Daily Archives: July 3, 2018

July 3: God’s Unseen Work

1 Samuel 5:1–7:17; James 1:19–27; Psalm 119:33–48

We often fail to discern when and how it happens: God will work something out in our lives that seems virtually impossible. We get an unexpected insight into the workings of God in 1 Sam 5.

After defeating Israel in battle, the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant, recognizing it as a powerful weapon of war. They didn’t realize that it couldn’t be wielded by human hands. They set it up next to the idol of their god, Dagon, unaware that the ark was the representation of Yahweh on earth. Yahweh does what He wills. In this case, He willed the ark to be returned to Israel, so He destroyed the idol and afflicted the people with disease. First Samuel notes, “The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people,” (1 Sam 5:6); in fact, it was so heavy that the Philistines wanted the ark gone. After seven months, they returned it to the Israelites (1 Sam 6:10–16).

If the Philistines could recognize the work of Yahweh among them, you would think the Israelites could do the same. They should have responded to the ark’s return by praising God, rejoicing, and turning back to Him. But in their failure to discern God’s hand in the event, they continued to worship foreign gods until Samuel, their judge and prophet, demanded that they change their actions (1 Sam 7).

This illustrates a problem with our perception of God’s work: We fail to see His work on our behalf and chalk things up to circumstance or coincidence. We stick with our idols because it’s easier than admitting the truth to ourselves—for the moment we acknowledge God is at work, we must turn away from the easy path of selfish ambitions and actions.

When God’s people pray, He answers—often in unexpected and miraculous ways. While we don’t often see His hand at work, we do have an opportunity each day to look for God acting among us and turn away from anything we put in His place. Let’s do so today.

Where have you seen God working in your life? What idols is He asking you to turn away from?

John D. Barry[1]


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

July 3 Christ: The Living Stone

“… coming to [Christ] as to a living stone” (1 Peter 2:4).

✧✧✧

Jesus is the only source of eternal life and the foundation upon which the church is built.

Peter’s description of Christ as “a living stone” is paradoxical because stones aren’t alive. In fact, we sometimes speak of something being “stone dead.” Yet Peter’s symbolism is profound because it beautifully incorporates three realities about Christ.

First, Jesus is the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. The Old Testament referred to the Messiah as a “stone,” and Peter incorporated those texts into His description of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:6–8: “Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him shall not be disappointed” (Isa. 28:16); “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone” (Ps. 118:22); and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (Isa. 8:14). The parallel is obvious and would be especially meaningful to Peter’s Jewish readers. The expectations of pious Jews throughout history were realized in Christ. God had kept His promise to send the Messiah!

Second, Jesus is a “stone” in that He is the focal point of His spiritual house, the church. The Greek word translated “stone” in verse 4 sometimes referred to the stones used in building projects. They were cut and chiseled to fit perfectly into a specific location and were practically immovable. Not only is Jesus a stone; He is the cornerstone, which is the most important stone in the entire building. From Him the church draws its spiritual symmetry.

Finally, Jesus is “living.” That’s an appropriate description because everything Peter said in this epistle is based on the fact that Jesus is alive. That’s the believer’s hope and the basis for every spiritual privilege you have. You “have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3, emphasis added).

Interestingly, the literal rendering of 1 Peter 2:4 is, “Coming to Him as to living stone.” Christ is a unique stone—the stone that possesses life. All who come to Him receive eternal life (cf. 1 John 5:11).

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise the Lord for His unchangeable character and irrevocable promises.

For Further Study: Read Acts 2:22–47. ✧ What was the central point in Peter’s sermon? ✧ How did the people respond to his preaching? ✧ How many people were baptized? ✧ What were some of the activities of the early church?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 197). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Report: Millennials More Open To Socialism, Touching Hot Stove, Sticking Face In Sack Full Of Badgers — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—While most Americans are hostile to socialism, touching a hot stove, and sticking one’s face in a sack full of badgers, surveys show that millennials are much more open to these dangerous ideas and activities than previous generations. Finding themselves pessimistic about the future and saddled with student debt, millennials often turn to socialism, and…

via Report: Millennials More Open To Socialism, Touching Hot Stove, Sticking Face In Sack Full Of Badgers — The Babylon Bee

Ray Comfort has gone to the dogs — Wretched

https://vimeo.com/278033741

– Episode 2310 –

Ray Comfort has gone to the dogs


Segment 1 (0:00) – What is the relationship between people and pets?

Segment 2 (8:48) – Ray Comfort uses dogs to start conversations.

Segment 2 (18:59) – More Ray Comfort witnessing.

Wretched Surprise! (26:02) – Sermon Sizzler, Steve Lawson – blessed purity.

via Ray Comfort has gone to the dogs — Wretched

JULY 3 FREE TO BE A SERVANT

Understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Ephesians 5:17

Every man in a free society must decide whether he will exploit his liberty or curtail it for moral and intelligent ends. He may take upon him the responsibility of business and a family, or he may shun all obligations and end on skid row. The tramp is freer than president or king, but his freedom is undoing. While he lives he remains socially sterile, and when he dies he leaves nothing to make the world glad he lived.

The Christian cannot escape the peril of too much liberty. He is indeed free, but his very freedom may prove a source of real temptation to him. He is free from the chains of sin, free from the moral consequences of evil acts now forgiven, free from the curse of the law and the displeasure of God.

The ideal Christian is one who knows he is free to do as he will—and wills to be a servant. This is the path Christ took: Blessed is the man who follows Him!

Thank You, Lord, for the freedom I have through Christ. I am not bound by sin or fear. Help me to use my freedom to serve You with unfettered boldness.[1]


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

11 Perfect Bible Verses for Anyone Feeling Unloved or Unwanted — Faithwire

Have you ever felt unloved or unwanted?

Maybe you have felt unappreciated in a friendship, or devalued in a relationship. Or maybe you find yourself at fault for not loving yourself the way that God intended you to do so, and struggle with self-love.

It’s natural to desire love, significance, and even security.

As humans, we desire to be loved, needed, secure yet all too often we try to find these things in circumstantial things, instead of in the one constant: God.

15 Bible Verses to Help You Live and Understand the Constant, Unwavering and Enduring Love of God

https://www.faithwire.com/2018/07/01/15-bible-verses-to-help-you-live-and-understand-the-constant-unwavering-and-enduring-love-of-god/embed/#?secret=ibaiWZCxuP

Instead of anchoring our faith and our identity in Christ, we anchor it in other humans or in things of the world. We must remember that true joy comes from our relationship with the Lord and the grace that He gives so freely to us each and every day.

Even if we put our hope in God, we will still experience days where we feel unloved or unwanted. The best way to fight these feelings is to dive into scripture. The Bible is filled with verses and stories that demonstrate God’s endless love for us.

So even when you are feeling unloved and unwanted, know that God loves you and wants you to find security in that.

Here are 11 Bible verses that will remind you of how much God loves each and every one of us.

Romans 5:6-8

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

1 John 4:7

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Exodus 34:6-7

“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”

Ephesians 3:17-19

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

1 John 4:9-12

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

Romans 5:5

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

John 10:10-11

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.’”

Jeremiah 31:3

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.”

Psalm 37:23-24

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

Revelation 21:4

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

via 11 Perfect Bible Verses for Anyone Feeling Unloved or Unwanted — Faithwire

Amidst tensions in Jordan, King Abdullah wins Templeton Prize for advancing moderate Islam and protecting Christians. Here’s the latest, including an excellent story in Christianity Today.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Jordan-King-sideshot

Life is not easy in Jordan these days.

  • The economy is struggling to grow and create enough jobs under the weight of 1.3 million Syrian refugees, in addition to masses of Iraqi refugees who flooded into Jordan during two wars and an insurgency.
  • The government is trying to house, clothe, feed, educate and provide jobs and health care for millions of people who are not actually citizens of Jordan amidst far too little international aid (aside from the U.S. which has been both generous and consistent).
  • Widespread and angry demonstrations recently brought tens of thousands of Jordanians onto the streets to protest large proposed tax increases the government felt it needed to cover the refugee costs and adhere to IMF-mandated reforms.
  • The Jordanian military and security services have been aggressively fighting ISIS and other radical Islamist groups for years and working overtime (quite successfully, thank God) to keep terrorism from…

View original post 1,429 more words

Calif. Bill Would Limit What Pastors Can Say about Homosexuality

A California bill that that targets so-called “conversation therapy” for gays could have major consequences for religious liberty and even impact what pastors can say at conferences and in certain sermons, legal experts are warning.

Source: Calif. Bill Would Limit What Pastors Can Say about Homosexuality

Surprising approval boost? Trump’s ratings among Hispanics climb 10%

Recent polls have put Donald Trump’s approval rating at nearly 50 percent. And surprisingly perhaps, despite some controversial domestic policies, Trump seems to be picking up some significant support among Hispanic voters. Check out http://rt.com RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT!

July 3, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said he met with four potential Supreme Court justices on Monday, while a person familiar with the selection process said Trump was focused keenly on two people, although others were still in contention.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he had spoken to Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador about border security and believed the new Mexican leader would help the United States with its border issue.

The Trump administration plans to revoke guidelines that encourage considering race in the college admissions process as a way of promoting diversity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Trump administration on Monday named a top White House lawyer Uttam Dhillon, who most recently served as deputy White House counsel, as the new head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after the agency’s prior acting administrator announced his retirement last month.

The United Arab Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority on Tuesday ordered firms to identify and freeze the accounts and assets of nine Iranian individuals and entities the UAE has placed on its terrorism list, national news agency WAM said.

Romania’s government moved a step closer to partly decriminalizing abuse of office on Tuesday, a change that could overturn a prison sentence given to the leader of the ruling party.

Rescuers battled intensifying rain to furiously pump water from a cave in Thailand on Tuesday, as officials thrashed out plans to extract a young soccer team located by divers after being trapped and incommunicado for 10 days.

A volcano on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali erupted late on Monday, hurling lava and ash kilometers into the air and prompting panicked residents to flee their homes. Mount Agung in northeast Bali has been rumbling since late last year and on Friday there was a temporary closure of the island’s international airport, disrupting flights and stranding thousands of travelers.

Some Hong Kong officials and lawmakers are encouraging younger residents to consider living across the mainland China border so that they can escape the territory’s sky-high apartment prices and find more job opportunities. It is not an easy sell but some pro-China business leaders say resistance to the idea will eventually crumble.

China’s embassy in Washington has issued a security advisory to Chinese nationals traveling to the United States, the latest such warning as trade tensions escalate between the two countries.

AP Top Stories

Amid steep increases in overdose deaths, Americans overwhelmingly consider drug addiction a major problem whether they live in the city, country or suburbs.

A Philippine mayor on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials was shot dead Monday by a “sniper” in a broad daylight attack at a town ceremony, police said.

An Iranian diplomat has been arrested along with two people suspected of plotting a bomb attack on a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in France attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Belgian authorities said on Monday.

A federal judge on Monday determined the U.S. government is violating its own rules regarding the treatment of people seeking asylum.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Switzerland on Monday at the start of European trip billed as of “prime importance” after the US pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The Trump administration has drafted legislation that would allow the U.S. to ditch World Trade Organization rules and give President Donald Trump tighter control over U.S. trade policy, according to Axios, which published the leaked draft.

The increased pump prices are now eating into the disposable income of the average American household that will have a total of $440 less to spend this year on other goods and services because this money is expected to go for buying higher-priced gasoline.

BBC

A Catholic archbishop in Australia has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention for concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime.

A disintegrating Nike trainer worn by Michael J Fox in the Back to the Future sequel has sold for $92,100. The left shoe, made for Fox in his role as Marty McFly, is part of the film’s pair of self-lacing Nike Air Mags.

The UN has placed Colombia’s Chiribiquete national park on its list of world heritage sites. The park is the country’s largest and has one of the highest rates of plant diversity in the northern Amazon. It is also famous for its table-top rock formations, which rise out of the forest.

The Israeli parliament has passed a law to withhold money from the Palestinian Authority over its payments to families of Palestinians jailed by Israel or killed while carrying out attacks.

WND

Not only did the Mexican town of Cheran drive out organized crime in its effort to overcome corruption, it got rid of every cop and politician.And after seven years of governance by a ruling assembly of representatives of local neighborhoods, the highland town of 20,000 between Guadalajara and Mexico City is doing quite well, thank you, reports Vice News.

It seems the state of South Carolina wants to ensure it doesn’t fall short of the goals of its economic development agency for lack of workers. Officials plan to create a “statewide personal information data warehouse” to “track children and funnel them into the workforce.”

Something unexpected has been gradually making itself known to geologists in the United States. A huge mass of molten rock is creeping upwards beneath the nation’s north eastern states.

The Portland State University Women’s Studies department will offer a course next semester exploring “ecological feminist spirituality” and the potential for an “ecological revolution.”


News – 7/3/2018

Jared Kushner says US will soon present Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, with or without Abbas

If President Abbas is willing to come back to the table, we are ready to engage; if he is not, we will likely air the plan publicly,” Mr Kushner said, according to an English transcript of his words provided by Washington

PA: Law to deduct terrorists’ salaries from tax money ‘a declaration of war’

Abbas’ spokesman says Knesset crossed a ‘red line’ in its decision to deduct terrorists’ salaries from roughly $130 million in monthly tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of Palestinian Authority;

China Claims It Has Developed A New Laser Gun That Can Set People On Fire From Half A Mile Away

Named the ZKZM-500 after the company that allegedly produced it, the firearm can supposedly produce an energy beam that can’t be seen by the naked eye, but can burn through human skin and other materials, and travel roughly half a mile away, according to a Sunday report from the South China Morning Post.

Trump meets with Supreme Court contenders, two in focus

U.S. President Donald Trump said he met with four potential Supreme Court justices on Monday, while a person familiar with the selection process said Trump was focused keenly on two people, although others were still in contention.

Trump calls Maxine Waters ‘corrupt,’ says she’s becoming the ‘face’ of the Democratic Party

President Trump on Tuesday lashed out at Rep. Maxine Waters as “one of the most corrupt people in politics” while arguing the outspoken liberal is becoming “the face” of the Democratic Party as the midterm elections heat up. “Crazy Maxine Waters, said by some to be one of the most corrupt people in politics, is rapidly becoming, together with Nancy Pelosi, the FACE of the Democrat Party,” Trump tweeted. “Her ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal, will make people flee the Democrats!”

Minister: It’s official – More Jews in Israel than US

Israeli Jews now constitute the largest Jewish community in the world, a government minister said Monday, surpassing the American Jewish community by nearly one million people.

Trump moves are killing two-state solution, Palestinian PM spokesman says

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared the American administration incapable of being an honest broker and therefore unwelcome to participate in the peace-making process. The American peace-making team headed by Jared Kushner seems unfazed and is apparently trying to reach out to the populace instead of the government. Can this strategy succeed?

DUST STORM SWALLOWS MARS

A martian dust storm that started in late May, silencing NASA’s Opportunity rover, has now wrapped itself around the entirety of Mars, transforming the appearance of the Red Planet. “Mars has essentially vanished beneath the dust,”

Western nations de-facto boycott condemnation of Israel at UNHCR

Western nations held a defacto boycott of the Agenda Item 7 debate against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday. Only 22%, 43 nations out of the 193 UN countries who could have taken the floor, stood up to condemn Israel. France, which had initially signed up to speak, changed its mind at the last moment and was not present in the room when its name was called.

German intel: Iran wants to expand weapons into nuclear arsenal

A newly released German intelligence report from the state of Bavaria concluded that the Islamic Republic of Iran is working to turn its conventional military weapons into a system for weapons of mass destruction. “Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan are making efforts to expand their conventional weapons arsenal through the production of weapons of mass destruction,” wrote the Bavarian intelligence agency in April 2018.

Thailand cave rescue: Boys ‘could be in cave for months’

Twelve boys and their football coach trapped in a Thai cave are alive, but will need to learn to dive or wait months for flooding to recede before they can get out, the army says. The group had been missing for nine days before they were found by divers late on Monday on a small dry ledge. Rescuers are now battling rising water to bring more supplies to the group.

China firm develops ‘laser gun’

A Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use that can set fire to protesters’ hair or banners from a range of almost one kilometre. The general manager of the ZKZM fiber laser company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the weapon would “immediately” produce a “strong pain response” in the target but stressed it was designed to be “non-lethal”.

Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail

Google said a year ago it would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalize advertisements, saying it wanted users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount.” But the internet giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users…

Iran thinks Israel has been stealing its clouds to cause a drought

An Iranian general has accused Israel of ‘manipulating weather’ to prevent rain over the Islamic republic – aka, stealing the country’s clouds. Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defence Organisation, alleged that his country was facing cloud ‘theft’ during a press conference. However he was later contradicted by the nation’s weather chief.

Cyber Command moves closer to a major new weapon

The Air Force issued a formal proposal earlier this month for the Department of Defense’s long-awaited cyber weapon system, known as the Unified Platform, sources tell Fifth Domain. DoD officials have said the Unified Platform is one of U.S. Cyber Command’s largest and most critical acquisition programs to date. Industry officials have said it is necessary to conduct cyber operations and is critical to national security.

Trump moves to block China Mobile’s U.S. entry on security concerns

The U.S. government has moved to block China Mobile (0941.HK) from offering services to the country’s telecommunications market, recommending its application be rejected because the firm posed national security risks. The move by President Donald Trump’s administration comes amid growing trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.

Massive spy program invades Trump country

…The “warehouse” plan, the council asserted, is “vague, the permissions are sweeping, and the accountability mechanisms are completely absent.” The council said the main purpose of the data warehouse is to track children and funnel them into the workforce.

Masters of the Universe: Facebook Admits to Sharing User Data with 61 Companies

Facebook has admitted to sharing the personal data of its users with 61 different companies.

Horror in Iran — Regime OPENS FIRE on Demonstrators Protesting Lack of DRINKING WATER!
The Iranian Regime is failing. The people of of Khouzestan province held several large demonstrations this week to protest the lack of water in the province. The running water in the province looks like mud.

New Mexican President Told Citizens to “Leave Their Towns and Find a Life in the United States”

Mexico’s new socialist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as the Mexican Hugo Chavez, previously told citizens of the country they “must leave their towns and find a life in the United States.”

Elderly Anglican Priest Defends His Marriage to 25-Year-Old Male Model
A 79-year-old gay Anglican priest in the U.K. has defended his marriage to a 25-year-old male model from Romania, insisting he is not “a dirty old man” but just wants “to show people we are normal.”

MEDICAL TYRANNY: Doctors ordered to refuse health care services to parents who opt out of child vaccinations
Parents want to do what’s best for their children, especially when it comes to their health. For many, that means trusting their family doctor to lead them in the right direction — but when doctors receive benefits for pushing drugs and inoculations, that trust can easily be abused. Industry influence in medicine is so strong that doctors are now being encouraged to stop seeing patients who aren’t vaccinated.

“Pro-choice” California doesn’t believe GAY people should have a choice at all – counseling professionals to be fined and jailed

Should it pass and be signed into law, Assembly Bill 2943 would actually make it a criminal offense for licensed professionals to offer counseling services to members of the LGBT community who no longer wish to be a part of it.

Rep. Nunes to Depose 17 Deep State Members In House Intelligence Hearings
Representative Devin Nunes, the head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee is taking his life into his own hands. This week, he is deposing 17 members of the Deep State. If he is allowed to continue, there will be nowhere that Hillary Clinton can run or hide.

Experts warn that your phone really is listening to you

Your phone (and Google, and Facebook) is always watching: It knows where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to go, it knows who you’re talking to and what restaurant you went to for dinner. The omniscient, omnipresence of the digital world is indeed highly concerning.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“The Declaration of Independence … [is the] declaratory charter of our rights, and the rights of man.” —Thomas Jefferson (1819)

In Today’s Edition

  • Are you proud to be an American? Not if you’re a Democrat.
  • Judiciary in crisis — 17% of federal bench is vacant.
  • The Supreme Court fallout for public unions after Janus.
  • Remember: illegal aliens commit a lot of crimes beyond border infractions.
  • Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July?
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

Proud to Be an American?

A new Gallup survey shows that fewer Democrats than ever truly love this country.

Judiciary in Crisis With 17% Vacancies

Democrats continue obstructing Trump and the judicial confirmation process.

The Supreme Fallout for Public Unions

Public unions lost a lot of power when the Supreme Court ruled workers don’t have to pay.

Contra ‘Fact-Checkers,’ Illegals Are a Crime Problem

The MSM uses dubious data analysis in its attempts to debunk Trump’s claims.

Video: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Why do we celebrate? What happened in 1776? Will Witt went to the beach to see if people know.

Tuesday Short Cuts

“The argument that the signers made to justify their revolution was an argument against all forms of governmental privilege.” —Jay Cost

Tuesday Top Headlines

SCOTUS, women voters, suing oil, F-35 boondoggle, Facebook, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Ken Blackwell

America Celebrates Another Freedom Revolution

Rebecca Hagelin

Freedom Is, Once Again, on the March in the United States of America

Stephen Moore

Give Us Your Young, Energetic, Talented Masses

Dennis Prager

If We’re Nazis, Expect More Violence

Rich Lowry

Roe Is a Travesty


Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon

ApostasyWatch Daily News

Mike Gendron – Four Progressive Steps into Apostasy 

The World of Christian Worship is a Dangerous Deception

Contemporary Christian Artist Sees Third Great Awakening Coming

Beth Moore Warns: Twitter Is a Breeding Ground for Abusers, Freaks and Fake Christians

Tacoma megachurch pastor dismissed amid allegations of misconduct with former employee

Art Azurdia Removed from Pulpit at Trinity Church Portland Due to Immorality

Death Toll in Jos, Nigeria Attacks at 218, Including Pastor, Wife and Son

Mike Ratliff – Christian transformation vs works righteousness

Bill Hybels ‘Entered Into Sin,’ Willow Creek Elders Now Admit, Apologizing for Not Believing Women

Sunday ‘Celebration’ Planned for Fallen Pastor Fred Price Jr.’s Return to Megachurch Pulpit

Jim Bakker: God Told Me 1st Horse of the Apocalypse Is Now Released, Trump Is Respite Before the End

Rachel Held Evans Acknowledges Abortion Targets Minorities; Is Still For It

“Prophetess” Stacey Campbell Participated in and Promoted Catholic Event that’s in submission to the Magisterium of the Church

Episcopal Church Head Michael Curry Meets U2, Talks About ‘Reclaiming Jesus’ and Changing the World

Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps – Former Cult Member Says Leader Asked Her to Kidnap a Mexican Child Who’d Crossed U.S. Border

Militia-Style Cult’s Ex-Members Detail Violence and ‘Deliverance’ Inside Secretive Compound

Pastor charged with impersonating police officer in St. Charles

Woman Claims Mormon Church’s Cover-Up Culture Protected Her Sexual Predator Dad

Hindu Extremists Launch Multifaceted Attack on Pastor, Son in Southern India


Headlines – 7/3/2018

EU consults with Israel and PA on supporting two-state solution

Abbas said seeking unity government with Hamas to counter US peace maneuvers

Poll shows most Israelis have little hope for Trump peace plan

New West Bank Settlement’s Sewage Overflowing Into Palestinian Fields

American ex-UN envoys urge restoration of Palestinian refugee funds

Palestinian youth killed after breaching Gaza security fence

Knesset guards eject four MKs as debate over Gaza children hits raw nerves

Twitter blocks Hamas, Hezbollah accounts in Israel

Australia just took a cue from Trump on Palestine, and it proves his unconventional approach can pay off

Australia ends direct aid to PA over payments to terrorists

Knesset passes law freezing PA funding over terror payouts

Lawmakers cheer approval of law slashing PA funds over terror payments

Knesset to vote on ultra-Orthodox draft bill, splitting coalition and opposition

Ultra-Orthodox leader says he’ll topple government if enlistment bill passes

Netanyahu claims media has been hounding wife Sara for 20 years

Stealth Mode Nation: The 450 Israeli Startups You Haven’t Heard About

Saudi Arabia, UAE use Bahrain as ‘trial balloons’ for warmer ties with Israel

Iranian-backed militia, Syria threaten to cut off rebels near Golan

Number of displaced in southern Syria climbs to 270,000

Revealed: British Air Force Bombed pro-Assad Forces; Lost Major Cargo Plane

Senator Graham in Syria: ‘Terrible’ if American troops leave

German woman, alleged part of ISIS ‘morality police,’ arrested

John Bolton on Syria: ‘Iran’s support for global terror’ is key concern for US

New water pollution protests hit southwest Iran, reported clashes with police

Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft’

US says global oil capacity enough to make up for Iran cutbacks

Trump administration seeks to drop Iran’s oil revenue to nothing

US suggests wiggle room for some countries on Iran sanctions

Iranian president flies to Europe to rally support for nuke deal

Israel Fears Iran May Target Senior Officials Abroad

U.S. mulling labeling Revolutionary Guard a terror group

Sources identify Iran diplomat arrested on suspicion of plotting attack in Paris

Belgium charges couple over plot to attack Iranian opposition in France

July 4 terror plot thwarted in Cleveland, suspect pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, FBI says

The 10 places in crisis the world chooses to ignore – in pictures

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition saved after fight over migration comes to an end

Will Europe’s new border policy add to pain of Africa’s migrant children?

White House: US, Russia ‘agree to disagree’ on Crimea

As US, North Korea resume talks, experts say speedy denuking unlikely

US plans for dismantling NKorea nukes may face resistance

Secretary of State Pompeo to make third visit to North Korea

Pompeo to head to North Korea as doubts mount about its intentions

Trump to meet Kim Jong Un in New York City?

A South Korean ‘prison’ for people seeking peace and quiet

Goldberg: Millennials Embrace Socialism Because ‘The Cold War Is So Far Behind Us’

Judge rules that Trump administration has been wrongly detaining asylum seekers

After being separated from daughter at border, mom warns illegal immigrants to “find another country”

World stocks fall, haunted by concerns over US-China tariffs

Paul Manafort’s Lawyers Want to Know Where Jurors Get Their News

Facebook’s disclosures under scrutiny as federal agencies join probe of tech giant’s role in sharing data with Cambridge Analytica

Facebook document dump reveals it shared data with 52 companies, some based in China

Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail

This hotel chain is using biometric data to find you the perfect vacation spot

Does China have a UFO? British ‘X-Files’ indicate the UK thought so

China Develops Star Wars-style ‘Laser Ak-47’ That Can Set Fire to Targets and Pass Through Windows

China’s New Laser Gun Can Zap You with a Silent, Carbonizing Beam

China aims to outstrip NASA with super-powerful rocket

NASA spacecraft sending back close-ups of dwarf planet Ceres

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Volcano, Hawaii

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Shizunai, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 25,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 24,000ft

Kilauea: Has Eruption Created a New Volcano on Hawaii?

Eastern Pacific Set To See The Most Named Tropical Storms It’s Ever Recorded So Early In The Year

Hurricane Fabio Forecast to Rapidly Intensify; Record-Earliest Eastern Pacific ‘F’ Storm

A road collapses as rains and landslides batter China

Al Gore warns of ‘ominous’ record-breaking heat

The Northeast US is sweltering under the worst heat wave of the year

Extreme heat prompts National Grid to call for reduced electricity use

Multiple wildfires burn out of control in Northern California

Skies above San Francisco turn an eerie orange as fires rage

Parasite outbreak in Texas, other states prompts public health investigation

Measles case confirmed in Portland, about 500 people possibly exposed

Volunteers to be infected with powerful strain of flu to make vaccine better

Artificial ovary could allow women to become mothers after cancer treatment without risk, say scientists

Trans Woman Makes History, Will Compete for Spain in Miss Universe

This ultra-Orthodox rabbi just took a job at an LGBT synagogue

A group of Christians attended a pride parade to apologize for how they’ve treated the LGBT community

US Passes ‘Critical Landmark’ on Way to Becoming as Secularized as Europe, Warns Philip Jenkins

Astronomers capture images of a new planet forming

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 10:06 AM PDT

Astronomers capture images of a new planet formingAround 370 light years away from Earth, a big, cloudy planet is in the middle of being born — and astronomers have snapped an incredibly detailed image of its birthing process. The picture is one of the most robust we have of a planet-forming, and it could help us learn more about how worlds outside our Solar System came to be. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute, working with the European Southern

Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, were able to capture a planet about a few times the mass of Jupiter in the midst of forming around a young star. The image shows the object taking shape inside the large cloud of gas and dust that surrounds new stars, what is known as a protoplanetary disk. These disks are made up of all the materials leftover when a star is born, and the dust within them can converge to form new planets. READ MORE

Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Media Silent

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 09:44 AM PDT

Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Media SilentChurch leaders in Nigeria have said that Christians are experiencing “pure genocide” as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been murdered by Fulani radicals since January. “What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately,” said the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State in a press release last week.

The church leaders said that “over 6,000 persons, mostly children, women and the aged have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen,” which is prompting their cry to the government of Nigeria “to stop this senseless and blood shedding in the land and avoid a state of complete anarchy where the people are forced to defend themselves.” READ MORE

Viral Video Surfaces Featuring 10-Year-Old ‘Desmond the Drag Kid’

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 07:21 AM PDT

Viral Video Surfaces Featuring 10-Year-Old ‘Desmond the Drag Kid’A viral video of a 10-year-old boy who identifies as a “LGBTQ activist and advocate” and a “drag kid” is raising concern as some state that children being taught about drag and homosexuality is inappropriate and a reflection of ungodly parenting.  “I was born in Pride Month,” the child, who identifies as “Desmond Is Amazing,” stated in the video shared by The Huffington Post on Friday. “Gay pride means self-expression to me. …

I discovered that I wanted to do drag when I watched the first episode of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ when I was two.”  Desmond, donning a pink dress and hat, was called up on stage by RuPaul during DragCon 2017, characterizing him as a “gorgeous little queen” and having the boy “sashay” for the cheering onlookers. He has also appeared at homosexual pride events and has his own YouTube channel with over 2,000 followers. READ MORE

Tennessee Tent Revival in Its 3rd Month as More and More People Come to Christ

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 07:08 AM PDT

Tennessee Tent Revival in Its 3rd Month as More and More People Come to ChristA spiritual revival continues to blaze in Northeastern Tennessee, entering its 12th week Monday with more than 200 people accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, according to the evangelist leading the services.  It’s called the #GreenevilleAwakening, and it’s being held under a big tent near Greeneville, Tennessee.  “We’ve taken the Word of God and showed them how to be saved, and people from all walks of life, all social statuses,” evangelist D.R. Harrison told CBN News. “It’s just been

amazing to see the power of God move in these last days.” Harrison said he originally was scheduled to preach a one-week revival beginning April 15 at the Greystone Freewill Baptist Church. He said in week three, the crowds increased to standing room only. Harrison said he and the pastor began to pray because they were running out of room at the church, and God provided a large tent through a North Carolina man. READ MORE

Francis Chan Calls Out ‘Embarrassing’ American Christians Who’ve Lost Their Passion for the Gospel

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 07:04 AM PDT

Francis Chan Calls Out ‘Embarrassing’ American Christians Who’ve Lost Their Passion for the GospelWorld-renowned evangelist Francis Chan called out the “embarrassing” American Church for being more concerned with speakers, music, and convenient service times than the actual gospel. “I don’t want to be critical but the Christian church in America has just gotten goofy,” he said during his sermon. Chan talked about a recent trip to Israel and how he saw so many people of different faiths earnestly worshipping in Jerusalem.

“You’ve got crowds of people at the Wailing Wall praying because of what they believe. You’ve got Muslims, thousands on that Temple Mount praying. You’ve got people of all sorts of different religions that just go after it for what they believe. And then you have Christianity in America where people show up depending on the speaker, depending on the band, and show up for maybe an hour a week if it’s good enough for them,” Chan shared. “Have you tried to look at how the church looks from an outsider’s perspective? READ MORE

Heroic Nigerian Muslim Leader Shelters Hundreds of Christians from Armed Islamic Militants

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:51 AM PDT

Heroic Nigerian Muslim Leader Shelters Hundreds of Christians from Armed Islamic MilitantsHe was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save his fellow countrymen. When one local Muslim imam spotted terrified families rushing into his village in a central region of Nigeria, he made a quick decision to shelter them from harm.  This was a Christian community under fierce attack from around 300 Islamic militants, and if the imam was to turn the other way, they would all certainly be massacred. But this leader had a lot more courage than that.Despite risking his own life and the

retribution of the attackers, the anonymous imam set about getting the group to safety. “I first took the women to my personal house to hide them. Then I took the men to the mosque,” he told BBC Pidgin.  Villagers described the panicked scene as militants stormed their community, opening fire and setting fire to several houses. “First they attacked a village before us so we ran to the security post,” one victim of the attack told the BBC. “But then they started firing towards the security post so we all ran away – even the security personnel.” READ MORE

What We Must Do to Reverse the Tsunami of Mass Perversion

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:39 AM PDT

What We Must Do to Reverse the Tsunami of Mass Perversion(By Shane Idleman) A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to open this letter: “I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there.”  “It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the blatant murdering of millions of babies. This is an indictment against America and the pulpit is partially responsible—our silence speaks volumes. The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew. READ MORE

6 Ways Angels Work in Our Lives

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:33 AM PDT

6 Ways Angels Work in Our Lives(By Ron Cantor) When the book of Hebrews speaks of angels, it is to make clear to the early congregation (which struggled with error and heresies because the New Covenant was still being written) that Yeshua is way beyond the angels. It would appear that some of these Jewish believers saw Yeshua as the Messiah, but could not see Him as divine; He was like an angel in their thinking. The writer seeks to correct this. The writer shows Yeshua’s superiority to these awesome, yet created beings:

  • Yeshua is the Son of the Father (Heb. 1:5).
  • The angels worship Yeshua (Heb. 1:6). Revelation speaks of 10,000 times 10,000 around His throne (Rev. 5:11)
  • He is God with an everlasting throne. (Heb. 1:8)

However, angels do play a powerful role in the lives of men. In fact, one of their primary roles is to minister to us who serve the Lord. Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? (Heb. 1:14). CONTINUE

Abnormal earthquake swarm near Mayotte continues

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:28 AM PDT

Abnormal earthquake swarm near Mayotte continuesAn Abnormal earthquake swarm near the volcanic island of Mayotte in the Comoros Basin (Mozambique Channel) continues for nearly two months, creating anxiety and stress among locals.  The quakes are all occurring in the same spot, about 50 km (31 miles) to the east of the island. The largest so far was M5.8 on May 15. This quake was also the largest ever recorded in the archipelago. “The seismic activity

remains abnormal and persists,” scientists working for the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), the France-based geological agency serving the territory, said July 2.  There have been no serious injury or fatality but locals have reported minor damage to buildings, including a school in Dembeni. In addition, at least 10 families have been evacuated from damaged homes and temporarily relocated, according to Africa Times. READ MORE

Three major rivers above danger mark, 17 killed in floods and landslides across Nepal

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:23 AM PDT

Three major rivers above danger mark, 17 killed in floods and landslides across NepalAt least 17 people have been killed and three are still missing after heavy monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides across Nepal over the past two days, authorities said Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Hundreds of people were displaced after rain-swollen rivers started eroding embankments and inundating several settlements in Terai region. Landslides hit several mountainous areas while hundreds of homes and farmlands ended up under floodwaters.

The heaviest casualties occurred in the country’s mid-western and eastern regions, said Banshiraj Acharya, the ministry’s undersecretary. At least three people died in Banke, Baijanath rural municipality on July 2 in flood-related incidents the police said happened due to negligence. Three people died in Rolpa, Runtigadi rural municipality-5 when a boundary wall just above their house collapsed and hit the kitchen. In a separate incident, an elderly woman died and her husband was injured when their house collapsed at Godawari Municipality-9 on July 1. READ MORE

China creates ‘laser gun’ for police use

Posted: 03 Jul 2018 06:20 AM PDT

China creates ‘laser gun’ for police useA Chinese firm has developed a laser gun designed for police use that can set fire to protesters’ hair or banners from a range of almost one kilometer.  The general manager of the ZKZM fiber laser company, who asked to remain anonymous, said the weapon would “immediately” produce a “strong pain response” in the target but stressed it was designed to be “non-lethal”.  “The weapon is designed to do

things such as setting fire to illegal banners at a protest or setting fire to the hair or clothing of a protester,” he told AFP. “It is not designed explicitly for killing like a gun that uses bullets and cannot cause the ‘instant carbonization’ of human skin and tissues,” he added. The 15-mm caliber weapon weighs three kilograms (6.6 pounds), has a range of 800 meters (2,600 feet) and can pass through glass and other transparent obstacles. READ MORE

PROPHETIC UPDATE: Longest Blood Moon In A Century!

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:45 PM PDT

PROPHETIC UPDATE: Longest Blood Moon In A Century!In this special “Prophetic Update”, We will discuss the recent increase of volcanic activity around the World and the timing of the upcoming Blood Moon that has been deemed to be the longest in over a century! For more information watch the video below:

UPDATE: Submarine has been launched to search for the source of mysterious sonar sound off the US coast.

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 03:26 PM PDT

UPDATE: Submarine has been launched to search for the source of mysterious sonar sound off the US coast.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) sent its submersible, Deep Discoverer, to the depths to investigate the anomaly.  It was first heard as researchers were leading a mapping campaign off the south-east coast this month.  Sonar works by shooting waves of sound outwards and reading the waves that come back after they bounce off objects.

Thinking the bizarre noise could potentially be an undiscovered shipwreck, the team sent the small unmanned sub to search. But instead of finding hordes of sunken gold coins abroad an ancient ship, they found a massive rock formation that was teaming with various species of marine life. In April, the NOAA sent submersibles down to examine a number of shipwrecks off the Gulf of Mexico. READ MORE

Calif. Sen. to Vote on Banning ‘Conversion Therapy,’ and Gender Confusion Counseling for Foster Kids

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 03:20 PM PDT

Calif. Sen. to Vote on Banning ‘Conversion Therapy,’ and Gender Confusion Counseling for Foster KidsThe California state Senate will vote this week on legislative proposals barring counseling services for individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and requiring foster children with gender dysphoria to only receive treatment affirming their gender confusion. The two separate bills, AB 2943 and AB 2119, were approved earlier this year by the state’s lower chamber, the state Assembly. The text of AB 2943

outlaws “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation” which include “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex” and bans advertising or “offering for sale” any such counseling services they consider fraudulent. What are referred to as “change efforts,” do not have to involve a claim to change same-sex attractions but just a change of same-sex or transgender behaviors. READ MORE 

PROPHECY WATCH: Prince William says he is dedicated to bring about “Mideast peace”

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 08:20 AM PDT

PROPHECY WATCH: Prince William says he is dedicated to bring about “Mideast peace”According to a report in the Sunday Mirror, Prince William has returned to the UK following his trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories determined to bring peace.  Despite the policy of the British royal family to refrain from political or diplomatic intervention, the Duke of Cambridge was reportedly deeply moved by his visit to the region. “This is the start of something new,” Prince William said, according to a

palace aide who spoke with the Sunday Mirror. “I will forever honor my commitments to the people I have met.” According to the report, he is hoping to dedicate himself to the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Last week, the duke became the first ever member of the British royal family to pay an official visit to Israel. He met with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. READ MORE

Al Gore warns of ‘ominous’ record-breaking heat…

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 08:05 AM PDT

Al Gore warns of ‘ominous’ record-breaking heat…Former Vice President Al Gore on Saturday issued a warning about Earth’s “ominous” record-breaking heat.  “Another ominous record has been set,” Gore tweeted, citing a Washington Post article. “The city of Quriyat, Oman, hit an overnight LOW of 108.7 degrees on Tuesday – likely the highest minimum daily temp recorded on Earth.

For those suffering from the heat in the U.S. this weekend, be safe and stay cool!” Gore’s remarks came in response to a report from the Post that said the world likely reached it’s highest low temperature on record this week. On Tuesday, temperatures in Quriyat, Oman, never dropped below 108.7 degrees over a 24-hour period. The world’s previous hottest minimum temperature was 107.4 degrees, which was set in Oman on June 27, 2011.  READ MORE

Russia, China And The US Are Feverishly Upgrading Their Nuclear Arsenals

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:45 AM PDT

Russia, China And The US Are Feverishly Upgrading Their Nuclear Arsenals(By Michael Snyder) While most of the world is focused on the World Cup and other trivial pursuits, the three global superpowers are busy jockeying for nuclear superiority.  Historians will debate the extent to which the first Cold War ever really ended, but everyone pretty much agrees that a new Cold War has now begun.  Russia, China and the United States are all racing to develop the next generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and at this moment it is unclear who will ultimately come out on top in this arms race.

In Russia, nearly the entire nation is united behind the push to modernize the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal, but the United States is a deeply divided society today, and most of the population believes other priorities are far more important than developing new weapons.  Of course the United States started out with an edge in this new arms race, but now Russia and China have been working extremely hard to eliminate that edge, and to a large degree they have succeeded. When World War 3 is fought someday, submarines capable of delivering nuclear weapons will be one of the key factors, and all three global superpowers are rushing to upgrade their fleets.  CONTINUE

Investors are yanking money out of global stocks at levels not seen since the 2008 financial crisis

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:35 AM PDT

Investors are yanking money out of global stocks at levels not seen since the 2008 financial crisisInvestor money is hemorrhaging out of global stock funds at a pace not seen since just after the financial crisis exploded.  Global equity funds have seen outflows of $12.4 billion in June, a level not seen since October 2008, according to market research firm TrimTabs. Lehman Brothers collapsed in September of that year, triggering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and helping fuel a bear market that would see major indexes lose more than 60 percent of their value.

The most recent exodus, which includes exchange-traded and mutual funds, comes amid worries that the much-touted synchronized global expansion is running out of gas, as well as some unwinding of what had been a hugely successful trade in emerging market stocks. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which tracks the group, surged more than 18 percent in a five-month span from July 2017 to January 2018, but has given back a big chunk of those gains in 2018 and is down about 10.3 percent year to date. READ MORE

Do You Really Know What Your Kid’s Doing on That Smartphone?

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:26 AM PDT

Do You Really Know What Your Kid’s Doing on That Smartphone?Ayrial Miller is clearly annoyed. Her mother is sitting with her on the couch in their Chicago apartment, scrolling through the teen’s contacts on social media.  “Who’s this?” asks Jennea Bivens, aka Mom. It’s a friend of a friend, Ayrial says, and they haven’t talked in a while.  “Delete it,” her mom says. The 13-year-old’s eyes narrow to a surly squint. “I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!” she shouts. Yes, Bivens is one of

“those moms,” she says. The type who walks into her daughter’s bedroom without knocking; the kind who tightly monitors her daughter’s phone. She makes no apology. Nor should she, says a retired cybercrimes detective who spoke to her and other parents in early June at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Chicago. “There is no such thing as privacy for children,” Rich Wistocki told them. READ MORE

Claim circulates that Jesus used cannabis oil to perform ‘miracles’

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:20 AM PDT

Claim circulates that Jesus used cannabis oil to perform ‘miracles’A preposterous and perhaps blasphemous claim has circulated and is now growing among some circles, And the acceptance of this theory could help promote the controversial drug’s use in treating a range of illnesses.  Cannabis historian, author and journalist David Bienenstock is one who believes cannabis oil even explains the “miracles” attributed to Jesus. Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, he said: “Historical records show that cannabis was widely available at the time – they would’ve known how to grow it and exploit its medicinal properties.

“There is nothing different in the efficacious cannabis oil used today that wouldn’t have been available to people in Jesus’ time – it’s simply a matter of concentrating the cannabis into the oil and absorbing it through the skin.” Scholars even point to a cannabis oil recipe in Exodus 30: 22-25: “Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty … it shall be a holy anointing oil.” CONTINUE

Pentagon test-drops upgraded nuke from B-2 stealth bomber over Nevada

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 06:05 AM PDT

Pentagon test-drops upgraded nuke from B-2 stealth bomber over NevadaThe US Air Force has tested the B61-12 nuclear bomb by dropping a dud from a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber over Nevada, as part of an ambitious project to extend the service life of the bomb, introduced in 1968, by another 20 years.  “The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and the US Air Force completed two non-nuclear system qualification flight tests of the

B61-12 gravity bomb on June 9 at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada,” the Department of Energy announced last week. “These tests are the first such end-to-end qualification tests on a B-2A Spirit Bomber for the B61-12.” The experiments included running trials on “NNSA designed bomb assembly and US Air Force acquired tail-kit,” as part of the effort to evaluate the “aircraft’s capability to deliver the weapon and the weapon’s non-nuclear function.” READ MORE

3 Hebrew Words That Show Us What It Means to Be a Christian

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 05:58 AM PDT

3 Hebrew Words That Show Us What It Means to Be a Christian(By Jonathan Cahn) Yasha, aliyah and kavode. These three Hebrew words play a huge role in understanding not only the Bible, but also the kind of holiness God calls us to. In his New York Times best-selling book The Book of Mysteries, Jonathan Cahn takes you back to the basics and shows how these Hebrew words shed light on what it means to be a Christian.

Yasha – “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him” (Ex. 15:2).  The word yasha is, as Cahn writes, “the answer to everything.” Yasha means to rescue, to defend, to preserve, to save, to attain victory, and to heal.  Whether we realize it or not, we spend our lives seeking yasha. We crave security and freedom. We seek to have our needs met.  The good news is, God meets our needs. From yasha comes the Hebrew word yeshua which means salvation. It is written in the Hebrew Scriptures: “God has become my yeshua.” He has become our salvation. Our Savior. “In other words, God would become our help, our defense, our preserving, our freedom, our victory, our salvation. God would become the answer to our greatest and deepest needs,” Cahn writes. CONTINUE

Historic flood strikes Des Moines, Iowa, More than a foot of rain falls overnight

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 05:48 AM PDT

Historic flood strikes Des Moines, Iowa, More than a foot of rain falls overnightHistoric flooding hit Des Moines, Iowa over the weekend following a series of thunderstorms that started affecting the city on Saturday evening, June 30, 2018. More than a 305 mm (1 foot) of rain fell on some parts of the city by Sunday morning. One person was killed.  Des Moines metro area received between 76 and 203 mm (3 to 8 inches) of rain with some areas receiving well over 305 mm (12 inches),

according to local media reports. Heavy rain was accompanied by winds in excess of 96 km/h (60 mph). According to KCCI Des Moines, Ankeny received the brunt of the storm’s force and saw around 254 mm (10 inches) of rainfall in a short time frame, according to NWS. At one point during the storm, rain fell at a rate of more than 102 mm (4 inches) per hour. READ MORE

Mysterious ’underwater pyramid’ spotted off coast of Mexico on Google Maps

Posted: 02 Jul 2018 05:43 AM PDT

Mysterious ’underwater pyramid’ spotted off coast of Mexico on Google MapsA massive underwater pyramid could be evidence the lost city of Atlantis existed near Mexico, according to conspiracy theorists.  So-called truth seekers have long searched for the mythical city, which was first written about by ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Some claim it was a real place and was once the ruling

power of the world before a natural disaster sank the entire island into the sea. Conspiracy theorists believe they could have finally found it, using Google Earth. The giant structure that is believed to have been found at the bottom of the ocean, just west of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean. The structure is estimated to be between a massive 3.5 miles to 11 miles across. READ MORE

Evacuations Ordered as Winds Fuel Northern California Fires

Posted: 01 Jul 2018 02:48 PM PDT

Evacuations Ordered as Winds Fuel Northern California FiresEvacuations were ordered as dry, hot winds fueled a wildfire burning out of control Sunday in rural Northern California, sending a stream of smoke some 75 miles (120 kilometers) south into the San Francisco Bay Area.  The fast-moving blaze that broke out Saturday in western Yolo County charred at least 34 square miles (88 square kilometers) of dry brush and threatened more than two dozen structures in ranchland northwest of Sacramento.

No injuries were reported and the exact number of people evacuated was unclear. Autumn Edens marveled as a huge plume blocked the sun while she drove to her job as manager of the Corner Store in Guinda, a town of about 250 people just north of the fire. “You can see the smoke and you can see an orange-red glow from the flames. It looks like a movie,” she said. “I’ve never seen a fire like that up close and it’s an intense feeling.” READ MORE

Geologists detail likely site of San Andreas Fault’s next major earthquake

Posted: 01 Jul 2018 02:27 PM PDT

Geologists detail likely site of San Andreas Fault’s next major earthquakeBack in 1905, the Colorado River, swollen with heavy rainfall and snowmelt, surged into a dry lake bed along California’s San Andreas Fault and formed the Salton Sea. The flood waters submerged most of the small town of Salton, along with nearby tribal lands. The inundation also covered a key, seismically active stretch of the San Andreas Fault’s southern tip in silt, hiding evidence of its potential volatility. Utah State University geologist Susanne Jänecke began hypothesizing the location and geometry of the

sediment-obscured fault zone more than a decade ago. After securing funding from the Southern California Earthquake Center in 2011, she, along with USU graduate student Dan Markowski and colleagues, embarked on the painstaking task of documenting the uplifted, highly folded and faulted area with geologic mapping and analysis. The geologists’ persistence revealed a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults. Dubbed the “Durmid Ladder” by the team, the well-organized structure could be the site of the region’s next major earthquake. CONTINUE

Intense dust storm hits Senegal and causing damage and killing livestock

Posted: 01 Jul 2018 02:17 PM PDT

Intense dust storm hits Senegal and causing damage and killing livestockA surprisingly intense dust storm swept across parts of Senegal including capital Dakar this week, causing damage and leaving livestock dead. The storm signals a ‘dramatic’ start to the country’s rainy season.  Several planes at Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, as well its newly opened terminal

building, were damaged after a severe dust storm swept over capital Dakar with wind gusts up to 90 km/h (56 mph). The storm brought near zero visibility and caused a number of livestock deaths, locals said. It was followed by thunderstorms and heavy rain, signaling the start of country’s rainy season (mid-June to mid-October). READ MORE

Christian Death Toll Rises to 200 in 4-Day Muslim ‘Killing Spree’ in Nigeria

Posted: 01 Jul 2018 02:11 PM PDT

Christian Death Toll Rises to 200 in 4-Day Muslim ‘Killing Spree’ in NigeriaThe death toll of last weekend’s massacre of Nigerian Christians by militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen has risen to at least 200, according to a report released Friday by Open Doors, an organization that monitors Christian persecution.  As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, heavily armed gunmen recognized as Fulani herdsmen opened fire on Christians in a number of villages in Plateau State of c

entral Nigeria last weekend, killing scores and injuring hundreds more, as well as burning some 50 homes to the ground. Most of the victims were returning home from the funeral of the father of a local Christian minister. Despite the evidently religious nature of the slaughter, mainstream media chose to downplay the militant Islamism behind the attacks, preferring to attribute the violence to “ethnic tensions,” a “battle for land and resources,” or even “climate change.” READ MORE

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Ron Paul Exposes The Human Suffering Of “Cultural Marxism”

Via Ron Paul’s Facebook page,

Are you stunned by what has become of American culture?

Are you confused as to how every moral principle could be turned on its head so quickly?

Well, it’s not an accident.

You’ve probably heard of “Cultural Marxism,” but do you know what it means?

Marxists, after the tremendous failure of their *economic* ideas, decided to change their angle of attack. There was no way that people could be convinced that Socialism is economically superior to Capitalism.

Socialism produced tyranny and death in the hundreds of millions, while Capitalist nations were bursting with wealth.

So, Marxists shifted to targeting culture instead of the economy.

If Cultural Marxists could *destroy the culture* of Capitalist nations, *then* they would try to use the opportunity to change the governments and economies to their Socialist utopia.

If the people can’t think straight, perhaps then Socialism could be shackled onto them.

Marxists just shifted their targets.

Their original argument of workers being *exploited* by capitalists, didn’t sell. It’s obviously not the case.

So Marxists just shifted their “exploitation” schtick to culture:

– women exploited by men

– gays exploited by heterosexuals

– The old exploited by the young…and vice-versa

– This list goes on and on.

Anything that is true is to be twisted like a pretzel — to the point where people can’t tell what is true anymore.

How do you think they’re doing?

Had enough yet?

Then don’t be afraid to stand up for truth, and speak it!

Otherwise, history can most definitely repeat itself.

And the history of Socialism is as nasty and brutish as it gets. Nothing compares to it in terms of human suffering.

Source: Ron Paul Exposes The Human Suffering Of “Cultural Marxism”

RenewAmerica Newsletter for July 3, 2018

July 3, 2018
WES VERNON — Terror ahead? “Somebody’s going to be hurt or killed,” warn the pundits regarding the vile insults and threats coming from the far left these days. Now we’re seeing an apparent eager anticipation of just that outcome: Writing an op-ed posted by “a leftist website indirectly owned by Univision” named Splinter News, Hamilton Nolan predicts terror ahead…. (more)

July 3, 2018
Alan Keyes explains Justice Kennedy’s ‘errant constitutional jurisprudence’
ALAN KEYES — Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy to the U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 11, 1987. In his nominating speech, President Reagan described the U.S. Circuit Judge Kennedy as “a true conservative – – one who believes that our constitutional system is one of enumerated power – – that it is we, the people, who have granted certain rights to the government, not the other way around…. Those three words, ‘We the People,’ are an all important reminder of the only legitimate source of the government’s authority over its citizens….”… (more)

July 2, 2018
VICTOR SHARPE — Neil Diamond’s acclaimed hit song, “They’re Coming to America,” was his patriotic interpretation of historic and legal immigration into the United States. The powerful melody ends with an interpolation of the traditional and patriotic song, “My Country, Tis of Thee.”… (more)

July 2, 2018
BRYAN FISCHER — To the joy of authentic conservatives all across America, Anthony Kennedy this week announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court. As if signaling his upcoming departure, Kennedy joined the conservative majority in a flurry of very important opinions published toward the very end of his last term – – opinions that protected First Amendment protections for crisis pregnancy clinics, Christian wedding vendors, and non-union members, and upheld the president’s authority to restrict immigration in order to protect national security…. (more)

July 2, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — Remember when President Trump said we were going to win so much that we are going to get tired of it? That’s exactly how it felt this past month. But I’m not tired. Far from it. The Supreme Court has been delivering, big time, on Mr. Trump’s promise to restore the rule of law. And the left is showing America its profoundly un-American and uncivil face every single day. On June 4, the Court upheld the right of Christian baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission not to be forced to help facilitate a same-sex “wedding.”… (more)

July 2, 2018
NEWSMAX — Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before Congress this week has been analyzed and spun by pundits on all sides, each interpreting the testimony in a way that fits their preferred narrative of the Mueller investigation. However, to any current or former military officer or law enforcement executive, the most striking takeaway from this testimony is how Rod Rosenstein thoroughly demonstrated his abject lack of leadership and fundamental misunderstanding of the responsibilities of command…. (more)

July 2, 2018
NERWSMAX — Mitt Romney said it is too early to say whether he would vote to re-elect President Donald Trump in 2020. “It’s too early to say who I will support,” said the former GOP presidential candidate, who is now running for a Senate seat from Utah…. (more)

July 1, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Michael Brendan Dougherty has some advice for President Trump that I think is worth repeating, in regards to replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy this fall: Appoint Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s recent addition to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The facts of Barrett’s life – – that she is a mother of seven children, and that when she speaks about her Catholic faith, she speaks about God as if she really believes in His existence – – will provoke nasty and bigoted statements from Democratic senators and liberal media personalities. Again…. It won’t just be her faith…. (more)

July 1, 2018
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — ‘You’re the boss.” That was Representative Jim Jordan’s terse rejoinder during a feisty exchange with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing on Thursday. The Ohio Republican was blasting Rosenstein over information Republicans say Justice Department officials have concealed from Congress for a year…. (more)

June 30, 2018
LOS ANGELES TIMES — President Trump is expected to move quickly to nominate a replacement for retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s soon-to-be-vacant Supreme Court seat, and two leading candidates are veteran Washington, D.C., appellate Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor and recent Trump appointee to the 7th Circuit in Chicago…. (more)

June 30, 2018
SLATE — It’s no secret that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his imminent retirement on Wednesday, always had an eye toward his legacy. During this 30-year tenure on the Supreme Court, Kennedy often wrote grandiose opinions that seemed designed to be quoted and admired by future generations. That line of thinking was particularly evident in a series of decisions protecting gay Americans’ right to equal dignity. Yet by choosing to retire under President Donald Trump, Kennedy imperils that legacy, throwing his most celebrated and far-reaching decisions into serious jeopardy…. (more)

June 30, 2018
NEWSMAX — North Korea may be engaged in an international game of “hide and seek,” according to U.S. intelligence agencies, NBC News reported Friday. According to NBC sources, North Korea may be upping its production of weapons-grade nuclear material at secret sites, and its leader, Kim Jong Un, will keep both the production and the location of those sites under wraps while seeking concessions from the U.S…. (more)

June 30, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — It seems the Trump administration knows the law better than the Obama administration. The Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed positions of the Obama administration in four cases decided by the Supreme Court this year – – and won all four of them…. (more)

June 30, 2018
NEWSMAX — The man and woman creep down the school hallway back-to-back, guns drawn. A tap on the backside signals they are ready to move into the next room. He keeps his weapon pointed straight ahead. She scans for dangers that may spring up behind them…. (more)

June 30, 2018
NEWSMAX — Two 16-year-old brothers have been arrested and are being held without bond for the gang-related Silver Springs, Maryland, stabbing death of another teen, Fox 5 DC reported. The two MS-13 member brothers, Lenin and Bryan Mancias-Callejas, arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors and are both El Salvadoran nationals, according to The Daily Caller…. (more)

June 30, 2018
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — Weeks after being pardoned by President Donald Trump, Dinesh D’Souza is unveiling the trailer for his latest movie. Quality Flix opens the conservative’s latest documentary film, Death of a Nation, in 1,000 theaters on Aug. 3. The film likens Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump – – saying that the situations they found themselves in as U.S. presidents are very similar, according to the filmmaker. “Lincoln was elected to unite a country and stop slavery. Democrats smeared him; went to war against him; assassinated him. Now, their target is Trump,” D’Souza intones at the top of the trailer before announcing the movie is produced by Gerald Molen, the Oscar-winning producer of Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park…. (more)

June 30, 2018
WESLEY PRUDEN — Nobody has ever proved that Andy Warhol said “in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But he has been misquoted so often that a lot of people think he did. (Read the quotation carefully). A wiser man did say that “nothing recedes like success,” and we see that proved all around us every day…. (more)

June 30, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A reporter at The Republican newspaper in Massachusetts resigned Friday after falsely claiming on Twitter that the man accused of gunning down five journalists Thursday at a Maryland newspaper wore a “Make America Great Again” hat as he carried out his attack. Conor Berry apologized for the mistake in a pinned tweet, calling it “stupid” and “regrettable.” His Twitter bio now states, “Former newspaper reporter.”… (more)

June 30, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A pro-Net Neutrality activist is facing federal charges after police say he threatened to kill the children of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. In a December email, sent just after the FCC revoked the Obama-era Net Neutrality policy, Markara Man listed addresses of several preschools near Mr. Pai’s home in Arlington…. (more)

June 30, 2018
Calls for ‘strength and resolve’ to resist Trump
ART MOORE — Mocking people who are urging civility in public discourse regarding President Trump’s enforcement of federal immigration laws, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on Democrats to resist her 2016 opponent with “strength and resolve.”… (more)

June 29, 2018
JOAN SWIRSKY — In Hillary’s cringe-producing appearances over the past year and a half – – since she lost the U.S. presidency in 2016 to Donald J. Trump – – she has offered upward of 38 excuses to rationalize her loss, which Amanda Prestigiacomo has documented here exquisitely…. (more)

June 29, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Youth is a factor as President Trump searches for his pivotal nominee to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court, a task that the president said Thursday is already in high gear. The president is looking for a nominee who can leave a conservative mark on the high court for most of the next half-century, extending Mr. Trump’s impact far beyond his presidency. “We have to pick one that’s going to be there for 40 years, 45 years,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday night…. (more)

June 29, 2018
NEWSMAX — The House approved a Republican-backed resolution demanding that the Justice Department turn over all remaining documents sought by congressional committees on the investigation into Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s campaign…. (more)

June 28, 2018
JERRY NEWCOMBE — The Bible is being used by both sides in the current immigration debate. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is quoting Romans 13 on how we should obey the government, since it’s been ordained by God…. (more)

June 28, 2018
AP NEWS — Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court’s decisive man in the middle on abortion, gay rights and other contentious issues, announced his retirement Wednesday, giving President Donald Trump a golden chance to cement conservative control of the nation’s highest court…. (more)

Tuesday Blast from Berean Research for 07/03/2018

Carried About by Every Wind of Doctrine

Jul 02, 2018 04:11 pm | Marsha West

In his latest blog post, Rick Becker reveals some of the heretical teaching that’s currently being passed off as biblical Christianity when it clearly is not — it’s satanic! Becker not only examines the teaching that’s being sold to the Christian “consumer” as “truth”; he discloses who’s doing the selling.  A few examples (there are many) […]

The post Carried About by Every Wind of Doctrine appeared first on Berean Research.


Rejecting the Sufficiency of Scripture Results in Cultural Chaos

Jun 28, 2018 11:47 am | Marsha West

Should white people apologize to black people for their positions of privilege as some Christian leaders are suggesting, inquires Josh Buice.  In this piece, Buice specifically addresses the #wokechurch hashtag circulating on social media.  “Woke church” stems from the social justice movement that, sadly, has its claws dug deep into the visible Church. Buice reveals what’s […]

The post Rejecting the Sufficiency of Scripture Results in Cultural Chaos appeared first on Berean Research.


Social Justice, the Global Church, and Controversies

Jun 27, 2018 08:53 am | Marsha West

Elizabeth Prata fills us in on some of the controversies plaguing the visible Church these past 3 months. The controversies has many in the Christian community ringing their hands in dismay, including Elizabeth. So that there will be no doubt as to what’s been going on, she includes video clips of Todd Friel and Alistair […]

The post Social Justice, the Global Church, and Controversies appeared first on Berean Research.


More to read:

The acceleration of the New Apostolic Reformation’s influence in South Africa
Solving Misogyny- You’re Doing It Wrong
To Unpack Roma Downey’s Box of Butterflies Is to Discover a Core False Teaching
Dr. David Jeremiah endorses Jesus Calling
Is the Pope Catholic?

July 3, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

28:15I am with you: Right when Jacob was running away from the consequences of his lies, God mercifully chose to reaffirm His promises. Jacob was in no position to earn God’s favor. Yet God promised to be with him. God’s choice of Jacob was not based on merit but grace. This is always true. God also saw in Jacob a man who would grow in faithfulness and in character strength. One day he would no longer be “Jacob,”—“He who supplants” (32:26)—but “Israel,”—“God persists!” (32:28).[1]


28:15 — “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

God will always stay with us and keep all His promises to us, even when we go through the storms of life. When we wonder if He’s really there—He is![2]


28:15 will keep you … will bring you back. A most timely, comforting, and assuring promise which remained engraved on Jacob’s heart during his sojourn in Haran (see 30:25). His forced departure from Canaan did not and would not abrogate any of God’s promises to him.[3]


28:15I am with you A promise of divine protection and blessing.

I will bring you to this land Both a promise and a prophecy. Jacob will venture outside the promised land with God’s permission (46:3–4). At this point, Jacob is being exiled from the land of promise to Haran. But God essentially reminds him that he is entitled to the very ground from which he is being driven.

I will not leave you Jacob’s actions have been factored into a providential plan (25:19–28). Jacob will have to make amends for his sins (32:1–21; 33), but Yahweh will still fulfill His will through Jacob’s life.[4]


28:15 I am with you. See 26:3; Ex. 3:12; Ps. 23; 46; Heb. 13:5. The promises of this verse pertained to Jacob’s own lifetime.

wherever you go. In contrast to pagan deities, whose powers were thought to be tied to particular localities.

until I have done. The Hebrew here signifies only that the promise will be completed, not that it will be changed after its fulfillment.[5]


[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 52). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ge 28:15). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 28:15). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 28:15). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 56). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

Though We Are Faithless, God Remains Faithful — Paul Tautges

When I got saved in the early months of 1984, I met my wife a few months later. That fall we sang in a group called Lightshine. It was the musical outreach of a local Youth for Christ kind of ministry. Before I joined the group, they sang a song that I still hear her sing. As I understand, it was popular on Christian radio in the late 1970’s. The song was called Take another Lap around Mt. Sinai. The chorus went like this:

Go on and take another lap around Mt. Sinai
Til you learn your lesson
Till you stop your whining and you quit your rebellin’
Till you learn to stand in your day of testin’
By trustin’ and obeyin’ the Lord

That chorus pretty much sums up the book of Numbers—Israel taking laps around Mt. Sinai, waiting for 40 years of God’s judgment to take its course. On the positive side, Numbers is about the longsuffering and faithfulness of God to fulfill His covenant promise in spite of the people’s unbelief.

Out of 36 chapters in the book of Numbers, I selected chapter 14 to be part of our current sermon series because it illustrates a key contrast repeatedly found in the book: the contrast between living by fear and living by faith. When the twelve spies returned from checking out the land, the congregation had a choice to make. Who would they follow? Would they follow the two men with big faith in a big God, or the ten with little faith and a little God?

4 Biblical Truths

In the first half of the chapter, we find four truths illustrating the contrast between faith and unbelief. Take time to read and meditate on this passage of Scripture.

  1. Unbelief leads to rebellion (vv. 1-4).
  2. Faith believes God is bigger than obstacles (vv. 5-9).
  3. Unbelief rejects God’s promise (v. 10a).
  4. Faith banks upon God’s faithfulness (vv. 13-19).

In the rest of the chapter we see God’s response to the intercession of Moses. The Lord would continue to move forward with the fulfillment of His promise, but He would also hold personally responsible those who acted in unbelief. The generation that acted in unbelief would die in the wilderness, while the ten negative spies would immediately be executed because they failed to take hold of the promise of God.

Think about it. As spies, they were peeking into the very place where God would fulfill the promise of redemption. The place where Abraham’s God would fulfill His promise. The place where the seed of the woman would be born—and would die—to crush the Serpent’s head. This was the land of Messiah! When the congregation followed the pessimistic faith of the ten spies, they failed to fully embrace the redemptive promise of God.

A Personal Takeaway

When we act in unbelief, God’s plan moves forward without us, and without His blessing. Don’t get me wrong. God’s work is not stopped, but it may be delayed from an earthly standpoint. If we are unwilling to live by faith then He will raise up others who are willing to do so and receive the blessings. Faithlessness is not without a price. The price is the loss of divine blessing.

The book of Deuteronomy contains three sermons Moses preached to the people as they wrapped up their 40 years of wandering, and were camped across the Jordan, ready to enter the land of promise. Through Moses, God placed a choice before them.

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.” (Deut. 11:26-28)

After their time in the wilderness, the surviving generation stood before another obstacle—the raging Jordan River. They had a choice to make. Would they embrace God’s promise by faith, or cower in fear of the unknown?

Today, a choice stands before you and me. We stand at a fork in the road. How will we live in light of the Word of God? Will we live by fear or faith?

[This post is adapted from last Sunday’s sermon, which is available on our church website. You may follow the series on Sermon Audio.]

 

via Though We Are Faithless, God Remains Faithful — Paul Tautges

Hope For The Post-Abortive Woman — SBC Voices

Have you ever had to keep a secret? I’m not talking about the surprise trip to Disney Land for your family, but instead the secret that feels like a long slow death.  How about keeping that secret for decade upon decades? Wondering over and over again what it will be like if and when it gets out. What more you will lose at the cost of the secret.

The thing about secrets is that they are so incredibly powerful even in their silence. It can be so loud its deafening, but it makes no audible noise as it slowly chokes the life and beauty out of a person’s soul. Secrets birth shame, unworthiness, and despair and they manifest themselves in fear, anger, and control. This is the heart struggle of the post-abortive woman, and she’s sitting in your pews.

Statistics say that 1 in 4 women have abortion in their story(1). This isn’t counting the countless others who are connected to the woman’s abortion like their partners and family members who also feel the loss, nor does this include multiple abortions. According to a survey done by Care-Net they found that 4 out of  10 of Women who had an abortion attended church at least once a month. (2)

Think of the women in your church. Those who faithfully serve, lead, give of their time, their resources and talents. These are the women hiding within your pews who are wrestling with guilt, shame, unforgiveness, and fear despite regularly hearing the message of freedom and redemption for all broken people.

Read more: Hope For The Post-Abortive Woman — SBC Voices

July 3 Discerning False Prophets: The Character Test

You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.—Matt. 7:16–17

One’s basic character—attitudes, inner motives, loyalties, standards—eventually manifests itself in his or her life. Christians produce good fruit in their attitudes and actions. But unbelievers, especially false prophets, will eventually manifest bad fruit.

False teachers can hide their true fruit for a time behind ecclesiastical trappings, evangelical vocabulary, and false fellowship. But how they behave when not around Christians will soon enough reveal their true loyalties and convictions. Unless they exhibit “moral excellence … knowledge … self-control … perseverance … godliness” and so forth (see 2 Peter 1:5–8), we can be sure God has not sent them and they do not belong to Jesus Christ. Another crucial indicator of character that we can look for, as summarized by Christ Himself, is this: “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but Hhe who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (John 7:18).

The teacher who emulates Christ and wants to glorify Him is a genuine servant of the Lord. But the false one, no matter how clever, can’t hide for long his corrupt character—and the discerning believer will recognize this. As John Calvin wrote, “Nothing is more difficult to counterfeit than virtue.”

ASK YOURSELF

How does this teaching coexist with the “judge not” command from earlier in Jesus’ sermon? What happens when character judgments are treated as taboo by the people of God? How have you witnessed this occurring?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 193). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

JULY 3 THE NATURE OF TRUE WORSHIP: WHOLLY SPIRITUAL

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him….

REVELATION 3:20

One of the most liberating declarations in the New Testament is this: “The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23, 24). Here the nature of worship is shown to be wholly spiritual. True religion is removed from diet and days, from garments and ceremonies, and placed where it belongs—in the union of the spirit of man with the Spirit of God!

From man’s standpoint, the most tragic loss suffered in the Fall was the vacating of his innermost being by the Spirit of God. At the far-in hidden center of man’s being is a bush fitted to be the dwelling place of the Triune God. There God planned to rest and glow with moral and spiritual fire. Man by his sin forfeited this indescribably wonderful privilege and must now dwell there alone.

For so intimately private is that place that no creature can intrude; no one can enter but Christ, and He will enter only by the invitation of faith! “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).[1]


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