Daily Archives: June 14, 2018

June 14: Remembering

2 Chronicles 33:1–34:33; 1 John 2:18–27; Psalm 105:1–22

My mom discovered scrapbooking when I was a teenager. At first, the craft seemed time consuming and burdensome; paper scraps, pictures, and double-sided tape were constantly strewn over the kitchen table. But as the books came together, I began to appreciate her new hobby. A random photo would inspire a conversation about an event I had no memory of. The way she pieced the book together showed me a timeline of my parents’ sacrifice for my siblings and me. I had a deeper respect and a renewed sense of gratitude toward them.

Psalm 105 reads like a record of God’s faithfulness to Israel—a scrapbook of His work in their lives. To help them remember, the psalmist details each memory, beginning with the great patriarchs with whom God initiated and renewed His covenant—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God didn’t choose these men because of their spotless lives. He was true to Israel, protecting, guiding, and reprimanding them when they were unfaithful and forgetful.

Although the psalmist is remembering God’s work and encouraging others to do the same, he ultimately shows that God’s act of remembering should ignite our praise. “He remembers His covenant forever, the word that he commanded for a thousand generations” (Psa 105:8).

We are wayward children who don’t deserve God’s love. We are forgetful and ungrateful, which often means we don’t praise Him like we should. Despite this, God has remained faithful—even reconciling us to Himself through the work of His Son. We shouldn’t live in ignorance of His faithfulness. Knowing that He’ll “remember his wonders that he has done” (Psa 105:5), we can live lives of thankfulness and praise.

How do you praise God for His faithfulness to you?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


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

June 14 Defining True Religion

“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27).

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True religion produces holiness and sacrificial love.

In this verse James continues his practical and penetrating assessment of true faith. So far he has said in effect, “Don’t just study the Bible—obey it! Don’t just dabble in external religion—have pure speech!” Now he adds, “Don’t just say you’re religious—demonstrate sacrificial love! Don’t just claim to love God—live a pure life!” Shallow claims to Christianity meant nothing to him. He wanted to see godly attitudes and righteous deeds.

The Apostle John used the same approach when he wrote, “The one who says he abides in [Christ] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. … The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:6, 10–11). “Light” in that passage represents truth and righteousness; “darkness” speaks of error and sin. If you are truly saved, you are in the light and will show it by your love for others.

In our society, the definition of religion is very broad. Almost any belief system qualifies. But to God, any religion that doesn’t produce holiness and sacrificial love is not true religion. That narrows the field considerably because anyone who isn’t saved through faith in Jesus Christ remains in bondage to sin and has no capacity to live a holy and selfless life.

How about you? Do you flee from sin and reach out to those in need? If so, you have true religion. If not, receive Christ now. He alone is the source of holiness and love.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  If you are a believer, God’s love is already shed abroad in your heart through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Ask God to increase your capacity to love others as Christ loves you.

For Further Study: Read 1 John 3:10–18, noting John’s comparison of the children of God with the children of the Devil.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 178). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

June 14, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat and his top diplomat offered a hopeful timeline for “major disarmament,” despite skepticism at home that Pyongyang will abandon its nuclear weapons following this week’s summit.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to visit Guatemala and meet with victims of a recent deadly volcanic eruption as part of a Latin American trip to Brazil and Ecuador.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, fresh off an attention-grabbing victory getting a proposal onto the November ballot to split California into three states, said on Wednesday he was confident voters ill-served by their government would embrace the plan.

The United States will release $6.6 million to a Syrian group that rescues civilians caught up in fighting and a United Nations group that monitors human rights abuses, the State Department said.

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi positions in Yemen’s Hodeidah for a second day on Thursday, as a Saudi-led alliance tried to seize the main port in the largest battle of a war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Russia vowed on Thursday to retaliate for a plan by Norway to more than double the number of U.S. Marines stationed there.

Russian police detained veteran British LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell in Moscow on Thursday for what they said was an illegal protest on the first day of the soccer World Cup.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that Saudi Arabia wants to continue cooperation with Russia on global oil markets, adding that this cooperation was beneficial for the whole world.

North and South Korea failed to reach any concrete agreement during their military talks on Thursday, as two-star generals from both sides met just two days after U.S. President Donald Trump floated his plan to halt joint exercises with South Korea.

U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in May as consumers bought motor vehicles and a range of other goods even as they paid more for gasoline, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000 for the week ended June 9.

AP Top Stories

A New Jersey special education teacher has stunned her coworkers by donating $1m to her former school district – seven years after her death.

Dozens of football hooligans have failed to surrender their passports ahead of Thursday’s World Cup opening ceremony, raising fears they could attempt to travel to Russia. Police are now visiting known hooligans who have yet to hand over their travel documents in a bid to ensure they remain at home.

A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled multiple wildfires scorching the drought-stricken U.S. West on Wednesday.

George H.W. Bush enjoyed a relaxing birthday on Tuesday as he became the first former U.S. president to turn 94.

The melting of Antarctica is accelerating at an alarming rate, with about 3 trillion tons of ice disappearing since 1992, an international team of ice experts said in a new study.

Women roared to victories Tuesday in Democratic primaries across Virginia on Tuesday, falling in line with what has been a national trend. In every Democratic primary where a woman was on the ballot in Virginia, a woman won the nomination.

France should stop plowing large amounts of cash into a welfare system that fails to rescue the poor from poverty, President Emmanuel Macron said in a video clip released by his office that critics said showed he was uncaring.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday for the seventh time since the financial crisis. In its monetary policy statement released Wednesday, the central bank increased the target range for its benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to a range of 1.75%-2%, the highest since September 2008. All eight voting members of the FOMC voted in favor of Wednesday’s decision.

BBC

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalizing abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

San Francisco is to have its first-ever female black mayor – at a time when African-Americans are becoming increasingly scarce in the US city.

Police and prosecutors in Chile have raided offices and seized documents of the Roman Catholic Church amid a child sexual abuse and cover-up scandal.

Motorists in New South Wales, Australia, will soon be scanned by camera technology to detect if they are using mobile phones.

WND

The U.S. House approved a ban Wednesday on the importation and trafficking of anatomically correct child sex dolls and robots that “normalize sex between adults and minors.”

The federal government Wednesday announced a special Place to Worship initiative to ensure religious organizations have a “place to gather for worship.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that while such rights are protected in the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, they are not adequately enforced. “The goal of the Initiative is to increase enforcement and public awareness of the land use provisions of RLUIPA.”


News – 6/14/2018

Austrian-Born Chancellor Calls For New ‘Axis’ Against Immigration
Kurz, 31, a conservative, pressed for Italy, Germany and Austria to join together and form an “axis” against illegal migration in Europe, Politico reported. Kurz met with Horst Seehofer, the conservative German interior minister, about tightening borders to combat the rise of illegal migration. “In our view, we need an ‘axis of the willing’ in the fight against illegal migration,” Kurz told reporters following his meeting with Seehofer, according to Deutsche Welle. “I am happy about the good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin.

America’s biggest enemy is ‘fake news’
President Trump has made it official, at least on Twitter. America’s biggest enemy is “fake news.” Upon returning from the Singapore summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, trump tweeted Wednesday that it was “so funny” to watch coverage by NBC and CNN, whom he labeled as “fake news” and “fools,” indicating both networks were doing their best to downplay the agreement with North Korea.

Hezbollah refused Russian demand to leave south Syria
A Syrian human rights monitoring group reported on Thursday that the Hezbollah terror group’s leadership has refused to accede to a Russian request that its forces vacate a number of locations in southwest Syria near the Lebanese border. Despite the refusal, no dispute or fraying of relations were detailed in the report. The rights group said that Hezbollah is sporadically “renewing its ranks” in military posts straddling the Syrian-Lebanese border, serving as proof that it has no intention to evacuate the area.

Sessions Says More Firings Possible Following DOJ Report
The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on Thursday will release a 500-page report of an investigation into the FBI’s handling of former Secretary of State Clinton’s email investigation. The report is expected to be heavily critical of former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Civilians flee bombardment as Arab states pound Yemen port
Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi positions in Yemen’s Hodeidah for a second day on Thursday, as a Saudi-led alliance tried to seize the main port in the largest battle of a war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Assad: I wouldn’t object to permanent Iranian base in Syria
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said on Wednesday that relations with Iran and its presence in Syria were non-negotiable. Speaking with the Iranian-based Al Alam television network, Assad added that he would not object to the establishment of a permanent Iranian military base within his country’s borders if such a base is necessary.

First time in Judea and Samaria: Offensive drone in action
This drone can fly about half third of a mile in a very short time, sending a large quantity of riot dispersal material, especially tear gas, very accurately, all at a height of around 300 feet. “No stone will reach this height,” explains Major A., the liaison officer at the Binyamin Brigade who was one of the project’s leaders. “The moment they recognize that a drone is approaching them, they are already leaving,”

Haley Decries ‘Morally Bankrupt’ UN
“The nature of this resolution clearly demonstrates that politics is driving the day. It is totally one-sided. It makes not one mention of the Hamas terrorists who routinely initiate the violence in Gaza,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the U.N. body.

US Negotiation Team Heading to Israel, ME to Push Peace Plan
US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and White House special adviser Jared Kushner will arrive to Israel as part of a Middle East tour next week to discuss previously undisclosed details of a peace plan being promoted by US President Donald Trump. The delegation is also expected to visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The trip may be further expanded to include additional countries.

U.N. votes down U.S. bid to condemn Hamas violence against Israel
In a public relations blow to Israel’s right to self-defense the United Nations General Assembly voted not to condemn Hamas violence and in favor of international protection for the Palestinian people along the Gaza border, in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The dramatic three hour debate…ended on Wednesday evening with resounding applause for the Palestinians as a resolution that censured Israeli actions in Gaza passed by 120-8, with 45 abstentions.

Israel and Germany green light billion dollar killer drone deal
German lawmakers approved on Wednesday a $600 million military deal to lease several Heron TP drones manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)… IAI confirmed the agreement was signed with Airbus to lease the company’s Heron TP Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPASs (remotely piloted air vehicle system) to Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence pending approval of the German federal budget, which is expected in the second half of 2018.

North Korea sanctions remain until complete denuclearisation, says US
North Korea will not see any economic sanctions lifted until it has demonstrated “complete denuclearisation”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. Mr Pompeo was speaking at a press conference in Seoul with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. It comes days after President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un held a historic summit in Singapore.

Chile police raid Catholic Church offices amid sex abuse scandal
Police and prosecutors in Chile have raided offices and seized documents of the Roman Catholic Church amid a child sexual abuse and cover-up scandal. The surprise raids took place in the capital Santiago and in the city of Rancagua. They come as two Vatican envoys are in Chile to investigate the claims and advise dioceses how to respond.

First human case of plague in Idaho since 1992 confirmed in Elmore County child
A child in Elmore County was confirmed to be infected with the plague this week, according to the Central District Health Department, marking the first human diagnosis in Idaho since 1992. The child is recovering after receiving antibiotics. Cases of plague in Idaho were diagnosed in squirrels as recently as 2016, though none have been found in southern Ada County or Elmore County this year.

The Rampage: Supersonic missile developed to destroy high quality targets
With tensions still high between Israel and Iran, a new supersonic air-to-surface missile designed for the annihilation of high-quality targets has been developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Israel Military Industry Systems (IMI). Dubbed “The Rampage”…it is an accurate supersonic, long-range air-to-ground assault missile with a warhead, rocket engine and advanced navigation suit which allows for precision targeting…

Virginia School District Sparks Outrage Over Plan to Remove Clergy From List of ‘Trusted Adults’
A Virginia school district is raising eyebrows this week for their plans to remove clergy from their suggested “trusted adults” and begin using the phrase “sex assigned at birth” instead of “biological sex” in their Family Life Education curriculum.

Catholic Bishops Conference In Florida Calls For Catholics To Disobey Trump Immigration Policies, Threatens ‘Canonical Punishment’
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Bishops Conference in Florida has produced some intense results so far, not the least of which was calling for massive civil disobedience against our duly-elected president’s immigration policies. Not only that, the bishops also suggested that catholics who don’t disobey the president’s policies should be harshly punished with Catholic ‘canonical penalties’ which include everything from denial of taking the magic cookie, all the way up to being ex-communicated from the Whore of Babylon.

DEMONS really are possessing people, warns psychiatrist, as pure evil sweeps over humanity
An Ivy League-educated psychiatrist is convinced that there’s a growing epidemic of demonic possession in the world today, and that most everyday people now recognize the dark reality of this scary situation.

ASSAD: The West Funds Terrorists In Syria, They’re The Problem Not Us
Syrian President Bashar Assad has slammed the US, the UK, and France for supporting terrorists in Syria, adding they are responsible for all the bloodshed in the country.

Hanging From Doorknobs: 12 Pedophile Related Celebrity ‘Suicides’ So Far
Aside from the way they were found, Spade and Bourdain were both linked to the Clintons and it has since transpired that they may have also had knowledge of high-reaching child trafficking operations.

In a brazen act of defiance, the ‘Palestinian Authority’ says that no force in the world can prevent them from paying terrorists and their families…WITH YOUR TAX MONEY
The Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah sent a defiant message to the United States and Israel on Monday regarding its support for terrorists and their families.

The potential future leader of South Africa says blacks aren’t calling for the killing of whites…AT LEAST FOR NOW
Julius Malema says he has not called for the murder of white people, “at least for now.”

Groundbreaking: Israeli Team Using Special Enzyme To Treat Volcano Burns In Guatemala
An Israeli medical team dispatched to Guatemala last week to treat victims of a devastating volcano there were using a special enzyme developed at the Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba to treat the wounded, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday.

Royal Family calls Israel ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ in latest disgraceful act against the Jewish State
Royal family announcement on ‘nonpolitical trip’ to region calls Judea and Samaria ‘occupied Palestinian territories.’

Feds begin project to protect worship!
The federal government Wednesday announced a special Place to Worship initiative to ensure religious organizations have a “place to gather for worship.”

Researchers ‘See Through Walls’ Using WiFi & AI
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are using WiFi and artificial intelligence (AI) to “see through walls.”

Christian teacher booted for refusing to call girls by boys’ names
A school board in Indiana has formally decided to accept the “resignation” of a teacher who was ordered to adopt the transgender social agenda by using opposite sex names for students who wanted it that way.

Intelligence Community Wants to Use DNA to Store Exabytes of Data
The U.S. intelligence community wants to unlock more efficient ways to store the trove of data humans generate every day, and it believes our DNA could hold the key.

One in three Americans take meds with depressive side effects: study
One third of Americans are taking prescription and over-the-counter drugs, such as birth control pills, antacids and common heart medications, that may raise the risk of depression, researchers warned on Tuesday.

Spanish City Cancels Israeli Concert in Submission to Islamic Jew-Hatred – Geller Report

Oviedo, Spain, the city that serves as the capital of the country’s Asturias region, has canceled a concert of Israel’s NK Orchestra because of pressures from Islamic forces. According to Ynet News, Oviedo has been taken over by left-wing factions with open hostility to Israel.

77 holistic practitioners now dead since 2015: This is beyond strange, they are dropping like flies and MSM ignores them
Since June of 2015, 77 holistic practitioners, more with other deaths associated with them, have died, official causes ranging from suicide to heart attacks, with the latest woman, doctor Annie Fairbanks, found murdered in her home, along with her husband, their 3-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son, in Arizona.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” —Thomas Paine (1776)

In Today’s Edition

  • Trump has a strategy with all of his hyperbole about North Korea.
  • Yes, the Leftmedia often are the enemies of American Liberty.
  • Philosophical trends in our suicidal culture.
  • The GOP faces a stark choice as Congress considers immigration bills.
  • Today is both Flag Day and the U.S. Army’s birthday.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

What Did Trump Say? What Did He Mean?

He’s surely guilty of hyperbolic bluster, but what he’s doing is far more important than how he says it.

The Media Enemies of Liberty

Trump declared, “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News.” CNN objects.

Philosophical Trends in Our Suicidal Culture

The suicide rate is up and life expectancy is down. What are the broader causes?

Amnesty vs. America First

Congressional Republicans face a stark choice with upcoming immigration legislation.

Pelosi and Corker — Which Side Are You On?

Both Beltway politicos made statements this week that will have implications for the 2018 midterms.

The AMA Moves Left on Guns and Suicide

It now supports an “assault weapons” ban and refuses to condemn physician-assisted suicide.

Flag Day and U.S. Army Birthday

Celebrating Liberty in more than one way — honor the flag and wish the Army a happy 243rd!

Video: Everyone Should Stand for the National Anthem

Because the anthem and the flag represent America, and America is a free nation.

Geopolitics: Trump Plays Chess, MSM Plays Checkers

Trump is closer to disarming the NoKo regional and global threat than any president in 60 years.

Thursday Short Cuts

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of ’em are stupider than that.” —George Carlin

Thursday Top Headlines

Nobel Peace Prize, North Korea, China, Hillary Clinton, interest rates, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Edwin J. Feulner
There’s No Denying the U.S. Economy’s Remarkable Strength
Gary Bauer
Nattering Nabobs of Negativism
Victor Davis Hanson
The Silencing of the Inspectors General
Tony Perkins
Left Coast Rallies for Freedom to Change
Larry Elder
If Tough Antidrug Laws Are ‘Racist,’ Blame Black Leaders

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Justification and Original Sin

Differences Between the Qur’an and the Bible: An Introduction

WOW Life Church Disco Divine Prophetic Word for 2018

Perry Noble Responds to Celebrity Suicides, Urges People Not to Give Lectures on Hell

Gay Irish Prime Minister: Catholic hospitals ‘will be required’ to abort babies

What South Korean Christians Want for North Korea


Headlines – 6/14/2018

Kushner, Greenblatt to visit region for peace plan talks and will ask Israeli, Egyptian and Saudi Arabian leadership for input on when might be best to release the detailed peace plan

Report: US official says Trump peace proposal won’t be the ‘Bibi plan’

Palestinians to U.S.: No ‘Deal of the Century’ if Jerusalem Not Addressed

‘Peace plan will not be presented unilaterally’ – as long as PA refuses to speak with US, the plan won’t be finalized

From Jerusalem, Miss Iraq calls for Israeli-Palestinian peace

After vote fails to condemn Hamas, Haley calls UN an unserious force for Middle East peace

Netanyahu praises Nikki Haley for strong defense of Israel at U.N.

UN votes by strong majority to condemn Israel over Gaza violence

UN General Assembly condemns Israel for ‘excessive’ force at Gaza border

UN Assembly blames Israel for Gaza violence, but not Hamas

U.N. Envoy: Another Gaza war could spark a regional conflict

Deaths of Palestinian protesters may amount to Israeli war crimes, Human Rights Watch says

‘The people of Gaza are not our enemy. Hamas is’

‘This Is Terrorism’: Israeli Farmers Still Reeling From Gaza’s Burning Kites

IDF fires at Gazans preparing incendiary kite to send into Israel

West Bank Palestinians urge Abbas to ease sanctions on Gaza Strip

PA bans anti-Abbas West Bank protests after hundreds rally in support of Gaza

The Palestinian Authority Joins the Chemical Weapons Convention

Caroline Glick: Prince William’s Problematic Itinerary in Israel

Israeli woman charged in Islamic State US terror plot

Sarin ‘Very Likely’ Used in 2017 Attacks Blamed on Assad Regime, Watchdog Says

Syria’s Assad says still pursuing political solution for rebel-held south

In Iran TV interview, Assad says Israel, US preventing south Syria settlement

Assad: Iran’s presence is non-negotiable, but deal over south Syria possible

Assad ‘will not hesitate’ to move Iranian bases to Syria if necessary

Trump, Iran spar over oil prices ahead of OPEC meeting

Turkey Coordinating With Iran on Possible Military Incursion Into Kurdish Iraq

Poll shows support for Turkey’s Erdogan eroding, vote going to second round

Arab states launch biggest assault of Yemen war with attack on main port

Arab States Attack Yemen Port Key to Feeding 8.4 Million Starving People

Yemen port city gripped by panic and fear as Saudi-led forces close in

Italy’s refusal of rescue ship leaves 629 migrants at sea and exposes growing EU fault lines

Trump Has Created ‘Worldwide Vacuum,’ Says Germany’s Top Diplomat

Trump: If Russia were in G-7 I could ask Putin ‘to do things that are good for the world’

Pentagon expected to cancel August military exercise with South Korea, senior administration official says

Pompeo: North Korea Will Take Major Steps To Disarm In Trump’s First Term

North Korea’s dispersed and hidden weapons complex highlights the challenge of denuclearization

Pompeo says Trump made it ‘incredibly clear’ to Kim that denuking is key to lifting sanctions

Pompeo: Trump North Korea tweet was done with ‘eyes wide open’

S. Korea’s Moon meets Pompeo, says world has escaped nuclear weapons threat

Trump says summit removed North Korean nuclear threat, but Democrats doubtful

Senators move to prevent Trump from removing US troops in South Korea

Trump Confronted Kim Jong Un About Atrocities Against Christians

Christians in North Korea Will Benefit Because of President Trump, Franklin Graham Says

Almost 1 million people moved from Venezuela to Colombia in just two years, study shows

Arizona state lawmaker: Immigration is ‘existential threat’ to US

Franklin Graham criticizes Trump policy of separating families at border

No Coke, no Pepsi: Bottlers leave Mexican city hit by crime

113 Mexican politicians killed since September

After nine years of U.S. recovery, Fed sheds anxieties

Fed hikes rates, points to two more increases by year’s end

Stage set for bombshell IG report on Clinton email case: Who’s in the crosshairs?

Only 100 nuclear bombs needed to cause catastrophe around the world

Russia Constructing Powerful ‘Space Laser’ To Remove Some 500,000 Junk Items Orbiting The Earth

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Muara Siberut, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Tonosi, Panama

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Volcano, Hawaii

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

Sabanacaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Reventador volcano erupts to 17,000ft

Volcanic ash forces Guatemala airport to suspend operations after the Pacaya volcano erupts

Hawaii’s Volcano Is Literally Erupting Gems

The Category 4 hurricane named Bud collapsed in spectacular fashion

Floods inundate southern Israel as freak rains batter country

Couple takes wedding photos amid wildfire blazing in Colorado

Berkeley declares ‘climate emergency’ worse than World War II, demands ‘humane’ population control

First human case of plague in Idaho since 1992 confirmed in Elmore County child

‘My body, my choice’: Argentina moves closer to legal abortion with key vote

Religious Freedom Isn’t Baked Into Wedding Cake Ruling

Drag Queen Children TV Shows Coming to America, ‘Drag Tots!’ Features Cross-Dressing Toddlers

House votes to ban sale of child sex robots

NHS ‘picking up the pieces’ of mental illness epidemic caused by social media

7 More Signs to Discern False Prophets

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 08:23 AM PDT

7 More Signs to Discern False Prophets(By Joseph Mattera) The following is part two of my article “7 Signs That Help Discern Between Flaky and False Prophets.” As already stated in the first part of this article, by flakey I am referring to a prophetic leader who has serious flaws in their ministry, but their heart and motive is generally right before God. By a false prophet I am referring to a person who is not only erroneous in some of their methodology, but in their motive and ambition. This is the kind of person I believe Jesus was referring to when He told His followers to beware of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves (Matthew 7:15).

1- They prophesy to people based on info they receive on social media – I have heard of so-called prophets that will google the names of pastors and people they know they are going to minister to, and then prophesy to them things already written about them online. Furthermore, they also go on the social media pages of the people they will minister to and garner specific personal and ministerial information about them. Unfortunately, most people are so gullible and so desperate to receive a word from the Lord they will likely not correlate what they wrote online with what they are hearing from the so-called prophet – or they will just think it was a confirmation of what they already wrote, sensed or said about themselves (on social media). CONTINUE

Deadly storms continue in India, 22 killed, dozens injured and thousands marooned

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 08:09 AM PDT

Deadly storms continue in India, 22 killed, dozens injured and thousands maroonedThirteen people were killed and at least 28 others injured due to powerful dust storms and thunderstorms in different parts of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. Sitapur, Gonda, Shravasti, Faizabad, and Basti districts, along with other adjoining areas of the state, were affected. Of the thirteen people who died, six people were killed in Sitapur, three people died in Gonda,

two in Kaushambi, and one person each in Faizabad and Hardoi. 17 people were injured in Sitapur, while 11 were hurt in Faizabad. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered district magistrates of the affected areas to ensure proper treatment to all those injured due to severe weather conditions on Wednesday. He also ordered officials to compensate the families of those killed in the storms, and asked for it to be done on priority. CONTINUE

New study suggests young people’s IQs are in decline

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 07:52 AM PDT

New study suggests young people’s IQs are in declineA new study, conducted by Norwegian scientists, shows that IQ scores of today’s young people are in decline, putting an end to the post-war trend of rising intelligence.  After the Second World War young people’s IQs were steadily rising. It was dubbed the Flynn effect after New Zealand intelligence researcher James Flynn. This phenomenon saw average IQ scores rise about three points per decade. But researches from the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Oslo say the Flynn effect is

now past its peak. In a paper, published in the PNAS journal, Norwegian scientists Ole Rogeberg and Bernt Bratsberg analyzed the data from standardized IQ tests of about 730,000 men, born between 1962 and 1991, who underwent mandatory IQ tests to join the national service. The study revealed that the IQ points of those tested peaked among those born in 1975, while people born in 1991 scored five points lower. According to the scientists, this shift could be due to many factors, including the way children are brought up and educated. CONTINUE

CUP OF TREMBLING: United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against Palestinians

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 06:06 AM PDT

CUP OF TREMBLING: United Nations condemns excessive Israeli force against PalestiniansThe U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel on Wednesday for excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians and asked U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to recommend an “international protection mechanism” for occupied Palestinian territory.  The General Assembly adopted a resolution with 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions. It was put forward in the General Assembly

by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the 15-member U.N. Security Council earlier this month. The General Assembly text condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas, but did not mention Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding but carry political weight. CONTINUE

Unborn Babies Are No More of a Person Than Zombies, Ex-Evangelical Psychologist Argues

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 05:46 AM PDT

Unborn Babies Are No More of a Person Than Zombies, Ex-Evangelical Psychologist ArguesFormer evangelical psychologist and author Valerie Tarico, a graduate of the evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois, has claimed that babies who are in danger of being aborted in their mothers’ wombs are about as human as zombies in some kind of science fiction movie.  Tarico posted an op-ed to the politically progressive news website AlterNet on Monday arguing that “[r]eligious opposition to abortion is based on a kind of magical thinking much like that in zombie stories.” In the piece titled

“What the Unborn and the Undead Have in Common,” Tarico makes the argument that just like babies, zombies “look like people even though they aren’t.” “Sometimes stories and movies explore personhood by drawing us into the lived experience of mythical creatures who don’t look like humans but who share our capacity to think and feel, suffer and love, and cherish conscious life,” she wrote. “Zombie stories do the opposite — they take us into a world of creatures that look like us but who lack the qualities of personhood.” CONTINUE

Kilauea Volcano enter 7th Week of Eruptions, Raining green gemstones over Big Island

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 05:36 AM PDT

Kilauea Volcano enter 7th Week of Eruptions, Raining green gemstones over Big IslandHawaii’s Kilauea volcano is entering the seventh week of eruptions and the list of volcanic hazards looming over Big Island has just grown quite surreal. The residents of Hawaii have now been warned of green gems falling from the sky. She said: “Friends of mine live in Hawaii right next to the area impacted by the most recent lava flows.

“In the midst of the destruction nearby and stress of the unknown, they woke up to this – tiny pieces of olivine all over the ground. “It is literally raining gems. Nature is truly amazing.” Olivine is an incredibly common magnesium iron silicate and one of the most abundant minerals below Earth’s surface. The green mineral is found in big concentrations in the Earth’s mantle – the source of Kilauea’s energy. CONTINUE

Has Ezekiel 22:30 Come to Pass in America?

Posted: 14 Jun 2018 05:22 AM PDT

Has Ezekiel 22:30 Come to Pass in America?(By Larry Tomczak) Thirty-five years ago, I shared impressions with my friend and songwriter, Mark Altrogge, to capture something prophetic for a new song. “I Have a Destiny” became a signature piece for our network of churches, People of Destiny International.  Recently, a Nashville artist, Ben Patterson, handed me his new CD, “Candle in My Soul”, featuring the song. He was stunned when I told him the history behind it. He was clueless but grateful to know its origin as we sang it in our church lobby. “I have a destiny I know I shall fulfill.

I have a destiny in that city on a hill. I have a destiny and it’s not an empty wish, for I know I was born for such a time as this.” God’s purpose in creation and redemption is to bring people into a dynamic relationship with Him where we’re “predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29b). Additionally, His plan is for each person to fulfill a unique destiny He prepared for us in our generation. As we approach Father’s Day, we have a wonderful opportunity to freshly examine God’s destiny for men contrasted to cultural counterfeits. As Ed Cole challenged us, “You’re male by birth but man by choice.” CONTINUE

Ireland is set to require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 07:52 PM PDT

Ireland is set to require Catholic hospitals to perform abortionsFresh off the repeal of the 8th amendment of their constitution prohibiting abortion nationwide, Ireland is set to require Catholic hospitals to perform the procedure, a move that is alarming many.  The BBC reported Tuesday that the European island nation, whose voters overwhelmingly opted to strike the pro-life provision of their national constitution on May 25, is now drafting legislation

allowing any woman to request an abortion up to 12 weeks. This is subject to a “cooling off period,” and will also allow abortion in what are considered extreme cases between 12 and 24 weeks. Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar said the law would be patterned after the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act which allowed for abortion in extreme medical situations, and allow individual medical professionals to decline to participate. READ MORE

Victoria’s Secret Model Quits Job to Follow Jesus and Issues Stark Warning for Young Girls

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 07:40 PM PDT

Victoria’s Secret Model Quits Job to Follow Jesus and Issues Stark Warning for Young GirlsA former Victoria’s Secret model who sacrificed a successful modeling career to follow Jesus has warned other young girls against going into the business. Following her exit from the industry, Nicole Weider founded the largest online community for teen girls in 2010 called Project Inspired. Through her vital work, Weider hopes to point girls to their inner beauty and free them from the unrealistic and

unhealthy standards society places on them. Weidman has also been a part of a campaign to censor some of the more explicit content published by Cosmopolitan magazine, which is often directed at young teenagers. She saw it as a “huge victory” when Walmart decided to remove Cosmopolitan from the checkout aisles of over 5,000 stores and introduced a new age requirement for anyone seeking to purchase the magazine.  CONTINUE

People of faith live four years longer than atheists…

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 07:33 PM PDT

People of faith live four years longer than atheists…Researchers have found a surprising correlation between longevity and religious faith.  Church-goers appear to live up to four years longer than atheists, at least according to an analysis of 1,000 obituaries published across the United States. The Ohio State psychology researchers behind the study insist there is merit to the connection: people with religious affiliations often volunteer and engage in social

activities throughout their lives – something routinely tied to longer lifespan. But they found that this socializing only appeared to boost longevity by a year at most – suggesting other elements of religious life, such as low alcohol intake, could contribute. ‘There’s still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can’t explain,’ study lead author Laura Wallace, a doctoral student in psychology at The Ohio State University. READ MORE

First human case of plague in Idaho since 1992 has been confirmed…

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 07:21 PM PDT

First human case of plague in Idaho since 1992 has been confirmed…A child in Elmore County was confirmed to be infected with the plague this week, according to the Central District Health Department, marking the first human diagnosis in Idaho since 1992. The child is recovering after receiving antibiotics.  Cases of plague in Idaho were diagnosed in squirrels as

recently as 2016, though none have been found in southern Ada County or Elmore County this year. It is unknown whether the child was exposed to the disease in Idaho or during a recent trip to Oregon. Plague has been found historically in wildlife in both states. Since 1990, there have been two cases of plague in humans in Idaho and eight in Oregon. CONTINUE

Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Louisiana Water System

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 07:11 PM PDT

Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Louisiana Water SystemA potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been found again in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Independent testing returned positive results for Naegleria fowleri, which causes fatal brain swelling and tissue destruction, in the community of Pointe-aux-Chenes, according to WWL-TV, as well as The Courier.   The Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District issued the notification Sunday and has temporarily switched to a different disinfectant to kill the organism.

Despite the Louisiana heat, residents are ignoring their swimming pools and nearby bayous. They’re terrified of something they can’t see but that officials warn is present. “It kinda freaks me out because this is my home, I can’t do what I usually do,” said Lindsey Dupre, WWL-TV reports. “I want to know I’m secure rather than freak out over an amoeba.” CONTINUE

‘Pregnant’ male models steal the show at London Fashion Week

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 12:46 PM PDT

‘Pregnant’ male models steal the show at London Fashion WeekOn Monday at London Fashion Week, all eyes were on the “pregnant” male models who strutted down the runway in Chinese designer Xander Zhou’s clothing.  The male models at Zhou’s show sported prosthetic baby bumps under their looks, though some of their bellies saw the spotlight more than others.

Those whose “pregnant” stomachs were covered by shirts, however, clutched their bumps in order to highlight the theme of the show, while another wore a white t-shirt reading, “New World Baby.”  Zhou later explained his odd choice, of having the male models appear pregnant, on Instagram. CONTINUE

California university’s website says its OK for children to engage in ‘sexual play,’ and watch porn

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 12:24 PM PDT

California university’s website says its OK for children to engage in ‘sexual play,’ and watch porn

A public university in California features a controversial website that encourages parents to react “positively” when 4-year-olds touch each other’s private parts and says young children should be allowed to watch porn.  The University of California, Santa Barbara hosts an online platform, within the sociology department, called “SexInfo Online,” which is maintained by students “who have studied advanced topics in human sexuality” that seek to answer a myriad of questions on sexuality, The College Fix reported.

“The majority of sexual play between children takes place between the ages of 4 and 7,” the website states in a section titled “Childhood Sexuality,” accompanied by a photo of two little girls that appear to be kissing on a beach. “Children might display affection to their friends by hugging and kissing, or even more which we won’t go into detail here, which is perfectly normal. Parents should not react in a negative way because children are just exploring.” CONTINUE

Tennis Ball-Sized Hail Damages Homes Across Colorado Springs…

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 12:14 PM PDT

Tennis Ball-Sized Hail Damages Homes Across Colorado Springs…Hail the size of tennis balls caused a lot of damage to communities south of Colorado Springs early Wednesday morning.  That hail storm caused a lot of damage. According to the National Weather Service, it was the strongest overnight hail storm in El Paso County in more than 20 years. The NWS says that the county has not seen hail measuring more than two inches since 1995.

The storm’s impact was mostly in Fountain with hail measuring as large as three inches. Hail broke glass at several homes and shattered car windows. “We’ve got damage to the siding,” said homeowner Valorie Munoz. “There’s big holes all over here, all throughout the sides. We’ve got broken windows we’ve got this broken one here.” CONTINUE

Hawaii Has Been Hit By More Than 12,000 Earthquakes In 30 Days

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 11:50 AM PDT

Hawaii Has Been Hit By More Than 12,000 Earthquakes In 30 Days(By Michael Snyder) We haven’t seen anything like this since Hawaii first became a state back in 1959. Kilauea began erupting on May 3rd, and it hasn’t stopped rumbling yet. In fact, authorities are telling us that Hawaii has been struck by “over 12,000 earthquakes”during the last 30 days. That is an extraordinary amount of shaking, and many are now becoming concerned that fundamental physical changes are happening to the islands.

As one USGS official has noted, we have never seen earthquakes happen on the Big Island with this sort of frequency ever before…  While most of the earthquakes have been relatively mild at magnitude 2 or 3, the largest earthquake was a massive 6.9 magnitude tremor on May 4, along with a 5.5 magnitude quake on June 4. Brian Shiro, a supervisory geophysicist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said the island was witnessing the highest rate of quakes ever measured at the summit. CONTINUE

Despite Colorado Baker Victory, Arizona Court Rules Against Christian Business

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 11:45 AM PDT

Despite Colorado Baker Victory, Arizona Court Rules Against Christian BusinessMany religious liberty advocates were thrilled with last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which seemingly vindicated a Colorado baker who declined to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing his Christian beliefs.  A recent decision by an Arizona appellate court, however, indicates any celebration is premature. Last Thursday, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against Joanna Duka and Breanna

Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, a small wedding invitation business founded on Christian principles. The June 8 decision upholds a Phoenix law that makes it illegal for business owners to deny service to same-sex couples on the basis of religion. “We have previously found that eliminating discrimination constitutes a compelling interest,” Judge Lawrence Winthrop wrote, noting that “anti-discrimination ordinances are not aimed at the suppression of speech but at the elimination of discriminatory conduct.” CONTINUE

Record-breaking rain hits France again, Paris breaks rainfall record set in 1960

Posted: 13 Jun 2018 11:38 AM PDT

Record-breaking rain hits France again, Paris breaks rainfall record set in 1960France is again on our radar with record-breaking June rainfall that triggered floods and caused damage and injuries on June 11 and 12, 2018.  Fire and rescue service of Seine-et-Marne department in northern France responded to 816 calls for assistance on Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12, 2018, after torrential rains caused rivers to rapidly rise, flooding homes and disrupting traffic.

Authorities said they dispatched 250 firefighters with more than 70 vehicles to worst affected areas such as Chessy, Claye-Souilly, Pomponne, Chambry, Crécy la Chapelle, Rebais, La-Ferte Gaucher and Bellot. Some 100 homes were flooded in Chambry. Between Saint-Remy-les-Chevreuse and Courcelle-sur-Yvette, southwest of capital Paris, heavy rain caused an embankment to collapse, causing a suburban train to overturn and injuring 7 people. CONTINUE


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Just Stop it, Part 4: How to Repent of Stealing — Christian Research Network

“God gives you the ability to provide for your needs. Finding another avenue (like playing the lottery or pursuing get-rich-quick schemes or theft) is trying to sneak around God’s means of provision.”

Following is Clint Archer’s 4th installment of “Just Stop It” posted over at The Cripplegate:

Apparently, from what I learned online, for some people stealing proves to be quite difficult. According to the FBI, most modern-day bank robberies are “unsophisticated and unprofessional crimes.” Even though banks use surveillance cameras, 76% of robbers use no disguise. Some use disguises that aren’t convincing enough.

Like one bank robber in California who, while robbing the bank, bumped into his own mother who easily recognized his disguise and promptly turned him in.

Some thieves can’t adapt their plans in the moment and botch their own heists, like the Panorama City bank robber who handed the teller a note declaring, “I have a gun. Give me all your twenties in this envelope.” The teller responded nervously, “All I’ve got is two twenties.” The pilferer took the bills and absconded with his scant take.

Remarkably, 86% of thieves don’t study the bank before the robbery, like one would-be villain who broke into a bank in Anaheim only to discover it was no longer in business and had no money.

And if you do get caught, don’t be like the suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a line-up. When detectives asked each man in the line-up to repeat the words: “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot.” The man protested, “That’s not what I said!”

Some stealing is difficult to do. But there is something far more difficult than stealing, and that is to stop stealing. 

Previously we looked at Instructions on how to repent and then specifically, how to repent of lying and anger. Today we turn our attention to thievery.  View article →

“Just Stop It” – previously posted:

Part 1 – How to repent

Part 2 – Lying

Part 3 – Anger

via Just Stop it, Part 4: How to Repent of Stealing — Christian Research Network

JUNE 14 NO ONE CHANGES GOD’S LAW

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Psalm 40:8

Because we live in a period known as the age of God’s grace, it has become a popular thing to declare that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid, no longer relevant in our society.

With that context it has become apparent that Christian churches are not paying attention to the Ten Commandments.

But Dwight L. Moody preached often on the commandments. John Wesley said he preached the commands of the Law to prepare the way for the gospel. R.A. Torrey told ministers if they did not preach the Law, they would have no response to the preaching of the gospel. It is the Law that shows us our need for the gospel of salvation and forgiveness!

It is accurate to say that our binding obligation is not to the Old Testament Law. As sincere Christians we are under Christ’s higher law—that which is represented in His love and grace. But everything that is morally commanded in the Ten Commandments still comprises the moral principles that are the will of God for His people. God’s basic moral will for His people has not changed!

Lord, I pray that in my own life I will not bristle at the idea of following Your law. The deceit of my own heart is enough evidence to suggest that Your moral law is for my own good.[1]


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

June 14, 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]


20 For the community use of “Amen” as a response indicating agreement and commitment, see Deuteronomy 27:15–26; 1 Chronicles 16:36; Nehemiah 5:13; 8:6; Psalm 106:48; 1 Corinthians 14:16; Revelation 22:20.[2]


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).[3]


1:19–20. Paul supported his oath by summarizing an important feature of what was preached among the Corinthians. He, Silas, and Timothy had preached the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and Christ did not waver between Yes and No. There was no duplicity in Christ or in the message about Christ.

Paul added that in Christ his message had always been “Yes.” Paul knew this statement was enigmatic, so he explained his meaning. No matter how many promises God has made throughout the history of the Bible, one thing can be relied on: In Christ … they are “Yes.” Paul frequently reminded his readers of Old Testament promises God made to his people (Rom. 1:2; Eph. 2:12). He knew that immeasurable blessings had been promised to Christians as heirs of Old Testament promises. The great covenant promises throughout the Bible are all fulfilled in Christ.

Of course, the Corinthians probably had no problem with Christ’s sincerity. So Paul drew a connection between himself and Christ. Since Paul represented Christ, Paul’s gospel ministry could be summed up as an “Amen” … spoken by Paul to the glory of God. Paul’s preaching affirmed the sincere affirmation of God’s promises in Christ.[4]


1:20 For as many promises of God as there are, in him they are Yes. Wherefore also through him we say Amen to God for his glory.

  • “For as many promises of God as there are.” Paul reflects on the numerous promises God has given his people. He knows that ultimately all of them have been and are being fulfilled in the Son of God. Replete with God’s promises, the Old Testament points to their fulfillment in Christ. Peter mentions that the prophets were “trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (1 Peter 1:11). The Old Testament message is that God who makes promises ultimately fulfills them through the coming of the Messiah.
  • “In him they are Yes.” The entire New Testament is a testimony that God’s promises have been and are being fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17–18), to remove the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), to grant the gift of righteousness (Matt. 6:33), to give eternal life (John 17:3), and through the Father to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 26; 15:26). In Jesus Christ God’s promises have been realized, and the Corinthians will have to acknowledge the truth of this matter.
  • “Wherefore also through him we say Amen to God for his glory.” The Greek construction of this part of verse 20 is cumbersome if we provide a literal translation and follow the sequence of the verse: “Wherefore also through him the Amen to God for glory through us.” But the word Amen is uttered “through us,” and this affirmation serves to glorify God. When we understand that the phrase through us carries the meaning of the verb we say, the subsequent translation is smooth. This is how, in the first few centuries, some Christians whose native tongue was Syriac, a sister dialect of Aramaic, understood the text. Writing “yes” and “Amen” in this passage, Paul is expressing a parallelism that was current in his day. Among speakers who were conversant in both Greek and Aramaic, the “yes” and the “Amen” meant the same thing.

When Paul, his associates, and the Corinthians say “yes and amen” through Jesus Christ to God, no one legitimately can accuse Paul of vacillating. Those who attest to the veracity of God’s Word respect one another’s personal integrity. As Paul indicates, when believers say “Amen” to the promises of God in Christ, they glorify God.[5]


1:20All the promises of God, no matter how many they are, find their fulfillment in Christ. All who find in Him the fulfillment of God’s promises add their Amen:

We open our Bibles at a promise, we look up to God, and God says, “You can have all that through Christ.” Trusting Christ, we say, “Amen” to God. God speaks through Christ, and we believe in Christ; Christ reaches down and faith stretches up, and every promise of God is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In and through Him we appropriate and take them to ourselves and say, “Yes, Lord; I trust You.” This is the believing yes.

All of this is to the glory of God through us. Denney writes: “He is glorified when it dawns on human souls that He has spoken good concerning them beyond their utmost imaginings, and when that good is seen to be indubitably safe and sure in His Son.”

The two words through us, remind the Corinthians that it was through the preaching of men like Silvanus, Timothy, and Paul that they had ever come to claim the promises of God in Christ. If the apostle was a fraud, as his enemies charged, then could it be that God had used a cheat and a liar to effect such marvelous results? The answer, of course, is no.[6]


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

[2] Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 448). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

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

[4] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 307). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, p. 62). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1823). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

June 14 Don’t Worry about Tomorrow

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.—Matt. 6:34

Making reasonable provisions for the future is sensible, but to “worry about tomorrow” is foolish and unfaithful. God is the God of tomorrow as well as the God of today and eternity. “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22–23).

People are so committed to worrying that, if they can’t find anything in the present to worry about, they think about possible problems in the future. So Jesus assures us, “Tomorrow will care for itself.” This is not the careless philosophy of the hedonist who lives only for his present enjoyment. It is the conviction of the child of God who knows tomorrow will care for itself because it is in his heavenly Father’s hands.

“Each day has enough trouble of its own” is not a call to worry about that trouble—it’s an invitation to concentrate on meeting the temptations, trials, opportunities, and struggles we have today, relying on our Father to protect and provide as we have need. There is enough trouble in each day without adding the distress of worry to it.

God promises His grace for tomorrow and for every day thereafter and through eternity. But He does not give us grace for tomorrow now—He gives His grace only a day at a time as it is needed, not as it may be anticipated.

So begin today to focus on the issues of today. Don’t start dwelling on tomorrow until it becomes today.

ASK YOURSELF

What else might Jesus have in mind by commanding us to maintain our full attention on the day, the hour, the moment we ’re currently living in? What do we lose by living in either the past or the future?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 174). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

JUNE 14 LIFE’S GREATEST HONOR: FOLLOWING CHRIST’S CALL

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.

PHILIPPIANS 2:9

The humblest man who heeds the call to follow Christ has an honor far above that given to any king or potentate, for the nations of the earth can bestow only such honor as they possess, while the honor of Christ is supreme over all. God has given Him a name that is above every name!

This being true and being known to the heavenly intelligences, the methods we use to persuade men to follow Christ must seem to them extremely illogical if not downright wrong.

Evangelical Christians commonly offer Christ to mankind as a nostrum to cure their ills, a way out of their troubles, a quick and easy means to the achievement of their personal ends. The message is often so presented as to leave the hearer with the impression that he is being asked to give up much to gain more. And that is not good, however well intentioned it may be!

We are not called to be salesmen, pointing out the good things that will accrue if the right choice is made. No one can come to Christ with the idea of selfish gain in the transaction.

Salvation comes not by “accepting the finished work” or “deciding for Christ.” It comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died under them and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ, and nothing less will do![1]


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

Keith E. Whittington, a professor of politics at Princeton University, calls his latest book, Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech, a “reminder”—a term suggesting that we’ve forgotten something or that there’s something so important that we shouldn’t forget it. This something is the purpose of the modern university, which is, or should be, a refuge for open dialogue, rigorous debate, and the free exchange of ideas.

Safe spaces, trigger  warnings, speaker disinvitations, speech zones, no-platforming, physical assaults against speakers—these are sure signs that some university cultures have become illiberal and intolerant, prioritizing indoctrination, orthodoxy, conformity, narrow-mindedness, censorship, and dogmatism over the unfettered pursuit of knowledge and wide dissemination of ideas.

Universities are not one-size-fits-all. The multiplicity among and between institutions of higher education in the United States, from community colleges to liberal-arts colleges to state flagship universities, makes generalizations about them impossible. Modern universities, however, are decidedly committed to research on the nineteenth-century German model. Whittington’s chief subject is this modern university, not religiously affiliated colleges guided by a core mission to spread and inspire doctrinal faith through formal education.

This is a very different model than, say, the distinctly Catholic university contemplated by Cardinal John Henry Newman in The Idea of a University that is predicated on the belief that scientific and philosophical knowledge is intimately tied to the revealed truths of the church. Whittington’s key focus appears to be on those institutions classified as doctoral research universities by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The gravest problem at such institutions is their coercive restrictions on speech.

via Why Universities Must Embrace Free Speech—Or Else — The Federalist

June 14 Work Hard

Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.

Ephesians 4:28

Theft is a common problem in our world. Shoplifting has become such a problem that a significant percentage of the price of commercial items covers the amount lost from stolen goods. Whether grand theft or petty theft, robbing from the store, or stealing money from a rich man or a family member, it is all stealing.

Christians are to “labor,” which refers to hard, manual work. Hard work is honorable. As Christians we should work hard so that we will have enough to give to those in need, not so that we will have more of what we don’t need. The worldly approach to wealth is to hoard what we acquire. But the New Testament principle is to work hard so we might do good and give to those who have needs.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 183). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Brannon Howse: June 13, 2018 | Worldview Weekend

Topic: How socialist, progressives, internationalists, and globalist want America to fail and why? Topic: The war on the business owner and entrepreneur. Topic: Risk and reward, effort and reward, work and time, saving a little over a long time. They keys to success in America and why many young people do not want to wait and do not want to work for their own success. Topic: We take your calls.
— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-june-13-2018

Hillary’s Intent: What James Comey Missed

Follow the money…

James Mr. Magoo Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Magoo, while acknowledging that Hillary had put the country’s secrets on her home server – i.e., without their protective coding – could find no “intent” in her doing so. It just happened. Let’s unpack that.

Bill and Hillary Adjusted Gross Income

2009

$10.0 million

2010

$13.1 million

2011

$14.7 million

2012

$19.7 million

2013

$27.1 million

Hillary’s total “intent”

as Secretary of State

$84.6 million

Source: NPR

While these numbers are not out of line with the Clintons’ AGI in the surrounding years, the question still arises…What was this money being paid for? It can’t all be for speeches by Bill on diarrhea in Africa (as characterized by the inimitable Mark Steyn).

Let’s put it this way…

Would it make you feel better if you were a soldier if you knew that your mission or your route march had been decided in light of who been able to reach the Secretary of State with the appropriate fee?

Too much of this, and our Armed Forces would become as ineffective as those of any Third World kleptocracy. The American Republic has always been able to avoid corruption of this type in the past. That is, before Hillary. (One of the things about the Clintons is that their crimes are so colossal that the person who brings them up is the one who looks crazy.)

Ask yourself this…

The NSA grew out of our wartime experience with signals intelligence, particularly the massive success of the British Ultra project. Since then, the NSA has sent countless mathematicians gibbering to sanatoriums – metaphorically speaking, of course.

Not metaphorically speaking, one of the strangest phenomena in physics is quantum entanglement: that entangled subatomic particles change their state apparently simultaneously apparently regardless of distance. I.e., they appear to communicate non-relativistically. The NSA has looked into this phenomenon for communications but it has borne no fruit so far (as far as we know).  This is the extent to which we go to protect our sensitive national communications. Not Hillary. She puts our national communications essentially on a toy. This not only puts them in condition to be purloined without fingerprints, but it also endangers our coding because it puts them in clear and thus provides a crib for those trying to break into our codes.

No to worry. The Federal Bureau of Magoo not only sees no intention on Hillary’s part to sell out the country – us – for her personal financial reward, they apparently see no danger to our national communications, although James Mr. Magoo Comey did not address this point in his exoneration of Hillary in July 2016.

“With a cloth?”

Must have slipped his mind. Because James Mr. Magoo Comey is an honorable man. In fact, all of them at the Federal Bureau of Magoo are all, all honorable men.

But what about intent? Oh, that. Well, in the words of a great American… “you betcha!
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/06/hillarys_intent__what_james_comey_missed.html

Social Justice Groups, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks, Throw Hissy Over VP Pence at Southern Baptist Convention — Pulpit & Pen

When Vice President Pence spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention, workers for 9Marks sat angrily with their arms folded, at times with a noticeable facial grimace, eye-roll and audible huff. When Trump’s name was mentioned, an occasional boo could be heard from the crowd. The fully-woke New Calvinist organization has largely shifted its emphasis from ecclesiology to Social Justice, being influenced by the massive amounts of cash into Presbyterian and Calvinistic Baptist institutions by Bill Clinton financier felon, James Riady, and socialist billionaire, George Soros. Aided by the promotion of Mark Dever, 9Mark’s most famous progeny is Ron Burns (he goes by his Black Nationalist name, Thabiti Anyabwile), a radical race-baiter and Marxist who used his sizable clout to endorse first Bernie Sanders and later, Hillary Clinton, for President. Church members from Dever’s church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, were trustees at the ERLC and were instrumental in selecting Russell Moore as the director of that institution, which has taken a hard-left turn since his tenure. While Dever’s ecclesiology seems impeccable and his doctrinal teaching stellar, the Washington D.C.-based pastor has been steering those under his influence to Social Justice for a number of years.

Likewise, The Gospel Coalition, which shares so many board members, writers, and contributors with the Ethics and Religous Liberty Commission (ERLC), they’ve virtually merged into a singular organization, is little more than a political organization that once in a while posts material vaguely relevant to the Gospel. Its attention is far more focused on liberalizing the American church than doing anything evangelistic in nature.

The two #woke organizations, 9Marks and TGC, merged again today in a post at the latter by an employee of the former, who took great exception with Vice President Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Jonathan Leeman, the editorial director of 9Marks, posted his article at The Gospel Coalition blog, and in it he explained why the (conservative) leader of the free world should not have been invited to the Southern Baptist Convention (although it is rumored that VP Pence invited himself).

Keep in mind that The Gospel Coalition posted the article, Evangelical Leaders: Tell Us to Vote for Hillary Clinton. The article was a guest-post hosted at Burns’ (Anyabwile’s) TGC sub-blog and written by a staff person at Burns’ church. That article literally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. This same Gospel Coalition has now chastised the Southern Baptist Convention for merely hearing out Mike Pence because it somehow crossed a political line. The double-standard and hypocrisy from TGC is insane.

Leeman writes:

I’m sitting here at the Southern Baptist Convention. Earlier today Vice President Mike Pence addressed the convention. We were told he initiated the offer to speak. I wish we had not accepted.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m grateful to God for our nation. I want him to bless it. But here’s a question for my fellow Southern Baptists and evangelicals more broadly: can you name a place in the Bible where God sends a ruler of a (non-Israelite) nation to speak to God’s people? Is the pattern not just the opposite? Moses challenges Pharaoh. Daniel confronts Nebuchadnezzar. John the Baptist calls out Herod. And Paul appeals to Caesar. The biblical flow chart for confrontation occurs in Psalm 2: “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.” The arrow moves from God’s people to rulers of the nations, not rulers to God’s people. Jonah didn’t invite the king of Nineveh to challenge him. He said, “Repent.”

Permit me to remain neutral on Pence himself. Whether you love him or hate him, reason one our churches and associations of churches should ordinarily not receive political leaders to address their assemblies is that it goes against the pattern of the entire Bible. You never see Daniel asking Nebuchadnezzar to show up at the next worship gathering, or Jesus asking a Roman centurion, even one with “great faith,” to make an appearing at his next sermon to “share a word from his heart.” No, Daniel and Jesus were after something different than the rulers of the day.

One wonders why Leeman gives the example of a “non-Israelite” speaking to God’s people. Considering that the church is Spiritual Israel (something no Reformed believer would squabble with), a baptized believer who happens to be the Civil Magistrate speaking to other baptized believers is much closer to the precedent set by the inter-lapping division of power between Old Testament kings and priests. In the cultic religion of Israel, both kings and priests (often appearing in ceremonial roles for the other) had different roles and realms of authority, but they would often overlap and work together, as is seen in the various accounts of the Kings.

For Leeman’s argument to work, the SBC would have had to have invited a non-believer (a Gentile, in the Covenant Theology sense) to speak to the church (Spiritual Israel). This is what Russell Moore did when he invited Hillary Clinton to speak to the SBC in 2015, because Hillary Clinton is as lost as a goose in a snowstorm, no matter how many 9Marks and TGC writers would vote for her. Pence, on the other hand, has a credible Christian testimony and witness. I might even (scratch that, I definitely would) agree with Leeman’s argument if it was Donald Trump – who is clearly not a born-again believer – to speak to the SBC. But regarding Pence, he simply is not the Gentile King speaking to Israel. He is the Israelite King speaking to Israel (dispensationalists have lost their mind at this point in the post, and for that, I apologize).

Reason two I wish Pence hadn’t spoke [sic] follows from the first: having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission. Our mission is not the mission of the Republican, Democratic, or any party. Our mission, when gathered, it to work toward Great Commission ends. To bring in a politician risks subverting our gospel purposes to the purposes of that politician’s party.

Certainly, that’s how outsiders will perceive us. They conclude, “Ah, that church or those churches are just an appendage of the Party.” Call this the third reason not to give a platform to politicians in our assemblies: it undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.

Let me repeat: These quasi-intellectual jackhats at The Gospel Coalition and 9Marks have been busy overtly and explicitly endorsing socialists and Democrats for political office in the very “pages” of the blog now used to claim the SBC is too political. Please forgive my skepticism while I choke on the irony of your unconquerable double standard. Leeman continues:

Let me conclude on an underlining issue in all of this: There’s nothing necessarily wrong with desiring political access. You can desire political access for love of neighbor and for the sake of justice. The question is, are you willing to lose your head by speaking against the powers that be when you have such access? John the Baptist was. If you’re not willing to lose your head, it tempts people to wonder why you really want access.

Let me call baloney, here. The Biblical comparison to John the Baptist’s martyrdom for his speaking out against Herod and Herodotus is not exegetically astute. First, John the Baptist was being “political,” which is something Leeman claims we shouldn’t do because of how we’ll be perceived by outsiders. But secondly, and more importantly, The Gospel Coalition never spoke out against “the power” of the Obama Administration. There were no raised fists of solidarity against the radically liberal agenda of BHO. Suddenly TGC and 9Marks are concerned about speaking truth to power? That was a radical shift of courage that happened around November of 2016. Third, and back to exegesis, Mike Pence isn’t taking anyone’s head. He has been a friend to religious liberty.

You really can’t, on one hand, support the idea of the ERLC and its job description to influence government and on the other hand decry one of our top magistrates (who is a believer) meeting with us. If Leeman was even halfway consistent, he would argue that the ERLC be defunded because Russell Moore’s job wasn’t necessary because politics don’t matter (and we all know that the Latte Mafia of New Calvinists at 9Marks and TGC wouldn’t ever want to defund their most powerful political ally).

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to say what I’ve been saying; 9Marks, Southeastern Seminary, Southern Seminary, the ERLC, and The Gospel Coalition have received giant piles of cash from both James Riady and George Soros. For TGC in particular, this is not a religious organization, but a political one. That TGC would complain about a conservative leader (our magistrate, not just a “politician,” which is a deceitfully reductionist caricature of the Vice President of the United States) was absolutely predictable.

Had a Democratic or Socialist politician spoken, TGC and 9Marks would have lauded it as a sign of the growing open-mindedness and culture of dialogue in the SBC, and somehow explained how it was “Gospel-centered.”

via Social Justice Groups, The Gospel Coalition and 9 Marks, Throw Hissy Over VP Pence at Southern Baptist Convention — Pulpit & Pen

June 14 Thursday: Rest in God Alone

By James Boice on Jun 14, 2018 12:00 am

If we are to divide the psalm into three stanzas, marked by the selahs at the end of verses 4 and 8, then the last stanza (vv. 9-12) echoes the first in that each is about both God and man. The first is about God and David’s enemies, in that order. The third is about mankind in general and God. So the matter is the same but the order is reversed.

Read more…

June 14, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Lift Up Your Eyes

Genesis 13:14–18

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”

So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.

There is an incident in Luke 18:18–30 that applies to Abram after his separation from Lot. A rich young ruler had asked Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” and Jesus had instructed him about himself, showing that the only way Jesus can properly be called “good” is by recognizing that he is God. Jesus also instructed him about the law. But when the young man replied that he had kept all the commands from his youth onward, Jesus said, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the young man became very sorrowful and went away because he was wealthy.

A discussion of the incident then followed, and Jesus said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

The disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answered that although it is difficult for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven, it is not impossible. For “what is impossible with men is possible with God.”

This led the most outspoken disciple, Peter, to boast a little. He said, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

Jesus replied with this important saying: “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

This saying is illustrated clearly for the first time in the Bible in Abram’s life. Abram had temporarily lost prime real estate in Canaan by giving Lot first choice in the matter of the land. Moreover, he had lost Lot. Earlier he had lost his father by death. But God came to Abram to say that Abram had abandoned nothing that would not be more than compensated for—both in this life and in the life to come. He said, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” (Gen. 13:14–17).

Had Abram lost the best land? Not so; God was giving him the entire land of Canaan. He was to have all the land north and south, east and west, including that little circle of well-watered pasture in the plain. Had Abram lost family for the sake of his discipleship? No, God was giving him offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then could his offspring be counted.

But he would have to do two things: (1) He would have to lift up his eyes and see what God was giving, and (2) he would have to walk through the length and breadth of the land and thus possess it piecemeal.

Two Kinds of Looking

There are two places in this account where we find the idea of “lifting up one’s eyes.” The first is in connection with Lot who, we are told, “lifted up his eyes and saw the whole plain of the Jordan” (v. 10, literal translation). We have already considered this looking. It was in actuality a deep longing, for it grew out of the uncommitted and covetous heart of Abram’s nephew. He wanted this good land. The other looking is by Abram, who lifted his eyes at God’s command. This was not longing. This was obedience. Therefore, as Abram obeyed, the site of surrender became a place of possession through his already growing faith.

I want to encourage you to “lift up your eyes” as did Abram, not Lot. I want you to look at what God commands you to see. I heard of a man who found a dollar bill on the sidewalk and spent the rest of his life looking down, hoping to find another one—and never saw a sunrise. Don’t be like him. Look up and see what God has for you.

The first thing the Bible encourages us to look up and see is the heavens. Why should we look there? Isaiah tells us.

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one,

and calls them each by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,

and complain, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 40:26–28

Here is a word for those who are discouraged, who complain, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God.” When people think like that, their eyes are cast down. They are looking at the earth and focusing on their own little problems. They cannot see God, so they suppose God cannot see them. To such God says, “Look up! Look at the stars if you are unable to see anything else. Ask, ‘Who made all these? Who named them, remembers them, guides them?’ Then ponder whether he does not know you and is not able to guide you, you of little faith.”

The Lord Jesus Christ made the same point in the Sermon on the Mount, directing attention not upward to the stars but to the lilies. He said, “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:28–30).

I talk to many people who need to hear this word. Perhaps you are one. Like Abram, you are standing on your own little mountain, alone, questioning the future. You feel abandoned, depressed. Your vision is entirely on yourself. For you I have this word from God: “Lift up your eyes! Look to the heavens! Look to the lilies of the field!” Ask if God is not caring for you, even in your downcast state.

The second thing the Bible tells us to look up and see is God the Father, particularly in prayer. Jesus is our example in this. At the tomb of Lazarus he “looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me’ ” (John 11:41–42). Again, in John 17 we read, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed” (v. 1).

Are you weary? Tell God about it. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:7–8). James wrote, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2). Do you lack wisdom? Tell God about it. The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Jesus said, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:13–14).

These verses tell us that God delights to give good gifts to his children. So if we do not have them, the fault does not lie in God. It lies in our failure to lift up our eyes to heaven and ask for them.

This may explain the weakness of much contemporary Christianity. Every now and then a minister is asked by some Christian, “Why is it that I cannot seem to find victory in the Christian life? Why does the Bible seem difficult to understand? Why do I still seem in bondage to some besetting sin? Why am I such a poor witness? Why do the high principles of Christian conduct have such little effect on my job and in the affairs of my family?” Perhaps the answer is that the person has failed to ask God for these blessings.

Many a minister is asking, “Why is it that I do not have the power of God in my preaching? Why are there so few persons being converted? Why are there no leaders to expand and reinforce the ministry?” Again the answer may be that there is a lack of prayer.

“Why are there so few outstanding candidates for the Christian ministry? Why is the church so weak, the preaching so poor, our impact upon the society so ineffective, our goals so unrealized?” Again we must wonder, “Is it due to neglect of prayer?”

Do these words not describe many of today’s churches? Do they not describe many of us personally? Dr. Reuben A. Torrey, who makes many of these points quite eloquently in his book The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power, writes, “We do not live in a praying age. We live in an age of hustle and bustle, of man’s efforts and man’s determination, of man’s confidence in himself and in his own power to achieve things, an age of human organization, and human machinery, and human push, and human scheming, and human achievement; which in the things of God means no real achievement at all. … What we need is not so much some new organization, some new wheel, but ‘the Spirit of the living creature in the wheels’ we already possess.”

The third thing we are encouraged to lift up our eyes to see is Jesus. The author of Hebrews was particularly conscious of this need. In writing of the subjection of all things to Christ, he noted that at the present time we do not see everything subject to him. Then he adds, “But we see Jesus” (Heb. 2:9). Again, in Hebrews 12, after talking about the fact that sin often hinders us in the Christian life, he writes, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (vv. 2–3).

One of our problems is that we are so easily distracted by other visions and loyalties. We are like Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus had been transfigured before Peter, James, and John; and Peter was so impressed at having this experience that he immediately wanted to do something. He said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Matt. 17:4). Moses and Elijah had appeared with Jesus.

As Peter was speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them and a voice exclaimed, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (v. 5). They fell to the ground, terrified. Jesus touched them. He told them to get up. Then we read, “When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus” (v. 8).

This incident is for us. We live in the midst of a conflicting cacophony of voices. They come from without and within—from the world, the flesh, and the Devil—and one reason why we are so confused and ineffective as Christians is that we listen to them all. The cure for that is to do what Peter was admonished to do—lift up his eyes to Jesus and listen to him only.

God’s Harvest

These are not the only things Scripture tells us to lift up our eyes to. Thus far they have been things that are to concern us and our needs: the heavens, God the Father, and Jesus. But in another text we read, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together” (John 4:35–36). This tells us that we are to lift up our eyes to God’s harvest.

After having been in Judea, Jesus was returning north to Galilee and stopped in Samaria at a place called Jacob’s well. The well was down a little hill from Sychar. While Jesus rested at the well, his disciples went up the hill to the town to buy lunch. By and by a woman came to draw water. As it turned out, she was an immoral woman who was currently living with one who was not her husband. Jesus talked to her. He provoked her curiosity and eventually revealed to her that he was the Messiah. He led her to faith. Her reaction was to leave her waterpot—she had forgotten about lesser things—and return to the city where she told the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). They responded to her invitation and made their way to Jesus in large numbers.

Meanwhile another drama was going on with the disciples. If they had gone up the hill to Sychar while the woman of Samaria was coming down, they must have passed her. Since they were men and she a woman, and they were Jews while she was only a Samaritan, we can be certain that they did not get off the path for her. She got off for them. And since Jesus was below looking up, he probably saw the whole incident. Moreover, when they arrived back at the well, Jesus was talking to the woman and they were aghast. She must have sensed their displeasure and left quickly to call her countrymen to Jesus.

Jesus then began to teach the disciples something about their mission in this world, using the words I have just quoted: “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” I think that as he did this the woman was even then returning with the people of her town. The disciples were blind to the harvest, but the harvest was streaming toward Jesus. They were about to miss it because they were not looking up. They were thinking only about their stomachs.

Was the harvest ripe then? It is also ripe today—as it has been ever since Jesus’ ministry on earth. Jesus died and rose from the dead, and the Holy Spirit is now working in the world to draw people to himself. The harvest is ripe because of Jesus’ coming, not because of any fortuitous arrangement of circumstances or because of our imagined ability to create them.

This thought may be suggested in the verses in a way that is not at once apparent to the casual reader. When Jesus quoted the proverb about the lapse of four months between sowing and harvest and disagreed with it, saying that the sowing and reaping could take place simultaneously, the disciples perhaps thought of an Old Testament prophecy that had to do with the coming of the Messiah. According to the Old Testament, the Messiah would usher in a period of great physical blessing for this earth. Amos had written, “ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes’ ” (Amos 9:13). In a spiritual sense, this was true of the situation as Jesus spoke; the Messiah had come, and there could be perpetual reaping.

Are you aware of the moving of the Spirit of God in our time? It is evident in many places: in the cities, on the campuses, throughout the third world. Are you awake to these opportunities? If not, you must lift up your eyes to the harvest and ask God to use you as one of his laborers.

Step by Step

There is one last point. This harvest is to be ours just as certainly as the land of Canaan was to be Abram’s. But we are not necessarily to see the whole fruit of our labors in our lifetime. Abram did not live to see his seed possess the whole land. Nor will we participate in the harvest abundance, even to the degree that we do participate, unless we actually begin to possess the land step by step. I think this is why God told Abram, “Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you” (Gen. 13:17).

Later God told Moses that the land was to belong to the people of Israel in the measure of their occupancy of it: “Every place where you set your foot will be yours” (Deut. 11:24). So it was with Abram. “When he had walked around an acre, he possessed an acre; when he had walked around a mile, he possessed a mile. When he climbed a hill, the hill was his, and when he descended into a valley, the valley was his.” We do not bring in God’s harvest en masse.

We do not do it without effort. It is one by one, and with great effort. But though it is often discouraging, those “one by ones” do come and God is honored. Lift up your eyes! It is happening all around you.[1]


13:14–17 / After Lot departed, Yahweh spoke to Abram. Again there is no detail about the manner of Yahweh’s appearance. At pivotal times Yahweh guided Abram by speaking to him in a special way. Usually several years elapsed between these encounters. On this occasion Yahweh came to affirm Abram with a special assurance in recognition of the gracious way he had treated Lot. By letting Lot choose the most fertile area of that region, Abram had avoided covetousness; he did not grasp after the land of promise at the risk of alienating his nephew.

Yahweh commanded Abram to lift up his eyes. This command serves as the counterpart to Lot’s looking up and choosing the most fertile place (v. 10). We may assume that Abram was standing on a rise where he could look out over the landscape for miles in all directions: north toward Shechem and south toward Jerusalem, east toward the Jordan Valley, and west toward the Plain of Sharon. Yahweh promised to give him and his offspring (seed) all the land he saw. This time Yahweh underscored the promise by saying it was forever (17:8; 48:4; Lev. 25:23–34; Num. 36:5–9). Next, Yahweh promised to make his offspring (seed) like the dust of the earth. With this hyperbole Yahweh stressed the vast potential inherent in his promise. The terms “forever” and “beyond numbering” enhanced the original promises God had given Abram in Haran (12:2–3) by asserting that the potential number of his offspring was without limit.

Yahweh next commanded Abram to walk through the length and breadth of the land, explaining why Abram journeyed throughout the land rather than settling down, especially in the initial years in Canaan. By moving throughout the land, he was laying claim to all of the land.[2]


13:14–18 Abram renounced the choicest pastureland, but God gave all the land of Canaan to him and to his descendants forever. In addition, the Lord promised him an innumerable posterity. After settling in Hebron, Abraham … built his third altar … to the Lord—always an altar for God, but never a house for himself!

Notice that God instructed Abram to walk throughout the land and see his possession. So we are to appropriate God’s promises by faith.[3]


13:15–17 all the land: None of the land was outside the promise. Your descendants translates the Hebrew word for seed (zera’). At times this term refers to many descendants and at other times to a unique individual, the Coming One (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16). as the dust of the earth: A hyperbole or overstatement (15:5; 22:17). Abram’s walk in the land is a symbolic act of taking possession. Abraham himself would not take possession of the land (Heb. 11:13–16); his descendants would (12:7; 15:17–21).[4]


13:14–18. This third section in this chapter provides the solace: Yahweh confirms His promise. The strong break in the narrative is marked by (lit.) “Now Yahweh.…” Verses 14–17 explain why Abram could give Lot the choice of all the land—Abram had the sure promise of God. He had the sense that in God he had abundant possession. Knowing that God’s promise was genuine, Abram was indifferent to what Lot would choose. A person who has the promise of God’s provision does not have to cling to things.

In verses 14–17 Abram is contrasted with Lot. Lot had been active in taking what he thought was best. Now Yahweh reworded the ideas, instructing Abram with several commands. Abram was told to lift up (nāśā’) his eyes … and look (rā’âh, v. 14; cf. v. 10), which Lot did on his own. Abram was waiting for God to give him the land; Lot just took it. God restated that He would give the land to Abram as a possession. Better that God give it than that someone take it. God also told Abram his descendants would be as numerous as the dust of the earth (cf. 22:17; 28:14). He then was invited by God to walk through … the land and see his possession. Chapter 13 closes the way it began, with Abram settling down (this time near the great trees of Mamre; cf. 14:13, at Hebron, 22 miles south of Jerusalem) and making an altar to Yahweh.

Hardly any other chapter in the Bible describes faith so marvelously. Here was the patriarch as a genuine believer in and worshiper of Yahweh—whose faith functioned in a conflict. Lot, walking by sight, chose on the basis of what appealed to him. His choice was self-seeking and self-gratifying. But such a choice became dangerous and short-lived, for all was not as it appeared to be on the surface. Abram, on the other hand, walking by faith, generously let Lot choose first. Abram was unselfish, trusting God. He had learned that it was not by his own plan that he would come into the possession, or by jealously guarding what was his. He acted righteously and generously. One who believes that God is pledged to provide for him is not greedy, anxious, or covetous.[5]


[1] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary (pp. 485–491). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Hartley, J. E. (2012). Genesis. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 144–145). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 50). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 29). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Ross, A. P. (1985). Genesis. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 52). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Details Behind Upcoming IG Report – The Clinton Email Investigation Recap, in a Video Series Format… — The Last Refuge

The 18-month Inspector General review of the DOJ/FBI investigation of the Hillary Clinton email is going to be made public tomorrow at 3:00pm EDT.

This IG inquiry is specifically looking into whether the FBI investigation was corrupted by political influence in their determination of the Clinton outcome. The preliminary investigative outcomes speak for themselves.

This following series of video reports provides background on the overall issues, the potential crimes; the subsequent coverup; and the corruption that infested the 2016 Department of Justice and the FBI.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

.

The video below is the final installment of six segments. This report covers the Clinton and Abedin email that were discovered after the investigation was closed in July 2016. {Go Deep} The emails along with the fact that they were on Anthony Weiner’s laptop was kept secret and not investigated for four weeks (Sept 28th, through Oct 27th) by top officials at the FBI.

Who stalled the investigation and why? And what was in those emails? That’s the focus of this segment.

Part VI

.

via Details Behind Upcoming IG Report – The Clinton Email Investigation Recap, in a Video Series Format… — The Last Refuge

He did this … so He could do this

The End Time

Satan tempted Jesus with hunger. (Matthew 4:3)

Satan tempted Jesus with suicide. (Matthew 4:6).

Satan tempted Jesus with power. (Matthew 4:9).

Satan tempted Jesus with life, to avoid the cross. (Matthew 16:23).

Jesus resisted it all, answered with the word of God. He remained sinless, never falling into any of satan’s wiles.

He went to the cross, taking all of God’s wrath, dying as a humiliated sacrifice, separated in darkness for hours, “Father why have you forsaken me?” and then He died.

He did this,

powers Illustration by Chris Powers, fullofeyes.com

The Father resurrected Jesus. He took our wrath because God placed our sin onto Him…He gave us His righteousness, which we could never possess.. Double imputation. (2 Corinthians 5:21).

So He could do this:

robe Robe of Righteousness, by Lars Justinen

Let us take a moment to praise, honor, and glorify our precious Savior.

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10 Practical Ways to Treasure Christ — Unlocking the Bible

I often look back on my day with regret. I think of the many minutes gone to waste in the form of mindless scrolls or swipes, and the hours spent with eyes glued to a screen.

A fellow youth leader posed a question to our senior high girls recently that pierced my heart: “How much time do you spend pursuing earthly things compared to time spent seeking God?”

That’s a convicting question. If we think about it for more than a minute, the Holy Spirit might just peel back the layers of our heart, exposing what we truly treasure.

What Do You Treasure?

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

As Christians, we must ask ourselves: How much of our time is spent scrolling, practicing a hobby, watching TV, or playing video games? How often are our minds filled to the brim with these things? Is meeting with God something we check off the list, only to forget about it until our next “quiet time”?

One of the beauties of the Christian life is being free in Christ to enjoy the good things we love, to the glory of God. The problem is when these things become more to us than the Lord—when we crave them more than we long for him. We raise them up as our own little “gods,” and they begin to rule us.

Sometimes, when I awake, the first thing on my mind is checking social media. Other times, I feel propelled to tackle my to-do list. These actions reveal a heart far more interested in the happenings of the world than in the sweet words of life which my God offers in his Word.

His mercies are new every morning, and yet, we so often rob ourselves of his mercy by allowing our minds to be fixed on lesser pursuits. We forget: Blessed are those who seek him with their whole heart (Psalm 119:2).

Instead may we echo David:

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

Seeking True Treasure

Maybe that’s just it—maybe we’ve forgotten that Scripture holds within it “wondrous things.” Glorious truths are to be found there. Have we ceased to remember the great treasure we hold in our hands? There’s encouragement for us from the Psalmist.

Your testimonies are my delight;
they are my counselors. (Psalm 119:24)

For I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes. (vv. 47-48)

If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction. (v. 92)

I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight. (v. 174)

In this God-exalting psalm, which focuses on the testimonies of the Lord, we find David claiming the law as his delight ten times. Surely, he was a man who treasured the Lord and his Word. How much more should we, who have the Word more fully confirmed, cling tightly to Scripture (2 Peter 1:19)?


We rob ourselves of God’s mercy by allowing our minds to be fixed on lesser pursuits.
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But many times, we don’t cling to his Word, do we? Our flesh draws our focus to objects of lesser value. But hasn’t our Savior overcome the flesh? Jesus died to sin and was raised to life, and we are united with him in both his death and resurrection (Romans 6:2-5). In uniting us to himself, he also liberated us from our bondage to sin, giving us new hearts. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Romans 6:6)

Friends, because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we are free to lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1). First, let us look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, to cultivate a heart that treasures him more (v. 2). We can ask him to grow our desire to seek him through his Word and through prayer. This is a prayer he loves to answer.

11 Practical Ways to Treasure Christ

Now, I’m not advocating for spending three hours in Bible study every day (although that sounds fantastic). But there are many other things we can add to our routine to set our minds on things that are above and grow within our hearts a deep love for God and his Word (Colossians 3:2).

Below, you’ll find few suggestions to focus your mind on the Lord and develop a greater desire for seeking God in the day-to-day. These things should never replace a deep study of the Bible or prayer, but act as supplements to your regular time with the Lord.

Think about how you might implement a few this week:

  • Listen to sermons
  • Read blogs about the Lord
  • Listen to an audio Bible
  • Keep a thanksgiving journal
  • Write Scripture
  • Meet with other believers and pray together
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Pray for God to work in other believers
  • Listen to gospel-centered podcasts
  • Share with a friend what you’ve learned about God recently
  • Look for ways to shift conversations to the things of the Lord

May we all grow in our love for God so that we can say with David, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (Psalm 119:20). May Jesus become our ultimate treasure, above all other things. Truly, he is more precious than anything this world has to offer.

[Photo Credit: Lightstock]

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via 10 Practical Ways to Treasure Christ — Unlocking the Bible

Differences Between the Qur’an and the Bible: An Introduction — The Cripplegate

From time to time at the Cripplegate we attempt to equip people to think biblically about other religions and cults. For example, we have addressed Mormonism, the Jehovah Witnesses, Buddhism, and Seventh Day Adventism, among others. Over the next few weeks, we will attempt to address Islam. In particular, the goal is to briefly look at differences between the Qur’an and the Bible.

A few disclaimers are needed.

First, there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and many denominations within Islam. For example, there are the Sunnis, Shiites, Suffisms, Ahmadiyya, the Nation of Islam, the Ibadi, Mahdavia, the Quranists, and non-denominational Muslims. Some of these denominations also have sub-denominations. The Sunnis make up the vast majority, consisting of about 85% of the world’s Muslim population. So, these posts will generally attempt to represent a Sunni understanding of the Qur’an.

Second, this is not an attempt to address every difference between the Qur’an and the Bible. Instead, we will focus on some of the more important differences for Christians to know.

Third, professing Christians are called to speak the truth in love. The topic of Islam can, at times, be a charged issue. Even so, we must heed the apostle Paul’s exhortation for all who profess Christ: “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col. 4:5-6).

With that, we will look briefly at an introduction to Islam and the first major difference between the Qur’an and the Bible.

Introduction to Islam

Islam is the religion founded by Muhammad, which teaches that there is only one God, Allah, and Muhammad is the last and greatest prophet. One must affirm these things to be Muslim. In Arabic, Islam means “surrender” and refers to submission to the will of God. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim; “one who surrenders to God.” The most populous Muslim country is Indonesia followed by Pakistan. Muslims view the Qur’an as the inerrant, God-breathed book. Also, close to having the same authority as the Qur’an is the hadith (or ahadith), which are written reports and accounts about the life of Muhammad. Many traditions and practices come from these ahadith accounts, but our focus will be on the Qur’an.

The Qur’an has similarities to the Bible. It teaches that one God created all things; Adam and Eve were the first humans; a global flood occurred; it esteems individuals like Abraham, Moses, David, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus. However, there are some significant differences between the Quranic and biblical teaching on these matters.

Islam teaches that the Qur’an is an eternal book. In the seventh century, Allah chose Muhammad as his final prophet, through whom the Qur’an would come.

Little is known about Muhammad’s life. What we do know comes from a few biographies and hadith ranging from one to three centuries after his life. Muhammad was born in A.D. 570. His parents died early, so he was raised by his uncle Abu Talib. Muhammad worked in the Meccan caravan trade, which meant he interacted with a diverse religious crowd. Polytheism was widespread in Arabia at this time.

Muhammad had many wives throughout his life. Though the Qur’an sets the limit for men to four wives (Surah 4:3), Muhammad had no such restriction (Surah 33:50). He married his first wife, a wealthy widow named Khadijah, at age 25. His favorite wife is said to be Aisha, who is considered the mother of believers. She was six years old when Muhammad married her (he was in his early fifties) and nine when the marriage was consummated (Sahih al-Bukhari 5158). After Muhammad’s death, Aisha contributed significantly to the spread of Islam.

After receiving the Qur’an, Muhammad began preaching the message in Mecca. His preaching including the condemnation of the widespread polytheism in the area. He preached that the idols of the Arabs must be destroyed and replaced with one god, Allah. Rejection and persecution increased in response. After Khadijah died, Muhammad fled 200 miles north to Medina in 622.

In Medina, Muhammad continued to spread his message. Some key events for the propagation of Islam were three subsequent battles: the Battles of Badr (624), Uhud (625), and the Trench (627). They faced larger armies, but prevailed. The victory at Badr was seen as affirmation that God was favorably supporting Muhammad. The year 630 was a year of triumph for Islam. Polytheism was defeated in Arab cities. Muhammad defeated the Bedouin tribe of Hawazin. Then, in December, he conquered Mecca and made it the spiritual center of Islam.

Muhammad’s death remains an issue of debate. One account says that he had either a stroke or fever and died in A.D. 632. Another account says that a Jewish woman poisoned him. He had reportedly killed several of her family members. Later, she managed to serve dinner to Muhammad. She poisoned his food, after which he died a slow and agonizing death. Muhammad is said to be buried in his Aisha’s apartment, over which a monument exists today. Islam teaches that the bodies of prophets do not decay

Muhammad is the highest moral example (Surah 33:21). He is the final authority (along with Allah) in all decisions (Surah 33:36). According to the Qur’an (Surah 4:65), a person can have no faith without unquestioningly accepting Muhammad’s judgments. Though not to be worshiped, he is considered the final prophet to humanity, and the culmination of all prophets before him.

The Origin of the Qur’an

In A.D. 610, it is said that the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad to deliver the Qur’an to him while he was on Mt. Hira. However, Muhammad initially thought that he was possessed by a demon. So, he ran down the mountain while the angel Gabriel kept saying, “You are the messenger of God.” Muhammad was so disturbed that he attempted to throw himself off a cliff to commit suicide. However, it is said that Gabriel prevented him from doing so (Sahih al-Bukhari 9:111). Muhammad ran home and told Khadijah and her cousin. They convinced him that previous prophets experienced such things, thus it was not a demon. Henceforth, Muhammad supposed that he was a prophet (As a sidenote, the way in which Muhammad was visited by Gabriel and given revelation has a striking similarity to the way in which Joseph Smith was visited by Moroni and also given revelation).

Islam teaches that the Qur’an is eternal; it has always existed. Thus, Islam is not a new faith, but the old faith which needed to be re-established beginning in polytheistic Arabia. Revealing the Qur’an to Muhammad was the necessary step. After the event in 610, he received the Qur’an piece by piece over 22 years.

The Qur’an is roughly the length of the New Testament and is divided into 114 chapters called, “surahs.” It is not a cohesive, logical story of redemption, but a mixture of sayings, laws, apologetic defenses, and revelation concerning Allah. In general, Muslims have a high view of the Qur’an. It is to be read and memorized. One must rely upon the hadith and commentaries like Tafsir ibn Kathir to study the Qur’an.

The transmission of the Qur’an is an interesting story. Behind every sacred document is some history. That is true for both the Bible and the Qur’an. Every text has a history which tells how it came about and was subsequently copied and circulated.

The New Testament, for example, has an impressive history which testifies to its divine origin. After the documents were inspired, they were circulated and hand-copied. There was no one governing body who controlled the distribution or copying of the NT letters. Instead, God’s people recognized the inspired quality of the documents and spread them rapidly. Today, we have thousands of Greek NT manuscripts, which contain everything from a few verses to all 27 books. The similarity of the manuscript content is striking: there exists an approximate agreement rate of over 99% between the biblical content. Disagreements are minor; bringing no significant doctrine or event of the NT into question. Today, we have NT critical apparatuses (e.g. UBS, Nestle-Aland), produced through painstaking work of rigorous manuscript criticism.

The Qur’an is different. It had one author who allegedly received the words of the Qur’an over a twenty-year time span. There was then one compilation of the text. Then, there was a revision. Then, all competing manuscripts were destroyed by the order of Uthman ibn Affan, one of the immediate successors of Muhammad. Muhammad had recently died, and in-fighting began as Islam spread into places like Iraq, Armenia, and Afghanistan. So, the Qur’an had supposedly been memorized and written down by various followers of Muhammad.

But, there were differing manuscripts in existence. So, in an attempt to unite the various provinces, Uthman ordered that all of the existing manuscripts be sent to him. He then produced a copy of the Qur’an and burned all other manuscripts. Uthman’s new manuscript was then copied and sent to each of the existing Muslim provinces.

Uthman carried out an intentional destruction of the earliest witnesses of the Qur’anic text. His goal seems to not have been the careful preservation and transmission of the Qur’an itself. Instead, he was attempting to unite the newly created Islamic provinces, and create political cohesion. In doing so, he may have united Muslim provinces, but the Muslim text seems to have been compromised. Thus, one cannot know if Uthman’s newly produced Qur’anic text accurately represented early manuscripts.

In the meantime, there does not exist a critical apparatus for the Qur’an. Those holding to the divine origin of the Qur’an should have concern for that. If a text has its origin in God, then it ought to be evidenced as such through textual testimony. There is, however, a project underway to create the first critical apparatus of the Qur’an. The Berlin Academy of Sciences began the project, called the Corpus Coranicum, in 2007 and hope to complete it in 2025.

Conclusion

The 66 books of the Bible were inspired by the Spirit of God through about 40 different authors from differing times and cultures over a time span of about 1500 years. The Qur’an came through one man, Muhammad, over about 20 years.

The most significant biblical events—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—were recorded by four separate witnesses. Following his resurrection, Christ was seen by over 500 individuals. These central events to the Christian faith were historical in that they occurred and were observed by many. Today, we have this inerrant, God-breathed text called the Bible.

In the coming weeks, we will observe key differences between the doctrine of the Qur’an and that of the Bible, especially as it pertains to the character of God, Jesus Christ, salvation, and the end times.

Recommended resources:

  1. The Qur’an
  2. The 6 Hadith: Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Jami al-Tirmidhi, Sunan al-Sughra, Sunan ibn Majah
  3. Tafsir ibn Kathir commentary set
  4. What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an, by James White
  5. The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent, by Erwin Lutzer

via Differences Between the Qur’an and the Bible: An Introduction — The Cripplegate