Daily Archives: April 2, 2018

April 2: The Final Say

Deuteronomy 2:1–3:29; 2 Corinthians 1:12–16; Psalm 31:10–24

Having the final say in an argument is more satisfying than I’d like to admit. By default, I’d like to be right, even if I have to be pedantic. I wish I could say this was limited to petty concerns. But on more than one occasion, when discussing issues of eternal significance, I’ve used my trump card in a desire to win an argument.

Paul specifically addresses this type of pride and boasting throughout 2 Corinthians. However, we come across a surprising statement in 2 Corinthians 1: “For our reason for boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, in holiness and purity of motive from God, not in merely human wisdom, but by the grace of God” (2 Cor 1:12).

At first glance, Paul appears to be boasting in his own actions. Isn’t this evidence of the very same pride he denounces (1 Cor 5:6)?

But the key phrases, “holiness and purity of motive from God” and “the grace of God,” provide a foundation for Paul’s boasting. They tell us that it’s not Paul’s pride that is on the line—it’s the good news. Paul is claiming that the integrity of his ministry doesn’t rest on his own wisdom.

Paul wasn’t trying to be a star pastor. His words were motivated by a deep concern for the Corinthians. He didn’t want anything he did to obstruct the message about Christ. Similarly, our actions shouldn’t be an obstruction to the gospel message. We should examine our motives when we’re inclined to be “right.” Our words and actions should reflect God’s grace in our life—evidenced by humility and a sense of purpose in our interactions with others.

How are your words and actions speaking about your own pride? How can you be testifying about God’s grace in your life?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]

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

April 2 Happiness Is . . .

“Blessed are the poor in spirit … those who mourn … the gentle … those who hunger and thirst for righteousness … the merciful … the pure in heart … the peacemakers … [and] those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matt. 5:3–10).


By the world’s standards, Christ’s definition of happiness is shocking and contradictory!

A quiz in a popular magazine characterized happy people as those who enjoy other people but aren’t self-sacrificing, who refuse to participate in negative feelings or emotions, and who have a sense of accomplishment based on their own self-sufficiency.

But Jesus described happy people quite differently. In fact, He characterized them as spiritual beggars who realize they have no resources in themselves. He said they are meek rather than proud, mournful over their sin, self-sacrificing, and willing to endure persecution to reconcile men to God.

By the world’s standards, that sounds more like misery than happiness! But the people of the world don’t understand that what is often thought of as misery is actually the key to happiness.

Follow the Lord’s progression of thought: true happiness begins with being “poor in spirit” (v. 3). That means you have a right attitude toward sin, which leads you to “mourn” over it (v. 4). Mourning over sin produces a meekness that leads to hungering and thirsting for righteousness (vv. 5–6), which results in mercy, purity of heart, and a peaceable spirit (vv. 7–9)—attitudes that bring true happiness.

When you display those attitudes, you can expect to be insulted, persecuted, and unjustly accused (vv. 10–11) because your life will be an irritating rebuke to worldly people. But despite the persecution, you can “rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great” (v. 12).

You are one of God’s lights in a sin-darkened world (v. 14), and while most people will reject Christ, others will be drawn to Him by the testimony of your life. Be faithful to Him today, so He can use you that way.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the grace He gives you, enabling you to have Beatitude attitudes. ✧ Ask Him to make you a bright light in someone’s life today.

For Further Study: Read 1 Peter 2:19–23. ✧ How did Jesus respond to persecution? ✧ How should you respond?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 105). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.


If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

1 John 1:9

Seekers and inquirers have often voiced this deep question of concern: “Why does God forgive? And how does God forgive sin?”

There is plain teaching throughout the Old and New Testaments concerning God’s willingness to forgive and forget. Yet there are segments of the Christian church which appear to be poorly taught concerning God’s clear remedy, through the atonement of Christ, for the believer who has yielded to temptation and failed his Lord.

God knows that sin is the dark shadow standing between Him and His highest creation, man. God is more willing to remove that shadow than we are to have it removed!

He wants to forgive us—and that desire is a part of God’s character. In the sacrificial death of a lamb in the Old Testament, God was telling us that one day a perfect Lamb would come to actually take away sin.

That is how and why God forgives sin now. In John’s words: “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1–2).

I am truly thankful, Lord, for Your constant willingness to forgive me when I stumble in my walk with You.[1]

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

The Mailbag: MLM-ing Essential Oils at Church

Michelle Lesley

Our church has recently had a visitor come who is now promoting essential oils to the women who are flocking to a class she is having in one of their homes. This makes me very uncomfortable as it appears (to me) that she has visited to increase her MLM [multi-level marketing] customer base while touting medicinal cures via essential oils. Do you have any research on this?

Sounds like a multi-level mess! There are several different issues going on here, so let’s dig in…

Cold-calling at church
Um, no. I mean… OK, I’m just going to go there. Have you no shame? Have you no home training? I don’t care how much of a go-getter saleswoman you are, there are some lines you just don’t cross. And I can’t believe I’m actually having to explain to grown up, adult people that you don’t go church hopping to make sales and…

View original post 783 more words

April 2, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. President Donald Trump didn’t just propose a summit meeting to Vladimir Putin when he called the Russian leader last month. He invited him to the White House, according to the Kremlin.

Israel threatened to use greater force to quell violent Palestinian protests along the Gaza Strip border, rejecting allegations it used excessive firepower against demonstrations that left at least 16 Palestinians dead.

Costa Ricans elected a candidate from the ruling party to be their next president, confounding polls which had predicted a win for an evangelical preacher who’d campaigned on his opposition to gay marriage.

Internet companies need to be more transparent about the technology that runs their networks, especially with the emergence of systems fueled by artificial intelligence, French President Emmanuel Macron said.

President Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if Mexico doesn’t stop people and drugs from flowing into the U.S. from Central America. “They must stop the big drug and people flows, or I will stop their cash cow, NAFTA. Need Wall!”

A U.S. trucking shortage that has pushed up freight costs for everything from cereal to toothbrushes is about to get worse. On Sunday, police nationwide began enforcing rules requiring most big rigs to use electronic logging devices to record driver hours.

China urged trade talks with the U.S. to prevent greater damage to relations while saying that previously announced retaliatory measures on American imports took effect Monday.

Walmart Inc. is in talks with health insurer Humana Inc. for a closer partnership to provide health care to consumers at home and prevent illness, according to a person familiar with the matter.

AP Top Stories

China’s Tiangong-1 space station is officially no more. According to multiple agencies tracking the space station’s movements, 34-foot-long spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 8:16 p.m. ET above the southern Pacific Ocean.

Pakistan’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai returned to her hometown Saturday for the first time since receiving a gunshot wound to the head there in 2012 for her work as an advocate for young women’s education.

The Trump Administration’s proposal that adds a citizenship question to the 2020 Census has Democrats worried about how it will affect their voting demographics.

On Christianity’s most joyful day, Pope Francis called for peace in a world marked by war and conflict, “beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria” and extending to Israel, where 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border two days before Easter Sunday.

More than 100 North Korean ships have mysteriously washed up 650 miles from their home ports on Japan’s coast during the past year, often carrying bodies with them.

Bahrain on Sunday announced it has discovered the largest oil and gas field in the history of the small kingdom, which unlike its Gulf neighbors is not energy-rich.

In Washington, some of the 60 Russian diplomats being expelled from the United States in the poisoned spy dispute have been seen boarding a bus and leaving the Russian Embassy in the U.S. capital.

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit western Iran on Sunday, injuring at least 54 people, hours before a more moderate tremor shook an area near the capital Tehran, state media reported.

Indian security forces killed at least three civilians and wounded about 70 in restive Kashmir on Sunday when hundreds of people tried to prevent them from carrying out operations against suspected militants, police and residents said.

The United States and South Korea kicked off a low-key joint military drill Sunday as a diplomatic thaw over North Korea gathered pace.


Israel has cancelled plans to deport migrants en masse to Africa after reaching a deal with the United Nations refugee agency. More than 16,000 asylum seekers will instead be resettled in Western countries, including Canada, Italy and Germany,

Malnourished pupils with grey skin are “filling their pockets” with food from school canteens in poor areas due to poverty, head teachers said. The heads, from various parts of England and Wales, described differences in the appearance of some pupils.

The Syrian government appears poised to regain control of the last rebel-held town in the Eastern Ghouta region close to the capital Damascus. State media said the first members of the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group had left Douma on buses and were due travel to the northern town of Jarablus.


There’s a fake form of marijuana going around Illinois – and it’s making people bleed from their eyes and ears. The Illinois Department of Public Health issued a warning about synthetic “weed” known as “spice,” “K2” or “Mind Trip” on March 27.

“I am completely dismayed that 4-H would bow to a politically correct agenda like this,” says one 4-H volunteer in a small north Idaho town of fewer than 1,500 people, where several dedicated club leaders tell WND they are worried sick they will have to dissolve their recently formed 4-H chapter. Either that, they say, or support new LGBTQ guidelines instructing the century-old, largely rural, agricultural youth organization to embrace a radical sexual/gender diversity agenda – everything from being required to use special transgender pronouns, to allowing biological men to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms and overnight accommodations, and much more.

On March 15, John Franklin Stephens and Charlotte Fien, both of whom have Down syndrome, spoke before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Both Stephens and Fien gave powerful testimonies in response to the practices in nations like Iceland, Finland, France, and the U.K., who abort staggeringly high percentages of infants prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome.

The Briefing — Monday, April 2, 2018

1) On Good Friday, NPR report distorts definition of Easter, revealing extent of secularization

NPR (Vanessa Romo) –
Pope To World: Hell Does Exist

Washington Post (Callum Borchers) –
On Good Friday, an NPR report mangles the definition of Easter

New York Times (Elisabetta Povoledo) –
Pope Calls for ‘Peace in All the World’ in First Easter Message

2) Although the cultural conception of Christ may fascinate, only the biblical conception of Christ saves

3) Can the Bible be meaningful, even if one doesn’t believe it to be true?

Washington Post (Christine Emba) –
You should read the Bible

4) Why abandoning a Scriptural understanding of ministry will inevitably lead to a very different rendering of God

New York Times (Nicholas Kristof) –
God and Her (Female) Clergy

Americans Grapple With Evil Amid Decline in Religious Faith

Daily Signal

The one area of the supernatural that now attracts the Millennial generation’s interest is the occult. Spurred on by the hyper-connected world of social media, occult trends like the Charlie Charlie game are fueling a “witchcraft renaissance.”

Pope: Christians are to Blame for Global Strife


So it is the Christians who should feel shame for the strife in the world, not anyone else. Certainly not Muslims.

Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 2, 2018

Leftmedia’s Deliberate Mischaracterization of Christianity

The flawed caricature of Christians peddled by the MSM only proves to expose their ignorance of Christian beliefs.

The Foundation

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

News – 4/2/2018

Top Israeli Rabbi Believes Trump Will Build Third Temple in Jerusalem

A prominent Israeli rabbi believes the reason for this unprecedented (at least in modern times) shift is that Trump has a big role to play in the building of the Third Temple and the coming of Messiah.

Putin to visit Ankara for talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

Putin will make a two-day visit to Turkey from Tuesday where he will meet his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the Kremlin said on Monday.

‘Trump has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps’: Roseanne posts bizarre message seemingly linked to conspiracy theory alleging high-ranking Democrats are involved in satanic child sex abuse

Television star Roseanne Barr has posted an unusual message praising President Donald Trump for freeing ‘children held in bondage’, in an apparent reference to a conspiracy theory about satanic child sex abuse at the highest levels of government.


President Donald Trump said Sunday that he will no longer work with Democrats to hammer out a deal to provide legal status to hundreds of thousands of “dreamers,” illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. as children. “NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump wrote, referring to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the immigration policy that provides legal status to dreamers.

100,000 people take part in priestly blessing at the Western Wall

Around 100,000 people took part in the Passover priestly blessing of the kohanim (members of the priestly line) at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday morning. The blessing is recited by Jewish people who are said to be descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses, and is one of the most ancient blessings in the Jewish faith.

Egypt, Jordan condemn Israel’s use of force against Gaza protesters

Egypt and Jordan both condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinians who were protesting along the Gaza border, in a joint press conference held in Cairo on Sunday. At least 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 injured in clashes with Israeli military forces, during protests to mark Land Day on Friday.

Mossad chiefs debate whether Israel ever clarified borders to Palestinians

Former Mossad chiefs are in agreement in saying Israel must do more to actively resolve the conflict with the Palestinians, but they disagree about whether Israel has made a final offer on setting borders…Efraim Halevy (Mossad chief from 1998-2002) and Danny Yatom (agency leader from 1996-1998), said that…Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert had been ready to finalize a borders compromise with the Palestinians, while…those offers were short on specifics.

Boko Haram attack: More than a dozen dead in Maiduguri

More than a dozen people have been killed after getting caught in a clash between suspected Boko Haram militants and soldiers in northern Nigeria. Eighteen militants launched an attack using suicide bombers, mortars and gunmen on Sunday, a military officer told news agency AFP. They targeted two villages and a military base near the city of Maiduguri, in Borno State.

China hits back with tariffs on US imports worth $3bn

China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine, after US President Donald Trump raised duties on foreign steel and aluminium imports in March. The tariffs affecting some $3bn (£2.1bn) of imports kick in on Monday. Beijing said the move was to safeguard China’s interests and balance losses caused by new US tariffs.

Tiangong-1: Defunct China space lab comes down over South Pacific

China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space lab mostly broke up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere above the South Pacific, Chinese and US reports say. It re-entered the atmosphere around 00:15 GMT on Monday, China’s Manned Space Engineering Office said. Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 to carry out docking and orbit experiments.

Trump links US border wall to NAFTA renegotiation, warns Mexico ‘must stop drug, people flows’

President Donald Trump on Sunday explicitly linked his proposal to build a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico to ongoing NAFTA negotiations, as he renewed a warning that the flow of illicit drugs and undocumented immigrants from the country “must stop.” Via Twitter, the president ripped the U.S.’s southern neighbor for doing “very little, if nothing” to stem illegal immigration and narcotics from flowing across the border.

Rising Rates Sounding Alarm Bells for Debt-Laden U.S. Consumers

…Americans have a history of loading up on debt in good times, then paying dearly when the bills come due. Adding to the pain: A booming economy is often accompanied by rising interest rates, which make mortgages, credit cards and other debt much more expensive. As the U.S. Federal Reserve raises rates, there are signs that consumers could be putting themselves in peril.

GOP lawmaker: Republicans ‘would be well advised to get ready’ for Dem wave in midterms

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday he believes Republicans will face a difficult midterm election this year, but thinks the party is well prepared. “I think there’s going to be a very challenging election environment. Nobody’s had a good off year election since 2002. So I think Republicans would be well advised to get ready,” Cole said…

Germany Struggles With an Unfamiliar Form of Anti-Semitism

Solomon Michalski loved going to his new school on a leafy Berlin street because it was vibrant and diverse, with most students from migrant families. But when the teenage grandson of Holocaust survivors let it slip that he was Jewish, former friends started hissing insults at him in class, he says. Last year some of them brandishing what looked like a gun took him aside and said they would execute him.

Students Stage Walkout in Support of Second Amendment

About 75 students at Rockledge High School in central Florida walked out of class in support of the Second Amendment on Friday. The students say they felt “silenced” last week when students walked out in support of gun control. “I’m pro-Second Amendment,” Rockledge junior and protest organizer Anna Delaney told the station. “I wouldn’t mind deeper background checks, of course, but the Second Amendment will not be infringed upon.”

Don’t Preach To Israel, Netanyahu Tells Erdogan After Gaza Condemnation
“The most moral army in the world will not be preached to by someone who, for years, has been bombing civilian population without distinction,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday in a Tweet, responding to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong condemnation of Israel’s actions during Friday’s March of Return, which he called an “inhumane attack.” “I guess this is how they commemorate April Fool’s Day in Ankara,” Netanyahu added.

Kuwait Reports IAF Flew Over Iranian Nuclear Sites Undetected

Kuwaiti media reported on Thursday that over the past month, Israeli Air Force (IAF) Adir F-35 stealth fighters penetrated Iranian airspace twice without being detected by the cutting-edge Russian anti-aircraft systems.

The UNRWA uprising. Stage one

“​To understand what is behind the current ​marches and riots in Gaza, “for the Right of Return by force of arms,” look no further than UNRWA operations in Gaza,” says David Bedein, Director of the Israel Resource News Agency and Center for Near East Policy Research, who has investigated and exposed the duplicity of UN-funded UNRWA for decades. “80% of Gazans live in UNRWA refugee facilities, constantly brainwashed by the UNRWA premise and promise of the ‘right’ to return to Arab villages which existed before 1948, although almost none of them ever lived there nor did their forebears,” Bedein explains.

Trump Tells Arabs to Pipe Down Over Gaza Border Deaths

US President Donald Trump at the weekend instructed his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to block a Security Council statement blaming Israel for Palestinian deaths during Friday’s Hamas-led riots along the Gaza security fence. Israeli officials described the mass incident as extremely violent in nature, and video footage supported that claim.

‘Arrogant’ EU trade bloc to COLLAPSE like Soviet Union after Brexit warns academic

Gwythian Prins has warned the elite trade bloc will crumble within a generation because it has become too big, sighting Brexit as proof of its decline. The Professor has described how anti-EU sentiment is rising across the continent as voters become increasingly frustrated with the actions of the supranational body. He said: “The EU ‘project’ is 61 years old this month. “Absence of cultural reproduction suggests that, like its older sibling (the Soviet Union), it should not expect to outlast a human lifespan.

Jim Caviezel’s Reasons For Choosing Film

Actor Jim Caviezel said he chooses to star in a film if he thinks it will “bring the most souls to Christ,” according to an interview with The Christian Post published on Good Friday.

HHS Mulls Appeal Abortion For Illegals

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services may appeal a court decision requiring the Trump administration to provide abortions for pregnant, illegal teens in federal custody, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Twin border invasions of U.S., Israel

During Easter and Passover week, the U.S. and Israel faced border invasions from Mexico and Gaza, with a “caravan” of more than 1,000 Mexicans and Central Americans headed to the U.S. for “asylum” and tens of thousands of Hamas terrorists hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers.

4-H LGBTQ: Transgender revolution in rural America

…several dedicated club leaders tell WND they are worried sick they will have to dissolve their recently formed 4-H chapter.  Either that, they say, or support new LGBTQ guidelines instructing the century-old, largely rural, agricultural youth organization to embrace a radical sexual/gender diversity agenda – everything from being required to use special transgender pronouns, to allowing biological men to use women’s restrooms, locker rooms and overnight accommodations, and much more.

Easter Warning: Climate Change Threatens Bunnies

It seems even the holiest day on the Christian calendar is not safe from the climate change zealots, including highlighting the harm it is causing rabbits, i.e., the secular Easter bunny.

Mexico aids Easter invasion of over 1,000 illegals into US

Mexican officials have aided a “Holy Week” caravan of over 1,000 migrants headed to the U.S. border to demand Easter asylum, according to reports.

Britain gives £20m to Palestinian schools teaching jihad, martyrdom

The British government last year gave £20 million to Palestinian schools teaching a curriculum that a watchdog group says embraces jihad, omits references to peace agreements with Israel, and encourages martyrdom, the Sunday Times reported.

David Hogg Reddit Post Celebrates Mosquitoes Killing “Billions” of Humans

In a 2017 Reddit post, ‘March For Our Lives’ gun control activist David Hogg celebrates the fact that mosquitoes kill “billions” of people as being “great for the environment”.

London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge

London overtook New York in murders for the first time in modern history in February as the capital endured a dramatic surge in knife crime.

New mind-reading machine can translate your thoughts and display them as text INSTANTLY

Scientists have developed an astonishing mind-reading machine which can translate what you are thinking and instantly display it as text.

All E. Ghouta towns liberated, key Damascus highway open after 7yrs of blockade 

Syrian forces have liberated all militant-held settlements in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, the military command said in a televised statement. A major Syrian motorway has been unblocked for the first time in seven years.

Headlines – 4/2/2018

Senior Hamas official vows to continue Gaza unrest, ‘move toward Jerusalem’

Hamas warns new protests will go further, surprise Israel

US Ambassador: These are not peaceful protests

PA slams Nikki Haley as ‘ambassador of hatred’ after she blocks anti-Israel move

The UNRWA uprising – An expert traces the direct connection between the Gaza insurrection and UNRWA, funded by the West

The timing of the Gaza protest is no coincidence

Hamas says Gaza toll rises to 18 as another Palestinian dies of wounds

Top Arab MK charges Israelis show contempt for Palestinian life

Analysis: For Israel, there’s little political cost to killing Palestinians

Mossad chiefs debate whether Israel ever clarified borders to Palestinians

Hundreds stage peace demo in Tel Aviv amid Gaza violence

The Secret World of the Palestinian Authority

Hamas leader tells Gazans: No making peace with ‘the enemy’

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar says ‘no peace plan will compel us to make peace’

Army Radio anchor in hot water for saying he’s ‘ashamed to be Israeli’ over Gaza

Erdogan: You are a terrorist, Netanyahu: You are a butcher

Netanyahu responds to Erdogan: ‘He occupies norther Cyprus’, ‘massacres civilians’

Top Israeli minister: Reconciliation with ‘anti-Semite’ Erdogan may have been a mistake

We won’t allow Hamas to disrupt the Passover Seder, IDF vows

Tens of thousands flock to Western Wall for priestly blessing

‘Tens of millions want to return to Judaism’ – ‘It scares the State of Israel.’

Polish ex-president: Holocaust Law a ‘legislative failure, political mistake’

Israel reaches agreement with UN to expel 16,000 African immigrants

Pope Francis, In Easter Address, Says ‘Defenseless’ Being Killed In Holy Land

Pope Francis Delivers Plea for Peace in Easter Sunday Mass

Pope Easter message urges ‘end to Syria carnage’

Israel now has stealth F-35s; Iran, Syria have no way to match

Last eastern Ghouta rebels poised to surrender: Syrian state media

Five scenarios after US about-face on Syria

Baby boy who lost an eye, becoming new symbol of conflict, leaves Syria

Iraq’s Christians: Eighty Percent Have “Disappeared”

Sisi poised to declare landslide victory in Egypt election

Al Shabaab attacks African Union base in Somalia

Al-Shabaab attack kills dozens of Ugandan soldiers in Somalia

Morocco threatens UN buffer zones in disputed Western Sahara

Boko Haram attack: More than a dozen dead in Maiduguri

Putin to meet with Erdogan and Rouhani in Turkey

Moscow says not responsible for spat with the West

Kim Jong Un attend South Korean pop concert in Pyongyang

China hammers U.S. goods with tariffs as ‘sparks’ of trade war fly

China hits back at Trump, slaps new tariffs on U.S. goods worth up to $3 billion

Bank of Israel chief: US-China trade war bad news for Israeli economy

Rising Rates Sounding Alarm Bells for Debt-Laden U.S. Consumers

Brussels assembles experts to tackle fake news

Tech giants brace for sweeping EU privacy law

Facebook and Google are becoming too big to be governed, French president Macron warns

Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores

New cars are quickly getting self-driving safety features

Tesla, Uber Deaths Raise Questions About the Perils of Partly Autonomous Driving

Forget The Autopilot Crash And Recall; Tesla’s Daunting Debt Repayment Schedule Is The Real Issue

Marilyn Monroe to be brought back to life, in digital avatar

Farewell, Tiangong-1: Chinese Space Station Meets Fiery Doom Over South Pacific

Eliminating space junk could take step toward reality with station cargo launch

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits south of the Fiji Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

Sabanacaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcno in Costa Rica erupts to 13,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Aoba volcano on Vanuatu erupts to 10,000ft

Severe flooding from Tropical Cyclone Josie kills 4 in Fiji

Can Cellphones Cause Cancer? Experts Surprised By Latest Tests

Costa Rica Elects Pro-Gay Marriage Leader in Surprise Landslide

Hollywood’s Gay Double Standard: Why So Many Actresses Can Come Out, But Young Actors Stay in the Closet

Miss. Church Votes to Leave UMC Over ‘Failure to Uphold Scripture,’ Abortion, Homosexuality, Resurrection, Christ’s Divinity

Google snubbed Easter with no doodle for 18th year in a row, Christians say

NBC slammed for pushing claim Christian faith ‘is used to defend white supremacy’

Trump’s silence on shooting of black man in California affirms sea change on police

ICE arrests farmworkers, sparking fears in the Central Valley over immigrants and the economy

Trump says DACA deal for young immigrants is off

Trump links US border wall to NAFTA renegotiation, warns Mexico ‘must stop drug, people flows’

Trump escalates push for increased border security

First it was Confederate monuments. Now statues offensive to Native Americans are poised to topple across the U.S.

Suspect used hypodermic needle as weapon during robbery

London murder rate set for 13-year high after 31st stabbing death

London murder rate beats New York as stabbings surge

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Radical Easter Practices – Devout worshipers atone for their sins by nailing themselves to crosses wearing crowns of thorns, whipping themselves and slashing their backs with razors

YOUster Sunday: Steven Furtick turns the rolled away stone into a metaphor for obstacles God wants to remove from your life

Prominent Houston pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell indicted on charges of defrauding investors

Tax Evasion Trial of Prosperity Guru Todd Coontz (Rockwealth Ministries) to Begin This Week

Brian Houston: “Jesus became you, so that you could become Him…”

Dumpster Fire – Open Mic Golden Calf Edition

People were so surprised we got him back’ | Family describes son’s experience in presumed TX cult

Vatican to hold exorcist training course after ‘rise in possessions’

Report: Christianity Sweeping China as Millions Convert

Evangelicals emerge as political force in Central America

Judge says undocumented teens in U.S. custody must have abortion access

An army of illegal aliens is marching on America

Purge of Conservatives on Social Media Continues ..

Posted: 02 Apr 2018 05:51 AM PDT

Purge of Conservatives on Social Media Continues ..Conservatives are feeling the heavy hand of censorship in the United States and across Western Europe. Their social media accounts are being banned, blocked and canceled on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, often over criticism of Islam or immigration.  Popular British anti-Islamization activist Tommy Robinson had his Twitter account suspended last week after he tweeted that Islam promotes killing. A German activist received a 6-month suspended jail sentence for calling Islam a fascist ideology.

A 65 -year old Swedish woman faced charges for saying immigration from the third world will lead to low IQs. She was cleared only because authorities couldn’t prove it was her. Two weeks ago three conservative activists were refused entry into Britain because British Border Police said, “likely to incite tensions between local communities in the United Kingdom.” One was interrogated as a terrorist and was asked if she were, a “Christian extremist.”  READ MORE

UNRAVELING: First it was Confederate monuments. Now statues offensive to Native Americans are poised to topple across the U.S.

Posted: 02 Apr 2018 05:42 AM PDT

UNRAVELING: First it was Confederate monuments. Now statues offensive to Native Americans are poised to topple across the U.S.Over the decades, this quiet coastal hamlet has earned a reputation as one of the most liberal places in the nation. Arcata was the first U.S. city to ban the sale of genetically modified foods, the first to elect a majority Green Party city council and one of the first to tacitly allow marijuana farming before pot was legal.  Now it’s on the verge of another first.

No other city has taken down a monument to a president for his misdeeds. But Arcata is poised to do just that. The target is an 8½-foot bronze likeness of William McKinley, who was president at the turn of the last century and stands accused of directing the slaughter of Native peoples in the U.S. and abroad. “Put a rope around its neck and pull it down,” Chris Peters shouted at a recent rally held at the statue, which has adorned the central square for more than a century. READ MORE

Firefighter loses both hands and feet from flu complications…

Posted: 02 Apr 2018 05:39 AM PDT

Firefighter loses both hands and feet from flu complications…Loved ones of Willy McCue, 19, have always thought of him as a hero. A fierce high school varsity athlete. A volunteer firefighter.  “He joined the fire department just to give back to everybody,” New City Fire Assistant Chief Richard Willows said. “That’s the type of heart he has.” Willy’s strength and bravery are being tested to the limit. He has been in critical condition in the hospital for over a month.

He caught a severe case of the flu, which led to pneumonia and sepsis.  “Both hands were amputated and both feet,” Willows said. “And they are working on his leg right now which is hopeful.”  Willy’s uniform and helmet await his return at the New City Fire Department in Rockland County. The teen volunteered here as a probationary firefighter and was a 2016 graduate of Clarkstown High School North. His former football coach set up a GoFundMe page to help.  READ MORE

Famous rabbi sees Trump rebuilding Temple

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 06:39 PM PDT

Famous rabbi sees Trump rebuilding TempleDonald Trump might not be the most popular person inside the beltway, in California, on U.S. college campuses or in the American media, but his support is growing in Israel, with one prominent rabbi saying he believes the president is destined to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple before the coming of the Messiah.  Rabbi Yosef Berger, the son of a widely revered Hasidic leader in charge of King David’s

Tomb on Mount Zion, told Breaking Israel News Trump will play this “final historic reparation for his entire nation.” “No leader in history has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews and Israel,” Berger said. “[Trump] has already created a great tikkun (reparation) for the Christians through his unprecedented relationship with Jerusalem. Trump is the representative of Edom that will perform that final historic reparation for his entire nation by building the Temple.”  READ MORE

Cell phone Radiation Causes Tumors To Grow In Rats…

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 06:32 PM PDT

Cell phone Radiation Causes Tumors To Grow In Rats…Can cell phones really cause cancer? It’s been a question that’s dogged researchers for years.However, a  group of experts say the results of some tests are pretty surprising. Millions of people constantly call, text, click, take pictures and play on cell phones. Even the top cellular radiation researchers from around the world have a hard time untethering.But, they gathered recently in North Carolina to talk

about cellphone concerns and whether they really do increase the chances of developing cancer. The panel voted that the results from years of testing on mice and rats were more significant than originally thought. They say they found clear evidence that phone radiation caused tumors in the hearts of rats, which were similar to tumors in people.  READ MORE

China imposes 25% tariffs on more than 128 US imports…

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 06:29 PM PDT

China imposes 25% tariffs on more than 128 US imports…China says it’s rolling out new tariffs on U.S. meat, fruit and other products as retaliation against taxes approved by President Trump on imported steel and aluminum.  The Chinese finance ministry says in a statement that the new tariffs begin Monday. The announcement follows through on warnings Chinese officials have made for several weeks in an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

China’s Customs Tariff Commission is increasing the tariff rate on eight imported U.S. products, including pork, by 25 percent. It’s also imposing a new 15 percent tariff on 120 imported U.S. commodities, including fruits.The tariffs mirror Mr. Trump’s 25 percent charge on imported steel and 15 percent hike on aluminum. Mr. Trump’s tariffs are partly a response to complaints that Beijing  steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology. READ MORE

RUMORS OF WAR: Danger could be on the horizon after US withdrawal from Syria

Posted: 01 Apr 2018 06:24 PM PDT

RUMORS OF WAR: Danger could be on the horizon after US withdrawal from SyriaThe United States is considering reducing or ending its presence in Syria, according to President Donald Trump. In Ohio last week Trump said, “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like very soon.” according to CNN, he told advisers in February that America must achieve victory over Islamic State and then come home. The Wall Street Journal also reported that the White House put on hold $200 million

that was supposed to be directed toward rebuilding civilian infrastructure and stabilization in eastern Syria.  The abrupt about-face in US policy comes after the administration spent 2017 indicating it was preparing for the long haul in Syria. It said it wanted President Bashar Assad gone and that the US would continue to work with its partners among the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that had been the main driving force behind defeating ISIS.  READ MORE

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Turn My Eyes from Looking at Worthless Things

The eyes are the lamp of the body. It becomes what they behold.

Lured by desire and the passions of the flesh, the eyes look upon secret loves too dark for anyone but their Creator to fully see and know. Prone to wander, how they feel it—the pull to gaze upon worthless things…

Worthless Vanity

She rolls out of bed and gets ready for the day, wrestling through outfits, but finally choosing the deep blue shirt. People say it compliments her eyes. Her friend, the mirror, is also her greatest foe, faithfully awaiting her gaze and reflecting what she wants to see—but only after it condemns her, only after she heeds its brutal, silent critiques.

Do people see how hard she’s working to maintain her figure and erase her years? And if they did, would it matter?

Would the mirror be any gentler, any kinder to her?

Worthless Attention

The bright screen bores itself into his brain. A constant barrage of entertainment, his phone never leaves his sight or lacks for his attention. He fears missing out—yet he doesn’t hear the flesh-and-blood voices around him when they call his name.

A like outweighs a life.

But it’s never enough; the attention feels like an endless black hole. He’s not even sure who he is anymore since he can change his reality at the touch of a button, with the swipe of a screen—

He’s got others fooled. He’s even got himself fooled.

Or does he?

Worthless Lust

It’s destroying him, the brazen image he can’t get out of his mind. It’s one in a series, and it’s shriveling his soul. He knows this—but he can’t seem to win the fight. The allure is too much, the immediate pleasure too sweet…

The nagging conviction too strong to ignore.

He knows he needs to tell her, to confess everything. But he also knows the outcome, that he fully deserves whatever happens…

Worthless Ambition

Success is her drug. That promotion? The applause and respect? The best high. She’s addicted, though she won’t admit it. She works to live and lives to work, even though her Bible tells her this will never satisfy her.

On any given day, her circumstances rule her. Failures sap her confidence and spoil her mood, while success fills her with pride and delight to keep going—

But how unreliable. She’s controlled by something she can’t control, and she knows it.

She wants out of ambition’s grip.

Looking to Death

But him—

He sets his face like a flint to Calvary, refusing to turn back. He will do his Father’s will, even if it means torture and brutality, the hatred and venom of men. Even if it kills him.

Even if it means his Father’s wrath.

He has her in mind, her obsession with vanity weighing upon his shoulders; and him, as he carries his selfish desire for man’s approval. He takes his addiction to lust, and suffers the punishment for her idolatrous ambition.

For all their worthless loves, he loves them unto death.

Looking to Jesus

…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

My brother, My sister, My friend: You will become what you behold. Look to Me. Take in My goodness and perfection, and see what I endured—for you. Behold My sacrifice, My life-blood spilt for you, the nails in My hands, and the anguish in My soul.

Weep and mourn for what your worthless loves cost Me.

But don’t stop there.

Look to the empty grave. See how I disarmed death and triumphed over it. Behold how the chains of your sin hold Me no longer. Because I’m alive, no longer do they hold you.

I died to give you life in My ways, to turn your eyes from worthless things…to Me.

Behold Me, and as you do, your whole body and soul will be full of light.

[Photo Credit: Lightstock]


The post Turn My Eyes from Looking at Worthless Things appeared first on Unlocking the Bible.

April 2, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

9 Paul first reaffirms that he and Apollos are both “fellow workers” of God. Then he switches his imagery from that of agriculture to that of architecture when he calls the Corinthians “God’s field” and then “God’s building.” Such dual images have their root in the OT’s description of the task to which God called his servant and prophet Jeremiah: “to uproot” and to “tear down,” and later “to build” and “to plant” (Jer 1:10; cf. 24:6; Sir 49:7).

With this perspective, Paul undercuts once and for all the statements that were making the rounds in Corinth, cited both in 1:12 and 3:4: “I follow Paul,” and, “I follow Apollos.” Literally these slogans translate, “I am of Paul,” and, “I am of Apollos,” meaning something like, “I belong to Paul,” or, “I belong to Apollos.” As far as the apostle is concerned, believers do not belong to any particular individual, no matter how influential that person may be in someone’s life. We belong to God! We are his field; we are his building. This is a strong warning to any of us who are pastors to make sure that the people under our care do not develop such an attachment to us that we feel as though they belong to us. (Attachment to a human leader, in fact, is one of the chief characteristics of a cult.) If anything, the reverse is true: Paul and Apollos and any other human leaders belong to the people as servants (see 3:21–23 and comments).[1]

3:9 / Paul’s interest in explaining his concerns is evident as once again he begins with the word For. The niv translation of this verse is unfortunate, however. That we [Paul, Apollos, the Corinthians?] are God’s fellow workers may be the farthest idea from Paul’s mind. Literally this verse says, “For God’s we are, fellow workers; God’s field, God’s building you are.” There is a shift in or mixture of metaphors, but Paul’s thinking is clear. He recognizes that he and Apollos are fellow workers, and he recognizes that as fellow workers they both belong to God. They do not labor with God; they are God’s servants, and they labor with each other. Paul’s syntax emphasizes God and God’s priority in the tasks and the doing of ministry. The church is God’s field, God’s building, so that to claim allegiance to or status from one or another of God’s servants is nonsense. With the alteration of images—from field to building—Paul sets up the lines that follow.[2]

3:9. To support his claims, Paul stated that he and Apollos were God’s fellow workers. The preceding context suggests that Paul meant that he and Apollos were fellow workers for God. They formed a team, working together in God’s service. Each one needed the other in order to fulfill the goal, and the goal was of divine design. The Corinthian church, therefore, was God’s field, not theirs. God was the church’s ultimate leader, and its allegiance belonged to him alone.

Paul closed this verse by calling the Corinthians God’s building, speaking of the church as God’s possession under God’s leadership. Both metaphors illustrated the fact that God was building a unified church—one building, one field—not a fragmented, divided church. By quarreling and dividing, the Corinthians struggled to destroy what God was building.[3] 9. For we are fellow workers for God; you are God’s field, God’s building.

  • “For we are fellow workers for God.” Does the term fellow workers denote the relationship between Paul and Apollos or the relationship between these two workers and God? The first interpretation would be translated “fellow workers for God” and the second “fellow workers with God.”

In favor of the first interpretation is the conjunction for that links the preceding verse (v. 8) to the first part of this verse. Paul is saying that Apollos and he are not working for themselves but work for God. They are workers in the service of God, and “are God’s paid servants, rather than his colleagues.”19 From another perspective, the expression fellow worker is linked in other passages to nouns that convey the objective idea. For instance, Paul writes, “but we are fellow workers for your joy” (2 Cor. 1:24) and “Titus is my partner and a fellow worker for you” (2 Cor. 8:23; and see 1 Thess. 3:2).

The second interpretation is, “We also work together with God.” This translation is acceptable as long as the concept of equal partnership is ruled out. God and man are never equals in the proclamation of the gospel, for man is merely an instrument in God’s hand and works not next to him but for him (Acts 9:15).

Many translators present the genitive case in the possessive form (we are God’s fellow workers) and leave unanswered the question of interpretation. Gordon D. Fee observes that the emphatic position of the form God’s, which occurs three times in this verse, suggests the possessive idea. He concludes that “the argument of the whole paragraph emphasizes their unity in fellow labor under God.” Nonetheless, the threefold repetition of the word God in verse 9 does not exclude the possibility that the first use is the objective (“for God”). This possibility is buttressed by two factors: the shift from the first person plural we to the second person plural you makes it probable; the preceding verses (vv. 7 and 8) make it plausible because God is the agent.

  • “You are God’s field, God’s building.” Paul switches from the ministers to the people, from the we to the you. In the Greek, he places the pronoun you at the end of the sentence for emphasis. Also, he continues to use the imagery of a field. Is this field to be considered active in the sense that it produces a crop? Or is it considered passive as, for instance, when it is being cultivated? The second interpretation seems to fit the context better than the first. That is, by preaching the gospel Paul and Apollos cultivated the Corinthians, whom Paul calls God’s field. The Corinthians have to understand that ministers labor in the church not for themselves but for the Lord. “From this it follows that the Corinthians were wrong in yielding themselves to men, when, by right, they belong to God alone.”23From agricultural imagery, Paul turns to an architectural metaphor. “[You are] God’s building.” Just as a field is being cultivated, so a building is in the process of being erected. The builders do their work for the Lord (see Eph. 2:19–22; 1 Peter 2:5).[4]

3:9 God is the One to whom all are responsible. All His servants are fellow workers, laboring together in God’s tilled harvest field, or, to change the picture, working together on the same building. Erdman renders the thought as follows: “We are fellow-workers who belong to God and are working with one another.”[5]

[1] Verbrugge, V. D. (2008). 1 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 284). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Soards, M. L. (2011). 1 Corinthians (pp. 70–71). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, pp. 48–49). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 18, pp. 107–108). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1754–1755). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Weepers and gnashers: the importance of examining ourselves

The End Time

I saw this clip on Todd Friel’s Wretched Youtube page last night and it was extremely moving to me. It was also convicting. It DID spur me to check myself and examine as to whether I am in the faith.

This is important to do, because as the video title suggests, there will be two types of people in hell. The two types are based on the verse from Matthew 13:50, where at the end of the age, angels will

throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

By the way, when you study angels you notice how active they are in executing all God’s commands, especially in Revelation. Anyway, in the clip, Dr Sproul explains what the weeping and what gnashing of teeth is.

The weepers are weeping because they were self-deceived all along and were not saved when they…

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Congregation Shocked As Jacksonville Florida Megachurch Pastor Claims Face To Face Visit With Jesus Christ

My mind had trouble processing what I was hearing, but yet, here it was in all it’s Laodicean glory. The pastor of a huge megachurch was in front of his congregation, telling them that he had seen the risen Lord Jesus Christ face to face on “good Friday” evening.

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18 (KJV)

Celebration church in Jacksonville, Florida, has about 12,000 people in weekly attendance for their services. They are an excellent example of the Laodicean church that Jesus said would be in evidence in the last days before the rapture. Rich, increased with goods, and preaching ear tickling sermons for their mostly Bible illiterate congregation. But today the pastor, Stovall Weems, kicked it up a notch or two. Or three. How did he do that? He claimed to have met Jesus face to face.

Today Pastor Stovall Weems claimed to have seen Jesus face to face, and heard His voice audibly with his ears. Something that is an absolute impossibility in the Church Age according to the Bible.

As fate would have it, I just happened to be sitting in the congregation of Celebration Church this Easter Sunday morning, at the 11:30 AM service. There were thousands of people in attendance, so many people that they delayed starting the service until around 12:15 PM to allow all the people to come in. I started filming video from the moment the pastor said the following words.

“I have a message to preach to you about the resurrection, and it was an awesome message”, the pastor said. Then he dropped the other shoe. “But…uh, instead of preaching about the resurrection, I want to tell you about my meeting with the resurrection”.

From there it was off the end time Laodicean races as Pastor Weems regaled his congregation with the very tall tale of his personal meeting with Jesus

As I sat there this  morning, filming the pastor’s message, conflicting thoughts went through my head. First I wondered if he was intentionally deceiving his audience, claiming to have met Jesus personally when the Bible declares that such a thing is not possible in the Church Age.

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18 (KJV)

Yes, the apostle Paul saw the risen Lord Jesus face to face after His resurrection, and the sight was so intense it burned his eyes and he went blind. But that aside, Paul was handpicked by Jesus to lead the New Testament church, and that meeting is recorded in the pages of the Bible. If Stovall Weems truly met Jesus Christ face to face, then that should be in the Bible as well.

“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:16-19 (KJV)

Pastor Weems continued. “I want to talk to you about the experience I had Friday night, where I met and I saw our risen Saviour.” “Now listen, I understand the consequences that come with making a statement like that. Okay?”

My mind had trouble processing what I was hearing, but yet, here it was in all it’s Laodicean glory. The pastor of a huge megachurch was in front of his congregation, telling them that he had seen the risen Lord Jesus Christ face to face on “good Friday” evening. And the people, though hesitant at first, began lapping it up. Tears came to my eyes as the end times spectacle continued.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (KJV)

“Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I think the longevity and the integrity of our ministry speaks for itself. When this happened Friday night I was really a wreck. I was sobbing, I couldn’t sleep, this went on into Saturday.” “I realized today that there was no way I could preach a message about the resurrection when I was with the resurrection Friday night.”

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 4:3 (KJV)

The great falling away, the apostasy of the professing Christian church is operating at full speed as we head towards the 70th anniversary of regathered Israel in May. Pastor Weems’ “meeting” with Jesus Christ is proof positive of that. I only hope and pray that there will be at least some Bible believers within his congregation who will openly rebuke his false statement.

But sadly, I don’t think that will happen.

Pastor Stovall, if you are reading this, you did not meet Jesus face to face. According to Bible doctrine for the Church Age, this is not possible. Hopefully, you will come to your senses and recant your the false teaching of your current position. Because if you don’t, then you will have to be ready to accept the “cult status” label that will be rightfully placed on your church. The next step for someone who claims a personal meeting with Jesus, is being “anointed by Jesus” to be the next Jim Jones or David Koresh.

Jesus Christ tells us in Revelation 3 that the last state of the Christian church is apostasy, and that’s exactly what we are seeing right now. And it’s exactly what I saw this morning.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:14-19 (KJV)



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04/02/18 The Burden Bearer

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 02, 2018 01:30 am

READING: 1 Samuel 1-3

“I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

1 Samuel 1:16

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to “pour your soul out” to the Lord. The burden is so heavy that it’s almost impossible to carry—so great that it’s agonizing during the day and sleep-draining during the night. You can almost reach out and touch the burden, as if it stares you in the face and blocks your path each day. It’s just there, and it’s in the way.

Hannah felt such a burden. She was childless, and her desire to be a mother was strong. Taunts from her child-bearing rival, Peninnah, only exacerbated the issues for her. Annually, she wept and prayed at the Lord’s house; so great was her burden that she did not even eat. Even her husband Elkanah could not fully grasp the weightiness of her struggle. Surely he was better than ten sons to Hannah, he thought. Nevertheless, Hannah’s burden was deep, and it was ongoing.

Her burden is perhaps most evident in her silent prayers before the Lord. Eli the priest thought she must have been drunk (as most of the praying in the ancient world would have been verbalized aloud), but that wasn’t the case at all. In Hannah’s own words, “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment” (1 Sam. 1:15-16). Out of her pain, she had been praying intensely to the One who could make a difference. He would indeed do that by sending a son, Samuel.

God is still the One who can bear our burdens for us. Our responsibility is to take those burdens to Him and pour them out like they were water. We do not bear the burdens on our own.


  • Determine what burdens you most often carry on your own.
  • Whatever your burden is, pour it out to God today.

PRAYER: “Father, I give You my heart. This burden is too heavy for me.”


Source: 04/02/18 The Burden Bearer

Monday: As Safe as You Know How

By James Boice on Apr 02, 2018 01:00 am

Usually the Bible is not a funny book. The issues with which it deals are too grave. But the Bible is an honest book, and when it reports situations in life which are naturally funny it reflects them honestly and therefore with an appropriate sense of humor.

Read more…

April 2 Jesus’ Reliance on Scripture

For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.—Matt. 5:18

Repeatedly during His earthly ministry, Jesus referred to the Old Testament as authoritative truth (e.g., Matt. 19:4; 24:38–39; Mark 12:26; Luke 11:51; 17:29; John 3:14; 8:56), always confirming its accuracy and authenticity. On one occasion, in defending His messiahship before the unbelieving Jewish leaders, He declared, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

For Jesus, it was clear that God gave His Word to lead people to salvation. In His parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham tells the rich man that if his brothers, whom he did not want to follow him to hell, “do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:31). Scripture is more than sufficient to bring sinners to salvation.

More than once, Christ used Scripture’s authority to establish His own. At a Sabbath service in the Nazareth synagogue, He appealed to the book of Isaiah: “ ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.’ … And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’ ” (Luke 4:18–19, 21; cf. Isa. 61:1; Matt. 11:3–5; Mark 11:17).

Scripture’s authority is Jesus’ authority, and to obey Him is to obey His Word (John 6:68; 8:47).


What argues against our confidence in the convicting, converting power of the Word of God? What could we do to ensure that our hearts aren’t blinded to this truth, to put ourselves in positions where we can see God at work through the Scriptures?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 101). Chicago: Moody Publishers.


All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

JOHN 16:15

God wants to communicate with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion!

The intercourse between God and the soul is known to us in conscious personal awareness. It is personal: that is, it does not come through the body of believers, as such, but is known to the individual, and to the body through the individuals which compose it. And it is conscious: that is, it does not stay below the threshold of consciousness and work there unknown to the soul.

You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large. Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God!

It is, however, not an end but an inception. That is where we begin, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end![1]

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

April 2 Don’t Threaten

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

Luke 23:35

Jesus “did not threaten” in the face of incredible suffering (1 Pet. 2:23). He was spit on, His beard was pulled out, a crown of thorns was crushed onto His head, and nails were driven through His flesh to pin Him to a cross. In any other person, such unjust treatment would have caused feelings of retaliation to well up and burst out, but not Christ. He was the Son of God—creator and sustainer of the universe, holy and sinless—with the power to send His tormentors into eternal flames.

Yet Jesus never threatened His executioners with impending judgment; instead He forgave them. Christ died for sinners, including those who persecuted Him. He knew the glory of salvation could be reached only through the path of suffering, so He accepted His suffering without bitterness, anger, or a spirit of retaliation. May you respond as well to your suffering.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 107). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

April 2, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

21  Do not forsake me, O LORD!
O my God, be not far from me!
22  Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 38:21–22). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Prayer for Reconciliation (38:21–22)

21–22 The psalmist concludes by calling three times on the Lord and addressing him in three different ways: “Lord” (Yahweh, the covenantal God who promises to be faithful to his children, even when they have sinned against him); “my God” (an endearing phrase equivalent to “my Father”); and “Lord my Savior” (Master of the universe, who is powerful and able to save; cf. 62:2). Since Yahweh has promised to be near, the psalmist prays, “Do not forsake me.” Since a child of God needs the presence of his heavenly Father, the psalmist prays, “Be not far from me, O my God” (v. 21; cf. 22:1). Since he submits himself to the sovereignty of God, the psalmist prays, “Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.” Thus he commits his cause to the covenantal God, his Father and the Great King. The situation is urgent both because of the fragile state of the psalmist’s mind and because of his enemies (cf. 22:1, 11, 19).[1]

38:21, 22 So he appeals to God not to forsake him, but to stay close by and to hurry to his rescue—to truly be the psalmist’s Savior-God![2]

21, 22 The name of the covenant Lord (21, cf. 1, 15), the personal God (21, cf. 15) and the Sovereign Lord (22, cf. 9, 15) cluster in this final appeal. The Lord who came to Egypt because he knew his people’s pain/sorrow (Ex. 3:7, same word as 17) has not changed; the God who has allowed himself to be personally known and owned will never be false to that relationship; the Sovereign Lord will save.[3]

38:21, 22be not far from me: These words echo the sentiment of 22:1. All that is left for David is to trust in God. In that sense, David was in the right place, for confidence in any person or thing other than God Himself is misplaced trust.[4]

38:21–22. David’s petition was urgent. He entreated the Lord … not to forsake him but to help him because He was his God and Savior.[5]

38:21Do not forsake The term azab used here means “to leave” (2 Kgs 4:30). It carries the sense of abandoning or leaving something behind (2 Kgs 7:7).[6]

[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, pp. 357–358). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 609). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Motyer, J. A. (1994). The Psalms. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 511). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 674). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 823). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ps 38:21). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.