Daily Archives: September 11, 2018

September 11: Bad Things, Good People, and Grace

Amos 6:1–7:17; Acts 10:1–33; Job 20:12–29

We often wonder why God allows bad things to happen. We’re not unique in this; people have asked this same question since the beginning of time. Job struggled with this question after he lost everything. Job’s friends strove to answer it as they sought to prove that Job had somehow sinned against God and brought his terrible fate upon himself.

At one point, Job’s friend Zophar offers up the common wisdom of the time: “Did you know this from of old, since the setting of the human being on earth, that the rejoicing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless lasts only a moment?… [The wicked man] will suck the poison of horned vipers; the viper’s tongue will kill [the wicked man]” (Job 20:4–5, 16). Zophar is right about one thing: Eventually the wicked will be punished.

The rest of Zophar’s words prove his short-sightedness. The wicked are not always punished immediately. And God does not allow evil to continue without end. Instead, He chooses to intercede at certain times to ensure that His plan stays on course. Furthermore, bad things happen because people are bad—not because God allows or causes evil to happen, and not necessarily because the afflicted people are somehow evil. Evil powers are at work in the world, seeking to thwart God’s plan. We, as humanity, chose our fate when we went against God’s will that first time and every time since.

God has good news for us. As Peter tells his Gentile audience in Acts, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.… They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day … [and] everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:38–40, 42 esv). There is redemption to be found in His Son, who will return to earth to make all things right. Every moment between now and then is a moment of grace.

How are your beliefs about evil closer to Zophar’s than to the truth? How can you find a new perspective?

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 11 Identifying the Real Enemy

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world-forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

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Don’t confuse prisoners of war with the enemy.

Sometimes in the heat of battle we might lose perspective on who the real enemy is. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our struggle isn’t against sinful people, but against the evil system and the supernatural forces that influence their attitudes and actions.

In his assault on the Kingdom of God, Satan has assembled a highly organized army of fallen angels. Paul categorized them as “rulers … powers … world-forces of this darkness … spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

That isn’t a detailed description of Satan’s hierarchy but simply a general indication of its power and sophistication. Apparently “rulers” and “powers” are high-ranking demons. “World forces of this darkness” are possibly demons who infiltrate various political systems of the world, attempting to direct human leaders to oppose God’s plans. An example is a demon called “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” in Daniel 10:13 who withstood God’s angelic messenger to Daniel until Michael the archangel came to the rescue. “Spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” perhaps refers to demons involved in the most vile and perverted kinds of sins—gross immorality, occultic practices, Satan worship, and the like.

Those who reject Christ and God are unwitting prisoners of war—captured and mobilized by the enemy to accomplish his purposes. Tragically, when he’s finished with them he’ll abandon them, and they will go to an eternal Hell.

You probably know unbelievers who enjoy ridiculing your faith and making life difficult for you. Although that is hard to take, be patient, and don’t become embittered toward them. Ask God to make you an instrument of His love as you reach out to them. Also pray that God will remove their spiritual blindness, so they can see beyond Satan’s lies and recognize their need for a Savior.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for delivering you from “the domain of darkness” and transferring you into “the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). ✧ Ask Him to use you today to break through Satan’s deception in someone’s life.

For Further Study: Read 2 Corinthians 4:3–7, noting why people reject the gospel.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 267). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Russell Moore ‘Likes’ Tweet Calling Social Justice Statement “Stupid” — Pulpit & Pen

It was Russell Moore’s hard push leftward that led – in part – to the Dallas Statement, also known as the Social Justice and the Gospel Statement. Moore, a former Democratic staffer who now works for George Soros’ Evangelical Immigration Table (Moore is also slated to speak at a Soros event in November) and has driven the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention to craft statementspushing animal rights, to assist in the construction of a New Jersey mosque, and adopt a softening tone on homosexuality. Moore’s MLK50 conference, which venerated the gay sex-trafficker and heretic, received widespread attention after textbook Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory were preached at the event. Along with the Together for the Gospel Conference that followed the MLK50 event and then the pro-gay Revoice Conference, Moore has been a primary player in the leftist political takeover of the New Calvinism movement.

Although Moore has been a part of the Southern Baptist Convention’sinstitutional blacklist and boycott the document, he has remained relatively silent, knowing that he has served as the primary change agent for the progressivism in the American evangelical church. Moore recently let his feelings toward Gospel clarity show, however, when he ‘liked’ a tweet calling the Dallas Statement “stupid.”

Tish Harrison Warren is an Anglican priest (of course, she is) whose social media account shows a penchant for, well…everything you would expect an Anglican lady-priest to be into. You know, teaching dolphins to read and spaying and neutering children, stuff like that.

The context of Warren’s tweet was in direct reference to the Dallas Statement, the document signed by John MacArthur and Voddie Baucham that seeks to bring clarity to the Gospel and differentiate it from the type of Gospel propagated by lady Anglican priests. Among the 403 people (at time of publication) that like the tweet is Russell Moore.

Whether or not an Anglican lady-priest counts as an “evangelical” is dubious, but Russell Moore’s affinity for “big evangelical statements” is well-known. He is a signer of both the Manhattan Declaration (which implicitly affirms Roman Catholics as fellow Christians) and the Nashville Statement (which does not characterize Same-Sex Attraction as sin), and signed them at the speed of light. Apparently, there are only some “big evangelical statements” that Russell Moore thinks are stupid…chiefly, the conservative and explicitly Protestant ones.

If the battle comes down to Russell Moore and an Anglican lady-priest versus Voddie Baucham and John MacArthur, I think we know which side is right. Clearly, the Evangelical Intelligentsia thinks they’re smarter than the rest of us.

via Russell Moore ‘Likes’ Tweet Calling Social Justice Statement “Stupid” — Pulpit & Pen

September 11, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Remember 9/11/01 – The attacks caused the deaths of 2,996 people and the injuries of more than 6,000 others.

REUTERS

The Trump administration on Monday threatened tough action against the International Criminal Court should it try to prosecute Americans for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and said the PLO’s office in Washington would be closed for seeking to punish Israel through the court.

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring the state to source electricity from exclusively carbon-free sources by 2045, a move aimed at combating climate change that clashes with U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel policies.

With congressional elections looming, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday proposed more deficit-expanding tax cuts, an effort seen by some tax experts as unlikely to become law and geared chiefly toward winning votes.

Russia began its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union on Tuesday close to its border with China, mobilizing 300,000 troops in a show of force that will include joint exercises with the Chinese army.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to halt funding to U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA was an attack on international law.

The leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea re-opened crossing points on their shared border for the first time in 20 years on Tuesday, cementing a stunning reconciliation and giving Addis Ababa a direct route to its former foe’s Red Sea ports.

A suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed at least 25 people at a gathering on Tuesday on the highway between the eastern city of Jalalabad and the main border crossing into neighboring Pakistan, officials said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday there was no reason to believe that any country would impose sanctions on South Africa over plans to redistribute land to address racial disparities in ownership.

New Hampshire voters on Tuesday pick candidates for a congressional seat that in this decade has flipped four times between the two parties – and the same two people – in the latest test of the rising appeal of women nominees.

AP Top Stories

More than a million people were under evacuation orders in the eastern United States Tuesday, where powerful Hurricane Florence threatened catastrophic damage to a region popular with vacationers and home to crucial government institutions. The menacing Category 4 storm packed winds of 130 miles (215 kilometers) per hour over the Atlantic.

The Department of Interior is quietly preparing to offer hundreds of thousands of acres of public land for leasing to energy companies, a move critics have charged is being undertaken with minimal public input and little consideration for ecological and cultural preservation.

West Virginia’s unprecedented impeachment process for four Supreme Court justices gets started this week with initial appearances before the state Senate.

The Vatican is preparing the “necessary clarifications” about accusations that top Vatican officials including Pope Francis covered up the sexual misconduct of a now-disgraced American ex-cardinal, Francis’ top advisers said Monday.

A senior Iranian security official said Tehran will respond to any hostile action against the country and that the era of “hit and run” was over, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that triggered massive landslides in northern Japan rose to 44 on Monday with tens of thousands of police and troops still on the ground to support survivors.

Armed groups vying for control of the Libyan capital have agreed to set up a mechanism to “consolidate” a recently agreed ceasefire, the United Nations’ Libya mission.

A bus carrying pilgrims from a Hindu temple in the hills of south India plunged off a road Tuesday, killing at least 45 people, officials said. At least 25 others were injured.

For a few months now, OPEC has been boosting production to ease concerns about high oil prices amid expected supply losses from Venezuela and Iran.

BBC

A US-backed militia alliance has begun what it says is the final stage of a campaign to clear the Islamic State (IS) group from north-eastern Syria.

A 12-year-old Iowa boy accused of walking into a classroom with a handgun, pointing it at his teacher and pulling the trigger is in custody on a charge of attempted murder. The gun did not go off as the safety catch was on. The teacher then managed to talk him down and disarm him.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are visiting a memorial in Pennsylvania to mark the 9/11 attacks 17 years ago.

The US has accused Venezuela’s government of stealing from a state-run food program while its own people go hungry.

Officials in Zimbabwe have declared a health emergency in the capital, Harare, after the death toll of people infected with cholera rose to 20, news agency Reuters reports. At least 2,000 people have been infected after drinking contaminated water.

WND

The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

South Africa’s murder rate rose again last year, official statistics showed Tuesday, with over 20,000 killed across the country – about 57 a day – as police admitted they were struggling to keep control.


News – 9/11/2018

Hurricane Florence gains strength and speed, could become a Category 5 storm
Carrying winds of up to 140 mph (220 kph) as a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen and become a Category 5 storm Tuesday. It’s then forecast to close in on North or South Carolina on Thursday, hitting a stretch of coastline that’s vulnerable to rising sea levels due to climate change.

Are They Telling Us What Is Coming? The Mainstream Media Boldly Declares “You Will Be Microchipped”
At one time, the notion that the general population would be microchipped someday was a “conspiracy theory”, but now the mainstream media is coming right out and telling us that we will all get chipped. It is almost as if they are trying to mentally condition us to accept what is coming. Of course it is being portrayed as “cool” and “trendy”, and a lot of people will be fooled by that. But if someday “identity chips” are required for the entire population, the potential for tyranny would be off the charts.

It’s Official, The Transhuman Era Has Begun
Over the next decade, humanity will begin its “transhuman” era: Biology can then be hacked, depending on lifestyle, interests and health needs. Biohacking falls into four categories: technology augmentation, nutrigenomics, experimental biology and grinder biohacking. We have both an event and a timeline that clearly puts transhumanism front and center of our changing world.

Pet Clones: On the Threshold of Cloning Humans?
God created man in His image. Are we on the verge of man making man in his own image?

Turkey warns attack on Idlib would cause humanitarian disaster
A Syrian government offensive in the country’s northern region of Idlib would cause humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, Europe and beyond, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday in an article in the Wall Street Journal. Last week, Russian and Syrian warplanes resumed their bombing campaign in Idlib, the last rebel enclave in Syria, after weeks of quiet, in an apparent prelude to a full-scale offensive.

Iran ordered to pay $104.7 mln over 1996 U.S. truck bomb attack
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Monday ordered Iran to pay $104.7 million to victims of a June 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US military personnel, though it is unclear when and how the plaintiffs might collect. Chief Judge Beryl Howell entered a default judgment against Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps…which sheared off the front of the Khobar Towers complex.

Trump receives ‘warm’ letter from Kim about new summit
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has written to US President Donald Trump asking for a follow-up to their historic summit, the White House says. The US says it is already looking at scheduling a new meeting. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the “very warm” letter showed Pyongyang’s “continued commitment to focus on denuclearisation”.

Russia launches biggest war games since Cold War
Russia has launched its biggest military exercise since the Cold War, involving about 300,000 service personnel, in eastern Siberia. China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in “Vostok-2018”, with many Chinese armoured vehicles and aircraft. Mongolia is also sending some units. The last Russian exercise of similar scale was in 1981, during the Cold War, but Vostok-2018 involves more troops.

FBI Officials Discussed ‘Media Leak Strategy’ Ahead Of Major Trump-Russia Revelation
Newly released text messages show disgraced FBI official Peter Strzok asked to speak to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page about a “media leak strategy” during a crucial period of the Trump-Russia investigation in 2017. The text messages were revealed Monday by North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, a member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

European countries warn against demolishing West Bank village
Major European countries have issued a rare joint statement warning Israel against its planned demolition of a Bedouin encampment in the West Bank. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom said on Monday its strategic location is important to maintain “contiguity of a future Palestinian state.” “The consequences a demolition and displacement would have on the residents…as well as…the two-state solution would be very serious,” their statement said.

Palestinians send incendiary tires to Israeli shores
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered on the beach in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday where they reportedly set afloat on rafts dozens of burning tires, in an attempt to reach Israel’s maritime border. Earlier, dozens of Palestinian boats tried to approach the border with Israel, promoting the navy forces to fire warning shots in the direction of the boats, which resulted in an immediate retreat by the Palestinians.

China seeks WTO backing for sanctions on U.S. over dumping duties
China will ask the World Trade Organization (WTO) next week for permission to impose sanctions on the United States, for Washington’s non-compliance with a ruling in a dispute over U.S. dumping duties, a meeting agenda showed on Tuesday. The request is likely to lead to years of legal wrangling over the case for sanctions and the amount.

Catholic Bishop: ‘The Vast Majority of the Abusers are Homosexuals’
Contrary to the spin by the liberal media, the overwhelming majority of sexual abusers in the Catholic Church are homosexual priests, said Catholic Bishop Marian Eleganti in a recent statement.

4 States Declare State Of Emergency As Hurricane Florence Gathers Category 4 Strength And Heads Closer
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued the evacuation order on Monday for all eight counties along the coast, including: Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, and Berkeley. ‘This is a very dangerous hurricane,’ McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was ‘mandatory, not voluntary.’

Dulles International Airport Surprises Passengers With Facial Recognition Biometric Boarding Onto The Plane
The new veriScan system developed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority—with guidance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection—scans the faces of travelers approaching the gate. The system then compares the photo to a gallery that includes images of that person—either their passport photo for U.S. citizens or the photo taken of foreign nationals when they entered the country. The process eliminates the need for an airline employee to manually check every boarding pass and passport while boarding a plane.

Toxic red tide algae moves north near Tampa Bay, killing hundreds of thousands of fish
The toxic algae bloom that has carved a trail of dead animals and triggered a putrid stench along western Florida’s coastline has drifted further north, killing hundreds of thousands of fish in the Tampa Bay region.

Leading U.S. Exorcist Says Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal is Demonic and Likely to Get Worse Before it Gets Better
In a recent interview, a world-renowned exorcist said the sex abuse scandal currently rocking the Catholic Church is demonic in nature and likely to get worse before it gets better. “We are in for a long storm,” said Father Gary Thomas, the exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose, California.

Muslims try to ban Franklin Graham from speaking
Muslims in Britain are urging their government to ban evangelist Franklin Graham from entering the United Kingdom, contending the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham has made “Islamophobic and homophobic statements.”

‘God Is Pouring Out His Spirit’: Tennessee Tent Revival in 21st Week, Nearly 700 Accept Christ
Spiritual revival continues in Northeastern Tennessee, as the Greeneville Awakening is now in its 21st week. Nearly 700 people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior so far.

What’s With All the Planes Full of Sick People?
It all seems like the start of a science fiction movie with a strain of something accidentally or deliberately released. We just have to wonder what it is that’s going to kill us all.

“People’s Heads Are Blowing Up”: As Fox News Installs a Meditation Room, Staffers Worry the Conservative Network Is Going Full Woke
“People are terrified. They kicked Ollie North out and put in a prayer room. We’ve got a new trans policy. You’re not allowed to be transphobic,” one source said. Other changes that would have been alien in the Ailes era include the creation of a workforce and diversity council. “People’s heads are blowing up,” one insider said.

TRIPLE THREAT: Three Hurricanes Churn In The Atlantic
..Hurricanes Florence, Helene and Isaac are gaining steam and moving across the ocean. At least two of those storms, Florence and Isaac, threaten land. The situation mirrors the 2017 hurricane season, according to meteorologist Philip Klotzbach.

Adoptee Colin Kaepernick Funds Radical Pro-Abortion Activism
What does it mean to sacrifice everything? Apparently, to a benched former NFL player and multimillionaire, it means another multi-million dollar Nike endorsement deal. Wow. That’s some real suffering.

Matt Drudge Sounds Alarm On East Coast Hurricane
…”Hurricane Florence may end up being the worst natural disaster in recorded history for the Carolinas and Virginia. 3 to 4 feet of rain, IF predictions hold! BIG news week developing…” Drudge wrote.


Headlines – 9/11/2018

Bolton warns ICC not to go after Israel, confirms closure of PLO’s DC office

US relationship with international court crashes under Trump

John Bolton threatens war crimes court with sanctions in virulent attack

Trump official John Bolton declares International Criminal Court ‘dangerous’ and ‘dead to’ America

Palestinians seethe over planned US closure of Washington office

Palestinian Officials: U.S. Closing PLO Mission Is ‘Vicious Blackmail’

Palestinian organization ‘has not taken steps to advance meaningful negotiations with Israel,’ State Dept. says

25 years on, some Israeli right-wingers ready to declare Oslo accords dead

UNRWA appeals for funds amid ‘worst financial crisis’ in its history

UNRWA Seeks Funding From Europe and Gulf States After U.S. Cuts

Thousands of Palestinians Protest on Gaza Coast, Navy Fires Toward Flotilla

Navy fires in warning as Gazans try to sail burning tires on rafts toward Israel

Seventeen years after Sept. 11, Al Qaeda may be stronger than ever

Syria’s Assad approves gas attack in Idlib despite warning, report says

US warns any new Syrian chemical strikes will get ‘much stronger response’

30,000 flee Syria’s Idlib region as UN fears century’s ‘worst’ crisis

Turkey warns attack on Syria’s Idlib would cause humanitarian disaster

Syria’s Idlib: High stakes for Turkey as offensive looms

Russia threatens to attack US troops supporting Syrian rebels

Syria’s Idlib: High stakes for Turkey as offensive looms

Iranian official: Iran is willing to aid Syria to fight against US

Senior Iranian official: Iran will respond to ‘any hostile measure’

US judge orders Iran to pay $105m over 1996 Khobar Towers bomb in Saudi Arabia

Egypt security forces kill 11 suspected extremists in Sinai

Libya violence: Gunmen storm oil corporation building

Car bomb kills six outside Somali government office

In new letter, North Korea’s Kim asks for another meeting with Trump

Trump Open to Second Kim Summit Despite Stalled Nuclear Talks

Russian official: Kim Jong Un will not take unilateral steps to dismantle nuclear weapons

Russia gears up for biggest war games since Cold War

Google is caught in a censorship battle between Putin and his biggest domestic foe

Venezuela Calls for Massive March Against U.S. amid Talk of Military Coup

As the price of baby formula in Venezuela soars, moms turn to each other for help

Brexit: Barnier says agreement possible by early November

Mark Zuckerberg’s obsession with an ancient Roman emperor offers insight into how he runs Facebook

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Sulangan, Philippines

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Fiji region

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Obelobel, Indonesia

Cluster of small earthquakes shakes New Zealand as magnitude 6.8 quake rocks Kermadec Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts ot 12,500ft

Hurricane Florence Could Be the Worst Storm to Ever Hit North of Florida

Hurricane Florence could be a lot like Harvey. Here’s why.

Hurricane Florence could stall out over the East Coast for days, bringing intense flooding

Hurricane Florence barrels toward US as South Carolina orders evacuation of entire coast

Over a million told to flee as Hurricane Florence stalks US East Coast

Expect a Storm Surge of 15 – 20 Feet in a Landfalling Category 4 Storm in the Carolinas

30 ships ordered to flee US Navy’s biggest base in Virginia as Hurricane Florence closes in

Issac Now a Hurricane; May Impact Lesser Antilles Later This Week

Tropical Development in Gulf of Mexico Possible Late This Week With More Heavy Rain for Texas

Hurricane Olivia: Powerful storm barrels toward Hawaii threatening to bring heavy rain

Hawaii Governor Ige signs emergency proclamation ahead of Olivia’s arrival

‘Climate change moving faster than we are,’ says UN Secretary General

Superbugs jumping frequently between humans and animals

Japan’s first case of swine fever in 26 years triggers pig cull, nationwide export ban

Dead rat in soup shocks pregnant woman, closes restaurant – staff offered her money to get an abortion if the meal affected her unborn baby’s health

More children are dying by suicide. Researchers are asking why

China to crack down on ‘chaotic’ online religious info: media

Chinese officials burn bibles, close churches, force Christian to denounce faith amid ‘escalating’ crackdown


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Ron Paul: Why Are We Siding With Al-Qaeda? | Zero Hedge

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

Last week, I urged the Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to stop protecting al-Qaeda in Syria by demanding that the Syrian government leave Idlib under al-Qaeda control. While it may seem hard to believe that the US government is helping al-Qaeda in Syria, it’s not as strange as it may seem: our interventionist foreign policy increasingly requires Washington to partner up with “bad guys” in pursuit of its dangerous and aggressive foreign policy goals.

Does the Trump Administration actually support al-Qaeda and ISIS? Of course not. But the “experts” who run Trump’s foreign policy have determined that a de facto alliance with these two extremist groups is for the time being necessary to facilitate the more long-term goals in the Middle East. And what are those goals? Regime change for Iran.

Let’s have a look at the areas where the US is turning a blind eye to al-Qaeda and ISIS.

First, Idlib. As I mentioned last week, President Trump’s own Special Envoy to fight ISIS said just last year that “Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.” So why do so many US officials – including President Trump himself – keep warning the Syrian government not to re-take its own territory from al-Qaeda control? Wouldn’t they be doing us a favor by ridding the area of al-Qaeda?

Well, if Idlib is re-taken by Assad, it all but ends the neocon (and Saudi and Israeli) dream of “regime change” for Syria and a black eye to Syria’s ally, Iran.

Second, one of the last groups of ISIS fighters in Syria are around the Al-Tanf US military base which has operated illegally in northeastern Syria for the past two years. Last week, according to press reports, the Russians warned the US military in the region that it was about to launch an assault on ISIS fighters around the US base. The US responded by sending in 100 more US Marines and conducting a live-fire exercise as a warning.

Weird how Al Qaeda grew in countries/areas where the US collapsed the state. Perhaps our regime change wars are a bad idea? What do I know, I’m just motivated by my love for dictators as they say… pic.twitter.com/32MwXF1WzZ

— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) September 10, 2018

President Trump recently reversed himself (again) and announced that the US would remain at Al-Tanf “indefinitely.” Why? It is considered a strategic point from which to attack Iran. The US means to stay there even if it means turning a blind eye to ISIS in the neighborhood.

Finally, in Yemen, the US/Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis has been found by AP and other mainstream media outlets to be directly benefiting al-Qaeda. Why help al-Qaeda in Yemen? Because the real US goal is regime change in Iran, and Yemen is considered one of the fronts in the battle against Iranian influence in the Middle East. So we are aiding al-Qaeda, which did attack us, because we want to “regime change” Iran, which hasn’t attacked us. How does that make sense?

We all remember the old saying, attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, that “if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.” The “experts” would like us to think they are pursuing a brilliant foreign policy that will provide a great victory for America at the end of the day.

But as usual, the “experts” have got it wrong. It’s really not that complicated: when “winning” means you’re allied with al-Qaeda and ISIS, you’re doing something wrong. Let’s start doing foreign policy right: let’s leave the rest of the world alone!
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-10/ron-paul-why-are-we-siding-al-qaeda

17 years after 9/11, Al-Qaeda rebranded by US government & media as besieged rebels

Seventeen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US government and media outlets have decided that Al-Qaeda is now a rebel group worthy of our sympathy. The cynical narrative change is par for the course, experts told RT.
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/438209-us-911-idlib-al-qaeda-rebels/amp/

Jesus was not a Progressive

Oklahoma Apologetics Alliance

If Jesus was alive today, would He be a progressive?  Many progressives say that He would. They give examples of Him being a person of color, His challenging the establishment and showing care for the poor and oppressed. But how well do His teachings align with the progressive movement? Unfortunately for the progressive, when we examine the tenants of Progressivism  over against explicit teachings of Christ, we see that the two are largely incompatible.

The Progressive fundamentals are:

1

1. The basic goodness or perfectibility of man

2. Tolerance, inclusion and religion plurality

3. Change of institutions to promote equality of outcomes and social justice

4. Prohibition against “Moral Legislation” that promotes autonomy over regulated moral standards

5. The inevitability of moral change and progress

1

Let’s take each of these one-by-one and compare them against the teachings of Christ to see how compatible they are.

Man’s Basic Goodness

Social progressives, like Herbert Croly, believe that human nature can be transformed through political reform. Evil is the result of a poorly organized world. To progressives, a reorganization of the world in accordance with progressive ideas will usher in a new age of freedom, equality, and peace.

Indirectly, Jesus always upheld the witness of the Old Testament which denied the basic goodness of man. The Bible claims is Psalms 14:3 “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” The Gospel is needed because Man is unable to fulfill the law or save himself. If Man was perfectible as the progressives claim, the gospel would not even be needed.  Jesus himself also had several direct statements that refute the sentiment of man’s goodness. One example is Mark 10:18 (NASB) “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.’”

Tolerance, Inclusion and Religious Pluralism

According to progressivism,  it is arrogant and rude for any one religious tradition to claim that it holds exclusive truth or is the only way to salvation. Most progressives claim there are many paths to God. They believe two religions can both be right at the same time. Even if their claims seem mutually exclusive. Their truth is relative rather than objective.

Jesus did not teach  inclusion or tolerance…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Jesus was not a Progressive
— Read on www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/09/jesus-was-not-a-progressive.html

09/11/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0911

•Twisted Scripture award: Abundant life means abortion?
•Al Mohler and the Social Justice movement
•The Persecution Driven Life
•Union Seminary responds to the Social Justice statement with heresy
•Reasons churches don’t reach people

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via 09/11/2018 — Wretched

SEPTEMBER 11 GOD’S VALIDATION

Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

1 Thessalonians 1:5

One marked characteristic of modern evangelicalism is its lack of assurance, resulting in a pathetic search for external evidence to corroborate its faith. It sets out bravely to declare its trust in Christ but is shortly overawed by the counter declarations of science and philosophy and before long it is looking about for some collateral evidence to restore its confidence.

The faith of the Christian must rest upon Christ Himself. He is the mystery of godliness, a miracle, and emergence of the Deity into time and space for a reason and a purpose. He is complete in Himself and gains nothing from any human philosophy.

The New Testament points to Christ and says God now commands all men everywhere to repent: because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man He has ordained! Our assurance is the fact that He raised Him from the dead. In that, God validated forever the claims of Christ. He is who He said He was and what He said He was. So, Christ is enough! To have Him and nothing else is to be rich beyond all conceiving.

Lord, it seems that mankind always wants to make something more complex than it really is. Help us to be satisfied with simple faith in Jesus only![1]


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

Moscow Warns US, Allies Against ‘New Dangerous Steps’ in Syria – Sputnik International

The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned Washington and its allies against taking any dangerous steps in Syria amid a recent spike of tensions in Idlib.
— Read on sputniknews.com/amp/world/201809111067941525-us-allies-syria/

Syrian state YouTube channels ‘terminated’ amid fears of looming false-flag chem attack (Video)

A number of Syrian state and media-linked YouTube accounts have gone dark, as the battle for Idlib looms amid Russia’s warnings of an imminent false-flag chemical attack and Western preparations for retaliatory strikes.

Did Jesus Even Claim to Be God?

Did Jesus Even Claim to Be God?

by J. Brian Huffling, Ph.D.

I sat down with some Jehovah’s Witnesses who were visiting with me. The elder who was leading our study stated that Jesus never claimed to be God. Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that Jesus is a created being. Liberal “Christians” argue that Jesus never claimed to be God. Many other groups say the same. If such is the case, then Christians have some explaining to do as they teach that Jesus is God. But did he ever claim this title for himself? Let’s look at what he actually said.

I am going to argue that, yes, Jesus in fact did claim to be God. This can be seen by the fact that he claimed to be identical with God in various ways.

Jesus Claimed to Be Identical with God

Jesus made statements about himself that were expressly made of Yahweh in the Old Testament. Let’s look at the OT claims and then Jesus’ claims.

“I AM”

One of the clearest passages of Jesus claiming to be God is his claiming to be Yahweh as being the great I AM of Exodus 3:14.

OT Claim: “God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’” The designation “I am” was solely reserved for Yahweh and was recognizes by the Jews as such. (Exodus 3:14)

Jesus Claim: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.‘ 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:58-58). Clearly the Jews understood Jesus to be making himself equal with God. That’s why they wanted to kill him…

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Did Jesus Even Claim to Be God?
— Read on www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2018/09/did-jesus-even-claim-to-be-god.html

“The Verse That Makes Every Pastor’s Blood Run Cold” by Reagan Rose | The Master’s Seminary Blog

We Train Men Because Lives Depend on It

Imagine having to give an account for the souls of human beings. And having to give that account not to an earthly boss but to the risen Son of God Himself—your Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Well, that is exactly what every pastor is required to do according to Hebrews 13:17. It is that fearful prospect that should make our blood run cold.
— Read on www.tms.edu/blog/verse-makes-pastors-blood-cold/

Can Christian Women Flourish Without Liberation Theology? — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

Years ago, the Women’s Liberation Movement rolled through America and forced its way into conservative evangelical circles. In 1970, Germaine Greer wrote The Female Eunuch which not only suggested that motherhood was a handicap but it went on to claim pregnancy was an illness.  Germaine Greer taught women to be “deliberately promiscuous” and to do everything possible to avoid conceiving children. It was a common thing for the militant feminist to describe the role the mother in nurturing and caring for her children as a form of oppression and slavery.

In the ’60s and ’70s the feminists permeated that language into the minds and hearts of women seeking to change the direction of women in America. Unfortunately, we have allowed their movement to become less offensive, the lines have become blurred, and in some cases, their agenda has infiltrated the church. What seemed like crazy talk in the ’70s has become the norm today. This has always been the case with liberation movements. In ancient Rome, women would announce their independence from men, leave home, refuse to have children, and deny the responsibilities of a woman in society—including the wife and mother in the home. Similar feminist movements have occurred in American history, but sadly they should never have an impact upon the Christian community because of the true liberation of the gospel.

While we can certainly agree that the equality of women was not granted to women in American society in the past—flowing from the Women’s Liberation Movement came a liberation theology that continues to suggest that evangelicals (across denominational boundaries) have been guilty of systemic oppression. In other words, what was in the culture eventually made it into the church.

The Women’s Liberation Movement was founded upon a Marxist foundation rather than the gospel. Therefore, it sought to elevate women to the highest levels of power and freedom across the culture as a whole. In the process this liberation movement took direct aim upon the sufficiency of Scripture and the complementarian doctrine established by God at the point of creation. The Women’s Liberation Movement suggested that evangelical men simply wanted women to remain “barefoot and in the kitchen” (with a few children clinging to their legs). The question has become a hot topic issue with the current social justice agenda, and now suddenly we’re hearing leaders within denominational structures and academic circles suggesting that we must now apologize for this great error and empower women. In short, evangelicals are being accused of systemic oppression (across denominational lines). According to the social justice leaders—in order to overcome this oppressive culture, we must empower women to the highest levels of leadership in order for women to flourish for God’s glory.

Do women need to be liberated again? Is the liberation of the gospel not enough? Not only is that simply not true—it’s a tragic rebirth of the women’s liberation movement of the past that will have a lasting negative impact upon evangelicalism.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

The battle for the Bible will always involve a battle for the dictionary. We witnessed that reality in our recent battle over the definition of marriage. Anytime a group (even a loud minority population) can convince people to turn their backs on the Bible and the definitions that emerge from the Bible—they can rewrite essential definitions to fit their agenda. That happened with same sex marriage, and it’s now continuing in our day through the social justice agenda as we’re being forced to reconsider and potentially redefine complementarianism.

Do Christians need political strategies and cultural methods such as intersectionality to enable women to flourish? In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul pens these words to Timothy:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The Scriptures are sufficient for the work of pastoral shepherding—both reproof and correction. In fact, they are sufficient to deal with the positive and negative – correction and equipping. Therefore, Christian women (of all ages) can learn to flourish as they are equipped by God’s Word through the faithful preaching of Scripture. If Timothy had decided to preach the cultural trends of the day rather than the Scriptures—it would have been a tragic and soul-damning mistake. Paul understood these pressures and that’s why in his final letter before his head was chopped off in the streets of Rome—he pointed his beloved young pastor to the Scriptures.

Far too often liberation theology (social justice is a modern liberation theology) imports baggage into the white spaces between the black text. It’s a movement from culture to Scripture (which is one reason why a presuppositional approach to apologetics and hermeneutics is helpful) and it’s guilty of the tragic sin of eisegesis. Faithful exegesis looks to God’s Word and brings out what’s there while eisegesis inserts ideas and opinions of man into the very Word of God.

Submission, Roles, and Flourishing

In Ephesians 5:22-24, Paul writes the following to the church at Ephesus (and the surrounding cities):

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

The Satanic attack on the family has resulted in a reversal of roles in the home. Once upon a time, as in the Garden of Eden, it was God’s design for the husband to be the head of the wife and that headship involves the responsibility of physical provision and spiritual leadership. Eve rebelled against God’s role as she took the leadership role in the Garden – over her husband – taking the advice of Satan and eating the forbidden fruit. Paul points to the design that’s rooted in creation—namely that the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church. Just as the church submits to Jesus, so too must the wife submit to her husband.

The world has taught young girls that submission is equivalent to oppression. William Hendriksen observes, “A home without a head is an invitation to chaos. It spells derangement and disaster worse even than that which results when a nation is without a ruler or an army without a commander.” [1] The world, we must remember, has many ideas and many paths and they all seem good. However, there are many ways to miss the bullseye—and to deny the roles of God is to miss more than the bullseye—it’s to miss the entire target! R.C. Sproul once stated the following:

It is the Lord’s will that the wife be submissive to her husband, and if she wants to honour Christ, then one of the concrete ways she does this is by being in submission to her husband. If a woman is contentious and refuses to follow the leadership of her husband, she is in rebellion, not simply against him, but also against Christ. [2]

Remember, the unbelieving world looked at the cross as a foolish thing. The unbelieving Jews had no idea why their long awaited Messiah would surrender himself to the cross without a fight. Quite simply put, the whole redemptive plan of God seemed illogical and was ridiculed openly. In fact, the very oldest picture we have of Jesus is one that was found on a prison wall and it depicted the body of a man on the cross with the head of a donkey. To add to the blasphemy, it depicted a man below the cross bowing down and the whole picture not only mocked Jesus it mocked the man who was a follower of Jesus.

Is the Bible sufficient to teach women how to be faithful mothers and God-honoring wives? Are the Scriptures sufficient to teach women how to disciple their children for the glory of God? Is the gospel of Jesus Christ powerful enough to liberate all Christian women from the sin and to free them to flourish and bloom for the glory of King Jesus? The answer is obvious.

We must never forget that to follow Jesus will result in great criticism. Therefore, when a woman submits to the leadership of her husband and seeks to make the home her focus—the world will view this as oppressive and backward. The best way to flourish is always to follow Jesus—no matter what the world’s opinion suggests. In fact, it must be stated that to follow the world’s way is to enter into great oppression – no matter how free and liberated the sin makes a person feel. Liberation theology that differs from the gospel of Jesus Christ leads to oppression rather than liberation. Only through the gospel of Jesus can a person experience genuine liberation and only through the gospel can a person flourish with the gifts and roles that God has designed from the beginning.

Is the gospel enough? What is the modern social justice movement trying to communicate?


  1. William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Ephesians, vol. 7, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 248.
  2. R. C. Sproul, The Purpose of God: Ephesians (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1994), 135.

The post Can Christian Women Flourish Without Liberation Theology? appeared first on Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace.

via Can Christian Women Flourish Without Liberation Theology? — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

Acts of Kindness Are Wonderful- But They WILL NOT Save Your Soul

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

In these last days, the devil is doing what he has always done; but he has ramped it up one hundred  fold.

What does he do?  He lies and confuses and takes the Word of God and twists it just a bit in order to deceive people.

He has millions of people across the globe believing that if they just do random acts of kindness; if they just give enough to charities, if they just affirm the LGBQT movement and abortion, etc etc – then surely God will bring them to heaven when they die.

The Word of God has made it clear to us that God does NOT affirm homosexuality or abortion (murder).   He does love the person but will NEVER give His blessings to these sins.

These people only read the Beatitudes of Jesus. They insist on seeing Him only as Love, and indeed God IS Love…

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September 11, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

1 The answer to the problem of theodicy lies in the future, in the eschatological day, when the Lord will break into history to make all things right. He will introduce that age by sending “my messenger” (Heb. malʾākî), a prophet like Malachi himself. That messenger will in turn prepare the way (see Isa 40:3 for the same idiom) for another figure, the Lord, who will come to his temple.

Christian scholarship is agreed that the messenger is John the Baptist (Mt 11:10; Mk 1:2) and that the Lord of whom he is the forerunner is Jesus the Messiah (Mt 3:1–3; 21:12–17; Lk 2:41–51). Here he is called ʾādôn and not Yahweh because it is Yahweh of hosts who is speaking. The passage does not address the issue of his deity or humanity, for to do so would be out of keeping with pre-NT revelation and raise insoluble problems for Malachi’s hearers.

The major interpretive question centers on identifying the “messenger of the covenant” referred to in v. 1b. Most scholars see him as the ʾādôn just mentioned, but the double occurrence of “messenger” in the passage argues more persuasively for the title’s being attributed to the same person and thus not to the ʾādôn. From the NT’s viewpoint, then, John the Baptist is the messenger of the covenant as well as the messenger who prepares the way for the ʾādôn.

This interpretation finds support in 4:5, where Elijah the prophet also comes just before the great day of the Lord to bring reconciliation and harmony to the Lord’s chosen people. In clarifying this promise, Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah, “if you are willing to accept it” (Mt 11:14; cf. Mk 9:11–13; Lk 1:17).[1]


The certainty of the Messiah’s coming (v. 1)

The Lord here assures his people that he has not forgotten his promise to send the Messiah. The one whom they were seeking would be preceded by a special messenger from God (John the Baptist). John Benton writes: ‘John the Baptist was like a herald going before the royal procession to indicate the route that the king would take and to make preparations for his coming.’

Furthermore, the Messiah would ‘suddenly come to his temple.’ The Lord probably chose to emphasize this because of the attitude that the people had towards the temple that had been rebuilt after the captivity. Because it could not compare with their first temple, built by Solomon, many were disappointed. Here the Lord tells them that their temple would have a glory all its own, a glory which could not be matched even by Solomon’s. Their temple would be visited by the Messiah himself!

We should note that the Messiah is identified as ‘the Messenger of the covenant’. He would come proclaiming a new covenant (Jer. 31:31; Ezek. 37:26).

We must not think that the Lord Jesus came to offer a new or different plan of salvation from that which had been previously known. This is, in fact, the view some hold. They see God trying one plan of salvation and then another, only finally to ‘hit on’ the idea of sending his Son.

The truth is that God has only had one plan of salvation in all of human history, and that plan is the Lord Jesus. The people of the Old Testament era were saved by looking forward in faith to his coming, and those since are saved by looking backward in faith to the Christ who has come. But all are saved by faith in Christ.

The newness of the covenant Jesus proclaimed is not due to it bringing in blessings that people had never experienced before. It is rather to be found in the degree to which these blessings were understood and enjoyed and the way in which those blessings were to be administered. With regard to the administration, the plan of salvation is the same under the old covenant and the new, that is, faith in the perfect sacrifice of Christ. But under the old, that salvation had to be continually anticipated through the sacrifice of animals. It is enjoyed under the new as a permanently purchased possession.

Verse 1, then, brings together three messengers. Malachi was proclaiming God’s message of a messenger (John the Baptist), who would precede the greatest of all messengers (the Lord Jesus).[2]


3:1. The Lord responded by promising that judgment and, with it, justice would come. The first aspect of that promise is the prediction of the coming of two different messengers. The first one, My messenger (a play on words of the prophet’s name), refers to Elijah (4:5) who is to announce the coming of the Messiah (Is 40:3–5). The NT quotes this verse of John the Baptist (see comments on Mt 11:10), who functioned in the role of Elijah at Messiah’s first coming, though he was not literally Elijah (Jn 1:21; see comments on Mt 11:13–15). Ultimately, Elijah will literally fulfill this prediction when Messiah returns (Mt 17:11). For those who recognized that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Lk 1:17) and were willing to accept him in Elijah’s role, John functioned in Elijah’s role as forerunner of the Messiah (Mt 11:9–13).

The second messenger, called the messenger of the covenant, was the Lord (the Hb. word ha’adon when used with the definite article always refers to the divine Lord), whom the Jewish people were seeking. The Lord is called the “messenger” or “angel,” reminiscent of the angel of the covenant who led Israel in the wilderness, within whom the Lord placed His own name (Ex 23:20–23; 33:14–15), and who was present in all Israel’s afflictions (Is 63:9). Elsewhere, this angel is referred to as the Angel of the Lord, a preincarnate appearance of the divine Lord (Gn 18:1, 22; Ex 3:2–4; Jdg 6:12; 13:2–23; see comments on theophanies at Mc 5:2). Therefore, this angel or messenger is a reference to the Messiah. The covenant spoken of is the Abrahamic covenant, because when Messiah returns at the consummation, all its aspects will be fulfilled. Although Jesus came to the temple many times during His earthly life and ministry, this predicts His coming to the eschatological temple (cf. Zch 6:11–15), because He will arrive in judgment.[3]


3:1 God next answers the impious challenge of the previous verse. He will send His messenger, a promise that had an early and partial fulfillment in John the Baptist, but awaits a later and complete fulfillment when Elijah (4:5) will prepare the way of the Lord, … the Messenger of the covenant whom they desired (irony). The irony here is that when He later arrived (His First Advent), the nation of Israel did not delight in Him but crucified Him instead.[4]


3:1 prepare the way: Here is one of the great, explicit prophecies relating to the messianic age. In its specific detail, this verse resembles the prophecy of Mic. 5:2 concerning the birthplace of the Messiah. Matthew and Mark identify the messenger of this verse as John the Baptist (4:5; Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2, 3). The Lord refers here to Jesus Christ (as is the case in Ps. 110:1). There are three persons in view in this verse: The Father (the Lord) speaks about of sending a messenger (John the Baptist) who will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord (Jesus). suddenly … His temple: Both the righteous and the wicked will be surprised when the Messiah arrives. Messenger of the covenant: This is a messianic title, referring to the One who will initiate the New Covenant (Jer. 31:33, 34; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 12:24). He is coming: As in Ps. 96:13, this dramatic wording indicates something that was just about to occur. However, it would be four hundred years before these words would be fulfilled.[5]


[1] Merrill, E. H. (2008). Malachi. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, pp. 857–858). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Ellsworth, R. (2007). Opening up Malachi (pp. 65–67). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[3] Rydelnik, M. A. (2014). Malachi. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1443). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1176). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1126). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

September 11 John the Baptist Understands His Role

He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ” as Isaiah the prophet said.—John 1:23

John the Baptist gained great notoriety quickly in Israel with his baptism and his message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. With so many people flocking to him, the Jewish authorities sent a delegation of priests and Levites to investigate him.

First they asked John, “Who are you?” His behavior was certainly not what they would have expected from the son of a priest. John’s response, “I am not the Christ,” only added to their confusion. When John answered in the negative to their questions if he was Elijah or the Prophet, the exasperated members of the delegation then demanded, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” (John 1:19–22).

Rather than claiming to be someone important, he humbly referred to himself merely as “a voice of one crying in the wilderness.” In answering the delegation’s question about his identity, he shifted the focus away from himself and onto Christ. His quote of Isaiah 40:3, “Make straight the way of the Lord,” was a challenge both to the nation and to his questioners to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah.

The imagery is of a road being leveled and smoothed out in preparation for the visit of an Eastern king. John and Isaiah likened the hearts of Messiah’s people to a desolate wilderness, through which a smooth, level road needed to be prepared for His coming. John was the laborer, preparing the road in advance of the King.

ASK YOURSELF

As you have opportunity to share the gospel with others, remind them that the road to Jesus is smooth and level—accessible not by special ability but by the calling, inviting grace of God. Thank God for those who pointed the way for you.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 263). Chicago: Moody Publishers.