Daily Archives: September 7, 2018

September 7: God Rides to Battle

Joel 1:1–2:21; Acts 7:1–53; Job 18:1–21

God is good, but in the words of C.S. Lewis, “He is not tame.” When it comes time for evil to be purged from the world, He is not timid, and when He acts, He rarely holds back. We see such a scene prophesied concerning the Day of Yahweh—the day He will return to the earth as Christ—in Joel 2:1–11.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahweh is coming—it is indeed near. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick darkness, like the dawn spreads on the mountains, a great and strong army! There has been nothing like it from old, and after it nothing will be again for generations to come” (Joel 2:1–2).

When God charges into battle, He seizes control of all that must be yielded so His purpose is not hindered. He then performs great and mighty deeds on behalf of His people. As Joel says, “There has been nothing like it.” So why, then, has God not done this already? What is He waiting for? Why is evil allowed to continue if God can end it?

We find our answers in Joel 2:12–17. God, in His mercy, is allowing a time of repentance: “ ‘And even now,’ declares Yahweh, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, and weeping, and wailing. Rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to Yahweh your God, because he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loyal love, and relenting from harm’ ” (Joel 2:12–13).

Indeed, God’s trumpet will sound, but even with that time approaching, He is a compassionate God, and His call is simple: “Come back to me.”

What do you need to turn from today? What makes you hopeful about God’s coming?

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.

September 7 The Extent of Satanic Opposition

“Stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

✧✧✧

Satan opposes everything God does.

The believer’s conflict with the forces of darkness is rightly called spiritual warfare since Satan and his evil world system are hostile toward everything God does. By nature they are anti-God and anti-Christ.

Satan is the antithesis of every godly attribute. God is holy; Satan is evil. God is love; Satan is the embodiment of hatred. God redeems His children; Satan damns his. Jesus reveals grace and truth (John 1:17), but Satan “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

God gives life, whereas Satan breeds death (Heb. 2:14). God produces “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22–23). Satan produces “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envyings, drunkenness, carousings, and things like these” (vv. 19–21).

God uses trials to prove the genuineness of your faith and to increase your joy and spiritual endurance (James 1:3). Satan uses temptation in an attempt to destroy your faith and silence your testimony. God grants freedom from the bondage of sin, while Satan wants to enslave you to sin for all eternity (2 Tim. 2:26).

Jesus is your “Advocate,” pleading your cause before the Father (1 John 2:1). Satan is an “accuser,” blaming you incessantly for things God has already forgiven (Rev. 12:10).

Because Satan opposes everything God does, he’ll also oppose God’s children. When he does, don’t be overly concerned or think of it as odd or unfair. Expect trials, be prepared, and rejoice, because they show you’re a threat to Satan’s system and an asset to Christ’s Kingdom.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the joy of knowing Christ and being free from sin’s bondage. ✧ Ask Him to use you today in a powerful way for His glory.

For Further Study: Read Romans 14:17 and 1 John 2:16–17. What characterizes the Kingdom of God? The evil world system of Satan?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 263). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

09/06/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0906

•Paul Washer’s 10 indictments against the Modern Church
•Cussing pastor’s hyper-relevant congregation of 30
•Should Boston City Hall fly the Christian flag?
•One pastor gives letters of recommendation to Heaven
•Laura Ingraham is calling Catholics to depose the Pope
•Reparation and War Crimes
•John MacArthur explains Original Sin and Corporate Guilt
•The Opiate epidemic in America

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via 09/06/2018 — Wretched

SEPTEMBER 7 A LOWER LEVEL

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

Psalm 71:17

There are leaders and there are churches within the Christianity of our day who will surely answer for their failure to apply the disciplines of the New Testament to the present generation of young people.

Much of Christianity today does not hold to the necessity for disciplines in the Christian life. If we have any of God’s concerns in our hearts, we must grieve over the lack of spirituality in the lives of great segments of professing Christian young people.

It is not my calling to assess blame. It is part of my Christian calling to proclaim the fact that no one, young or old, has the right to come to Jesus Christ and stake out their own conditions and terms.

Segments of Christianity have made every possible concession in efforts to win young people to Christ; but instead of converting them to Christ, they have “converted” Christianity to them. Too often they have come down to the modern level—playing, teasing, coaxing and entertaining. In essence, they have been saying to them, “We will do everything as you want it,” instead of giving them Christ’s insistent word, “Take up your cross!”

O Lord, our young people are the future members and leaders of our churches. To the degree that we teach them the ways of the Lord, they will either be vibrant or weak believers. Lord, don’t let us forsake our youth![1]


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

Man Who Intentionally Divided Nation For Eight Years Calls For Unity

URBANA, IL—In a moving speech delivered Friday, President Barack Obama called for the nation to turn from fear, anger, and resentment, despite having stoked these emotions at every opportunity during his time in office.

The man who had carefully stoked divisions and pushed identity politics for a full eight years called the nation to turn away from divisive “politics of resentment” and instead be loving and inclusive.

“Common ground exists, I have seen it, I have lived it,” he said, though his presidency was spent turning people on each other and encouraging a culture of victimhood and resentment. “I know I spent a lot of time encouraging you to feel oppressed by each other so look to the federal government to fix it and turn a blind eye while I massively increased the power of the executive branch. But this time I’m serious. Let’s not hate each other, at least not until a Democrat is in office again.”

He also blasted President Trump for his policies and brash style of governance, hoping the assault on Trump’s rude behavior would help Democrats forget that Obama bombed foreign countries constantly throughout his presidency. “Trump is really mean, let’s all focus on that,” he said.

Source: Man Who Intentionally Divided Nation For Eight Years Calls For Unity

Good, Bad, and Ugly — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

The Good:
Claims of supernatural experience can certainly be harmful!
The Old Testament condemns American slavery.  The New Testament condemns American Slavery.  And what about Philemon — does that book suggest slavery is okay? Absolutely not.  Yet there are still those who claim the Bible supported it!!!
Don’t be “biblically challenged.” Know how to refute claims of contradictions in the Bible.
What did Jesus mean when he said his followers would do “greater things?”
The Bad and/or Ugly
Girl Wash Your Face: Book review by Elizabeth Prata.  Save your money and leave the book in the store.
Don’t dare attack a sacred cow like “social justice.”  John MacArthur is being excoriated for daring to tell the truth about the Gospel vs “social justice” in the Church. Even these critical “Christians” feel the need to pull the “race card” for disagreeing with them.
More on Tim Keller. He really, really needs to be marked and avoided.
The United Methodist Church cares nothing for the life of the unborn.
The Pope, this “man of God,” this representative of Christ, has more important things to be concerned about than the sexual abuse by priests and bishops; there’s fake global warming and other environmental issues, and there is protecting illegal immigrants and invaders of Europe! That man is a disgrace the human race, let alone to the name of Christ! To add fuel to the fire, take a look at this news item.
What is really going on with the RCC sex scandal is pederasty.  And it has been going on for a very long time.
The humorous
Actually, it has long been this.

via Good, Bad, and Ugly — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Weekly Watchman for 09/07/2018

Where is the American Church Headed?

The Church of Jesus Christ is called to be light and salt to a dying world. We should be influencing culture by living out the truths in Scripture and sharing the gospel and the eternal truth of God’s Word. But instead of influencing secular culture we are seeing secular culture influence the church. This leads many to compromise and conform to the world. On the other hand, sincere missionaries through the years have gone to other nations with the true gospel, but now we have been responsible for exporting things like Word Faith theology and other false gospels.

Elijah Abraham, a former Muslim and now born-again believer joins us this morning to give us some insight on his recent trip to Africa. We look at how the American version of Christianity is becoming more seeker sensitive and how America, once known for biblical discipleship, is now consumed with comfort, leisure, wealth (compared to the world), and luxury – all things that lead us to love this world while losing our focus on eternal things.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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As the Battle Rages, Many Christians Opt Out

We are in a battle, but how can we successfully fight when half of the army refuses to engage? As Christians, we are soldiers of Christ and the warfare in this life is very real and yet, so many believers don’t want to acknowledge the reality of this fight. John R. W. Stott once said:

“We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather, we should ask, ‘Where is the salt and light? Where is the Church? Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing our society?’”

From the family to the church to the community and culture, Christians have been too preoccupied with earthly, temporary concerns than seeking first the kingdom of God. I realize this seems like a broad statement, but don’t you think America would look very different if true believers had been vocal and actively engaged in advancing the gospel over the last hundred years?

Today’s guest is Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council. We discuss everything from our local and state government to the transgender agenda which now includes Drag Queen story hours in our local libraries!

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The Pressure to Conform

Children of this younger generation face enormous pressures to conform to the ways of this world that many of us never imagined or had to deal with. They are being taught that at the very least they should be accepting of any and all behaviors, lifestyles, and morals, and even approve of anything but Christ (ABC). In many cases, they are being pressured to conform to unhealthy lifestyles or be ostracized and labeled a hater and bigot.

Today, Mike and David look at more studies that have come out documenting this pressure to conform to the world – along with a few scientific studies pointing out the dangers of gender dysphoria and the media’s attempts to hide the findings from the public by reporting an extremely unbalanced (LGBTQ-approving) side of these stories.

Joining us to discuss this increasing pressure on young people is Tina Griffin, Counter Culture Mom, a conservative Christian activist who helps parents guard their children against the deceptions and evils of this secular society.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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This One Thing is Killing Your Contentment

Today’s guest is Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute and Silver Birch Ranch.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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This ‘n’ That for September 7, 2018

  • Wow, this is amazing (HT to Amy S.)!
  • I’m not sure how Pepperdine ended up so far down on this list, because it is a gorgeous campus!
  • There’s no color-coded division in the body, which is why some men drafted the Statement on Social Justice & the Gospel. If you’re following that whole hullabaloo, it’s worth reading. If you’re tired of everyone jumping on one of the two opposing bandwagons, then just let it be. There will be a new trend along shortly.
  • On Martin Luther and preaching.
  • AI is always listening. Are you?
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • In case you haven’t heard.
  • Some clear thoughts on infant baptism and the dangers of inference.
  • Sometimes it seems like there is a mindset among certain Christians that if your pastor’s sermon isn’t long (like, really long. Like an hour+ long), then he’s not a good preacher and you’re not in a truly biblical church. That’s why I really appreciated this piece from Kevin DeYoung. Shaving five minutes off of a sermon isn’t going to hurt it, and in some cases might actually help it. After all, it takes a lot more giftedness to get to the point quickly and succinctly than to get there after taking 15 detours.
  • On a related note, Josh Buice looks at 10 common errors in preaching today.
  • Here’s the deal on heresy.
  • Looking at the story of Mary and Martha in context.
Let us use worldly things as wise pilgrims do their staves and other necessities convenient for their journey. So long as they help us forward in our way — let us make use of them, and accordingly esteem them. But if they become troublesome hindrances and cumbersome burdens — let us leave them behind us, or cast them away. The temptations of prosperity, like unseen bullets, wound and kill us before they are discerned. —George Downame

Source: This ‘n’ That

False-Flag Failure… US Cuts to the Chase to Defend Its Terrorists in Syria

Article Image
• By Finian Cunningham RT News

Last week the US warned of military strikes on Syria “if” government forces use chemical weapons (CW). This week, Trump comes clean by dropping any mention of a CW pretext – simply warning Syria not to attack terrorists.

Trump tweeted his warning to Syria, as well as its allied Russian and Iranian forces, to not launch a military offensive to retake control of the northwest province of Idlib. The area is the last remaining stronghold of illegally armed militant groups in Syria. It’s potentially the endgame to the nearly eight-year war.

On Monday, Trump said: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria must not recklessly attack Idlib Province. The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy.

The US’ top general, Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also reiterated seeming anxiety for humanitarian casualties, calling for a “tailored operation.”

So, alleged chemical weapons are no longer part of the US rationale. It’s basically: don’t make any military move. The American president added that “hundreds of thousands of lives” could be lost if Syria and its allies move to rid the province of an estimated 10,000 militants among a civilian population of three million.

Trump’s apparent “humanitarian” concern seems alarmist, if not cynical. When did he articulate similar misgivings when US air forces were pounding Raqqa to bits last year, causing thousands of civilian deaths?

This week, Russian and Iranian officials are working with Syria to set up humanitarian corridors in Idlib to remove civilians from harm.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also due to arrive in the Iranian capital, Tehran this weekend to give impetus for a final peace settlement. Clearing Syria’s last bastion of terrorist groups in Idlib is crucial to restoring peace for the entire country. Why are Washington and its allies trying to obstruct that end result?

Trump’s dire-sounding reproach of a final military offensive in Idlib marked a significant shift from earlier warnings issued by the US and its NATO allies, Britain and France. All three powers had last week vowed to take military action if chemical weapons were used by the Syrian Army in the anticipated offensive.

Those admonitions were widely seen as an attempt by the Western powers to set up a false-flag provocation to blame the Syrian government forces and thereby give themselves a pretext to launch military strikes against President Assad. For a start, the Syrian government no longer possesses such weapons, having deleted its arsenal under verified UN supervision.

September 7, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Supernatural Authority

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. (21:33)

The opening phrase of this verse is not mere hyperbole; heaven and earth will indeed pass away. After Christ’s thousand-year earthly kingdom comes to an end, God will destroy the present heaven and earth and create a new heaven and earth. In his second epistle Peter described the destruction of the present universe:

But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.… But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:7, 10–13)

In his vision of the great white throne judgment, John wrote, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them” (Rev. 20:11; cf. 21:1; Isa. 65:17; 66:22).

In contrast, the words of Jesus will not pass away. They are not ephemeral like flowers or grass (Isa. 40:8), but permanent. His word can neither be added to nor taken away from (cf. Deut. 4:2; Matt. 5:17–19; Luke 16:17; Rev. 22:18–19). The Word of God is the same unassailable, unchanging truth whether it speaks of the past, present, or future. Just as Christians were “born again … through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23) and are being sanctified by the “word of His grace” (Acts 20:32), so also will they in the future be glorified, according to the promises of the Word (Rom. 8:17, 30).[1]


33 The reference to the permanence of Jesus’ words is most appropriate here. In comparison to the temporary nature of the heavens and earth, the promises of Jesus will not be left unfulfilled (cf. 16:17). Significantly, while Luke begins the main section of his story with Isaiah 40 (Lk 3:4–6), in this discourse at the end of the earthly life of Jesus the same chapter is evoked where one finds a note on the permanence of God’s promises (“the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever,” Isa 40:8; cf. 50:10–11). Implicit in this saying is the claim that Jesus’ words are to be equated with the promises of God the Father.[2]


21:33 / Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away: This saying implies that Jesus’ very words are equivalent in authority and permanence to the Word of God. Lachs (p. 88) cites the following rabbinic parallel: “Everything has its end, the heavens and earth have their end; only one thing is excepted which has no end, and that is the Law” (Genesis Rabbah 10.1; see also Philo, Life of Moses 2.3).[3]


33. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. The abiding character of Christ’s message, over against the transient nature even of “heaven and earth” in their present condition, is the foundation on which faith can build. See also Isa. 40:8; John 15:7; Col. 3:16; 1 Peter 1:24, 25.

For Practical Lessons and Greek Words, etc., see pp. 945–948.

21:34–38 Exhortation to Watch

Summary of Final

Days in the Temple

and

Nights on the Mountain[4]


21:33 The atmospheric and stellar heavens would pass away. So would the earth in its present form. But these predictions of the Lord Jesus would not go unfulfilled.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 249–250). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 308). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Evans, C. A. (1990). Luke (p. 314). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Vol. 11, pp. 943–944). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1448). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.