Daily Archives: May 24, 2018

May 24: On a Mission

1 Chronicles 14:1–15:29; 2 Timothy 1:1–2; Psalm 83

“We’re on a mission from God.” Whenever the Blues Brothers delivered this line, they were met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception. While they had a different “mission” in mind, their famous line summarizes Paul’s ministry, and their reception is strangely related to a pressing problem in our Christian communities today: we’re hesitant to receive those who tell us they’re on God’s mission.

When we hear this “line,” we immediately begin to ask questions inside our heads: Are they offering a critique? Making a threat? Telling us they’re pursuing a ministry role in accordance with the gifts God has given them, or that they want to be directed toward such a role?

Nearly all the godly people in the Bible were appointed directly by God or His messengers to a mission, and they were given very particular (and often unique) gifts to fulfill those missions. So when someone says they’re on a mission from God, we should respond with, “Tell me about it!” Consider passages like 2 Tim 1:1, where Paul addresses Timothy and the community he leads, many of whom never met Paul:

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.”

Apostle means “sent one.” Paul was on a mission from God, and it’s because of Christ, the anointed one’s promises, that he embraces this calling. God called and gifted him to do His work and share His message. Who are we to say that God doesn’t commission people today? Of course, we should always be cautious and discerning; those in leadership must have proven their godly character and their ability to be used by God. They must also be confirmed by other godly leaders. Once this has been confirmed, we should encourage those called to a special mission. We, as believers, are called to work alongside them—to encourage them and help them serve what God, specifically, has appointed them to do.

We stumble when we think the Church is ours to lead; it is Christ’s. He is our leader and guide, and it’s by His Spirit that we will have the discernment necessary to do what He has appointed us to do.

How can you help those who are on a mission from God?

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.

May 24 Saluting an Unknown Soldier (James, son of Alphaeus)

The twelve apostles included “James the son of Alphaeus” (Matt. 10:3).

✧✧✧

God often uses ordinary people to accomplish great things.

Like most Christians, James the son of Alphaeus is an unknown and unsung soldier of the cross. His distinguishing characteristic is obscurity. Nothing he did or said is recorded in Scripture—only his name.

In Mark 15:40 he is called “James the Less,” which literally means “Little James.” That could refer to his stature (he might have been short), his age (he might have been younger than James the son of Zebedee), or his influence (he might have had relatively little influence among the disciples).

In Mark 2:14 Matthew (Levi) is called “the son of Alphaeus.” Alphaeus was a common name, but it’s possible that James and Matthew were brothers, since their fathers had the same first name. Also, James’s mother is mentioned in Mark 15:40 as being present at Christ’s crucifixion, along with other women. She is referred to as the wife of Clopas in John 19:25. Since Clopas was a form of Alphaeus, that further supports the possibility that James and Matthew were related.

From those references we might conclude that James was a small, young man whose personality was not particularly powerful. If he was Matthew’s brother, perhaps he was as humble as Matthew, willing to serve the Lord without any applause or notice. Whichever the case, be encouraged that God uses obscure people like James and rewards them accordingly. Someday James will sit on a throne in Christ’s millennial Kingdom, judging the twelve tribes of Israel—just like the other, more prominent disciples (Luke 22:30).

No matter how obscure or prominent you are from a human perspective, God can use you and will reward you with a glorious eternal inheritance.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord for all those people unknown to you whom He has used to shape your life for His glory. ✧ Seek to be more like James, serving Christ faithfully without applause or glory.

For Further Study: Read Luke 9:23–25. What did Jesus say is necessary to be His disciple? ✧ Read Luke 9:57–62. What were those men unwilling to give up to follow Christ?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 157). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

May 24 Learning Meekness

After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. Acts 9:23-25

What humiliation! Here Paul was, equipped to win the day for Jesus Christ. He was going to show the world how much he could do for this new Master that he had found. But instead he finds himself humiliated, cast off, rejected, repudiated. His own friends finally have to take him at night and let him down over a wall. He walks away into the darkness in utter, abject failure and defeat.

The amazing thing is that many years later, as he is writing to the Corinthians and looking back over his life, he recounts this episode. He says, “You ask me to boast about the most important event in my life? The greatest event in my life was when they took me at night and let me down over the wall of Damascus in a basket. That was the most meaningful experience I have ever had since that day when I met Christ…” (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).

Is that not amazing? Why would this be so? Because then and there the apostle began to learn the truths which he records for us in the third chapter of Philippians, where he says, “Whatever gain I had, I learned to count as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 3:7-8 RSV). That is, “All the things that I felt were so necessary to do what God wanted I had to learn were absolutely useless, worthless. I did not need them at all. Everything that I thought I had and needed to serve him I had to learn I didn’t need at all. The beginning of that great lesson was the night they let me down over the wall in a basket. There I began to learn something. It took me a long time to catch on. But there I began to learn that God didn’t need my abilities; he needed only my availability. He just needed me, as a person. He didn’t need my background, he didn’t need my ancestry. He didn’t need my knowledge of Hebrew. He didn’t need my knowledge of the Law. He didn’t need these at all. In fact, he didn’t have any particular intention of using them to reach the Jews, he was going to send me to the Gentiles.” And though he did not understand it fully then, he began to assume the yoke of Christ and to learn that which Jesus Christ says every one of us must learn if we are going to be useful to him.

Jesus tells us what the curriculum is: “I am meek and lowly in heart…” (Matthew 11:29b KJV). Ambition and pride must die. We learn that we do not live to aggrandize ourselves any longer. We do not live to be a big shot, either religiously or secularly. We live only to be an instrument of the working of Jesus Christ. And we must learn the truth which Jesus taught his own disciples when he was here in the flesh, “Without me you can do nothing…” (John 15:5b). You can do what? “Nothing!” You may do a lot in the eyes of the world. What you do might be esteemed there. But in the eyes of God, without him it is nothing. If you are depending on yourself, God evaluates all you do as worth nothing. This is what Paul began to learn. Through this experience his pride began to die.

Lord, I pray that I will learn the lesson, and that I will be willing to be a person no longer holding onto control of the program myself but quite willing to follow where you lead, and to trust in your life in me to be all that it takes to do all that needs to be done.

Life Application

Are we learning the liberty and beauty of humility, or are we still counting on our personal resources, real or imagined, to accomplish God’s work in us or through us?

Related Message

For more on this portion of Scripture read the message:

The Yoke of Christ

May 24 Thursday: God Is My Fortress

By James Boice on May 24, 2018 12:00 am

In the psalmist’s first appeal (vv. 1-5), the emphasis seemed to be on David’s danger and therefore on the bloodthirsty men who had been set against him. In this second parallel appeal (vv. 10-13), David’s description of the danger shifts to what he is asking God to do to these enemies.

Read more…

Why Apostles are NOT for today, Part 1 – Berean Research

If you’re looking for a simple definition of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), I’ve come up with this:

The NAR is a fast-growing Dominionist movement of new Apostles and Prophets who will lead God’s end-times army in establishing His kingdom on earth, by taking authority over earthly and spiritual realms.

Proponents of the NAR believe that the governing offices of Apostle and Prophet have been re-established by God. There are nuances within this movement of course, and you’ll want to check out our New Apostolic Reformation White Paper for further study.

Recently, author Elliott Nesch completed a four-part series titled, Apostles Today, in which he explains the Scriptural qualifications for these offices, and why it is impossible for Apostles to govern Christian churches in our time:

By Elliott Nesch

In his article, “Understanding How Apostles Minister in Different Spheres,” the late modern Apostle C. Peter Wagner defines an apostles as a “Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.” Based upon the text of Ephesians 4:11, Wagner argues for what he calls the foundational or governmental gift or office of apostle. This is the teaching of the teaching of the apostolic and prophetic movement, sometimes known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). But what does the Bible say about apostles today?
— Read on bereanresearch.org/why-apostles-are-not-for-today-part-1/

MAY 24 UNHOLY, UNRIGHTEOUS, UNHAPPY

And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

Romans 5:12

All of history and the daily newspaper testify that the human race lies in ruin—spiritually, morally and physically.

The long parade of gods, both virtuous and obscene, and a thousand varieties of vain and meaningless religious practices declare our spiritual degeneration, while disease, old age and death testify sadly to the completeness of our physical decay.

By nature, men and women are unholy; and by practice we are unrighteous. That we are also unhappy is of small consequence.

But it is of overwhelming importance to us that we should seek the favor of God while it is possible to find it, and that we should bring ourselves under the plenary authority of Jesus Christ in complete and voluntary obedience.

To do this is to invite trouble from a hostile world and to incur such unhappiness as may naturally follow. Add the temptation of the devil and a lifelong struggle with the flesh, and it will be obvious that we will need to defer most of our enjoyments to a more appropriate time!

Loving Father, there is nothing more important to do while we are alive than to accept You as our Savior. I pray especially today for believers in hostile countries, that their inner joy in knowing You will override any pain that is inflicted upon them or their families.[1]


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

Guest Commentary: Spiritual Discernment What It Is and How to Get It — Lighthouse Trails Inc

By Dr. Shelton Smith*

Used with permission.

Spiritual discernment! What is it? Where do you learn about it? Is it something we need? If so, how do we get it? Okay, let’s see if we can find the answers to these questions. There are many things that we can do without spiritual discernment. We can … [Read more…]

via Guest Commentary: Spiritual Discernment What It Is and How to Get It — Lighthouse Trails Inc

May 24, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Reliability

For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. (1:19–20)

Throughout the history of the church, heretics have always assaulted the nature of Christ, and the false apostles at Corinth appear to be no exception in their effort to diminish Him. Having slanderously accused Paul of being untrustworthy because of his change in travel plans, they also alleged that his teaching on the Lord Jesus was untrustworthy. Responding to their attack on his Lord, Paul emphasized Christ’s nature as the God-man by using the full, rich title the Son of God, Christ Jesus.

Paul was not the only one who preached the truths of the Son of God to the Corinthians; Silvanus and Timothy had preached the message to them. Silvanus (Silas) was a prominent leader in the Jerusalem church. The Jerusalem Council entrusted him to carry its decision to the church at Antioch (Acts 15:22). He later became Paul’s companion on the apostle’s second missionary journey, replacing Barnabas (Acts 15:39–40). Timothy was Paul’s beloved son in the faith. As the son of a Jewish Christian mother and a pagan Gentile father (Acts 16:1), he was uniquely qualified to minister alongside the apostle. Both Silvanus and Timothy had ministered with Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:5). Their preaching was not untrustworthy, it was not yes and no, but was a firm, unwavering, resounding yes to God’s truth in Jesus Christ.

Then Paul sums up the glory of Christ by reminding the Corinthians that as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes. All of God’s salvation promises—of blessing, peace, joy, goodness, fellowship, forgiveness, strength, and hope of eternal life—are yes, meaning they all come true, in Christ. They are all made possible by His person and work. After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples, “All things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). In 1 Corinthians 1:30 Paul declared that “Christ Jesus … became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.” To the Colossians he wrote, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.… For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 1:19; 2:9). It was the realization of “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus [as his] Lord” that made Paul willing to suffer “the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that [he might] gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8).

Then Paul drove home the point of his argument by reminding the Corinthians, Therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. Amen is a solemn affirmation of the truthfulness of a statement (cf. Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 11:36; 15:33; 16:27; Gal. 1:5; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:16; 2 Tim. 4:18; Heb. 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11; 2 Peter 3:18; Jude 25; Rev. 1:6; 7:12). When Paul, Silas, and Timothy preached the gospel, it was all about Christ, who by His glorious work brings to pass all salvation realities. The Corinthians probably even had joined in saying Amen to the glory of God. The congregation had affirmed that the preachers reliably spoke God’s truth about Christ when they believed the gospel message Paul and his companions preached, and it transformed their lives. How utterly absurd, Paul argued, to accept and experience the gospel message as reliable, but consider those who preached it unreliable. How ridiculous to trust Paul’s word about eternal things, but not about mundane things like travel plans.

The apostle who was exacting in communicating the true gospel of Christ was also exacting in the lesser matters of life. God did not choose an unstable, unreliable apostle to preach His truth.[1]


1:20 / In verse 20a Paul explains (For, gar) why his message of Jesus Christ as Son of God was unequivocally confirmed to the Corinthians. Just as in verse 18 the faithfulness of God substantiates the veracity of Paul’s general apostolic “word” (including statements about his travel plans), so also here divine promises substantiate Paul’s more specific apostolic message of the gospel.

As Paul has mentioned repeatedly and in various ways in the previous context, the Corinthians are sons of God and thus brothers with Paul (cf. vv. 1, 2, 3). Hence, when Paul refers here to the “promises” that have already been confirmed to the Corinthians, he may have in view particularly the divine adoption of sons (cf. 2 Cor. 6:18, quoting 2 Sam. 7:14) that the Corinthians enjoy in Christ, the messianic Son of God promised beforehand through the ot prophets (Rom. 1:2–4). The only other use of the term in the letter comes at 2 Corinthians 7:1 and refers to an ot messianic adoption text (2 Sam. 7:14) as among the promises that Paul and the Corinthians already have. This does not, of course, exclude other promises from resonating with the text, especially since divine adoptive sonship includes Abrahamic heirship (cf. Gal. 3:26, 29; 4:1–7; Rom. 8:15, 17). Paul’s message of Jesus Christ as Son of God was unequivocally confirmed to the Corinthians, for the latter participate in the sonship of the Son of God, in whom the promises are affirmed by their fulfillment (“Yes”).

In verse 20b Paul draws an inference (And so, dio kai) from the fact that in Christ the Corinthians participate in the promises through Paul’s preaching. Whatever this line may mean in particular, it seems clear that Paul portrays himself as a revelatory mediator. Amen is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that serves to confirm what has been said before. The Corinthians were familiar with this use of Amen (cf. 1 Cor. 14:16). Here, the Amen is spoken by Christ (through him) in that the promises spoken beforehand are fulfilled in him. That affirmation is, in turn, communicated by Paul (by us) to others, including the Corinthians. All of this has a doxological purpose (to the glory of God).[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2003). 2 Corinthians (pp. 43–44). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (pp. 40–41). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Trump Quotes Bible Prophet As Proof Life Begins in the Womb — Christian Research Network

(Randy DeSoto – The Western Journal) President Donald Trump quoted the biblical prophet Jeremiah as proof that life begins in the womb at a pro-life event Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Trump was well-received by the several hundred in attendance at the annual Susan B. Anthony List Campaign of Life gala, as he became the first president ever on-hand for the occasion.

“When I ran for office, I pledged to stand for life. And as president, that’s exactly what I’ve done. And I have kept my promise, and I think everybody here understands that fully,” Trump said to hearty applause from the audience.

“We celebrate all lives,” he added. “[E]very life is sacred and that every child is a precious gift from God.”

Trump then quoted from the Bible. “As the Lord says in Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you … Before you were born, I set you apart,” he said.

See Shannon Bream’s tweet on the site

The president said there is really nothing like the feeling a mother and father have when they hold their baby for the first time.

“When we look into the eyes of a newborn child, there is no doubt we see the beauty of the human soul and the mystery of God’s great creation,” he stated.

Trump listed some of the pro-life accomplishments of his administration including reinstituting the Mexico City Policy (banning federal dollars from being used to fund abortions overseas), overturning a federal rule forcing states to fund abortion providers, appointing a record number of pro-life judges, standing up for the religious liberty rights of groups life Little Sisters of the Poor in relation to Obamacare’s mandates, and earlier this month proposing a new rule that would defund clinics that provide abortions.  View article →

via Trump Quotes Bible Prophet As Proof Life Begins in the Womb — Christian Research Network

Church Shoppers Find Congregation That Doesn’t Have Greeting Time, Immediately Sign Up As Members — The Babylon Bee

PATTERSVILLE, NY—The Landon family has been searching for a new church for several months after moving to a new area, but had been unsuccessful at locating a congregation in which they felt at home—that is, until they visited Valley Community Church. As soon as they realized the service had concluded without a single time of…

via Church Shoppers Find Congregation That Doesn’t Have Greeting Time, Immediately Sign Up As Members — The Babylon Bee

May 24 Three Aspects of the Divine Will

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.—Matt. 6:10b

God’s Word reveals three aspects of His will. First is His will of purpose—His sovereign, ultimate plan for the universe. “Surely, just as I [God] have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” (Isa. 14:24; cf. Eph. 1:9–11). It has been within God’s purpose to allow sin to affect the world for a time. But that situation will end precisely according to His plan and foreknowledge.

Within God’s will of purpose is His will of desire. This will is more specific but not always fulfilled in the present age. For example, Jesus desired His people, the Jews, to be saved. However, only a relative few believed in His message. Jesus prayed, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together … and you would not have it!” (Luke 13:34). Like the Jews, most Gentiles are also unwilling to come to Christ for salvation (John 5:40; cf. 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9).

Third is God’s will of command, which is His desire that believers obey Him fully, as only they of all people can, with the help of the Spirit (see Rom. 6:16–18). Pride is the great enemy set against all of God’s will. But for us to obey His will, we must forsake self-will and “prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2; see also v. 1).

ASK YOURSELF

Understanding the many-layered aspects of God’s will is not nearly as important as being obedient to every aspect you do know. Don’t you long for His purpose, desire, and command to be met with full acceptance in your own life? Submit to Him in some new way today. Conform to His will.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 153). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

THE LIST: At Least 6 and Potentially 7 Known and Suspected Intelligence Informants Now Known to Have Spied on Trump Campaign — The Gateway Pundit

As the Russia meddling into the 2016 US election unwinds, the meddling by the Obama Administration’s CIA and FBI, is becoming surprisingly more and more clear.

Internet sleuth, former D.C. Bureau Chief for Investors Business Daily, author and Hoover Institution Media Fellow, Paul Sperry, tweeted a list of 6 or 7 individuals that worked for or were suspected of working for the FBI/CIA and who were involved in spying on President Trump.

Sperry tweeted –

Sperry’s list includes US and foreign agents as well.

Christopher Steel

We’ve known for over a year that the Clinton campaign and the FBI worked with former UK MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who authored a dossier of salacious statements about President Trump.  Steele was reportedly paid by Fusion GPS for the document.

Steele was paid $168,000 by Glenn Simpson’s company Fusion GPS for the series of memos containing information that was selectively briefed to journalists approved by Simpson and used by the FBI.

The Steele dossier was never verified and is suspected of being a total fiction.  This act alone by a spy from the UK is troubling enough, but that is not it.

Joseph Mifsud

George Papadopoulos, the lower level campaign worker for the Trump campaign, appears to have been targeted by three individuals with ties to British and/or U.S. Intelligence: Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer and Stefan Halper.

Mifsud and Papadopoulos obtained positions at an organization named the Centre for International Energy and Natural Resources Law & Security. Papadopoulos was a ‘nobody’ and the Centre sketchy at best. Mifsud vanishedin early November 2017, shortly after Papadopoulos was in the news and indicted. His whereabouts are still unknown.

Although the common story is that Mifsud is a Russian Agent, many ties seem to lead [him] back to UK Intelligence. Julian Assange put out a Twitter Thread noting the connection between Mifsud and UK Intelligence.

Alexander Downer

Although, not a Brit, Alexander Downer is the Australian individual who apparently overheard Papadopoulos talk about Trump and Russia in a bar which alerted the FBI to the story and their eventual spy program on Trump. This story has been refuted for months.

The Papadopoulos/Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case….Downer has direct ties to UK Intelligence firm Hakluyt where he served on the Advisory Board from 2008-2014.

Shortly after the Papadopoulos and Downer chance encounter, Peter Strzok was in London per texts released by the FBI. “Strzok texts suggest he was in London on August 3, 2016.” The corrupt FBI’s investigation into Trump officially started a few days earlier.

Stefan Halper

One individual all over the Internet and social media by the name of Stefan Halper has been identified as a potential FBI spy into the Trump campaign. (Note that some believe that Obama may have had more than one spy on the Trump campaign).  The most intriguing individual related to Papadopoulos is Halper.

According to Jeff Carlson at theMarketswork

My guess is Papadopoulos never knew what hit him. A young man, suddenly thrust into a position beyond his experience, Papadopoulos made for an easy intelligence target.

Carter Page almost certainly discussed the just completed Moscow trip with his host, Stefan Halper, during the London symposium.

It’s now being reported that Devin Nunes has learned the identity of a “top secret intelligence source” that was part of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Investigation.

I think there’s a decent chance that source is Stefan Halper.

Halper had contact with both Papadopulos and Carter Page. Halper has connections to UK Intelligence and US Intelligence. Halper met with Carter Page just days after Page’s Moscow trip.

Other Internet sleuths tied Halper to the Obama team of crooks. Halper was paid more than $400,000 in 2016 for his efforts to set Papadopulos up and get him to sing to the Australia diplomat about Hillary’s emails being held by Russia.  Halper and others planted this information on Papadopulos before he shared this with the Aussie in a drunken London pub discussion.

Additional research shows that Halper was a classmate of impeached President Bill Clinton.  Halper apparently knew Bill Clinton well in their days at Oxford.  He later worked as an Advisor to the Clinton Administration.

Glenn Simpson and Nellie Ohr

Nellie Ohr is in the middle of the FBI/CIA scandal –

Corrupt and sneeky Jones worked with Senate Democrat Feinstein –

A declassified congressional report confirms prior reporting by The Federalist that Daniel Jones, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), hired Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele after the 2016 election to push the anti-Trump Russian collusion narrative.

According to the report, Jones, who runs an investigative outfit called the Penn Quarter Group (PQG), told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in March of 2017 that he had retained the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to “continue exposing Russian interference” in the 2016 election. Steele is the former British spy who authored the infamous unverified dossier of allegations against President Donald Trump.

Although Jones’ name is redacted in the report, the biographical details plus previous reporting on the matter make clear that he is the individual referenced. The report also revealed that Jones told federal investigators that he had raised $50 million from “7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California.”

Sperry indicates that there may be a 7th individual who spied or manipulated the Trump campaign as well.

These people are crooks who along with their corrupt liberal press and the Democrat party worked diligently to overthrow the elected President of our good nation.  They are an outrage and need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The post THE LIST: At Least 6 and Potentially 7 Known and Suspected Intelligence Informants Now Known to Have Spied on Trump Campaignappeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

MAY 24 FIND SOMETHING BETTER THAN SPIRITUAL CURIOSITY

…I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

JOHN 10:10

If the only interest we have in the deeper spiritual life is based on curiosity, it is not enough—regardless of our education or scholarship!

In our day we have seen a great revival of interest in mysticism, and supposedly a great interest in the deeper life. But I find that much of this interest is academic and is based on curiosity. We become interested in aspects of the deeper Christian life much as we become interested in mastering the yo-yo or folk songs or dabbling in Korean architecture or anything else that intrigues us. You can go anywhere now and buy a book about the deeper life because there are curious persons who are swelling the market.

It has been suggested that we should not “waste our time” in trying to help those who are merely curious. But I differ at this point, because it is Jesus’ blood that makes the difference and it is because of this hope by the blood of Jesus that any of us may be worthy to listen. We must leave the sorting out to God! The testing in the matters of spiritual life is by the Spirit of God, not by pastors and preachers. We dare not withhold the open secret of the victorious life because there are those who are merely curious and without true desire.[1]


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

I’m A Democrat, And The Left’s Russia Gaslighting Scares Me More Than Trump Does — The Federalist

I am an ordinary voter living far from the Beltway who feels gaslighted by our political and media establishments regarding the Russia investigation. Our current Yanny versus Laurel political moment is probably confusing even for professional political commentators. But for ordinary Americans it is a bewildering, disorienting spectacle.

Which is it: Is Donald Trump a threat to the republic, or is the deep state the threat? Was the Russia investigation legit, or was it concocted by an out-of-control Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency? Was it an FBI “informant,” or was it a “spy”?

Has America become Venezuela, as Republicans say, because the Obama administration spied on the campaign of a political adversary? Or has it become Venezuela, as Democrats say, because our current president is attacking his investigators?

The answers to the above questions depend on which camp one is in. In our hyperpartisan times, each side has its own narrative.

Each Side Couldn’t Be Farther From the Other

The Democrats and their supportive media outlets (CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times) have been saying for a year that Trump and his campaign likely colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will eventually find proof of it, and that Trump will, as a result, get impeached.

Those on the Right point to the various leaks and reports to say there was no collusion, the Russia investigation was a set-up to undermine Trump’s presidency, and that the investigation needs to wrap up.

Looking at all of this, one wonders: If Watergate had happened today, would there be a bipartisan, national consensus that the president had done grave misdeeds and needed to resign? Probably not. There would be two narratives, each spinning madly, with no consensus.

I’m a Democrat, and it would be easier to accept my side’s version of unfolding events. It would certainly make my life easier when talking with my liberal friends. But facts are pesky things, and I’ve become increasingly aggravated by my own side. It seems the desire to win the 2016 election and Trump hatred has not only warped the Democratic political and media establishments, but exposed them for what they are.

Yes, Trump is intemperate, narcissistic, and the most unconventional president ever. But it appears that his opponents in our political and media establishments are far worse: they wanted to subvert democracy to save it from Trump; they wanted to thwart the will of Trump’s 63 million voters and not just undermine his presidency, but to concoct an investigation to impeach him and get him out of office.

Looked at this way, it appears that Trump’s election is vindicated for many reasons: There appears to be a deep state in this country comprising both Republicans and Democrats, which will not abide an outsider president.

This Is a Horrible Look for Democrats

Meanwhile, my fellow Democrats aren’t in a good spot: They are increasingly becoming the kind of low-information voters they despise and think are only on the other side. For instance, a 2017 poll showed that a majority of Democrats (52 percent) believed Russia tampered with vote tallies in the 2016 election to help elect Trump, despite no evidence. That is akin to 69 percent of Americans believing in September 2003 that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Further, many of my Democratic friends are in the dark about many of the smaller events and facts surrounding the Mueller investigation. They don’t know, for instance, that a federal judge, T. S. Ellis, rebuked Mueller for trying to target Trump. They don’t know that one of the Russian companies Mueller indicted for tampering in the 2016 election, Concord Catering, didn’t exist at the time of the election, and that when they showed up in court to contest the charges, Mueller was unprepared to proceed with the case.

This isn’t entirely ordinary Democrats’ fault, but that of the legacy media outlets they rely on for their news and analysis, which have let their audiences down completely. These media outlets (CNN, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, etc.) have devoted little or no time to many of the stories that “help” Trump or fail to advance the Russia collusion narrative. For instance, ABC, CBS, and NBC together spent a total of just 153 seconds covering Ellis’s rebuke of Mueller.

This Is Not Just a Media Problem

There is only one word to describe CNN and MSNBC’s coverage in the last year and half: grotesque. They’ve gone so over-the-top with their anti-Trump coverage, so lacking in self-awareness, that even criticizing them seems like a waste of time.

But I sense a bigger problem on the Democratic side, both among ordinary Democrats and prominent left-leaning pundits. In the Trump era, many seem unable to grasp irony and facts as it applies to their own side. For instance, when they talk about Trump violating the rule of law or obstructing justice, don’t they realize that some of us are thinking: Yes, but where were you when the FBI didn’t apply the rule of law to Hillary Clinton, and why didn’t you object when Hillary obstructed justice by deleting emails under subpoena? Shouldn’t the rule of law apply to everyone?

In these troubling times, I’ve been grateful for the commentators on the Right who’ve explained what’s happening and put it in perspective. I’ve also appreciated people like Mark Penn, who broke with party lines and loyalty to the Clintons to speak the truth of what’s happening. His reason, of course, may not be just to defend Trump but to defend the rule of law and our democracy.

Everything that happened in 2016 and 2017 needs to come out in the open: the botched FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the surveillance of Trump’s campaign, the shady origins of the Russia investigation. There needs to be a reckoning.

There needs to be a reckoning for the mainstream media as well, as to why, as one critic said this week, they’ve acted as “lapdogs for the Deep State and propaganda arm of the Left.” Maybe I’m not a good enough Democrat, but I’m far more troubled by what is happening to Trump than by Trump himself.

via I’m A Democrat, And The Left’s Russia Gaslighting Scares Me More Than Trump Does — The Federalist

via I’m A Democrat, And The Left’s Russia Gaslighting Scares Me More Than Trump Does — The Federalist

John Brennan’s Plot to Infiltrate the Trump Campaign – AC2 News

“Or was this another case of Obama leading from behind — behind a CIA director briefing him daily on “Russian interference” while running an anti-Trump spy ring out of Langley.”

This is is a remarkable report from The American Spectator. Everyone, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, other, should read it. It looks like CIA Director Brennan was doing everything he could to blow up the Trump campaign. And not because he feared Putin’s reach from overseas.

The argument has been, since Brennan’s influence has come to light, that Brennan did what he did because he feared Russian influence. But it looks increasingly like “Russian influence” was an excuse to allegedly undermine Trump’s “deplorable” campaign. A campaign that was all about unwinding the Obama years. Years that had treated Brennan quite well.

(From The American Spectator)

As Trump won primary after primary in 2016, a rattled John Brennan started claiming to colleagues at the CIA that Estonia’s intelligence agency had alerted him to an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign. The tip was bogus, but Brennan bit on it with opportunistic relish.

Out of Brennan’s alarmist chatter about the bogus tip came an extraordinary leak to the BBC: that Brennan had used it, along with later half-baked tips from British intelligence, as the justification to form a multi-agency spy operation (given the Orwellian designation of an “inter-agency taskforce”) on the Trump campaign, which he was running right out of CIA headquarters…

A veteran of the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s CIA was full of Hillary supporters, some of whom decorated their desks with her campaign paraphernalia. Brennan, whom the press noted would walk the halls of the CIA in an LGBT rainbow lanyard, encouraged this open political atmosphere.* While Brennan knew his spying operation on the Trump campaign was an “exceptionally, exceptionally sensitive” matter (as reported by journalists David Corn and Michael Isikoff), he assumed its machinations would never come to light.

The members of Brennan’s working group at Langley “were just a bunch of out-of-control idiots,” says a former high-ranking CIA official to TAS. He finds it flabbergasting that Brennan would bring CIA officials and FBI officials into the same room to cook up schemes to send a spy into the Trump campaign’s ranks. One of those schemes involved money (Halper paid George Papadopoulos $3,000 for a phony research paper as a way of luring him into a London meeting); another involved sex (Halper’s assistant, with a name out of a bad spy novel, Azra Turk, tried to coax information from Papadopoulos at flirty bar outings, according to the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross).

Click here for the article.
— Read on www.ac2news.com/2018/05/john-brennans-plot-to-infiltrate-the-trump-campaign/

Nearly Four In Five College Departments Don’t Employ One Republican

To set foot on an American college campus, as anyone who’s spent a picosecond thereabout lately can tell you, is to step through a left-wing looking glass. But a jaw-dropping new study from the National Association of Scholars (NAS) reveals just how deep the rabbit hole goes: among tenure-track college professors at the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts schools, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by more than 10 to 1.

Rather than culling data from some voluntary survey, the report uncovers the political leanings of 8,688 elite academics by cross-referencing publicly available voter registration information with faculty lists from 51 colleges. At these schools, “78.2 percent of departments do not employ a single Republican.” And that’s just the topline.

The numbers below the fold, broken down by college and field of study, are even more alarming. Over at Wellesley College, perhaps best known for fostering pantsuited diplomats and disdain for the late Barbara Bush, there are 136 Democrat professors for every Republican. More than a third of the colleges assessed have ratios of at least 20-to-1.

At the low end of the spectrum are schools like the Naval Academy, where still more than twice as many Ds as Rs appear at the front of the lecture hall. Lopsided leanings are also evident in key disciplines, such as environmental studies (25-to-1), the humanities (32-to-1), and sociology (44-to-1).

Even If You’re Liberal, This Is Bad News

Look, it’s news to no one (except maybe the frequently confused Matt Yglesias) that the Left smothers conservative thought in academe. But at this magnitude, the consequences go far beyond who gets to wear tweed jackets with elbow patches. Each year, America’s universities ingest millions of bright but ideologically inchoate young people fumbling towards adulthood. Failing to expose them to an extensive menu of different ideas is a sure recipe for parochialism and intellectual indolence.

Even those who would welcome a unanimously liberal generation of Americans must recognize that a mind untested is as useful as a pencil unsharpened: it may be the tool you need, but good luck filling out your Scantron. The most valuable test of one’s worldview is to be confronted by an earnest exponent of a different or even contradictory one.

Moreover, consider the impact of straitjacketed thinking on academic inquiry. Despite being lavished with billions by American taxpayers, the social sciences are engulfed in a vexing replication crisis. Hundreds of findings once considered axiomatic have been impossible to reproduce, casting doubt on entire corpuses of published work in some disciplines.

Is this really all that gobsmacking, however, given the tool we use to appraise its validity? Peer review aims to ensure that academic evidence can be trusted by subjecting it to the rigorous scrutiny of reviewers with expertise comparable to the author. Yet as activists and politicians grasp ever more desperately at studies to lend scientific heft to their policy wish lists, academic research has become increasingly politicized. A panel drawn from a cohort of homogeneous thinkers cannot be expected to fairly assess evidence that has a political impact.

Look no further than the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a tool social psychologists developed that purports to measure unconscious prejudice. After being cited in more than 3,000 peer-reviewed papers by “psychologists [desiring] to help solve social problems,” and eagerly circulated by fellow travelers in the media, it was revealed that the test returns wildly unreliable results and has no impact on discriminatory behavior.

Despite failing to meet basic scientific standards, the IAT has been taken by more than 17 million people worldwide, featured in multimillion-dollar federal grants, and made the centerpiece of countless corporate diversity workshops. These academic blunders carry a price we will continue to pay until we recognize the limitations of peer review in an echo chamber.

This Means the ‘Consensus’ Is Tilted

The same applies to the notion of “scientific consensus,” commonly aired today in discussions about climate change. In 2014, noted demagogue John Oliver excoriated the media for daring to present viewers both sides of a political question by holding a “statistically representative” mock debate. To illustrate the percentage of scientists who agree on climate change, he trotted out 97 extras in white coats to shout down three climate skeptics.

To this profusion of unintentional irony, the NAS study adds another nugget: the 25-to-1 partisan ratio among environmental studies faculty means that out of professors who declare for a party, 96.2 percent are Democrats. By no means does this invalidate the conclusions of climate scientists. But policymakers should be aware that the oft-cited “consensus” is not necessarily a meeting of purely objective minds.

Let’s face it: the academy’s ability to perform credible peer review and proclaim scientific consensus will be hindered until it reclaims ideological pluralism. But how? The study argues that, “[t]he solution to viewpoint homogeneity may lie in establishing new colleges from the ground up” because reforming hidebound institutions “seems a very tall order.” Yet a vast new expansion, in the context of bloated federal outlays and overextended state budgets, seems even more improbable.

There is no choice but to reform existing universities, although it will take a Herculean effort from within to expand the institutional Overton window. These days, you can hardly walk through a quad without turning up some provost or vice chancellor underfoot, vowing to promote diversity. It’s past time for these administrators to show some mettle and apply that principle not just to race, sex, and creed, but to ideas also.

That means ceasing the assault on academic freedom and putting the kibosh on the heckler’s veto. Those interested in a truly plural discourse on campus should also think twice before reaching for the typical administrative pro-diversity playbook. Mandatory training seminars and hiring quotas are poor solutions, whomever they favor. Instead, we should take matters into our own hands.
— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/05/24/nearly-four-five-college-departments-dont-employ-single-republican/

May 24 Enemies of the Cross

Many walk, of who I have told you often, and now tell you weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.

Philippians 3:18

The most dangerous enemies to the cause of Christ are not those who openly oppose the gospel, but those who pretend to be friends of Christ, claim to identify with Him, and in some cases, reach positions of spiritual leadership.

Being on guard against hidden enemies is a constant theme in the New Testament. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). He also predicted that in the last days “many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matt. 24:11).

The apostle Paul was constantly dealing with the influence of false teachers. He warned the Ephesian elders: “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31). Do you want to know how to acquire the ability to discern enemies of the cross? Know the Word. If you don’t know the Word, you are open to being misled.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 161). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

“The Wretched Art of Loveless Discernment” by Reagan Rose | The Master’s Seminary Blog

We must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior. We must discern with precision, humility, and sorrow. Not to temper the truth, but rather that we might bolster the truth with love.

Christians are called to speak the truth (Eph 4:15). It is no surprise, therefore, that our enemy’s preferred tactic is deception (Rev 12:9). Consequently, because of this war between truth and deception, believers are called to exercise discernment—to be vigilant in dividing truth from error (Acts 17:11; Jude 3).

Tragically, the modern church often neglects this essential duty to contend for the truth. Even worse, professing Christians often scorn attempts at discernment as uncharitable and judgmental, subsequently dismissing it all together. This is one reason why those of us who practice discernment must be vigilant to not embody what the scoffers accuse us of. As we contend for right doctrine, we must take care to adorn it with right attitudes and behavior (Titus 2:10).

But isn’t that the exact opposite of what we see today among self-described discerners? For some Christians, what begins with a healthy interest in discernment can end in an unhealthy addiction to gossip and debate. Many of them manifest a cruelty in how they go about condemning error. There’s an almost giddiness when they get to call someone “false teacher” and a haughty attitude of superiority. These things ought not be so.

We must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel

We are called to speak the truth, yes. But we are called to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). That does not mean speaking less truth. But, it should be a heart check for us in how we speak the truth. How sad it would be if, in our attempts to be discerning, that ever-clever Devil twisted our love for truth into a love of gossip and contempt for others. What if he succeeded in tempting us to err in our walk even as we were seeking to reject error in our doctrine?

If we are to practice discernment in love, we must discern with precision, humility, and sorrow. Not to temper the truth, but rather that we might bolster the truth with our love that we might more honor Christ and persuade the erring.

Discern with Precision

Discerning in love means discerning with precision. Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” And John Murray said, “The difference between truth and error is not a chasm but a razor’s edge.” They are right. As you read through the New Testament epistles, you often find the writers addressing what appear to be incredibly fine points of doctrinal disagreement.

So, when it comes to doctrinal issues, we must wield discernment like a surgeon’s scalpel, carefully incising into a teaching to separate the bad tissue of error from the healthy tissue of truth. But we must be precise in how we go about exercising discernment as well. Because we are not only dissecting the false teaching, we are also trying to persuade our brothers and sister to turn away from it. Yet many self-described watchmen treat discernment less like a scalpel and more like a broadsword, wildly mowing down believers by the herd with every careless tweet.

Jesus had a whip for false teachers but he wept for the deceived

Precision in how we apply discernment means marking that distinction between deceived and deceiver, and treating them accordingly. There’s a difference between a false teacher, and someone who has been deceived by false teaching. Your mother-in-law shouldn’t be burned at the stake just because she listens to a health and wealth preacher. She needs someone to take the time to make a loving, patient, prayerful exposition of Scripture to show her why it is unbiblical. Precision recognizes that your buddy with bad theology is blessedly inconsistent. He’s not necessarily a heretic, he’s just an immature believer in need of doctrinal correction. Just observe the difference in how our Lord dealt with the Pharisees versus the other people He came across. Jesus had a whip for false teachers but he wept for the deceived.

When we discern with precision, we don’t give credence to those who would dismiss us as wide-eyed zealots who have a bone to pick with everyone. Instead, we are being above reproach in our conduct that we might behave more like genuinely concerned Christians who have a love for truth and just want to see others know and obey God. But this is not as easy at it sounds, because it takes humility.

Discern with Humility

Among those who display an unhealthy relationship with discernment, there seems to be a proclivity towards a very specific sin: Pride.

Some romanticize the image of being watchmen on the wall, gate-keepers of truth, or the lone voice in the wilderness. They love to regale us with tales of how they confronted so-and-so on the internet. They seem more interested in being perceived as having won the argument than seeing their interlocutors or their followers come to a knowledge of the truth. To them, the deceived are morons who just need to read their Bibles. There is an unmistakable arrogance.

Discerning with humility means that when we encounter a deceived person, we ever remember “there but for the grace of God go I.” A humble discerner does not gloat. He is not quarrelsome (1 Tim 3:3). He doesn’t have an unhealthy craving for controversy (1 Tim 6:4). The humble discerner recognizes that it is the Holy Spirit who opens the eyes of the heart to the truth and his job, therefore, is to patiently and lovingly correct error. Sometimes those rebukes are sharp (Titus 1:13), but they are never prideful or unloving.

Practicing precision and humility in our discernment are the natural outflow of our love for others. But there is one more attitude that we should attend to as we practice discernment with love. Instead of beating our chests in triumph when we win an argument, we should be beating our breasts in sorrow that eternal souls are being deceived.

Discern with Sorrow

I hope by now the point is clear—practicing discernment is not unloving, as some would claim, but you can be unloving in how you practice discernment.

False teaching is a tragedy as much as it is a travesty

There should be a profound sorrow when we see error in the church. It is natural for us to feel a sense of righteous anger, even personal indignation at the dissemination of error about our Lord (Psalm 69:9). But false teaching is a tragedy as much as it is a travesty. It’s a grievous thing to see the name of our Lord maligned and to see His people tricked by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

This is another good heart check as we practice discernment. Do you only feel anger or are you moved to sorrow as well? Do you care about the people being misled enough that it causes you to weep and pray? That sorrow and care, if real, will be evident to those whom you try to persuade away from error. Genuine concern for the truth and for the deceived will result in discernment practiced with sorrow.

By God’s help may we not retreat from the fight for truth. May we be all the more invigorated by a love for our Lord, His truth, and His people. And may this commitment be evident to all as we discern with precision, humility, and sorrow.

Reagan Rose serves as the Director of Operations at The Master’s Seminary. He is also the author of Redeeming Productivity, a blog about how Christians should approach getting things done. Reagan earned his Master of Divinity from TMS in 2017.

— Read on www.tms.edu/blog/wretched-art-loveless-discernment/

May 24, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

11:32 the people who know their God shall be strong: Mattathias, father of five sons, refused to offer sacrifices in a profane manner and killed the king’s agents. He and his sons then fled to the mountains and began the famous Maccabean revolt.[1]


11:32 — “ … but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

Our intimacy with God—his highest priority for our lives—determines the impact of our lives. The better we know and love God, the more “exploits” we will do—not in our own power, but in His.[2]


11:32 the people who know their God. Jews loyal to God (called Hasideans) stood on firm convictions, suffering death rather than compromising (v. 33; as also 1 Macc. 1:62, 63). Judas Maccabeus, helped by Rome, led them in a successful revolt.[3]


11:32 and will take action

Probably does not refer to the Maccabean revolt. Daniel never unambiguously endorses the revolt; rather, he prefers the instructive methodology of the wise men (see v. 33).[4]


11:32 the people who know their God. Daniel speaks of those who opposed the Hellenizers and were ready to die for their faith (1 Macc. 1:60–63).[5]


[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1023). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Da 11:32). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Da 11:32). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Da 11:32). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1234). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.