Daily Archives: July 31, 2018

July 31: Cosmic, Creation, Chaos

2 Samuel 23:1–24:25; Jude 1:17–25; Psalm 148:1–150:6

Psalm 148 is cosmic in scope and comforting in message. It’s a depiction of how Yahweh brought order to chaos in the very beginning. Yahweh put the heavens, heights, angels, hosts (His armies), sun, moon, stars, and waters in their place—each a sign of His rule over the universe (Psa 148:1–5). Yahweh rules over the elements commonly depicted as gods in the ancient Near East; He rules over the symbols of chaos. And this cosmic depiction is comforting.

The version of the creation story we typically hear tells how things came to be, which is good. But when the story is cast like it is in Psa 148—where we see God as ruler and Lord over chaos—the message moves beyond an intellectual knowledge. If God rules over chaos, and has since the beginning, He can bring order to the chaos in our own lives. For this reason, the psalmist praises Yahweh both for His creation and for His work in his own life.

The end of Psa 148 further reveals Yahweh’s intimate work with the worshiper: The psalmist declares Yahweh praiseworthy because “he has raised high a horn [the symbol of strength] for his people … for the children of Israel, a people close to him” (Psa 148:14). Yahweh’s work in creation proves that He is the most worthy partner in adverse situations. When things get tough, Yahweh will come through.

Sadly, the message of God’s provision for us has become so cliché that it’s easy for us to take for granted. Perhaps that’s why it’s the central message of so many biblical books. For example, when Jude prays for protection for believers, he calls out to Jesus—dedicating his message to Him and His work (Jude 17–25). In doing so, Jude uses the words that would have traditionally conjured up images of God’s work in either creation or war—both of which parallel psalms like Psa 148. Jude declares that Jesus deserves “glory, power, and authority” (Jude 25) because He is the “savior” of people and the universe, both of which Yahweh created (Jude 24). Jesus is the one who came to earth to win the battle against chaos.

Next time things seem to get rough, try replacing the cliché of “God is in control” with “God is Lord over chaos.” The tense here is important. God isn’t trying to be Lord—He is Lord. When God spoke, the chaos was subdued. Likewise, when God speaks truth into our lives, the chaos in our lives is subdued. Through Christ’s work, we have the opportunity for this intimate relationship with God. Through Christ’s efforts in us, we can become people who act with Him to subdue chaos.

What chaos do you need God to subdue today?

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.

The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NASB) 

Religion, if it is worth anything, is worth everything; but it is worth little if it is not worth suffering for. – Matthew Henry

There has been such a long drought of the…

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People are Offering Ruth Bader Ginsburg Their Organs

The cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may officially have reached fever pitch now that people have started offering her their organs in order to keep her healthy. We may have thought that line was crossed when a Constitutionally-incorrect film was created about the woman whose job it is to interpret the Constitution or when her exercise regimen went viral .

Source: People are Offering Ruth Bader Ginsburg Their Organs

Ginsburg: ‘I Am Mentally Fit Enough To Serve Through The End Of President Eisenhower’s Term’ — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dispelling rumors that the Supreme Court Justice could be retiring soon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg told reporters that she is “mentally fit enough to serve through the end of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s term in office.” She made the comments just after her second morning nap, telling the press “not to worry” about her mental […]

The post Ginsburg: ‘I Am Mentally Fit Enough To Serve Through The End Of President Eisenhower’s Term’ appeared first on The Babylon Bee .

Source: Ginsburg: ‘I Am Mentally Fit Enough To Serve Through The End Of President Eisenhower’s Term’

07/31/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0731

•Steve Lawson on how to bring church-goers to Christ
•Ray Comfort gives a better alternative to Altar Calls
•The Word of God cuts to the heart
•Ben Shapiro doesn’t see Jesus in the Old Testament. Trust us, He’s there
•Do Jews reject the idea of the afterlife?
•God does not delight in your destruction

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via 07/31/2018 — Wretched

Prosperity Gospel Taught to 4 in 10 Evangelical Churchgoers | News & Reporting | Christianity Today

Survey finds most Protestants believe God wants them to prosper financially. But views diverge on whether they must tithe to receive it.

For some Americans, dropping a check into the offering plate at church is a bit like having a Discover Card.

Both offer a cash-back bonus.

About a third of Protestant churchgoers say their congregation teaches that God will bless them if they donate money.

Two-thirds say God wants them to prosper. One in 4 say they have to do something for God to receive material blessings in return.

Those are among the key findings of a new study on so-called “prosperity gospel” beliefs from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, which surveyed 1,010 Americans who attend a Protestant or nondenominational church at least once a month.

Researchers found more than a few churchgoers believe giving to God leads to financial rewards, said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.

“A significant group of churches seem to teach that donations trigger a financial response from God,” said McConnell.

A controversial topic

The belief that God gives financial rewards in exchange for offerings is a central part of the so-called prosperity gospel, which offers a “direct path to the good life,” as Duke professor Kate Bowler puts it.

That belief is both controversial and fairly commonplace.

LifeWay Research found 38 percent of Protestant churchgoers agree with the statement, “My church teaches that if I give more money to my church and charities, God will bless me in return.” Fifty-seven percent disagree, including 40 percent who strongly disagree. Five percent are not sure.

Pentecostal and Assemblies of God churchgoers (53%) are most likely to agree. Churchgoers with evangelical beliefs (41%) are more likely to agree than those without evangelical beliefs (35%).

African-American (51%) and Hispanic churchgoers …

Continue reading
— Read on www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/july/prosperity-gospel-survey-churchgoers-prosper-tithe-blessing.html

New Bible Survey Reveals Christians’ Bible Reading Habits – Michael Foust

The average Bible reader spent 24 out of the last 30 days reading Scripture in the early morning, read the Old Testament far less frequently than the New Testament, and found the Prophetic books of the Old Testament the most difficult to understand.
— Read on www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/new-bible-survey-reveals-christians-bible-reading-habits.html

July 31 Your Present Deliverance

“… obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).

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Your present deliverance sets you free from the penalty and power of sin.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 Paul says that “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (emphasis added). That emphasizes the marvelous reality of the believer’s present deliverance from sin. Peter stressed the same truth in 1 Peter 1:9, where he says that believers obtain as the outcome of their faith the salvation of their souls.

The Greek word translated “obtaining” literally means “presently receiving for yourselves.” It speaks of obtaining something that is due you as a result of your faith in Christ. “Outcome of your faith” refers to the logical result or end of faith. “Souls” speaks of the whole person. The entire verse could be translated, “You rejoice because you have and continue to hold on to the logical result of your proven faith—your ongoing deliverance from sin.”

You need ongoing deliverance because sin is an ongoing problem. You have new life in Christ, you are a new creature in Him, and you are no longer a slave to the penalty and power of sin; but you’re not yet fully glorified. Consequently you’re still subject to sin’s influence. Paul personalized that struggle in Romans 7, where he says, “The good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. … I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. … Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (vv. 19, 21, 24). The victory comes in verse 25, which says, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Jesus is the Great Deliverer, through whom you have victory over sin, death, and Hell. That’s the last spiritual privilege in Peter’s brief list, but it’s by no means the least. As you love and trust Him, you’ll know the joy of present deliverance.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise the Lord for your deliverance from sin’s bondage.

For Further Study: Review all the spiritual privileges and sources of Christian joy we’ve discussed this month. Keep them fresh in your mind as you face the challenges of each new day.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 225). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

JULY 31 JESUS WILL COME

And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever…that there should be time no longer.

Revelation 10:6

We are living in a period when God waits in grace and mercy. In His faithfulness, God is calling out a people for His name—those who will in faith cast their lot with Jesus Christ! Then, at a time known only to God, the end of this age will come, and Jesus Christ will return to earth for His own believing people—His Church.

The event is certain—the timing is uncertain. When the mighty angel of Revelation shouts his signal and raises his hand heavenward, it will be eternally too late for unrepentant sinners.

When the time comes in heaven for that announcement, three worlds will hear it. Heaven will hear it, with full agreement that the time of judgment has indeed come. The underworld of hell will hear the shout, and there will be fright. And on earth, the saints, the believing Body of Christ, will hear it and be glad! Meanwhile, the Church is not simply a religious institution. It is an assembly of redeemed sinners, men and women called and commissioned to spread Christ’s gospel to the ends of the earth.

Lord, while I look forward to Your return to restore justice and order to this fallen world, my heart is burdened for my friends and loved ones who haven’t accepted You yet. Lord, I pray that each one will yield to Your Spirit.[1]


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

July 31, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

the possession of the divine life

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. (4:4–5)

In the incarnation, God became a partaker of human nature (Phil. 2:7–8; Heb. 2:14, 17; 4:15). Through regeneration, on the other hand, human beings become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; cf. 2 Cor. 3:18). John’s statement, You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world, is primarily an affirmation of the believer’s security against the false teachers (cf. 2:20, 24, 27). All true Christians possess an incorruptible seed of eternal life (1 Peter 1:23–25), meaning that no satanic deception can take them out of God’s saving hand (John 10:28–29). Those truly born again have been given not only a supernatural insight into the truth (Luke 10:21) but a love for it as well (Pss. 1:2; 119:97, 113, 159, 167; cf. 2 Thess. 2:10; 1 Peter 1:22) and a discernment that protects them from apostasy (cf. Mark 13:22; Heb. 10:39). As Paul wrote:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:12–16)

Believers may be unsure about secondary, peripheral matters, but not about the foundational truths of the gospel, such as the person and work of Christ (cf. John 3:14–16; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:24–26; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8–9; 2 Tim. 1:9). They will not be fooled when false teachers invariably devalue the work of Christ by championing some form of salvation by works (cf. Gal. 4:9–11; Col. 2:20–23).

On the other hand, false teachers and their followers cling to worldly ideas (see 2:15–17 and 1 Cor. 2:14) because they are from the world; they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. Through what they say and how they live, false teachers demonstrate that they are anything but genuine servants of Christ. True believers, however, resist worldly ideas because they have overcome the world (cf. John 16:33).[1]


The Church and the World (vv. 4–6)

At this point the contemporary reader may well feel that the discussion has become somewhat theoretical and even unreal. We are not often confronted today by those who claim to be prophets, he might argue. Our difficulty is rather of knowing on the purely human level whether or not a teacher speaks truly. Can we test those who speak on this level? Can truth be distinguished from error here? The objection is valid, of course, and the questions are good ones. Consequently, we are not surprised to find John turning to deal with the matter on this level in the remaining verses.

The outline to these verses is to be found in the emphasized pronouns that begin verses 4, 5, and 6. With the exception of verse 4 this is preserved even in most of the English versions.

Verse 4 begins with “you.” It is a reference to those who are of God, that is, to Christians. John says two things of these persons. First, he says that they have overcome the false teachers. He is not referring to a physical contest by these words, nor even to a struggle in the area of morality. It is rather an intellectual battle in which the Christians have been victorious. The false teachers had been seeking to deceive these believers, but they had not succeeded. Merely by testing them and refusing to be taken in by their lies, the Christians have conquered. Second, John indicates why the Christians have been victorious. It is not that they were stronger in themselves, for they probably were not. The Gnostics were the ones who were the intellectual giants. Rather, it is that God was in the Christians and that he who was in the Christians is stronger than he who is in the world. This last phrase recalls the statement of Elisha to his young servant when the latter was terrified at the armies of Syria who had surrounded them: “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16). In this case the reference was to the angels of the Lord who had surrounded Elisha.

Verse 5 begins with “they.” This refers to the false teachers who, John says, are of the world because what they say is of the world. It is the world’s philosophy even though it may be dressed in Christian language and be presented by those who claim to be Christian teachers.

The last verse, verse 6, begins with “we.” This “we” is not the same as the “you” who “are from God” in verse 4. In verse 4 the “you” is all Christians. In this verse “we” must refer, not to all Christians, but to the apostles, as the direct counterpart to the false teachers of verse 4. In other words, this “we” is the same as the “we” that begins the letter, which verses insist most strongly upon the apostolic teaching and testimony. What does this mean? It simply means that those who are of God and those who are of the world may be distinguished by their response or lack of response to the apostolic teaching. “Whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” If this were a mere individual talking, the claim would be presumptuous. But it is not. This is one of the apostles citing the collective testimony of all the apostles and making that testimony the measure of truth and sound doctrine.

The tragedy of our time is that we do not have enough men and women to proclaim and defend that doctrine. So the truth is not clearly defined, and the way is not clearly illuminated. The doctrine of the apostles, the only true doctrine of the church, illuminates it; and the incarnation of God’s Christ defines and gives a focal point to that doctrine. It is for us to determine whether or not we believe that doctrine and, if we do, to respond to it. There are not three ways, according to the apostle. There are not four, or five, or more. There are only two ways: the way of truth and the way of error, the way of Christ and the way of antichrist. We are called to serve Christ, and those who are truly of God will do so.[2]


4 Whether or not the Antichrists harbored hard feelings toward John (see comment at 2:19), John cannot allow a peaceful coexistence. In his view, the struggle between true believers and Antichrists is the visible expression of a cosmic, eschatological conflict between good and evil. Those who remain in John’s fellowship may rest assured of victory. In fact, the perfect tense of nikaō indicates that believers “have overcome” the Antichrists already. The next phrase is introduced by hoti, which most translations interpret causally (“because the one who is in you …”) to indicate the reason or means by which victory has been secured (NIV, NASB, NRSV, NEB, NKJV). More likely, John is introducing a saying or community slogan that affirms his claim to conquest. Breaking from a pure dualism, the slogan asserts that real believers must inevitably defeat the Antichrists because the Spirit that drives them is inherently stronger than the spirit of Antichrist.[3]


4:4 / The Elder makes two assertions here about his followers. They are from God, i.e., as those who are born of God and God’s children (2:29–3:2; 3:9–10), they have their origin in God and, therefore, belong to him. Secondly, they have overcome the false teachers who deny Jesus. In 2:13, 14 the “young men” of the community are said to “have overcome the evil one.” Now, the faithful Johannine Christians have defeated the evil one’s representatives, the secessionist teachers, by not accepting their teaching or authority. They have resisted the temptation to accept false doctrine. It may have been this crisis of belief that drove the schismatics from the community (2:19); they rejected both the authority of the Elder and his teaching regarding the full humanity of Jesus.

But this victory over the heretics is ascribed to the power of the Spirit, the one who is in you (cf. John 14:16–17). God is given the glory. Just as in 2:27, where “the anointing” which “remains in you” and which “teaches you,” is the power to defeat “those who are trying to lead you astray” (2:26), so here “the Spirit he gave us” (3:24d), “the Spirit of truth” (4:6d), enables the community to be spiritually victorious over the one who is in the world, “the spirit of falsehood” (4:6d). The author has already said that “the spirit of antichrist” is in the world (4:3), and he will go on to describe the world as the dominion of the evil one (5:19). The devil, the power behind the opponents, has been overcome by God’s Spirit at work in faithful Christians. In moral and spiritual conflict today, it is still true that “greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world,” a strong incentive to rely on the indwelling Spirit of God.[4]


Look at how they live (verses 4–6)

Because we have learned that belief and behaviour are always harnessed together, we are not surprised to find that John expands the way in which his test works out, by looking beyond the content of the false teaching to the effects it produces. Each of these three verses begins with a different pronoun, introducing a different group of people. You (verse 4) refers to all Christians, they (verse 5) to the non-Christian false prophets, and we (verse 6) to the apostles and the true teachers who stand in the true apostolic succession.

At first sight verse 4 seems to be denied by common experience. How can John say that the Christians have overcome the false prophets, when they were proving an increasing threat to the health and existence of the church? Even more is this the case in our day when the mainline denominations are riddled with a radical theology which denies Christ and ridicules those who believe the Bible to be God’s inerrant Word. But John is right, because the false teachers have not won the true believers over to their cause. The apostle himself stood firm and so did many of the believers who were strengthened by this letter. The same is true today. I like the way Gordon Clark puts it, ‘We children of John have conquered the false prophets.… We still believe in the virgin birth, the atonement and the resurrection. We have conquered them. They could not conquer us.’1 By applying the test of truth, Christians remain true; their faith is not destroyed and their saviour is not denied. He himself promised this when he said about his sheep, ‘They will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice’ (Jn. 10:5). The antichristian wolf may come in sheep’s clothing in order to ravage and disperse Christ’s flock, but they cannot be overcome. Verse 4b explains why. The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. Christ’s sheep are united to the shepherd, who is the truth. They have no confidence in themselves, but they know that the cross and the empty tomb have proved their shepherd’s superior power over all his enemies. Moreover, because he is the Truth, those who fight against him fight against the structures of reality, and so they are doomed to fail. Besides this, power is available to each child of God as we remain in him and draw, by faith, upon his limitless resources. ‘We are more than conquerors through him who loved us’ (Rom. 8:37).

By contrast, the false teachers are tied to this world (verse 5), the world which is passing away (2:17). The world is their origin and their audience. That is why so many of their heresies include the building of a new world order, a new government or a new system, usually with their leader as messiah at its head. The world of mankind in rebellion against God is attracted by the false prophets and their cults because fundamentally they have the same desires and inclinations. They will always get a hearing. When such ‘prophets’, political or religious, proclaim the glory of man and the fulfilment of human desires, at whatever cost and by any sort of behaviour, people will jump at the idea. We human beings want to be assured that we are basically all right, and that any ideas about sin and judgment or accountability to a creator God are outdated and unnecessary. There is an attraction in re-stating the Christian gospel in terms of an ethic, in changing the message from one of submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ to one of following his splendid example, or asking him to touch us up in those areas of our lives that need a fresh coat of paint. It is all governed by this world and the desire to make it a more comfortable place where you can enjoy yourself more. It has nothing to say on the issues of eternity. It has no dynamic by which lives can be changed and offers no ultimate significance beyond the grave.

But the true apostles, equally, are known by what they teach (verse 6). Their origin is God himself and their audience consists of those who know God. Now this of course is precisely what Cerinthus and his followers claimed for themselves—that they knew God. But John’s point is that they indicate the emptiness of their claim by refusing to listen to the word of God in the apostolic teaching. The only way in which man can come to know God is by God choosing to reveal himself, perhaps by actions, but necessarily by words, by verbal propositions. The apostolic doctrine claims to be just such a revelation, and our attitude to it indicates whether we are governed by the Spirit of truth or the spirit of falsehood. The niv translation gives a capital to the ‘Spirit of truth’, perhaps on the grounds that this title is given to the Holy Spirit in John’s gospel (14:17; 15:26; 16:13), but this does not seem necessary in the light of the plural ‘spirits’ in verse 1. It would be meaningless to talk about testing whether the Holy Spirit is from God. John’s concern is with people who are active in the church, with how to distinguish pseudo-prophets from true teachers. We do not try to see into their hearts. That would be as impossible as it is unnecessary. We need to listen to what they say, what they are confessing about Christ, and then to observe who their followers are.

In our relativistic age, we constantly need to be reminded that some things are always true and others always false. Truth is not just the present consensus of opinion; it is defined by the character of God. Today’s false prophets are just as persuasive and just as lethal as those of the first century. They will say the Bible has authority, but is not the supreme authority. They will affirm belief in the resurrection, but not that the body of Christ was actually raised on the third day. The spirit of falsehood is a spirit of deceit. It is only by receiving the apostles’ teaching and living a life that accords with this truth that we can know God. We are not to accept substitutes.[5]


4:4–6. Warnings might make us question if we have listened to false teachers and become Antichrist. No! You have overcome the antichrists, for you have successfully resisted the lure of the false prophets. The one who is in you (the Holy Spirit; Rom. 8:9) is greater than the one who is in the world (Satan; 1 John 5:19), who is called “the prince of this world” (John 12:31).

The antichrists and false prophets are cut out of the same piece of cloth as the world. As a result, they speak to the same values as the world, so the world listens to them. They are from the world, but we are from God. So when the apostles (and possibly other true witnesses) speak from God, those who are born of God listen to them. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin (John 16:8), calls to righteousness (John 16:8), and illumines the mind to the truth of Scripture (1 Cor. 2:12–14).

The world does not listen to the things of God. The person without the Spirit “does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 12:14). The ministry of the Holy Spirit lets us discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Therefore, prayer, meditation, and spiritual sensitivity are the primary factors that protect us from being deceived by false doctrine—not raw intelligence or academic learning.[6]


4. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.

The contrast in these two verses is obvious. As their spiritual father, John tenderly addresses the readers and says, “dear children.” The pronoun you stands first to give it emphasis in the sentence. The writer wants to tell the Christians: “You, yes you, are from God.” That is, the readers ought never to forget their divine heritage. They are not only special people, born of God and called “children of God” (2:29; 3:1, 9, 10); they are also different from those people who belong to the world.

Moreover, John makes an additional claim: “You … have overcome them” (compare 2:13, 14; 5:4, 5). The use of the plural them is a reference to the false teachers mentioned in the preceding paragraph. John writes the perfect tense, “you have overcome.” In other words, they have already done so by obeying God’s commands and honoring the teaching of his Word.

God’s children can never boast in themselves but always in the Lord (see Jer. 9:24; 1 Cor. 1:31). It is the Lord Jesus Christ who has overcome the world (John 16:33) and has set his people free (Heb. 2:15). “The battle has thus been decided, even if it is not yet over. By faith Christians participate in this victory and are thus placed in a position to overcome the world for themselves.”

Reassuringly John writes, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” There are two forces that oppose one another: the Holy Spirit opposes the spirit of the antichrist. Through his Spirit, God lives with his children and is greater than the evil one. He keeps them in the truth of his Word and strengthens them to overcome temptations (compare 3:9).

The word world is significant, because it appears three times in this verse (v. 5). It differs in meaning from its use in the preceding paragraph (vv. 1, 3), where it has the broad connotation of a place of human life. Here it means a world of people who are hostile to God (see 3:1, 13).

The false prophets “are from the world.” They derive their principles, zeal, goals, and existence from the world of hostility in which Satan rules as prince (John 12:31). Furthermore, their teachings, opinions, and values are atheistic and antichristian. John refrains from revealing the content of their speech; he mentions only the act of speaking. What the false prophets say, however, is persuasive, for “the world listens to them.” The world agrees with the teachings of the false teachers and thus participates in opposing God.[7]


Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world (4:4–6). At the entrance to the temple of Domitian in Ephesus is a large carving of the goddess Nike. (Nikē in Greek means “victory.”) In Greek mythology this winged deity was drawn into assisting Zeus in the battle against the Titans, but the use of its image here reminded subjects of the empire that they were conquered by the “divine emperor.” Amidst other reminders of Roman domination, the author here assures his audience that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (4:4 KJV). The worldly origin of the adversaries explains why the worldly listen to them, but the elder contrasts himself and his audience with the antichrists and their cohorts. Claiming to be from God, those who heed the elder show themselves also to be knowers of God; conversely, those who are not rooted in God turn a deaf ear to the Johannine leadership. The parallel to the interpretive reflection on the reception of Jesus here is clear. Just as the response of Jesus’s audiences to him and his message exposed the degree to which they were “of the truth” and “knowers of God,” the same measure is now extended to the elder’s audiences. The spirit of truth and the spirit of error are distinguished, from the elder’s perspective, in the telling response to his corrective word (4:6). Those who do not heed his word do not know God; the responsive ones, however, do.[8]


The victory of John’s readers (verse 4). The aim of verse 4 was to hearten the readers so that “they might courageously and boldly resist impostors” (Calvin, p. 234). The apostle accomplishes this, first, by assuring them of their divine origin. Ye are of God, little children. That is to say, you, rather than the false prophets, derive your spiritual life from God and are His true people. “Therefore,” John seems to say, “don’t be afraid of those who oppose you.”

John further encourages his readers by reminding them of their victory in the conflict with error: Ye … have overcome them (cf. 2:14). The “overcoming” perhaps refers both to a personal victory and a church victory. Personally, John’s readers had resisted the seductive teaching of their opponents and had refused to be taken in by their deceptions. As a congregation, they had refuted their arguments and had been successful in keeping them from corrupting the church.

Everything in this epistle implies that though the initial battle had been won by those who were “valiant for truth,” the conquest over error was not complete. Yet the verb (“have overcome”) is a perfect tense, suggesting that the victory has been won and its results abide. Alford remarks that “there need not be any evading or softening of this perfect.… It is faith outrunning sight: the victory is certain” (p. 1737). The neb conveys the sense: “you have the mastery.”

The reason for their victory is stated in the last part of verse 4: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. The language suggests that the victory, in the truest sense, was God’s. Calvin comments: “We can no more be conquered than God himself, who has armed us with his own power to the end of the world” (p. 234).

“He that is in you” is the Spirit of God (cf. 3:24). “He that is in the world” is Satan. (Note that “the world” is practically identified with the false prophets. The next verse brings out the close relationship existing between them.)

The entire verse is an echo of the words spoken by Christ on the night of His arrest: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 158–159). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2004). The Epistles of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 110–111). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 473–474). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (pp. 97–98). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Jackman, D. (1988). The message of John’s letters: living in the love of God (pp. 114–116). Leicester, England; Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[6] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, pp. 208–209). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 327–328). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Burge, G. M., & Hill, A. E. (Eds.). (2012). The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary (pp. 1568–1569). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[9] Vaughan, C. (2011). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 96–97). Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press.

July 31, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump stepped up his onslaught on federal Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia and the 2016 U.S. election on Tuesday, saying that his campaign did not collude with Moscow but that collusion is not a crime anyway.

A Republican senator who was publicly undecided over whether to back U.S. President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh threw his support behind the judge on Monday, improving chances Kavanaugh would win Senate confirmation despite a pitched battle by leading Democrats to block him.

Several U.S. states said on Monday that they would jointly sue the Trump administration in a last-ditch effort to block the public from being able to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns.

President Donald Trump said on Monday he would be willing to meet Iran’s leader without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying, “If they want to meet, we’ll meet.”

Poland said on Tuesday that the risk of Britain dropping out of the European Union with no agreement on post-Brexit ties “cannot be ruled out” and it would spike if London and the bloc fail to agree details in October.

Vladimir Putin has created a new directorate inside the Russian army to promote patriotism, evoking memories of a Soviet practice that once saw soldiers taught the precepts of Marxism and Leninism by political commissars.

North and South Korea discussed reducing tension but didn’t announce any detailed agreements after military talks on Tuesday, while the United States detected renewed activity at a North Korean missile factory, casting more suspicion over the North’s intentions.

Gunmen stormed a government building in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday, taking dozens of hostages after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance gate, officials and witnesses said.

Two special envoys sent by Pope Francis to investigate a child sex abuse scandal in Chile were meeting priests and Church workers at a university in the Chilean capital last month when aides rushed into the room with an alarming development: police and prosecutors were about to start raiding Church offices.

U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in June as households spent more at restaurants and on accommodation, building a strong base for the economy heading into the third quarter, while inflation rose moderately.

AP Top Stories

A former personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being investigated for sexual misconduct, including allegations that he hired women he met at bars and on dating websites in the hopes that they would become sexual partners for male employees.

Relatives of two drowning victims are seeking $100 million in damages after 17 people died on an amphibious “Ride the Ducks” vehicle in Missouri 10 days ago.

Russia cannot compel Iranian forces to quit Syria, Moscow’s ambassador to Tel Aviv said on Monday, rebuffing Israel’s long-standing demand that it should work to ensure their total withdrawal from the country.

‘Medicare for All’ plan pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders would increase government health care spending by $32.6 trillion over 10 years, according to a new study.

Home prices moved sideways in the spring but are still on the rise and pulling down existing and pending home sales.

Oil futures ended higher Monday, with the U.S. benchmark pushing back above $70 a barrel for the first time in nearly three weeks on global supply concerns and strong underlying demand.

The biggest online retailers in China are buying, building and refurbishing big portfolios of convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores, embracing a much more expansive bricks-and-mortar strategy than their U.S. counterparts.

BBC

Pakistan’s helicopter pilots have rescued a Russian climber stranded on a mountain, at a height of nearly 20,670ft, ending his six-day ordeal in subzero temperatures, the army said.

Blueprints for 3D-printed guns, published online four days early amid last-minute attempts to ban them, have been downloaded thousands of times. The designs were not due to be made public until Wednesday, following a ruling from the US Justice Department. But blueprints for nine types of gun were uploaded to the Defense Distributed website on Friday.

Alaska Airlines has apologized to a gay couple after one of them was asked to give up his seat to allow a straight couple to sit together.

For more than 100 days Nicaragua has been gripped by a political crisis that has left more than 350 dead. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to call for the removal of President Ortega.

Thousands of anti-government protesters in Nicaragua have taken part in a march to show support for the Roman Catholic Church.

Australian Wendy Tuck has become the first female skipper to win the Clipper round-the-world yacht race.

WND

In what is described by prosecutors as “honor killings,” a Muslim immigrant from Jordan has been convicted by a jury in Texas of killing his daughter’s American Christian husband and an Iranian women’s rights activist.

Iran’s currency traded at a fresh record-low of 119,000 to the dollar on Tuesday, a loss of nearly two-thirds of its value since the start of the year as US sanctions loom. It hit 100,000 to the dollar for the first time on Sunday and continued its decline, losing 18 percent of its value in less than two days.


News – 7/31/2018

Chief rabbi of J’lem against ‘LGBT’ flags

Chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Rabbi Aryeh Stern, sent a letter to mayor Nir Barkat, requesting that “LGBT” flags that were hung ahead of the gay pride parade be taken down near synagogues around the city. “Unfortunately, this year too it is planned to hold the march on which the spirit of the sages does not look kindly. We are already aware that it is impossible to prevent the march from being held, but we have one request not to hoist the flags on King George Street in the section of the Great Synagogue and the Yeshurun ​​Synagogue, which are considered symbols of the sanctity of Jerusalem.”

‘There’s going to be a raid’: A Chilean prosecutor forces Catholic Church to give up secrets

The surprise sweeps, ordered by Emiliano Arias, a provincial prosecutor, marked the start of what experts who track sex crimes in the Roman Catholic Church say is one of the most aggressive investigations ever undertaken by a judicial authority anywhere in the world. Since that cold June afternoon there have been five more raids on Church offices to seize documents, phones, tablets and computers, leaving the Vatican scrambling to respond to a rapidly unfolding scandal that is the worst image crisis of Francis’ papacy, now in its sixth year. “We are not talking about a fraud, or a theft, we are talking about crimes against children,” Arias said in an interview in his office in Rancagua, explaining his decision not to submit the request to the Vatican and instead get a judge to approve the raids.

Portland Police Refused To Help ICE Agents Who Called 911, Agents Say

Portland, Oregon, police refused to respond to at least two 911 emergency calls from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees inside their offices where violent protesters held week-long demonstrations. The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a union representing ICE employees, wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Mayor Ted Wheeler, asking him to ensure the police enforce the law equally and protect innocent people. “Your current policy forbidding Portland law enforcement agencies from assisting employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency who request law enforcement assistance while at or away from work is a violation of the United States Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause,” the letter says.

Trump says he is willing to talk to Iran’s leader without preconditions

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he would be willing to meet Iran’s leader without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying, “If they want to meet, we’ll meet.” “I’d meet with anybody. I believe in meetings,” especially in cases where war is at stake, Trump said at a White House news conference when asked whether he was willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

North Korea working on new missiles, US officials say, despite thaw

North Korea appears to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with the Trump administration and pledges to denuclearise, reports say. Unnamed US officials told the Washington Post that spy satellites had spotted continuing activity at a site that has produced ballistic missiles. Reuters quotes an official as saying it is unclear how far the work has gone.

Northern California wildfire 9th most destructive in history

A pair of wildfires that prompted evacuation orders for nearly 20,000 people barreled Monday toward small lake towns in Northern California, and authorities faced questions about how quickly they warned residents about the largest and deadliest blaze burning in the state. Ed Bledsoe told CBS News he did not receive any warning to evacuate his home…before the flames came through…and killed his wife, Melody, and his great-grandchildren…

Autonomous indoor drone surveillance system developed

Two European drone companies are partnering to create the first autonomous indoor surveillance drone system. Skysense has partnered with Avansig, to autonomously power the drone for Prosegur, a multinational security company. Skysense says Prosegur’s surveillance drone can execute its own patrol route in a building and land itself on Skysense’s charging pad to recharge.

U.S.’ Pompeo warns against IMF bailout for Pakistan that aids China

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Monday that any potential International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders. In an interview with CNBC television, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

Mulvaney Shocked to Learn Past Administrations Used Foreign Aid to ‘Discourage Christian Values’

…“It was stunning to me that my government under a previous administration would go to folks in sub-Saharan Africa and say, ‘We know that you have a law against abortion, but if you enforce that law, you’re not going to get any of our money. We know you have a law against gay marriage, but if you enforce that law, we’re not going to give you any money.’”

New video game: Shoot the unborn baby

Aggression against families and infants is soaring in groups battling for abortion “rights,” but Argentine pro-aborts recently surpassed them all. Producing a crudely made video game, “Doom Fetito,” players must furiously battle police, priests and pro-life groups. For this noble skirmish to end victoriously, a little floating fetus known as “The Boss” must be gunned down.

WATCH – Copenhagen Imam: ‘Jihad Necessitates Conquest of Europe’

Imam Mundhir Abdallah, of the Masjid Al-Faruq mosque in Copenhagen, told his followers “the final solution to the problem of the Levant – after the establishment of the Caliphate and the elimination of the Jewish entity – will be through the conquest of Europe.”

Mort Klein: I Read Geraldo’s Anti-Israel Book So You Don’t Have To

Geraldo’s recent second memoir, The Geraldo Show: A Memoir, is another horror show. He calls Israel the “Unholy Land”; describes himself as a “Palestinianist”; falsely twists the PLO/Hamas/Islamic Jihad hostage-taking and seizure of the Church of the Nativity into an “Israeli siege”; and calls his own cowardly, false attacks on Jews and Israel “courageous.”

Death toll from fires in Greece climbs to 91 as investigation points toward arson

The death toll from wildfires that swept through a seaside area of Greece last week rose to 91 on Sunday and officials said 25 people remained missing.

Scientists Discover Great Pyramid Of Giza Can Refocus Electromagnetic Energy Through Its Hidden Secret Chambers

Scientists have made an absolutely incredible discovery at the Great Pyramid Of Giza in Egypt. As it turns out, the inner chambers of the Great Pyramid are able to concentrate and refocus electromagnetic energy and scientists believe it will have a huge impact on nanoparticle designs for sensors and solar cells.

Germany Uses Weighted Trucks To Prevent Islamic Terrorists From Attacking Gays At Pride Parade

…This year, as a result of Germany’s increased Islamic immigration, German officials resorted to utilizing trucks weighted down with water as physical street barriers to prevent Islamic terrorists from committing vehicular jihad against the gay people attending the gay pride festival.

Is this the next superbug? Understanding drug-resistant candida and why antibiotics don’t work

Move over, superbug: The next drug-resistant pathogen could be a fungus that already calls our body home.

UK Government Caught Rejecting Christian Refugees, Accepting Muslims Only

4,832 Syrians invited to settle in the UK last year, only 11 were Christian.

Billy Graham preaches anew in exclusive video from ‘Unbroken’ sequel

The Rev. Billy Graham is back at the pulpit in “Unbroken: Path to Redemption.” Graham, who died in February at age 99, played a key role in Louis Zamperini’s life that wasn’t told in director Angelina Jolie’s 2014 film “Unbroken.” The film focused on how the one-time Olympic athlete survived at sea for 47 days after his plane was shot down in World War II and endured two harrowing years in a Japanese POW camp.

Facial Recognition Software Firms Move To Prevent Law Enforcement From Using Their Technology
Facial recognition technology is a powerful tool, and it could absolutely prevent and solve a large amount of crimes. But the potential for abuse in the hands of law enforcement is off the charts, so much so that many firms that create facial recognition products and technology are now attempting to prevent the police, CIA, FBI and others from ever using it.

Backlash against BBC ‘No More Boys and Girls’ social engineering
The BBC agenda of gender politics and social engineering is sparking a big backlash.They have pushed a show called ‘No More Boys and Girls’ with the Beeb asking: “Are you sure you don’t gender-stereotype children?”


Headlines – 7/31/2018

US ambassador makes rare visit to settlement, after terror attack

Incendiary balloon lands near Be’er Sheva hospital

Catholic Church in Jerusalem slams nation-state law, urges Christians to protest

Eight former police chiefs urge government to change nation-state law

Rivlin on the Nationality Law: ‘we understands the feelings of the Arab citizens’

Zuckerberg’s stance on Holocaust denial is ‘dangerous,’ Trump appointee says

‘Israel’s security is very important to Russia’

Israel trying to prevent a massacre of Syrians on Golan Heights border

Report: Israel Warns Assad Not to Massacre Civilians in Southern Syria

Amid Assad offensive, Israel said to close border for Syrians seeking treatment

Syria boots IS from Golan Heights, retaking full control of frontier with Israel

36 women, children kidnapped by ISIS during attacks on Syria’s Sweida

Russian military shoots down drone controlled by Syrian rebels

Russian ambassador to Israel: We can’t force Iran to leave Syria

Trump warns Iran can’t be allowed to have nukes

Trump says he is willing to meet Iran’s Rouhani with no preconditions

Pompeo lists conditions for talks with Iran, just hours after Trump said he had no ‘preconditions’

Iran Outlines Preconditions for Potential Meeting With Trump

As rial crumbles, Iran rebuffs ‘speculation’ it may hold talks with US

Trump Pulling US Out of Iran Deal Will Hurt Christian Ministries Sharing the Gospel, Group Says

Turkey says cannot accept threatening language from the US

Roadside bomb hits Afghan bus, killing 11, wounding 40

Impatient Trump drives U.S. push for peace talks in Afghanistan

North Korea’s missile program reportedly continues after Trump and Kim Jong Un’s pledge to promote ‘peace and prosperity’

US detects new activity at N.Korea factory that built ICBMs

Report: North Korea building new missiles that can reach U.S.

U.S.’ Pompeo warns against IMF bailout for Pakistan that aids China

Trump-Supporting Soybean Farmers Say They’ll Gladly Suffer ‘To The Death’ For His Trade War

A new study estimates Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare for all’ plan would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years

Like it or not, America is now seriously debating socialism

Venezuela’s inflation will hit 1 million percent. Thanks, socialism.

Brexit Plans Raise Fears of Food Shortages and Jammed Ports

U.S. government on course to borrow the most money since the financial crisis

US Debt Sales To Surge: Treasury Raises 2018 Borrowing Need To $1.33 Trillion

The market is dealing with something it’s never seen before (bond-buying activity, called quantitative easing) and that has Jamie Dimon worried

Correction Worse Than February Is Looming, Morgan Stanley Says

This ‘prophet of doom’ predicts stock market will plunge more than 50%

Twitter hires academics to monitor its ‘health’ and combat hate speech

Trump’s ‘fake news’ rhetoric crops up around the globe

Rudy Giuliani: ‘I don’t even know if that’s a crime, colluding about Russians’

333 passengers taken off plane at Orlando airport after bomb comment, fight, official says

Lawmakers want answers about TSA program that tracked Americans

TSA calls reports it’s surveilling ordinary Americans ‘ridiculous’

At South Korean beaches and swimming pools, a war against tiny spy cameras

Large Hadron Collider Accelerates Whole Atoms for the First Time

NASA’s Space-Suit Drama Could Delay Our Trip to the Moon

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Alotau, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Negra, Sierra volcano on Galapagos erupts to 11,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Weird Volcanoes Are Erupting Across the Solar System

Jongdari targets eastern China with flooding rain after injuring at least 24 in Japan

Myanmar floods force more than 100,000 to flee homes

Northern California wildfire 9th most destructive in history

Relentless heat to feed California firestorm as Carr Fire death toll reaches 6

2 more towns ordered to evacuate as fires grow

Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to halt climate change case

Worst Red Tide In More Than a Decade Leaves Droves of Animals Dead on Southwest Florida Beaches

Emergency preparedness drill exposes gaps in response after mock virus ‘kills’ 900M

Libraries become unlikely front in opioid epidemic

Transgender Madness: Surgeon Performs Mastectomies on 14-Year-Old Girls

Sessions: US culture ‘less hospitable to people of faith’


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July 31 Tension between Faith and Doubt

Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”—Matt. 8:26b–27

If you have been a believer for very long, you realize that knowing about the Lord’s love and powerful concern and trusting in them do not always go hand in hand. Even when we trust, it is not always complete or without trepidation. When the disciples witnessed Jesus calming the storm and waves, they were no doubt relieved but also still very much unnerved. Matthew says they “were amazed,” and Mark says they were “very much afraid” (Mark 4:41). They were now perhaps more afraid of the One who had just stilled the storm than they had been of the storm itself.

Our human frailties are so much a part of us that even after God has rescued us or done something amazing on our behalf, we still have doubts and fears. Like the apostles and the greats of the Old Testament, we can be most perplexed and fearful right after experiencing God’s greatness and mercy.

Our faith needs continual strengthening, as the disciples came to realize when they implored, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5; cf. Mark 9:24). We know the Lord can and will provide according to His perfect will and timing, but we easily can fail to trust in that reality. If we rely on mere “little faith” rather than complete faith, we will be afraid, timid, and doubtful when difficulties arise.

ASK YOURSELF

What is a proper response to God’s care, even when it arrives in undeniable power and an uncanny arrangement of events? What should gratitude be growing in us each time we see Him working on our behalf and for His kingdom’s cause?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 221). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

New study: “Medicare For All” would cost $32.6 trillion, but it’s actually more

WINTERY KNIGHT

A Christian friend of mine who is divorced with children surprised me by telling me that she favored single payer health-care. I asked her if she realized that people would have to be taxed to pay for all this free health care, and she seemed to be aware of it. But even I didn’t realize how much it would really cost.

Investor’s Business Daily reports on a couple of recent studies – one from the left, and one from the far-left – that both agreed on the price tag for universal health care.

Excerpt:

Last year, 16 Senators, including three presidential hopefuls, co-sponsored Sanders’ “Medicare for all” bill. And earlier this month, more than 70 Democrats signed on to form a “Medicare for all” caucus. Support for the bill is now something of a litmus test for Democratic hopefuls.

Do they have any idea what they’re endorsing?

A new study…

View original post 764 more words

‘He’s on a jihad’: Fox News host Lou Dobbs fumes over Mueller’s Trump investigation (VIDEO)

Lou Dobbs lashed out at US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Monday, dubbing the probe into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and alleged involvement with Russia as an “ideologically-inspired jihad” against the POTUS.

Source: ‘He’s on a jihad’: Fox News host Lou Dobbs fumes over Mueller’s Trump investigation (VIDEO)

Iran Ramps Up Persecution of Christians

ICC Sees Increase in Government Activity in July

07/31/18 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) –  International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that during the month of July, Iran significantly increased judicial actions against Christians. At the beginning of the month, President Hassan Rouhani traveled to the West and emphasized that “Christians have the same rights as others do,” despite substantial evidence proving otherwise.

As July progressed, eight believers reportedly had judicial action taken against them. This number represents a noteworthy increase of publicized cases of Christian persecution in Iran.

On July 2, Massoumeh Taqinejad was arrested and detained alongside her son during a raid on her home by intelligence forces. She has been charged with proselytizing Christianity on the internet and they were arrested in Kermanshah. Their fate remains unknown.

On July 13, Ramiel Bet Tamraz was sentenced to four months in prison after being convicted of acting against national security. Ramiel is the third person in his family facing legal action because of his Christian identity. He had previously been detained in Evin Prison.

On July 18, Amir Saman Dashti’s court case was heard and he was sentenced to four months in prison. The case is under appeal. It is reported that he was previously held in Evin Prison for 76 days after his arrest in 2016. He has since been temporarily released on bail.

On July 22, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was violently arrested when his home was raided. He has been transferred to the so-called quarantine ward of Evin Prison. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of acting against national security. He was also sentenced an additional two years of internal exile.

On July 24, Mohammadreza Omidi and Saheb Fadaie were arrested in their homes. Both have been taken to Evin Prison to begin serving their sentences. They were each sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Omidi received an additional two-year sentence of internal exile.

On July 25, Yasser Mossayebzadeh was arrested and transferred to Evin Prison. He originally surrendered himself to the police, hoping to avoid a similar situation to Omidi and Fadaie’s, but was told that he would be arrested in a similar manner. His sentence is 10 years in prison for a conviction of acting against national security.

According to a statement by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, “Local observers note that as the Iranian regime has grown more unpopular and citizens have become more vocal in their criticism of corruption in official circles, the government has become increasingly reliant on the support of hard-line ayatollahs, who favour increased pressure on religious minorities.”

“As Christianity is growing fast in Iran, the top religious leaders are alarmed. They then put pressure on the Revolutionary Guard’s security police as ‘what are you doing to stop Christians?’ … the strategy of the government is not a wide spread arrest and execution. Their strategy is to arrest a few but publicize their arrest to put fear in the hearts of 1-3 million Christians and make them isolated, fearful, and prisoners in their homes,” added Dr. Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries.

“In the wake of worsening sociopolitical (and) economic situation in Iran, we see an increased level of persecution against Christians in the country,” said Lazarus Yeghnazar of 222 Ministries. “As history has shown, like any despotic regime at the last hours of their brutal control, I expect that the Clerics in Iran (which virtually are the government!) will become more bitter, mindless and unpredictable.”

“Sadly most are deeply corrupt by all counts and simply punish the ‘house church’ and its leaders because they are angry that Christianity is stealing away from their blind adherents, hence endangering their existence. We, the free Christians in the West, need to stand in the gap in united prayer,” he continued.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The persecution of Christians in Iran is increasingly building as the regime struggles to maintain its grip over the hearts and minds of its citizenry. It is also no coincidence that most of these eight Christians targeted in July have been sent to Evin Prison, Iran’s notorious ‘torture factory.’ The government continues to disown religious freedom and human rights, despite its own laws saying otherwise. We must keep these eight individuals, as well as Iran’s entire Christian community, in our prayers.”

Source: Iran Ramps Up Persecution of Christians

Studies in Proverbs: Anger

Pastor Dave Online

Anger “works”. Anger can get people to conform, get problems resolved, and produce desired results. But, the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Dad’s yelling may get the kinds to be quiet, at least when they are little, but it won’t draw them to God or to dad. A wife’s temper may compel her husband to conform to her desires, but it won’t draw her husband to Christ or to her. Anger works in certain ways, but it fails in the important matters. The book of Proverbs tells us why the path of anger leads to failure: anger is a manifestation of foolishness.

Within the book of Proverbs anger is often blatantly paired with foolishness. Chapter fourteen gives several examples of this pairing:

A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
and a man of evil devices is hated. (v. 17)

Whoever is slow to…

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AMERICA IN THE END TIMES: A Spiritual Decline Is Happening In America And The First Ones That Evil Is Attacking Is Our Children

America is in a spiritual decline. Satanic influences have seeped into the the culture of our nation. This evil has set his sight on the vulnerable and that has been the plan all along. Propaganda is in full swing to change what is moralistically right in the eyes of God. A sexual revolution to corrupt hearts and blur the lines of what is right and wrong is in full swing. This is America in the End Times and what we are witnessing to our nation is frightening.

Source: AMERICA IN THE END TIMES: A Spiritual Decline Is Happening In America And The First Ones That Evil Is Attacking Is Our Children

TRUMP ANXIETY DISORDER: A New Sickness Has Been Discovered And It Only Affects Democrats That Make Them Unrecognizable

That’s why you can’t mock the ill, when there’s a whole industry selling them terror. The Democratic Party has come totally unmoored from anything resembling guiding principles. Under FDR, the party was distinguished by its support for working-class Americans and organized labor. But they could never unite around such groups today. Instead, their only guiding light is hatred of Donald Trump

ANXIETY DISORDER

SICKNESS

DEMOCRATS UNRECOGNIZABLE

Visit Website

Source: TRUMP ANXIETY DISORDER: A New Sickness Has Been Discovered And It Only Affects Democrats That Make Them Unrecognizable

The Church and Mental Health: What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

Let’s move beyond the whispering, the silence, the shame, and the stigma. Most of us know someone who is in counseling, on medication, or has even taken his or her own life as a result of a mental illness. There are many difficult issues for Christians to talk about, and mental health would certainly be near the top of that list.

Yet, this is a conversation the Church needs to have. Suicide may be one of the most complex and demanding topics of all. Over the past few years, the discussion has felt forced, especially when the event is connected to high-profile suicides of prominent Christian leaders or their family members and close associates.

While the circumstances in these situations are varied, the question of mental health always comes up; and when we talk about mental illness and suicide, it immediately creates a unique challenge for believers. The question is “Why?” Why is it uniquely challenging for us to address issues often associated with mental illness?

God Heals

The answer is, at least partly, because we know God heals. He not only restores our spiritual wounds, but many also believe God physically heals… at times in miraculous ways.

So, as people of faith, we accept the miraculous, know of freedom in Christ, experience the forgiveness of sin, and acknowledge supernatural healing. However, we have all seen people, even believers, struggle with severe mental problems. They affect them emotionally, spiritually and relationally, and sometimes deliverance does not seem to come in supernatural ways. The person wants help. His or her family seeks answers.

Others wonder what is going on. So, it makes for awkward and limited conversations. As leaders, we often end up avoiding mental illness concerns altogether, or we fly by the seat of our spiritual pants in response when help …

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Source: The Church and Mental Health: What Do the Numbers Tell Us?

JULY 31 CHRIST’S WORDS ARE FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

PSALM 119:11

The gracious words of Christ are for the sons and daughters of grace, not for the Gentile nations whose chosen symbols are the lion, the eagle, the dragon and the bear!

So, the notion that the Bible is addressed to everybody has wrought confusion within and without the church. The effort to apply the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount to the unregenerate nations of the world is one example of this. Courts of law and the military powers of the earth are urged to follow the teachings of Christ, an obviously impossible thing for them to do. To quote the words of Christ as guides for policemen, judges and generals is to misunderstand those words completely and to reveal a total lack of understanding of the purposes of divine revelation.

Not only does God address His words of truth to those who are able to receive them, He actually conceals their meaning from those who are not. The parables of Christ were the exact opposite of the modern “illustration” which is meant to give light: the parables were “dark sayings” and Christ asserted He sometimes used them so that His disciples could understand and His enemies could not.

The natural man must know in order to believe; the spiritual man must believe in order to know![1]


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