Daily Archives: January 30, 2018

January 30 Serving the Supreme One

God exalted Christ “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet” (Eph. 1:21–22).

✧✧✧

Now and forever Christ is the Supreme One!

Yesterday we saw that Christ has both an exalted name and an exalted, authoritative position. In verses 21–22 Paul elaborates on the extent of Christ’s authority, which is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.”

“Rule,” “authority,” “power,” and “dominion” are designations for angelic beings, whether good or evil (cf. Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:16). In His incarnation Christ was made lower in rank than the angels, that He might suffer death on our behalf (Heb. 2:9). Now He has “become … much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:4), and the Father commands all the angels to worship the Son (v. 6).

But Christ’s rule extends far beyond angelic beings. In Ephesians 1:21 the phrase “every name that is named” is a general reference to any form of authority—whether angelic or human, eternal or temporal. Now and forever Christ is the Supreme One! Ultimately every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10–11).

The implications of that truth are staggering. For example, Christ precedes the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19–20, the heart of Christian evangelism and discipleship, with this significant statement: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

Ultimately your evangelism and discipleship efforts will bear fruit because they are backed by the authority of Christ Himself. Does that encourage you to seize every opportunity to share Christ and His Word with others? It should!

Be faithful today, realizing that you represent the One in whom lies all authority. Nothing can thwart His purposes.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to a lost soul or anyone else you can encourage from the Word. Be sensitive to His leading.

For Further Study: Read Colossians 1:15–23. ✧ What was Christ’s role in creation (vv. 15–17)? ✧ What is His role in the church (v. 18)? In salvation (v. 22)? ✧ What place have you given Him in your life?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 42). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JANUARY 30 THE HUMBLE MAN SAYS: “THE MISTAKES ARE MINE”

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

MATTHEW 11:29

A page in church history reveals that the godly Macarius of Optino was once told that his spiritual counsel had been helpful.

“This cannot be,” Macarius wrote in reply. “Only the mistakes are mine. All good advice is the advice of the Spirit of God; His advice that I happen to have heard rightly and to have passed on without distorting it.”

There is an excellent lesson here which we must not allow to go unregarded. It is the sweet humility of the man of God who was enabled to say, “Only the mistakes are mine.”

He was fully convinced that his own efforts could result only in mistakes and that any good that came of his advice must be the work of the Holy Spirit operating within him.

Apparently this was more than a sudden impulse of self-depreciation, which the proudest of men may at times feel; it was rather a settled conviction that gave set and direction to his entire life. His long and humble ministry which brought spiritual aid to many reveals this clearly enough.

It is our belief that the evangelical movement will continue to drift farther and farther from the New Testament position unless its leadership passes from the modern religious star to the self-effacing saint who asks for no praise and seeks no place, happy only when the glory is attributed to God and himself forgotten![1]


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

January 30, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump plans to promote the Republican tax overhaul he signed into law in his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, but fiscal headwinds mean he’s likely to have less legislative success in his second year in office.

North Korea canceled a joint cultural performance with South Korea at a mountain resort north of the border, blaming the media in Seoul for “defaming” its position on next month’s Winter Olympics.

Saudi authorities have reached agreements to recover more than $107 billion from people held under a controversial corruption investigation but refused to settle with 56 suspects who remain in custody.

Amnesty International accused the Nigerian military of killing 35 people last month in air raids carried out to stop an attack by herders on farming villages in the country’s northeast.

The U.S. is pushing for a breakthrough on its touchiest Nafta proposals within a month, underscoring the fragility of the new mood of optimism after Canada and Mexico came forward with fresh ideas.

Thousands of government workers will be moved from Manila to a new city that’s being built in a former U.S. military base, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration seeks to ease a traffic gridlock in the capital. The government and private companies are investing more than $1 billion to build an administrative center in New Clark City. Within five years, the area is expected to have at least eight mid-rise government towers, 8,000 housing units and a train connecting it to Manila, about 62 miles away.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s push to help businesses is handing the economy a chance to extend its strongest expansion in six years.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities increased 6.4% y/y in November by the most in more than three years, underscoring a lingering scarcity of housing inventory, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday.

Buoyed by record debt-underwriting fees as corporations took advantage of cheap financing, bankers saw their bonuses for last year swell while colleagues in sales and trading braced for smaller payouts. That gap may only widen in 2018 as the U.S. tax overhaul sparked the hottest start for mergers in nearly two decades.

Prospective homebuyers under 50 account for most of those shopping for homes priced at $1 million or more, according to the report. Nearly a quarter of high-net-worth consumers between 25 and 49 said they would look for at least 20,000 square feet when they made their next home purchase; it was just 6 percent for respondents 50 or older.

AP Top Stories

The U.S. State Department says 19 U.S. travelers to Cuba have reported health issues and symptoms similar to those U.S. diplomats said they experienced in Havana in 2016.

Taiwanese troops staged live-fire exercises simulating a response to an invasion, as China stepped up pressure on the island’s President Tsai Ing-wen and a row over airline routes escalated.

Delegates arrived in Russia for talks aimed at ending the Syrian conflict, but hopes of progress were dimmed after the main opposition group and the Kurds said they would boycott the event.

The leaders of the United Nations and the African Union urged stronger international cooperation at the opening Sunday of the African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Turkey has detained more than 300 people for social media posts criticizing its military offensive in Syria, the government said on Monday, a day after President Tayyip Erdogan accused doctors who opposed the campaign of betrayal.

Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in the capital on Monday, killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16.

With the U.S. defense budget set to expand in the coming years as the great power competition between Russia, China and the United States heats up, Northrop Grumman-like other defense contractors-is starting to invest in the future after a prolonged slump.

The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy looks like a winner to defense giant Raytheon, which foresees a bright future in the years to come as defense spending grows. The rise of a new era of great power competition means that high-end weapons that Raytheon builds will be in high demand.

China must strengthen its nuclear deterrence and counter-strike capabilities to keep pace with the developing nuclear strategies of the United States and Russia, the official paper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Tuesday.

BBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin says a list of officials and businessmen close to the Kremlin published by the US has in effect targeted all Russian people. The list names 210 top Russians as part of a sanctions law aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the US election. However, the US stressed those named were not subject to new sanctions.

Catholic bishops have raised concerns that new laws in Australia could force Church members to register as agents of a foreign power.

A Japanese woman who was forcibly sterilized in the 1970s at the age of 15 is suing the government in the first case of its kind. The unnamed woman is one of 25,000 people who underwent the procedure under a now-defunct eugenics law.

The desire among parents in India to have sons instead of daughters has created 21 million “unwanted” girls, a government report estimates.

WND

The NHS has been struggling to cope with the added burden posed by this winter’s Australian flu outbreak, and other countries, including the United States, France and China are facing similar problems as WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said worse could be around the corner.


The Briefing — Tuesday, January 30, 2018

1) What’s at stake in historic vote in the United States Senate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Washington Post (Ed O’Keefe) –
Abortion ban bill fails to advance in the Senate

2) How science is used in today’s contentious cultural debates

New York Times (Editors) –
The Gathering Threat to Abortion Rights

New York Times (Editors) –
The White House Puts the Bible Before the Hippocratic Oath

3) State of the Union preview: What to watch for as President Trump addresses joint session of Congress

Wall Street Journal (Louise Radnofsky and Peter Nicholas) –
Trump to Soften Tone in State of the Union, Pursuing Immigration Deal

New York Times (Michael Shear Mark Landler) –
State of the Union Preview: Will Trump Stick to the Script?


News – 1/30/2018

FBI Director Wray “Shocked To His Core” By FISA Memo, McCabe ‘Removed’ Next Day, More Heads To Roll: Report
What we know tonight is that FBI Director Christopher Wray went Sunday and reviewed the four-page FISA memo. The very next day, Andrew McCabe was asked to resign. Remember Sean, he was planning on resigning in March – that already came out in December. This time they asked him to go right away. You’re not coming into the office. I’ve heard reports he didn’t even come in for the morning meeting – that he didn’t show up.

DHS Announces New ‘Risk-Based’ Refugee Resettlement Procedures
DHS called the new measures “part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to intensify screening and vetting for all persons seeking to travel to the United States, and they are designed to keep nefarious and fraudulent actors from exploiting the refugee program to enter the United States.”

Lieberman’s explicit warning to Iran
The defense minister’s unusual statement that ‘Israel is familiar with the people involved in producing missiles’ was a clear message that the Iranians arming Lebanon are in Israel’s crosshairs. So how is Israel working to prevent Lebanon from becoming ‘one big factory for the production of precision-guided missiles’?

After 24 Years In Congress, Corrine Brown Starts New Life In Prison
Former Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown reported to federal prison Monday to start her five year sentence for multiple crimes, including tax fraud and corruption. Brown, 71, turned herself in to the Sumter Correctional Institution in Florida, one of the largest federal prisons in the country, which houses both violent and non-violent offenders. Brown will be serving her five-year sentence at a minimum-security satellite facility, which keeps roughly 391 other female inmates.

NJ Township Re-Opens Sexual Assault Investigation On Democrat Mega-Donor Tied To Hillary And John Podesta
Wyss has ties to Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and John Podesta, Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman. Although he is not as well known as other liberal mega-donor billionaires like George Soros and Tom Steyer, Wyss has given hundreds of millions of dollars to progressive activist groups through his private foundations.

‘We’ll stop Iran in Lebanon like we stopped it in Syria’
“We have stopped many Iranian attempts to arm Hezbollah from Syria, and now they’re trying to do the same in Lebanon,” Elkin said. “Just like we knew how to stop them when they worked from Syria, we know how to stop them when they operate out of Lebanon.”

Volcanoes Today, 30 Jan 2018: Fuego volcano, Popocatépetl, Dukono, Reventador, Mayon, Sinabung, Sabancaya
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Darwin (VAAC) issued the following report: ERUPTION OBS ON WEBCAM TO FL100 AT 29/2350Z.

Kabbalist: Rare Astronomical Confluence On Holiday Is Bad Omen For Arab Nations
This Wednesday evening, a rare confluence of astronomical events resulting in a “super blue blood moon” for parts of the world will accompany the beginning of an auspicious day of the Hebrew calendar, which is Tu B’Shvat (the 15th day of the month of Shvat), the arboreal New Year. This upcoming super blue moon will be the third and final one in a series of them that began on December 2. In contrast with regular blue moons that occur every two and a half years, a super-blue-blood moon is extremely rare. The last time such an incident took place was in 1866…
According to Rabbi Fish, this does not bode well for Israel’s neighboring Arab countries. “That is a bad omen for them since Islam relies entirely upon a lunar calendar,” he added.

UN envoy: Gaza on verge of ‘total systems collapse’
Gaza is beyond a “humanitarian crisis” and “on the verge of a total systems failure,” UN Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov said Tuesday. Speaking at the INSS annual conference in Tel Aviv, Mladenov defined a total systems failure as the “full collapse of the economy and social services,” with all the “political, humanitarian and security implications stemming from that.”

The IDF has a new plan to battle Palestinian terrorism in Jerusalem
The IDF has restructured its brigades and improved coordination with the police to battle terrorism in Jerusalem and the West Bank corridor surrounding it. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot approved the plan, which was drafted in the last few months by General Staff officers, including Judea and Samaria Division former commander Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli and Binyamin Regional Brigade commander Col. Yuval Guez.

CIA chief says China ‘as big a threat to US’ as Russia
Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the West are just as concerning as Russian subversion, the director of the CIA has said. Mike Pompeo told the BBC that the Chinese “have a much bigger footprint” to do this than the Russians do. As examples he cited efforts to steal US commercial information and infiltration of schools and hospitals – and this extended to Europe and the UK.

Putin says US sanctions list targets all Russians
Russian President Vladimir Putin says a new list published by the US as part of a sanctions law has in effect targeted all of the Russian people. The list names 210 top Russians as part of a law aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the US election. However, the US stressed those named were not subject to new sanctions.

Scrutiny over wood and coal fires in UK homes
Burning wood and coal in people’s homes will come under scrutiny as part of a government drive to improve air pollution. Ministers are calling for evidence to help improve air quality in cities. They want people to ensure that wood is dry before burning, and that solid fuels are as clean as possible.

Shin Bet chief: Agency foiled cyber attacks from all over the world
Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman said Tuesday the agency foiled cyber attacks against Israeli systems over the past year “from all over the world.” “Cyber warfare is a main tool for us in our daily work to thwart terror activities,” Argaman said during a visit to the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv. To that end, he said the Shin Bet recruits “the best minds in Israel” to the agency.

Midnight Gaza rocket falls inside Israel
A Code Red sirens was sounded at midnight Monday evening in the Sdot Negev and Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Councils after a rocket was fired into Israeli territory. Explosions were heard in the area and after a rapid investigation, the IDF confirmed that a rocket had fallen inside open space in Israeli territory. No injuries or damages were reported in the incident.

U.S. to resume refugee admissions from 11 ‘high-risk’ countries
The United States will resume admissions for refugees from 11 countries identified as presenting a high security risk, but with extra vetting for these mostly Middle Eastern and African nations, senior U.S. officials said on Monday. The changes came after a 90-day review of refugee admissions from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen by the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and intelligence agencies.

Czech citizens are arming themselves over fears of massive Muslim refugee violence throughout Europe
In 2017, the number of firearms permits increased to 303,000. That is 2,700 more than in 2016 and an increase of 11,000 compared with 2015. Fears over terror attacks, immigration and personal assaults have caused the surge, Czech police say.

Israel is approaching a severe water crisis
Despite recent rains, Israel is headed for long-term shortage, Water Authority warns

Cape Town’s Jews weigh in on looming water crisis
Once “Day Zero” hits, Cape Town’s 3.7 million residents will have to travel to one of 200 water collection points to collect their daily water rations: 25 liters of water per person.

Fitness Tracking App Accidentally Exposes ‘Top Secret’ CIA Underground Bases
A new online fitness tracking app, which compiles routes of 27 million runners, have unwittingly revealed the locations and layouts of top-secret CIA  underground military bases around the world.

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Fails to Clear Senate
A bill that makes it illegal to abort a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy failed to clear the U.S. Senate after Democrats blocked the bill from further consideration.

FBI Deputy Director McCabe ‘Removed’ Day After Bureau Reads Memo
Memo said to reveal corruption, collusion between Obama admin, Clintons and Justice Department

The Holiest Police in the World Paving the Way for the Third Jewish Temple
in an extremely unprecedented move, Amit Branchuk, the police officer in charge of the Temple Mount entrance, went around to the roadblocks and personally accompanied any Jew who wanted to ascend the Temple Mount at that time.

WW3 RED ALERT: China and Russia THREATEN Japan after ‘enforcing’ claim to South China Sea with military
MILITARY threats have been made by China and Russia towards Japan by sending aircraft and naval vessels into Japanese territory as the dispute over the South China Sea rages on.

Mind-blowing plot to sexually confuse America’s little ones
…Two years ago, CMS introduced the gender unicorn to push sexual confusion on our kids. It was soundly slapped back into place by concerned parents. Today, it’s taking the back-door approach by simply expanding the term “diversity” to an already existing policy. (Sounds like former President Obama’s redefinition of the word “sex” in Title 9).

’15:17 to Paris’ heroes who stopped bloody terror attack give credit to God
Armed with an AK-47, a pistol, a box cutter, 270 rounds of ammunition and a bottle of gasoline during a high-speed railway ride, Ayoub el-Khazzani’s mission was clear: Slaughter every passenger on the crowded train that was transporting more than 500 innocent lives.

Fitness Devices Can Provide Locations of Soldiers
An interactive map found online can show the locations and activities of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit, raising security concerns about soldiers and other people who are at U.S. military bases in sensitive areas.

No-Go Zones: UK Govt Warns People Travelling to Sweden Beware ‘Gang Crime, Shootings, and Explosions
UK travel advice on Sweden has warned visitors to beware violence, gun crime, and “explosions” in the nation’s migrant-dominated ‘no-go zones’.

More young people being seriously afflicted with hallucinations and self-abuse after taking TAMIFLU … why won’t the FDA recall the dangerous drug?
Marketed as flu medicine, Tamiflu is actually a risky nervous system damaging, hallucinogenic drug that causes some children to go into seizures, wild delusions, and twitching fits.

January 30, 2018
ALAN KEYES — n an article this week headlined “Lindsey Graham, the uninvited guest,” Ann Coulter asks, “Why does Lindsey Graham have a seat at the table on immigration?” The answer has to be, because Donald Trump helped to credential him…. (more)

January 30, 2018
CHELSEA SCHILLING — FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has resigned from his position, effective Monday – – and his sudden departure is triggering speculation about McCabe’s role in secret surveillance of Trump campaign officials, leaks to the media, Hillary Clinton-linked cash given to McCabe’s wife and a so-called “insurance policy” against Trump’s election…. (more)


January 30, 2018
NEWSMAX — A senior official who headed the FBI’s response to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, is expected to replace FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, The Washington Post reported Monday night…. (more)

January 30, 2018
FOX NEWS — The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to release a classified memo circulating in Congress that purportedly reveals government surveillance abuses. The vote was announced to reporters by California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, who called it a “very sad day, I think, in the history of this committee.” The motion passed on a party-line basis, he said…. (more)

January 30, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Let’s say I’m an assistant United States attorney in, oh I don’t know, Montana. I get to work one morning and I say to myself, “Self, you know what would be really interesting? Why, to ask Barack Obama some questions.”… (more)

January 29, 2018
BYRON YORK — The House Intelligence Committee meets at 5 p.m. Monday in the Capitol. The meeting will give the committee its first opportunity to vote on the question of releasing the so-called “FISA abuse” memo that has captured Washington’s attention in recent days. Since the GOP holds a 13 to 9 advantage on the committee, the overwhelming likelihood is that if there is a vote, the panel will decide, along party lines, to release the memo…. (more)

January 29, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — Two lovebirds and others at the FBI need to be investigated on charges of plotting to influence a presidential election and later cripple a presidential administration. From July 2015 to July 2017, Peter Strzok, an FBI counterintelligence official who assisted in the Hillary Clinton email probe, exchanged more than 50,000 text messages with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was reportedly having an affair. Some of them are quite damning…. (more)

January 29, 2018
SEN TED CRUZ — This week, Americans are celebrating National School Choice Week, a time to raise awareness about the educational options available to families and to advocate for giving them even more choice. A quality education is a right for every child, every family, and every community, but providing it requires us to acknowledge that every child is different – – which is why families should have a variety of options when deciding how to educate their children…. (more)

January 29, 2018
‘It’s just too coincidental to be chance. We were vessels, being used’
ALICIA POWE — Armed with an AK-47, a pistol, a box cutter, 270 rounds of ammunition and a bottle of gasoline during a high-speed railway ride, Ayoub el-Khazzani’s mission was clear: Slaughter every passenger on the crowded train that was transporting more than 500 innocent lives. El-Khazzani, an Islamist militant, shot and slashed passengers with a knife until he encountered something he hadn’t anticipated – – three brave Americans who refused to give in to fear…. (more)

January 28, 2018
COURIER-JOURNAL — It was a journalist’s worst nightmare. The editor of the Marshall County Daily Online raced to the county’s high school Tuesday morning after reports that shots had been fired. She arrived to discover that the alleged shooter was her own son, said her colleague Ann Beckett, who told Courier Journal she went to comfort the editor and take over the story…. (more)

January 28, 2018
BREITBART — On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher expressed agreement with President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said he doesn’t understand why Israel doesn’t get to pick its capital. Maher said, “I hate to agree with Donald Trump, but it doesn’t happen often, but I do. I don’t know why Israel – – it has been their capital since 1949. It is where their government is. They’ve won all the wars thrown against them. I don’t understand why they don’t get to have their capital where they want.”… (more)

January 28, 2018
FOX NEWS — Joy Villa turned up at the 60th Grammy Awards in a dress meant to make a statement. The singer wore a white wedding dress that she hand-painted with the image of a fetus surrounded by a rainbow paired with a purse that read “choose life.” “I’m a pro-life woman. This year I chose to make a statement on the red carpet like I always do,” she told Fox News. “I’m all about life.”… (more)

January 27, 2018
DAVID USHER — Next to illegal immigration, feminism is the second-greatest seminal threat to American Independence. My mentor Phyllis Schlafly often wrote about the Supremacists – – of which feminists are the most entrenched and dangerous of all anti-American movements. Feminism is the hub of Communism, Marxism, socialism, fascism, the Democrat Party, and the Communist Party in the United States…. (more)


January 27, 2018
LIFESITE NEWS — For Myra Neyer, a mom and former Planned Parenthood employee, there was one defining moment that influenced her to leave the abortion giant. “There was this one girl, young girl – -maybe 19, maybe 20, young – -she came in, [and] her boyfriend didn’t want any children,” Neyer, who used to work at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Baltimore, told The Daily Signal in an interview Thursday. “He was an older man.”… (more)

January 27, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The crime rate among illegal immigrants in Arizona is twice that of other residents, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday, citing a new report based on conviction data. The report, from the Crime Prevention Research Center, used a previously untapped set of data from Arizona that detailed criminal convictions and found that illegal immigrants between 15 and 35 are less than 3 percent of the state’s population, but nearly 8 percent of its prison population…. (more)

January 27, 2018
BOB UNRUH — Only days after a federal judge delivered a stinging rebuke to a prosecution assembled under Barack Obama’s administration over a land standoff in Nevada, many of the participants are heading back to court. This time, rancher Cliven Bundy is seeking a judicial ruling that the federal land in Nevada on which he was grazing cattle belongs to the state of Nevada and the people of Clark County, not the U.S. government…. (more)

January 27, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — Let’s cut to the chase: Donald Trump should not agree to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller – – and President Trump should not even be asked…. (more)


January 26, 2018
BYRON YORK — The Justice Department has given Congress less than 15 percent of the texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – – and that is all Congress is likely to get, at least until department experts finish an effort to recover an unknown number of previously lost texts that were sent and received during a key five-month period during the Trump-Russia investigation…. (more)

January 26, 2018
FOX NEWS — The Department of Justice has recovered missing text messages between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the DOJ’s inspector general said Thursday. In a letter sent to congressional committees, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office “succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page that were sent or received between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.”… (more)


January 25, 2018
BYRON YORK — Republicans in both the House and Senate are growing increasingly frustrated with the FBI and Justice Department over tight restrictions on classified and other confidential information in the Trump-Russia affair…. (more)

January 25, 2018
THE GATEWAY PUNDIT — Hannity told his audience he has MULTIPLE SOURCES who confirm the DOJ is retrieving the missing messages between FBI lovebirds Strzok and Page. The timeline of the ‘missing’ text messages is highly suspicious. They begin on December 14, 2016 and go through May 17, 2017 which is the same day Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel. On Monday, an attorney for Trump, Jay Sekulow broke down the timeline of ‘missing’ text messages which begins on December 14, 2016 and goes through May 17, 2017 which is the same day Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel…. (more)


January 25, 2018
CHERYL K. CHUMLEY — Roughly half of Americans of all political walks – – 49 percent, to be exact – – want a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the FBI for crooked and partisan dealings in their look-sees into Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump. That’s a pretty loud voice…. (more)

January 25, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The powerful head of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday accused the FBI and the Justice Department of bad faith in trying to suppress key sensitive details of the Russian election meddling scandal in 2016 and the Obama administration’s handling of the investigation…. (more)

January 25, 2018
WORLDNETDAILY — Special Counsel Robert Mueller is determined to question President Trump over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn – – but talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh has a dire warning for the president: “Don’t do it! … It’s just a perjury trap.”… (more)

January 25, 2018

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he is “looking forward” to speaking with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the coming weeks, and is willing to do it under oath. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and whether there was any coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign and wants to speak to Trump regarding his decisions to fire former FBI director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to The Washington Post…. (more)


Mid-Day Snapshot

Jan. 30, 2018

McCabe Ousted: Uprooting Obama’s Deep State?

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe “steps down” early, but also far too late.

The Foundation

“The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue.” —John Adams (1776)

ZeroHedge Frontrunning: January 30

  • Immigrants to Be in Spotlight at State of Union (Read More)
  • Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan Link Up to Form New Health-Care Company (Read More)
  • Yellen Leaving Fed With Full Employment, Increased Focus on Labor Market (Read More)
  • Market Euphoria May Turn to Despair If 10-Year Yield Jumps to 3% (Read More)
  • U.S. Names Russian Oligarchs, But Says It’s Not a Sanctions List (Read More)
  • World stocks sucked under by bond market breakout (Read More)
  • House Panel Votes to Release GOP Memo on Russia Probe (Read More)
  • Trump’s Push to Fire Mueller Heightens Political, Not Legal, Risk (Read More)
  • CIA expects Russia to target U.S. mid-term elections (Read More
  • Decade of Easy Cash Turns Bond Market Upside Down (Read More)
  • HNA to Face $2.4 Billion Liquidity Crunch This Quarter (Read More)
  • U.S., Mexico explore placing armed U.S. air marshals on flights (Read More)
  • Iranian opposition cleric accuses Khamenei of abuse of power (Read More)
  • Forget Self-Driving Cars, Robot Delivery Vans Are Here (Read More)
  • Venezuelan Pirates Rule the Most Lawless Market on Earth (Read More)
  • Trump administration holds off on new Russia sanctions, despite law (Read More)
  • Trump’s Agenda Faces Tough Fiscal Reality After State of the Union (Read More)
  • Pentagon Muzzles Afghanistan Watchdog as Situation Worsens (Read More)
  • Banker Bonuses Jumping While Traders Brace for Smaller Payouts (Read More)

Headlines – 1/30/2018

In first since US Jerusalem move, top Israeli, PA officials to meet

The two-state solution is only game in town

Israeli army to take control of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem

Jordan king vows to stick up for Palestinians on Jerusalem

PLO urges Arab-Israelis to unite with Palestinians

Thousands of UN employees in Gaza hold protest over U.S. aid cut

As rocket warning sirens go off at Gaza border, explosion reported inside Strip

Gazans farm along Israeli border for first time since 2006

Hamas orders forces to vacate along Gaza-Egypt border for fear of IS attack

Hamas: Top official in Gaza dies after mysterious shooting

Firebombs found after Palestinians spotted trying to sneak into settlement

Israeli lawmakers debate ‘construction terror’ by Palestinians in West Bank

Report: Sidon car bomb orchestrated by Israel

Hezbollah Helps Hamas Enhance Terrorist Infrastructure on Israel’s Northern Border

Hezbollah official warns terror group can destroy Israeli army

Hezbollah threatens to open fire on IDF soldiers building border fence

In Rare Move, IDF Warns Lebanon of War if Hezbollah and Iran Continue to Grow Presence

Lieberman: ‘Last thing I want is Third Lebanon War’

Israel gradually reopens embassy in Jordan after end of spat

As hackers gain strength, Israeli cyber firms raise more money than ever

Gabbay: Netanyahu should resign if named as suspect in submarines affair

A year of renewed chilly US-Cuba relations puts squeeze on island’s Jews

German city cuts ties to banks that enable Israel boycotts

Lapid against Netanyahu: ‘Never negotiate over the memory of Holocaust victims’

Polish president ‘flabbergasted’ by ‘violent’ Israeli reaction to Holocaust bill

Polish PM to Netanyahu: Israel has laws criminalizing lies about history too

Pope denounces Holocaust ‘indifference’ amid Polish uproar

German car makers spark outrage with exhaust tests on humans – Diesel exhaust tests evoke gas vans used by the Nazis in the Holocaust

Ultra-Orthodox paper slammed for blurring out women in Auschwitz photo

Nationalist rabbi warns young women not to serve, says IDF ‘destroys’ families

Tired of Their Veils, Some Iranian Women Stage Rare Protests

Haley suggests action on Iran missiles could persuade Trump not to nix nuke deal

Boris Johnson to Al Arabiya: Iran ‘up to no good’ with catastrophic policies

Netanyahu threatens to ‘stop’ Iran if it tries to entrench itself in Syria

UN Syria mediator to head commission to draft new Syrian constitution

Syria war: Turkey arrests hundreds for criticising Afrin offensive

Iraqi Christians in Jordan Are Being ‘Neglected’ by United Nations, Rights Activist Warns

Egypt election: sole challenger to Sisi registers at last minute

UN chief meets with Sudan’s president, who is accused of genocide

Trump says U.S. won’t talk to Taliban after recent attacks in Afghanistan

‘Price of conflict is too high’: hunger at crisis levels in eight countries

Suicide attack kills at least 11 at Yemen military checkpoint

People traffickers fire at refugees, forcing them into sea off Yemen coast

Trump administration restarts refugee program for 11 high-risk countries

Seven potential terrorists a day try to enter the U.S.: DHS chief

Trudeau decries Islamaphobia a year after Quebec mosque attack

PM Netanyahu to President Putin in Moscow: ‘Murderous ideologies in timely, powerful fashion’

Kremlin says US sees Russia as enemies

Russian jet flies within 5 feet of US Navy plane, Pentagon says

U.S. on track to top Russia as world’s largest oil producer, upending global trade and geopolitics

Kremlin says US sanctions move attempt to influence Russian elections

CIA cautions North Korea could nuke US within a ‘handful of months’

House Intel votes to release controversial surveillance memo to the public

FBI’s Andrew McCabe leaving deputy director job amid internal investigation

FBI’s McCabe, now stepping down, suspected in leak against White House

Dow, S&P 500 Suffer Worst One-Day Fall in Five Months as Apple Drags

Goldman Sachs sees ‘high probability’ of a stock market correction in the coming months

Investors Can’t Ignore This Clear Sign Of A Stock Market Bubble

The Phases of the Super Blue Blood Moon of 2018 Explained

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Mayon volcano in the Philippines erupts to 16,000ft

Mount Mayon spews more lava, ash as evacuations continue in the Philippines

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Tropical Cyclone Fehi bound for the South Island, arriving Thursday

Hurricane Irma created new island off Georgia coast

Persistent dryness ‘worrisome’ for Southern California as drought, water supply shortage issues loom

Drought deja vu: California snowpack at 30 percent of normal

Swine flu, bird flu hit North Korea and South Korea days before Winter Olympics kickoff

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Fails to Clear Senate

Speaking up for discernment ministries

Mike Oppenheimer – A New Age View of the Trinity Enters the Church

Deception Alert: Pope Francis and The Global Agenda of Rome

Women in Ministry Cage Match – Piper vs. Leclaire

Throw An Infant Against the Wall and Kick It Like a Football On Sid Roth’s Show

Why the Hyper-Focus on Dr. Michael Brown Lately?

Archaeologists Decode One of Last Two Undeciphered Dead Sea Scrolls

Christian Students Knifed With Machetes at Kenya High School for Refusing to Convert to Islam

Republican Majority Senate Fails to Advance 20 Week Abortion Ban

IT HAS BEGUN! Facebook flagging and removing ETH posts on people’s pages

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 12:48 PM PST

IT HAS BEGUN! Facebook flagging and removing ETH  posts on people’s pagesLooks like the censorship and removal of posts shared from End Time Headlines has now begun. We received multiple reports today from our Facebook page that has over 477,000 followers that Facebook has been flagging and removing our posts from their pages that they shared or reposted. We have not received any notifications that our site has violated any of Facebook’s community standards.

So is this now the new normal? Will they completely silence and remove sites that simply share news and events from around the world? Stay tuned for more updates. Until then please be sure to subscribe to our Main Website to catch all the news and headlines. –

Pastor and Founder of End Time Headlines, 
Ricky Scaparo

UPDATE: Google Explains Why ‘Jesus’ Isn’t Recognized on Smart Devices

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 12:35 PM PST

UPDATE: Google Explains Why ‘Jesus’ Isn’t Recognized on Smart DevicesVideos showing Google Home users asking “Who is Jesus?” went viral last week when the smart speaker couldn’t provide an answer but did have a response for Buddha, Muhammad, and even Satan. On Friday, Google issued a statement explaining why its smart devices would no longer be answering questions about any religious figure.  “The reason the Google Assistant didn’t respond with information about ‘Who is Jesus’ or ‘Who is Jesus Christ’ wasn’t out of disrespect but instead to ensure respect,” a Google spokesperson said on Twitter.

“Some of the Assistant’s spoken responses come from the web, and for certain topics, this content can be more vulnerable to vandalism and spam. If our systems detect such circumstances, the Assistant might not reply,” the statement continued. Google says this would be the case for any other religious figure as well if vulnerabilities were detected with the answer. CONTINUE

Iowa Students Could Soon be Studying Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 12:32 PM PST

Iowa Students Could Soon be Studying Hebrew Scriptures and the New TestamentIowa high school students could soon have the option of taking a Bible literacy course that focuses on the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Skyler Wheeler, Rep. Dean Fisher, and 10 other Republicans, would direct the state’s Department of Education to prepare material and train teachers on how to teach the elective course.

“This bill allows school districts to offer students a course in Bible literacy as long as it is taught in an academic sense, rather than devotional,” Rep. Wheeler wrote in nwestiowa.com. “Basically, I want to give students the opportunity to study the Bible from the perspective of its impact on history and culture,”  Rep. Dean Fisher told the Des Moines Register. Wheeler adds the bill has strong support in both the House and the Senate. READ MORE

Smith Wigglesworth Great-Granddaughter Shares Outrageous Supernatural Miracles

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 12:16 PM PST

Smith Wigglesworth Great-Granddaughter Shares Outrageous Supernatural MiraclesSmith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the Pentecostal revival that occurred a century ago. Without human refinement and education, he was able to tap into the infinite resources of God to bring divine grace to multitudes. Thousands came to Christian faith in

his meetings, hundreds were healed of serious illnesses and diseases as supernatural signs followed his ministry. A deep intimacy with his heavenly Father and an unquestioning faith in God’s Word brought spectacular results and provided an example for all true believers of the Gospel. MORE

Russian jet flies within 5 feet of US Navy plane…

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 12:04 PM PST

Russian jet flies within 5 feet of US Navy plane…A Russian Su-27 jet performed an unsafe intercept of a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea Monday, three defense officials told CNN. The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within 5 feet of the US plane, according to two of the officials.
The Russian jet’s action forced the US Navy aircraft to end its mission prematurely, one of the officials said.

US Naval Forces Europe, which oversees US operations in the region, later confirmed the incident in a statement. “This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 closing to within five feet and crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the SU-27’s jet wash,” Capt. Pamela Kunze, a spokesperson for US Naval Forces Europe told CNN. READ MORE

Paris flooding forces 1,500 to evacuate, Major tourist attractions to close

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 06:20 AM PST

Paris flooding forces 1,500 to evacuate, Major tourist attractions to closeAlmost 1,500 people have been evacuated after the swollen River Seine rose further, raising fears of severe flooding in Paris. The overflowing waters have already swamped riverside paths and shut down a Louvre basement display of Islamic art. Tourist sightseeing boats have been halted, swans are swimming over pavements and rats have been forced up on to the streets.

The Seine’s waters were today expected to peak close to the level which led to widespread flooding in 2016. The world’s most visited museum, the Louvre, was on alert Sunday, with the lower level of its Islamic arts wing closed to visitors. Meanwhile, the iconic statue of an Algerian French soldier named Zouave, which has guarded the river at the Pont d’Alma bridge since 1910, was drenched up to the thighs. READ MORE

Christian Researcher Claims Coming Super Blue Moon is Sign of the End

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 06:01 AM PST

Christian Researcher Claims Coming Super Blue Moon is Sign of the EndThe coming super blue blood moon is an “ominous” sign from God that will mark the beginning of the end, according to Christian researcher David Meade. The only problem with this theory is that this isn’t the first time this has taken place and likely won’t be the last. However, On January 31, the stunning sight will illuminate the night sky. And on the same day, the European Union, plus, Norway will gather in Brussels for an urgent meeting on the ongoing situation between Israel and Palestine.

Describing the summit, the EU said: “There is an urgent need to bring all parties together to discuss measures to speed up efforts that can underpin a negotiated two-state solution.” And conspiracy theorists are now linking the two. They believe the moon is an angry message from God who is showing his wrath over the interference on the Holy Land. Mr Meade said: “The European Union and Norway have announced an ‘extraordinary session’ to be convened at the end of this January. The purpose: an attempt to force a ‘two-state solution’ on Israel. READ MORE

Saudi Arabia’s freak snow storm produces 15 inch drifts covering Sahara Desert

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 05:52 AM PST

Saudi Arabia’s freak snow storm produces 15 inch drifts covering Sahara DesertA rare snowstorm has swept into the Saudi Arabian desert turning the sand white as the Middle East is hit by a freak Polar blast. Incredible photos show the Tabuk region in the north-west, known for its blazing heat, covered in a blanket of snow as temperatures plummeted below freezing.  Hundreds of excited locals have been pictured playing in the snow, while many opted to go sledding down the sides of the hills, as they wasted no time in enjoying it before it melted away.

Other bizarre pictures even show camels with their humps covered in snow, while near-deserted landscapes have been left covered in flakes. The freak weather is totally unexpected with temperatures normally hitting around 20C – traditionally the cold season in the Arab country. In Tabuk, forecasters said temperatures had dipped to -2C. READ MORE

Fire Captain Fired for Sending Christian Emails Victorious at State Supreme Court

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 05:46 AM PST

Fire Captain Fired for Sending Christian Emails Victorious at State Supreme CourtThe Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a fire captain who was fired for using his work email account to send emails to his Christian firefighter’s fellowship group can file a lawsuit against his former employer. The state’s highest court decided last Thursday that the merits of former Spokane Valley Fire Department Captain Jon Sprague’s case were strong enough that a trial should decide if Sprague’s rights were violated. “Sprague has met his initial burden to show that the SVFD’s restrictions on his speech violated the First Amendment,” a court document states.

“On remand, the burden will shift to SVFD to show by preponderance of the evidence that it would have reached the same decision as to (Sprague’s) employment termination even in the absence of the protected conduct.” According to The Spokesman-Review, a trial will determine if Sprague is entitled to damages caused by his employment termination in 2012 for repeatedly using his work email to send emails to the Spokane Christian Firefighters Fellowship group when he was explicitly warned not to. READ MORE

‘Police State’ National ID Card Tucked In Immigration Bill

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 06:48 PM PST

‘Police State’ National ID Card Tucked In Immigration BillInserted in a sweeping House bill introduced earlier this month called Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 is the establishment of a new biometric National ID card for all Americans that has privacy activists sounding alarms. Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., H.R. 4760 encompasses issues such as education, Homeland Security and the military. Buried in the 400-page legislation is the new mandatory national identification system in which citizens would be required to carry a government-approved ID containing “biometric features.”

The bill states that anyone seeking employment in the country must have the card. The purpose of the measure, part of the legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is to curb illegal immigration. It specifically addresses the shortcomings of the E-Verify system, which has failed to catch an estimated 54 percent of illegal immigrant workers. Ron Paul, the former Republican lawmaker and presidential candidate known for his libertarian views, has launched a campaign against the national ID through his non-profit Campaign for Liberty, including an online petition. READ MORE

 

Turkey could widen Syria offensive after Erdogan vows to attack ‘wherever there are terrorists’

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 06:44 PM PST

Turkey could widen Syria offensive after Erdogan vows to attack ‘wherever there are terrorists’Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hinted yet again that the campaign against Kurdish militia in Syria could spread beyond the north-western enclave of Afrin. “Just as the terrorists in Jarabulus and Al-Bab weren’t able to escape elimination, the terrorists in Afrin and Manbij won’t be able to escape the bitter end awaiting them, either,” Erdogan said during a regional party congress speech in the heartland town of Corum.

“Our heroic soldiers made history yesterday in the area of Operation Euphrates Shield [a previous offensive in 2016-17]. They are making history today in Afrin. And they will make history tomorrow wherever there are terrorists along our borders,” the Turkish President told party loyalists hours later on Sunday, during an address in nearby Amasya. READ MORE

Kentucky Governor Declares Day of Prayer in Aftermath of Deadly School Shooting

Posted: 28 Jan 2018 06:39 PM PST

Kentucky Governor Declares Day of Prayer in Aftermath of Deadly School ShootingChurches in Kentucky took time on Sunday to pray for those affected by Tuesday’s school shooting in Benton, which took the lives of two students and injured more than a dozen others, after Gov. Matt Bevin declared the day to be a statewide day of prayer. “We have seen evil and the face of evil as it has emerged, and the acts it has perpetrated on this community,” he said on Friday. “But I’ll tell you what’s stronger than evil: it’s good, and in the end, God wins. That’s a fact.”

Last Tuesday, 15-year-old sophomore Gabe Parker walked into Marshall County High School with a handgun and began firing, causing students to pour out of the building as they ran for their lives. “You could see students dropping their bags and just start running, pushing past each other,” student Taylor Droke told WZTV. “Everyone in cars started turning around and driving away. Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods.” 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?


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


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CultureWatch: Adventures in Neverland: A Culture of Brats, Bullies and Cry-Babies

Most folks know about Peter Pan. He is a fictional character created by Scottish writer J. M. Barrie in the early 1900s. He is “a free-spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up. Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the mythical island of Neverland.”

Various versions of the Pan story have been produced. If you are not familiar with some of the earlier works, you might have seen the 1991 film version Hook directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Robin Williams. Regardless, Peter Pan is well known as someone who refuses to grow up.

Hmm, sounds awfully familiar. Why does it seem that the West today closely resembles Neverland? The sad truth is, we are now raising an entire generation of Peter Pans. We are now creating millions of individuals who refuse to take responsibility for anything, who refuse to grow up, and who refuse to live in the real world.

They are in a state of perpetual adolescence, and many might argue they have not even progressed beyond the toddler stage. They act just like self-obsessed juveniles, forever interested only in themselves. As pampered snowflakes, they are ever ready to lash out at anyone and anything that challenges them or causes them offence.

They are eternal victims, always being offended and always ready to go on the attack. Incredibly, we mostly see this on display at our college campuses. Students there will declare war on anything that bothers or offends them. They are even happy to declare war on free speech, just so long as they can be free of being offended.

They have never grown up, and it clearly shows in their behaviour. Mature adults take responsibility for their actions, learn to get along with those they differ with, and seek to move forward. But this generation of cry-babies refuses to go this way, relishing instead the victimhood culture in which they forever take offence and live in a flood of microaggressions.

No one is safe in such a culture. The slightest thing can set these folks off, and they will respond with all manner of bullying and abuse. It seems they go out of their way looking to be offended, and then they will take suitable action: lashing out at others, demanding they stop what they are doing or saying and conform to their preferred way of living.

We had a classic example of this just the other day. Consider this story out of Australia:

Customers at a steakhouse in the Melbourne CBD were disrupted on Saturday night as a group of animal rights activists stormed the restaurant. Thirty-five members of the Melbourne Cow Save Animal Liberation Army forced their way into the Rare Steakhouse at around 6.30pm, chanting slogans, standing around tables and holding signs up against windows in an attempt to “speak up for animals where their dead bodies were being consumed.”
In a video posted to the group’s Facebook page, the group can be seen lining the restaurant with customers continuing to eat their dinner despite the demonstration, several bewildered diners reaching for their phones to film the scenes for themselves. “In order to create change in our society, we must challenge current belief systems and force people to take a side; oppression or justice, cruelty or compassion,” the group wrote on Facebook.

‘We will force you to do what is right in our own eyes.’ The coercive utopians in action again. Whether it is burning books in the streets in Germany last century, or shouting down visiting speakers on college campuses today, these snowflake warriors are on the prowl, and will insist that you stop doing what they do not like.

And hey, isn’t it quite common for these very same folks to tell pro-lifers, “If you don’t like an abortion, don’t have one”? Maybe they should apply their advice to themselves. If they don’t like a good steak dinner, then don’t have one, but butt out of other people’s lives here.

Welcome to our brave new world. That plenty of examples of this can be found on a daily basis is a real worry. Even more of a worry is when our experts and eggheads seek to normalise all this. Consider just one recent news item from the UK:

Adolescence now lasts from the ages of 10 to 24, although it used to be thought to end at 19, scientists say. Young people continuing their education for longer, as well as delayed marriage and parenthood, has pushed back popular perceptions of when adulthood begins.
Changing the definition is vital to ensure laws stay appropriate, they write in an opinion piece in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal. But another expert warns doing so risks “further infantilising young people”.

Yep, we should just affirm and accept this tidal wave of young adults who refuse to grow up and become real adults with real responsibilities. Let’s just all live in a perpetual state of infantilisation. Beats growing up. Beats being a responsible member of society. Beats having to live in the real world.

Just act like a cry baby, forever take offence, and lash out at anyone who gets in your space or makes you feel bad. Hmm, as parents we tolerated that only slightly when our children were actually toddlers. But even then we sought to teach them how to grow up and better get along with others.

Now we are saying this is the new normal. That is a recipe for disaster. Over a decade ago Diana West penned an important volume entitled, The Death of the Grown-Up (St. Martin’s Press, 2007). The subtitle says it all: “How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization”

The book asked the question, ‘Where have all the grown-ups gone?’ West argues that America seems intent on creating a generation of adult adolescents: men and women who refuse to grow up, to become responsible and productive citizens, but who instead seek to perpetually remain teenagers.

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She looks at various factors which led to this, such as modern marketing, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, and the youth culture – they have all combined to entice adults into never leaving childhood. This widescale case of arrested development, and the mainstreaming of adolescence, spells bad news for the West.

Her book begins with these words:

Once there was a world without teenagers. Literally. “Teenager,” the word itself, doesn’t pop into the lexicon much before 1941. This speaks volumes about the last few millennia. In all those many centuries, nobody thought to mention ‘teenagers’ because there was nothing, apparently, to think of mentioning.
In considering what I like to call ‘the death of the grown-up,’ it’s important to keep a fix on this fact: that for all but this most recent episode of human history, there were children and there were adults. Children in their teen years aspired to adulthood; significantly, they didn’t aspire to adolescence. Certainly, adults didn’t aspire to remain teenagers.

She concludes her volume as follows:

What to do? It’s not enough to yell “stop,” or even “grow up.” It’s a start, though, if, in the process, we withstand the likely excruciating growing pains to undertake a serious, candid reexamination of the human condition, circa twenty-first century: as parents who need to guide children to maturity; as individuals who need to reimpose boundaries on personal behaviour; and as nation states that need to reassert border control and enforce immigration policies that preserve, rather than transform, this uniquely Western culture. Such an undertaking begins by breaking our silence. And breaking our silence begins by conquering our fears. Which is also a part of growing up. We have nothing to lose. It should now be clear that the civilization that forever dodges maturity will never live to a ripe old age.

The opening quote she offers from Eric Hoffer is well worth me closing with:

“If a society is to preserve its stability and a degree of continuity, it must know how to keep its adolescents from imposing their tastes, attitudes, values, and fantasies on everyday life.”

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/vegan-army-storm-melbourne-steakhouse/news-story/aa3528ff30b7c5224332c9c438debf34?nk=4eb9eec5ef94761caf7b0f3843fb713f-1517278665
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42732442

Source: Adventures in Neverland: A Culture of Brats, Bullies and Cry-Babies

Youth-Driven Culture

Popular music, that telling barometer of popular culture, has kept pace with this trend. Nearly every heavy-metal band of the 1980s and ‘90s had a stock ballad about young heroes going down in a “blaze of glory.” Other popmusic references stress the invincible power of youth. Rod Stewart sings of being “Forever Young.” In their hit single “We Are Young,” the contemporary super group Fun declares that these same youth will “set the world on fire.” Bruce Springsteen’s barstool-seated narrator in “Glory Days” drowns the disappointments of his middle-aged life by retelling stories of high school exploits and triumphs.

Maybe it began earlier than the 1950s and ‘60s, but those decades seem to mark the rise of the fascination with youth in American culture. The famous line that celebrates all things young, often wrongly attributed to James Dean, declares, “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse behind.”

Popular music, that telling barometer of popular culture, has kept pace with this trend. Nearly every heavy-metal band of the 1980s and ‘90s had a stock ballad about young heroes going down in a “blaze of glory.” Other popmusic references stress the invincible power of youth. Rod Stewart sings of being “Forever Young.” In their hit single “We Are Young,” the contemporary super group Fun declares that these same youth will “set the world on fire.” Bruce Springsteen’s barstool-seated narrator in “Glory Days” drowns the disappointments of his middle-aged life by retelling stories of high school exploits and triumphs. None of us may want to relive our awkward junior high moments, but who among us doesn’t harbor secret desires to be young again and seemingly able to conquer the world?

The subtle and not-so-subtle pulls of the idolization of youth manifest themselves in three areas. The first is an elevation of youth over the aged. This reverses the biblical paradigm. The second is a view of being human that values prettiness (not to be confused with beauty and aesthetics), strength, and human achievement. Think of the captain of the cheerleading squad and the star quarterback. The third is the dominance of the market by the youth demographic. That is to say, in order to be relevant and successful, one must appeal to the youth or to youthful tastes. These manifestations of our youth-driven culture deserve a closer look.

The trend of exalting youth and sidelining the elderly stems from a deeper problem summed up in the expression, “Newer is better.” We celebrate the new and innovative while looking down on the past and tradition. There is a compelling vitality to youth and to new ideas, but that does not mean there is no wisdom to be found in the past. It is a sign of hubris to think one can face life without the wisdom of those who have gone before. There is something about being young that makes the young think they are immune to the mistakes or missteps of those who have gone before. We all think too highly of ourselves and our capacities. Simply put, we need the wisdom of the past and of the elderly.

The idolization of youth even seeps into the church. One of the ways in which we see this is in the stress on church youth groups. Curiously, Jonathan Edwards, in his letter to Deborah Hathaway, referred to as “Letter to a Young Convert,” encouraged her to join with the other youth in the church to pray together and to discuss their progress in sanctification as an encouragement to one another. In short, he was calling for her to start a youth group. Youth groups can serve a significant purpose and can be meaningful ministries. However, they can separate the youth from the other age groups in the church. The church needs to worship, learn, and pray together, old and young side by side. The culture tries to push the aged away. The church cannot afford to do that.

As we need the wisdom of the elderly in the body of Christ, we also need the wisdom of the past. Newer isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s worse; sometimes it’s wrong. As the church, we are a people with a past. The Holy Spirit is not a gift unique to the church in the twenty-first century. We ignore or disdain the past to our detriment.

The way out of enslavement to this undue celebration of youth is to foster a genuinely diverse community in our homes and in our churches. Generation gaps can be awkward and barriers to both sides having genuine and authentic fellowship. But God has designed His church in such a way that we need each other. Paul specifically commands Timothy to have the older teach the younger (Titus 2:1–4). We miss out when we think we have nothing to learn from others at different stages of life. The church of today also misses out when it thinks it has nothing to learn from the church of yesterday.

The older may feel intimidation in trying to reach out to the younger, but the older should take the initiative. Young people can take the buds out of their ears and look up from their iPods. Children and grandchildren need to hear the stories of their parents and grandparents.

The second manifestation of our youth-driven culture is a warped view of humanity. Our culture determines a human being’s value based on how he or she looks. Parents, teachers, youth pastors, and pastors know how body image can be absolutely devastating to today’s youth. We also know theologically that human dignity, and hence human value, stems from our creation in the image of God. Our youth-obsessed culture uses a flawed metric for determining human worth.

Conversely, we also lose sight of human frailty and depravity. We are not strong. Isaiah reminds us, “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isa. 40:30–31a). The theme of God’s strength manifested in our weakness reverberates through Paul’s writings. We will not hear it, however, if we are fixated on images of youthful strength and invincibility.

We need to help youth see that their value derives from being made in the image of the Creator and of the Redeemer. In today’s culture, adolescence is increasingly difficult to navigate well. Our youth are surrounded by images of the pretty and the skinny, the young and the beautiful. Images of perfection bombard them. My friend Walt Mueller, author and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, has been studying the advertising industry for years. His conclusion? Overt and subtle images pass before a typical teen’s eyes potentially hundreds of times a week. Add to that the body-image message coming through much of pop music and movies, and you see the challenge. Youth culture needs the church’s help to think biblically about a healthy, God-honoring view of self and others.

The third manifestation of the youth culture has to do with the way the youth demographic drives the market. The economic engine driving much of popular culture, in terms of movies and music at least, is that group with discretionary funds—teens and twenty-somethings. Youth groups and even churches, desiring to be successful, hurry to catch up.

The ever-insightful Southern writer Flannery O’Connor once weighed in on a debate over the use of a controversial novel in a public school classroom. Rather than debate the particular merits or demerits of the book, O’Connor raised a deeper question. She observed that advocates for the book made their case by claiming it was trendy and hip, for which reason the young people of the day were into it. Why not meet them where they were?, went the argument. O’Connor instead made a case for reliance on the literary canon, not popular fiction. Then she went on the attack in her closing lines: “And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed” (“Fiction Is a Subject with a History—It Should Be Taught that Way”).

Some may dismiss O’Connor’s argument, seeing it as an elitist appeal. But she raises a fair point. There are felt needs and there are true needs. Sometimes it takes quite a few decades to see the difference.

Sociologist Christian Smith coined the phrase moralistic therapeutic deism to describe the prominent religious view of American youth. His description sticks, but how should we respond? To simply cater to such tastes is to pander. In doing so, the gospel and the demands of the Christian life are lost.

One of those rock ballads I alluded to earlier echoes again and again a haunting line: “Give me something to believe in.” It tells a story of seeking, but finding only disappointment and disillusionment. Yet the desire to believe in something persists. Sociologists tell us that contemporary youth culture values authenticity. We reach out to youth culture best by not pandering and by not pretending to be hip—it’s too hard to pull it off anyway. One person’s respect for another grows immensely when one simply speaks and lives the truth in love.

Youth culture today faces a great deal of anxiety. On nearly every level, an uncertain future waits on the horizon. But these anxieties are only the symptoms of the real problem, shadows of the anxiety humanity faces because of alienation. Our sin separates us from God. And we need someone to believe in. None of us, young or old, needs a therapeutic religion. We all need the gospel. And we all need a church of young and old—and in between—that proclaims and lives the gospel.

© 2018 Ligonier Ministries

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Jason Lisle “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” Lecture at The Master’s Seminary

The Domain for Truth

Somehow I never shared this lecture Dr. Jason Lisle presented to the students of The Master’s Seminary on “The Ultimate Proof of Creation” even though I thought I had it posted on here before and have told people to look for it in our blog.  Jason Lisle is a trained astronomer turn Christian apologists has over the years taught on the defense of the Christian faith and also a Christian view of Science.  I have in the past shared other resources from him including his “Nuclear Strength Apologetics Lectures at Heritage Grace Community Church” but I thought it would be good to share as future reference and resource for others a “one shot” summary of Presuppositional apologetics as opposed to a longer series of lectures.  Both have their place.

So here’s the video from Youtube that The Master’s Seminary has graciously allowed to be posted online:

View original post 25 more words

The Nature of Existence: All is One, or All is Two?

Oneism or Twoism, that is the question.

God reveals who He is and His ways in His Word, the Bible. Although God has made Himself known to mankind in the pages of Scripture, they have rejected His revelation of Himself and “exchanged the truth” about God for “the lie.” Instead of worshiping God, they worship His creation.

In his piece over at truthXchange, Peter Jones tackles The Lie that human beings are part of nature and that nature is divine, and then he reveals The Truth:

This question about existence seems very simple, but human beings can only answer it by faith, since not one of us can stand outside of existence to make an “objective,” all-knowing judgment about the nature of things. We need help. The only possible answers are Oneism or Twoism.

Oneism and The Lie

Oneism begins with the conviction that human beings are part of nature and that nature, as the origin of all things, is divine. It also assumes that we are all pure and innocent and that evil is just another side of good. These are two essential faith convictions of Oneism. In the Bible’s account of reality, however, we don’t start with a clean slate of beautiful intentions to love our neighbor and our God with all our heart and soul. We begin, instead, with realism about conflict in our world. We understand that a false definition of existence keeps us in willful ignorance of our truly rebellious state. On this false sense of innocence we build a false notion of God.

The Bible speaks of “the lie,” fabricated by the Father of Lies (Satan), who rejected God before the creation of humanity. The Lie Satan brought to us is a refusal to recognize that we, like all created beings, are accountable to God, the transcendent Creator Lord. The Lie calls the Author of life an Arch-Liar, and constructs human religious thinking on the basis of a fundamental misrepresentation of the truth. This false, pagan view of God is a death blow to any genuine wisdom about the ultimate issues of life. Paul says: although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened (v.21). Such darkened hearts lead to a deadly exchange in Romans 1:25: They exchanged the truth about God for the lie, and that of v.18, …[they] suppress the truth by their wickedness. Human beings know God in the depth of their being, but refuse to act in light of such knowledge. But they do act, because they do have a need for spirituality. The knowledge of God is at the core of our being as humans, so if we reject the Creator God, we will make for ourselves another form of the divine. Paul captures this in one profound phrase: they worshiped creation (v.25).

This is worship, not just an intellectual denial. This denial is expressed in three areas: what we believe about who God is, what we believe about spirituality, and what we believe about sexuality [We will develop these latter two issues in forthcoming blogs]. Regarding God, those who worship creation are living in fundamental, generalized rebellion. That rebellion stems from the way we think about God and about his self-revelation in nature and in words. This is why we speak of “theology,” made up of two words:  “theos,” (God), and “logy” (logos), that is, words or thinking about God. So we see why Paul says they “exchanged the truth” about God for “the lie.” Something deep goes on in the human mind. View article →

Source: The Nature of Existence: All is One, or All is Two?

Parents outraged by schoolwork saying Jews, Christians and Muslims worship same God

(Max Londberg – The Kansas City Star) “Pope Francis, while washing Muslims’, Hindus’, Catholic’s and Christians’ feet in a 2016 ritual, said, ‘All of us together … brothers and sisters — children of the same God — we want to live in peace, integrated.’”

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews believe in the same God?

A homework assignment given to sixth-grade students last month in Illinois asserted they do. When an Elgin Area School District board member caught wind of it, she harshly criticized the assignment. And earlier this week the issue boiled over as dozens of people attended a school board meeting to express their opinions on the subject.View article →

Source: Parents outraged by schoolwork saying Jews, Christians and Muslims worship same God

Speaking up for discernment ministries

(Amy Spreeman – Berean Research) Is it just me, or are discernment ministries getting raked over the coals?  And is it deserved?

Early last summer I stepped back from my daily blogging and posting activities. Not by choice, but medical necessity. Eight months and three surgeries later, I’ve been slowly dipping a toe back in, and catching up on the news. Only to find that there’s been more than news to catch up on.

I wish I could say that I have been completely and mercifully unaware of a lot of the infighting and bickering played out like a Spanish soap opera on social media. I’ve attempted to steer clear of the carnage, and keep this site and my own personal opinions from sidetracking the task at hand: Pointing Christians to the truth, equipping them, and helping them steer clear of danger. As we state on our Home Page, biblical discernment comes from reading and meditating on the breathed-out Word of God, and not a news site. (See our White Paper, What Is Discernment?)  View article →

Source: Speaking up for discernment ministries

Moody Bible Institute—Trying to Hold on to a Biblical Heritage While Riding the Wave of the Emerging Church

Moody Bible Institute—Trying to Hold on to a Biblical Heritage While Riding the Wave of the Emerging Church

Several years ago, Rick Warren said something that still haunts us—leaders of the new purpose-driven, emergent “Christianity” will have to wait until resisters either leave or die before the plan can be fully implemented.  In other words, they are going to eventually accomplish what they are trying to do—revamp Christianity into a “new” spirituality that … [Read more…]

The post Moody Bible Institute—Trying to Hold on to a Biblical Heritage While Riding the Wave of the Emerging Church appeared first on Lighthouse Trails Inc.

January 30 Tuesday: Martin Luther’s Psalm

By James Boice on Jan 30, 2018 12:00 am

In this week’s lessons on Psalm 46, on which Luther’s great hymn is based, we are reminded that our complete confidence and trust rests in the Lord, who promises to be with his people forever.

Read more…

January 30, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Lk 1:41–42). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.


41–42 To speculate about how Mary’s greeting caused the child to leap in Elizabeth’s womb (v. 41) would be to miss the unaffected beauty of this narrative in which the stirring of the unborn child becomes a joyful prelude to Elizabeth’s being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” who enlightened her about the identity of the child Mary was carrying (v. 42).[1]


1:42Blessed are you among women Mary is blessed because she has the privilege of giving birth to the Messiah, the savior of the world.[2]


[1] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 63–64). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 1:42). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

JANUARY 30 CHRIST WILL RULE

I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

I am not surprised that I still meet people who do not believe that Jesus Christ is going to return to earth. In fact, some of them, armed with their own Bibles and interpretations, are insistent on setting me “straight.”

One gentleman has written saying that I have it all wrong, and that Paul did not mean what I had said he meant, as I applied Paul’s statement to everyday life.

I took time to write a reply: “When it comes to saying what he meant, Paul’s batting average has been pretty good up to now. So, I will string along with what Paul plainly, clearly said.”

I did not figure I needed someone to straighten me out—particularly someone who had decided the Bible does not mean what it says.

No one is going to argue me out of my faith in what God has revealed and what God has said. As far as I am concerned, it is a fact that Jesus is coming again! The question I do raise is this: Are we prepared spiritually for His coming? Are we tolerating conditions in our midst that will cause us embarrassment when He does come?

Dear Lord, grant me courage to live today—indeed, every day of my life—as though You were coming back this afternoon.[1]


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

January 30 The Gospel’s First Demand—Repentance

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—Matt. 4:17

The message that Jesus brought to the people—the “great light” He revealed to those “sitting in the land of shadow and death”—was always very clear: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our Lord thus began with the same basic exhortation that His herald, John the Baptist, had begun with (cf. Matt. 3:2).

Repentance is a crucial but often neglected or omitted element of the gospel. “Repent” means to turn from sin, to change your orientation, and in so turning to seek a new way of life. The person who repents has a radical change of will and heart, and as a result, a change of behavior (cf. Matt. 3:8). The repentant sinner will radically change the way he or she views sin and righteousness.

Repentance was, is, and always will be the foremost demand of the gospel. It is quite simply the first part of the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the sinner’s soul. In his Pentecost sermon, Peter also issued a call for repentance: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Paul reassured Timothy that repentance leads “to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25). If repentance was crucial for the people of Jesus’ day, it is even more imperative for everyone today, because the kingdom is nearer than ever.

ASK YOURSELF

Like all of us, you’ve confessed many things, many times before. But today is another good opportunity to take repentance seriously. What sins need its corrective touch in your life? Bring them before the Father. Receive His mercy. Walk away refreshed and in freedom.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 38). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

January 30 An Obligation to God

I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise.

Romans 1:14

A young man once asked me what motivates me to study week after week. I told him that sometimes, the Scripture passages are so exhilarating that I can’t wait to get to Sunday to preach. But then there are other times when I battle against priorities that crowd out my study time, and my ministry doesn’t seem that exciting then. I really have to fight my way through those times because I know I have a debt to God.

What if I see a house on fire, and the family inside is unaware of their dire situation? I cannot stand on the curb and wonder if they’re worth saving. Because they are in need and I have the information that can save them, I have an obligation to them.

If you are involved in Christian service only when you feel like doing it, you haven’t learned the kind of service Paul described in today’s verse. When facing a tough period in ministering to people, sometimes all you can rely on is your obligation to God.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 41). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

January 30, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Willingness to Apply the Word Without Selfishness

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, (1:27a)

The second proper reaction to the Word of God is the willingness to apply it to one’s life without selfishness, with genuine concern for the welfare of others, especially those in great need. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is to serve them with love and compassion. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Katharos (pure) and amiantos (undefiled) are synonyms, the first emphasizing cleanliness, the second denoting freedom from contamination. James is not speaking of what may seem best to us, best to the world, or even best to fellow believers, but what is best in the sight of our God and Father. The genuineness of anyone’s religion is not determined by his or her own qualifications or standards but by God’s. The greatest spiritual mistake of the scribes, Pharisees, and other Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus was in that very regard. They had replaced God’s standards in the Law with their own man-made traditions. Of such men Jesus said, “You invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me’ ” (Matt. 15:6b–8).

Episkeptomai (to visit) means much more than to drop by for a chat. It carries the ideas of caring for others, exercising oversight on their behalf, and of helping them in whatever way is needed. It is from the same root as episkopos, which means “overseer” and is sometimes translated “bishop” (see the nasb and kjv texts of Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:7; 1 Peter 2:25). Episkeptomai is used frequently in the New Testament of God’s visiting His people in order to help, strengthen, and encourage them (see, e.g., Luke 1:68, 78; 7:16; Acts 15:14 kjv; the nasb reading uses the expression “how God first concerned Himself about”; and Heb. 2:6 kjv; the nasb reading uses the expression “concerned about”).

In speaking of the separation of the sheep and goats in the day of judgment, Jesus used the word to describe those who truly belong to and love Him, saying, “I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (Matt. 25:35–36, emphasis added). Actually, all of those ways of ministering could be included broadly under episkeptomai. To visit in a way that is pleasing to our God and Father is to meet as best we can all the needs of orphans and widows and any others in their distress.

Generally, the neediest people in the early church were orphans and widows. There were no life insurance or welfare programs to support them. Jobs for either group were scarce, and if they had no close kin, or at least none who would help them, they were in desperate straits. But the principle applies to anyone in need. Because such people without parents and husbands are unable to reciprocate in any way, caring for them reveals true sacrificial love.

God has always had special concern for orphans and widows and has commanded His people to reflect that same concern. David affirmed that “a father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation” (Ps. 68:5). The Mosaic Law included the instruction, “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan” (Ex. 22:22), and,

“At the end of every third year you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do” … “Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.” And all the people shall say, “Amen.” (Deut. 14:28–29; 27:19)

Through Jeremiah, the Lord declared to Israel, “If you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever” (Jer. 7:5–7).

Loving, selfless service to others, especially fellow believers, is also a frequent New Testament theme. Paul gave the command to “honor widows who are widows indeed” (1 Tim. 5:3), which included bestowing financial and any other help that was needed. John declares that

the one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.… By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.… We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.… We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 2:10–11; 3:10–11, 14, 16)

Later in 1 John, he says,

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7–12)

True Christianity is manifested from a pure and loving heart by the way believers talk and by the way they act. It is manifested by how they love and care for those who are in need, not by how they love and care for those they prefer, those who are close to them, or those with whom they share common traits and interests. Love is to be the central and most visible manifestation of salvation. And, as John makes clear, love for God cannot be separated from love for others, especially for fellow believers and most especially for those who are in … distress. The professed Christian who does not show such compassion has reason to doubt that he is born again. A truly redeemed heart reaches out to others (cf. Matt. 5:43–48; John 13:34–35).

Willingness to Apply the Word Without Compromise

and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (1:27b)

The third proper reaction to the Word of God is the willingness to apply it to one’s life without moral or spiritual compromise.

To keep translates a form of the Greek verb tēreō, indicating regular, continuous action. In other words, keeping oneself unstained by the world is the perpetual obligation of Christians, allowing for no exception or qualification. Those who belong to God are to be characterized by moral and spiritual purity, by unstained and unblemished holiness. Peter admonishes believers to “conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:17b–19).

Neither James nor Peter is speaking of sinless perfection, a human spiritual condition solely manifested by Jesus in His incarnation. “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth,” the writer of Ecclesiastes assures us, “who continually does good and who never sins” (Eccles. 7:20). Although Paul could honestly say, “I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day” (Acts 23:1; cf. 24:16), he also confessed, “I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord” (1 Cor. 4:4), and “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Rom. 7:18–19).

Every Christian falls short of the Lord’s standards. Like Paul, we find ourselves doing things we know are wrong and not doing things we know are right (cf. Rom. 7:14–25). Even the most faithful and loving believer does not always show as much compassion as he should, love his fellow believers as he should, or love God as he should. James is speaking of the basic orientation of our lives, of our central commitment and allegiance. If that allegiance is right, then our deepest desire will be to love and care for others and to confess our selfish sin to the Lord when we do not. The genuine Christian cannot be happy or content when he fails to show compassion for others. It is not our perfection that proves our salvation but rather our hating our imperfections and seeking, with God’s help and power, to correct them. In his inmost heart, the genuine Christian longs to speak and do only those things that are holy, pure, loving, honest, truthful, and upright, things that are uncorrupted and unstained by the world.

On the other hand, a person who does not have compassion for others, who is not concerned about living righteously, and whose satisfaction is found in his sin, cannot be a true disciple of Christ and child of God.

Kosmos (world) has the basic meaning of order, arrangement, and sometimes of adornment. In the New Testament it is used figuratively of the earth (see Matt. 13:35; John 21:25) and the universe (see 1 Tim. 6:7; Heb. 4:3; 9:26). But most often it is used to represent fallen mankind in general and its ungodly spiritual systems of philosophy, morals, and values (see John 7:7; 8:23; 14:30; 1 Cor. 2:12; Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:8). That is the sense in which James uses the term in the present text. (See discussion below on 4:4.)

With that meaning of world obviously in mind, John warns, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:15–16). Love of God and love of the world and the things of the world are totally incompatible and mutually exclusive. The phrase “the things of the world” does not pertain to such things as participating in business, being involved in social activities, or buying and using the material necessities of life. It is the overriding love of and allegiance to such things that are ungodly and come between men and God.

Godly religion, that is, biblical Christianity, is a matter of holy obedience to God’s Word—reflected, among other ways, by our honesty in regard to ourselves, by our selflessness in regard to the needs of others, and by our uncompromising moral and spiritual stand in regard to the world.[1]


27 By contrast, what then is “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless”? The term “pure” has a wide range of meanings and could refer to being clean from dirt, guiltless in terms of morality, or, in terms of religious ritual, something fit for offering to God (cf. Lev 18:22–27). The other adjective, translated by the NASB as “undefiled” and the NIV as “faultless,” is a synonym used elsewhere in the NT only in three places. Hebrews 7:26 speaks of Christ’s character as a perfect high priest; in Hebrews 13:4 the author stresses the importance of sexual purity in marriage; and the Christian’s inheritance is said to be “undefiled” in 1 Peter 1:4. Thus the religion James has in mind is not corrupted by the sin of neglecting the disadvantaged, nor by enmeshing oneself in the world’s immorality.

The admonition to care for widows and orphans expresses a widely held virtue of Jewish piety. God’s concern for the poor and distressed, his taking their cause of justice and basic sustenance as his own, must extend to the person who is God’s follower in the world. Widows and orphans especially had little means of provision for basic needs other than the care and generosity of their broader communities. Thus the person who claims to be religious in the best sense must seek to address the plight of the poor and most vulnerable (Isa 1:17). Further, true religion takes morality seriously. Here James may be echoing his exhortation of 1:21, which, as we have already suggested, probably refers to malice and conflict with others in the community. This form of wickedness and its contrast with wise living receive generous treatment in James (3:1–12; esp. 3:13–18; 4:1–12; 5:7–12). Thus James concludes his introduction with exhortations that lead into critical concerns in the letter’s main body.[2]


Caring for the needy (v. 27)

James tells his readers to visit the orphans and the widows in their trouble. These two groups of people were the most helpless in that time. So James was calling for his readers to show compassion to the most helpless.

There is something here that we must not allow to slip by. James was writing to people who had troubles of their own! And yet he tells them that they must not forget to show compassion to others! One of the very best things we can do for ourselves when we are in trouble is to help someone else who is in trouble.

There are all kinds of aching, hurting people around us, and we must not simply turn our heads and pass by.

One of the saddest dimensions of our day is that so many Christians are so absorbed with their seminars, charts, notebooks, study groups and discipling techniques that they don’t have the time to bake a pie, send a card or mow the grass for the sick, the elderly and the lonely. It’s easy to be a very good Pharisee while the world cries for a good Samaritan.

By the way, James is not alone in making this emphasis. We can find it in several other Scriptures, one of which is from the apostle John:

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

(1 John 3:17–19)

Separated from the world (v. 27)

James calls his readers to keep themselves ‘unspotted from the world’. The word ‘unspotted’ can also be translated ‘unsoiled’ or ‘unpolluted’.

To be unstained from the world is to maintain both personal integrity and moral purity. It’s to refuse to allow the world to set the standards for our beliefs and our conduct.

This is a polluting world! It can pollute our thinking, our speaking and our doing. Many who profess to be Christians give evidence of that pollution. They have set aside the clear teachings of the Word of God because they do not want to be out of step with what the world says. The authority for these people is not the Bible. It is the latest opinion poll!

And many who profess Christ have been polluted in their speaking. They talk just like everyone else. They would rather run the risk of offending God than sound different!

And many who suppose themselves to be Christians have polluted behaviour. They order their lives in exactly the same way as those who make no profession of faith at all.

There was a time when Christians considered it to be essential to be different from the world. They believed that only by showing the difference could they hope to attract unbelievers. Now, in a crazy flip-flop, the church is often saying the opposite. The church is trying to attract the world by being just like the world, not realizing that if Christianity is not different, there is no need for it! We can’t hope to influence the world for Christ if we allow it to influence us in our thoughts, words and deeds.

As we have noted, we shall find James developing later in this letter his points about controlling the tongue and caring for the needy. The same is true on this matter of being separated from the world. Here is one of his most telling and biting statements about the world: ‘Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God’ (4:4).

So James has set quite an agenda before us. Controlling the tongue! Caring for the needy! Staying separate from the world!

Is it possible to be saved and fail in these areas? Sure. But it is not possible to always be failing in these areas and be saved! May God help all of us to search our own hearts.

For further study

  1. Read Ephesians 4:29–5:7. What does Paul teach here about Christian speech?

 

  1. Read John 17:14–17. What does Jesus say about the Christian’s relationship to the world?

 

To think about and discuss

  1. Are there people you know (or know of) who are in need? What can you do to help them?

 

  1. What can you identify in your speaking, thinking or acting that indicates that you are too much influenced by the world?[3]

1:27 / In contrast to the pious person with the sharp tongue, the religion that God our Father considers pure and faultless is not primarily ritual and pious practices but looking after orphans and widows in their distress and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world. The first characteristic, that of active charity and concern for the helpless and weak, is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament (Deut. 14:29; 24:17–22) as well as the New (Acts 6:1–6; 1 Tim. 5:3–16). The orphan and widow, along with the foreigner and Levite, formed the traditional poor of early Israel. True piety, then, will help the weak, the poor, for God is the helper of the helpless (Deut. 10:16–17).

The second characteristic focuses on the world, a designation common in Paul and John for human culture, mores, and institutions (1 Cor. 1–3; 5:19; Eph. 2:2; John 12:31; 15:18–17:16; 1 John 2:15–17). True piety is not conformity to human culture but transformation into Christ’s image (Rom. 12:1–2). For James this means specifically rejecting the motives of competition, personal ambition, and accumulation that lie at the root of a lack of charity and an abundance of community conflict (e.g., 4:1–4). In declaring this alone to be true religion in God’s eyes, James declares that conversion is meaningless unless it leads to a changed life.[4]


1:27. Two evidences demonstrate pure religion: deeds of compassion and inner purity. This does not reduce Christianity to mere benevolence. True religion has more features than James has mentioned. The emphasis here is that for God to accept our worship it must be accompanied by loving ministry and a holy life. Both Christians and non-Christians could see and understand this type of evidence.

To look after orphans and widows demanded demonstrations of concern and active involvement. The psalmist pictured God as a defender of orphans and widows (Ps. 68:5). Christ used the word for look after in Matthew 25:43 to describe the ministry of caring for those in prison. Obeying this appeal calls for more than an occasional visit. It demands genuine compassion and true engagement.

(Not) polluted demands a freedom from contamination by the world. Peter used this word to refer to Christ as “without … defect” (1 Pet. 1:19). Christians are to model their purity after that of Jesus.

Some months ago I assembled a small playset with a sliding board and some climbing sections. I placed it in my backyard for my grandchildren to use. Although the process was not difficult, I constantly referred to the instruction book so I would know where to fit each piece. The writers of the book know how their product should fit together. I needed to follow their directions.

We must follow God’s instructions devotedly if we want to produce a lifestyle honoring to God. Obeying God’s Word demands control of the tongue, a compassion for others, and a separated life. These are the identifying marks of pure and faultless religion.[5]


27. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Scripture is not a book with concise definitions that can be applied to specific instances. The Bible teaches us the way of life that is pleasing to God and to our neighbor. Thus, James gives us not a precise definition in this verse but rather a principle.

  • “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless.” When James says “God our Father,” he immediately introduces the family concept. We are God’s children because he is our Father. He expects us to pay due respect and love to him, to our brothers and sisters in God’s household, and to all people (Gal. 6:10). Within the family of God love is the prevailing characteristic because God himself is love. God sets the example.

Here are a few random Scripture verses that illustrate this characteristic:

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,

is God in his holy dwelling. [Ps. 68:5]

The Lord watches over the alien

and sustains the fatherless and the widow. [Ps. 146:9]

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien. [Deut. 10:18]

For the pagans run after all these things [physical needs], and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. [Matt. 6:32]

If, then, God sets the example, he expects his children to do what he does. If they follow God’s example, they demonstrate religion that is “pure and faultless.” These two adjectives show the positive (pure) and the negative (faultless) aspects; together they denote the essence of religion. And how do we practice our religion? James gives two examples:

  • The first example pertains to the social circumstances and conditions of his day: “To look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Social conditions in ancient times were such that orphans and widows were unprotected because they had no guardian and breadwinner. God himself, therefore, filled that role. He exhorted the Israelite to be a protector and provider for the orphan and the widow (for example, see Deut. 14:29; Ezek. 22:7; Acts 6:1–6).

The person who exhibits true religion visits the “orphans and widows in their distress.” He puts his heart into being a guardian and provider, he alleviates their needs, and shows them the love of the Lord in word and deed (Matt. 25:35–40).

  • “To keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Even though James urges us to become socially involved in helping needy people around us, at the same time he warns us to stay away from a sinful world. Do we have to isolate ourselves from the world? No, we are always in the world but not of the world (John 17:14).

Therefore, we ought not to imitate the ways of the world; rather, we ought to practice godliness. Writing about the coming of the Lord and the end of the world, Peter says, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14; and see 1 Tim. 6:14). In a sense James repeats what he said earlier, “Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent” (1:21). Members of God’s family have the word holy written on their foreheads. They “know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God” (James 4:4). They love and serve the Lord truly and sincerely.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 88–92). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Guthrie, G. H. (2006). James. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 229). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Ellsworth, R. (2009). Opening up James (pp. 71–74). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[4] Davids, P. H. (2011). James (p. 43). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 267–268). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 64–66). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

JANUARY 30 THE FIRST STEP DOWN

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

—Ephesians 3:20-21

So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.

Before the Christian Church goes into eclipse anywhere there must first be a corrupting of her simple basic theology. She simply gets a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?” and goes from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is; and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind.

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him—and of her. KOH006

Restore to Your Church, Lord, a concept of Your majesty that is worthy of You. Protect us from taking that first step down—or restore us if we are already there. Amen.[1]


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

January 30 Our Unity in the Father

“One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:6

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There is only one God, and we will have a strong testimony by worshiping Him and holding on to what unites us.

The last point of Christian unity Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:4–6 is that Christians have “one God and Father.” In Paul’s day, people believed in many gods; so he emphasizes our God’s uniqueness. No person or object can compare with God because He is “above all,” which means He is the sovereign creator and controller of the universe; He is “through all,” as the providential upholder of the universe; and He is “in all,” which refers to His personal, indwelling presence.

Throughout the Old Testament, God emphasizes His uniqueness: “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deut. 4:39). “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God” (Isa. 45:5). The Israelites were surrounded by nations that worshiped many gods, and God had to continually warn them about idolatry and judge them when they practiced it.

Israel’s worship of the only true God was to be their central point of unity. It was to set them apart from the nations around them. By worshiping Him alone, they not only would remain strong as a nation, but would be a witness to the Gentiles of God’s greatness.

As Christians, we have the same Father, and like Israel, our unity is founded on Him, as well as the other “ones” listed in Ephesians 4:4–6: one Body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. When we hold to these, we will be a powerful witness to the world.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His uniqueness, that He alone is above all, through all, and in all.

For Further Study: The Psalms not only are rich with instruction about God but are also excellent means of praising Him. Read one psalm a day for the next several months, and write down what you learn about God. Whenever the psalmist praises God, let that be your prayer as well. When you have finished reading all the Psalms, you will know, honor, and love God more than ever.[1]


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

January 29 Daily Help

THE hour is coming, and it may be even now is, when the Holy Ghost shall be poured out again in such a wonderful manner, that many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased—the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the surface of the great deep; when His kingdom shall come, and His will shall be done on earth even as it is in heaven; when every one will see that verily the Spirit is poured out like water, and the rains are descending from above. For that let us pray; let us continually labor for it, and seek it of God.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 33). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.