Daily Archives: July 23, 2018

July 23: Finding God in Sheol

2 Samuel 11:1–12:31; 2 Peter 1:1–8; Psalm 139:1–24

We’ve all felt distant from God. Sometimes it’s sin that makes us feel separated from Him; other times it could be a lack of prayer. Either way, when we feel apart from God, God has not moved away from us. God never moves—we do. But we can find solace in the words of Psa 139: “O Yahweh, you have searched me, and you know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought from afar” (Psa 139:1–2).

We spend so much of life explaining ourselves to others. Trying to manage perceptions is a norm in our society—especially for those of us in fast-paced work environments. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as our motives are pure, we’re being honest, and we’re not obsessed with what others think. But it’s certainly comforting to know that with God, we never have to explain ourselves. He already knows. He has already searched us—and He is always present.

The psalmist writes, “You barricade me behind and in front, and set your hand upon me.… If I ascend to heaven, there you are, and if I make my bed in Sheol [the ultimate symbol of darkness in the Ancient Near East], look! There you are. If I lift up the wings of the dawn, and I alight on the far side of the sea, even there your hand would lead me, and your right hand would hold me fast” (Psa 139:5, 8–10). God is in all places. We may accept these concepts intellectually, but our minds become distracted when we’re feeling alone. Loneliness is heart work, as Psa 139 portrays.

Psalm 139 concludes with the words, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. And see if there is in me the worship of false gods, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa 139:23–24). The God who created the universe is waiting for us. He is ready to find our false gods and cast them out. He is ready to help us acknowledge His work of goodness and order in the world, and to alleviate the anxiousness we feel. Only He who is all-knowing and all-present can bring us ultimate comfort. Only He can close the gap we feel.

What false gods are you fighting? What anxiousness do you need to ask God to cast out?

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 23 God’s Motive for Your Inheritance

“… according to His great mercy” (1 Peter 1:3).

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Every dimension of life, whether physical or spiritual, is a testimony to God’s mercy.

When God saved you and granted you an eternal inheritance, it wasn’t because you were special or more deserving of His love and grace than others. It was because He sovereignly chose to love you and to extend His great mercy to you. That’s why Paul said, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4–5). He “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Because of His great mercy, God addresses the pitiful condition of mankind. Unregenerate people are totally depraved, dead in trespasses, enslaved to sin, cursed to eternal damnation, unable to help themselves, and in desperate need of someone to show them mercy and compassion. That’s the good news of the gospel: God loves sinners and extends mercy to anyone willing to trust in Him.

Mercy tempers God’s justice. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said, “Mercy sweetens all God’s other attributes. … When the water was bitter, and Israel could not drink, Moses cast a tree into the waters, and then they were made sweet. How bitter and dreadful were the other attributes of God, did not mercy sweeten them! Mercy sets God’s power [at] work to help us; it makes his justice become our friend; it shall avenge our quarrels” (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978], p. 94).

The very fact that God permits us to live at all speaks of His mercy. Lamentations 3:22–23 says, “It is [because] of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (kjv).

No matter what your situation is, God’s mercy is more than sufficient for you. It “is great above the heavens” (Ps. 108:4, kjv). So be encouraged, and look to Him always.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for His great mercy, for by it you have received eternal life and an eternal inheritance.

For Further Study: Read Mark 10:46–52. How did Jesus’ healing ministry demonstrate God’s mercy?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 217). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

07/23/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0723

•You can win Ray Comfort’s latest book
•Bananaman exposes the lack of humor among Atheists
•Millennials are dying of cirrhosis
•Matt Chandler sounds just like an NAR “prophet”
•Tim Challies has hard words for pastors knee deep in immorality

Download Now (right click and save)

via 07/23/2018 — Wretched

JULY 23 THE REALITY OF PRIDE

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way…do I hate.

Proverbs 8:13

Let me warn you of the danger and the bigotry of human pride. You will find it everywhere in the world, and it will feast on almost anything that will make it fat!

I have come to the conclusion that many people I have met are not ever going to get right with God because they have determined that they simply will not humble themselves, ever!

Pride is an awesome quality in mankind, not only in Jesus’ day, but in ours as well.

I heard a newscast in which one of India’s highest officials was trying to deny a report that Christian missionaries were being hindered in their work in India. He said, “We are not hindering the propagation of the Christian doctrine in India. In fact, we understand that there have actually been a few people of low caste who have believed the Christian teaching.”

Oh, the rising pride in his voice as he made the statement. The helpless and the hopeless in the lowest caste—he was not going to get in their way if they wanted to believe in Christ.

Yes, the bigotry of human pride is everywhere!

Lord, sometimes pride has a way of sneaking up on me so slowly and naturally that I don’t recognize it. You have my permission, Lord, to root out the pride in the dark corners of my being.[1]


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

‘The Right to Religious Freedom I Feel Personally’: Pompeo Hosts 1st Ever Global Religious Freedom Summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the first ever worldwide conference on religious freedom in Washington this week. Unfortunately, religious persecution is nothing new and in recent years, it’s grown.

Source: ‘The Right to Religious Freedom I Feel Personally’: Pompeo Hosts 1st Ever Global Religious Freedom Summit

Franklin Graham Thanks This Boy Genius for His Amazing Faith

Young William Maillis received his associate in arts degree from St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, this past Saturday. There may be nothing particularly noteworthy about that — except that Maillis is 11 years old.

What’s the hurry? The amazing young man wants to prove God’s existence by becoming an astrophysicist — as soon as possible, if he has his way. (Hear this intelligent young man speak on the creation of the heavens in the video, below.)

William Maillis started college in 2016 after graduating from high school at the ripe old age of nine. His parents say he was always on the “fast track,” according to CNN.com; by the age of two, he was doing simple math, and by age four he had learned algebra.

Evangelistic faith leader Franklin Graham reveled in the boy’s reasons for wanting to study the heavens in a trending Facebook post. “An 11-year-old college graduate? Wow — that’s impressive!” Graham wrote. “William Maillis wants to be an astrophysicist, and he hopes to have his doctorate by the time he’s 18. But what caught my attention even more than William’s impressive intelligence and his hard work was that he didn’t hesitate to talk about God in his CNN interview.”

Graham continued, “He told the media, ‘Everybody has gifts from God. I was gifted with knowledge and science and history.’ He also went on to tell them WHY he wanted to be an astrophysicist. William said, ‘I want to prove to the world that God does exist through science.’ He wants to point others to God through his life and his work, and I think that’s great.”

An 11-year-old college graduate? Wow—that’s impressive! William Maillis wants to be an astrophysicist, and he hopes to…

Posted by Franklin Graham on Monday, July 23, 2018

The impressive young man has also garnered the admiration of his college administrators.

”I am totally fascinated by William and the work that he has done,” Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College, told Bay News 9. “He’s extremely brilliant, very open and collaborative.”

Related: Four Powerful Reasons I Know God Exists

Franklin Graham encouraged Maillis, and thanked him for his zest to share the truth of God’s existence through astrophysics.

“Thank you, William, for wanting people to know God,” Graham continued in his Facebook post. “God’s infinitely amazing creation points mankind to His existence and testifies of His power and greatness. I hope you’ll always keep your focus on Him. One of my favorite promises from the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.’”

So what’s next? Young Maillis will begin classes next month at the University of South Florida, reported CNN.

Source: Franklin Graham Thanks This Boy Genius for His Amazing Faith

11-Y-O Boy Genius Who Graduated College: ‘I Want to Prove God Exists Through Science’

An 11-year-old boy genius, who on Saturday graduated from St. Petersburg College in Florida just two years after finishing high school, said he wants to become an astrophysicist and prove that God exists.

Source: 11-Y-O Boy Genius Who Graduated College: ‘I Want to Prove God Exists Through Science’

July 23, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he “gave up nothing” at last week’s private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin but remained elusive about their conversation as fellow Republicans and other critics questioned any potential deals.

President Donald Trump said on Sunday that documents released by the FBI relating to a former adviser’s ties to Russia showed that his campaign for the 2016 presidential election had been illegally spied upon by U.S. law enforcement, but offered no evidence to support his assertion.

A pair of prominent Republican U.S. senators said on Sunday that the United States must move promptly to prepare new sanctions against Russia to discourage interference in upcoming elections.

Al Shabaab fighters detonated a suicide car bomb before storming a military base in the south of Somalia on Monday and killing 27 soldiers, the militant group said, its second strike on the base in as many months.

A jailed Reuters reporter told a court in Myanmar on Monday that documents he is accused of breaking state secrets laws to obtain were planted by a police officer, who handed him papers he had not sought in order to entrap him. The officer had then lied to the court about what happened, he said.

Oil prices rose on Monday on worries over supply after tensions worsened between Iran and the United States, while some offshore workers began a 24-hour strike on three oil and gas platforms in the British North Sea.

Turkish police said on Monday they had detained 43 people on suspicion of being foreign members of the Islamic State militant group in a series of operations across Istanbul.

Israel launched its newest air defense system on Monday on the Syrian frontier, where Damascus’s Russian-backed forces have been routing rebels, as Moscow sent envoys for what it called “urgent” talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AP Top Stories

Iranians on Monday shrugged off the possibility that a bellicose exchange of words between President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart could escalate into military conflict, but expressed growing concern America’s stepped-up sanctions could damage their fragile economy. Trump tweeted: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

Iran was jolted by a series of moderate and light earthquakes on Sunday, including a 5.9 magnitude temblor in a mountainous western region in which officials said some 150 people were injured.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will make the latest in a string of trips to Africa this week, visiting South Africa and Zambia as well as attending a summit of the BRICS leading emerging economies, the presidency said Sunday.

A Florida family has been devastated again by gun violence. The father of two sibling survivors of the Parkland school attack was fatally shot during a robbery at his Fort Lauderdale convenience store.

Afghanistan’s Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who left the country last year amid allegations of sexual abuse and torture, will return home on Sunday after more than a year in exile and resume his duties, officials said.

Most members of the Thai youth football team rescued from a flooded cave will have their heads shaved, don robes and be ordained in a Buddhist ceremony this week, officials said Sunday.

Human Rights Watch on Sunday called on Iraq’s government to declare the number of detention facilities it maintains and not to hold suspects without informing their families.

Tens of thousands of Israeli LGBT advocates and their supporters went on strike across the country Sunday, protesting the exclusion of gay men from a recently passed surrogacy law.

An elderly worshipper had a close call on Monday when a 220 lb. stone suddenly fell from Jerusalem’s Western Wall and crashed at her feet.

BBC

Supergirl will be the first live-action TV series to feature a transgender superhero. Activist and actor Nicole Maines, who is transgender herself, will play the role of Nia Nal, who becomes Dreamer. “It seems only fitting we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to.”

A new drug to treat malaria has been given the green light by authorities in the United States. The medicine is specifically for the recurring form of malaria – caused by the parasite plasmodium vivax – which makes 8.5 million people ill each year.

Authorities in China have ordered an investigation into a vaccination scandal as panic grows over product safety.

WND

It’s open warfare now between the “L” and the “T” of the LGBT movement. An organization for lesbians has launched a formal online blast at LGBT activists for calling them “transphobes” and they want the LGBT coalition to drop the “L.” The lesbians argue they are women attracted to women and there’s no room for men who claim they are women. Biology does make a difference, a big difference, they insist, and it’s not enough to simply “identify” as being of a particular gender.

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student newspaper is looking to hire a reporter whose sole responsibility will be to cover stories related to “diversity, inclusion, and social justice.”

A Yale University law professor encouraged people to “hide” illegal immigrants from ICE, but says he has “no qualms” about revealing the home addresses of ICE employees.

“While three years ago my sister Auma introduced me before I gave a speech, today I’m really coming as a brother, as a citizen of the world, as someone with a connection to Africa to talk about the importance of what she’s doing but also to create a larger context for what’s possible,” Barak Obama said.


News – 7/23/2018

Heavy hail storm hit BiH city, causing great damage
Heavy hail storm has hit Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) city of Banja Luka, some 200 kilometers northwest of the capital Sarajevo, causing great damage on objects and cars on Saturday evening. According to local reports, around five-centimeter-diameter hailstones destroyed roofs and windows of a great number of cars parked outside, mainly in a village near Banja Luka. The hail storm also hit numerous agricultural areas….

Clapper: Obama Was Behind The Whole Thing
Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and those in his orbit. Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Clapper let slip: If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. And with Clapper’s admission – it looks like Strzok’s text stating “the White House is running this” may have been right on the money.

Google Translate Keeps Spitting Out Creepy Religious Prophecies
Does a new trend involve goofing around with Google Translate show something silly – or sinister? For example, typing the word “dog” 19 times and telling Google to translate it from Maori to English gives the following result: “Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve. We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return.”

Minor 3.4 magnitude earthquake strikes near Kinneret
A minor 3.4 magnitude earthquake struck near the Kinneret area on Sunday, according to the Geophysical Institute of Israel, rocking the northern region mere days after a string of minor earthquakes rumbled the area in recent weeks.

Obama says he’s from Kenya, again
Why do so many Americans still believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya? Maybe because he keeps insisting it’s so. He did again last week, while visiting his ancestral homeland of Kogelo. So, which is it – native-born son of Kenya, native-born son of Hawaii or native-born citizen of the world?

Bennett after U.N. meeting: Israel must avoid Iran driven two-front war
Iran must not be allowed to drag Israel into a war on both its southern and northern borders, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said after he met Monday morning with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov. Tehran sits at the head of an eight tentacled octopus that is responsible for the violence on Israel’s Gaza, Lebanese and Syrian borders, said Bennett, who is a member of Israel’s security cabinet.

In a first: Israel fires two David Sling interceptor missiles
Israel used its David Sling interceptor system for the first time on Monday, launching two missiles against rockets launched from Syria… Red alert incoming rocket sirens sounded across in northern Israel Monday morning, first in the northern city of Safed and the Galilee region at 10.05 a.m. and moments later in the Golan Heights and the city of Katzrin. Sirens wailed again the Galilee and Golan less than half an hour later.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang calls for crackdown on vaccine industry
Authorities in China have ordered an investigation into a vaccination scandal as panic grows over product safety. Last week vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co was found to have falsified production data for its rabies vaccine. The firm has been ordered to halt production and recall rabies vaccines. There has been no evidence of harm from the vaccine, but the scandal has sparked a huge outcry in China.

Drought forces emergency measures for US West’s wild horses
Harsh drought conditions in parts of the American West are pushing wild horses to the brink and spurring extreme measures to protect them. For what they say is the first time, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote grazing grounds where springs have run dry and vegetation has disappeared.

Chemicals in Food May Harm Children, Pediatricians’ Group Says
A major pediatricians’ group is urging families to limit the use of plastic food containers, cut down on processed meat during pregnancy and consume more whole fruits and vegetables rather than processed food. Such measures would lower children’s exposures to chemicals in food and food packaging that are tied to health problems such as obesity, the group says.

Israeli aircraft hits terror cell launching incendiary balloons
An IDF aircraft struck Sunday a cell of terrorists launching incendiary balloons from northern Gaza into Israel. No casualties were reported in the incident. After a situation assessment in the Kerem Shalom border crossing Sunday morning, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed the Palestinians on Sunday, and said the key to opening the border to transfers of goods is the continued quiet in the region.

Trump warns Iran’s Rouhani to stop the threats or suffer historic consequences
President Trump late Sunday tweeted out to Iranian President Rouhani to never threaten the U.S. again or face historic consequences. The tweet came on the heels of Rouhani’s warning to Trump that hostile policies could lead to the “mother of all wars” with Iran. Trump called for Rouhani to stop the rhetoric or–in caps lock– “suffer the consequences the like of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious!”

The Bible remains a ‘powerful, transformative tool’ in American culture: Poll
“The results show that, despite shifting cultural trends, Americans still read the Word, and it remains a powerful, transformative tool in their life. These and other snapshots are included in our list of top seven findings from this year’s State of the Bible report,” the survey said. Overall, half of Americans are “Bible users” — they read it, pray with it or consider biblical content through online or recorded forms. The survey found that Bible use has remained relatively consistent since 2011.

FBI used anti-Trump media to obtain spy warrants on campaign
The FBI continued to tell judges that dossier writer Christopher Steele wasn’t the source of a news article the bureau used to corroborate a wiretap application when in fact Mr. Steele had publicly acknowledged that he fed the anti-Trump story.

Record Number of Jews on Temple Mount Commemorating Temples’ Destruction
While Jews around the world fasted in mourning for the destruction of both Jewish Temples, an astounding 1,440 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount on Sunday, setting records that display a mounting desire to rebuild the Temple.

Archaeological Sifting Project Confirms Biblical Account of Solomon and David
Speaking to reporters during an exhibition of artifacts removed from the Temple Mount by Islamic officials in 1999, Prof. Gabriel Barkay, …said that sifting through mounds of dirt removed from site has unearthed an historical treasure trove of findings from the past three millennia of human history.

IDF: Two surface-to-surface missiles fired at Israel
Missiles fired Monday morning from Syria were ballistic surface-to-surface missiles, investigation shows. According to the investigation, the SS-21 Tochka missiles with warheads carrying half a ton of explosives, and had a range of 100 kilometers.

Bennett: Terror in north and south is led by Iran
Education Minister Bennett calls Iran the ‘head of the snake,’ says Iranians want to force Israel to fight two wars at once.

Magnitude 5.8 quake hits southeast Iran, fourth temblor in two days
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook southeastern Iran early on Monday, following three earthquakes in the country on the previous day, including one that injured nearly 290 people in the west, state media reported.

Turkey: Exposing Crimes Of ISIS Is Terrorism
How does Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan fight his political opponents, including those who have been working hard to expose the atrocities of the Islamic state terror group, ISIS? By throwing them into jail for allegedly “supporting terrorism.”

Sorry Paul Begley, But The ‘Blood Moon’ That Will Be Appearing In The Skies On July 27th Has No Connection With Any Bible Prophecy
Before the time of Jacob’s trouble can take place, the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church must happen. Then the rise of Antichrist, followed by a rebuilt Temple in Israel. Then Antichrist breaks the covenant three and a half years into it, and a three and a half year period of visible judgements in the form of Seals, Bowls, Vials and Trumpets must follow. Somewhere is all that chaos the 144,000 are sealed by God and Moses and Elijah return as the Two Witnesses and preach coming judgment for 3 and a half year period.  So, if you can cram all that into the next 5 days, then and only then will Paul Begley and all the other ‘blood moon’ false prophets have a shot on July 27th.

THANKS, RAHM: Chicago Named ‘Rat Capital’ Of America
Move over, New York City, Chicago is coming on strong! The city of Chicago, where former Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel is mayor, has been named in a new study the “rat capital” of the nation.

MORE LIES: Pa President Abbas proclaims Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine
President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed on Thursday — in response to the newly enacted Jewish nation-state law passed by the Israeli Knesset — that the city of Jerusalem shall be the everlasting capital of the State of Palestine, and that no peace or security will prevail unless the city remains as such.

French citizens in shock as France to release hundreds of radicalized ISIS inmates
By the end of next year, France will have released hundreds of radicalized inmates who have completed their prison sentences.

Deadly heat wave to grip Japan early this week
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue early this week across Japan. After Ampil bypassed mainland Japan, generally dry weather will build back across all of southern and central Japan early this week.

Cuba aims to build socialism, not communism, in draft constitution
A draft of Cuba’s new constitution omits the aim of building communism, recognizes private property and opens the door to gay marriage, in a sign of changing times, although it keeps the Communist Party as the guiding force of the one-party system.

Gallup: No One Believes ‘Climate Change’ Is America’s Biggest Problem
Americans came up with 36 answers to a Gallup poll asking the biggest problem currently facing the country, and no one answered “climate change,” with only two percent even mentioning the environment at all, Gallup revealed last week.

Iran Warns Trump Not To Cut Off Oil Exports, Threatens ‘Mother Of All Wars’
 Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani warned the US not to threaten the nation’s oil exports, called for improved relations with its neighbors including arch-nemesis Saudi Arabia, and cautioned the US that a conflict with Iran would be “the mother of all wars.”

Lesbians demand ‘L’ be removed from LGBT
It’s open warfare now between the “L” and the “T” of the LGBT movement.  An organization for lesbians has launched a formal online blast at LGBT activists for calling them “transphobes” and they want the LGBT coalition to drop the “L.”

Gunmen in South Africa ambush taxi drivers; 11 killed
South African police say gunmen have opened fire on a minibus carrying members of a taxi drivers’ association, killing 11 people and critically wounding four others.

The Tories voted that animals can’t feel pain as part of the EU bill, marking the beginning of our anti-science Brexit 
The Tory Government has outdone itself when it comes to neglecting animal rights this week – by effectively declaring that all animals (apart from humans, of course) have no emotions or feelings, including the ability to feel pain. While debating the Brexit bill, MPs voted not to transfer into UK law the parts of EU legislation which recognise animals have sentience, and can feel pain and emotions.

Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean (And It’s Going To Get Worse)The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.


Headlines – 7/23/2018

Trump tweets explosive threat to Iran

Trump to Iran: ‘Never, ever threaten the United States again’

Trump warns Iran’s Rouhani to stop the threats or suffer historic consequences

Trump warns Iran’s Rouhani of ‘consequences few have suffered’ if Iran threatens U.S.

Iran will resist Trump’s ‘psychological warfare;: senior Guards commander to ISNA

US Secretary of State Pompeo assails Iran’s leaders, compares them to ‘mafia’

Pompeo slams Iran’s ‘hypocritical holy men,’ says US ‘not afraid’ to tackle them

Pompeo to urge Iranians abroad to ‘support’ anti-regime protests

Jordan, PA protest as record number of Jews visit Temple Mount for Tisha B’Av

Druze minister sent death threats over Jewish state law amid community protest

Obama’s peace envoy: Israel carrying out ‘reversed Oslo’ in West Bank

As Violence Flares, Kushner Threatens to Abandon a Plan B for the Mideast: Rebuilding Gaza

Israel fires on Gazans launching flaming balloons, breaking short period of calm

David’s Sling anti-missile system used for first time, in false alarm on Golan

New flotilla set to leave Palmero in bid to break blockade on Gaza

Palestinians say West Bank teen killed in clashes with IDF troops

Syria Fighting Near Israel Border Triggers Missile Defense Systems

As Syria troops near border, PM tells Putin he won’t tolerate Iranian presence

Israel blamed for airstrike on Iranian chemical weapons research site in Syria

Israeli jets said to strike Iranian-run missile production facility in Syria

Jason Greenblatt: Israel deserve ‘special commendation’ for White Helmets operation

In Damascus, Syrians dare to hope that war’s end may be near

Designated terrorist Hashem Safieddine says Hezbollah ‘will not leave Syria’

Iran and Turkey pressure Kurdish groups on different fronts

Yemen government demands Houthis release captives to restart talks

Suicide bombing in Kabul kills 14, Afghanistan’s VP unharmed

Pakistan election candidate killed in suicide attack

Somalia’s al Shabaab says stormed military base in country’s south, killed 27 soldiers

White House ‘skeptical’ leaders in South Sudan can bring ‘genuine peace’ to nation

Taiwan vulnerable to Chinese invasion without US, foreign minister says

White House to showcase U.S. products as trade battles loom

China Waging New ‘Cold War’ to Topple U.S. as World’s Leading Superpower, Says CIA Official

After a week of walkbacks, Trump returns to Russia doubting

The Latest: Trump again calls Russia commotion ‘a big hoax’

Senators push sanctions to send Putin election meddling warning

FBI used anti-Trump media to obtain spy warrants on campaign

St. Louis Uber driver has put video of hundreds of passengers online. Most have no idea.

Top US officials: Iran has laid groundwork for major cyberattacks on Europe, US

Iran Hit By Series Of Earthquakes, 150 People Injured

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Sarpol-e Zahab, Iran

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kerman, Iran

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Volcano, Hawaii

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Sarangani, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Hidalgotitlan, Mexico

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 26,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 21,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Aoba volcano on Vanuatu erupts to 14,000ft

Rounds of rainfall to escalate flood concerns in eastern US this week

Storms, landslides and heat hit Asia

Flooding and landslides hit Vietnam and Philippines

Hundreds Rescued as Flooding Sparks ‘State of Calamity’ in North Philippines

Why wild weather is battering South-East Asia

Deadly heat wave to grip Japan early this week

Dust storm invades Las Vegas; heat wave coming

Censors jump into action as China’s latest vaccine scandal ignites

High risk of ‘losing control’ of AIDS epidemic: experts

100,000 protest in Tel Aviv over anti-LGBT discrimination

Cuba once made life hard for gays. Now, it’s on a path to allowing same-sex marriage

Former ICE Chief: We’ve Arrested More Than 2,000 Sexual Predators

Ohio man called in bomb threat so he would not miss United Airlines flight

Two dead, including gunman, after 15 people shot in downtown Toronto

One person dead, one injured in shooting at LDS Church in Fallon, Nevada

Ogden man charged, says he killed infant son because he had ‘666 on him,’ court papers say


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SLIP? Obama in Africa: “I Visited Kenya as First American President to Come from Kenya” — The Gateway Pundit

Barack Obama had a slip of the tongue in Kogelo, Kenya this past weekend.

During a speech Obama told the African audience he was from Kenya,

“Now three years ago I visited Kenya as the first sitting American president to come from Kenya.”

Oops.

It’s not the first time Obama made this mistake.
In an earlier bio Obama wrote that he was from Kenya.

via SLIP? Obama in Africa: “I Visited Kenya as First American President to Come from Kenya” — The Gateway Pundit

The News Media IS the Enemy of the American People

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

President Trump said that the Media is the enemy of the American people.

 I agree with him.

I’m not letting the “people” completely off the hook.  They choose to watch and believe liberal “Fake News” TV stations.  They have been told that Fox News is against “the people”  and that Fox is in the pocket of the Republican Party and President Trump.

“The People” are DUPED.

In an article I wrote months ago, I told the story about visiting my uber Liberal sister, and having to endure the “noise” emanating from the TV.  It was CNN from morning coffee to getting ready for bed. My brain was being assaulted non stop.

I put on my head phones but unfortunately they are not noise cancelling. I could still hear the voices of Anderson Cooper and others which truly made me want to scream!

I finally had “the talk” with my…

View original post 1,412 more words

July 23, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Obedience

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; (28:19–20a)

The fourth element for effective fulfillment of the church’s mission is obedience to the Lord’s command, made possible only when the attitudes of availability, worship, and submission characterize the believer’s life.

It was in light of His absolute, sovereign authority that Jesus commanded, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” The transitional word is therefore. “Because I am sovereign Lord of the universe,” Jesus was saying, “I have both the authority to command you to be My witnesses and the power to enable you to obey that command.”

In light of the Old Testament teaching about Israel’s mission to be God’s light to the Gentiles and in light of Jesus’ earthly ministry, it should not be surprising that His commission was to make disciples of all the nations.

Mathēteuō (make disciples) is the main verb and the central command of verses 19–20, which form the closing sentence of Matthew’s gospel. The root meaning of the term refers to believing and learning. Jesus was not referring simply to believers or simply to learners, or He would have used other words. Mathēteuō carries a beautiful combination of meanings. In this context it relates to those who place their trust in Jesus Christ and follow Him in lives of continual learning and obedience. “If you abide in My word,” Jesus said, “then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). It should be noted that some disciples were not true (see John 6:66).

A person who is not Christ’s true disciple does not belong to Him and is not saved. When a person genuinely confesses Christ as Lord and Savior, he is immediately saved, immediately made a disciple, and immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. Not to be Christ’s disciple is therefore not to be Christ’s at all.

Scripture knows nothing of receiving Christ as Savior but not as Lord, as if a person could take God piecemeal as it suits him. Every convert to Christ is a disciple of Christ, and no one who is not a disciple of Christ, no matter what his profession of faith might be, is a convert of Christ.

The very point of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler was that this man-although highly moral, religious, generous, and admiring of Jesus—refused to give up everything for Christ and submit to Him as Lord. He sincerely wanted eternal life and had the wisdom to come to the source of that life. But he was unwilling to give up his own life and possessions and obey Jesus’ command to “come, follow Me” (Luke 18:18–23). He was willing to have Jesus as Savior but not as Lord, and Christ would not receive him on those terms. Because he refused to be Christ’s disciple when the cost was made clear (like those in John 6:66), he could have no part of Christ or of the eternal life that He gives.

Some popular theologies today teach that Jesus was referring to those who are already believers when He taught such things as, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27; cf. v. 33). Such forms of easy believism maintain that the only requirement for salvation is to “accept Jesus as Savior.” Then, at some later date, a saved person may or may not become a disciple by accepting Christ as Lord of his life. Taking up one’s cross and following Christ (Matt. 10:38) is looked on as a secondary, ideal level of relationship to Christ that is commendable but not mandatory.

The Great Commission is a command to bring unbelievers throughout the world to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the term the Lord uses in this commissioning is make disciples. The true convert is a disciple, a person who has accepted and submitted himself to Jesus Christ, whatever that may mean or demand. The truly converted person is filled with the Holy Spirit and given a new nature that yearns to obey and worship the Lord who has saved him. Even when he is disobedient, he knows he is living against the grain of his new nature, which is to honor and please the Lord. He loves righteousness and hates sin, including his own.

Jesus’ supreme command, therefore, is for those who are His disciples to become His instruments for making disciples of all nations. Jesus’ own earthly ministry was to make disciples for Himself, and that is the ministry of His people. Those who truly follow Jesus Christ become “fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). Those who become His disciples are themselves to become disciple makers. The mission of the early church was to make disciples (see Acts 2:47; 14:21), and that is still Christ’s mission for His church.

Jesus’ command for His followers to make disciples was given only once, climactically, at the very end of His earthly ministry. Some might ask, “If it was so crucial, why did Jesus mention it only once?” The reason, no doubt, is that the motivation for reaching others for Christ is innate to the redeemed life. One might as well ask why God’s command for man to “be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) was given only once. In each case, reproduction in kind is natural to life. The call to make disciples is stated only once because it is natural for the new creation to be reproductive. It would beg the issue to repeat what is so basic.

The specific requirements Jesus gives for making disciples involve three participles: going (rendered here as go), baptizing, and teaching.

The first requirement makes clear that the church is not to wait for the world to come to its doors but that it is to go to the world. The Greek participle is best translated “having gone,” suggesting that this requirement is not so much a command as an assumption.

Jesus’ initial instruction to the disciples was for them to go only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:6; cf. 15:24). God’s design was to offer salvation first to the Jews and then to use them as His missionaries to the rest of the world. The gospel is the “power of salvation to everyone who believes,” but “to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16; cf. John 4:22). But when Israel as a nation rejected the Messiah-King who was sent to her in Jesus, the invitation for salvation went directly to the entire world.

Jesus compared Israel’s response to God’s call to a wedding feast given by a king for his son. When the favored guests refused to accept the king’s invitation and maligned and even killed some of the messengers, the king had his army destroy the ungrateful and wicked guests. He then sent his servants out to the streets and highways to invite to the feast anyone who would come (Matt. 22:1–10). The picture was of an apostate Israel who refused her Messiah and thereby forfeited the kingdom that He offered to them.

At the end of His earthly ministry, Christ had only a small remnant of believers, and it was to part of that remnant that He gave His commission to evangelize the world. The first sermon of the Spirit-filled church was preached by Peter and directed to Jews and Jewish proselytes who had come to worship in Jerusalem (Acts 2:22). But God later had to dramatically convince Peter that the gospel was also for Gentiles (10:1–48).

As he traveled throughout Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, even the apostle Paul, “the apostle to the Gentiles,” normally began his ministry in a given city at the Jewish synagogue (see Acts 9:20; 13:5; 18:4). But his message was always for Gentiles as well as Jews. At his conversion on the Damascus Road, the Lord said to him,

Arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness, … delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to life and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:16–18)

The second requirement for making disciples is that of baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. To baptize literally means to immerse in water, and certain forms of baptism had long been practiced by various Jewish groups as a symbol of spiritual cleansing. The baptism of John the Baptist symbolized repentance of sin and turning to God (Matt. 3:6). As instituted by Christ, however, baptism became an outward act of identification with Him through faith, a visible, public testimony that henceforth one belonged to Him.

The initial act of obedience to Christ after salvation is to submit to baptism as a testimony to union with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection. “Do you not know,” Paul asked the Roman believers, “that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3–4).

Immersion is the most appropriate mode of baptism, not only because the Greek word behind it connotes immersion but even more importantly because that is the only mode that symbolizes burial and resurrection.

Although the act of baptism has absolutely no saving or sacramental benefit or power, it is commanded by Christ of His followers. The only exception might be physical inability, as in the case of the repentant thief on the cross, a prisoner who is forbidden the ordinance, or a similar circumstance beyond the believer’s control. The person who is unwilling to be baptized is at best a disobedient believer, and if he persists in his unwillingness there is reason to doubt the genuineness of his faith (see Matt. 10:32–33). If he is unwilling to comply with that simple act of obedience in the presence of fellow believers, he will hardly be willing to stand for Christ before the unbelieving world.

Baptism has no part in the work of salvation, but it is a God-ordained and God-commanded accompaniment of salvation. Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Jesus made clear that it is disbelief, not failure to be baptized, that precludes salvation; but He could not possibly have made the divine association of salvation and baptism more obvious than He does in that statement.

The association was indisputably clear in Peter’s mind as he exhorted his unbelieving hearers at Pentecost: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38). The association was just as close in Paul’s mind, as witnessed in his great manifesto of Christian unity: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4–6).

A person is saved by God’s grace alone working through his faith as a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). But by God’s own declaration, the act of baptism is His divinely designated sign of the believer’s identification with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is a divinely commanded act of faith and obedience.

New converts need to be taught that they should be baptized as soon as possible, not to seal or confirm their salvation but to make public testimony to it in obedience to their newfound Lord. The call to Christ not only is the call to salvation but also the call to obedience, the first public act of which should be baptism in His name.

Throughout the book of Acts, baptism is shown in the closest possible association with conversion. The three thousand souls converted at Pentecost were immediately baptized (Acts 2:41). As soon as the Ethiopian believed in Christ, he stopped his chariot so that he could be baptized (8:38). As soon as Paul received back his sight after his conversion, he was baptized (9:18). When Cornelius and his household were saved, Peter “ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (10:48). As unbelievers in Corinth were being won to Jesus Christ, they were also being baptized (18:8). When Paul found some disciples of John in Ephesus who had only been baptized for repentance, he told them about Jesus, the one for whom John was merely preparing the way, and when they believed “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (19:1–5).

In the context of the Great Commission, baptism is synonymous with salvation, which is synonymous with becoming a disciple. As already emphasized, discipleship is Christian life, not an optional, second level of it.

Baptism is to be made in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not giving a ritual formula, although that beautiful phrase from the lips of our Lord has been commonly and appropriately used in baptismal services throughout the history of the church. In the name of is not a sacramental formula, as seen in the fact that the book of Acts reports no converts being baptized with those precise words. Those words are rather a rich and comprehensive statement of the wonderful union that believers have with the whole Godhead.

In His statement here about baptism, Jesus again clearly placed Himself on an equal level with God the Father and with the Holy Spirit. He also emphasizes the unity of the Trinity by declaring that baptism should be done in Their one name (singular), not in Their separate names. As it does in many parts of Scripture, the phrase the name here embodies the fullness of a person, encompassing all that he is, has, and represents. When he is baptized, the believer is identified with everything that God is, has, and represents.

The pronoun Jesus uses here (eis, in) can also be rendered “into” or “unto.” Those who teach baptismal regeneration-the belief that water baptism is essential for salvation-insist that it must here be translated “into.” But that is a completely arbitrary translation and, in any case, cannot stand up against the many other passages that prove baptism has no part in regeneration but is rather an outward act, subsequent to regeneration, that testifies to its having taken place.

Baptism does not place a believer into oneness with the Trinity but signifies that, by God’s grace working through his faith in Jesus Christ, the believer already has been made one with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The third requirement for making disciples of all nations is that of teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. The church’s mission is not simply to convert but to teach. The convert is called to a life of obedience to the Lord, and in order to obey Him it is obviously necessary to know what He requires. As already noted, a disciple is by definition a learner and follower. Therefore, studying, understanding, and obeying “the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27) is the lifelong task of every true disciple.

In Jesus’ parting discourse to the disciples in the upper room, He said,

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (John 14:23–26)

Jesus did not spend time teaching in order to entertain the crowds or to reveal interesting but inconsequential truths about God or to set forth ideal but optional standards that God requires. His first mission was to provide salvation for those who would come to Him in faith, that is, to make disciples. His second mission was to teach God’s truth to those disciples. That is the same twofold mission He gives the church.

No one is a true disciple apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ, and there is no true disciple apart from an obedient heart that desires to please the Lord in all things. The writer of Hebrews makes that attitude of obedience synonymous with saving faith, declaring that Christ “became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9). Thanking God for the salvation of believers in Rome, Paul said to them, “Though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed” (Rom. 6:17).

Every Christian is not gifted as a teacher, but every faithful Christian is committed to promoting the ministry of teaching God’s Word both to make and to edify disciples of Christ.[1]


19 “Therefore” is probably the correct reading; but even if the word is absent, the logical connection is presupposed by the flow of the commission. Two features tie the command to Jesus’ universal authority.

  1. Because he now has this authority, therefore his disciples are to go and make disciples—i.e., the dawning of the new age of messianic authority changes the circumstances and impels his disciples forward to a universal ministry he himself never engaged in during the days of his flesh, “except in reluctant anticipation” (Stendahl, “Matthew,” in Peake’s Commentary). His promotion to universal authority serves as an eschatological marker inaugurating the beginning of his universal mission.
  2. Because of that authority, his followers may go in the confidence that their Lord is in sovereign control of “everything in heaven and on earth” (cf. Ro 8:28).

In the Greek, “go”—like “baptizing” and “teaching”—is a participle. Only the verb “make disciples” (see below) is imperative. Some have deduced from this that Jesus’ commission is simply to make disciples “as we go” (i.e., wherever we are) and constitutes no basis for going somewhere special in order to serve as missionaries (e.g., Gaechter; R. D. Culver, “What Is the Church’s Commission?” BS 125 [1968]: 243–53). There is something to this view, but it needs three careful qualifications.

  1. When a participle functions as a circumstantial participle dependent on an imperative, it frequently gains some imperatival force (cf. 2:8, 13; 9:13; 11:4; 17:27; cf. C. Rogers, “The Great Commission,” BS 130 [1973]: 258–67). Only the context can decide the question.
  2. While it remains true to say that the main imperatival force rests with “make disciples,” not with “go,” in a context that demands that this ministry extend to “all nations,” it is difficult to believe that “go” has no imperatival force.
  3. From the perspective of mission strategy, it is important to remember that the Great Commission is preserved in several complementary forms that, taken together, can only be circumvented by considerable exegetical ingenuity (e.g., Lk 24:45–49; Jn 20:21; Ac 1:8; cf. Mt 4:19; 10:16–20; 13:38; 24:14).

The main emphasis, then, is on the command to “make disciples,” which in Greek is one word, mathēteusate, normally an intransitive verb, here used transitively (a not uncommon Hellenization; cf. BDF, para. 148 [3]; Zerwick, Biblical Greek, para. 66; see comments at 13:52; 27:57). “To disciple a person to Christ is to bring him into the relation of pupil to teacher, ‘taking his yoke’ of authoritative instruction (11:29), accepting what he says as true because he says it, and submitting to his requirements as right because he makes them” (Broadus). Disciples are those who hear, understand, and obey Jesus’ teaching (12:46–50). The injunction is given at least to the Eleven, but to the Eleven in their own role as disciples (28:16). Therefore, they are paradigms for all disciples. Plausibly, the command is given to a larger gathering of disciples (see comments at vv. 10, 16–17). Either way, it is binding on all Jesus’ disciples to make others what they themselves are—disciples of Jesus Christ.

The words panta ta ethnē (“all nations”) have been understood primarily in two ways.

  1. They refer to all Gentiles—i.e., all nations except Israel. Israel has forfeited her place, and now the preaching of the gospel must be kept from her (so Hare, Theme of Jewish Persecution, 147–48; Walker, Heilsgeschichte, 111–13; D. R. A. Hare and D. J. Harrington, “ ‘Make Disciples of All the Gentiles’ (Mt 28:19),” CBQ 37 [1975]: 359–69).
  2. They refer to all people, including Israel (so Trilling, Das wahre Israel, 26–28; Hill; Hubbard, Matthean Redaction, 84–87; John P. Meier, “Nations or Gentiles in Matthew 28:19?” CBQ 39 [1977]: 94–102; O’Brien, “Great Commission,” 262–63).

Certainly ta ethnē in its eight occurrences in Matthew (4:15; 6:32; 10:5, 18; 12:18, 21; 20:19, 25) normally denotes Gentiles, often pagans; but 21:43, where ethnos is used anarthrously, is an instance where “people” does not exclude Jews. Moreover, contrary to Hare and Harrington, a good case can be made for saying that the full expression, panta ta ethnē, used four times in Matthew (24:9, 14; 25:32; here), uses ethnē in its basic sense of “tribes,” “nations,” or “peoples” and means “all peoples [without distinction]” or “all nations [without distinction],” thereby including Jews. Could Matthew really be excluding Israel as one source of the hate his followers will have to endure (24:9)? Would he say that any Jewish Christians in any church known to him should not be baptized and taught?

More telling yet, Matthew’s gospel is now, in its final verses, returning to the theme introduced in the very first verse (see comments at 1:1)—that the blessings promised to Abraham and through him to all peoples on earth (Ge 12:3) are now to be fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah. And when that covenant promise is reiterated in Genesis 18:18; 22:18, the LXX uses the same words found here: panta ta ethnē. The expression is comprehensive. In line with all the anticipatory hints of Gentile witness in Matthew’s gospel (1:1; 2:1–12; 4:15–16; 8:5–13; 10:18; 13:38; 24:14 et al.), it would be as wrong to conclude that only Gentiles are in view as it would be to set up another restriction and see this commission as a command to evangelize only Jewish tribes.

Adherents of the church growth movement have in the past attempted to justify their entire “people movement” principle on the basis of this phrase, used here and elsewhere, arguing that ethnos properly means “tribe” or “people” (most comprehensively, perhaps, by H. C. Goerner, All Nations in God’s Purpose [Nashville: Broadman, 1979]). The latter point is readily conceded, but the conclusion is linguistically illegitimate. Plural collectives may have all-embracing force, whether in Greek or English. Doubtless God may convert people by using a “people movement,” but to deduce such a principle from this text requires a “city movement” principle based on Acts 8:40, where the same construction occurs with the noun “cities.” In neither case may missiologists legitimately establish the normativeness of their theories.

The aim of Jesus’ disciples, therefore, is to make disciples of all people everywhere, without distinction. Hill insists that such a command cannot possibly be authentic: “Had Christ given the command to ‘make disciples of all nations,’ the opposition in Paul’s time to the admission of Gentiles to the church would be inexplicable. It must be assumed that the church, having learned and experienced the universality of the Christian message, assigned that knowledge to a direct command of the living Lord.” But we have already seen how slow the disciples were to grasp what Jesus taught. More important, Acts and the Epistles betray no trace of opposition whatsoever to the fact of a Gentile mission. The debate between Paul and his Judaizing opponents was over the conditions of entrance into the Christian community (see comments at 23:15). The many hints throughout Jesus’ ministry that show he anticipated a Gentile ministry after some delay (see comments at 10:16–20, 13:37–39; 24:14) would make it incongruous for him to have not given some commission about this.

The syntax of the Greek participles for “baptizing” and “teaching” forbids the conclusion that baptizing and teaching are to be construed solely as the means of making disciples (cf. Allen, Lagrange, Schlatter), but their precise relationship to the main verb is not easy to delineate. Neither participle is bound to the other or to the main verb with the conjunction kai or a particle, and therefore “they must be viewed as dependent on one another or depending in differing ways on the chief verb” (Beasley-Murray, Baptism, 89; cf. BDF, para. 421). Most likely some imperative force is present, since the disciples are certainly to baptize and teach; but computer studies of the Greek NT have shown that although a participle dependent on an imperative normally gains imperatival force when it precedes the imperative, its chief force is not normally imperatival when it follows the imperative. Luke 6:35 has a close syntactic parallel: “And lend [danizete] to them without expecting to get anything back [apelpizontes].” Not expecting anything in return is certainly not the means of the lending, but it is modal in that it characterizes the lending; and at the same time at least some imperatival force tinges the participle, even if the participle is primarily modal.

Similarly, baptizing and teaching are not the means of making disciples, but they characterize it. Envisaged is that proclamation of the gospel that will result in repentance and faith, for mathēteuō (“I disciple”) entails both preaching and response. The response of discipleship is baptism and instruction. Therefore, baptism and teaching are not coordinate—either grammatically or conceptually—with the action of making disciples. The masculine pronouns autous (“them,” vv. 19–20) hint at the same thing, since ethnē (“nations”) is neuter: the “them” who are baptized and taught are those who have been made disciples. But this is uncertain, because the case of “them” may be ad sensum (i.e., merely according to the general sense). In any case, it would certainly misconstrue the text to absolutize the division between discipleship and baptism-instruction. The NT can scarcely conceive of a disciple who is not baptized or is not instructed. Indeed, the force of this command is to make Jesus’ disciples responsible for making disciples of others, a task characterized by baptism and instruction.

Those who become disciples are to be baptized eis (NIV text note, “into”) the name of the Trinity. Matthew, unlike some NT writers, apparently avoids the confusion of eis (strictly “into”) and en (strictly “in”; cf. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, para. 106) common in Hellenistic Greek; if so, the preposition “into” strongly suggests a coming-into-relationship-with or a coming-under-the-lordship-of (cf. Allen; Albright and Mann). For more on baptism, see comments at 3:6, 11, 13–17. It is a sign both of entrance into Messiah’s covenant community and of pledged submission to his lordship (cf. Beasley-Murray, Baptism, 90–92).

The triple formula containing Father (or God), Son (or Christ), and Spirit occurs frequently in the NT (cf. 1 Co 12:4–6; 2 Co 13:14; Eph 4:4–6; 2 Th 2:13–14; 1 Pe 1:2; Rev 1:4–6). Individually these texts do not prove there is any Trinitarian consciousness in the NT, since other threefold phrases occur (e.g., “God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels,” 1 Ti 5:21). But contributing evidence makes it difficult to deny the presence of Trinitarian thought in the NT documents: (1) the frequency of the God-Christ-Spirit formulas; (2) their context and use: it is impossible, for instance, to imagine baptism into the name of God, Christ, and the elect angels; (3) the recognition by NT writers that the attributes of Yahweh may be comprehensively applied to Jesus and, so far as we have evidence, to the Spirit (cf. C. F. D. Moule, The Holy Spirit [London: Mowbrays, 1978], 24–26).

Many deny the authenticity of this Trinitarian formula, however, not on the basis of doubtful reconstructions of the development of doctrine, but on the basis of the fact that the only evidence we have of actual Christian baptisms indicates a consistent monadic formula baptism in Jesus’ name (Ac 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; similarly, passages such as Ro 6:3). If Jesus gave the Trinitarian formula, why was it shortened? Is it not easier to believe that the Trinitarian formula was a relatively late development? But certain reflections give us pause.

  1. It is possible, though historically improbable, that the full Trinitarian formula was used for pagan converts, and “in the name of Jesus” for Jews and proselytes. But this is doubtful, not least because Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, never uses a Trinitarian formula for baptism.
  2. Trinitarian ideas are found in the resurrection accounts of both Luke and John, even if these evangelists do not report the Trinitarian baptismal formula. The faith to be proclaimed was in some sense Trinitarian from the beginning. “This conclusion should not come as a great surprise: the Trinitarian tendencies of the early church are most easily explained if they go back to Jesus Himself; but the importance of the point for our study is that it means that Matthew’s reference to the Trinity in ch. 28 is not a white elephant thoroughly out of context” (D. Wenham, “Resurrection Narratives,” 53).
  3. The term “formula” is tripping us up. There is no evidence we have Jesus’ ipsissima verba here and still less that the church regarded Jesus’ command as a baptismal formula, a liturgical form the ignoring of which was a breach of canon law. The problem has too often been cast in anachronistic terms. E. Riggenbach (Der Trinitarische Taufbefehl Matt. 28:19 [Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1901]) points out that as late as the Didache, baptism in the name of Jesus and baptism in the name of the Trinity coexist side by side. The church was not bound by precise “formulas” and felt no embarrassment at a multiplicity of them, precisely because Jesus’ instruction, which may not have been in these precise words, was not regarded as a binding formula.[2]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 4, pp. 340–346). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 665–669). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

THE GLOVES ARE OFF=> President Trump Calls For Mueller’s “Discredited” Witch Hunt to End After Carter Page FISA Docs Released — The Gateway Pundit

On Monday morning, President Trump renewed his calls for the Mueller witch hunt to end after the Carter Page FISA docs confirmed what we knew to be true — the entire Russian collusion hoax was made up and funded by Hillary Clinton and executed by Obama’s corrupt DOJ and FBI.

President Trump did not hold back. He went after Crooked Hillary, Obama’s gang, the corrupt FBI/DOJ and Mueller.

Trump tweeted: So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!

President Trump then quoted fearless warrior, President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton.

Trump tweeted: “It was classified to cover up misconduct by the FBI and the Justice Department in misleading the Court by using this Dossier in a dishonest way to gain a warrant to target the Trump Team. This is a Clinton Campaign document. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump….

Round two….and the DOJ, FBI and Obama Gang need to be held to account. Source #1 was the major source. Avoided talking about it being the Clinton campaign behind it. Misled the Court to provide a pretext to SPY on the Trump Team. Not about Carter Page..was all about getting Trump…..

In his final tweet, the President called for the Mueller’s “discredited” witch hunt to be shut down.

Trump tweeted: …..”Carter Page wasn’t a spy, wasn’t an agent of the Russians – he would have cooperated with the FBI. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump.” Tom Fitton @JudicialWatch A disgrace to America. They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!

Thanks to Judicial Watch, the Carter Page FISA docs were released over the weekend.

Although the documents were dishonestly and heavily redacted, they confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the FISA courts.

Obama’s Deep State FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page in October of 2016 and three subsequent renewals in order to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team.

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

The docs also reveal the FBI used anti-Trump media reports from liberal news sites in order to obtain the Carter Page FISA warrants.

President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton called the circular evidence of Hillary’s phony dossier leaked to the media–then media articles citing the dossier in turn being used to obtain a FISA warrant a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

Both Mueller and Rosenstein need to be fired and prosecuted. Rosenstein signed off on the FISA applications knowing Hillary’s phony dossier was used as evidence to obtain a FISA warrant and Mueller used Hillary’s dossier as evidence to hunt down Trump’s associates.

via THE GLOVES ARE OFF=> President Trump Calls For Mueller’s “Discredited” Witch Hunt to End After Carter Page FISA Docs Released — The Gateway Pundit

July 23 Jesus Christ’s Amazing Ministry

This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.”—Matt. 8:17

Even excluding the miraculous healings, Jesus’ ministry was unprecedented and amazing. “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks” (John 7:46). The man born blind, whom Jesus healed, told the Jewish leaders, “Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man [Christ] were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9:32–33).

When Jesus healed the paralytic, the onlookers “were awestruck, and glorified God” (Matt. 9:8), and after He expelled a demon they said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel” (v. 33). When He stood before Pilate, Jesus did not say a word in His own defense, “so the governor was quite amazed” (Matt. 27:14).

Everything about our Lord was astonishing, excellent, and humanly beyond explanation. It is hard to understand how anyone who witnessed His preaching and miracles, or has even just read about Him in the gospels, can still refuse to accept and obey Him. Some are drawn by His charisma and power, and they marvel at the things He taught and did, but they still take nothing to heart and don’t believe. Sometimes they are willing to call themselves Christians, but they need a commitment that is more than superficial—one that perseveres in faith to the end.

ASK YOURSELF

Think of all the things that are truly amazing about Christ. If you were asked what you love the most about Him, what would you say? You never want to be at a loss to share the specific ways He makes life distinctly abundant.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 213). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

JULY 23 SEEK GOD’S GLORY AND PURITY

…If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

JOHN 14:23

It is an open question whether or not the evangelical movement has sinned too long and departed too far from God to return again to spiritual sanity.

Personally I do not believe it is too late to repent if the Christians of the day would repudiate evil leadership and seek God again in true penitence and tears.

The “if” is the big problem! Will they?

Or are they too well satisfied with religious frolic and froth even to recognize their sad departure from the New Testament faith?

Our only hope is that renewed spiritual pressure will be exerted increasingly by self-effacing and courageous men who desire nothing but the glory of God and the purity of the Church. May God send us many of them: they are long overdue!

Until such men as these return again to spiritual leadership we may expect a progressive deterioration in the quality of popular Christianity year after year till we reach the point where the grieved Holy Spirit withdraws like the Shekinah from the temple, and we are left like Jerusalem after the crucifixion, God-deserted and alone. In spite of efforts to torture doctrine to prove that the Spirit will not forsake religious men, the record reveals plainly enough that He sometimes does. He has in the past forsaken groups when they have gone too far to make a recovery![1]


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

10 Key Takeaways From Released FISA Warrants Against Carter Page

The 412 pages of documents turned over in response to a lawsuit included the initial October 2016 surveillance application and applications for its renewal.

In a surprise move, on Saturday evening the Department of Justice released copies of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications used to obtain a secret court order to conduct electronic surveillance on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The 412 pages of documents turned over in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by several media outlets included the initial October 2016 application and the three applications for renewal of the surveillance order.

While the newly released documents remain heavily redacted, the details revealed confirm the charges of abuse laid out early this year by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA). The documents also provide additional evidence that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice and career DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and State Department employees misused the FISA court system to spy on the Trump campaign. Here are ten key take-aways.

— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/07/23/10-key-takeaways-released-fisa-warrants-carter-page/

Confirmed: DOJ Used False Info To Secure Wiretaps On Trump Associate

Newly released documents confirm House and Senate investigators’ claims that the Department of Justice and FBI used materially false and misleading information to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, a former volunteer foreign policy advisor to President Trump. The highly redacted documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests show how the FBI was able to convince the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveil the Naval Academy graduate and energy consultant for a year of his life.

The wiretap was applied for and granted in October 2016, shortly before the end of the presidential campaign. Approved applications last for 90 days. The Department of Justice requested and received three renewals, for a total of one year of surveillance. Despite claiming to the court in 2016 that “the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government,” the government has yet to charge Page with breaking any of the serious laws it alleges he knowingly transgressed.

Here is what the highly redacted FISA applications show us thus far.
— Read on thefederalist.com/2018/07/23/confirmed-doj-used-materially-false-information-to-secure-wiretaps-on-trump-associate/

July 23 No Favoritism Allowed

For there is no partiality with God.

Romans 2:11

It is a sin for a Christian to show favoritism to people. That is, he should not be prejudiced for or against another person simply based on position, wealth, influence, popularity, or appearance.

The clearest, most practical New Testament teaching on impartiality is in James’ letter to believers:

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes…have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?…but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors (2:1–4, 9).

If God never plays favorites, shouldn’t you strive for the same virtuous character, “doing nothing with partiality” (1 Tim. 5:21)?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 224). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Yes, the FISA Application Supports Trump and Nunes | Frontpage Mag

The media loves to fact check, yet it operates almost entirely in a fact-free environment. An environment so fact-free that it is governed entirely by tribal ideology in a darkness into which facts have as little access as light does into a vampire’s coffin.

So Trump’s tweets about the FISA application release have predictably spurred a noxious rash of media fact-checking. Or, as it’s more accurately described, spin.

About the only place to spin the FISA application’s contents is into the blacked out and redacted areas of the application. Because the unredacted areas decisively establish that…

1. The FISA application leaned on the Steele dossier, a Clinton campaign product, and derivatives thereof, like the Yahoo News article produced through media contacts.

2. The FISA application did not disclose that the Steele dossier came from the Clinton campaign, only that it might possibly be the work of some political opponent. It insisted on Steele’s reliability even once it was forced to break ties with him over his overt pro-Clinton moves.

3. The FISA application misled on the question of the Yahoo News article, depicting it as a separate source, even when there was no question that it was not. This was done to make it seem as if there were more support for these allegations than just Steele.

4. The FISA application leans heavily on media stories. Now maybe there’s a whole lot of classified information obtained through intel in the redacted sections, but previous rounds of this have shown that the redacted sections usually just contain the more damning material.

There is simply no spin that makes this look good. Short of pinning lefty media hopes on the redacted section, the Saturday night dump was a disaster for Team Coup. And the media’s insistence that Trump’s tweets have no proof isn’t fact checking, it’s wishful thinking.
— Read on www.frontpagemag.com/point/270825/yes-fisa-application-supports-trump-and-nunes-daniel-greenfield