Daily Archives: January 10, 2018

January 10 Living to the Glory of God

God chose us “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in [His beloved Son]” (Eph. 1:6).

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You were created to glorify God.

Henry Martyn, an Englishman, served as a missionary in India and Persia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Upon his arrival in Calcutta he cried out, “Let me burn out for God.” As he watched the people prostrating themselves before their pagan idols and heard blasphemy uttered against Christ, he wrote, “This excited more horror in me than I can well express. … I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me, if He were to be always thus dishonored” (John Stott, Our Guilty Silence [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1967], pp. 21, 22).

Martyn had a passion for God’s glory—and he was in good company. Angels glorify God (Luke 2:14), as do the heavens (Ps. 19:1) and even animals (Isa. 43:20). But as a believer, you glorify God in a unique way because you are a testimony to His redeeming grace.

You were created for the purpose of glorifying God—even in the most mundane activities of life, such as eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). You are to flee immorality so you can glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:18–20). You are to walk worthy of your calling, so “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified” (2 Thess. 1:12).

Glorifying God is an enormous privilege and an awesome responsibility. When others see His character on display in your life, it reminds them of His power, goodness, and grace. But when they don’t, God is dishonored, and His character is called into question.

Aim your life at God’s glory; make it the standard by which you evaluate everything you do.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for the privilege of glorifying Him. ✧ Ask Him to show you any areas of your life that do not honor Him. ✧ Find a trusted Christian friend who will pray with you and hold you accountable for the areas in which you know you need to change.

For Further Study: Read Exodus 33:12–34:9. ✧ What did Moses request? ✧ What was God’s response, and what does this teach us about His glory?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 22). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JANUARY 10 EVERY ONE MUST PRAY AS IF HE ALONE COULD PRAY

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.

LUKE 18:1

Thomas a’ Kempis wrote that the man of God ought to be more at home in his prayer chamber than before the public. It is not too much to say that the preacher who loves to be before the public is hardly prepared spiritually to be before them. Right praying may easily make a man hesitant to appear before an audience.

The man who is really at home in the presence of God will find himself caught in a kind of inward contradiction. He is likely to feel his responsibility so keenly that he would rather do almost anything than face an audience; and yet the pressure upon his spirit may be so great that wild horses could not drag him away from his pulpit.

No man should stand before an audience who has not first stood before God. Many hours of communion should precede one hour in the pulpit. The prayer chamber should be more familiar than the public platform.

Schools teach everything about preaching except the important part, praying. The best any school can do is to recommend prayer and exhort to its practice. Praying itself must be the work of the individual. That it is the one religious work which gets done with the least enthusiasm cannot but be one of the tragedies of our times!

In true prayer, every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else. Everyone must pray as if he alone could pray![1]


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

January 10, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

Vice President Mike Pence will lead the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month in an attempt to send a signal to the North Korean regime, according to a senior administration official.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump plans to attend the World Economic Forum later this month.

China added to bond investors’ jitters on Wednesday as traders braced for what they feared could be the end of a three-decade bull market. Senior government officials in Beijing reviewing the nation’s foreign-exchange holdings have recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasuries, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Trump administration is ruling out plans to sell new drilling rights off the coast of Florida, including eastern Gulf of Mexico waters coveted by oil companies, amid pressure from Republican Governor Rick Scott.

The U.S. House passed a pair of bills seeking greater diplomatic support for Taiwan, a move that could test China ties already strained over trade disputes and North Korea.

President Donald Trump ordered the Director of National Intelligence to develop new procedures to handle requests from government officials who ask for the identities of U.S. citizens swept up in foreign intelligence surveillance.

The new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands clashed Wednesday with Dutch reporters on his first official day in the job over controversial comments he made in 2015 in which he said that the “Islamic movement” was creating chaos in Europe and suggested that extremists were burning politicians and cars in the Netherlands.

One of the strongest earthquakes, a preliminary magnitude of 7.6, to hit the Caribbean in modern times struck off the coast of Honduras on Tuesday night, shaking the mainland and setting off tsunami warnings that were canceled about an hour later.

This year may be anything but staid for the oil market as Citigroup Inc. predicts wildcards including war, Middle East tensions, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un driving crude toward $80 a barrel.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield climbed to the highest level in about 10 months, leading Bill Gross at Janus Henderson Group to declare a bond bear market just as a deluge of debt sales began.

The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will resume after the government agreed to pay a U.S. exploration company as much as $70 million if it solves modern aviation’s biggest mystery.

AP Top Stories

The founder of the Miss Trans America pageant is believed to be 2018′s first known victim of deadly violence against the transgender community.

Tunisia’s prime minister promised Tuesday to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes left one person dead and raised fears of broader unrest in the country that was the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

The Israeli army carried out air strikes and fired rockets at targets in Syria overnight, causing damage near a military position, the Syrian army said Tuesday.

Drones that attacked Russian bases in Syria last week were sent from Idlib, a “de-escalation” zone controlled by anti-Damascus fighters, the Russian defense ministry’s official newspaper said.

Authorities in Santa Barbara County were still trying to reach new areas and dig into the destruction to find dead, injured or trapped people after a powerful mud flow swept away dozens of homes.

Myanmar’s military acknowledged Wednesday that its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were found in a mass grave in a village in troubled Rakhine state.

BBC

Ethiopia has banned the adoption of children by foreigners amid concerns children face abuse and neglect abroad.

Thousands of Iranians who have been sentenced to death for drug crimes could be spared following a softening in the country’s law. Capital punishment has been abolished for some drug offences, and the head of the judiciary has said all cases on death row can be reviewed.

The German edition of Playboy magazine will feature a transgender model on its cover for the first time.

A US judge has blocked attempts by the White House to end a program barring the deportation of children brought illegally to the US by parents.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has ruled that same-sex marriages should be recognized. The court’s rulings apply to countries which have signed the American Convention on Human Rights. But others, such as Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru do not recognize either and will be expected to change their laws.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a new inquiry into health problems suffered by diplomats serving at the US embassy in the Cuban capital Havana.

Two protesters have died in rioting over the latest in a series of child murders in the Pakistani city of Kasur. The body of seven-year-old Zainab was found in a rubbish dump on Tuesday, several days after she went missing. She had been raped and strangled.

Sri Lanka is to allow women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years.

WND

Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results. No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.


The Briefing — Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1) The Oprahfication of politics updated: Will Oprah run for president?

Washington Post (Robert Costa) –
Talk of Oprah running for president captivates Democrats

New York Times (Alexander Burns and Amy Chozick) –
Oprah 2020? Democrats Swing From Giddy to Skeptical at the Prospect

USA Today (Nicole Guadiano) –
If she runs, Oprah could dominate the Democratic field in 2020

Wall Street Journal (Editors) –
Could Oprah Out-Trump Donald?

New York Times (Thomas Chatterton Williams) –
Oprah, Don’t Do It

2) Shareholders express concerns about the addictive power of social media and new technology. Should we be alarmed?

New York Times (David Gelles) –
Tech Backlash Grows as Investors Press Apple to Act on Children’s Use

USA Today (Kim Hjelmgaard) –
Investors want Apple to do more to fight kids’ smartphone addiction

3) Landslides, tsunamis, and hurricanes have all taken place: The power of metaphors to explain our moral moment

New York Times (Jessica Bennett) –
The ‘Click’ Moment: How the Weinstein Scandal Unleashed a Tsunami


News – 1/10/2018

Pope Prepares Counterattack?
A new report claims Pope Francis is preparing a “campaign of denigration” against five bishops who have publicly rejected his stance on marriage and the sacraments. The source told me that [the pope] was furious. He went on a rampage — because he cannot stand any opposition. They heard him scream: “They will regret it! They will regret it bitterly!”

US OKs selling Japan missiles to shoot down North Korean missiles
The Trump administration has approved a $133.3 million missile defense sale to Japan to meet the escalating threat from North Korea — by shooting down the rogue nation’s own ballistic missiles. (video)

A new generation of L.A. Satanists finds community in blasphemous times
“On this altar we consecrate swords to direct the fire of our unholy will,” she said. “A human skull, symbol of death. The great mother Lilith created us all, and will destroy us all.” “Hail Satan! Hail Satan! Hail Satan!” The group chanted back.

Snow falls in Sahara desert for third time in 40 years
Snow has fallen in the Sahara, covering desert dunes in a layer up to 40cm deep. Snow started falling on the Algerian town of Ain Sefra in the early hours of Sunday morning, giving children an opportunity to race each other down the slopes. Rising temperatures meant it began to melt later in the day. It is the third time in nearly 40 years the town, known as “The Gateway to the Desert”, has seen snowfall.

Carles Puigdemont set to be named Catalonia president in exile as deal is reached by separatist parties
Carles Puigdemont is set be re-installed as Catalonia’s president of government after a deal was reached between the region’s two major separatist parties.

485 Scientific Papers Published in 2017 Undermine Supposed ‘Consensus’ on Climate Change
A broad survey of climate change literature for 2017 reveals that the alleged “consensus” behind the dangers of anthropogenic global warming is not nearly as settled among climate scientists as people imagine. Author Kenneth Richard found that during the course of the year 2017, at least 485 scientific papers were published that in some way questioned the supposed consensus regarding the perils of human CO2 emissions or the efficacy of climate models to predict the future.

US ambassador: Palestinian endorsement of terror is why there’s no peace
US Ambassador David Friedman said in a tweet Wednesday that those wondering why there is no peace should look no further than Tuesday nights murder of Raziel Shevach and the Palestinian reaction to it. “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

After settler murder, IDF beefs up West Bank presence
The Israeli military increased presence in the Samaria region of the West Bank Wednesday following a deadly terror attack near the Havat Gilad outpost Tuesday evening. Overnight, the army, together with special forces, conducted searches and set up closures of villages in the Nablus region in an effort to locate the killer or killers of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, the father of six who was murdered in the drive-by shooting on Route 60.

Judge blocks Trump’s move to end Daca Dreamers scheme
A US judge has blocked attempts by the White House to end a programme barring the deportation of children brought illegally to the US by parents. In September, President Donald Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme. But San Francisco’s Judge William Alsup ruled it must stay in place while litigation against the move continues.

Massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake strikes in the Caribbean
A massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the Caribbean Sea, prompting a tsunami warning for nearby islands including the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Jamaica. The tremor, one of the largest to hit the Caribbean in recorded history, struck on Tuesday night at about 9.51pm just over 25 miles from the coast of Great Swan Island, belonging to Honduras.

Another imam in U.S. calls for killing Jews
A third Muslim imam in the United States has been recorded citing an Islamic text that prophesies the killing of Jews by Muslims. As with the other two imams, Abdullah Khadra, speaking at a mosque Dec. 8 in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area, was responding to President Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption ‘urgent public safety issue’
The inability of law enforcement authorities to access data from electronic devices due to powerful encryption is an “urgent public safety issue,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday…The FBI has been unable to access data in more than half of the devices that it tried to unlock due to encryption, Wray added. “This is an urgent public safety issue,” Wray added, while saying that a solution is “not so clear cut.”

Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites

Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results.
No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment. And not only is Google’s fact-checking highly partisan — perhaps reflecting the sentiments of its leaders — it is also blatantly wrong, asserting sites made “claims” they demonstrably never made.

Exclusive: Trump’s EPA aims to replace Obama-era climate, water regulations in 2018
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will replace Obama-era carbon and clean water regulations and open up a national debate on climate change in 2018, part of a list of priorities for the year that also includes fighting lead contamination in public drinking water.

Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Tuesday that software patches released to guard against microchip security threats slowed down some personal computers and servers, with systems running on older Intel Corp (INTC.O) processors seeing a noticeable decrease in performance. The comments in a blog post were the clearest signal from Microsoft that fixes for flaws in microchips from Intel and rivals described last week could meaningfully degrade performance.

Was 2017 Record Year of Disasters a Famed Mystic’s Final Pre-Messiah Warning?
The past year was declared by the US government to be the worst on record for natural disasters, an alarming fact in itself, but a closer look shows that the data conform to a prophecy made 12 years ago by Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, in which he predicted an age of natural disasters intended to drive American Jews back to Israel in time for the Messiah. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Monday that 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for natural disasters.

Christian Tourist Uses Loophole to Recite ‘Shema’ on Temple Mount
A Christian tourist from Germany visited the Temple Mount and under the very noses of the Muslim Waqf guards managed to sidestep the ban on non-Muslim prayer and recite the ‘Shema’, the powerful recognition of God’s kingship, by using sign language. (video)

Everyone evacuated from volcano island
Dormant for decades, the volcano began erupting last week. Kadovar, which is part of the Schouten islands group, is about 21km off the mouth of the Sepik River. East Sepik governor’s spokesman Chris Bais told The National newspaper the volcano became active on Friday and almost 60% of the island has been covered with lava.

Russia ‘simulated a full-scale WAR against NATO’, warns military commander
Riho Terras, the commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, said Vladimir Putin’s forces “simulated a large-scale military attack” against the alliance last September. He claims the war games were so the superpower could prepare to move a large number of troops at extremely short notice if it were to go to war with the US-led organisation. The drills were held across Belarus, the Baltic Sea and western Russia for six days last year and saw the Russian military engage in fictional enemy combat scenarios.

Hungary’s PM: “We Don’t See Them As Refugees, We See Them As Muslim Invaders”
according to Orban what Europe has seen was not a wave of refugees, but an invasion. He mentioned that he never understood how in a country like Germany the chaos and the illegal crossing of borders could be celebrated as something good. When asked by Bild whether it was fair for Germany to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants while Hungary accepted none, Orban responded: “The difference is, you wanted the migrants, and we didn’t.” Migration, he said, threatens the “sovereignty and cultural identity” of Hungary. “Multiculturalism is only an illusion.”

‘We Can Build The Wall in One Year:’ Trump Tells DHS Never to ‘Mention 7 Years Again’ for Border Wall Timeframe
During a meeting at the White House on immigration, President Trump told Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen never to “mention seven years again” in reference to the timeframe that DHS claimed it would take to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “I can build it for less,” Trump said in regard to the recent DHS report which stated that it would cost them $18 billion to build the border wall.

Flooding Kills 13 In California
A winter storm that triggered flooding and mudslides in California’s Santa Barbara County has taken more than a dozen lives, authorities announced Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority Paid Terrorists $350 Million In 2017 To Plot Attacks Against Israel
Tthe Palestinian Authority paid terrorists and their families over $347 million last year, according to its own records, the defense ministry reported to the foreign affairs and defense committee Tuesday.

The Church Of Satan Experiencing Huge Swell In Membership As Satanism Goes Mainstream In America
EDITOR’S NOTE: What’s fueling the nascent popularity of Satanism is the presidency of Donald Trump, the satanists can’t stand him. Funny thing, 8 years of Barack Obama and the satanists didn’t really have much to say, one year of Trump and it’s an explosion. Looks like the Devil is not a fan of Trump for some reason. Could it be he opposes him because God is the one that placed Trump in office to bring about end times events? It is no coincidence that satanism is rising rapidly. As the Rapture of the Church draws ever closer, the Antichrist is getting ready to take the stage.

Trump Vows to Crush Globalist Agenda by Attending Secret Elite Meeting in Davos
The White House has confirmed that President Trump will attend the annual secretive meeting in Davos, Switzerland this year with a promise to crush globalist policies.

NYPD outraged over the demand of the NYC mayor to forcibly expand the number of Muslim recruits in their ranks
The NYPD. And they have the largest recipient of Muslim campaign contributions, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, to thank for forcing the NYC police department to hire some 1,000 Muslim recruits, ten times more than there were on 9/11.

Non-urgent health care services being put on hold across the UK as state-run health care nightmare edges toward collapse
The National Health Service in England has put a hold on non-urgent health care services, as the state-run healthcare system edges toward collapse. State officials have instructed hospitals across the country to delay non-emergency procedures and only deal with emergency patients first. About 55,000 operations are to be put on hold in January as England’s health system goes into full rationing mode.  There aren’t enough hospital beds or staff to accommodate the mounting pressure of a sick and dying population.

Google’s Fact-Checking Is Liberal Bias
Google, the most powerful search engine in the world, is now displaying fact checks for conservative publications in its results. No prominent liberal site receives the same treatment.

Supremes allow law exempting Christians from homosexual promotion
Ever since five liberal justices on the U.S. Supreme Court created same-sex “marriage” – with two arguably having breached ethics rules by advocating for same-sex “marriage” while the case was pending – homosexual activists have been using the legal system to punish defenders of traditional marriage.

Guess what’s not in Obama’s super posh library
…Unlike other presidential libraries, there’s one thing the Obamas didn’t want the presidential center to include: hard copies of Obama’s letters, manuscripts or other documents. According to the plans, the center will feature only a digital archive of Obama’s records.

Elizabeth Warren’s CFPB Faces New Scandal Amid Out Of Control Spending On D.C. Headquarters
Another day, another scandal for Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. According to Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller, renovation costs for the agency’s headquarters may place it on the list of top ten most expensive office buildings in Washington, D.C.

California just mandated LGBT indoctrination of all children in public schools, and parents have no choice to opt out 
Several hundred new laws have come into effect in California as of the first of the year, and one of them shamelessly strips parents of elementary-age children of their right to opt out of brand new LGBT-promoting curriculum that’s now being taught throughout the state’s public schools.

MID-DAY SNAPSHOT

JAN. 10, 2018

The Art of the Immigration Deal

Just as only Nixon could go to China, perhaps only Trump can work with Democrats on immigration.

THE FOUNDATION

“It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: January 10

  • China May Halt Purchases of U.S. Treasuries (Read More)
  • Berkshire Hathaway Expands Board Size (Read More)
  • Gundlach Says S&P 500 Will Have Negative Return for 2018 (Read More)
  • Judge blocks Trump move to end DACA (Read More)
  • Bitcoin Powers Big Returns for a Pair of ETFs (Read More)
  • U.S. oil hits highest since 2014, worries grow of overheated market (Read More)
  • With U.S. Aid Cut, Pakistan Drifts Closer to China (Read More)
  • Taxes, Trading and Bitcoin: What to Watch For in Wall Street’s 2017 Numbers (Read More)
  • Iran could greatly increase uranium enrichment, says spokesman (Read More)
  • What the Tax Law Will Do to Bank Earnings (Read More)
  • Breitbart-Bannon Rift Gives Conservative Rivals an Opening (Read More)
  • Catalan parties propose self-exiled former leader as president (Read More)
  • ‘Bad Brexit’ Would Hurt the U.K. Economy for More Than a Decade (Read More)
  • Marijuana taxes and a surplus expected to boost California budget (Read More)
  • Michael R. Bloomberg: A Seven-Step Plan for Ending the Opioid Crisis (Read More)
  • Saudi Aramco working to raise cheap loans before IPO – banking sources (Read More)
  • Traders Aren’t Falling for Crypto Name Changes But Love Them Anyway (Read More)
  • Explosion on Iranian oil tanker forces rescue team to retreat (Read More)
  • Mohammed bin Salman’s Next Saudi Challenge: Curtailing Ultraconservative Islam (Read More)

Headlines – 1/10/2018

Erekat: No peace talks until US revokes Jerusalem recognition

Saudi Arabia reaffirms position on Jerusalem and support for the Palestinians in call between King Salman, Abbas

King Abdullah to al-Sisi: ramp up efforts to protect Palestinians’ right

Herzog offers Saudis ‘special role’ on Temple Mount

Arab connection to Jerusalem: Fake News

Seemingly inflating numbers, Liberman says 1,285 settlement homes to be approved

Fatah Official Reportedly Meets With Hezbollah Leader in Bid to Spark Anti-Israel Violence

Israeli father of 6 killed in West Bank drive-by shooting

Widow vows to bury slain rabbi Raziel Shevach at illegal outpost

Widow of terror victim requests that nation attend funeral

UN ambassador to Mideast: ‘Terrorist should be brought to justice’

PM Netanyahu on West Bank shooting attack: ‘Heinous killer will face justice’

Hamas military wing on West Bank shooting attack: ‘What you feared has come’

Hailing West Bank shooting, Hamas warns of more attacks to come

Several instances of settler violence reported after deadly terror attack

Defense Ministry drafts bill to cut PA funds over terrorist stipends

Sweden warns against cutting US aid to Palestinian refugee agency

Netanyahu son’s drunken brag outside strip club adds to family woes

In the Middle East the enemy of my enemy is my friend

Report: Saudi Arabia sought to buy Israel’s Iron Dome system

Report: Saudi Arabia working with Israel against Iran

Germany reprimands Iran for anti-Israel spying on its territory

Mossad Chief: Israel Has Eyes, Ears and ‘Even More’ in Iran

Netanyahu said to tell NATO: ‘Real possibility’ Trump will nullify Iran deal

Iran’s Leader Calls Trump ‘Psychotic’ and Warns of Revenge

Mossad chief: Protests unlikely to topple Iran regime

US House backs Iran protesters, slams ‘oppressive regime’

Iran’s easing of drug laws could halt execution of 5,000 prisoners

Exiled Iranian royal sees chance to end the Islamic Republic

Turkey, US relations may deteriorate if Washington ‘does’nt fix mistakes’

Turkey says Russia, Iran must stop Syrian government violations

70,000 Syrians flee as regime advances on last rebel-held province

Syria to UN: Israeli ‘aggression will cause a conflagration’

Russia implies US involvement in drone strikes on Syria military bases

Mosul’s old heart in ruins six months after IS ousted

Molotov cocktail tossed at Djerba Synagogue during Tunisia anti-government protest

Yemen’s Houthis threaten to block Red Sea shipping lane

Scores feared dead and up to 100 missing after boat sinks off Libya’s coast

Greece makes Sharia Law optional for Muslim minority

S. Korean leader willing to meet with North’s Kim to resolve nuclear standoff

South Korea’s Moon credits Trump with ‘huge’ contribution to North Korea talks

U.S. hails Korea talks, despite North’s rejection of denuclearization

Egypt’s Troubling Nuclear Deal with Russia

Russian historian who exposed Stalin’s crimes faces enforced psychiatric testing

Trump’s attorney files defamation suits over Russian collusion dossier

Report: Trump could be interviewed within weeks in Russia probe

Julian Assange May Be Forced to Leave Ecuador Embassy After Upsetting President

WikiLeaks tweets link to text of controversial Trump book

Dozens more ‘resistance’ books scheduled for 2018

Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites

Stocks finish at record highs, S&P 500 has best start to a year since 1987

Snowden Joins Outcry Against World’s Biggest Biometric Database

FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption ‘urgent public safety issue’

Intel unveils 40% faster Wi-Fi chip developed in Israel

Silicon Valley Reconsiders the iPhone Era It Created

Area 51 flights? Top-secret government airline seeks flight attendant

U.S. spy satellite believed destroyed after failing to reach orbit: officials

China’s plummeting space station is just a taste of the world’s space junk problem

Stunning bright light turned night to day over vast swathe of Russia – Flash seen over thousands of kilometres but scientists disagree over the cause

Tsunami advisory in effect for Puerto Rico after magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Caribbean

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Hasaki, Japan

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Raoul Island, New Zealand

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Putre, Chile

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Farallon de Pajaros, Northern Mariana Islands

California: Thirteen dead in Montecito rains and mudslides

Alps hit by ‘once-in-a-generation’ snow storms

13,000 tourists stranded in Zermatt, village cut off as avalanche risk raised to max

Australia swelters through one of hottest years on record

IV bag shortage has hospitals scrambling to treat flu

Saudi Arabia police arrest men over ‘gay wedding’ video

‘Me Too’: Groin searches at Gitmo are sexual harassment, 9/11 plotters say

Republican lawmaker from Idaho commits suicide amid sexual abuse investigation

The Bible is ‘coming to life,’ prominent Christian author says

Dear Saint, Don’t believe what they say!

Charismatic Writes Book About Michael Jackson Visiting Him from Heaven (not satire)

Bethel’s cover-up in media statement (Part 1): “This practice is not what the Hodges do in church”

Paula White Blathers on for Almost Seven Minutes; Basically Wants More Money

Former Fayetteville pastor faces 142 charges in child sex crimes

The Surprising Spiritual Benefits that Follow Abortion

Powerful 7.8 Earthquake Strikes Honduras

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:08 PM PST

Powerful 7.8 Earthquake Strikes HondurasWe are receiving reports of a large and powerful earthquake that has struck the Great Swan Island in Honduras. At this time we have no further information on tsunami alerts, injuries or damages. Check back as we will update you more as this story develops.

DEVELOPING: Hospitals scrambling to treat flu as IV bag shortages reported

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:01 PM PST

DEVELOPING: Hospitals scrambling to treat flu as IV bag shortages reportedAn ongoing shortage of fluids used to deliver medicine and treat dehydrated patients has hospital workers scrambling in the midst of a nasty flu season and supplies from factories in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico have been slow to rebound. Supplies of saline and nutrient solutions were already tight before hurricanes pounded Puerto Rico and cut power to manufacturing plants that make much of the U.S. supply of fluid-filled bags used to deliver sterile solutions to patients.

Flu season has turned out to be a bad one and it came early, bringing patients in need of fluids into hospitals already running low. Hospital officials, pharmacists and other staff have been devising alternatives and workarounds, training doctors and nurses on new procedures and options, and hitting the phones to try to secure fluids from secondary suppliers. READ MORE

Woman Says Witches Snatched Her Out of Bethel Church to Perform Ritual Satanic Abuse

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:53 PM PST

Woman Says Witches Snatched Her Out of Bethel Church to Perform Ritual Satanic AbuseOne woman tells Sid Roth witches snatched her out of a church service to perform ritual satanic abuse. In a video posted recently the It’s Supernatural host revisits his time at Bethel nearly 20 years ago, where he interviewed person after person with nearly unreal stories about how God was moving. In the

report, Roth says the area surrounding Bethel once played host to 26 cults. “Although the devil has power, inside this church, Bethel church, is an explosion of God’s power,” Roth says. God’s power radically set one woman free from Satanism. Watch the video to see her story. FULL STORY

The Key Arguments That There IS Life After Death

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:33 PM PST

The Key Arguments That There IS Life After DeathCommentator and radio host Dennis Prager believes wholeheartedly that there’s an afterlife — and he recently broke down all of the key arguments for heaven’s existence.  “If there is a God, there is an afterlife,” Prager said in a recent episode of Prager U. “It’s that simple”: He argued that a good and just

God would create an afterlife to compensate for the unjust suffering that rages in our world. In fact, Prager concluded that God would be “cruel” if he didn’t create such a respite. “The physical world is not the only reality,” Prager continued. “There is also a non-physical reality. … My belief in God and the afterlife keeps me sane.” Watch Prager’s full argument below: MORE

Over 100 Christians March to Protest Red ‘Lucifer’ Statue in Greece

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:24 PM PST

Over 100 Christians March to Protest Red ‘Lucifer’ Statue in GreeceOver 100 Christian residents led by their priest in Athens marched to the site of a controversial sculpture, which many thinks depicts Lucifer, and demanded its removal. The protesters held Greek flags, icons and sang hymns where the sculpture Phylax stands, according to Greek Reporter. The sculpture, an image of a red naked man with wings, made by artist Kostis Georgiou, was installed near the Palaio

Faliro marina in Trokadero, south of Athens, last month, according to Neos Kosmos. The priest sprinkled “holy water” on the statue to “exorcise its demons.” The statue has suffered two vandalism attacks since its installation on Dec. 5. What may have caused concerns among the Christians is that the Palaio Faliro Municipality named the statue “guardian-angel” of the South Athens suburb. READ MORE

5 Breakthroughs Fasting Can Unleash in Your Life

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:16 PM PST

5 Breakthroughs Fasting Can Unleash in Your Life(By Keith Nix) Why fast? Is it required? Is it beneficial? Is it an antiquated practice that is no longer valid for Christians? Many today believe that fasting is a religious work of the flesh that only speaks of bondage since Jesus finished the work at Calvary. Some do indeed approach fasting with legalistic religious vigor and place their confidence in their discipline rather than in the power of God. Others view fasting as a valuable tool in weight reduction but of no significant spiritual value. What does the Bible say?

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes wrote, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken” (4:12c). Jesus gave His disciples (I hope that includes you) the formula of a threefold cord for our lives. Matthew records where Jesus said, “When you give … when you pray … when you fast …” Matt. 6:2,5,12 NLT). Notice that Jesus didn’t make these three acts optional for a believer. His instruction wasn’t if, but when. So, giving, praying and fasting for the believer is not optional. Neither does God treat them like extra credit. They are core elements of the Christian life. There is an assumption that disciples will have periods of fasting in their journey of following Christ. In fact, when you look at the New Testament believers, it is easy to see that fasting is a standard practice. MORE

Three Reasons the US is Not Mystery Babylon

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:10 PM PST

Three Reasons the US is Not Mystery Babylon

(By Kelly Mcdonald Jr) In recent years, I have seen an increase in the number of online articles claiming that the United States of America (henceforth US) is the woman of Revelation 17, named “Mystery Babylon”. Are these claims warranted? Is there proof?  We must remember that Scripture is our final authority for Biblical interpretation. Let’s look at three reasons why it is not possible for the US to be Mystery Babylon.

#1 – Mystery Babylon is described as a city.

“And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18, KJV).

The woman of Revelation 17 is called a great city that reigns over the kings of the earth. The US is a country, not a city. Additionally, it does not reign over the kings of the earth. Sovereign nations around the world make decisions on a daily basis without consulting the US. Just recently, 128 countries voted against the US measure to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

#2 – Mystery Babylon is responsible for killing God’s people.

“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev 18:24).

The US has historically been a haven for those fleeing religious persecution. Among the first settlers of this country were the pilgrims, who were fleeing persecution in Europe. There has never been a top-down government persecution of Christians. The US has been a haven for Christians and a launching pad for the gospel into the rest of the world.

#3 – The United States does not have kings.

“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev 17:10).

The woman of Revelation 17 is clearly described as riding on a beast with seven heads. These seven heads represent seven hills (or mountains). They are also seven kings. The US has never had any kings. We have not had a monarchy for our head of state since we separated from the King of England during the Revolutionary War. The US has a divided government between three branches of government that (ideally) hold each other accountable.

The US is certainly not a perfect country (and I remind you that no country is). At the same time, it is certainly not a country void of doing tremendous works for God in the world. The US has commissioned more missionaries and resources (such as money) to preach the gospel than any other country in history. In 2010, the US sent out 127,000 of the world’s 400,000 missionaries. Brazil was second at 34,000. The US is also among the most charitable countries in the world.  The Bible and even current events point to the fact that the US is not Mystery Babylon. 

DEVELOPING: Deadly Floods Strike California Leaving At Least 13 Dead

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:04 PM PST

DEVELOPING: Deadly Floods Strike California Leaving At Least 13 DeadAt least 13 people have died in weather-related incidents in Santa Barbara County, authorities said Tuesday, as the Southland’s first major winter storm triggered flooding and mudflows that forced the closure of the 101 Freeway in the Thomas Fire burn area. The fatality figure could increase as at least two dozen people were considered still missing as search-and-rescue efforts continued.

“While we hope it will not, we expect that this number will increase as we continue to look for people who are still missing and unaccounted for,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. Details of the circumstances were not immediately disclosed. In addition to the fatalities, 25 people were reported to be injured. Powerful mudslides destroyed homes in the area as rescue crews rushed to search the rubble. The mud was reported to be 5 feet deep in places. FULL REPORT

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa spoke in tongues to keep calm during National Championship Game

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa spoke in tongues to keep calm during National Championship GameTua Tagovailoa burst onto the national stage with an incredible second-half performance during Alabama’s overtime victory against Georgia on Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The quarterback completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception to lead the Crimson Tide back from two 13-point deficits during Alabama’s 26-23 win. To cap off his performance,

Tagovailoa threw a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith to silence the pro-Georgia crowd in Atlanta. Not surprisingly, the freshman received lots of attention after the Crimson Tide claimed another national title. Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde spoke to Tagovailoa and unearthed this fascinating nugget: the player spoke in tongues to keep calm during a high-pressure second half against the Bulldogs. FULL STORY

Erotic Clothing Store’s New ‘Covergirl’ Is a Nine-Year-Old Boy Dressed as Drag Queen

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 11:15 AM PST

Erotic Clothing Store’s New ‘Covergirl’ Is a Nine-Year-Old Boy Dressed as Drag QueenHouse of Mann, an erotic gay BDSM clothing store, has been accused of sexualizing children after they used a nine-year-old boy dressed as a drag queen to model for them. The nine-year-old drag queen who goes by the name “Queen Lactatia,” stands sexualized in the photos, wearing a sequin onesie. After users on Facebook and Twitter complained about the company sexualizing children for an erotic brand,

House of Mann owner Brandon Hilton declared, “[I] woke up to countless tweets telling me ‘kill yourself’ and calling me a ‘pedo’ after we announced 9-year-old drag superstar Lactatia as our new HOUSE OF MANN covergirl… If you can’t handle a kid in a sequin onesie, maybe the future isn’t for you!” READ MORE

How Prayer and Fasting can accelerate your physical healing!

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 11:01 AM PST

How Prayer and Fasting can accelerate your physical healing!(By Ricky Scaparo) In this message we will show you how entering a season of prayer and fasting can bring divine health and healing in your physical bodies! Watch the video below for more:

Facebook Removes ‘Warriors for Christ’ Page (AGAIN) for Citing Policy on Bullying, Hate Speech

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:58 AM PST

Facebook Removes ‘Warriors for Christ’ Page (AGAIN) for Citing Policy on Bullying, Hate SpeechFacebook has unpublished the Facebook page associated with the pre-denominational Christian ministry “Warriors for Christ,” an organization that opposes homosexuality and abortion, on grounds that it violated its community standards on bullying and hate speech. Warriors for Christ, a West Virginia-based ministry that stands unapologetically opposed to all sinful behavior, no longer has access to its main Facebook page that had over 225,000 followers.

The main Warriors for Christ Facebook page, which is often used to post memes that lash out against society’s embrace of things like LGBT rights and abortion, and is used to facilitate the organization’s video ministry led by Pastor Rich Penkoski, was initially removed by the social media giant on Dec. 29. Although the Facebook page was reinstated on Jan. 2 after an online petition was launched calling for Facebook to republish the page, Facebook administrators again took the Warriors for Christ page down last Friday.  READ MORE

Jennifer Hudson Says the Bible Changed Her Life

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 09:38 AM PST

Jennifer Hudson Says the Bible Changed Her LifeJennifer Hudson says the Bible has changed her life. The 36-year-old Oscar-winning singer and actress is gearing up to be a coach on “The Voice U.K.,” on ITV this month. While doing her promotional rounds, Hudson spoke to The Guardian about the impact of Bible has made on her life. “Which book changed your life,” The Guardian asked Hudson in a rapid-fire Q&A style interview, to which the entertainer responded, “The Bible. I’ve been reading it since I was little and it hasn’t failed me yet.” The

singer has been vocal about her faith has helped her to overcome tragic event in her life, such as the murder of her mother, older brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008. “It (faith) was the ultimate help to me. We always said: ‘If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it,’” Hudson said in a previous interview with The Guardian in 2014. “There would be no point in faith if it wasn’t tested. My mother always told me no matter how negative your life seems to be, you must always look for a positive. That is what I believe a woman of faith should do.” READ MORE

Heavy snowfall affects 2.3 million people, kills 21 and destroys 700 homes in China

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:21 AM PST

Heavy snowfall affects 2.3 million people, kills 21 and destroys 700 homes in ChinaTwo rounds of very heavy snowfall hit China’s eastern and central regions since January 2, 2018, with freezing rain in Guizhou, Hunan and Jiangxi. 21 people were killed and millions affected, as of January 8, 2018. Heavy snowfall affecting the provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Chongqing Municipality destroyed over 700 houses and damaged nearly 2 800, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said.

In total, 2.3 million people were affected, 21 died, 3 700 were evacuated and relocated and 14 000 needed emergency life assistance, the ministry said. Severe weather affected 233 100 ha (576 000 acres) of crops, of which it destroyed 81 000 ha (200 155 acres). The direct economic loss, since January 2, is US $854 million (5.5 billion yuan). The worst affected is Anhui province, where heavy snowfall affected 1.5 million people and killed 18. 300 houses in the province collapsed and 1 100 were damaged. READ MORE

6 Bible Verses That Should Make Us Think Twice About Everything That Comes Out of Our Mouths

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:15 AM PST

6 Bible Verses That Should Make Us Think Twice About Everything That Comes Out of Our MouthsWords matter. The power of the tongue is often underestimated, though modern culture — not to mention human history — is littered with examples that show just how much havoc careless words can wreak.  The old “sticks and stones will break by bones, but words will never hurt me” adage is nice in theory, but the reality is that many people face deep wounds due to the hurtful proclamations that come from those around them, including friends and loved ones.

Furthermore, negative, nasty and unrestrained language does serious damage to the person uttering it as well. Mistakes and errors can happen amid anger, but the Bible makes it pretty clear how we should manage and contain our rhetoric. In fact, the scriptures are filled with scores of verses that should make us all pause and think a little deeper about what we’re spewing: Here are some of those scriptures, presented via the New International Version of the Bible: CONTINUE

Discovery of Ancient DNA Said to Support Biblical ‘Tower of Babel’ Narrative

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 07:07 AM PST

Discovery of Ancient DNA Said to Support Biblical ‘Tower of Babel’ NarrativeAn incredible discovery of human DNA in Alaska has given scientists reason to believe the validity of the Biblical narrative of the mass spreading of people from the Tower of Babel. Genesis 11:1-9 tells us that the entire world once had “one language and a common speech,” and that people eventually came up with what they believed to be a fantastic idea: build a city with a tower that stretched all the way up to the heavens.

But once God saw what they were doing, He took action and confused their speech so that they could not understand each another. “The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other,’” verses 6 and 7 reads. MORE

Mysterious bright flash and ‘ground shaking explosion’ over Russia…

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:53 AM PST

Mysterious bright flash and ‘ground shaking explosion’ over Russia…A mysterious bright flash turned night into day over a huge area of Russia – sparking fears the US had launched a strike on North Korea.  The explosion of light accompanied by the ‘ground shaking’ was also blamed on a UFO visitation or a meteor exploding in the atmosphere. The phenomenon was seen and felt over thousands of miles in Russia, but was especially evident in three regions Bashkortostan, Udmurtia, and Tatarstan.

Russian officials and scientists immediately denied that there had been a Russian missile test or any reported space rock crashing to earth. Videos show how for a few moments the dark night sky – just after midnight in the Urals – was lit up, turning a vivid blue as if on a bright summer’s day. ‘It lit the night sky from side to side, making it look brighter than daylight,’ said one account. READ MORE

 

 

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:39 AM PST

Ibuprofen linked to male infertilityIbuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility. Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. CNN has contacted Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of both brands, for comment.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medications and supplements, “supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines,” said Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the association. “The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use.” READ MORE

New Push For EU Superstate Army

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:36 AM PST

New Push For EU Superstate ArmyIt’s called PESCO. It stands for the Permanent Structured Co-Operation and is a treaty among EU nations providing a framework for a mutual defense that many EU superstate proponents have been pushing for a long time. Technically, it is not a European army, per se, but many consider it a necessary first step as it requires each country to strengthen its military assets and defense capabilities and cooperate if needed. There are plans for enhanced joint training, streamlining of cross-border military

operations, and medical operations. It establishes a defense fund for procurement of weapons and the development of “rapid reaction forces,” armed with tanks and drones. The initial funding will include a 5 billion-euro ($5.83 billion dollar) defense fund. PESCO allows for integrated armed forces, a combined pool of Defense spending, and the creation of a joint command headquarters. European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said the pact will focus not just on military cooperation, but also on cyber-security. READ MORE

 

Working muscles grown in lab in world first…

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:31 AM PST

Working muscles grown in lab in world first…The breakthrough holds promise for understanding and treating rare muscular diseases. Muscles were grown using skin cells that had been “reprogrammed” to an original state, in which they are referred to as pluripotent stem cells. These cells can then be encouraged to grow into muscle cells by flooding them with a substance called Pax7.  The new research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

“It’s taken years of trial and error, making educated guesses and taking baby steps to finally produce functioning human muscle from pluripotent stem cells,” said Dr Lingjun Rao, a biomedical engineer at Duke University who co-authored the study. Having produced muscle cells in this way, the scientists provided them with structural support and nourishment that allowed them to become functioning muscle. Not only did this muscle respond to chemical and electrical signals just like living muscle, the scientists were able to implant it into mice, with some success. READ MORE

Credit card debt hits new record, raising warning sign…

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:25 AM PST

Credit card debt hits new record, raising warning sign…Americans’ outstanding credit card debt hit a new record in November, highlighting a more confident U.S. consumer but also flashing a warning signal of potential trouble down the road. Revolving credit, mostly credit cards, increased by $11.2 billion to $1.023 trillion, the Federal Reserve said Monday. That nudged the figure past the $1.021 trillion highwater mark reached in April 2008, just before the housing and credit bubbles burst.

Over the past year, revolving credit has surged by $55.1 billion, or 5.7%, according to the Fed and Contingent Macro Research. Non-revolving credit, such as auto and student loans, rose by $16.8 billion to $2.8 trillion in November. The new all-time-high for credit card debt doesn’t pose the risks to the economy that existed in 2008 because incomes are higher, says UBS Credit Strategist Stephen Caprio. The ratio of credit card debt to U.S. gross domestic product is about 5%, compared with 6.5% in 2008, he says. READ MORE

Wall St Rising Euphoria May Spell Trouble for Stock Market…

Posted: 09 Jan 2018 06:21 AM PST

Wall St Rising Euphoria May Spell Trouble for Stock Market…Euphoria on Wall Street that stocks can just keep on building on record highs is getting so stratospheric that it’s reaching levels that previously signaled a slump. Analysts are ratcheting up their forecasts for U.S. corporate profits at the fastest pace in more than 10 years, according to the research firm Bespoke Investment Group. And that’s happening, unusually, right in the run-up to an earnings-season kick-off. While the upgrades could be taken as a positive reflection on the economy’s outlook,

in the past such bullish analyst sentiment has served as a precursor to a market decline. The last time the gap between analysts lifting forecasts and those lowering estimates was this wide was in May 2010. The divergence at the time widened after the U.S. S&P 500 Index had climbed more than 10 percent over the previous three months. Just before analyst sentiment peaked, stock prices also topped out, and the index slid more than 15 percent. 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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7 Reasons Your Church Should Take Eschatology Seriously

It is concerning that some churches today don’t take eschatology seriously. The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important. At the center of biblical eschatology is the blessed hope of the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Not only should we be interested in prophetic events to come, we are also looking for our Savior, with whom we will spend eternity.

Why do some churches neglect serious study of eschatology? One issue is complexity. There are many eschatological details in the Bible to work through and harmonize. So there is hard work to do in this area. Also, when we see godly men disagreeing on prophetic issues, it can be disheartening. Another reason might be that some don’t want to be linked with those who have abused eschatology. There are those who have become obsessed with the end times by offering a date for Jesus’ return, or treating many current events as fulfillments of Bible prophecy. So some people have swung away from the abuse of eschatology to no interest at all.

But these are not good reasons to avoid the study of eschatology. Below are 7 reasons churches should take eschatology seriously:

1. Eschatology is a major part of the Christian storyline
Eschatology is a major part of the Bible’s story. By “story,” I’m not talking about fiction. I’m talking about the narrative of the Christian worldview. Since Christianity is rooted in history and real historical events, God’s story includes past, present, and future events. All should be taught. We simply should not ignore prophetic events that are future from our standpoint—events such as the rapture, the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Eternal State. We must also talk about heaven and hell, and the coming New Earth. To avoid discussion of eschatology is to avoid an important part of the Christian worldview.

2. We are called to preach and heed the whole counsel of God
There are large sections of Scripture devoted to prophecy, many of which still need to be fulfilled from our current standpoint. For example the events of Ezekiel 36–48 still need to occur. In the New Testament passages like Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; much of Luke 21; 1 Thess. 4-5; 2 Thess 1-2; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 6-22 describe events that still need to happen. We cannot ignore these passages. Paul says in Acts 20:27, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” If your church does not teach what the Bible says about the future, the whole counsel of God is not being taught.

3. People are interested in the future
Christians are interested in what the future holds. But if we do not teach eschatology, we are denying important biblical information for those who want to know what the Bible has to say about the future. We are also withholding a major source of the hope that the Scripture wants us to have.

4. Eschatology is a motivation for believers
Eschatology changes our lives because what we do now impacts our future. Paul viewed everything he did in light of his standing before Jesus someday. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8 he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

5. Eschatology has a purifying effect on the believer
Eschatology is meant to transform our lives in the present. Why should we live sensibly, righteously and godly? Because Jesus is coming again. 1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

James 5:8-9 also says, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” The study of biblical eschatology is a motivation for godly living.

6. Eschatology gives perspective to the troubles and trials of this age
We live in a fallen and tragedy-soaked world. We are all physically decaying and dying. Evil seems to triumph. Without Jesus there is no hope, only despair. But for the Christian there is the hope of resurrection and the restoration of all things (1 Cor. 15:20-28; Acts 3:21). Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” The sufferings of this present time are real, but they are not comparable to the glory that is to come. 2 Peter 3:13 says, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

The coming of Jesus and the restoration of all things are future realities that give Christians hope and the joyful realization that the turmoils and trials of this age will not last forever. Righteousness and goodness win in the end. Christians need that message.

7. Eschatology warns the unbeliever of coming judgment
Biblical eschatology does not teach that the story ends well for everyone. It exists as a frightening warning to those who have not believed in Jesus. Eschatology warns all people that there is eternal punishment and banishment from God’s kingdom and the presence of God for those who do not repent. We should do what John the Baptist did—warn people to flee the wrath that is to come (Luke 3:7-8). Just as there are judgment and resurrection of the righteous, there are also resurrection and judgment of the unbeliever.

In sum, biblical eschatology is an important part of Christianity. For these reasons, all true churches should embrace the importance of biblical eschatology and share its truths with Christians and unbelievers alike.


Watch the TMS Distinctives series on eschatology:

The post 7 Reasons Your Church Should Take Eschatology Seriously appeared first on The Master’s Seminary.

Is your church part of Houston’s NARpostolic Australian ‘Christian Churches’ (ACC) network?

If you think you are in a Christian or Pentecostal church in Australia – think again.

There is a VERY high possibility you are involved in a New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) center. What is the NAR? It is an international cult based on relational networks that has its roots in the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) cult. The NOLR was a restorationist cult that pushed a false spirit, false Jesus, false gospel, false ecclesiology, false eschatology and false anthropology. The Pentecostal AOG denomination condemned this movement as heretical back in 1949.

However, Frank Houston, (founder of Hillsong church), was heavily influenced by the Latter Rain cult teacher, William Branham, while he was in New Zealand and implemented the NOLR New Apostolic structure in the AOG denominations. NAR Apostle David Cartledge wrote how this ‘New Move’ was synonymous with the Charismatic Renewal Movement (CRM), Frank Houston considered…

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CultureWatch: More on Oprah – and Truth

Yesterday I wrote about how America’s left and the Hollywood jet set are all agog with the prospect that Oprah Winfrey might make for a great Democratic presidential candidate. As I pointed out, she is everything liberals and Hollyweirdians would love to see in the White House.

You can see my thoughts on all this here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/01/09/oprah-potus-scary-thoughts/

I did however get some resistance to my piece on several fronts. For example, some claimed that it would never happen. Well, even more bizarre things have happened. And of course this is not the first time such talk has occurred. She has already toyed with the idea of running: https://www.dailywire.com/news/13995/oprah-maybe-ill-run-president-hank-berrien

And some other folks, claiming to be conservatives, asked what would be wrong with her as POTUS. Really? The simple truth is, Oprah is loved by the left because she is a doctrinaire liberal. Among other things, she is a pro-homosexual, pro-gun control, pro-Obama Democrat. She may not be as bad as Hillary, but she likely is as bad as Obama. She is not someone a conservative or Christian should consider supporting.

Then there is the appalling hypocrisy of her and her buddies at the Golden Globes ceremony with their black gowns on – pretending they are somehow worried about sexual harassment and the objectification of women. They may have worn black, but the amount of flesh on display makes you wonder just how concerned they are about being treated as sex objects.

As Matt Walsh pointed out:

While the media spends all week congratulating Hollywood for its moving performance at the Golden Globes, we should keep in mind that none of the people who took the stage or sat in that auditorium — not a single one of them — spoke out against Hollywood’s sex abuse problem prior to October of this past year. What changed in October? The problem became public knowledge, leaving every actor and actress in the business no choice but to finally “take a stand.” The common threads explaining both their silence and their conveniently timed, self-congratulatory protest are these: self-preservation and professional ambition.
https://www.dailywire.com/news/25502/walsh-matt-walsh

“Your truth” vs real truth

But the scariest thing about having someone like Oprah running for the White House – let alone actually getting in to it – is her worldview. As I have often documented, she is the world’s biggest promoter of the New Age mumbo jumbo. See these pieces for starters:

https://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/12/04/oprah-is-coming-to-town-be-very-afraid/

https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/06/18/the-gospel-according-to-oprah/

Over the years she has promoted every New Age nutter there is. As I wrote in the first of those two articles:

As can be seen, every loopy sort of spirituality, occultism, and New Age foolishness is being promoted here. Of course there is only one thing missing from all this: the clear gospel message of Jesus Christ. Oprah is quite happy to flag every conceivable type of religion and spirituality except the one true message, which is Jesus Christ and him crucified for our sins.
But in Oprah’s worldview the work of Christ is totally unnecessary, because none of us are sinners. Instead, our problem is one of ignorance. We simply need to realise that we are already divine, and all our problems will be solved. In typical New Age fashion, Oprah presents us with a religion which is big on self, but small on truth.

And this demolition job on truth is perfectly reflected in the speech she just gave the other day. In it she said, apparently with a straight face: “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Oh really? YOUR truth? Whatever happened to THE truth?

But this of course is fully in line with New Age beliefs. Truth is relative. Truth is whatever you make it to be. Indeed, since you are god, or part of the divine, you create your own truth and you script your own reality. This is basic NAM teaching. And this is where Oprah is coming from.

So let’s just take her thoughts a bit further. If YOUR truth is all that matters, then of course there really is no such thing as truth. After all, unless there is transcendent, objective truth that we all can appeal to as we assess various truth claims, there is no way we can say one person’s truth is any better or any worse than another’s.

Then it simply comes down to who has more power. Those with more muscle can then silence those with less. If truth exists only in the mind of the beholder – like one’s personal preferences about flavours of ice cream – then real truth will not win out, but raw power.

Not only that, but we can never be in a place to say someone’s ideas are right or wrong – they just are. All we can do is just sit back and grin and bear it. After all, Hitler had HIS truth, so who am I to judge? Stalin had HIS truth, so I must simply acquiesce.

Getting closer to Hollywood and Oprah, Weinstein obviously had HIS truth, so why can he not do what he wants to do? If HIS truth is about using his power to sexually abuse and assault women, well, so what? At least he was running with HIS truth.

The idea that everyone has their own truth and that is the end of the matter is of course a recipe for disaster. And it is obviously self-refuting. As J. Warner Wallace put it, “Those who claim that truth is a matter of perception and opinion are proclaiming this as more than a matter of perspective and opinion. They would like us to believe that this definition is objectively true, even as they deny the existence of objective truth.”

New Agers like Oprah are absolutely sure that truth is not absolute. And they will insist on this absolutely! In which case we should just dismiss them as the fruit loops they are. As Roger Scruton rightly said, “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

Truth is NOT what we happen to feel or prefer. Truth is what corresponds to reality. If something is true, it is true for all people, for all times, and for all places. It does not change. It is not a matter of personal taste and preference. We are welcome to have preferences on things like ice cream flavours, but not on facts.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You’re entitled to your own opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” To confuse your own subjective tastes with what is objectively true is how we end up in the mess we are now in, with Weinstein doing his thing, and Hollywood actresses and talk show hosts totally oblivious to the blatant hypocrisy and double standards they are employing.

If all this is bad enough in Hollywood, it will be just as bad – if not worse – if found in the White House. Oprah can remain a talk show host and push all the relativism, subjectivism and personal opinion she wants to. But that is not the sort of person we want running the United States.

Sure, I know that we have had plenty of presidents who have played fast and loose with the truth. But at least most of them would not have denied that objective truth exists. But folks like Oprah do. That makes them very dangerous indeed.

Let me conclude with some thoughts on the great damage such relativism and truth decay does to politics and society. Social commentator Michael Novak said this in his Templeton Prize Address, “Awakening from Nihilism”:

Totalitarianism, as Mussolini defined it, is . . . the will to power, unchecked by any regard for truth. To surrender the claims of truth upon humans is to surrender Earth to thugs. It is to make a mockery of those who endured agonies for truth and the hands of torturers.
Vulgar relativism is an invisible gas, odorless, deadly, that is now polluting every free society on earth. It is a gas that attacks the central nervous system of moral striving. The most perilous threat to the free society today is, therefore, neither political nor economic. It is the poisonous, corrupting culture of relativism….
During the next hundred years, the question for those who love liberty is whether we can survive the most insidious and duplicitous attacks from within, from those who undermine the virtues of our people, doing in advance the work of the Father of Lies. “There is no such thing as truth,” they teach even the little ones. “Truth is bondage. Believe what seems right to you. There are as many truths as there are individuals. Follow your feelings. Do as you please. Get in touch with your self. Do what feels comfortable.” Those who speak in this way prepare the jails of the twenty-first century. They do the work of tyrants.

Source: More on Oprah – and Truth

Take Heed, Lest You Fall


Video Transcript:

There is a story behind David’s sin with Bathsheba. Whenever you hear of a moral calamity, such as we have here, there is always a back story. These things don’t just happen out of the blue at random.

The back story in David’s life is clear: “David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David” (2 Samuel 5:13). He already had more than one wife and concubines.

That was what kings commonly did in these days, but it was a direct violation of the clear command of God in Deuteronomy 17:17, where God says that the king among his people is to be different. Through the mouth of Moses God made it very clear that when he appointed a king later on, his king was to be different: “He shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away…”(Deuteronomy 17:17).

That could hardly be clearer, but David had carved out an area of compromise in his life that had never been submitted to the Lord. And that area of compromise lay at the root of his sin.

David clearly had a problem with lust, and the more he gave way to it, the more it controlled him. The sin he accommodated in his life grew until one day its power overwhelmed him.

The Bible makes it very clear that this is how sin works. It builds a position in your life over time as you compromise with it. “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15).

The more room you give to an evil desire, the more powerful it will become in your life. W. G. Blaikie says, “When an evil desire has scope for its exercise, instead of being satisfied, it becomes more greedy and more lawless.”[1] Here is the way sin works. It tells you, “Just give it a little space.” But sin is greedy. It always wants more.

So guard your heart, because if you allow sin to capture your imagination, it will not be long before it masters your soul. God has preserved this story for us in the Bible as a warning, so let’s apply this to ourselves.

The roots of every kind of sin lie in the flesh of even the most godly believer. Are you realistic about what you are up against? Do you think that you can live this year with integrity if you do not seek the help of God in prayer, and draw strength from his word? Do you think that you can keep some area of your life un-submitted to the lordship of Christ and not have that destroy you? Let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).

[1. W. G. Blaikie, The Second Book of Samuel, p. 159, Hodder & Stoughton, 1892]
This sermon clip is taken from Pastor Colin’s sermon “Sin” in the series, The Life of David

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The Dangers of an Oversimplified Gospel

Code: B180110

What needs to be conveyed to unbelievers in order that they might understand and embrace salvation?

Many of the modern trends in evangelism have tended to take a minimalist approach to the question. Unfortunately, the legitimate desire to express the heart of the gospel clearly has given way to a less wholesome endeavor. It is a campaign to distill the essentials of the message to the barest possible terms.

The glorious gospel of Christ—that which Paul called “the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16)—includes all the truth about Christ. But American evangelicalism tends to regard the gospel as a “plan of salvation.” We have reduced the message to a list of facts stated in the fewest possible words—and getting fewer all the time: “Six Steps to Peace with God”; “Five Things God Wants You to Know”; “Four Spiritual Laws”; “Three Truths You Can’t Live Without”; “Two Ways to Live”; or “One Way to Heaven.” (This is not a critique of these specific presentations, but is merely an observation that we seem eager to produce and use “plans of salvation” that enumerate and consolidate the gospel message.)

Another trend, equally dangerous, is to reduce evangelism to a memorized script. Often, evangelism training consists of having Christians memorize a series of questions, anticipating that each question will fall into one of a few categories that has a preplanned response.

But the gospel is not a message that can be capsulated, abridged, shrink-wrapped, and then offered as a generic remedy for every kind of sinner. Ignorant sinners need to be instructed about who God is and why He has the right to demand their obedience. Self-righteous sinners need to have their sin exposed by the demands of God’s law. Careless sinners need to be confronted with the reality of God’s impending judgment. Fearful sinners need to hear that God in His mercy has provided a way of deliverance. All sinners must understand how utterly holy God is. They must comprehend the basic truths of Christ’s sacrificial death and the triumph of His resurrection. They need to be confronted with God’s demand that they turn from their sin to embrace Christ as Lord and Savior.

Furthermore, in all the instances where Jesus and the apostles evangelized—whether they were ministering to individuals or crowds—there are no two incidents where they presented the message in precisely the same terminology. They knew that salvation is a sovereign work of God. Their role was to preach truth; the Holy Spirit would apply it individually to the hearts of His elect.

The form of the message will vary in each case. But the content must always drive home the reality of God’s holiness and the sinner’s helpless condition. Then it points sinners to Christ as a sovereign but merciful Lord who has purchased full atonement for all who will turn to Him in faith.

Christians today are often cautioned about the danger of saying too much to the lost. Certain spiritual issues are labeled taboo when speaking to the unconverted: God’s law, Christ’s lordship, repentance, surrender, obedience, judgment, and hell. Such things are not to be mentioned, lest we “add something to the offer of God’s free gift.”

Worse still, there are some who take this reductionist evangelism to its furthest extreme. Wrongly applying the Reformed doctrine of sola fide (faith alone), they make faith the only permissible topic when speaking to non-Christians about their duty before God. Then they render faith utterly meaningless by stripping it of everything but its notional aspects. This, some believe, preserves the purity of the gospel. But what it has actually done is undercut the power of the message of salvation.

It has also populated the church with false converts whose faith is counterfeit and whose hope hangs on a bogus promise. Numbly saying they “accept Christ as Savior,” they brazenly reject His rightful claim as Lord. Paying Him glib lip service, they utterly scorn Him with their hearts (Mark 7:6). Casually affirming Him with their mouths, they deliberately deny Him with their deeds (Titus 1:16). Addressing Him superficially as “Lord, Lord,” they stubbornly decline to do His bidding (Luke 6:46). Such people fit the tragic description of the “many” in Matthew 7:22–23 who will one day be stunned to hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

If there is no simple description for an evangelistic conversation, then what should the evangelist say when proclaiming the gospel? What are the points we need to make clear if we are to articulate the gospel as precisely as possible? In the days ahead we’re going to lay out the basic, yet fundamental, building blocks for faithfully communicating the way of salvation to a sinner: the holiness of God, the depravity of man, the work of Christ, and God’s demands upon the sinner. These are truths we need to embrace as Christ’s people and master as His witnesses.

(Adapted from The John MacArthur Pastor’s Library: Evangelism.)


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B180110
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Facebook Takes Down ‘Warriors for Christ’ Page Citing Policy on Bullying, Hate Speech

(Christian Post) Facebook has unpublished the Facebook page associated with the pre-denominational Christian ministry “Warriors for Christ,” an organization that opposes homosexuality and abortion, on grounds that it violated its community standards on bullying and hate speech.

Warriors for Christ, a West Virginia-based ministry that stands unapologetically opposed to all sinful behavior, no longer has access to its main Facebook page that had over 225,000 followers.View article →

Source: Facebook Takes Down ‘Warriors for Christ’ Page Citing Policy on Bullying, Hate Speech

January 10 An Upward Look by a Downcast Soul, Part 3

By James Boice on Jan 10, 2018 12:00 am

Memories of better days (42:4). The psalmist was also troubled by memories of better days. There is a proper use of memory in times when we are depressed, which we will get to. It is a memory of God’s past acts as an encouragement to believe that he will act for us again. But that is not the first use of memory we find in these psalms. What we find here is the writer’s wistful remembrance of the good days when he “…used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng” (42:4).

Read more…

January 10, 2018 : Afternoon Verse Of The Day

25 The narrator provides here a closing theological comment by repeating the refrain found throughout chs. 17–21 (17:6; 18:1; 19:1). As noted in the introduction to ch. 17, this refrain is an important reminder of the need for a royal house that will unite the Israelite tribes and provide a central place of worship. The problems created by the Benjamite inhabitants of Gibeah cast a dark shadow over Saulide royal legitimacy (Matthews, Judges and Ruth, 190), while the offense against the Bethlehemites in the death of the concubine from Bethlehem suggests the innocence of the Davidic line.

Just as chs. 17–18 exposed threats to centralized worship in Israel with the creation of a personal sanctuary by Micah that was coopted by the Danites to form a rival cult center in the far north of Israel, so also chs. 19–21 have revealed similar ambiguity over the centralized cultic location during this period, with references to Bethel, Mizpah, Shiloh, and even Gibeah as places where assemblies were held and inquiries of Yahweh were made during the war against the Benjamites (Brooks, 31; see Boda, “Recycling Heaven’s Words”). If the horrendous character of the events and the violent solutions put forward by the Israelites were not enough to convince the reader of the dysfunction of this era of Israelite history, this final theological statement in v. 25 articulates clearly the narrator’s concern over the events described. For the narrator there is hope, but only in a kingship that puts an end to (lit.) “doing what is right in one’s own eyes.” It is on that subject that the book of Samuel will focus its attention.[1]


21:25 / The story could have ended there. But it did not. The narrator, who has stood in the shadows during these last events, now moves into the spotlight. He has the last word. He solemnly speaks: In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.[2]


21:25 Judges closes with the sad theme ringing in our ears: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

There is one wholesome episode from this dark period, but it is set off by itself so as not to be defiled by too close association with the depravity of Judges. We now turn our attention to the chaste story of Ruth.[3]


21:25 The book ends with an editorial comment echoing the ones at 17:6; 18:1; 19:1. It is almost as if the author were weary and refused to dignify the state of affairs with more than, “Things are bad; they will get better under a king.”[4]


21:25. The Book of Judges concludes with a final restatement of human failure concerning the moral and social anarchy of this period which preceded the monarchy. As stated three times before, Israel had no king (cf. 17:6; 18:1; 19:1). The fact that everyone did as he wished is a sad commentary on the deplorable spiritual condition of the nation in those days. Though Israel suffered under the oppression of many enemies, God’s grace was repeatedly evident when the people turned to Him in repentance. The Book of Judges illustrates both God’s justice and His grace—justice in punishing sin and grace in forgiving sin.[5]


21:25 Judges 17–21 vividly demonstrates how bizarre and deep sin can become when people throw off the authority of God as mediated through the king (cf. 17:6). This was the appropriate, but tragic, conclusion to a bleak period of Israelite history (cf. Dt 12:8).[6]


21:25 Final Verdict. The final editorial comment echoes earlier ones (17:6; 18:1; 19:1; see chart). Israel’s apostasy had reached the depths, and the stage was set for the coming of a godly king, David, a man after God’s own heart with whom God would make an everlasting covenant (cf. Ruth 4:17; 1 Samuel 16; 2 Samuel 7; see Introduction: Purpose, Occasion, and Background). The sympathetic reader who has followed the whole narrative is left yearning for such a king.[7]


21:25 In those days. While Israel’s only hope was in allegiance to her divine King, the nation rather settled for a human monarchy (1 Sam. 8:7, 22), which inevitably would fail them.[8]


[1] Boda, M. J. (2012). Judges. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Numbers–Ruth (Revised Edition) (Vol. 2, pp. 1287–1288). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Brown, C. A. (2012). Judges. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Joshua, Judges, Ruth (p. 286). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 285). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 335). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Lindsey, F. D. (1985). Judges. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 414). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Jdg 21:25). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 474). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[8] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 366). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

JANUARY 10 GRACE CAN BE COSTLY

For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace…grace be with you all. Amen.

Hebrews 13:9, 25

Christians all around us are trying every shortcut they can think of to get “something for nothing” in the kingdom of God. Talk to them and they will predictably flare up: “Isn’t grace something for nothing?”

That depends upon what kind of grace we are talking about.

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave his life as a martyr in Hitler’s Germany, but he left a book now known around the world: The Cost of Discipleship. He pointed out a sharp distinction between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.” Although God’s grace has been given freely to humans who do not deserve it, Bonhoeffer believed it rightly could be called “costly grace” because it cost our Lord Jesus Christ even the suffering of death.

Some men and women have actually turned God’s grace into lasciviousness. They do not know what the word grace means—that God gives us out of His rich and full goodness although we are unworthy of it. When I preach about the grace of God and point out that Jesus commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him, those who do not know the meaning of grace respond: “Oh, Tozer is now preaching legalism.”

Father, as I go about the activities of my day today—and for each month of this year—I want to be mindful of Your “costly grace” and desire to grow more deeply in my understanding of it.[1]


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

January 10 God’s Plan for Temptation

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.—Matt. 4:1

Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness did not catch His Father by surprise. The Son was specifically “led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” The word translated “tempted” is from a morally neutral term that means “to test.” But sometimes, as here, the context clearly indicates that the testing was aimed at enticing one to do evil. That the devil was going to present certain temptations to Jesus thus justifies rendering the word “tempted”—it gives us the negative connotation of Satan’s sinister intentions.

God sometimes uses Satan’s temptations toward evil as part of His larger plan to test believers for good (cf. Job). Whereas the devil wanted to lead Christ into sin and disobedience in the wilderness, God used the circumstances to reconfirm Christ’s holiness and worthiness. This is God’s plan for all His saints (cf. James 1:2–4, 12–13)—that Christ’s righteousness be revealed in us.

Joseph’s severe mistreatment at the hands of his brothers in the Old Testament and his subsequent “misfortunes” in Egypt could have driven him to despair and sinful bitterness, but by faith he recognized God’s sovereign hand in it all (Gen. 50:20). Whether God tests us directly or uses Satan to challenge us, He will always use the situation to eventually produce good fruit in us.

ASK YOURSELF

What positive benefits does temptation serve in your own life? As unwanted and unwelcome as it is, what does its mere presence keep before you, thereby thwarting the aspirations of the enemy? Pray that God would gain His desired objectives in you, even through times of testing.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 18). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

January 10 The Historical Jesus

God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

1 John 4:9

Many people doubt whether Jesus ever really existed, but many historians have written about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Around A.D. 114, the Roman historian, Tacitus, wrote that the founder of the Christian religion, Jesus Christ, was put to death by Pontius Pilate in the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (Annals 15.44).

Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan on the subject of Christ and Christians (Letters 10.96-97).

In A.D. 90, the Jewish historian Josephus penned a short biographical note on Jesus: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to Him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ” (Antiquities 18.63).

The Talmud refers to Jesus of Nazareth (Sanhedrin 43a, Abodah Zerah 16b–17a).

Jesus was a man in history. And His claims were true. Do you still doubt His ability to save you?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 21). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

JANUARY 10 DAILY GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

—Isaiah 64:4

Every emotion has its reaction and every pleasurable experience will dim after a while. The human organism is built that way and there is nothing we can do about it. It is well known that the second year of marriage is often the most critical, for then the first excitement has worn off the relationship and the young couple has not had time to acquire a new set of common interests and to learn to accept a more stable if less emotional kind of life.

Only engrossment with God can maintain perpetual spiritual enthusiasm because only God can supply everlasting novelty. In God every moment is new and nothing ever gets old. Of things religious we may become tired; even prayer may weary us; but God never. He can show a new aspect of His glory to us each day for all the days of eternity and still we shall have but begun to explore the depths of the riches of His infinite being….

The sum of all this is that nothing can preserve the sweet savor of our first experience except to be preoccupied with God Himself. Our little rill is sure to run dry unless we keep it replenished from the fountain. GTM127-129

Lord, every day there is indeed some new glimpse of Your glory. May I enter the day today with a holy anticipation! Amen.[1]


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

January 10 Worthy Examples to the World

“Let love of the brethren continue.”

Hebrews 13:1

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To be a testimony to the world, Christians need to live what they profess.

The nineteenth–century preacher Alexander Maclaren once said, “The world takes its notion of God most of all from those who say they belong to God’s family. They read us a great deal more than they read the Bible. They see us; they only hear about Jesus Christ.” Sound biblical doctrine, as important a foundation as it is, is inadequate by itself to influence the world toward Christ’s gospel.

Christians today could learn much from the early Christians, whose lives were such a rebuke to the immoral, pagan societies around them. Unbelievers in those cultures found it extremely difficult to find fault with Christians, because the more they observed them, the more they saw believers living out the high moral standards the church professed.

Christians in those days were obedient to Peter’s instruction: “For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15). They also heeded Paul’s advice to Titus: “In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:7–8).

Jesus commanded His original disciples and us, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Of course, Jesus had in mind good works that were genuine and that came from a foundation of good teaching.

These verses ought to remind us, therefore, that doctrine and practice must go hand in hand. The author of Hebrews shifts naturally from doctrine and general exhortation to the specific admonitions of chapter 13. Love among believers is his starting point, and it should be ours as we seek to have a credible and worthy walk before the watching world.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to help you maintain a scriptural balance between doctrine and practice. ✧ Pray that He would correct specific areas in which you have been living out of balance.

For Further Study: Memorize James 1:25. Use a Bible with good cross references, and look up other verses that deal with “the law of liberty.”[1]


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

January 9 Daily Help

OMNIPOTENCE may build a thousand worlds, and fill them with bounties; Omnipotence may powder mountains into dust, and burn the sea, and consume the sky, but Omnipotence cannot do an unloving thing toward a believer. Oh! rest quite sure, Christian, a hard thing, an unloving thing from God toward one of his own people is quite impossible. He is as kind to you when he casts you into prison as when he takes you into a palace; He is as good when he sends famine into your house as when he fills your barns with plenty. The only question is, Art thou his child? If so, he hath rebuked thee in affection, and there is love in his chastisement.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 13). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

January 9, 2018 : Evening Verse Of The Day

8:13 / Contrary to the form in the rest of this poem (two lines), there are three lines. Although fear of the Lord is a genuine and frequent wisdom theme, it hardly belongs here with the first person discourse of Woman Wisdom. It is in the third person and has two words, hate and evil, that appear at the end of lines b and c. It looks like a gloss.[1]


8:13 The fear of the Lord.See note on 1:7.arrogance … hate. Wisdom hates what God hates (cf. 6:16–19; Ps 5:5). The highest virtue is humility (submission to God), and thus wisdom hates pride and self-exaltation above all.[2]


8:13 One of the main purposes of the fear of the Lord in Proverbs is to align a person’s heart with what the Lord loves. Describing what wisdom hates (and therefore what the Lord hates) calls a person to examine his or her heart, to guard it from such things, to walk in accord with what the Lord loves, and to seek wisdom for all relationships and interactions (cf. the similar function of 6:12–19). Whether a person’s heart and path are aligned with wisdom is a recurring theme of this chapter (see 8:17, 21, 36).[3]


8:13The fear of Yahweh Wisdom does not stand alone. It is closely connected with fearing Yahweh, which means having a proper attitude of respect for Him and obedience to Him. See note on 1:7.

pride, and arrogance Pride is a characteristic of the fool (12:15) and scoffer (21:24).

an evil way Refers to a disposition; wisdom rejects evil dispositions or behaviors. The wise do not exhibit an evil disposition. See v. 20.

perversity The Hebrew phrase used here describes speech that is dishonest or wicked.[4]


8:13 The fear of the Lord. See 1:7; 2:5; 3:7; 9:10 and notes. Wisdom reminds us that the search for an ethic based solely on experience is futile. Education and experience must build on the basis of the faithfulness and hope provided by God’s covenant promises. Ethical systems without the absolute standard of right, goodness, and truth revealed in the Scriptures cannot survive (Ps. 36:9).

Pride … I hate. Wisdom echoes the hatred that God has for evil (6:16; Deut. 12:31; 16:22; Ps. 5:5; Is. 61:8; Jer. 44:4).[5]


[1] Murphy, R. E., & Carm, O. (2012). Proverbs. In W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston (Eds.), Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (p. 41). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Pr 8:13). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1148). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Pr 8:13). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 884). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

January 9: Noteworthy Stories

Genesis 16–17; Matthew 12; Ecclesiastes 3:16–22

When God’s promises are lavished on Abram in Genesis, we can’t help but feel a bit surprised. It seems undeserved—mainly because we know nothing about Abram. We haven’t had a chance to weigh his wisdom or foolishness, something Ecclesiastes endorses. Yet God promises to make Abram’s children as numerous as the stars in the sky (a blessing in the ancient Near East). “I will make your name great,” He says. “I will make you a great nation.” He also promises protection: “I am your shield.” Even after the fact, God doesn’t disclose why He wants to bless and protect Abram.

The greater context of the Genesis narrative shows that God’s blessing is certainly not just about Abram. Just before God promises to give Abram a great name, a nation, and land in Gen 12, He had scattered the nations over all the earth. At the Tower of Babel, God dispersed those who were grasping for a relationship with Him on their own terms.

But God doesn’t leave humanity this way. He presents Abram with a promise and a gift—a plan of salvation for humanity. God re-establishes relationship on His terms.

What about Abram, then? His faith is renowned throughout Scripture (Gal 3:6; Rom 4:9; Heb 11:8–12), but it’s not because he did anything particularly noteworthy—at times he even deceives others (e.g., Gen 12:10–20). It’s because of his response to God’s particularly noteworthy promises: “He believed the Lord, and he counted to him as righteousness” (Gen 15:6). He responded to God’s promises with faith, and God counted it as righteousness.

In Christ, we have an even greater promise and a greater hope. God has lavished promise and deliverance on us. We can only stand in complete awe of His goodness, and respond with trust.

Do you rest too much in your own work or failings? In what ways can you shift the emphasis to Christ’s work?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.