Daily Archives: August 9, 2018

August 9: Borrowed Imagery

Isaiah 17:1–19:25; Luke 7:1–35; Job 5:1–7

In the ot, Yahweh regularly explains Himself by using imagery familiar to the time. Sometimes Yahweh even uses images associated with other gods to emphasize that He—and not the gods of other nations—has authority over the earth. This poetic exchange would have served as an intercultural dialogue between the Israelites and their neighbors. A classic example is the image of the rider upon the clouds: “Look! Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. And the idols of Egypt will tremble in front of him, and the heart of Egypt melts in his inner parts” (Isa 19:1).

Here, the prophet borrows a metaphor usually associated with the god Baal (from Ugaritic literature) to demonstrate Yahweh’s superiority over Baal: Yahweh arrives in Egypt in greater glory than that of the god feared by Egypt’s (and Israel’s) Canaanite neighbor. Because Egypt has oppressed Yahweh’s people, Yahweh will withhold the rains—a decision that Baal, the god of rain, was notorious for making (see Isa 19:5–8).

The writer goes on: “And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and each one will fight against his brother and each one against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of the Egyptians will be disturbed in his midst, and I will confuse his plans, and they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, and the ghosts and the spiritists” (Isa 19:2–3).

The threat of violence in this passage may be intimidating, but believers can find hope in it. We take comfort in seeing that Yahweh intercedes for His people. We find joy in knowing that He loves people enough to explain Himself in ways they can understand, using whatever metaphor best reveals His power and glory. On all accounts, He is God of justice.

In what situations are you currently seeking justice? What metaphors is God using to answer your prayers?

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.

August 9 Faith Without Love

“If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).

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Loveless faith is useless faith.

In Matthew 17:19 the disciples came to Jesus wanting to know why they couldn’t cast a demonic spirit from a child. Jesus responded, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (v. 20). He repeated the same principle in Matthew 21:21—“Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall … say to this mountain [the Mount of Olives], ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ [and] it shall happen.”

Those passages have puzzled many people because they’ve never seen anyone move a mountain. But Jesus wasn’t speaking literally. Moving mountains would cause all kinds of ecological problems and would be a pointless miracle. The expression “able to move mountains” was a common figure of speech in that day, meaning “to surmount great obstacles.” Jesus was speaking of those who have the gift of faith—those who can move the hand of God through unwavering prayer.

The gift of faith is the ability to believe that God will act according to His will, no matter the circumstances. People with that gift are prayer warriors and tend to stand as rocks when others around them are falling apart. They see God’s power and purposes at work, and they trust Him even when others doubt.

But, says Paul, even if you have such faith, if you don’t have love, you are nothing. That’s a harsh rebuke, but it places the emphasis where it belongs—on our motives. The Corinthians’ motives were evident in their selfish pursuit of the showy gifts.

What motivates you? Remember, without love it doesn’t matter what gifts you have, how eloquent your speech is, what you know, or what you believe. Only love can validate your service to Christ.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God for a greater capacity to trust Him and for the motivation to pray more fervently.

For Further Study: Read Hebrews 11, drawing from the examples of the people of great faith mentioned there.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 234). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How To Spot The Differences

What is the difference between a sociopath, a psychopath, and a narcissist? Here to tell us is leading psychologist and author of “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Narcissistic Relationship” Dr. Ramani Durvasula.

Story Source: YouTube.Com – MedCircle Dr. Ramani How To Video…

AUGUST 9 A HEAVENLY FRAGRANCE

To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness…at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 3:13

I have been affected in my own heart and life by reading the testimonies and commentaries of humble men of God whom I consider to be among the great souls of Christian church history. From them I have learned that the word and idea of holiness as originally used in the Hebrew did not have, first of all, the moral connotation.

The original root of the word holy was of something beyond, something strange and mysterious and awe inspiring. When we consider the holiness of God, we talk about something heavenly, full of awe, mysterious and fear inspiring. This is supreme when it relates to God, but it is also marked in men of God and deepens as men become more like God.

It is a sense of awareness of the other world, a mysterious quality and difference that has come to rest upon some men and women—that is a holiness. When those persons with this special quality and mysterious Presence are morally right and walking in all the holy ways of God, and carrying without even knowing it the fragrance of a kingdom that is supreme above the kingdoms of this world, I am ready to accept that as being of God and from God!

Heavenly Father, You are full of awe and wonder. Yet You are the majestic Creator of the universe who wants to connect with His creation in an intimate manner. Why would anyone choose not to worship You as the supreme Giver of life?[1]


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

The Persecuted Church in China Will Flourish Under the Hateful Regime of Xi Jinping: They Will Be Praying For Us!

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

I will never forget something that was told to me back in 1983 when I was saved.  I was attending a home group and the Bible teacher said to us:

“The Christians who must go underground to worship in China are praying for the Christians in America.  They are saying that the persecution of believers in China are causing them to draw closer to God and His Word, and they are evangelizing the lost like never before.  The reason that they are praying so hard for us here in America, is that they know that the distractions and freedoms we enjoy will cause complacency, and many will fall away or become prey for heretical teaching.”

When I think about this now, in light of the mainline churches becoming apostate; and the many mega-churches which corrupt the Word of God – it sends chills up my spine. I believe that what…

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TRUMP FIRES WARNING SHOT: Slams Crooked Hillary, FISA Abuse and Mueller ‘Witch Hunt’ – WARNS=> “STAY TUNED!” — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump fired a warning shot Thursday after slamming Mueller’s illegal witch hunt, Crooked Hillary and FISA abuse.

“Stay tuned!” warned President Trump.

This warning from the President comes on the heels of one of his personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani saying the witch hunt is about to blow up in the faces of the Deep State plotters.

Investigative reporter, Paul Sperry also just warned the President is about to declassify the Carter Page FISA renewal app signed by Rod Rosenstein and a tranche of Bruce Ohr docs.

Here we go…

Trump tweeted: This is an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt run by people who are totally corrupt and/or conflicted. It was started and paid for by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats. Phony Dossier, FISA disgrace and so many lying and dishonest people already fired. 17 Angry Dems? Stay tuned!

All eyes are on twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr as his emails to dossier author begin to trickle out to reporters.

“Bruce Ohr is going to become more and more important in this investigation and I think people should pay close attention to it,” Nunes said.

It’s time for President Trump to throw down his ace card and declassify the Carter Page docs and all other docs related to the Russia witch hunt.

via TRUMP FIRES WARNING SHOT: Slams Crooked Hillary, FISA Abuse and Mueller ‘Witch Hunt’ – WARNS=> “STAY TUNED!” — The Gateway Pundit

10 Reasons Why the Church is the Perfect Culture for Abuse

“Bigger Carpet” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

In spite of the protests I get nearly every day that my focus on abuse in the church is unbalanced and unnecessary because it’s so rare, I continue to address it because millions of people are recipients of spiritual abuse at the hands of their spiritual leaders and their churches. The amount of grateful messages I get far outweighs the naysaying ones, so I keep talking about it and helping those who want to escape and heal from it.

I address this topic with authority and credentials for three reasons:

I delivered spiritual abuse as a pastor;
I received spiritual abuse;
I care about victims and want to help.

Institutions of any kind are breeding grounds for abuse because the gravitational pull of organizations is toward the inhumane treatment of its members. Because preventing this tendency from occurring is such hard and relentless work, it’s much easier to just ignore it, just let it happen, or just use it to reach its goals. The immediate rewards of spiritual abuse for the church are often desired… rewards like obedience, complicity, control, and orderliness… never mind serving the pleasure of the perpetrators.

The church is the perfect culture for spiritual abuse to sprout and spawn.

So, I made a list explaining why the church is the perfect culture for abuse:

  1. The church silences abuse in order to protect their ministries.
  2. Parents entrust themselves and their children to leaders without question.
  3. The church nurtures a victim-blaming culture.
  4. Christians trust their leaders, even to their own peril.
  5. Church leaders enjoy an incredible lack of accountability.
  6. The church ghettoizes itself and presumes immunity from its critics.
  7. The church prefers forgive and forget over restitution and reparation.
  8. Criticizing and judging is explicitly unchristian and implicitly forbidden.
  9. Appealing to the secular courts is categorically unbiblical.
  10. Many Christians can’t believe their leaders would harm them.

I know this is sensitive and triggering. I myself acknowledge, with great sorrow, that I participated in the spiritual abuse the church system stimulates. Many churches and leaders are unaware of the systemic evil systems like the church contain.

I can also tell stories of the spiritual abuse I received, and now recognize my complicity in it. I’m not blaming myself for the abuse, but I do admit that I was in such a place that I received it as I thought I should.

Hence the ten points above. At the time, I erroneously called it spiritual discipline, submission to authority, obedience, loyalty, mentoring, persuasion, and other misnomers. Now I realize it was outright abuse.

Source: 10 Reasons Why the Church is the Perfect Culture for Abuse

Long-Time BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) Leader Steps Down As BSF Heads Deeper Into Emergent Waters — Lighthouse Trails Inc

LTRP Note: For several years now, Lighthouse Trails has received letters from many women who have been involved with BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). Each one expressed a concern that the organization once taught God’s Word but over the last decade especially began to drift. Lighthouse Trails noted in 2010 that BSF’s current executive director Susie Rowan is a proponent of contemplative prayer (and we knew this would eventually lead to an emergent, social-justice “gospel.”) Linda, the BSF leader who wrote the letter below confirms this. Incidentally, Linda submitted her resignation letter to BSF last week after being involved with the organization for over 20 years (12 years as a leader).

“Co-incidentally,” we received a second letter last week from another BSF member who shared similar concerns. In Victoria’s letter, she stated:

I WAS a Bible Study Fellowship member awaiting the fall 2018 class . . . until I read Susie Rowan’s e-book seemingly promoting Dominion Theology. Susie promotes questionable authors that support the rapid growing apostate emergent church, socialism, and the NAR. It tells me through the language in her e-mails and books, she is in favor of Dominionism’s seven mountains, the ecumenical movement / emergent church.

It seems there is more focus on building the ecumenical emergent church than there is building a relationship with Christ. He seems to be put on the back burner when it comes to politics, culture, and leaning into liberal perspective and “rules for change.” . . . I was looking forward to a different more conservative group this fall not realizing this “movement” was coming from the leadership – I did not know BSFI was so heavily immersed into politics etc. that drive the tone of socialism and liberalism downward to the attendee. Victoria

And now the letter from Linda, the BSF leader who just resigned:

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I thought you might want to read this and alert your readers. The attached eBook [this link taken from BSF FB page] is co-written by Susie Rowan, head of BSF International. It was emailed to BSF class members and leadership this month to lay the foundation for their new study, a revision of the former study called “History of Israel and the Minor Prophets.” The new study is “People of the Promised Land (Part 1),” a name exposing BSF’s departure from a focus on Scripture’s purpose of revealing God and His glory to instead follow the wide path of man-centric teachings.

Concerns from this publication include, but are not limited to:
*Quotes by Rick Warren & Timothy Keller — They quote many people (secular, too). You will probably know more “red flag” names than I am aware of.

*Substitution of “Gospel Community” for “Body of Christ” (“Community” is used 20 times; Body 0). I am wondering why I don’t read more about the concern of this trend in “Christian” ministries/churches? The popular buzz word is “community” these days, used as a replacement for the biblical word “Body.” Community and body are NOT synonyms. Only the body has a Head, with the individual parts literally dependent upon one another. Though “community” celebrates togetherness, individuality is the emphasis (like the secular philosophy of multiculturalism). With community, the required unity and inter-dependence of parts are minimized or ignored. Above all, the subtlety that seems to be missed is how “community” completely neglects the need and purpose for the Head. It’s about the people, the benefit of their togetherness and their strength in joining forces. Reminds me a lot of Babel.

*Distortion of 1 Corinthians 3 — Chapter 1 mishandles this text with a man-centric application about godly leadership, ignoring Paul’s clear teaching that GOD is the point, not he who sows/waters. This chapter lays the groundwork for the new study. “People of the Promised Land” apparently will not be about God, but the great men (leaders) of the Bible.

*BSF teaches that believers have a biblical mandate to redeem their culture, quoting Chuck Colson as support, rather than God’s Word. They have recently partnered with Barna and Steve Graves, who also push this man-centric, non-biblical agenda. Their refrains are “engage the culture” and “keep the conversation going.”

*The book’s concluding statement: “If we live well now, we’ll leave behind something worth remembering,” emphasizing the book’s recurring point that believer’s should be driven to leave a legacy on this earth. (Purpose-driven life?) Conspicuously absent is the biblical mandate to live for God’s glory alone.

*Steve Graves (co-author)—Check out his website. His primary vocation is executive coaching. Rowan appears to have been a client? His focus is man’s personal fulfillment, not God’s glory.

*Rowan signs all of her correspondence with a call for the “FAME” of Jesus (vs. His glory)

BSF has forgotten their first love. The ministry is rapidly circling the drain, teaching elements of Spiritual Formation, pushing seeker-friendly training of leaders, watering-down their study materials, and redefining “grace” and “love” in the training of their leadership, in promoting silence/compromise over speaking truth that may offend. I have been in BSF since 1996, with 12 years in leadership. I have watched the steady decline of this ministry since Susie Rowan assumed the helm about a decade ago. The departure from truth has become most evident starting with the training of leadership last year, and now with this very overt, “in writing” proclamation of BSF’s new direction to all registered members. The BSF Area Team last spring announced a coming five-year plan of significant changes. I cannot imagine what is next. Already BSF is but a shadow of its former self; it bears the same name and a familiarity of format, but the heart of the ministry to equip the church as a “training center” has been removed. It no longer seeks the glory of God, but has made “man” the focal point of God’s purpose. They give lip service to seeking the Lord in prayer, but their decisions and direction are formed from their numerous surveys of the population NOT attending their classes. They have become consumer-driven, compromising Truth in an effort to woo the “U-40” (under 40) crowd to join BSF. They measure their success and growth in numbers. They have forgotten their first love, the Word of God.

For many years, I have stayed in BSF to contend for the faith, to fight for truth through words and prayer. At this time, however, I believe that BSF is too far gone; the anti-Truth agenda too blatant. With a heavy heart, I will not be a part of BSF this fall, as I direct my time and energy to focus on promoting truth instead of fighting against lies. I can no longer be a part of something that is now clearly working against the pursuit of Truth. I am heartbroken.

I hope that you find this information useful in calling the unaware to be alert and sober-minded. BSF, with Susie Rowan at the helm, has been patient in pushing this anti-biblical agenda, but the water is now boiling. Is is too late for the frog?

For the GLORY of Jesus!
Linda

P.S. You probably should take a quick peek at this, too [Rowan’s new e-book, The Gospel Changes Everything] The notes section identifies some of those influencing Rowan. This publication served as a soft introduction to the shift in BSF’s focus/agenda.

LTRP Note: To understand more about the social-justice “gospel,” please read the following:

What You Need to Know About Jim Wallis and the Social-Justice Gospel

D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

via Long-Time BSF Leader Steps Down As BSF Heads Deeper Into Emergent Waters — Lighthouse Trails Inc

The New Apostolic Reformation – A Shelter for the Unqualified — Famine In The Land

By Stephen Colin   9 August 2018

Bob Dylan, hailed as one of the great song writers of the 20th century penned a song called “Shelter from the Storm” in 1975. The lyrics to the song have been regarded as a poetic masterpiece, which is probably why he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. The third verse in particular uses imagery which is akin to something we see in the visible church today. Dylan writes, “Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved. Everything up to that point had been left unresolved. Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm. Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.”  These lyrics describe something taking place in the the fastest growing movement under the name of “Christianity,” the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation)  The NAR, along with a host of serious issues (articulated in our previous blogs) has become somewhat of a shelter for the unqualified.

What would you do if you discovered that a certain hospital performing heart surgeries , used unqualified people to operate on patients?  I’m sure you would expose the hospital, and warn as many people as possible to avoid them!  The NAR in like manner is a movement which shelters unqualified “apostles, prophets and pastors,” and provides them with a platform to perform deadly surgery on the souls of men and women. I remind you that the “apostles and prophets” in this movement are already unqualified simply because of the fact that the church has “…been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets..” (Eph. 2:20)  This makes it impossible for anyone to hold such offices in the church today. However, the office of Pastor is still functioning in Christ’s church, and many who have proven themselves unqualified for this position have found refuge in the NAR. The question that this article seeks to answer is simply this: why is a movement claiming to represent the true church of Jesus Christ sheltering unqualified individuals?

The Bible is absolutely clear regarding the qualifications for a pastor.  Paul writes to Timothy – “An overseer (a word used interchangeable with elder and pastor), then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
(1 Tim. 3:2-7)
Paul also tells Titus that  “he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Tit. 1:9)
To sum it up: a pastor must be qualified in two vital areas, Character and Doctrine.

In light of the clear teaching of Scripture regarding who gets to be a pastor, I would like to briefly examine two individuals who have found shelter in the NAR, even though they are unqualified for the position.

1. Todd Bentley
How in the world does this man still have a voice in the visible church?  Answer: The NAR has sheltered him. It is a well-known fact that Todd Bentley committed adultery and got a divorce.  He went on to marry the woman whom he had an affair with providing us all with evidence that this man was unrepentant.  Clearly this is someone who has disqualified himself from ministry (even though it could easily be argued that he was never qualified doctrinally anyway).  Yet, Todd Bentley has been fully restored and is continuing to deceive millions. This didn’t happen by accident.

Two popular “apostles” in this cancerous movement played a major part in restoring this fraud.  Rick Joyner and Bill Johnson paved the way for Bentley to continue preaching his delusional message, accompanied by false signs and wonders, ridiculous claims of raising the dead, and bizarre behavior which has absolutely nothing to do with Biblical Christianity.

A second individual who has found shelter in this unbiblical movement is none other than…
2. Mark Driscoll
In short, this man basically fled church discipline after serious allegations of plagiarism were charged against him. (You can read more about this saga at this here.)
There is no doubt that this has damaged his reputation with those outside the church, disqualifying him from pastoral ministry, yet in the short time of about two years he is already pastoring a new church (The Trinity Church, Scottsdale, Arizona). And guess which crowd he’s running with now? The NAR. They have gladly taken him in and sheltered him from the storm of those “stuffy christians” who have called for repentance. Charisma Mag, the online purporters of NAR theology have recently promoted Driscoll and his new book “Spirit-Filled Jesus.” Not only are they promoting his book, but he will even be speaking at the Charisma Conference!  Sadly, another unqualified “pastor” sheltered by the NAR.

These are just two examples among many! Steven Furtick wrote a book called “Unqualified” in which he demonstrates how unqualified he actually is for pastoral ministry by the way he mishandles God’s precious Word. Therefore, it is no surprise that he too has been embraced by the NAR, evidenced by his more recent associations and conferences like the “Dominion Camp Meeting” where in 2017 he partnered with the “apostle” Rod Parsley, the supreme heretic Jesse Duplantis, and Perry Stone.

I believe that the reason why the NAR is so quick to shelter unqualified ‘pastors’ is simply because this movement is not from God.  This movement has not come about through a serious exegetical study of the Word of God, and has consistently shown a complete lack of discernment.  This movement is a continuation of the “Third wave” Charismatic movement which prepared the way for some of the most destructive false teachers in church history.  This movement not only produces these false teachers, but gladly takes in and shelters those who have been exposed in more doctrinally sound environments.

Coming back to Bob Dylan’s song I think it is fair to say that the NAR’s message to the unqualified is this: “Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.”

Instead of being sheltered by this abhorrent movement these “pastors” should be called to repentance. God is Holy and will not be mocked. The NAR may be able to protect these men from the temporal storm of discerning christians, however who is going to protect them on the day of Judgment when everything will be exposed? Who will be their advocate on that day?

This is a reminder that every single one of us must flee to Christ and throw ourselves at His mercy! Not only did He bleed and die upon the cross to satisfy the wrath of God, but he imputes His perfect righteousness to the account of those who humbly repent of their sin and put all of their trust in the Risen and Returning Christ.  Only with our sins wiped away and the righteousness of God that comes through faith will we be sheltered and able to withstand the storm of God’s righteous Judgement.  As Jesus Himself said in Matthew 7:25, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”

A better song goes like this:

“My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

via The New Apostolic Reformation – A Shelter for the Unqualified — Famine In The Land

August 9, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

32:7 Remember … they will tell you: Here the song uses the language of wisdom literature to exhort the Israelites to search out God’s ways. The Scriptures repeatedly emphasize that wisdom is based on the God of all truth.[1]


32:7 Remember the days of old. A call to reflect on past history and to inquire about the lessons to be learned.[2]


32:7 Moses urged the people to remember bygone days in order to be informed and inspired by them.[3]


[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 266). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Dt 32:7). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Merrill, E. H. (2017). Deuteronomy. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

August 9, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that Moscow was starting to work on retaliatory measures after the United States announced a new round of sanctions against Moscow.

Andrew Gillum, the son of a bus driver who became the mayor of Florida’s capital, is struggling to gain traction with voters in his bid to become the state’s first black governor.

Russian operatives have penetrated some of Florida’s election systems and could delete registered voters ahead of the November elections if the systems are not adequately protected, Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.

Argentine senators rejected a bill to legalize abortion after an impassioned debate, pushing back against a groundswell of support from a surging abortion rights movement.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has chosen 75-year-old Islamic cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate in next year’s presidential election in a bid to bolster his religious credentials.

A long-range rocket fired from Gaza struck an uninhabited area outside the largest city in southern Israel on Thursday, Israeli Army Radio reported, hours after a Palestinian official said an end to a surge in cross-border fighting could be near.

Masked police officers pointed semi-automatic rifles from a helicopter that flew low over Mexico City last week as security forces employ unprecedented heavy-handed tactics to combat a rise in levels of drug violence rarely seen in the capital.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market weather ongoing trade tensions between the United States and a host of other countries. Other data on Thursday showed a solid increase in underlying producer prices in July. Labor market strength and rising inflation likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in September for the third time this year. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Aug. 4.

AP Top Stories

Israeli warplanes struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip and three people were reported killed there, while Palestinian militants from the territory fired scores of rockets into Israel in a fierce burst of violence overnight and into Thursday morning.

A Florida man has died after being punched by a driver whose car window he knocked because he mistakenly thought the vehicle was his Uber.

Saudi-led coalition air strikes on Thursday killed dozens of people, including children traveling on a bus, in Yemen’s Saada province, Yemeni medical sources and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

A man who said he wanted to end his ailing wife’s suffering shot her to death in her bed at a suburban New York hospital Wednesday and then killed himself, police said.

The Indonesian island of Lombok was shaken by a third big earthquake in little more than a week Thursday as the official death toll from an earlier quake topped 300. The 5.9-magnitude quake struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of the island.

Three boys from a soccer team who were rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand last month were granted Thai citizenship on Wednesday, authorities said. Their 25-year-old coach, Ekapol Chanthawong, also gained citizenship.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday refused to apologize for calling out Saudi Arabia on its human rights record, after Riyadh said it was considering further punitive measures against Ottawa over its criticisms of the kingdom.

Ohio officials have discovered 588 uncounted votes in this week’s special election for the 12th Congressional District, further tightening the already too-close-to-call race.

BBC

Dozens of people, many of them school children, have been killed or wounded in a Saudi-led coalition air strike in rebel-held northern Yemen, medics say.

Festival organizers in Malaysia have removed two portraits of LGBT activists from a public photo exhibition after complaints from the government. The promotion of LGBT culture was not supported in Malaysia.

Bolivia’s historic presidential medal and sash have been stolen from a car parked in a red light district in the city of El Alto. A military officer said he had left the historic emblems in a rucksack in his car, while on his way to the airport. The bag was later found by police in a local church after a tip-off.

The deaths of five whales found along Ireland’s west coast may have been caused by naval sonar, an expert has said.

When a supermarket manager in the country’s capital, Helsinki, heard her customers joking about spending the night in the coolness of her store it got her thinking. Marika Lindfors opened the doors on Saturday to 100 lucky K-Supermarket customers in Phjois-Haaga, who were allowed to bring along their sleeping bags and mattresses for the night.

Iran’s foreign minister has said the United States will not be able to prevent the country from exporting oil.

WND

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) told reporters on Wednesday evening that he would continue his campaign for re-election, despite being indicted and arrested in the morning on insider trading charges.

“Not only are more women joining jihadist groups, thanks in large part to internet recruiters and the outreach of ISIS operatives, but women, Farhana Qazi reports, can be even more destructive than men. “‘Not only are they less conspicuous, thanks in part to burqas and other body-coverings, but ‘on average,’ she writes, women have ‘killed four times more people than male operatives.'”


News – 8/9/2018

Jehovah’s Witnesses Destroy Child Abuse Evidence to ‘Escape from Satan’
A Jehovah’s Witnesses official has blown the whistle to reveal that the religion covers-up reports of child abuse by destroying records as the religion’s elders believe that Satan will use the evidence against them. Whilst speaking at a seminar in the UK, Shawn Bartlett, the records management overseer for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, lifted the lid on the organization’s record-keeping policies.

Southern Command chief: We are prepared for any scenario
“We are prepared for any scenario and we will continue to do everything necessary to maintain and strengthen the sense of security of the local residents … I am sure the residents of the Gaza border communities are strong and we call on them to continue to listen to the instructions of the Home Front Command,”

UN: Russia and Iran keen to avoid bloodbath in Syria’s Idlib
Russia, Iran and Turkey told a meeting of the Syria humanitarian taskforce on Thursday that they would do their utmost to avoid a battle that would threaten millions of civilians in rebel-held Idlib.

Lapid: Don’t allow Hamas to fire last shot
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, said on Thursday that Hamas must not be allowed to fire the last shot in the current round of hostilities. “A massive and disproportionate force must be used against Hamas.

Iran weighs response as US sanctions bite
“Their sanctions are very effective, as you can see, the government should find a solution,” said Mahmoud, a 62-year-old former civil servant who only gave his first name. “They should first solve domestic problems because people are really drowning in poverty and misery.”

Israel-Hamas Headed to War Again?
The strains of war are being heard again in Israel. More than 150 rockets and mortars was fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel’s southern communities. The IDF retaliated, targeting mobile rocket launchers and other military targets.

Colombia ‘Palestinian State Recognition’ Dismays Israel
The Israeli embassy in Bogotá, Colombia criticised the government’s decision to grant formal recognition to a Palestinian state and said the move contradicted the good relations between the two countries. The embassy stressed that as a friendly government, Jerusalem would have expected to have been forewarned of a dramatic policy shift.

19 Israelis Wounded, 200 Rockets Fired at Israel From Gaza
Red alert sirens sounded nearly non-stop overnight on Wednesday and early Thursday, as approximately 200 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza, wounding 19 Israelis. The initial barrage of eight rockets landed inside the city of Sderot, hitting a house and wounding a man and a 13-year-old boy. According to Barzilai Medical Center, six people were treated for physical wounds and nine were treated for shock.

Sderot pledges support: ‘Time to enter Gaza’
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi pledges his city’s support of a post-diplomatic solution to the current aggression from Gaza: “We must return life back on track. The time has come to undertake an operation in Gaza,” Davidi said. “We must deal a blow to terror and return life to normal. For our part, we’ll provide the operating space and the time for the army and policymakers to bring quiet back to our region,” he said.

Russia reels, denounces new U.S. sanctions as illegal, unfriendly
Russia condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions as illegal on Thursday after news of the measures sent the rouble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending curbs by the West.

Media Omits New Mexico Compound Leader’s Muslim Ties
Media outlets are leaving out a key detail about the New Mexico compound leaders who were reportedly training young children to commit school shootings. Eleven children were recently rescued from the “filthy” compound, which police say appears to be run by Siraj Wahhaj and Lucas Morten. Wahhaj, the son of a prominent imam, was accused in court documents released Wednesday of training the children on the compound to commit school shootings. CNN, for example, did not mention the words “Muslim” or “extremist” in a Tuesday article about the discovery of the 11 missing children.

IDF says war in Gaza approaching, communities near Strip could be evacuated
A senior army official warned Thursday morning that Israel was nearing a full-blown military confrontation in the Gaza Strip…adding that the government could begin evacuating communities near the coastal enclave in preparation. “We are rapidly nearing a confrontation,” the IDF senior officer said… “Hamas is making serious mistakes, and we may have to make it clear after four years that this path doesn’t yield any results for it and isn’t worth it.”

UNRWA in financial crisis; Jordan warns of ‘catastrophe’
A United Nations agency helping Palestinian refugees is facing a severe financial shortfall. Jordan warns of “catastrophic” impact on the lives of millions…in the region. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said after meeting visiting UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl the budget crisis facing the agency could deprive refugees of core education, healthcare and food security service that would only “deepen their humanitarian plight.”

U.S. can’t be trusted, Iran’s Rouhani tells North Korean diplomat
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told North Korea’s foreign minister that the United States cannot be trusted…as the United States seeks a deal to rein in the North’s nuclear and missile programs… Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from Washington for talks this week, saying it could not negotiate after the Trump administration reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s own nuclear program.

Lombok earthquake: Strong aftershock amid Indonesia rescue efforts
The Indonesian island of Lombok has been hit by a strong tremor, as the search continues for victims of Sunday’s earthquake. The latest aftershock had a magnitude of 5.9 or 6.2, according to monitors. It brought down some buildings. Rescue workers are still digging through rubble and trying to get aid to survivors of the earlier, larger quake.

Is Turkey heading for an economic crisis?
Is Turkey heading for an economic and financial crisis? Recent developments in the country’s financial markets have certainly been alarming. The Turkish currency, the lira, has lost about 30% of its value against the US dollar since the New Year. The stock market has fallen 17%, or if you measure it in dollars as some foreign investors would do, the decline is 40%

Iran sanctions: US can’t stop our oil exports, says minister
Iran’s foreign minister has said the United States will not be able to prevent the country from exporting oil. Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Iran newspaper that President Donald Trump’s goal of forcing the rest of the world not to buy Iranian oil was impossible. He also mocked what he called Mr Trump’s “tantrums and CAPPED TWEETS”.

NASA astronaut reveals encounter with ‘alien-like, organic’ object that lurked near him on space shuttle mission
A NASA astronaut has revealed his encounter with an ‘alien-like, organic’ object which lurked near him on a space shuttle mission. Leland Melvin, 54, worked as an engineer on board Atlantis when he came across the object while orbiting Earth. In a chat on Twitter with fans about his experiences in space he was asked if he had ever seen any aliens or UFOs.

Russia reels, cries foul after U.S. sanctions spiral escalates
Russia condemned a new round of U.S. sanctions as draconian…after news of the measures sent the rouble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset sell-off over fears that Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions. Moscow has been trying to improve battered U.S.-Russia ties with mixed success. Russia’s political and business leaders were quick to chalk up a summit last month between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin as a victory.

19 Attorneys General Challenge Federal Policy Prohibiting Abortions for Unaccompanied Minors
Nineteen attorneys general filed a friend-of-the court brief in a case challenging the federal policy of prohibiting unaccompanied minors from having abortions.

Mendocino wildfire explodes into raging monster nearly the size of Los Angeles
Twin fires burning on both sides of Clear Lake in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties exploded in size in recent days, and together they’ve become the largest fire in California history.

Baseball-Size Hail Kills Zoo Animals In Colorado
A powerful hailstorm swept through parts of Colorado on Monday, injuring 14 people, killing two zoo animals and damaging hundreds of cars.

NYT Guilty of ‘Anti-Christian Bigotry’ with Mike Pence ‘Hit Piece,’ Focus on the Family Director Says
Evangelical author Glenn T. Stanton has accused the New York Times and columnist Frank Bruni of “anti-Christian bigotry” for publishing a recent “hit piece” against Vice President Mike Pence.

ISRAEL UNDER ATTACK: ISRAEL POUNDS HAMAS AFTER 17 INJURED IN MASSIVE ROCKET BARRAGE
The Israel Air Force retaliated by striking targets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening after 17 people were treated for injuries resulting form rocket attacks from Gaza against southern Israel.

Hamas Terrorists Unleash Dozens Of Rockets Over Southern Israel As IDF Strikes Back On Gaza Border
Israel’s air force bombed a number of Hamas positions across the Gaza Strip Wednesday night, as dozens of rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israeli communities near the Palestinian enclave hours, including a barrage that slammed into the city of Sderot, injuring several Israelis.

Amazon sells apparel calling for Israel’s end
There’s a lot of talk about “hate speech” these days among the big Internet companies – from Apple to Google to YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to Amazon.

NV Schools Endanger Children
Clark County Public School District is pushing to adopt new policies that would violate students’ privacy, endanger children and make schools less safe, despite community opposition. On Thursday, August 9, the school board will be voting on policies that will allow students to use bathrooms, locker rooms and showers based on their gender identity, rather than their biological sex.

Officials Confirm Deadly Anthrax Outbreak That ‘Kills Within Hours’
Officials have warned of a deadly anthrax breakout after a pig was infected with the bacterial disease in Romania.

Doctor Blows Whistle on Flu Shot: ‘It’s Designed to Spread Cancer’
A top doctor has gone on the record to blow the whistle in a video statement and reveal that flu vaccines have been laced with “cancer-causing ingredients.”

Children Found Alive In ‘Nailed Boxes’ in Suspected Child Trafficking Operation
A couple in Missouri allegedly enclosed four adopted children in nailed plywood boxes in a what a sheriff described Tuesday as “deplorable” conditions.

Video=> 100,000 Anti-Regime Iranians March Chanting “Death To The Dictator! Death To Khamenei!”
100,000 Iranians march against the regime chanting, “Death to dictator! Death to Khamenei!” 100,000 anti-regime Iranians who were attending a soccer match left the stadium and started chanting, “Death to dictator! Death to Khamenei!”

Former Irish President: The Vatican Covered Up Pedophilia
In an explosive interview with the Irish Times, former Irish president Mary McAleese claims The Vatican actively blocked an investigation into child abuse by stopping the state from accessing Church documents.

Mexican Family Sues Border Agent for Stopping Son Entering US Illegally
A liberal judge has given approval for a Mexican family to file a lawsuit against a U.S. Border Patrol Agent because he stopped their son from crossing the border illegally.

White genocide in South Africa is real: “3-year-old girl crucified on kitchen table then raped…”
 In a recent interview, Simon Roche (Suidlanders.org) laid out in graphic detail some examples of murders within the attempted genocide happening now in South Africa to white farmers and their families:

Retired Pope Benedict accused of anti-Semitism after article on Christians and Jews
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, is being accused of fostering anti-Semitism after publishing a controversial essay in a German-language theological journal.

POLL: Over 91% of Orthodox Jews in America proudly support President Trump
A poll by US-based haredi magazine finds more than 90% of observant Jews support current president.


ApostasyWatch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – A very precise way to gauge the authenticity of a Christian leader

‘Translated By Faith’: Rick Joyner’s Tale Of Teleportation

What is the Charismatic Civil War? (Part 1)

Jonathan Cahn Says Trump Prophesied in Bible in Interview with Michael Brown

Evangelical Church to Give Teen Free Hummer for Attending Services, Bringing Newcomers

Church in a bar? SC churches are thinking outside the steeple to reach new members

Willow Creek Elders and Pastor Heather Larson Resign over Bill Hybels

Threats prompt removal of Harvest Crusade ads in Orange County

19 Attorneys General and Planned Parenthood Demand “Right” to Abortion for Illegal Immigrants


Headlines – 8/9/2018

Israel and Gaza moving towards full-blown war. Hamas breaks cease-fire. 150+ rockets fired at Israel overnight.

Sirens triggered in Ashkelon as rocket attacks go deeper into Israel

Israel pounds Hamas after 19 injured in rocket barrage, one critical

Israeli air strikes ‘kill woman and toddler’

Israelis in shelters as rocket launches continue throughout the night

Summer camps in southern Israel canceled amid Gaza flareup

IDF says war in Gaza approaching, communities near Strip could be evacuated

UN Special Coordinator Mladenov ‘deeply alarmed’ by Gaza escalation

Israel to lodge formal complaint over BBC coverage of Gaza violence – accuses British broadcaster of deliberate lies after headline omits mention of Palestinian rocket fire toward Israel

IDF official: Hamas violated Protective Edge agreements

Hamas: Israel will pay for its crimes

Sderot Mayor: Stop all negotiations with Hamas

Hamas treating Egyptian ceasefire proposal ‘with open mind’

Abbas to visit Qatar for talks on truce, reconciliation proposal

Abbas, Jordan king agree on need to support Palestinian refugee agency

State plans to use nation-state law to defend outpost legalization

State planning to triple size of new settlement for Amona evacuees

EU plans connecting Judea and Samaria to Gaza airports, sea, and railways without informing Israel

Colombia recognizes Palestine as a sovereign state

Brazilian Presidential Candidate Vows to Move Embassy to Jerusalem if Elected

Netanyahu to meet Trump on sidelines of UN confab

Amb. Danon blasts official who suggested Israel be suspended from U.N.

UNESCO said pushing for Israel to rethink exit, citing work to end bias

UNRWA in financial crisis; Jordan warns of ‘catastrophe’

UN puts cost of Syria war destruction at $388 billion

Asma al-Assad: Syria’s first lady treated for breast cancer

Iranian diplomat accused of running web of spies across Europe

Iran’s foreign minister says ‘no one trusts America’ anymore

Experts say US sanctions unlikely to spark turmoil in Iran

Iran ambassador: Trump’s sanctions violate UN security council resolution

U.S. Bracing for Cyberattack From Iran in Response to Trump’s Renewed Sanctions

Iran sanctions: US can’t stop our oil exports, says minister

China ignores Trump threat on Iran, says business there will continue

Turkey to continue buying natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions

Why Can’t Turkey Stop Its Economic Nose-Dive?

Arab Coalition: We are committed to war against al-Qaeda, ISIS and Houthis

Houthi commander, militiamen killed in Yemen’s Hodeidah

Saudi Arabia says ‘nothing to mediate’ in Canada dispute

Russia: Saudi Arabia has right to reject Canada’s interference

Russia is quietly seizing territory in Georgia as it warns of a ‘horrible conflict’ if the Eurasian country joins NATO

US to impose sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack

Russian submarine threat largest since Cold War: top US Navy admiral

WikiLeaks says Senate panel requested Assange testimony for Russia probe

U.S. senator says Russians have penetrated Florida election systems: Tampa Bay Times

Detroit’s Rashida Tlaib Poised To Become First Muslim Woman In Congress

Gay, Native American Democrat busts candidate mould in Kansas

Man arrested at ‘extremist Muslim’ New Mexico compound was training kids to commit school shootings: documents

Charlottesville declares state of emergency as city braces for anniversary of deadly white nationalist rally

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Explains Why Alex Jones Isn’t Banned, In Big Tech Exception

Venezuela’s Supreme Court Orders Arrest of Opposition Leader in Connection With Maduro Assassination Attempt

Pentagon to create new command for fighting in space, but resists Trump’s proposed ‘space force’

Indonesia quake deaths top 130, aid effort intensifies

New satellite map shows ground deformation after Indonesian quake

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Todo, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Rota, Northern Mariana Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near La Libertad, El Salvador

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Scotia Sea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Mangili, Philippines

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Krajan Tambakrejo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Hengchun, Taiwan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 17,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft

Kristy, Hector, Ileana, John: Four Tropical Cyclones Line Up in Pacific Ocean

Hurricane Hector path takes Category 3 storm closest to Hawaii today

Typhoon Shanshan clips Japan coast, sparing Tokyo

Tropical Storm Yagi headed north of Taiwan

Australia’s most populous state now entirely in drought

Battling 18 blazes, California may face worst fire season

14,000 fight California fires, some from prisons or overseas

Smoke from California wildfires now covers three quarters of the state

Volcanoes show why geoengineering can’t save our food from climate change

Climate change is turning the Middle East’s breadbasket into a cannabis farm

Scourge of superbugs killing Malawi’s babies

Argentina’s Senate rejects proposed bill to legalize abortion

Faced with falling birth rates, China urges citizens to have more babies

Joe Biden Launches ‘As You Are’ Campaign In Support Of LGBTQ Youth

Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online


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D’Souza’s Death of a Nation has provoked prog critics’ outrage

Unsurprisingly, Dinesh D’Souza’s film Death of a Nation has made the loud voices on the left stark, raving mad.  A perfect example is the film review website, Rotten Tomatoes.  The eleven critics gave the film a zero.  The voting audience gave it 90%  approval.  The same is true at all the typically leftwing sites that review films.
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/08/dsouzas_emdeath_of_a_nationem_has_provoked_prog_criticss_outrage_.html

August 9 True Authority over Sin

“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” And he got up and went home.—Matt. 9:6–7

It’s not unheard of for people to trap themselves by their own theology and logic. That’s what happened with the scribes and Pharisees during this episode. They believed that disease and physical suffering were results of sin, and that removing the disease would equate with removing the sin that caused it. By that reasoning, all healing would have to include at least some forgiveness of sin—which only God can give. Jesus used this logic to prove a crucial point.

The point is clear—“the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” Essentially the Lord says, “I will again demonstrate My power to heal disease. There may be no tangible results of My forgiveness, but there are tangible, visible results when I heal.” If in the minds of the Jews disease and sin are always connected, then it follows that healing and forgiveness are always connected. Therefore, so they might know He could forgive sin in the heart, which is unseen, Christ would do what they could see—heal the physical side-effects of sin, as represented by the paralytic.

Causing the man to walk would be proof to everyone present of Jesus’ complete authority over sin and its effects—less spectacular but just as convincing as was seeing demon-filled swine run off the cliff and into the sea at our Lord’s behest.

At Christ’s command the man “got up and went home,” an action that was a living proof of the Son’s authority over infirmities and sin.

ASK YOURSELF

How does Jesus continually prove to you that His forgiveness of your sins is authentic and complete? What Scriptures give you assurance when your feelings tell you otherwise?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 230). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

AUGUST 9 OUR FINAL ACCOUNTABILITY WILL BE TO OUR MAKER

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

ROMANS 14:12

It was the belief in the accountability of man to his Maker that made America great at one time. One of our great leaders was Daniel Webster who confessed: “The most solemn thought that has ever entered my mind is my accountability to my Maker!”

Men are free to decide their own moral choices, but they are also under the necessity to account to God for those choices. That makes them both free and also bound—for they are bound to come to judgment and give an account of the deeds done in the body.

You have probably heard the concept that every man stands only before the bar of his own reason and of his own conscience.

This is the infamous relativity of morals that is taught in many of our universities and colleges. Our young folks are taught that each man is a law unto himself and that good is whatever brings social approval and that evil is whatever brings social disapproval.

If that were true, there would be as many moral codes as there are human beings, and each one of us would be our own witness, prosecutor, judge, jury and jailer!

No, God is not going to make man accountable to himself; neither is He going to make you and me accountable to the law, finally, nor to human society, finally.

We are accountable to the One who gave us being. We are accountable to the One out of whose heart we were loved, and who laid His laws upon us. The idea of man’s accountability only to himself is so silly as scarcely to be worthy of consideration![1]


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

Giuliani: This Case Isn’t Going To Fizzle, It’s Going To Blow Up On Mueller | Video | RealClearPolitics

Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Trump, appeared on Hannity Wednesday night to explain why the legal team rejected special counsel Robert Mueller’s term for an interview.

Giuliani said the only collusion involved in this case is the intel community using the Steele dossier to obtain “several fraudulent FISA wires.”

“Can it get any worse? I mean, what do we need to know that this is a totally illegitimate investigation based on a report, a dossier that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats — probably the biggest illegality so far, the biggest collusion so far. Completely made up. Completely made up. Led to nothing except several fraudulent FISA wires,” Giuliani said.

Well, may be if Mueller and his band of whatever they are, Democrats, right, were fair-minded, maybe they’d investigate — maybe that’s the collusion. Maybe that’s the collusion,” he said of the infamous dossier.

Giuliani said what is going on by the Mueller investigative team is a “different kind of Watergate,” calling them corrupt “through and through.”

“And I believe that when this plays out over the next year or two, it’s not going to be about President Trump. It’s going to get over with. It’s going to be about all the things they did,” he said of Mueller’s team.

“You know how sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime? In this case, the investigation was much worse than the no-crime,” the former NYC mayor said.

“I think it’s going to lead to some very strict — very big reforms, just like Watergate,” he said. “It’s a different kind of Watergate. It’s on the side of the investigator.”

Hannity said when we get to the bottom of the investigation, it will “shock the heart, the soul, and the mind” of fair-minded Americans.

“My sources are telling me that when the American people get to the bottom of all of this, it will shock the heart, the soul, and the mind of any fair-minded American,” the host said.

Transcript, via FOX News:

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: All right. Joining us now in studio responding to all this breaking news, it is President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Mr. Mayor, good to see you, sir. How are you?

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Let’s start with tonight’s breaking news. So, you got Ohr, Steele, Nellie Ohr. We got Russian lies.

GIULIANI: Can it get any worse? I mean, what do we need to know that this is a totally illegitimate investigation based on a report, a dossier that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats — probably the biggest illegality so far, the biggest collusion so far.

HANNITY: Or conspiracy.

GIULIANI: Completely made up. Completely made up. Led to nothing except several fraudulent FISA wires.

And now, we have Mueller, who doesn’t seem to care that he’s sitting on top of a totally illegitimate investigation.

HANNITY: But the dossier, thinking about the dossier that she paid for and the fact that the FBI paid Steele, it was designed to misinform the American people with Russian lies to influence the election.

GIULIANI: Yes.

HANNITY: There’s a great irony here, if it wasn’t —

GIULIANI: Well, may be if Mueller and his band of whatever they are, Democrats, right, were fair-minded, maybe they’d investigate — maybe that’s the collusion. Maybe that’s the collusion.

HANNITY: Did you ever hear the Adam Schiff tape that we played?

GIULIANI: Yes.

HANNITY: Adam Schiff, he’s just dying to get naked pictures of Trump with a Russian on tape. There’s your evidence, Mueller. You can’t make it up. If it wasn’t so seriously — not only did they try to lie to the American people with Russian lies, now we know after the election, they tried to destroy the president with lies.

And now, they are connected to Mueller perhaps?

GIULIANI: Yes, I’ve never been involved in an investigation on either side that’s more illegitimate than this one, that is so obviously more illegitimate. And I wonder where is the sense of justice on the part of Mueller, on the part of the Justice Department.

After all, the Justice Department — this is a Justice Department investigation. He is working for Rosenstein. And at some point, you’ve got to say the irregularities, the unethical conduct —

HANNITY: Double standard.

GIULIANI: — the double standard, the way in which people who hate Trump will put into primary positions of power has completely tainted this investigation.

HANNITY: My family is families from law enforcement, my mom was a prison guard, you know, my dad, New York City, family court probation, so many cops in my family, FBI agents. I cannot believe this is such — these are — the rank-and-file are so good.

Here’s the thing, you responded today to Mueller’s latest request and you think this could be over by September. Let’s start with the request.

GIULIANI: Well, I think of it isn’t over by September, then we have a very, very serious violation of the Justice Department rules that you shouldn’t be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period.

Look, he’s got plenty of time to either decide — we offered him an opportunity to do a form of questioning. He can say yes or no. We can do it. If he doesn’t want to do it, he knows the answers to every question that he wants to ask. He’s going to ask them, did you tell Comey to go easy on Flynn? The president will say no I didn’t.

Hey, Bob, you know it. Why do you want to get him under oath? Do you think we’re fools?

You want to get him under oath because you want to trap him into perjury. Well, we’re not going to let you do that.

HANNITY: It’s — there’s two separate issues: collusion and so-called obstruction. There’s a report today that you said no questions on obstruction. Am I assuming here that your — that your response to him was maybe a couple of written answers only?

GIULIANI: No, I can’t tell you what it is yet because we haven’t — no, I can’t. I can’t. Jay will get very angry at me. My co-counsel —

HANNITY: I understood.

GIULIANI: — is much stricter about this than I am. So, he’ll get very angry and Jay (ph) will — I’d love to tell you.

But the reality is, the reality is he doesn’t need to ask a single question on obstruction, he has all the answers. They are not going to change. The president is not going to change his testimony.

So, stop the nonsense. You are trying to trap him into perjury because you don’t have a case.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, the Constitution as our good friend Mark says, Mark Levin, is on the president’s side. I agree it’s illegitimate, has been, the double standard is so glaring. We have been pointing it out now every night and with new details every night.

My question is, I wouldn’t give him a thing. You don’t owe him a thing and if he wants a fight, then there’s going to be a fight.

GIULIANI: Well, we don’t like to fight, you know that.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, I used to watch your press conferences, I disagree with that.

GIULIANI: The reality is, the real story is not that this case isn’t going to fizzle. It’s going to blow up on them. The real question is, what we talked about before, there’s a lot more to what they did that nobody knows about yet.

HANNITY: I know some of it.

GIULIANI: A lot more — a lot more to the obstruction of justice, to the collusion, to the fake dossier.

HANNITY: Oh, I know a lot.

GIULIANI: They’re trying to bring Steele back in after he was completely discredited.

HANNITY: And then feed it to Mueller.

GIULIANI: Yes. And Mueller is going to have a lot to answer for.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor —

GIULIANI: I said a long time ago, the investigation here has to be of the investigators, because we can’t let this happen again in American history. We may not have a president as strong as President Trump. A lesser president could have really been cracked by this.

HANNITY: Mueller, then you got Jeanie Rhee, you got Andrew Weissmann.

Here’s my question: we know the Department of Justice has absolutely denied congressional subpoenas. Now, I don’t — as great a lawyer as you are, I don’t think you’d get me out of trouble if I was ignoring a subpoena.

GIULIANI: No, I don’t think I could.

HANNITY: But the president has the power to go through these documents through FISA and unre — make it unredacted and let the American people see that the bulk of information was what Christopher Steele himself said wasn’t verified.

GIULIANI: Well, that’s something — that something that as his private lawyers — that he has to deal with and his government lawyers. And he’s going to do it right now.

HANNITY: Would you suggest he should?

GIULIANI: I can’t tell you what I suggest. It’s privileged.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: OK. Let me ask you about the FISA lies. The bulk of information, the Grassley-Graham memo says, came from the phony dossier that Hillary paid for. That turns out to be a lie. The author of it says he can’t corroborate it.

GIULIANI: Right.

HANNITY: Now, here’s my question: so, they used it four separate times, to spy on an American citizen, an opposition party candidate campaign associate, in the lead-up to the election, after the election. Again, what if I lied to a judge? I wouldn’t think of lying to a judge without getting my life in jail afterwards.

GIULIANI: You’d be investigated for perjury. You’d be investigated for contempt. Your career would be ruined. Your life would be ruined.

And I believe that when this plays out over the next year or two, it’s not going to be about President Trump. It’s going to get over with. It’s going to be about all the things they did.

This — you know how sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime? In this case, the investigation was much worse than the no-crime.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor —

GIULIANI: The president did nothing wrong.

HANNITY: My sources are telling me that when the American people get to the bottom of all of this, it will shock the heart, the soul, and the mind of any fair-minded American.

GIULIANI: I think it’s going to lead to some very strict — very big reforms, just like Watergate. It’s a different kind of Watergate. It’s on the side of the investigator.

HANNITY: OK.

GIULIANI: Corrupt investigations through and through.

HANNITY: Why would you even consider a counterproposal?

GIULIANI: When it’s over with, I will explain it to you.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Boy, I’m not getting anything out of you tonight. Good to see you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you.
— Read on www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/08/08/giuliani_mueller_investigation_much_worse_than_the_no-crime.html

August 9 The Repentant Life

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:17

If you have turned away from your sins and turned toward God’s way of righteousness, you will live a changed life. The theme of 1 John is that the truly redeemed person will demonstrate a truly transformed life. “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:5–6).

Those who teach that repentance and the repentant lifestyle aren’t a necessary part of the gospel are not presenting the gospel Jesus offered. Such a gospel of self–satisfaction and self–righteousness is from the world, not God.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 242). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Thursday Briefing Aug 9, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

Another collision between religious liberty and sexual liberty: Lawsuit filed against University of Iowa for expelling Christian student group

Iowa City Press-Citizen (Aimee Breaux) — D.C.-based firm bankrolls another religious freedom lawsuit against University of Iowa

Christianity Today (Tish Harrison Warren) — The Wrong Kind of Christian

What’s missing from the coverage of Hollywood’s failure to make progress on diversity?

USA Today (Andrea Mandell) — ‘No progress made’: Hollywood fails new diversity study

Variety (Brent Lang) — Despite Diversity Push, Women and Minorities Aren’t Getting Better Movie Roles

The sexual revolution consumes its own: What we can learn from the backlash to Scarlett Johansson’s casting in, then withdrawal from, transgender role

New York Times (Amanda Svachula) — Scarlett Johansson Withdraws From Transgender Role After Backlash

Business Insider (Daniella Greenbaum) — Scarlett Johansson is being unfairly criticized for doing her job after being cast as a transgender man

Lithromantic, aliagender, and dead name: Introducing the new, never-ending, always-expanding glossary for the gender revolution

Refinery29 — Gender Nation Glossary
— Read on albertmohler.com/2018/08/09/briefing-8-9-18/

Can you leave Christianity?

The End Time

This essay appeared on The End Time on August 5, 2010.

By Elizabeth Prata

Ann Rice is famous for her vampire series of books, her bi-sexual erotica, and her very public conversion to Catholicism ten years ago. Her announcement that she is quitting Christianity is, of course, just as public. She said:

Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out,” she wrote. “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else…. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse…

View original post 780 more words

In Praise of the Puritans — CultureWatch

When I consider some of my all-time favourite Christians of relatively recent times (men such as J. C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and J. I. Packer) I have to immediately think of the Puritans, since these four – and so many others – were so heavily influenced by, steeped in, devoted to, and dependent on, the Puritans.

I have written before about the Puritans. See here for some more background to these influential Christians:
billmuehlenberg.com/2013/01/25/the-puritans/

Consider some of the great Puritans. Let me list ten of them chronologically, and offer just one of their main works each:

Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax
Jeremiah Burroughs (1600-1646) The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680) The Heart of Christ in Heaven towards Sinners on Earth
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) The Saint’s Everlasting Rest
John Owen (1616–1683) The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Thomas Watson (c. 1620–1686) A Body of Divinity
Stephen Charnock (1628–1680) The Existence and Attributes of God
John Bunyan (1628–1688) The Pilgrim’s Progress
John Flavel (1628–1691) The Mystery of Providence
Cotton Mather (1663-1728) The Christian Philosopher

Here I want to simply look at two individuals who were greatly influenced by the Puritans. The first one comes as no surprise, while the second one will likely surprise most people. The first is the great J. I. Packer (born in 1926). Early on in his life – and partly by accident – he came to know and love the Puritans.

The story is told in various places, including in Alister McGrath’s 1997 biography. He mentions that very few Puritan works were in print at the time. However, an elderly clergyman who was going blind had donated his entire library – with many great Puritan titles – to the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union in 1944.

At first no one seemed to know what to do with them, and they were just piled up in a basement. But the 18-year-old Packer, who was a junior librarian for the OICCU, took a keen interest in them. Says McGrath:

As Packer sorted through the dusty piles of old books in the basement of the North Gate Hall, he came across an uncut set of the edition of the writings of the Puritan divine John Owen (1616–83) which had been published in twenty-four volumes by W.H. Goold during the years 1850–5.

Although the pages had never been cut open, the contents of each volume were printed on the spine. As Packer browsed through the contents of the series, he was pulled up sharply by the titles of two treatises in volume 6—’On Indwelling Sin in Believers’ and ‘On the Mortification of Sin in Believers’. These titles seemed to promise a very different approach from that offered by the Keswick teachers. At this stage, Packer had become intensely aware of his own failings and character defects, and he felt the inadequacy of the ‘victorious living’ approach. There was a serious tension between the man he was, and the man he wanted to be—and Keswick had no answers to this dilemma.

Intrigued, Packer began to cut the pages of Owen’s writings, and to read what he found. Immediately, he found himself challenged by the realism of Owen’s analysis both of the problems arising from ‘indwelling sin’ and of the means of dealing with it (referred to by Owen as ‘mortification’).

That in good measure is how Packer discovered the Puritans, and how that influence was to stay with him for the rest of his life. Says McGrath, “So important was his discovery that he subsequently went on in his third year to type out a twenty-page précis of Owen’s arguments, which he circulated to his friends.”

The second man I want to look at is David Wilkerson. And let me bring in another individual right away as well: Leonard Ravenhill. Hmm, a fiery Pentecostal preacher and evangelist, and a fiery holiness preacher and revivalist. What do they have to do with the Puritans?

I too was quite surprised when I learned about the connection, so let me explain. Some years ago I read a biography of the amazing Wilkerson. In his 2014 biography of his father, Gary Wilkerson had a very interesting section dealing with both Wilkerson and Ravenhill. I have already written about the particular issue: billmuehlenberg.com/2015/04/15/time-to-raise-the-bar/

But let me deal with it again here. So important is the episode that twice in the book it is discussed (pp. 28-30 and 233-236). Those who think of the Holy Ghost-empowered man of God who had such an incredible ministry (just think of The Cross and the Switchblade for example) may be shocked to learn something revealed in the book early on by his son.

Wilkerson was often despondent and depressed, and amazingly, throughout much of his life he doubted that God actually loved him! Wow. Who would have guessed it? And yet a good part of how all that was turned around had to do with the Puritans.

As Gary explains, while in his eighties, and still travelling the world to preach the gospel, he really had lost heart to do so. He felt he had nothing to give and nothing to say. Just as he was about to go on another major crusade, a car pulled up in the driveway.

In it was his friend Leonard Ravenhill. He had a large sack with him, which he gave to Wilkerson. The sensitive and discerning Ravenhill knew what was needed. He said this: “David, I have something for you to read. This is your future. Read it and it will change your life.”

And the contents? A large collection of books by the Puritans. The classic works by the Puritan divines had an incredible impact on the elderly Wilkerson. He read them as he travelled and each volume struck him to the core. Let me allow his son to tell the story:

As my father dug into those treasures, his heart opened to a new revelation of Christ. Grace awakened him, coming alive in a way he had never known. The old books stirred him once again to study the Scriptures cover to cover, this time with a new understanding of the gospel. As he explored the full extent of the finished work of Christ, he experienced joy….

The eye-opening truths Dad gained from the Puritans involved the breath, depth, and unfathomable scope of the work of Christ – and that Jesus’ work is all-sufficient for us….

Dad’s reading was no longer just fuel for ministry. He realized he needed something for his own soul – a sense of awe at what Christ had done – and the Puritans supplied it. I would peek into a book on my dad’s desk, and almost every sentence was underlined with a phrase written in the margins: “This is the key!” The key he was discovering was “My Father loves me! He accepts me, and I am pleasing to him.”

This was a radically new perspective for Dad.

Wow. If the Puritans can have that sort of impact on such a man of God as Wilkerson, they can have the same impact on anyone. I suggest you all start digging into the Puritans. For those who want to ease in slowly, the first article I linked to above has a recommended reading list of many helpful books which introduce you to the Puritans, their thought, their writings, and their impact.

Let me add just one more title not found in my earlier bibliography:

Packer, J. I., Puritan Portraits: J. I. Packer on Selected Classic Pastors and Pastoral Classics. Christian Focus, 2012.

Happy reading. May it be a life-transforming event.

via In Praise of the Puritans — CultureWatch