Daily Archives: April 11, 2018

April 11: Curses, the Old Testament, and Freedom

Deuteronomy 21:1–22:30; 2 Corinthians 5:11–21; Psalm 38:1–22

“And if a man commits a sin punishable by death, and so he is put to and you hang him on a tree, his dead body shall not hang on the tree, but certainly you shall bury him on that day, for cursed by God is one that is being hung” (Deut 21:22–23).

Being hung on a tree was a sign of being cursed. Romans 5:12 tells us that the punishment of sin is death; we as sinners deserve that curse. If Christ wasn’t cursed for us by being hung on a tree (the cross), then we would still have a debt to pay and a curse to live under.

It can be difficult to find significance in the ot, especially in passages that are as harsh as this one. But the ot still holds meaning for us today, and that meaning often reveals our human and individual state.

The same is true for those odd laws about crimes and marrying foreigners (Deut 21:1–14). It’s not that we’re supposed to practice these laws; they were intended for a land and a place. But we are meant to use them to understand God’s conceptual framework. God always opposes taking a life. Similarly, marrying someone who doesn’t share your belief in Christ (the equivalent of an Israelite marrying a foreigner) will be detrimental to God’s work: that person will lead you astray. The law may not be in force anymore, but God’s framework for interpreting the moral values in the world remains the same.

There isn’t always a clear connection between the ot laws and our lives today since the contextual framework is often quite complex. But there is always an easy relationship between our actions and what Christ has done for us. We are free from the ot laws and the curse we deserve, but that freedom is meant to prompt us to live like Christ—not for ourselves (see Rom 7). We are called to live as free people should live. We are called to live for God’s kingdom.

What moral values are you learning from the ot? In what ways are you currently misusing the freedom that Christ has given you?

John D. Barry[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 11 How’s Your Spiritual Appetite?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

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Your appetite for righteousness should equal your appetite for food and water.

David was a man after God’s own heart. In Psalm 63:1 he writes, “O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” He communed with God and knew the blessings of His sufficiency: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. … He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness. … Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:1–4). He endured unjust persecution for the Lord’s sake: “Zeal for Thy house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me” (Ps. 69:9).

David’s zeal for God illustrates what Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt. 5:6). The words translated “hunger” and “thirst” speak of intense desire. They are present participles, which imply continuous action. The idea is paradoxical: the believer’s continuous and intense desire for righteousness is continually satisfied by Christ.

  1. N. Darby, an early leader of the Plymouth Brethren movement, said, “To be hungry is not enough; I must be really starving to know what is in [God’s] heart towards me. When the prodigal son was hungry he went to feed upon husks, but when he was starving, he turned to his father” (quoted in Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 1, p. 81). When you have that kind of desperation, only God can satisfy it.

Does your desire for righteousness drive you to Christ for satisfaction? I pray that the words of the psalmist will be yours as well: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps. 17:15, kjv).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to use today’s events to increase your hunger and thirst for righteousness. Look to Him in all things, knowing that He alone can satisfy.

For Further Study: Read Philippians 3:1–14. ✧ What does it mean to place confidence in the flesh? ✧ How did Paul define true righteousness?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 114). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

April 11 The Unjust Conspiracy

“The chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death.”

Matthew 26:59

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The only evidence of guilt against Jesus was man–made and contrived.

The essence of the Jews’ ancient legal system is found in the Lord’s words to Moses and Israel: “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial” (Deut. 16:19). Therefore, it is truly amazing to consider what twisted measures the Jewish leaders resorted to in their trial of Jesus.

The Council, or Sanhedrin, was authorized to judge only those cases in which charges already had been brought. But in Jesus’ case, with no formal charges yet made and with the Jews’ rush to judgment, the Council had to act illegally as a prosecuting body to keep the chief priests’ murder plot moving forward.

As the sinless Son of God, Jesus was innocent of any wrongdoing. Therefore, the only way for the Jews to convict Him was to obtain false testimony against Him. And to do that, the leaders had to pervert the very heart of their judicial system and endorse the words of liars.

But the Jews quickly found it was not easy even to manipulate and assemble false charges. As is so often the case with liars, what they testified to was not only false but inconsistent. Mark’s Gospel notes that even the two witnesses’ more usable charges about Jesus and the destruction of the temple were not consistent (14:57–59).

It is one of the strongest affirmations in the Bible to Christ’s moral and spiritual perfection that not a single human witness could make an accusation that would convict Him of a crime. After all the desperate maneuvering by the Jews to come up with even the flimsiest testimony against the Lord, He stood innocent of any violation of God’s moral or spiritual law. Instead, it is the unjust, hateful group of men that will one day stand before God condemned for their sinful actions in falsely accusing the Savior.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Pray for wisdom and integrity in the judges who make decisions in today’s courtrooms.

For Further Study: Read Deuteronomy 16:18–20 and 19:15–20. How do these passages show that Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin was based on wrong principles (list several factors)?[1]


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

Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Made “Enforcement Error” in Determining Diamond and Silk “Unsafe” – ‘Working to Reverse It’

During his testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg claimed Facebook made an “error” in determining Diamond and Silk were “unsafe for the community.”

Texas GOP Rep Joe Barton grilled Zuckerberg on their censorship of black Trump supporters, Diamond and Silk.

Zuckerberg responded with, “In that specific case, our team made an enforcement error. We have gotten in touch with them to reverse it.”

Diamond and Silk unloaded on Facebook last Friday night after the social media giant finally responded to their many inquiries as to why Facebook is censoring their content and brand.

The dynamic duo boast over 1.2 million Facebook followers on their main Diamond and Silk page.

Diamond and Silk say their reach on Facebook has dramatically reduced prompting them to seek answers from Facebook.

After giving them the runaround for months, Facebook responded with, “The Policy team has came to the conclusion that your content and your brand has been determined unsafe to the community.”

News of Facebook’s egregious response to Diamond and Silk spread like wildfire.

Senator Ted Cruz also blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the company’s censorship of conservatives, specifically Diamond and Silk.

On Wednesday, GOP Rep Marsha Blackburn also ripped Zuckerberg for conflating Diamond and Silk’s content with terrorism.

Zuckerberg lifting the censorship of Diamond and Silk is a start. Now it’s time to lift the boot off of The Gateway Pundit, Breitbart and all the other conservatives being crush by algorithms for their political views.

The post Zuckerberg Admits Facebook Made “Enforcement Error” in Determining Diamond and Silk “Unsafe” – ‘Working to Reverse It’ appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

APRIL 11 TO SIN IS TO REBEL

Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:15

Some of you will object to my saying this—but it is my opinion that in Christianity we have overemphasized the psychology of the lost sinner’s condition.

We spend time describing the sinner’s woes and the great burden he carries until we almost forget the principal fact that the sinner is actually a rebel against properly constituted authority!

That is what makes sin sin! We are rebels, we are sons of disobedience. Sin is the breaking of the Law and we are fugitives from the just laws of God while we are sinners. We are fugitives from divine judgment.

But thankfully, the plan of salvation reverses that and restores the original relationship, so that the first thing the returning sinner does is confess: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants!” (see Luke 15:21).

Thus, in repentance, we reverse that relationship and we fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God, as obedient children!

Dear Lord, You didn’t come to this world to condemn but to save sinners. I pray that Your Spirit will do His convicting work in the hearts of many seekers today.[1]


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

Rep. Marsha Blackburn Blasts Zuckerberg for Using Algorithms to Censor Conservatives (VIDEO)

During a hearing before the House on Wednesday, Rep. Marsha Blackburn ripped into Mark Zuckerberg for using algorithms to censor conservative content.

“I’d like to ask you, do you subjectively manipulate with your algorithms to prioritize or censor speech?” Rep Blackburn asked Zuckerberg.

Naturally, Zuckerberg obfuscated and gave a very generic answer about using algorithms to weed out terrorism.

“Congresswoman, we don’t think about what we are doing as censoring speech. I think that there are types of content like terrorism that I think we all agree we do not want to have on our service. So we build systems that can identify those and can remove that content and we’re very proud of that work,” Zuckerberg said.

Rep. Blackburn wasn’t having it. She immediately shot back with, “Let me tell you something right now. Diamond and Silk is not terrorism.”

It’s nice to know that Mark Zuckerberg thinks people who support President Trump are in the same boat as ISIS terrorists.

VIDEO via 100% Fed Up:

Tech Giants Google and Facebook are currently purging conservative content from Facebook and YouTube — They are hiding conservative stories on Google — They are shadow-banning conservative news on all social media.

In February Facebook launched a new algorithm to ensure that conservative news would not spread on the social media platform.

Facebook has cut off traffic to all the top conservative and Trump-supporting websites.

Click here to see the ten top conservative websites that have been censored by Facebook.

Tuesday evening, TGP’s Jim Hoft tweeted out a thread showing how Facebook crushed conservative websites with their algorithms.

Below is the partial thread:

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

1) On Tuesday @Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Senate committee members that Facebook does not target conservatives.
That is a lie.
I am going to show you what a huge lie that is.
Exhibit #1 @YoungCons

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

8) @GatewayPundit Top 4 influential conservative website during 2016 election – Facebook traffic from 33% to 3% of total traffic
Facebook will not allow our stories to be seen

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

9) Exhibit #9 @BreitbartNews – TOP CONSERVATIVE WEBSITE During 2016 – Supported Trump — NOW GETTING HAMMERED BY FACEBOOK.

The post Rep. Marsha Blackburn Blasts Zuckerberg for Using Algorithms to Censor Conservatives (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

April 11, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump said relations with Russia have never been worse and warned Moscow to “get ready” for a U.S. missile strike on Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Eurocontrol, an air traffic agency in Europe, asked airlines to apply caution on flights to the eastern Mediterranean region because of possible air strikes in Syria over the next 72 hours.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in said he expected a “big step” toward denuclearization of the peninsula during a unprecedented summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

House Speaker Paul Ryan won’t seek re-election in November, according to people familiar with his plans, dealing a blow to congressional Republicans already facing a possible Democratic takeover of the House in the November elections and setting off a GOP leadership battle.

Governor Phil Murphy’s $50 million pitch for free community college excludes most New Jersey households in favor of the poorest students, the majority of whom already receive government aid. His spending proposal offers little relief to those attending four-year schools in a state with the nation’s fourth-priciest public-university system.

A key measure of U.S. inflation accelerated to the highest in a year as a drag from mobile-phone costs faded, bearing out the Federal Reserve’s forecast for a pickup in price gains.

Trade talks between the world’s biggest economies broke down last week after the Trump administration demanded that China curtail support for high-technology industries, a person familiar with the situation said, signaling that a resolution may be some ways off.

It’s common now, in Venezuela, turning to veterinarians and pet stores because pharmacists rarely have the goods, and black-market peddlers charge exorbitant rates for items of questionable provenance. So people swallow antibiotics made for dogs and painkillers made for cats.

Bank of America Corp. plans to stop lending to companies that make assault-style guns used for non-military purposes.

Luxury homes aren’t selling as fast as they used to. And their owners are paying a price for the slowness. Last year, 72 percent of the most-expensive properties in the U.S. took longer than 180 days to sell, a sharp jump from 2015, when 59 percent of homes lingered for that long.

AP Top Stories

An Algerian military plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed soon after takeoff Wednesday into a field in northern Algeria, killing 257 people in what appeared to be the North African nations worst-ever plane crash.

The Broward County School Board on Tuesday said it wouldn’t participate in a state program that allows certain staff members to carry firearms. That district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were shot and killed in February.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he is not ruling out missile strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. If he does take military action, he’ll be doing so without constitutionally required approval by Congress.

Theresa May has given her strongest signal yet that Britain would support President Donald Trump in military action against the Syrian regime as the two leaders resolved “not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue”.

The World Health Organization said around 500 people had been treated for “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals” after a suspected poison gas attack in a Syrian rebel enclave just before it fell.

Puerto Rico will receive $18.5 billion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help rebuild its battered housing stock and infrastructure after September’s Hurricane Maria, the island’s governor and HUD officials said on Tuesday.

Thousands of students across Bangladesh staged protests and sit-ins Monday after clashes at the country’s top university left at least 100 people injured.

Australia and New Zealand warned China on Tuesday against building any military base in the South Pacific, following media reports that the Chinese have proposed a permanent stronghold in Vanuatu.

U.S. consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the fastest annual pace in 12 months.

BBC

Protesters have put at least 16 corpses in front of the headquarters of the UN in the Central African Republic (CAR). They called for an end to violence, saying the corpses were of civilians killed on Tuesday in clashes between UN troops and armed groups in a neighborhood of the capital, Bangui.

More than 600,000 girls in Tanzania have started receiving vaccines to prevent cervical cancer. Girls aged between nine and 14 are being targeted to protect them from developing the illness at an early age.

Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the immediate release of all political prisoners in the country.

WND

A court will review a Michigan health club’s policy – unwritten and largely withheld from consumers – to allow men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms under a “judgment-free zone.”

Women who begin a chemically induced abortion but then have second thoughts now have hope of saving their unborn children thanks to a new study showing a great success rate in reversing the early effects of abortafacients through hormone treatments, a discovery that could save some 30,000 babies per year.


The Briefing — Wednesday, April 11, 2018

1) As Zuckerberg goes to Capitol Hill, Facebook faces fallout from misuse of user data

New York Times (Scott Shane) –
What Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Grilled On at the Congressional Hearings

2) Could government regulation of social media lead to a crackdown on religious speech?

Wall Street Journal (Chris Wilson) –
The GOP Needs a Free Facebook

3) Will outrage over data leaks lead to a change in users’ behavior? So far, the answer is “no”

New York Times (Andrew Ross Sorkin) –
Failed by Facebook, We’ll Return to the Scene of the Crime. We Always Do.

4) Facebook’s imperative above all other imperatives: Simply connect

Wall Street Journal (Deepa Seetharaman) –
Facebook Memo Reveals Angst Over Growth Culture’s Consequences

New York Times (Sheera Frenkel and Nellie Bowles) –
Facebook Employees in an Uproar Over Executive’s Leaked Memo

5) Washington DC vs. San Francisco: America’s new intellectual centers collide

Bloomberg (Tyler Cowen) –
Two American Power Centers Are About to Clash


WATCH: Ted Cruz GRILLS Zuckerberg over Facebook’s anti-conservative bias

Conservative Review

On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. When it was Sen. Ted Cruz’s turn to ask questions, the Texas Republican grilled Zuckerberg on Facebook’s bias against conservatives.

View Short Video

Mid-Day Snapshot

Apr. 11, 2018

Zuckerberg and the Facebook Data Black Hole

The Senate grills Facebook’s founder for failing to protect privacy while allowing biased censoring of content.

The Foundation

“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)


Headlines – 4/11/2018

Palestinians set off bomb against IDF vehicle in Gaza; army retaliates

Amid Heightened Gaza Border Tensions, Hamas Reportedly Training Fighters to Kidnap IDF Soldiers

Reform movement head calls on Israel to prevent harm to Gaza protesters

Fatah: Hamas using Gaza protests to score political points

Traditional antisemitism is back, global study finds

Yad Vashem announces survivors to light Holocaust Remembrance Day torches

Liberal Jewish groups join opposition to Trump appointees John Bolton and Mike Pompeo

Franklin Graham, Religious Freedom Advocates Urge Senate to Confirm Pompeo as Sec. of State

Tehran, Jerusalem trade threats over attack in Syria

No more a shadow war: Confrontation between Israel and Iran intensifies

Liberman: We cannot allow an Iranian ‘chokehold’ in Syria

Israel TV: Monday’s strike on Syria targeted air base Iran was building

Israeli military on high alert amid Iran threats to avenge Syria strike

Iranian death toll in Syria strike attributed to Israel rises to 7, including top drone commander

Moscow calls for meeting with Israeli ambassador after T4 Airbase strike

Moscow censures Israel’s condemnation of ‘fake’ chemical gas attack – As bilateral tensions mount, Russian embassy slams Israel’s ‘hasty conclusion’ that Assad regime was behind deadly Douma raid

Certain UNSC members lying to create pretext for aggression on Syria: Damascus

Tucker Carlson: U.S. Bombing Syria Could Lead to Genocide of Christians – called into question whether or not Assad was responsible for the chemical attack, claiming it was not in his interest

Conflict displaces almost 700,000 Syrians in deadly first months of 2018

Syria chemical attack shows the world cannot stop another Holocaust, Yad Vashem official says

Yad Vashem: Syria shows mechanisms developed after Holocaust to prevent crimes against humanity are failing

Yad Vashem Calls for International Action in Syria After Deadly Chemical Attack

Divided UN falters in response to alleged Syria chemical attack

You’ll Never Guess Who’s Heading the UN’s Conference on Disarmament – Syria – They have experience using the chemical weapons they’ll now be in charge of banning

Saudi envoy to US: Syria chemical attack is continuation of Assad, Iran crimes

Chemical weapons watchdog to send team to Syria

Erdogan vows perpetrators of Syria massacre will pay ‘heavy price’

Will Macron enforce his ‘red line’ over Syria chemical attack?

May is in dangerous territory. This must be about Syrian lives, not Britain’s status

Theresa May to chair security meeting over Syrian gas attack

Mohammed bin Salman: Saudi Arabia could take part in military response in Syria

Trump and allies mull possible joint response in Syria

US readies response to Syria attacks after UN clash with Russia

Trump cancels South America trip in sign Syria military strike imminent

Syrian troops on alert amid fear of US strike after gas attack

French report: Syrians evacuating military bases

Netanyahu reportedly expects Trump to launch attack on Syria

Prepared for a conflict with Russia, Israel is pushing Trump to take action in Syria

Israel has misjudged Russia in Syria. The consequences could be grave

Eurocontrol cautions airlines about possible air strikes into Syria in next 72 hours

Syrian troops on alert amid fear of US strike after gas attack

Russian envoy to Lebanon: Any U.S. missiles fired at Syria will be shot down

Syria chemical attack: US and Russia fail to reach UN agreement as tensions rise

Russia vetoes US proposal for independent probe into alleged chemical attacks in Syria

How Russian Military Support Is Secretly Airlifted to Syria’s Assad

Syria ‘chemical attack’: Russia warns US against military action

As Trump considers military action on Syria, Pentagon worries it could put Russian soldiers in the crosshairs

Senior Russian lawmaker: U.S. strike on Syria could trigger direct military clash with Russia

Russia, fearing retaliation, jamming U.S. drones in Syria, officials say

China Military Tells Russia ‘We’ve Come to Support You’ Against U.S.

Facing trade war with U.S., China’s Xi renews vow to open markets, import more

Zuckerberg says he’s unaware of Facebook pushback for liberal groups after conservative targeting

Zuckerberg apologizes, promises reform as senators grill him over Facebook’s failings

Hardly ‘friends’: Zuckerberg fends off senators on privacy

Facebook introduces new ‘Data Abuse Program’ that pays to find apps misusing data

Zuckerberg: Facebook will predict hate speech content within the next decade

Zuckerberg Struggles to Answer Sasse’s Plea to Define Hate Speech; ‘This Is a Really Hard Question’

Zuckerberg deflects senators’ Facebook questions, and gets $3 billion for the effort

Dubai to launch digital vehicle number plates

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Aoba volcano on Vanuatu erupts to 16,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Los Angeles painting city streets white in bid to combat climate change

Dozens of dead geese plunge from the sky into an Idaho parking lot in ‘bizarre’ case

FDA warns azithromycin “Z-pack” antibiotics could lead to deadly heart rhythms for some

Weinstein sexual assault prosecution would be ‘the case of the century’ – so stakes high for DA

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Megachurch pastor Bill Hybels retires, says investigation that cleared him took its toll

Pope Francis and The Anatomy of a False Gospel!

Bethel medical conference raises concerns

Unite Around Apostleships: Kris Vallotton’s Direct Revelation from God – Minimize Doctrine Maximize People and Manifestations

Justin Bieber Leads Millions of Followers in Worship With No. 1 Christian Song ‘Reckless Love’

Saudi air defense forces intercept missile over Riyadh…

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 10:33 AM PDT

Saudi air defense forces intercept missile over Riyadh…At least three loud blasts were heard and three clouds of smoke could be seen in the sky above the center of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Wednesday, according to Reuters witnesses.  Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted at least three ballistic missiles fired at Saudi cities by Yemen’s Houthis, who claimed to have targeted the defense ministry in Riyadh and a Saudi Aramco distribution facility in Najran on Wednesday.

Three rockets were intercepted in the capital and the southern cities of Jizan and Najran, according to state media and the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The attacks mark the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate they can reach the Saudi capital, threatening to escalate a regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. READ MORE

China Tears Down Crosses Again

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 05:16 AM PDT

China Tears Down Crosses AgainAuthorities in China’s Henan province have reportedly torn down crosses atop several churches after claims that the structures themselves were built illegally.  “The parishes were illegally built without permission from the government,” an official told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. “So we demolished their crosses.” A representative with the Ethnic and Religious Bureau of Yichuan county, a small town south of Henan’s capital, said “two or three” crosses were pulled down this year.

“Activities in the illegally-built parishes will be prohibited,” the official told the newspaper. “Other legal Christian activities here will remain open.”  This latest incident comes as Chinese Christians fear a new crackdown. From 2014 to 2016, more than 1,500 crosses were torn down from churches in one Chinese province. Last week, China’s government banned online retailers from selling the Bible. READ MORE

WAR DRUMS: Russia Warns It Will shoot Down US Missiles Fired At Syria, Attack Launchpads

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 05:05 AM PDT

WAR DRUMS: Russia Warns It Will shoot Down US Missiles Fired At Syria, Attack LaunchpadsIn an interview, Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin stated that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and that the sources from which they came would be attacked.  In addition, Kremlin backers such as Igor Korotchenko, a Russian military scholar and member of the Defense Ministry’s public advisory council, stated that the chain of events could lead to a crisis that is as dangerous as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and that the subsequent events could potentially “provoke World War III.”

According to the interview (below) Zaspikin, Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon, stressed that Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads. However, Zaspykin added that a clash “should be ruled out” and that Russia was “ready to hold negotiations.”  The escalation comes amidst a new round of disputes between Russia and The United States after no new resolutions could be agreed upon at a recent United Nations Security Council, which was held on Tuesday. Both the United States and Russia put forth draft resolutions and both nations vetoed each others proposal.  READ MORE

WAR DRUMS: Trump warns Russia to prepare for missile strike in Syria!

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:55 AM PDT

WAR DRUMS: Trump warns Russia to prepare for missile strike in Syria!The United States will take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad over his use of chemical weapons on civilians despite a warning from Moscow that it will repel and retaliate against the attack, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday.  Writing on Twitter, Trump acknowledged the Russian threat to shoot down US missiles and to target their launching pads— likely US warships— issued by Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon earlier in the day.   “Russia vows to shoot down any and all

missiles fired at Syria,” Trump said. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” he continued. European aviation authorities warned airlines this morning to avoid the airspace around Syria for the next 72 hours, suggesting a strike is imminent. Meanwhile, US media reported that Trump ordered another US warship to the Syrian coast in preparation for the assault. READ MORE

WAR DRUMS: Israel warns “If Iran acts against Israel, we’ll topple Assad”

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:47 AM PDT

WAR DRUMS: Israel warns “If Iran acts against Israel, we’ll topple Assad”“If the Iranians act against Israel from Syrian territory, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime will be those that pay the price.”  That is the clear message from senior officials in the Israeli defense establishment and IDF after the top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called a strike on the Syrian T-4 air base “Israel’s crime” and said the alleged act would “not remain without response.” B

“Assad’s regime and Assad himself will disappear from the map and the world if the Iranians do try to harm Israel or its interests from Syrian territory,” said senior officials in the defense establishment. “Our recommendation to Iran is that it does not try to act, because Israel is determined to continue on this issue to the very end,” the officials said. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday that Israel will take all necessary steps to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military base in Syria. READ MORE

 

WAR DRUMS: US-led coalition warplanes ‘seen flying over Iraqi border’ as nerve gas counter attack looms

Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:38 AM PDT

WAR DRUMS: US-led coalition warplanes ‘seen flying over Iraqi border’ as nerve gas counter attack looms

A heavy flight of US-led coalition warplanes have reportedly been seen flying over the Iraqi border as a nerve gas counter attack looms.  Civilian planes were said to have been ordered to clear the airspace over Syria by the US military for at least 48 hours as flight radar shows aircraft diverting.   European air traffic controllers issued a “rapid alert” for airlines in the Eastern Mediterranean over the possibility of air strikes into Syria within the next 72 hours.

The European Aviation Security Agency’s (EASA) warning of possible launches of air-to-ground strikes or cruise missiles comes as the US, Britain, France and allies weigh up retaliatory measures to a suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria.  Nafiseh Kohnavard, a reporter for the BBC, tweeted: “Airlines that are still using Syria’s airspace have received a request to change their corridors for the next 48 hours. READ MORE

 

WAR DRUMS: Syria Missile Strike ‘within hours’: Eastern Mediterranean on Alert for ‘possible launch’

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 03:33 PM PDT

WAR DRUMS: Syria Missile Strike ‘within hours’: Eastern Mediterranean on Alert for ‘possible launch’British and French forces could launch an imminent missile strike on Syria within a matter of hours, aviation monitors have revealed.   A coalition force could fire “air-to-ground or cruise missiles” in the wake of a horrifying chemical attack on innocent civilians in Syria last week. Aviation experts AirLive have reported this evening a “rapid alert notification” warning aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean to

be wary of a sudden missile strike. AirLive said the alert was issued by Eurocontrol this evening for a “possible launch … within the next 72 hours”. AirLive said: “According to reports, British forces are mobilizing at their bases in Cyprus and Rafale fighter jets could takeoff from St Dizier airbase in France for possible strikes against Syria.” READ MORE

DEVELOPING: Mystery ‘trumpet sounds from sky’ in Hawaii baffle residents

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:24 PM PDT

DEVELOPING: Mystery ‘trumpet sounds from sky’ in Hawaii baffle residentsSnippins News has posted online a video that contains sounds that are described as possibly being from “tidal waves, methane explosions, underground earthquakes, or shifting sand dunes.”  Or not.  “Although it’s probable that these ‘weird apocalyptic’ booming sounds seemingly coming from the skies have an earthly origin,

USGS scientist David Hill says that it’s also possible some of these noises originate from above,” the report explains. PJ Media describes it as a “video recording of eerie trumpet sounds from Hawaii.”Some, the posting explains, are speculating “that the end times and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are imminent.”  “Jesus Christ is coming soon. I say it is a trumpet,” said “Believer John Seventeen” on YouTube. READ MORE

 

Will ‘Christian Speech’ Be Allowed in the New Facebook World?

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:10 PM PDT

Will ‘Christian Speech’ Be Allowed in the New Facebook World?Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on Capitol Hill Tuesday responding to questions about the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the data of 87 million users was gathered to build a psychological profile for political gain.  Over the next two days, a group of broadcasters wants Congress to ask the billionaire about allegations Facebook routinely blocks images and content with a conservative message. Zuckerberg has long prided himself on building a global online community. In a 2017 message, the tech

genius told users he was committed to building a platform that will “bring humanity together” to reframe the world into a better place.   “In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us,” Zuckerberg said. But some want to ask Mr. Zuckerberg if his new global community includes them. READ MORE

WAR DRUMS: Russia jams U.S. drones in Syria

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:05 PM PDT

WAR DRUMS: Russia jams U.S. drones in SyriaThe Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials.  The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating

in the area, the officials explained. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., reacted to the news of Russian scrambling Tuesday by saying “Russia wants to undermine our interests at every turn.” “It is insane to think that Russia is anything but an adversary,” said Sasse. Jamming, which means blocking or scrambling a drone’s reception of a signal from a GPS satellite, can be uncomplicated, according to Dr. Todd Humphreys, READ MORE

Zuckerberg Hearings Could Lead To Government Regulation Of The Internet

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:53 PM PDT

Zuckerberg Hearings Could Lead To Government Regulation Of The InternetRepublican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado fears congressional hearings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could lead to further government regulation of the internet.  Gardner thinks politicians will take advantage of the Facebook situation and use it as a way of increasing their power over a free and open internet.

“I think it treads on some very tenuous ground,” Gardner said on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “There may be some people who wish to look at the opportunity to have regulation of the internet. Regulation over speech. Regulation over content. I’m very concerned about that and I think that’s the alarming part about the direction that questions could take this afternoon.”  READ MORE

Justin Bieber Leads 98 Million Instagram Followers in Worship

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:48 PM PDT

Justin Bieber Leads 98 Million Instagram Followers in WorshipSinger/songwriter Justin Bieber sang a heartfelt rendition of the worship song “Reckless Love” on his Instagram story Monday night.  “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the 99 … There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, running after me,” Bieber sang.  The song was originally written by Corey Asbury, a worship pastor for Bethel Music.

Yet, its message of God’s deep love for his creation was enough to make Bieber ditch his usual pop tunes for a moment of worship. This is the latest example of how the singer has turned his large social media platform into a pulpit. A source close to him says his next album, which is expected to be released late this year or in early 2019, is going to focus on his faith. READ MORE

 

Atheists Outraged Over Bible Included in POW/MIA Display

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:28 PM PDT

Atheists Outraged Over Bible Included in POW/MIA DisplayNavy officials are investigating complaints about the placement of a Bible in a public display about POW/MIAs at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, the service’s largest overseas medical facility. The investigation, opened Friday (April 6), follows the filing of a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit established to promote religious freedom in the U.S. military.

The complaint was brought on behalf of 26 military families on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the majority of them Christian, according to the foundation. They hold that the religiosity of the display violates the Constitution, in particular the First Amendment clause that prohibits government establishment of religion. READ MORE

WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 11:13 AM PDT

WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian WarplanesAs the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being “harassed” by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the “Arleigh Burke” class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk.   It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus ‘s Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named “Arleigh Burke” class Donald Cook

(DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated) . A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs. READ MORE

 

Trump Presidency Under Seige

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 11:03 AM PDT

Trump Presidency Under SeigeDonald Trump lashed out at hs own Justice Department on Tuesday morning, following FBI raids on his longtime personal lawyer’s offices, home and hotel. ‘Attorney–client privilege is dead!’ Trump tweeted. ‘A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!’  The White House has yet to formulate a strategy for dealing with the fallout of an apparent criminal investigation of Michael Cohen by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Trump, according to one White House official who spoke with DailyMail.com on Monday

night, is most angry about what he thought was an impenetrable barrier: the decades-old secrecy between Cohen and himself.  His morning television habits typically revolve around the ‘Fox & Friends’ broadcast, and Tuesday morning the program replayed portions of a Monday night interview with famed Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz – a Democratic lion and Hillary Clinton voter who has rushed to Trump’s side on technical questions of law.  READ MORE


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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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Watch As Benny Hinn And The Phony Prosperity Gospel Movement Gets Exposed By Nephew Costi Hinn

In this amazing interview, Costi Hinn exposes that the ministry of his uncle Benny is completely fraudulent. There are no miracles being done, no healings, nothing is happening by getting people to give them as much of their money as possible.

“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29,30 (KJV)

For years now, we have published articles on the false teachers and Laodicean phonies that comprise the ludicrous Prosperity Gospel movement. In addition to attempting to conjure up fake miracles and lying wonders, they also teach that if you want to be rich then give your money to them. Want a little of God’s blessing? Then send in $100. Want a lot of God’s blessing, then send in a thousand…or two.

Prosperity con artists in this category include Paula WhiteKenneth CopelandRod ParsleyTodd BentleyCreflo Dollar and, of course, the penultimate phony of them all Benny Hinn. These people have swindled billions of dollars from gullible, Bible deficient Christians who allow themselves to be fooled by promises of ‘health and wealth’ if only your will send in your ‘tithe” to them.

As we have published these stories over the years, many of the followers of these con artists have written in to us, demanding that we “touch not God’s anointed” and retract our statements exposing their fraudulent activities. So today we are excited to show you the nephew of Benny Hinn, Costi Hinn, in a detailed interview exposing both the greed of his con artist uncle Benny, as well as exposing the fraud that is the charismatic Prosperity Gospel. If you are reading this via email, please click here to watch this video of the Costi Hinn interview.

In this amazing interview, Costi Hinn exposes that the ministry of his uncle Benny is completely fraudulent. He admits there are no miracles being done, no healings, nothing is happening other than getting people to give them as much of their money as possible.

To his credit, Costi Hinn explains how the Lord got a hold of him and convicted him of these scams and con games, and Costi shares how he repented of that and decided to preach the true gospel of the grace of God. It came with a cost however, as uncle Benny and the entire Hinn clan have shunned him and made him an outcast.

Listen as Costi reveals the unbelievably lavish lifestyle of the Hinn Ministry team, a lifestyle that he freely admits it’s one that the people who send them the money will never experience. After all, the only people who prosper with the false Prosperity Gospel are the people who run it, and their families.

Still not convinced that Benny Hinn and the Word Faith Movement aren’t phonies?

Click to watch as Benny Hinn says he received a ‘word of knowledge’ promising him that Jesus Christ would appear with him on the stage…physically. The person who gave him that ‘word of knowledge’ said she heard the ‘audible voice of Jesus’ tell her that.

“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:31 (KJV)

If you would like to read through our series on the end times deception currently taking place, here are the links:

The end times deception that’s taking place is very real and very dangerous. If you see this stuff happening in your church, get out and get out fast. It doesn’t matter if someone has been saved for 50 years or served as a pastor for 20 years, you are only right until you aren’t right any more. Length of time being saved or being in ministry is never a factor as to whether or not you are teaching truth or error. We hope this series will be an eye-opening blessing to you.


 

The post Watch As Benny Hinn And The Phony Prosperity Gospel Movement Gets Exposed By Nephew Costi Hinn appeared first on Now The End Begins.

Wretched Radio 04/10/2018

WR2018-0410

•The Three Circles evangelism method; is it clear and thorough enough to save souls?
•Did Jesus die for our brokenness? Yes, but…
•Steve Lawson gives the full Gospel on a moment’s notice
•Clamping down on Christianity in Rwanda and China
•Joyce Meyer aims to anger “religious demons” with a new tattooDownload Now (right click and save)

The post 04/10/2018 appeared first on Wretched.

TED CRUZ Hammers Mark Zuckerberg on Censorship of Conservative Speech (VIDEO)

Senator Ted Cruz blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the company’s censorship of conservative news.

After two hours of testimony FINALLY one Republican asked Zuckerberg about their crackdown on conservative content.

Tech Giants Google and Facebook are currently purging conservative content from Facebook and YouTube — They are hiding conservative stories on Google — They are shadow-banning conservative news on all social media.

In February Facebook launched a new algorithm to ensure that conservative news would not spread on the social media platform.

This was after Facebook announced it was losing 50,000,000 user hours a day in the previous quarter.

The algorithm change caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%.

In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement.

Top conservative Facebook pages with daily traffic in the millions have seen 75% to 95% drop in traffic.
Young Cons, Western Journalism, SarahPalin.com, Independent Journal ReviewRight Wing News, and several others have seen dramatic loss in traffic.

In 2016 we were one of the few conservative sites that supported candidate Trump – along with Breitbart, The Drudge Report, Infowars, Zero Hedge and Conservative Treehouse.  We are proud of our efforts to report the truth that led to Trump’s historic win.

In 2017 Harvard and Columbia Journalism Review found that The Gateway Pundit was the 4th most influential conservative news source in the 2016 election.

Because of this we were targeted and have seen our numbers related to Facebook and Twitter decline dramatically.

The Gateway Pundit does not rely on Facebook for our traffic numbers.

Still, we saw a significant drop in Facebook traffic in the last month.
And this past weekend Facebook shut down our traffic stream from the social media platform.

This is corrupt, if not criminal, behavior.

Meanwhile, liberal sites are doing fine.

Now this…
A new report by the far left Outline organization confirmed the conservative publishers were hit the hardest by the recent Facebook news feed changes.

The study also found the The Gateway Pundit was hit the hardest by these changes.

Via The Outline:

Facebook’s January 12 announcement that it would begin to de-prioritize news publishers and their posts in users’ News Feeds has had a surprisingly profound and partisan impact. According to The Outline’s analysis of Facebook engagement data obtained from research tool BuzzSumo, conservative and right-wing publishers (such as Breitbart, Fox News, and Gateway Pundit) were hit the hardest in the weeks following the announcement, with Facebook engagement totals for February dropping as much as 55 percent for some, while the engagement numbers of most predominantly liberal publishers remained unaffected.

Both liberal and conservative publishers of clickbait and highly polarizing content also experienced a significant drop in engagement following Facebook’s News Feed de-prioritization announcement.

The Outline drew these conclusions after analyzing the Facebook engagement data of 20 publishers from March 5, 2017 to February 28, 2018.

The Outline then posted results from several top US news publishers.

You can see The New York Times has not suffered by the recent changes.

But conservative news publishers were hit hard.
Here is Breitbart.com’s Facebook page.

And here is The Gateway Pundit’s Facebook numbers through February.

In March Facebook shut down our content. You cannot even share a Gateway Pundit story without getting a warning now.
And this is after we spent tens of thousands of dollars advertising on Facebook in the past.

** Please text or call your representative and have them address this issue before all conservative publishers are shut down.

The post TED CRUZ Hammers Mark Zuckerberg on Censorship of Conservative Speech (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

Watch Ted Cruz Savage Mark Zuckerberg Over Facebook’s Liberal Bias

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz savaged Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook’s tendency to shut down and silence conservatives and conservative ideas in a hearing on Tuesday.

Cruz asked Zuckerberg if Facebook considered itself a “neutral public forum,” making the Silicon Valley billionaire squirm.

“Senator, we consider ourselves to be a platform for all ideas,” Zuckerberg replied. “Our goal is certainly not to engage in political speech.”

https://share.grabien.com/share.php?id=367163&userid=2182&playercolor=%23000000&playersize=600&branded=1&ads=1

Cruz proceeded to list a number of conservative Facebook pages that had faced censorship from the social network.

Here are a few highlights from their exchange.

Cruz: “There are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship. There have been numerous instances with Facebook. In May of 2016, Gizmodo reported Facebook had purposely and routinely suppressed conservative stories from trending news — including stories about CPAC, about Mitt Romney, about Glenn Beck. In addition to that, Facebook has initially shut down the Chik-fil-A appreciation page, blocked posts of a Fox News reporter, blocked over two dozen Catholic pages and most recently blocked Trump supporters Diamond and Silk’s page with 1.2 million Facebook followers after determining their content and brand were ‘unsafe to the community.’”

“To a great many Americans, that appears to be a pervasive pattern of political bias. Do you agree with that assessment?”

Zuckerberg: “I understand where that concern is coming from, because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place. This is actually a concern that I have in that I — and I try to root out in the company, is making sure we don’t have any bias in the work we do and I think it is a fair concern that people would wonder about.”

Cruz: “Are you aware of any ad or page that’s been taken down from Planned Parenthood?”

Zuckerberg: “Senator, I’m not, but let me just …”

Cruz: “How about MoveOn.org? Or any Democratic candidate from office?”

Zuckerberg: “I’m not specifically aware. I’m not sure.”

Cruz: “In your testimony you say you have 15,000 to 20,000 people working on security and content review. Do you know the political orientation of those 15,000 to 20,000 people engaged in content review?”

Zuckerberg: “No, we do not generally ask people about their political orientation when they’re joining the company.”

Cruz: “Do you feel it’s your responsibility to assess users, whether they are good and positive connections or ones that those 15,000 to 20,000 people deem unacceptable or deplorable?”

Zuckerberg: “I think there are a number of things we all agree are clearly bad. Foreign interference in elections. Terrorism. Self-harm.”

Cruz: “I’m talking censorship.”

Zuckerberg: “You would probably agree that we should remove terrorist propaganda from the service. We want to get that done and we’re proud of how well we do with that. What I can say, and I do want to get this in — I’m very committed to making sure that Facebook is a platform for all ideas.”

Source:

Wretched: When Your Kids Won’t Bow to Your Idols

https://player.vimeo.com/video/264170373?app_id=122963

– Episode 2266 –

When Your Kids Won’t Bow to Your Idols

Segment 1 (00:00) – James helps us mature our wisdom

Segment 2 (10:50) – Committing adultery with knowledge

Segment 3 (21:01) – Applying James to our children

Wretched Surprise! (27:28) – Bible Verse, Psalm 103:13

The post When Your Kids Won’t Bow to Your Idols appeared first on Wretched.

The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity

The abiding presence of liberal Christianity struck me the other day when I came across a daily “devotional” from Richard Rohr. Ironically, it was entitled, “Returning to Essentials.”  And that devotional listed out 10 principles that Rohr thinks Christianity needs to embody (his list is actually drawn from Philip Gulley’s book, If the Church Were Christian). As I read over this list, I realized that it is essentially a confessional statement of liberalism (while, at the same time, pretending to deplore confessionals statements).  It was, more or less, a “10 commandments” for progressive Christianity.

In 1923, J. Gresham Machen, then professor at Princeton Seminary, wrote the book, Christianity and Liberalism.  The book was a response to the rise of liberalism in the mainline denominations of his own day.

In short, Machen argued that the liberal understanding of Christianity was, in fact, not just a variant version of the faith, nor did it represent simply a different denominational perspective, but was an entirely different religion altogether.

Put simply, liberal Christianity is not Christianity.

So insightful is Machen’s volume, that it should be required reading certainly for all seminary students, pastors, and Christian leaders.

What is remarkable about Machen’s book was how prescient it was.  His description of liberal Christianity–a moralistic, therapeutic version of the faith that values questions over answers and being “good” over being “right”–is still around today in basically the same form.

Although its advocates present liberal Christianity as something new and revolutionary, it is nothing of the sort.  It may have new names (e.g. “emerging” or “progressive” Christianity), but it is a rehash of the same tired system that has been around for generations.

The abiding presence of liberal Christianity struck me the other day when I came across a daily “devotional” from Richard Rohr. Ironically, it was entitled, “Returning to Essentials.”  And that devotional listed out 10 principles that Rohr thinks Christianity needs to embody (his list is actually drawn from Philip Gulley’s book, If the Church Were Christian).

As I read over this list, I realized that it is essentially a confessional statement of liberalism (while, at the same time, pretending to deplore confessionals statements).  It was, more or less, a “10 commandments” for progressive Christianity.

And when you read these 10 commandments, they sound not so much like they were gathered on the mountain top but rather in the university classroom.  It’s less about God revealing his desires, but more about man revealing his.  It’s less Moses, more Oprah.

But take note:  each of these commandments is partially true.  Indeed, that is what makes this list, and progressive Christianity as a whole, so challenging.  It is a master class in half-truths which sound appealing on the surface until you dig down deeper and really explore their foundations and implications.

Read More

The post The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity appeared first on The Aquila Report.

Grace to You Blog: Condemning Callous Piety

Luke 10:30-37

Code: B180411

How do you react when someone tries to make you look foolish? What do you do when an opponent tries to paint you into a rhetorical corner?

That’s exactly what happened to Jesus in Luke’s gospel, when an expert in Israel’s religious law tried to “put Him to the test” (Luke 10:25). This episode in the life of our Lord set the scene for one of His most famous parables, and one of His sharpest critiques of self-righteous religion.

The fact that Jesus continued to answer this man was in itself, an act of grace. The man’s attempt to show Jesus up was obnoxious. Religious leaders tried this many times with Jesus and always failed. His ability to answer all their hard questions only infuriated them. Try as they might, they could not provoke Him.

On this occasion in particular, Jesus’ reply stands out for its warmhearted, gracious, loving restraint. The man was deliberately trying to goad Jesus, begging for a sharp answer that he planned to pursue with a heated debate. But sometimes “a soft tongue breaks the bone” (Proverbs 25:15), and that’s what happens here.

Here is the parable of the Good Samaritan:

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.” (Luke 10:30–35)

Jesus does not tell this account as if it were a true story. It’s a parable, a tale spun to dramatize, in an unforgettable way, the point He wanted to drive into this legalist’s heart—and ours as well. As in most of Jesus’ stories and parables, He has one simple point to make. There are lots of details in this story, and plenty of secondary implications, but what’s important here is the central lesson, and that is what we need to focus on.

The Dangerous Road and the Attack

The story begins with a journey on a very dangerous road. It is the road “from Jerusalem to Jericho” (Luke 10:30). The road is real. I have traveled on that very road. Visitors to Israel can still take the same route used by travelers in Jesus’ time. From Jerusalem to Jericho is about a four-thousand-foot drop in elevation across seventeen miles of winding road, crossing barren mountains over very rough terrain. In places, a steep, three-hundred-foot precipice, rather than any kind of shoulder, borders the road. Much of the route is lined with caves and massive boulders, which offer hideouts for robbers. It is still a dangerous road.

In Jesus’ story, the predictable happens. A man traveling alone on that road was jumped by a band of thieves—particularly brutal ones. They didn’t just rob him; they stripped him almost naked. They didn’t just take his purse with his cash; they took everything he had. Then they brutally beat him and left him for dead. We would say today he was in critical condition, a dying man on a desert road.

That road saw a steady stream of travelers when people were coming and going from Jerusalem for the feasts. But in other seasons—especially during the peak heat of summer or the stifling windy season and cold of winter—traffic on the road could be meager. There were no homes and very few stopping points on that stretch of road. It was not a friendly place—especially for someone alone and desperate. It might be a very long time before help came along—if ever. There was no guarantee anyone would find him or help him.

The Priest and the Levite

At this dramatic point in the story, Jesus introduces a bit of hope: “By chance a priest was going down that road” (Luke 10:31). This appears on the surface to be the best of news. Here comes a servant of God, one who offers sacrifices for people in the temple, a spiritual man who should be a paragon of compassion (Hebrews 5:2). He represents the best of men. A priest, of all people, would be familiar with the Mosaic law. He would know Leviticus 19:18 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He ought to know as well that verses 33 and 34 in that same chapter expound on the principle of neighborly love by applying it to strangers in particular: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” A priest would know Micah 6:8:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

He would be fully aware that “he who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13). The principle spelled out in James 2:13 was woven into the Old Testament as well: “Judgment will be merciless to the one who has shown no mercy.”

The priest was surely familiar with Exodus 23:4–5:

If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.

So if a person found his enemy’s donkey in a ditch, he was obliged to rescue the donkey, right? Of course he had a greater duty to help a man in critical condition.

But that flash of hope was short-lived. When the priest saw the injured man, “he passed by on the other side” (Luke 10:31). The Greek text uses a verb found nowhere in Scripture other than in that verse and the one that follows: antiparerchomai. The anti-prefix, of course, means “opposite.” It’s an active verb signifying that the priest deliberately relocated to the opposite side of the road. He went out of his way to avoid the injured traveler—purposely shunning the man in need.

The priest obviously had no compassion for people in dire distress. No other conclusion can be drawn from this. Jesus turned the lawyer’s question on its head. The question the fellow asked was, “Who is my neighbor?” But that’s not the right question. Jesus is showing him through this parable that righteous compassion is not narrow. It is not seeking for definitions of which sufferers are qualified to deserve help. The duties of the second great commandment are not defined by the question of who our neighbor is. In fact, the converse is true: genuine love compels us to be neighborly even to strangers and aliens. The full meaning of the second great commandment includes the principle Jesus made emphatic in Matthew 5:44We should love even our enemies. They are our neighbors, too, and therefore we are obliged to bless them, do good to them, and pray for them.

The coldhearted priest in this parable is not necessarily included as an indictment of the priesthood in general. It was quite true that many of the priests and other religious leaders in Jesus’ time lacked compassion. But that is not the point here. This priest represents anyone with full knowledge of the Scriptures and a familiarity with the duties of the law, who is expected to help. But he does not.

The next verse introduces a Levite. All priests were of course from the tribe of Levi. More specifically, those who served as priests were descendants of Aaron (one of the sons of Levi). The term Levite therefore referred to descendants of Levi who were not also in the line of

Aaron. They served in subordinate roles in the temple. Some were assistants to the priests; some were temple police; others worked in various behind-the-scenes roles maintaining and servicing the temple grounds. But their lives were devoted to religious service, so they were (like the priests) expected to have a good knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Nevertheless, when this Levite came to the place where the wounded man lay, he did the same thing the priest had done. As soon as he saw the helpless victim lying there, he moved to the opposite side of the road. Here was another man devoid of compassion and bereft of lovingkindness.

Earlier in Luke’s gospel, Jesus had prayed, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight” (Luke 10:21). These two religious characters in the parable, a priest and a Levite, embodied what Jesus meant by “the wise and intelligent.” They represented their culture’s best-educated and most highly esteemed religious dignitaries. But they did not really know God.

Neither was truly fit for heaven; they were “sons of disobedience”—and therefore objects of God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:25:6Colossians 3:6). They didn’t truly love God, because if you love God, you keep His commandments. They also didn’t love their neighbors, because when they faced a real and urgent need and had an opportunity to demonstrate love, they refused. They are striking illustrations of religious hypocrites, observing the ceremonial law, and even devoting their lives to the service of the temple but lacking any real virtue.

People sometimes cite the story of the Good Samaritan, point to the priest and Levite as examples of utter inhumanity, and then close the book with a sense of moral superiority.

To do that is to miss Jesus’ point.

It’s right, of course, to condemn the callous disregard of these two men and look upon their deliberate heedlessness with utter scorn. But in doing so, we condemn ourselves as well. Their attitude is precisely what we see in human nature today, even within our own hearts. We think, I don’t want to get involved. I don’t know what this man, or the people who beat him up, might do to me. Without in any way justifying the coldhearted apathy Jesus was condemning, we must confess that we, too, are guilty of similar blind indifference, wretched insensitivity, and careless disregard of people in dire need. Even if we don’t turn away every time we see someone in need, we all fail in this duty enough to stand guilty before the law with its demand for complete perfection.

Jesus makes that point unmistakable by introducing us to the Good Samaritan. And that’s where we will pick up the story next time.

 

(Adapted from Parables.)

 


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Mark Zuckerberg Lied: Here Are Ten Charts to Show How Facebook Is Censoring Conservative Publishers

Tech Giants Google and Facebook are currently purging conservative content from Facebook and YouTube — They are hiding conservative stories on Google — They are shadow-banning conservative news on all social media.

In February Facebook launched a new algorithm to ensure that conservative news would not spread on the social media platform.

This was after Facebook announced it was losing 50,000,000 user hours a day in the previous quarter.

The algorithm change caused President Donald Trump’s engagement on Facebook posts to plummet a whopping 45%.

In contrast, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement.

Top conservative Facebook pages with daily traffic in the millions have seen 75% to 95% drop in traffic.
Young Cons, Western Journalism, SarahPalin.com, Independent Journal ReviewRight Wing News, and several others have seen dramatic loss in traffic.

On Tuesday Senator Ted Cruz blasted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the company’s censorship of conservative news.
Mark Zuckerberg said it wasn’t happening.

Mark Zuckerberg was lying.
Facebook has cut off traffic to all the top conservative and Trump-supporting websites.
Here are ten top conservative websites that have been censored by Facebook.

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

1) On Tuesday @Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Senate committee members that Facebook does not target conservatives.
That is a lie.
I am going to show you what a huge lie that is.
Exhibit #1 @YoungCons

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

5.) Exhibit 5 Western Journal
–in 2016 had as much traffic as New York Times
Flatlined by Facebook

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

6) Exhibit 6 Conservative Tribune
In 2016 Traffic that rivaled top liberal sites
Censored by Facebook

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

7) Independent Journal Review
-Top conservative Facebook pages w/daily traffic in the millions have seen 75% to 95% drop in traffic.
Young Cons, Western Journalism, http://SarahPalin.com  , , Right Wing News,

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

8) @GatewayPundit Top 4 influential conservative website during 2016 election – Facebook traffic from 33% to 3% of total traffic
Facebook will not allow our stories to be seen

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

9) Exhibit #9 @BreitbartNews – TOP CONSERVATIVE WEBSITE During 2016 – Supported Trump — NOW GETTING HAMMERED BY FACEBOOK.

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

10) Exhibit 10 @Potus Trump Facebook page.
Down 45% in Facebook traffic.

Jim Hoft

@gatewaypundit

ALL TOP TRUMP SUPPORTING WEBSITES HAVE SEEN THEIR FACEBOOK TRAFFIC DECIMATED… Other Top Conservative sites– @DiamondandSilk @PamelaGeller @jihadwatchRS @infowars And Others are being targeted. When Will Republicans Wake Up? This is political targeting! Mark Zuckerberg Lied!

The post Mark Zuckerberg Lied: Here Are Ten Charts to Show How Facebook Is Censoring Conservative Publishers appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

 

Rep. Steve Scalise Grills Facebook CEO on Censoring of Conservatives – Refers to Western Journal Study

On Wednesday House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the company’s targeting and censoring of conservative content.

Facebook has been censoring conservative publishers since the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
It is virtually impossible for major conservative outlets to get their content to spread on Facebook today.

Rep. Steve Scalise: I do want to ask you about a study that was done by Western Journal dealing with the algorithm that Facebook uses to describe what is fed to people through the newsfeed and what they found was after this new algorithm was implemented that there was a tremendous bias against conservative news and content. And a favorable bias towards liberal content. And if you can look at that it shows a 16 point disparity which is concerning… Who develops the algorithm?… You can also put a bias in if that’s the directive. Was there a directive to put a bias in? Are you aware of this bias that many people have looked at and analyzed and seen?

Mark Zuckerberg: Congressman this is a really important question. There is absolutely no directive in any of the changes that we’ve made.

Of course, that is a lie.
Here is the proof.

TGP reported on this study in March.

A recent study by George Upper at The Western Journal confirms that Facebook’s much-publicized demotion of publishers’ content in users’ news feeds has negatively impacted conservative-leaning publishers significantly more than liberal-leaning outlets.

According to the report –

Liberal publishers have gained about 2 percent more web traffic from Facebook than they were getting prior to the algorithm changes implemented in early February.

On the other hand, conservative publishers have lost an average of nearly 14 percent of their traffic from Facebook.

This algorithm change, intentional or not, has in effect censored conservative viewpoints on the largest social media platform in the world. This change has ramifications that, in the short-term, are causing conservative publishers to downsize or fold up completely, and in the long-term could swing elections in the United States and around the world toward liberal politicians and policies.

According to the report, perhaps no media entity has been hit as hard as The Gateway Pundit as shown in the chart below –

Facebook is now admitting their liberal bias and actions to suppress the conservative America loving point of view –

Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN who now leads Facebook’s news partnerships team, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases:

“This is not us stepping back from news. This is us changing our relationship with publishers and emphasizing something that Facebook has never done before: It’s having a point of view, and it’s leaning into quality news. … We are, for the first time in the history of Facebook, taking a step to try to to define what ‘quality news’ looks like and give that a boost.” (Emphasis added.)

Based on The Western Journal’s analysis — and an overwhelming amount of insider reports from new media publishers — it is clear that Facebook’s definition of “quality news” is news with a liberal slant.

Facebook is now admitting their bais and disdain for Americans and those who love this country and the Bill of Rights.  It’s sad that today the leaders of Facebook would rather partake in Nazi Hitler anti free speech tactics to support the anti American liberal point of view like Hitler faithful than support American’s rights to free speech and freedom of the press.

The post Rep. Steve Scalise Grills Facebook CEO on Censoring of Conservatives – Refers to Western Journal Study appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

April 11 Strange Fire

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Lev 10:1-2

The very same Shekinah which had consumed the sacrifice now flashes out again to destroy these two priests. What a shock this must have been to Aaron, to his remaining two sons, and to the whole camp of Israel.

What do you think your reaction would have been if you had been part of this scene? Many of us reading stories like this have come up with the idea that God, especially the God of the Old Testament, is a God of vengeful judgment. But God is acting here just as much as a God of love as he is in any other part of the Bible. His nature is love. And he never deviates from what he has revealed himself to be. So this action must be in line with his nature and character of love.

There are several features in this passage which help us: The first is that this sin on the part of these two priests was not a sin of ignorance but one of presumption. They knew better. It wasn’t that they were simply doing something at which they had no idea God would be offended. They had been told emphatically that he would be offended. In Exodus 30:7-9 God had precisely said, Be careful; do not offer the wrong kind of incense. So this was a violation of the direct command of God. God never visits with judgment anybody who is struggling in ignorance to try to find him.

The second thing we need to note is that this sin was dealt with very severely because it distorted God’s revelation of himself. In all these priestly sacrifices and rituals God is explaining something about himself so that we might learn what kind of God he is. But by their disobedience these priests were teaching wrong concepts about the being of God. That is why God judged them.

The third thing we need to notice about this episode is that this judgment is exemplary. God has made an example of them this once and he never does this again. This is not something which happened every time a priest violated any regulation. It only happened once — at the beginning of the priesthood. You can read that later on in the priesthood of Israel the priests did many very terrible things before the altar, but God never killed them for it. But it is important that it happened at least this one time. For this is an example and therefore it is a manifestation of God’s love and concern. He is trying to stop this kind of thing from happening again, and he is giving fair warning of the eventual consequences to anyone presumptuous enough to sin deliberately in this way.

Father, I feel a sense of awe when I consider that you are a holy God. I pray that this will help me to understand that my life is not a game, and that the priesthood is a very serious matter to which I am called.

Life Application

Are we carelessly offering a pretense of worship to God? How can we offer Him worship that honors and delights Him? What circumstances best produce the sweet fragrance of burning frankincense?

Related Message

For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:

Strange Fire

04/11/18 Foolishness

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 11, 2018 01:30 am

READING: 1 Samuel 25-27; Psalms 17, 73

“Nobody can talk to him.”

1 Samuel 25:17

Nabal must have been quite a problem.  A “very rich man with three thousand sheep and one thousand goats” (1 Sam. 25:2), he denied David’s request for provisions for his men in response to their protecting Nabal’s shepherds in the field. The narrator of this story tells us that Nabal was “harsh and evil in his dealings” (1 Sam. 25:5). Even Nabal’s wife, Abigail, said of him, “His name means ‘stupid,’ and stupidity is all he knows” (1 Sam. 25:25). It’s one of his servants, though, who best tells us about Nabal: “He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!”(1 Sam. 25:17).

He was so evil and arrogant that no one could have a reasonable conversation with him. My hunch is that he would not listen to anyone anyway.

I hope I’m not like Nabal. I don’t want to be stupid or harsh in my dealings with others. I trust my heart is nowhere near as wicked as Nabal’s heart. On the other hand, I know there are times when I’ve been stubborn—perhaps even rude—when I’ve set my mind on one idea or thought and refused to listen to others. Sometimes I’ve been foolishly wrong but still wouldn’t listen. I know I can be obstinate enough that someone might say of me, “Nobody can talk to him!”

Please pray for me that I will recognize when my heart is leaning in that wrong direction. The one with whom no one else can have a conversation is foolish indeed.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Check your own teachability, especially when you’re convinced you are right.
  • Ask someone who knows you well just how teachable you really are.

PRAYER: “Lord, help me not to be so foolish that others cannot even have a conversation with me.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 35, 54, 63, 18

Source: 04/11/18 Foolishness

Wednesday: A Psalm That Is Repeated

By James Boice on Apr 11, 2018 12:00 am

The fault of sin. Another way we deal with sin so we can live with it and not feel too guilty is to minimize sin, thinking of sin as a weakness or imperfection perhaps but certainly not as a serious transgression that inevitably harms us and wounds others. It is evidence of our folly that we do this, but God is no fool and he “tells it like it is.”

Read more…

April 11, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

15  until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
16  Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
17  And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
18  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
19  And it will hail when the forest falls down,
and the city will be utterly laid low.
20  Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 32:15–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


15–20 The description of judgment suddenly changes to one of blessing. The contrast is particularly impressive because of the intentionally illogical words, “a wasteland forever … till” (vv. 14–15)! Such a decisive assertion of judgment can only be canceled by an equally decisive manifestation of grace. The condemnation of humans is undoubtedly “forever” because death ushers in their judgment and its eternal consequences; but this condemnation can be canceled by the marvel of justifying grace through faith in Christ.

The reference to the Spirit (v. 15) is most appropriate. If ch. 32 amplifies certain aspects of the messianic prophecy in ch. 11 (see comment on vv. 1–2), we might expect some reference to the Spirit, who has such a place of importance in the earlier chapter. The idyllic picture there is echoed here, but it is particularly significant that the righteous king in v. 1 is accompanied by righteous subordinates. This suggests a wider ministry of the Spirit not confined simply to the Messiah himself. This is exactly what is now described.

The NT brings together the OT teaching that both the Messiah and his people will know the endowment of the Spirit of God. Here we see an implicit link in Isaiah’s own thought. The language of outpouring (v. 15) is destined to be far-reaching, being taken up again by Joel (assuming that Joel is later than Isaiah) in Joel 2:28 and then, of course, in Acts 2:17–21. As Young (in loc.) puts it:

Then there will occur a reversal of the present condition, a renewal that is indeed revolutionary, the very opposite of the condition described in 29:10. No longer will a spirit of sleep be poured out upon the people, but the Spirit from on high, the Spirit that is to be contrasted with mere flesh (31:3), the Spirit who brings rich gifts.… It is God’s creative Spirit who brings about what amounts to a new creation.

The Introduction (pp. 451–52) discusses whether passages such as these should be understood literally or spiritually. There are both literal and figurative dimensions to Isaiah’s use of agricultural language. Here, however, a literal interpretation seems the more appropriate, for the judgment that the blessing reverses is certainly physical. Verse 15b should be compared with 29:17. Clements (in loc.) says, “Throughout verses 15–20 there appears to be an intentional sequence established: prosperity-justice-peace-happiness.” He also says, “Prosperity without justice is a worthless acquisition.” The close relationship between righteousness and peace is parallel to that seen in 11:4–9.

In discussing v. 13 we noted the emotional quality of the phrase “my people,” and this may be seen again in v. 18. In the former verse God’s people experience his hand of judgment on them, his strange work (28:21); but now he can bestow the blessing that is in his heart for them as his own beloved people. This verse, with its sequence of prepositional phrases, gives emphatic expression to God’s promise that he will bring them, through righteousness, into “quietness and confidence for ever” (v. 17).

Verse 19 has been understood in three different ways. The NASB translation is similar in tone, though not in wording, to the TEV, which puts the verse in brackets. This reveals the translators’ awareness that, so understood, it does not seem to fit the immediate context very well. The NEB, by contrast, renders it quite differently: “it will be cool on the slopes of the forest then, and cities shall lie peaceful in the plain.” The NIV, understanding it along lines suggested by Kissane (in loc.), translates, “though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely.” Each translation is possible; but the NIV makes it, with v. 20, a fitting conclusion to the oracle, summing up its two elements of coming judgment and ultimate blessing.

Verse 20 takes up from 30:23–26 the picture of a plentiful economy based on abundant supplies of water but presents it in an even more desirable form. The amount of produce given by the soil will be so great that the farmer can allow his working animals to browse in the fields rather than feeding them with prepared foodstuffs in their stalls.[1]


32:16–20 Social justice and righteousness will permeate every aspect of life, resulting in peace, quietness, safety, and confidence. The enemy (forest) shall be leveled by the hail of God’s judgment and the city (its capital) shall be laid low. It will be a happy time, when people can safely sow beside all waters and when the ox and the donkey can range freely without danger.[2]


32:15b–20. Along with the outpouring of the Spirit will be fertility, justice, and security. Israel’s deserts will be fertile (cf. 35:1–2), and with justice and righteousness (cf. 9:7; 11:4; 16:5; 33:5) will come peace and quietness (32:17) and security for the redeemed (cf. Amos 9:15; Micah 4:4; Zech. 3:10; 14:11). Under the Deuteronomic Covenant if the people obeyed God the land would be productive. Similarly in the kingdom, righteous living will result in fertility. In contrast with the destruction that would come in Isaiah’s day (Isa. 32:19), the redeemed nation is assured that they will be blessed with agricultural productivity (cf. Ezek. 36:30) and with no rivalry over each other’s grazing land.[3]


Isaiah now returns to the description of the era of righteousness (32:15–20). The only way in which folly will change to wisdom and the devastation of the land to blessedness is by a divinely ordered transformation. Restoration is the work of the Spirit, bringing about a return of the blessings of God on his people and on the earth. The creation will be renewed, wisdom enthroned, righteousness established, and peace restored to the people of God. The wise will experience the blessings of God in every area of their lives.

Reliance on Yahweh is one of the major emphases in these chapters. In response, God’s people wait for the fullness of redemption. As Christians we believe the day of redemption is closer since the coming of the Lord Jesus. Yet, along with the saints of the Old Testament, we must have a real sense of hope and longing for the fullness of redemption to which the prophet bears witness.

  • Distress and help (33:1–24). God’s judgment (“woe”) rests on those who have enjoyed absolute power in this world (33:1–6). Because they have caused great devastation on this earth, they must answer to the Lord. When he comes he will sound a loud battle cry (v. 3) to avenge himself on the nations.

This judgment on the ungodly is in response to the prayer of the godly. The godly have been asking for Yahweh’s grace to appear to them because they have been suffering in this world while the ruthless hordes were controlling it. Their hope has been that Yahweh’s strength might be revealed to them in salvation. Yahweh comes as King (v. 5), seated on his throne of judgment to dispense justice and righteousness. The benefits of Yahweh’s rule for his people are many: salvation, a firm foundation, and wisdom. The godly experience salvation and practice wisdom and knowledge in the fear (“awe”) of the Lord.

Isaiah shows that the benefits of the messianic kingdom will be limited to the godly (33:7–16). The enemies of the kingdom from both within and without will be destroyed. For this reason, the prophet addresses the men of Ariel (v. 7). Scholars are in general agreement that the phrase brave men (niv) may be understood as a reference to Ariel (cf. 29:1).

The proud cry because their plots have been frustrated. They have not been able to avert the very thing that they feared. The highways will become desolate, the judicial processes will be interrupted, and the land will be devastated by enemies.

Yahweh will arise in judgment. The works of the godless will consist of little more than “chaff” and “straw” (v. 11). All their selfish efforts within the covenant community will be burned up. Who, then, can come through the consuming fire? Only those who have walked righteously and have spoken uprightly and have hated bribery and oppression (v. 15; cf. Pss. 15; 24:3–5). The godly will receive protection and provision from the Lord.

The godly will see not only Yahweh’s coming in great vengeance and fury to judge the wicked, but also the glory of Yahweh in its full and radiant beauty (33:17–24). The realm of Yahweh’s rule will be extended, but there will be no place for the wicked in his kingdom. Zion, the city of God, will be full of peace like a river where no hostile ships can sail (v. 21).

Yahweh the majestic one will be for his people and will provide for them a river of life (v. 21; Rev. 22:1). The songs of Zion celebrate the glory, beauty, and rivers (or springs) that are to be found in the city of Zion. Yahweh will be present as the King, Judge, and Lawgiver of his people. He will rule, guide, and teach his people so they will know how to live in his presence. The new age will bring renewal and a deep awareness of forgiveness.[4]


32:15–20 The promised kingdom was to eventually come to Israel with its accompanying fruitfulness, peace, and security.[5]


32:17–18quietness and trust forever. See 30:15. The word translated “complacent” in 32:9 (Hb. batakh) is from the same root as the word translated “trust” in v. 17 (Hb. betakh) and the word translated “secure” in v. 18 (Hb. mibtakh). In addition, the word translated “at ease” in v. 9 (Hb. sha’anan) is translated “quiet” in v. 18. The worldly counterfeit is replaced by the real.[6]


[1] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, pp. 678–679). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 961). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1082–1083). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[4] VanGemeren, W. A. (1995). Isaiah. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible (Vol. 3, pp. 496–497). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 32:15–20). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1297). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.