conservative Jews publicly oppose Trump’s Jerusalem recognition

Trump: ‘Proud to stand with the Jewish people who light up the world on this holiday’

Bahrain interfaith group pays unprecedented visit to Israel

IDF strikes Hamas position in Gaza after rocket launch

Senior Hamas leader among dozens arrested overnight in West Bank

Two Palestinians killed in Gaza, Israel denies claim of attack

US wary of Putin’s declaration of military victory in Syria

Iraq PM warns Islamic State might erupt again somewhere else

US slaps terror charges on accused Times Square bomber

Saudi Arabia condemns New York bombing: We reject all forms of terror

New York subway blast suspect in Facebook post before detonating bomb: ‘Trump, you failed to protect your nation’

NYPD adjusting security plans for New Year’s Eve

Tillerson: US ready to talk but N.Korea must be ready to change course

Tillerson says U.S. ready to talk to North Korea; Japan wants pressure

Senior Russian diplomat hails US readiness to start talks with N.Korea

Europe’s Gas Flows Resume After Austrian Blast Rattled Markets

It’s Official: Bitcoin Surpasses “Tulip Mania”, Is Now The Biggest Bubble In World History

The bitcoin fever has hit Israel, but the global demand is crashing the infrastructure

A Faster Pace of Fed Rate Increases Could Rattle Markets

North Korea sanctions could hurt millions as winter bites, UN says

South Korea conducts anti-terror drills ahead of Winter Games

Holocaust-surviving judge: N. Korean camps may be worse than Auschwitz

North Korea readying for another nuclear test? Satellite images show hectic activity at Punggye-ri

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ravar, Iran

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 18,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

100,000 Still Stranded Amid California Fires; Giant Thomas Fire Only 20% Contained

France’s Macron takes lead in climate change battle, with the U.S. absent

Taxes on Meat Could Join Carbon and Sugar to Help Limit Emissions

Trump-backed Roy Moore suffers stunning loss to Democrat Doug Jones but raises possibility of recount

Sexual misconduct allegations weighed heavily on Moore candidacy, results suggest

Is Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem a Prophetic Sign The Temple Will be Rebuilt

5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers

NAR Apostle Bill Johnson & Kris Vallotton ‘knight’ Ben Fitzgerald

Evangelical Leaders Pray With Trump in Oval Office, Present Him ‘Friends of Zion’ Award

Word of Faith Fellowship – ‘Nobody saved us’: Man describes childhood in abusive ‘cult’

Modern Day Witches Call Theirs ‘A Beautiful Way Of Life’

Cecile Richards: Time for Women to Start Bragging About Their Abortions, Don’t be “Ashamed”

Tillerson Says Jerusalem Embassy Move Won’t Happen Before 2020

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 06:14 AM PST

Tillerson Says Jerusalem Embassy Move Won’t Happen Before 2020Despite President Donald Trump’s landmark declaration last week that the US would move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the actual move is unlikely to happen for at least three years, said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday. “It’s not going to be anything that happens right away. Probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious,” cautioned Tillerson in a speech at the State Department, the New York Times reported.He was echoing comments he made on Friday after

talks in Paris with the French Foreign Minister, when he said the move was “not something that is going  to happen this year or probably not next year.” However, he reassured concerned parties that Trump seeks to make the move “in a very concrete” way. “The president does want us to move in a very concrete, very steadfast way to ensure the embassy is located in Jerusalem when we’re able to do so, at the earliest possible time,” he said in Paris. READ MORE

 

Kim Jong Un now claims he can “control the weather”

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 05:42 AM PST

Kim Jong Un now claims he can “control the weather”North Korea has made many incredulous claims about the powers of leader Kim Jong Un and his family. Now it’s boasted of the greatest yet: He can control the weather.  After releasing images this weekend of a smiling Kim on top of Mount Paektu, an active volcano on the China and North Korea border, the nation’s state media said the “peerlessly illustrious commander” can control “the nature.” The evidence

for this weather modification? When Kim “ascended” to the top of the 9,000-foot mountain through thick snow wearing his signature double-breasted winter coat and black leather shoes, a blizzard gave way to “fine weather unprecedented.” Kim was apparently responsible for this moment of sunshine on what should have been, according to a North Korean government statement, a dreary winter day.  READ MORE

 

Hanukkah’s End-of-Days Paradigm

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 05:37 AM PST

Hanukkah’s End-of-Days ParadigmBy Rabbi Pesach Wolicki – On Tuesday evening, Dec. 12, Jews the world over will light a candle to begin the eight days of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. One candle on the first night, two on the second night, three on the third, and son on, culminating in eight candles on the final night of the holiday.  The lighting of the Menorah on each of the eight nights of Hanukah is the best known and most public observance of the holiday. However, there is another ritual that is practiced daily in our morning prayers during this holiday— the recitation of Psalms 113-118, known as Hallel.

These six psalms of Praise—are joyously sung as part of the synagogue worship service on all major Jewish holidays; Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, as well as on the first day of every month, the celebration of the new moon. Why these six psalms? The Talmud records the instruction that these six psalms are to be recited on the biblical feasts as well as on any occasion of the redemption of the collective people of Israel. More specifically, for Hallel to be sung, the event that is commemorated must constitute a step towards the ultimate redemption of Israel. READ MORE

CUP OF TREMBLING: Erdogan calls on world to recognize east Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Posted: 13 Dec 2017 05:18 AM PST

CUP OF TREMBLING: Erdogan calls on world to recognize east Jerusalem as Palestinian capitalTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on world powers to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine on Wednesday and said the United States should reverse the “awful and provocative” decision recognize the city as Israel’s capital.  “I invite all countries supporting an international law to recognize Jerusalem as the occupied capital of Palestine. We cannot be late anymore,” Erdogan told a summit of leader from more than 50 Muslim countries.

“The process to include Palestine in international agreements and institutions should be sped up,” he added. A similar call was made by the OIC’s secretary-general Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, who said the US decision was “an exceptional challenge” facing Muslim nations. The decision, he added, will fan violence in the region, giving extremists an excuse to sow chaos.  READ MORE

Cryptocurrency Chaos: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum All Keep Surging To New Record Highs With No End In Sight

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 07:27 PM PST

Cryptocurrency Chaos: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum All Keep Surging To New Record Highs With No End In Sight(By Michael Snyder) The cryptocurrency revolution is the biggest story in the financial world right now. In recent days I have spent a lot of time writing about Bitcoin, but the truth is that all of the major cryptocurrencies have been on an unprecedented run lately. In fact, some of them have been rising much faster in price than Bitcoin has. So even though Bitcoin is now worth almost 18 times as much as it was at the beginning of 2017, that actually pales in comparison to how fast Litecoin has been rising. Of course not all of these

cryptocurrencies will eventually succeed. There are about 1000 different cryptocurrencies in existence at the moment, and most of them will inevitably fail. But for now virtually every cryptocurrency is soaring, and the total market cap for all cryptocurrencies combined is rapidly approaching half a trillion dollars. Let’s start our discussion with Bitcoin. As I write this, a single Bitcoin is worth $17696.99, and that is absolutely astounding considering that the price was sitting at just about $1,000 as 2017 began. READ MORE

Police seize BIBLES during China church raid – Christian crackdown continues

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 07:17 PM PST

Police seize BIBLES during China church raid – Christian crackdown continuesChinese government officials confiscated bibles as they broke up a congregation in an authoritarian church raid.  Officials across multiple government departments joined forces to raid the church service in Anhui province, eastern China. NGO ChinaAid, which promotes religious freedom for Christians in China, said the incident took place last month. The authorities raided a clandestine church inside a house belonging to Christian Yu Jiafang.

They confiscated religious items and bibles and threatened to punish Ms Jianfang. ChinaAid claims the move violates the Chinese constitution, which enshrines freedom of belief. China has launched a major crackdown on religion in recent months in an attempt to exercise control over the population. Churches not sanctioned by the government have been put under surveillance with hundreds of Christians arrested for disturbing public order over offences such as holding bible study groups and displaying crucifixes outside their homes. READ MORE

 

Massive city rocked by another huge 6.0 magnitude earthquake within hours

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 07:05 PM PST

Massive city rocked by another huge 6.0 magnitude earthquake within hoursA huge 6.0 magnitude earthquake has struck near a heavily populated city, hours after it was hit by two quakes earlier today, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).  The quake hit the outskirts of Kerman in Iran with a depth of 10km at around 9.40pm GMT and was followed by a 5.0 magnitude aftershock. No reports have emerged about casualties or damage so far. At 11.27pm GMT the region was

struck by another quake, measuring magnitude 4.5, according to the USGS. Earlier this month the region was rocked by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake, which hit at 2.32am GMT, was initially recorded at a magnitude of 6.3 but was later downgraded to 6.0. The aftershock measuring in at a 5.0 magnitude struck around 15 minutes later, according to the USGS. READ MORE

School Helps Teen Transition Without Telling Her Parents

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 07:02 PM PST

School Helps Teen Transition Without Telling Her ParentsA Canadian couple have shared how their autistic daughter’s school encouraged her to “transition” without their knowledge.  The pressure caused the vulnerable girl such confusion it led her to threaten suicide. The parents said their 12-year-old daughter was encouraged to pursue an identity as a male after joining the school’s “Gay-Straight-Alliance.” The school subsequently contacted the girl’s parents and

recommended that they take her to a gender clinic. It was only at this point they discovered that she was being called a boy’s name and addressed with male pronouns while at school. The parents say the school was “facilitating and going out of their way to transition her into becoming a boy” without their knowledge. READ MORE

Christian Group Kicked Off University Campus Over Policy on ‘Sexual Immorality’

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 01:42 PM PST

Christian Group Kicked Off University Campus Over Policy on ‘Sexual Immorality’A Christian student group is suing the University of Iowa after it claims it was kicked off campus for requiring its leaders to sign a statement of faith that forces them to live out their careers in the organization without engaging in “sexual immorality.”  The legal nonprofit Becket announced Monday that the student organization Business Leaders in Christ (BLinC) has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the University of Iowa.

According to a press release, the school’s dean of students, Lyn Redington, told BLinC, which was founded three years ago, that “it must ‘revise’ its religious beliefs and submit an ‘acceptable plan’ for selecting its leaders” if it wants to regain its status as an official student group recognized by the school. “This is 2017, not 1984,” Jacob Estell, the student president of BLinC, said in a statement. “Our beliefs weren’t made by us, and they can’t be changed by us either — certainly not just to satisfy Orwellian government rules.” READ MORE

People Are Mortgaging Their Homes to Buy Bitcoins!

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 01:38 PM PST

People Are Mortgaging Their Homes to Buy Bitcoins!As Bitcoin continues to soar in valuation, new investors are joining the craze, even if they don’t initially have the money to pay for the cryptocurrency. Securities regulator Joseph Borg says he has seen people doing everything from running up credit card debt to mortgaging their homes to pour money into the cryptocurrency.

It’s easy, from one angle, to see why. Bitcoin started out the year being worth $1,000. On Nov. 20, Bitcoin set a new record by passing the $8,000 mark. As of mid-morning Tuesday, it was worth over $17,000. Very few investments double their value in just 22 days. But Bitcoin is the very definition of a volatile investment. The current rate of investment in Bitcoin is bound to eventually result in a sell-off as investors reap their profits. READ MORE

Trump Given Friends of Zion Award

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 01:26 PM PST

Trump Given Friends of Zion AwardPresident Donald Trump has often called himself a “friend of Israel.” Now, he is being recognized for that stance. The Friends of Zion Museum presented President Trump with its Friends of Zion Award at the White House Monday. The award is given to those who have defended Israel without compromise. “This award was commissioned by the 9th president of the state of Israel, Shimon Peres, to recognize a

global leader with courage to stand with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people,” explained Dr. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion Museum. “We believe no American president in history has done more to defend the Jewish people in the United Nations,” Evans said of Trump. Evangelical faith leaders in attendance also sang the president’s praises. “We were so thankful for the open door that our president has granted us to have very open dialogue,” said Paula White, a member of the president’s faith advisory council and senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Florida. READ MORE

50 injured and 300 homes damaged as tornado rips through South Africa

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 01:16 PM PST

50 injured and 300 homes damaged as tornado rips through South AfricaA destructive tornado ripped through the Vaal Marina area in Midvaal, South Africa on December 11, 2017, uprooting trees and causing extensive infrastructural damage.  At least 300 families have reported damages to their homes, Midvaal Mayor Bongani Baloyi said. Some of the houses were destroyed as well as local infrastructure, Baloyi said.  According to paramedics, at least 50 people were injured, but there were no fatalities.

25 of them were transported to a hospital for further medical care. “The municipality is assisting displaced residents with temporary shelter, and will begin assessing the extent of the damage and the estimated cost of rebuilding,” Baloyi said in a statement late Monday, adding that the priority is to help those affected to start rebuilding their homes. “Two help centers have been set up in Mamello and the Vaal Marina Town Hall to assist those affected by the tornado.” READ MORE

 

Florida court upholds ban on vegetable gardens…

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 01:09 PM PST

Florida court upholds ban on vegetable gardens…Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll may grow fruit trees and flowers in the front yard of their Miami Shores house. They may park a boat or jet ski in their driveway. They may place statues, fountains, gnomes, pink flamingoes or Santa in a Speedo on their property. Vegetables, however, are not allowed.  Ricketts and Carroll thought they were gardeners when they grew tomatoes, beets, scallions, spinach, kale and multiple varieties of Asian cabbage. But according to a village ordinance that restricts

edible plants to backyards only, they were actually criminals. They didn’t think they were engaged in a Swiss chard conspiracy or eggplant vice, yet they were breaking the law. Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal upheld Miami Shores’ ban on front-yard vegetable gardens in a recent decision, so the couple will take their case to the Florida Supreme Court. They argue, on behalf of gardeners everywhere, that the village’s restriction is unconstitutional and an infringement on their property rights. FULL STORY

Radical Hindus Shut Down Prayer Meeting and Attack Pastors

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 11:28 AM PST

Radical Hindus Shut Down Prayer Meeting and Attack PastorsA mob of Hindu extremists violently attacked two pastors and stopped them from hosting a gospel meeting in Chhattisgarh state, India. The pastors, Vijay Jogi and Santosh Rao, were just minutes away from starting their three-day gospel meeting when Hindu nationalists surrounded the building. Some 1,000 people had reportedly gathered to hear the gospel. “Pastor Vijay Jogi and Pastor Santosh Rao were receiving the people at the entrance,” Pastor Amos James told Morning Star News. “Suddenly a mob of

70 Hindu Dharm Sena and Bajrang Dal activists encircled the entrance, and Pastor Jogi and Pastor Rao were beaten and summoned to the police station.” “The activists slapped Pastor Santosh Rao thrice and beat us both,” Pastor Jogi said. “By then we understood that these people will not let us conduct prayers.” The Government Railway Police called the pastors to the station and warned them to cancel the meeting. READ MORE

10 biblical reasons behind Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 11:20 AM PST

10 biblical reasons behind Trump’s Jerusalem decisionThis week Jews and Christian Zionists are rejoicing that President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, and “the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.” He made his remarks from a room set with a Christmas backdrop, the day before the White House Hanukkah party.  Here are 10 biblical reasons Trump made the right decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

1) Jerusalem is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible.
“For Zion’s sake I will not be silent and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be still” (Isaiah 62:1). Jerusalem is referred to by name 662 times in the Bible. There is not a single mention of Jerusalem in Islam’s holy text.

No electoral college nor parliament elected Israel’s king. God Almighty selected David as the leader of Israel, and chose Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish kingdom, where King David ruled from for 33 years. While occupied over the centuries by numerous foreign empires, no other nation made Jerusalem its capital city besides the Jewish people. When confronted by critics of Israel’s claim to the holy city, Prime Minister Menachem Begin would retort, “We didn’t declare Jerusalem to be our capital city, King David declared it 3,000 years ago!” CONTINUE

 

A deeper significance on the day Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 11:10 AM PST

A deeper significance on the day Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of IsraelBy Rabbi Benjamin Blech – Last week the entire world was stunned by the announcement that the President of the United States officially kept his campaign promise and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But when I looked at the Hebrew calendar I realized something far more profound than a political statement. Rabbinic scholars long ago taught us that with the end of prophecy, after the close of the Bible, God has another way in which to communicate with mankind. It is by way of the secret of time – the linkage of events occurring on exactly the same date that makes clear we are meant to understand divine messages. Coincidence, it’s been famously said, is God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous. In other words, it’s God’s way of testing our ability to concede the Almighty’s role in directing the remarkable twists and turns of history.

I’m certain that the President did not know the momentous significance of the day on which he chose to proclaim the historic change of America’s policy with regard to the status of Jerusalem. In Israel, it was the night of the 19th of Kislev when the United States finally acknowledged what King David thousands of years ago sanctified and what the Jewish people never failed to forsake in their daily prayers. And it was on this very same day, the 19th of Kislev, in 1949, that Prime Minister David Ben Gurion– just one year after the establishment of the State – wrote and subsequently announced that the government of Israel had unanimously agreed that Jerusalem would be the one and only capital of the state of Israel. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: North Korea May Be Preparing For Another Missile Launch

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 10:58 AM PST

RUMORS OF WAR: North Korea May Be Preparing For Another Missile LaunchNorth Korea appears to be pressing ahead with its nuclear programme. Satellite images recently detected hectic activity at the North Korean nuclear test site, Punggye-ri. Experts say that after North Korea’s last nuclear test, minor tremors were detected near Mt Mantap, located close to the nuclear site. However, Pyongyang is now engaged in additional tunnel work at the site. According to experts at 38North, a US-based think tank, the fresh activities were detected at the West Portal of the site – indicating that the site may be undergoing an expansion. Meanwhile, the North Portal, where the

previous five tests were conducted, appears to have been temporarily abandoned. “At the West Portal, there has been a consistently high level of activity since North Korea’s last nuclear test. This includes a routine presence of vehicles and personnel around the portal, movement of mining carts from the portal to the adjacent spoil pile and signs of fresh spoil being dumped onto the pile,” 38North experts said in a blog. “These activities suggest that tunnel excavation is underway at the West Portal, as the North Koreans expand the site’s potential for future nuclear testing.” READ MORE

CUP OF TREMBLING: Iran Guards Commander Says Ready to Back Palestinian Forces…

Posted: 12 Dec 2017 10:47 AM PST

CUP OF TREMBLING: Iran Guards Commander Says Ready to Back Palestinian Forces…Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani says his nation is ready to support Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip, days after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Soleimani, commander of the Al Quds force, made the offer in a phone call late Monday with leaders of groups in Gaza, according to the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ website, Sepah News, which didn’t give details of the assistance proffered. Other forces in the region are ready to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, Soleimani also told the Gaza faction leaders, without identifying them.

The mosque is Islam’s third-holiest shrine and a frequent flashpoint for tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians claim Jerusalem’s eastern sector, where the mosque stands, as the capital of a future state, and they oppose the U.S. move. Hamas has called for another uprising against Israel in response, though so far protests have been limited. Soleimani spoke a day after the head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, called on all “resistance” groups in the region to come up with a unified strategy to take back Jerusalem. 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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Christians and Christmas

Code: B171213

Christmas presents a conundrum to many believers. Do you withdraw from the world and its materialistic excess at this time of year? Or do you lean headlong into the celebration, hoping to sanctify the festivities through your participation?

Given the wide chasm between those two extremes, it’s no wonder that the Christmas holiday can be a cause for division within the church. But some biblical and historical context can help bridge that gap.

It’s Not How You Celebrate, But Why (and Why Not)

Christmas as a holiday was not observed until well after the biblical era. The early church of the New Testament celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, but not His birth. In fact, Christmas was not given any kind of official recognition by the church until the mid-fifth century.

Partly because so many Christmas customs seem to have their roots in paganism, Christians have often been resistant to some of the rituals of the holiday. The Puritans in early America rejected Christmas celebrations altogether. They deliberately worked on December 25 to show their disdain. A law passed in England in 1644 reflected a similar Puritan influence; the law made Christmas Day an official working day.

Christians today are generally not opposed to celebrating Christmas. The holiday itself is nothing, and observing it is not a question of right or wrong. As Paul wrote,

One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. (Romans 14:5-6)

Every day—including Christmas—is a celebration for us who know and love Him.

How we observe Christmas is the central issue. Do we observe it for the Lord’s sake or for our own sinful self-gratification? Do we even think about why and how we celebrate it? That is the heart of the matter. Christmas is an opportunity for us to exalt Jesus Christ. We ought to take advantage of it.

What About Christmas Presents?

Folded into the discussion about how to celebrate Christmas is the matter of Christmas presents. Is it appropriate to give gifts to friends and family? Does that inherently shift the spotlight off of Christ, or can we splurge on loved ones in a way that still honors the Lord?

Christmas is undoubtedly a good time for giving. After all, we are celebrating the greatest gift ever given—God’s Son: “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 3:16).

God’s great Gift was first of all a gift of love to an unworthy world. He gave not because He had to, but because He loves us. And our giving should reflect His love. If we can keep that perspective—especially in the minds of our children—this can be one of the most blessed and enjoyable aspects of the holiday.

It isn’t easy to keep one’s perspective so focused. Christmas has become too commercial, too carefully merchandised, too crassly materialistic to lend itself to teaching any spiritual truth about giving. Every year at Christmas, the buying frenzy gets worse. Have you ever noticed, for example, how much stuff is sold that nobody needs? It doesn’t have any practical use. It just sits there, collecting dust.

Our society is literally filled with the unnecessary, the insignificant, and the meaningless. And people spend a fortune on that kind of junk for Christmas. Why? Often, it is the quickest and easiest way to complete an obligatory Christmas list. What meaning is there in that?

Ask yourself this year if your giving reflects the spirit of Him who gave His best for us—just because He loves us.

(Adapted from The Miracle of Christmas.)

 


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5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers

Blogger, author, and book reviewer Tim Challies reveals what he considers the 5 most ridiculous books that Christians purchased, loved and passed on to their friends, starting with The Prayer of Jabez. Watch the vlog or read the transcript:

If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books. Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers.

View article →

Source: 5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers

Will There be Christmas in Heaven?

It is healthy for Christians to think about heaven.

As we meditate on the blessed future the Lord has in store for us our hope should grow and we ought to feel a renewed energy to persevere in our Christian lives. But what exactly will heaven be like? And specifically, will there be Christmas in heaven?

Now, maybe no one’s actually asking about Christmas in heaven, and I don’t want to get into a debate about the pagan roots of Yule logs and all that jazz, but bear with me for a few paragraphs, because it’s not a bad question.

Maybe it won’t be called Christmas, it will likely look a lot different than it does now, and there definitely won’t be a jolly fat guy in a red suit (St. Nicholas will be thin and healthy in his glorified body). But we will continue to celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, the promised Messiah, in the eternal state. And that should shape how we think about our celebration of the holiday now.

Final Destination: Earth

Unfortunately, many Christians have imbibed a false view of what our eternal state will entail. The so-called Spiritual Vision model of heaven sees an afterlife consisting of disembodied souls endlessly enraptured in singing, or believers slogging through eternity as angel-like people reclining in boredom on a cloud. This mistaken notion has no biblical support. Instead, the Bible presents what has been called the New Creation model of the eternal state.

God made everything, physical and spiritual, and He declared it all “very good” (Gen 1:31). Yes, the Fall occurred in Genesis 3 and there were both physical and spiritual consequences for that. Christians know that God restores us spiritually through faith in Jesus Christ, but the promises in the OT look forward to a final restoration which is not limited merely to the spiritual plain. We are promised spiritual AND physical blessings (Deut 30:1-10; Gen 12; 13; 15; Jer 31–33; 2 Sam 7). And Paul goes out of his way in 1 Corinthians 15 to demonstrate that the resurrection believers look forward to is bodily, which is to say physical.

TMS professor Dr. Michael Vlach explains it this way, “God plans to restore all things (Acts 3:21; Col 1:20) which includes every aspect of our environment, both spiritual and physical. This includes the glorification of believers in real resurrected bodies and the planet itself (Rom 8:18-25).”

Dr. Vlach summarizes the New Creation model as follows:

“This approach follows the language of passages like Isaiah 25, 65, 66; Revelation 21; and Romans 8 which speak of a regenerated earth . . . In sum, a new creation model operates on the belief that life in the future kingdom of God is largely similar to God’s purposes for the creation before the fall of Adam, which certainly involved more than just a spiritual element. Thus, the final Heaven is not an ethereal spiritual presence in the sky.”

The Bible presents to us our final home as something which is materially not so different from our present existence on earth, because it is earth. Earth, the place which God custom made for man. But it is a restored, renewed, and perfected earth. What’s so exciting about having this correct understanding of our future home is that it gives us something concrete to hope in. Clouds are pretty, and I like singing as much as the next guy, but for me at least the idea of being a disembodied soul belting out Chris Tomlin tunes for all eternity lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. And it’s not exactly the type of thing that fills me with the anticipation and hope required to meet the troubles of this life with confidence, much less to face a martyrs death.

Culture Will Continue

But what’s all this have to do with Christmas?

On the restored earth, culture will continue. There will be, it appears, some level of continuity in terms of the social, political, geographical, artistic, and even technological spheres as they presently exist, yet without sin. And it makes sense when you think about the big picture of the Bible.

In Genesis 1:26–28 God gives mankind a kingdom mandate—”subdue and rule creation as my image bearers.” And in God’s sovereign purposes, salvation and the cross were not His plan B. Just as there’s no reason to think He has given up on the planet He made for us, there’s no reason to think a concept which long preceded the Fall, kingship, will cease to be His purpose for man. There will still be nations, but they will live in harmony with one with another (Isa 2:2-4). There will still be borders, but they will not be at war. There will still be cultural contributions (Rev 21:24). Man was made to work (Gen 2:5), and the Fall made work painful (Gen 3), but on the New Earth we will work and serve Christ with joy (Rev 22:3).

If all these cultural aspects of life of the present earth will continue on the New Earth, who is to say certain aspects even of our holidays will not?

Celebration Will Continue

The heart of Christmas is celebration of the coming of Messiah (Luke 2:10–11). Will there be celebration in the eternal state? Yes! And it will be kicked off with the biggest party of them all, The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-9).

Eternity will be spent glorifying God for His person and work (Ps 100:1–5; Rev 19:5–6). Chief among the works for which we will glorify Him is His work in salvation (Rev 5:12). God’s work in atoning for the sins of man put His person on full display in all His holiness, humility, wrath, love, grace, mercy, etc. If you want to know what God is like, look at the cross. But without the incarnation there would be no cross, and no atonement (Phil 2:8). And the incarnation is what Christmas is all about. So, though the form of our celebration on the New Earth will no doubt be different than it is now, the celebration of Christ’s humbling Himself and becoming a man for the sake of lost sinners will most certainly endure into the eternal state.

Christmas Will Continue

Will there be Christmas in heaven? When we qualify that question by saying that by heaven we mean our eternal home, which will be the renewed earth, and that the Scriptures indicate the continuation of certain aspects of culture, and that celebration will continue throughout eternity, then I believe we can most assuredly say there will be Christmas in heaven. And it will be the best Christmas you have ever known—even better than that year your parents got you a puppy.

Considering what aspects of our present lives and efforts will remain for eternity has a prioritizing effect. It causes you to focus more on what really matters. And when you think about what aspects of Christmas will remain, namely celebration and praise of God for sending His son, that should shape how you celebrate Christmas even this year. We know it’s not about the presents, the sweaters, the lights, or the nostalgia, but it takes a conscious effort to turn our minds again and again to remind ourselves this is about Jesus Christ, the incarnate God-man, who lived and was crucified and rose again that by faith men and women might be forgiven for their sins, counted righteous in God’s eyes, and granted fellowship and an inheritance with Him forever. Now that’s a holiday worth celebrating for all eternity.

The post Will There be Christmas in Heaven? appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

Pentatonix and the elephant in the sanctuary

A few years ago Amy Spreeman wrote this piece to alert the Body of Christ that Pentatonix, a popular a cappella group from Arlington Texas, celebrates unrepentant sin. “Two of the male members of this group are openly homosexual, and actively promoting LGBTQ initiatives,” she writes.

More from Amy:

NOTE: The reason for writing/posting about this is not to point fingers at the world, but to ask questions of the visible Church. A big shift is happening, and many are going along with the cultural tsunami rather than make waves being set apart.

This time of year many Christians share beautiful hymns and music commemorating Christ’s first coming foretold in the Old Testament. Yes, most of us are aware that He wasn’t born on December 25. But those of us who celebrate Christmas are doing so because we are joyful that He appeared. And of course we are incredibly thankful for His reason: To give his life as a ransom for many.

So when we hear a beautiful piece of music remembering this amazing advent – a gorgeous a capella song sung by a choir, for instance – we can be overwhelmed with incredible thanksgiving.

View article →

Source: Pentatonix and the elephant in the sanctuary

How are we to regard Michael Brown, Todd White and other NAR leaders?

From Berean Research:

A few day ago we posted Michael Brown has been WHITE-washed and urged our visitors to share Churchwatch Central’s (CWC) piece. CWC continues their exposé on NAR charismatic apologist Dr. Michael Brown. In their latest blog post they give an explanation of the false Kenotic Jesus of the NAR. Briefly, the kenosis theory states that while He was on earth Jesus gave up some of His divine attributes. This theory is not taught in the Bible. What the Bible does teach is that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. As a man on earth, Jesus did not give up any of His divine attributes (Col 2:9).

Once again we urge our visitors to share CWC’s piece:

Todd White, Michael Brown, Mike Bickle, Heidi Baker, Bill Johnson, John Wimber, C. Peter Wagner and many other top NAR Apostles may need to be seriously considered worse than demons. This sounds like an outrageous statement.

But why even say such an ‘unloving’ thing?

View article →

Source:

Businesses Shut Down by Law Enforcement: Selling Baby Organs for 1000% Profit

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

The magnitude of this PURE EVIL is hard to fathom.  I try to imagine the owners of these killing mills sitting in their board rooms, discussing their bottom lines.

Can you see it?  Someone has done a PowerPoint presentation showing the murdered babies and how much profit they are making from the sale of babies’ brains, kidneys, lungs and any other organs which are in demand. The board members congratulate one another as they down coffee and donuts.

Of course, the two companies which were fined $8 million and their businesses permanently shut down are located in California.  No surprise there.

From aclu.org

From Day One, the ACLJ has been aggressively calling for Congress and federal and state law enforcement to investigate Big Abortion for the horrific practice of selling aborted babies’ body parts (fetal tissue) for profit. It’s illegal, but until recently has gone on unhindered from the…

View original post 1,030 more words

December 13, 2017: Afternoon Verse Of The Day

God as Shelter

And lead us not into temptation. (11:4b)

At first glance, this request seems puzzling. Since God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13), to ask Him not to do what He has already promised never to do seems superfluous. But in reality, this shows again the parallel realities of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. God does His will, not apart from us, but through our obedience and prayers. There are, then, two perfectly legitimate reasons why the Lord included this petition.

First, it reflects the believer’s humble sense of weakness, knowing that the evil, fallen world is inevitably a hostile, dangerous environment. There are physical dangers from volcanoes, earthquakes, fires, floods, accidents, disease, terrorism, and crime. In the intellectual realm believers face unfair judgments, laws and regulations, and the influence of an increasingly narcissistic, self-centered culture dominated by pride and greed. From the spiritual world come assaults on believers’ faith from postmodern relativism, humanism, evolution, false religions, and other manifestations of earthly, natural, demonic wisdom (James 3:15), all of which the Bible calls “doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Even the church is riddled with false teaching, worldliness, compromise, lack of knowledge of biblical truth, and waning zeal for God. Most deadly of all are the assaults from Satan, who blinds men to the truth (2 Cor. 4:4), tempts them to sin (1 Cor. 7:5; Eph. 4:27; 6:11; 1 Thess. 3:5); and “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

With deadly dangers all about them and the fallen nature still in them, it is only natural for believers to cry out to God for protection as David did: “My eyes are toward You, O God, the Lord; in You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless” (Ps. 141:8; cf. 18:30; 46:1; 62:8; 91:2; 94:22; 2 Sam. 22:3; Prov. 18:10; 30:5). Jesus made that same request for His own in His high-priestly prayer when He asked the Father to “keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord taught believers to make that same request for deliverance from evil (Matt. 6:13).

But there is a second sense in which this petition may be understood. It is an appeal to God not to allow the inevitable tests and trials of life to become temptations that would prove overpowering. Peirasmos (temptation) is a neutral word with no inherent moral connotation. God does not tempt anyone to do evil, but He does permit tests to come into the lives of believers, as He did to Job (Job 23:10), Abraham (Heb. 11:17–19), Paul (2 Cor. 12:7–10), and Jesus (Heb. 5:8), as part of the process of strengthening and maturing them (Deut. 13:3; 1 Peter 1:6–7; 5:10). How believers respond to those tests determines whether they remain perfecting trials that bring spiritual growth, or become debilitating temptations that overwhelm them and lead them into sin.

The basis for this request is God’s promise, expressed in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that He will never allow a temptation that is stronger than believers can bear. Those He permits are common to all people, and He will provide a way to escape being led into sin by them. People fall into sin not because they are overpowered by Satan and the demons, or because they were trapped with no way out. As James explained, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14–15).

In these three brief sentences Jesus masterfully encompassed all of life’s most basic needs:

Our whole life is found there in those three petitions, and that is what makes this prayer so utterly amazing. In such a small compass our Lord has covered the whole life of the believer in every respect. Our physical needs, our mental needs and, of course, our spiritual needs are included. The body is remembered, the soul is remembered, the spirit is remembered.… We cannot fail to be impressed by the all-inclusiveness of these petitions. That does not mean that we should never enter into details; we must, we are taught to do so. We are taught to bring our life in detail to God in prayer; but here we have only the great headings. Our Lord gives us these and we fill in the details, but it is important for us to be sure that all our petitions should belong under one or other of the headings. (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974], 2:67–68)[1]


“Lead us not into temptation [eis peirasmon, GK 4280]” does not imply that God might otherwise entice us to do evil (Jas 1:13–15 rules this out). God does, however, allow his people to be tested as to their faithfulness (see comments at 4:1–12 and references there to Dt 6–8). The word peirasmos probably means “testing” rather than “temptation” (i.e., to sin), though severe testing may be the occasion for one to sin. Further, there is a coming peirasmos that will severely try all those who undergo it, and this petition may have reference to that. In any case, the request is clearly for the Father to keep his children from falling away in the hour of trial, with a possible allusion to the temptation and fidelity of Christ. With this petition the Lord’s Prayer comes to a close, lacking, except in a variant (see Notes), the additional words in Matthew.[2]


lead us not into temptation: Lachs (p. 122) cites the following rabbinic parallel: “… do not accustom me to transgression, and bring me not into sin, or into iniquity, into temptation, or into contempt” (b. Berakoth 60b). In light of this parallel Talbert (p. 130) suggests that the idea is not that no temptation ever come upon Jesus’ follower, but that God not allow his follower to be overcome by temptation.[3]


The plea “And do not lead us into temptation” presents difficulties to some. We know that God never tempts anyone to sin. But He does allow us to experience trials and testings in life, and these are designed for our good. Here the thought seems to be that we should constantly be aware of our own proneness to wander and fall into sin. We should ask the Lord to keep us from falling into sin, even if we ourselves might want to do it. We should pray that the opportunity to sin and the desire to do so should never coincide. The prayer expresses a healthy distrust of our own ability to resist temptation. The prayer ends with a plea for deliverance from the evil one.[4]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2013). Luke 11–17 (pp. 46–48). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 205–206). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Evans, C. A. (1990). Luke (p. 182). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1411–1412). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

DECEMBER 13 GLORY TO GOD

The spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.

1 Peter 4:14

When the Holy Spirit comes among us with His anointing, we become a worshiping people!

Now, that does not mean that all Christians everywhere must all worship alike—but that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit believers everywhere are united in their praises to God.

When Jesus came into Jerusalem presenting Himself as Messiah, there was a great multitude and there was a great noise. Very often our worship is audible, but I do not believe it is necessarily true that we are worshiping God when we are making a lot of racket. But I think there is a word for those who are cultured, quiet, self-possessed, poised and sophisticated. If they are embarrassed in church when some happy Christian says, “Amen!” they may actually be in need of some spiritual enlightenment.

If some believer’s “Glory to God!” really bothers you, it may be because you do not know the kind of spiritual blessing and delight the Holy Spirit is waiting to provide among God’s worshiping saints. I can only speak for myself, but I want to be among those who worship!

Dear Lord, I pray that my worship of You will always be from my heart and without any earthly manipulations or distractions. What a joy it will be to one day stand with all the saints in heaven and worship You as King in spirit and in truth.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

DECEMBER 13 PARABLE OF THE SOWER: RECEPTIVE HEARERS

And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.—Matt. 13:23

The ultimate barrier to salvation is unbelief, and anyone willing to receive the gospel on Christ’s terms proves he or she is “good soil.” God honors the humble faith of receptive hearers and opens their spiritual ears, minds, and hearts, allowing them to understand the gospel.

The example of the receptive hearers ought to encourage everyone who has ever witnessed in Christ’s name. Despite the nature and prevalence of the other hearers, there are always some whose hearts have good soil in which the gospel can take root and flourish—people prepared by the Spirit to receive the truth.

Spiritual fruit is the inevitable by-product of spiritual life. Receptive hearers will demonstrate fruitfulness in both attitude—“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23)—and behavior, which Paul calls “the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:11; cf. Col. 1:6). We are not saved by bearing fruit or doing good works, but we are saved to become fruitbearers (Eph. 2:10).

Jesus not only assures us here that believers will bear fruit, but that we will bear it abundantly: “some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” These figures represent an extraordinarily abundant yield for the regions Jesus ministered in. They do not guarantee that we all will produce that much; but they do show the productive results of sowing the Word and emphasize that true believers will indeed produce fruit. That’s the point of Jesus’ parable.

ASK YOURSELF

Besides the obvious blessings and service opportunities created by fruitbearing, what other benefits pour into the lives of those who hear the Word and take it to heart?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 356). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

December 13 Sustenance for the Righteous

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.

Zechariah 4:6

God’s Word, prayer, and the Holy Spirit all work together for the benefit of God’s servants. The Spirit’s special part is to grant all that is necessary to sustain the righteous.

The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Christ” and “the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:9). He can be called by either title because He is within the Trinity and proceeds from the Father in the name of Christ (cf. John 14:26).

The apostle Paul knew the Holy Spirit as his indwelling teacher, interceder, guide, source of power, and all–sufficient provider. That’s what the Spirit is for all believers. Paul’s confidence in knowing that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28) was based on the provision of the Spirit, who “helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (v. 26).

Knowing what the Spirit provides will help you face with tremendous confidence anything that comes your way.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 374). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

December 13, 2017: Morning Verse Of The Day

12 And the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who had charge of the work of the house of the LORD, and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the LORD, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the LORD. 13 So those who were engaged in the work labored, and the repairing went forward in their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. 14 And when they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made utensils for the house of the LORD, both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD regularly all the days of Jehoiada.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (2 Ch 24:12–14). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


12–14 The windfall of contributions (vv. 10–11) enables the hiring of “diligent” (v. 13) workers from the various trades, including masons, carpenters, and metal workers (vv. 12–13) needed to refurbish the Jerusalem temple “according to its original design” (v. 13), with money to spare. The extra funds are ultimately used for temple items (v. 14), perhaps to replace items removed by Queen Athaliah (cf. v. 7). The final remark that “burnt offerings were presented continually” within the newly refurbished temple “as long as Jehoiada lived” hints at the subsequent apostasy of Joash following the death of Jehoiada.[1]


12–14 The “original design” (v 13) was the product of divine instruction (1 Chr 28:11–19) just as the tabernacle had been (Exod 25:9, 40).

The Chronicler seems deliberately to contradict the earlier record regarding the use of the funds. Where 2 Kgs 12:13–14 says that the funds were used for wages and not for ritual paraphernalia, the Chronicler specifically reports the manufacture of ritual implements (v 14). These differences are not difficult to harmonize: none of the funds were used for equipment (Kings) until the repairs were finished, and surplus monies could be redirected (Chronicles). Though the harmonization is easy, it is perhaps more germane to the intent of the Chronicler to note again how the author has drawn a parallel with the building of the tabernacle and the use of those offerings to make ritual implements and furnishings (Exod 25; 31:1–10).

”As long as Jehoiada lived” (v 14). These words form an inclusio with 24:2. They reflect the regular practice of the Chronicler to use chronological notes to divide the accounts of individual reigns into good and bad periods; the transition to the record of Joash’s apostasy begins with the similar notice at the beginning of v 15.[2]


24:13–14 The repairs were made according to the original design, and the surplus funds were used for the temple vessels (see 2 Kings 12:13–14). vessels of gold and silver. Second Kings 12:13 says that vessels of gold and silver were not made while the temple was being repaired, while 2 Chron. 24:14 specifies that when they had finished those repairs, they used the rest of the money to make these vessels. The Chronicler specifies that Joash’s revival of temple worship lasted all the days of Jehoiada, and did not extend into his later years of apostasy following Jehoiada’s death (see note on vv. 1–27).[3]


24:13, 14 The people had been so generous (v. 11) that money remained after all the work had been done. This extra money allowed for a complete restocking of the temple with the gold and silver implements needed for its services. The daily burnt offerings were a sign of spiritual vitality and faithfulness to God. As long as Jehoiada remained alive, Judah enjoyed a revival of the true worship of God.[4]


[1] Mabie, F. J. (2010). 1 and 2 Chronicles. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Chronicles–Job (Revised Edition) (Vol. 4, p. 262). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Dillard, R. B. (1998). 2 Chronicles (Vol. 15, p. 191). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 775). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 553). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

December 13 WONDER

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

—Hosea 6:3

God always acts like Himself, wherever He may be and whatever He may be doing; in Him there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. Yet His infinitude places Him so far above our knowing that a lifetime spent in cultivating the knowledge of Him leaves as much yet to learn as if we had never begun….

So imperfectly do we know Him that it may be said that one invariable concomitant of a true encounter with God is delighted wonder. No matter how high our expectation may be, when God finally moves into the field of our spiritual awareness we are sure to be astonished by His power to overwhelm the mind and fascinate the soul. He is always more wonderful than we anticipate, and more blessed and marvelous than we had imagined He could be. TIC038

Great God of wonder, help me to know You well enough to be awed by that knowledge. Help me to have the type of encounter with You today that would leave me in speechless wonder. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

December 13 Elements of Christ’s Exaltation

“God highly exalted Him.”

Philippians 2:9

✧✧✧

Christ followed the path to glory so that we could follow Him.

Because Christ humbled Himself, the Father wonderfully exalted Him. His exaltation includes the elements of both His resurrection and His coronation—His exaltation to the right hand of God. The apostle Peter said Jesus was “raised up again” and “exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:32–33). Peter and the other apostles preached, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus…. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (5:30–31). Thus, the New Testament affirms both the resurrection and coronation of Christ (see also Eph. 1:20), as well as the forgiveness of sins that comes with Christ’s intercession for His people.

Paul described Christ’s coronation as placing Him “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come” (v. 21). The final element is described in Hebrews 4:14: “We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” That alludes to the ascension of Christ. He “always lives to make intercession for [believers]” (7:25).

Christ’s exaltation was thus fourfold: resurrection, ascension, coronation, and intercession. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Then He was seated on the throne of God to intercede as High Priest of His people.

As a believer, you will follow Christ in His exaltation. You will rise from the grave and ascend to Heaven. There you will experience coronation, for you will sit with Christ on His throne. You will no longer need our Lord’s intercessory ministry, for the work of transformation will be complete.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Thank Christ for establishing the path to glory so you can follow after Him.

For Further Study: Meditate on Revelation 22:1–5. What in this passage helps you think about your future glory?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

December 12 Daily Help

THERE are times when all the promises and doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. To meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not that Christ hath placed his joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but he draws near, and sheds his peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-day laboring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them from the word, but the promises he has written in the word he will write anew on your heart.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 350). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

December 12, 2017: Evening Verse Of The Day

10 This verse describes two ways of reacting to pain or sorrow. God’s way (“godly sorrow” or sorrow “as God intended,” kata theon, vv. 9–11) invariably produces a change of heart, and this repentance “leads to salvation” (both present spiritual vitality and future eternal life) and therefore gives no cause for regret. Sorrow borne in a “worldly” way (tou kosmou, GK 3180), on the other hand, does not lead to repentance but has the deadly effect of producing resentment or bitterness. What makes suffering remedial is not the actual experience of it but the reaction to it; a “godly” or positive reaction brings spiritual benefit, both now and in the hereafter, whereas a “worldly” or negative reaction causes irreparable harm. As an example of “worldly grief,” David Garland, 355, refers to the grief-stricken merchants and slave traders of Revelation 18:11–13 who mourn the loss of their heartless profits, and as an instance of “godly grief” that produced repentance he points to John Newton’s confession of wretchedness and blindness in the hymn “Amazing Grace.”[1]


7:10 / Paul explains what he has just stated in verse 9b about being sorrowful as God intended. Paul’s distinction here between godly sorrow (lit., “sorrow according to God”) and worldly sorrow (lit., “sorrow of the world”) remains somewhat unclear. Evidently, the apostle wants to distinguish between two different motivations for sorrow and their outcomes. On the one hand, there is a kind of godly sorrow that effects a change of mind and behavior. This kind of sorrow leads to salvation in accordance with the will of God. On the other hand, there is a kind of worldly sorrow that brings death, probably because it is not characterized by a genuine change of mind and heart and a corresponding change of behavior. Hence, the sinner incurs the full wrath of God in judgment.[2]


7:10. To explain himself further, Paul contrasted two kinds of sorrow: Godly sorrow, which conforms to divine intent, and worldly sorrow, which does not.

Godly sorrow brings repentance. In this context, “sorrow” refers to regret and emotional pain, and “repentance” means a change of mind and behavior. When believers become aware of their sins, they often react with bitter sorrow. But they do not repent unless they change their lifestyles. Godly sorrow always leads to repentance. When true believers hear the rebuke of God’s Word, they turn to God for cleansing and forgiveness. Thus, Godly sorrow … leads to salvation and leaves no regret.

On the surface worldly sorrow may look similar to godly sorrow, but it brings death. The outcome of sorrow indicates its true nature. Even unbelievers may regret sins that they have committed, but this sorrow does not bring about God-centered repentance, and thus leads to death.[3]


10. For sorrow that is according to God’s will produces repentance that effects salvation, which cannot be regretted. But worldly sorrow produces death.

The contrast in this text is plain: true repentance versus remorse, and salvation versus death. The one side of the proverbial coin is positive and elaborate; the other side is negative and brief. The dissimilarity is so striking that no one can fail to see it.

  • Godly sorrow. “For sorrow that is according to God’s will produces repentance that effects salvation, which cannot be regretted.” Once again, Paul condenses his teaching on God’s law, will, and guidance in the expression according to God (see the comments on verse 9). He means to say that sorrow for sin must be seen in the context of our God who gives us his commandments, makes known his will, and guides his people to obedience.

The sorrow that Paul mentions refers to sadness for sin that has been committed; such sorrow can cause the repentant sinner to shed tears of bitterness. For instance, when Peter disowned Jesus by swearing that he did not know him, he heard the rooster crow. Thereupon he remembered Jesus’ words, went outside, and wept bitterly (Matt. 26:74–75).

Paul writes that godly sorrow produces repentance, but in all his epistles he uses the Greek noun metanoia (repentance) only four times (Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:9, 10; 2 Tim. 2:25). And the related verb to repent occurs only once in his letters (2 Cor. 12:21). Although the Synoptic Gospels repeatedly record the noun and the verb, John’s Gospel and Epistles lack both of them. But Paul and John express this concept with two substitutes, the noun faith and the verb to believe. These two words occur numerous times in the writings of both John and Paul and indicate the action of a sinner turning to God in full dependence on him. The Old Testament teaches that God wants his people to turn away from sin and toward God. This teaching appears graphically in the prophecy of Ezekiel: “But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and does what is just and right, he will surely live” (18:21, 27).

Repentance leads to salvation, says Paul, that cannot be regretted. No one can ever say that he or she has made a mistake by having repented and thus receiving salvation. Salvation means restoration to the fullness of life. It means to be whole again, to live in harmony with God and his people. Perhaps Paul’s statement, “Repentance that effects salvation cannot be regretted,” was a well-known axiom In the early church. Whether the clause which cannot be regretted is connected with repentance or salvation is inconsequential. It is a fact that genuine repentance results in salvation, which then can be described as something that is not to be regretted.

  • Worldly sorrow. “But worldly sorrow produces death.” What a contrast! Now we see the opposite of the preceding pronouncement. Genuine contrition is a turning away from sin and a going toward God, but worldly sorrow is remorse that expresses itself in self-accusation. Peter repented and returned to the apostles and afterward met Jesus (Matt. 26:75; Luke 24:33–34). Judas was filled with remorse, but returned to the chief priests who rejected him (Matt. 27:3–5). Peter was restored and became the head of the apostles (John 21:15–19). Judas committed suicide and was doomed to destruction (Acts 1:18–19).

The Corinthians had chosen life by repenting and turning to God. They received salvation full and free and were completely restored in their relationship to God and Paul. When a sinner repents, says Jesus, the angels in heaven rejoice (Luke 15:7, 10). Paul also exulted at the news that the people in Corinth had a change of heart. His letter and Titus’s visit had not been in vain. The people in Corinth had abandoned their evil ways and had turned to the living God, the author of salvation. Hence, Paul’s joy knew no bounds when Titus brought him the news concerning the Corinthian church.[4]


7:10 This verse contrasts godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world. Godly sorrow means grief which comes into a man’s life after he has committed a sin and which leads to his repentance. He realizes that God is speaking to him, and so he takes sides with God against himself and against his sin.

When Paul says that godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, he is not necessarily thinking of the salvation of the soul (although that could be true also). After all, the Corinthians were already saved. But here salvation is used to describe deliverance from any type of sin, bondage, or affliction in a person’s life.

There is a question whether the expression not to be regretted refers to repentance or salvation. Since it is equally true that no one ever regrets repentance or salvation, we can leave the question open.

The sorrow of the world is not true repentance but mere remorse. It produces bitterness, hardness, despair, and eventually death. It is illustrated in the life of Judas. He was not sorry for the results which his sin brought to the Lord Jesus, but only remorseful because of the terrible harvest which he himself reaped from it.[5]


7:10 sorrow … produces a repentance … leading to salvation. “Sorrow” here refers to sorrow that is according to the will of God and produced by the Holy Spirit (see note on 2Ti 2:25). True repentance cannot occur apart from such a genuine sorrow over one’s sin. The word “leading” is supplied by the translators; Paul was saying that repentance belongs to the realm or sphere of salvation. Repentance is at the very heart of and proves one’s salvation: unbelievers repent of their sin initially when they are saved, and then as believers, repent of their sins continually to keep the joy and blessing of their relationship to God (see notes on 1Jn 1:7–9). sorrow of the world produces death. Human sorrow is unsanctified remorse and has no redemptive capability. It is nothing more than the wounded pride of getting caught in a sin and having one’s lusts go unfulfilled. That kind of sorrow leads only to guilt, shame, despair, depression, self-pity, and hopelessness. People can die from such sorrow (cf. Mt 27:3).[6]


7:10 repentance. Turning from sin, a sincere decision to forsake a specific sin (or sins) and begin to obey God. Here, the term does not specifically refer to initial repentance that must accompany true saving faith (Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19; 17:30; 26:20), but to a turning from sin in the life of a Christian.

leads to salvation. “Salvation” here means not initial conversion, but growth and progress in the Christian life. Ordinary Christian growth will include times of profound sorrow for remaining sin.

worldly grief. Regret and sorrow of different kinds that do not seek forgiveness in Christ.[7]


[1] Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 493–494). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (p. 168). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 388). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, pp. 254–255). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1848). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (2 Co 7:10). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (pp. 1681–1682). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

December 12 WHERE ARE THE ADMIRERS?

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

—Psalm 100:3

The dictionary says that to admire is “to regard with wondering esteem accompanied by pleasure and delight; to look at or upon with an elevated feeling of pleasure.” According to this definition, God has few admirers among Christians today.

Many are they who are grateful for His goodness in providing salvation. At Thanksgiving time the churches ring with songs of gratitude that “all is safely gathered in.” Testimony meetings are mostly devoted to recitations of incidents where someone got into trouble and got out again in answer to prayer. To decry this would be uncharitable and unscriptural, for there is much of the same thing in the book of Psalms. It is good and right to render unto God thanksgiving for all His mercies to us. But God’s admirers, where are they?

The simple truth is that worship is elementary until it begins to take on the quality of admiration. Just as long as the worshiper is engrossed with himself and his good fortune, he is a babe. We begin to grow up when our worship passes from thanksgiving to admiration. As our hearts rise to God in lofty esteem for that which He is (“I AM THAT I AM”), we begin to share a little of the selfless pleasure which is the portion of the blessed in heaven. TIC127

Lord, I praise You for the wonderful things You have done for me and for the awesome God that You are. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.