Daily Archives: September 21, 2018

September 21: Throwing Caution to the Flood

Zephaniah 1:1–3:20; Acts 19:1–41; Job 27:1–23

Words are powerful. They can restore and heal; they can also be used as deadly weapons. When we interact with one another, we know to choose our words carefully to avoid being misinterpreted or inadvertently causing harm. But Yahweh speaks words of daunting ambiguity—proclamations that can easily be misunderstood or that are frightening beyond measure.

Consider Zephaniah 1:2–3: “ ‘I will surely destroy everything from the face of the earth’—a declaration of Yahweh. ‘I will destroy humanity and beast; I will destroy the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked. And I will cut off humankind from the face of the earth’—a declaration of Yahweh.” Does Yahweh actually intend to destroy everything on the earth? Why is He speaking so boldly?

The phrase “face of the earth” appears twice in this passage; it encloses a miniature narrative that references the story of the flood in Gen 6:7 and 7:4. This story is used as a metaphor for why Yahweh will destroy Judah: “And I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal, and the name of idolatrous priests with the priests, and those who bow down on the rooftops to the host of heaven, and those who bow down, swearing to Yahweh but also swearing by Milkom” (Zeph 1:4–5). Yahweh plans to destroy Judah because they have sought other gods. In other words, Judah has acted just like the evil people who caused the flood.

The startling images of destruction and death that Yahweh’s proclamations evoke seem shockingly blunt. Yet these bold statements remind us that using audacious language is sometimes necessary, and evoking stories of the past can make the point more powerful. We must still take caution when choosing our words, but when we must speak an uncomfortable truth, we can turn to the example that Yahweh sets here: Live boldly for Him and speak the truth.

How can you be more bold in your words about Yahweh?

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 21 Conquering Doubt

“Take the helmet of salvation” (Eph. 6:17).

✧✧✧

The key to conquering doubt is to focus on the preserving power of God.

Doubt comes to Christians in many ways. After you’ve sinned, your conscience might hiss at you, saying, “Surely you’re not a Christian. Why would God save you anyway? You don’t deserve His mercy. You’re not good enough. How presumptuous to think God could ever use you!” Such doubts are common among Christians who focus on their performance rather than on God’s power.

All too often we’re quick to acknowledge God’s power to save us but slow to understand His power to keep us. To complicate matters, many Christians believe they can lose their salvation; so they live in constant fear of falling away from the faith. Still others have never learned what Scripture teaches about their security in Christ. They’re so intent on pleasing God through their own efforts that they lose sight of grace and drift into a subtle works-righteousness mentality.

Your performance doesn’t determine your standing in Christ; your standing in Christ determines your performance. Good works are the necessary result of salvation (Eph. 2:10), but they don’t save you or keep you saved. That’s God’s work.

Jude said, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy … ” (v. 24). “Able” in that verse translates a Greek word that speaks of power. “Keep” literally means “to secure in the midst of an attack.” “Stumbling” refers to falling into sin. Together they say that God is powerful enough to prevent you from stumbling into sin and falling away from Him, no matter how intense Satan’s attacks might be. He will continue to protect and cleanse you until the day you enter His glorious Heaven perfected.

Sin is a serious issue, and you should never take it lightly. But when you do sin, remember that as a believer you’re immediately cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7). Always confess your sins and turn from them, but never doubt God’s power or willingness to keep you saved. Trust in His grace, not in your ability to perform.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise the Lord for continually cleansing your sin.

For Further Study: Memorize Jude 24–25, and recite those verses often as a reminder of God’s power and majesty.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 277). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

What the Russia-Turkey Idlib Agreement Reveals about the Syrian Conflict | Frantzman at Jerusalem Post

by Seth Frantzman
Jerusalem Post
September 20, 2018

https://www.meforum.org/articles/2018/what-the-russia-turkey-idlib-agreement-reveals-abo

Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to prevent a Syrian regime offensive in Idlib this week.

The agreement will create a large demilitarized zone and is supposed to lead to “radical terrorist groups” being removed from parts of Idlib by October 15. The full text of the agreement was published on Wednesday by The National. Iran was not a party to the agreement, signaling to Washington, Israel, and others that Iran’s role in Syria may have been sidelined. However, the agreement does not spell out how “terrorist” groups will be removed from parts of Idlib or which groups must be removed, leaving open the possibility of future conflict.

Map of Idlib, Syria

Signed on September 17 in Sochi between Russian and Turkish delegations, a copy of the agreement was made in English and Russian and sent to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on September 18. A copy was also sent to UN Secretary-General Antonia Guterres by Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian Federation’s representative to the UN. The name of the document is the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area.

Russia and Turkey made the agreement and are guarantors of the “observance of the ceasefire.” This is important because other players in Syria are not listed. Iran, which is an ally of the Syrian regime, is not a guarantor. Neither is the United States or the Coalition which plays a role in eastern Syria. Neither is the Syrian government of Bashar Assad or the various Syrian rebel and extremist groups in Idlib. This represents the degree to which the Syrian conflict has been outsourced to Turkey and Russia, and they have become the guarantors of both sides. Russia is the Syrian regime’s main ally and Turkey is the main ally of the Syrian rebels. Turkey controls several areas in northern Syria, including in Idlib, Afrin and near Jarabulus.

The document says it follows similar “de-escalation” agreements that have been in place in Idlib since 2017. They have helped reduce the fighting in northern Syria and allowed the Syrian regime to concentrate on defeating rebels in Damascus and the south. After the regime successfully took back areas near Jordan and the Golan, it has wanted to re-conquer Idlib from the rebels and extremist groups. However the US has warned Assad against using chemical weapons, and the UN has warned of a humanitarian catastrophe that could affect millions.

According to the 10 points of the agreement, “the Idlib de-escalation area will be preserved and Turkish observation points will be fortified and continue to function.” In addition, Russia says it will take all necessary steps to avoid military operations and attacks on Idlib.

A demilitarized zone (DMZ) 15-20 km deep will be established and the exact lines of the zone will be determined in the future. “Radical terrorist groups” will be removed from the DMZ by October 15. According to point six of the document, “all tanks, MLRS [Multiple Rocket Launch Systems], artillery and mortars belonging to conflicting parties will be withdrawn from the demilitarized zone by October 10.” There will be coordinated patrols and drones will be used to monitor the DMZ. Of particular importance to the Syrian regime transit on route M4 from Aleppo to Latakia and M5 from Aleppo to Hama will be restored by the end of the year.

The document has two key points that appear difficult to carry out in the time provided. By October 10 it envisions heavy weapons being withdrawn and by October 15 “terrorist groups” will be removed. The document doesn’t specify which groups but Russia and the Syrian regime view Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as the main terrorist group in Idlib. HTS is linked to what used to be Al-Qaeda in Syria. The US also views HTS as a terrorist group and Turkey labeled it a terrorist group in late August. However Turkish observation points in Idlib are in areas where HTS is present. By not mentioning HTS directly the document allows for some flexibility, but it is not clear how Turkey will remove HTS or other extremist groups.

The depth of the DMZ takes up a large part of Idlib province, almost twenty percent of the area currently under the control of the rebels and extremists. It is also unclear how the M4 from Aleppo to Latakia will be opened to traffic, but if the agreement is adhered to, it means that “free movement of local residents and goods” will begin between the government and rebel-controlled areas. This will reduce the humanitarian catastrophe that many warned about in the lead-up to any sort of regime offensive in Idlib.

The agreement represents a major step in northern Syria and shows how Turkey and Russia have grown closer. It also shows how Iran has been excluded from the table. Iran was part of the Astana discussions and has played a key role in other agreements, but it was not present in Sochi. This may be merely symbolic, but it also shows how Moscow and Ankara now view themselves as the main deciders of Syria’s future. For the US and Israel, this is preferable development since both Washington and Jerusalem have opposed Iran’s role in Syria.

The Idlib agreement leaves unresolved what will happen to Afrin, the mostly Kurdish area north of Idlib. In January Turkey launched an offensive into Afrin with the support of the Syrian rebels. Ankara said it was trying to clear Afrin of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara views as a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Afrin, Syria, north of Idlib

But Kurds have been dismayed by changes in Afrin and complain of abuses. When the Syrian regime was planning the Idlib offensive, some Kurds were hopeful the regime would retake Afrin and they could return to some kind of autonomy. Now with that off the table, the Kurds in eastern Syria who are working closely with the US will see that the regime cannot fulfill its promises of retaking Afrin.

Previous agreements like this have come and gone over the course of the Syrian conflict. For instance, there was supposed to be a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, including a ceasefire signed by the US and Russia and Jordan in July 2017. The regime, with its Russian ally, tossed away the agreement when Damascus decided to launch its offensive in the summer of 2018.

Time will tell if the Idlib agreement lasts as long as the southern Syria ceasefire.

Seth Frantzman is The Jerusalem Post’s op-ed editor, a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a founder of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis. 

Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Is Faith Emotional or Logical?

Is Faith Emotional or Logical?

How to Get Non-Believers Into Your Church

Book Review: Reasoning with the Unreasonable by Matt Smith

8 Things to Remember When Teaching Kids Theology

Did Jesus Exist?

How We Know the Original Message through Multiple Copy Errors

Book Review: Signature In The Cell by Stephen C. Meyer

Archeologists find one of Christianity’s most important sites

3 Lessons From the Feeding of the 5000

Why Do Christians Believe in the Afterlife?

6 Things You Can Tell Your Kids When Trying to Explain Pain and Suffering in Our World

Answering Skeptics Questions

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Did God Really Command Genocide?: Coming to Terms with the Justice of God by Paul Copan & Matthew Flannagan $1.99

Source: Weekend Apologetics Hit & Misc: Is Faith Emotional or Logical?

Put Away Empty Thinking

We live in a mindless age marked by entertainment that appeals to the emotions of a numb audience. Unfortunately, this deficiency has invaded the evangelical church and captured the minds of many Christian leaders. As a result, ministries are content to spread superficial thoughts drawn from the base thinking of the world.

This hour calls for men to step forward and give themselves to the disciplined study of Scripture in the manner of Anselm. Now is the time for a new generation of Anselms to seize the moment, men who, in an age of spiritual darkness, will serve as beacons to light the true path. As in any age, God has guaranteed the success of His church and ensured that the light of His gospel will never be extinguished. Therefore, the time is now for us to put away empty thinking that reduces authentic Christianity to a cheap imitation of worldly trivialities. Now is the time to bring forth the great truths of the Word. Whatever is to be the impact of Christianity in this day, it can be no greater than its search for, discovery of, and commitment to the grand doctrines of Scripture. At the top of that ascent are the doctrines of grace.

Will you apply your mind to the quest for this truth? Will you rivet your gaze on the pages of Scripture? Will you wrestle with the biblical text until it yields its one, true, God-intended meaning? Will you set your mind to pull these doctrines together into one system of truth until they all speak with one voice? Where are the truly profound thinkers of this day? Where, I say, are they?

—Steven J. Lawson, Pillars of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2011), 310–311.

Source: Put Away Empty Thinking

Pocket Spy: Israeli surveillance software ‘Pegasus’ tracked in 45 countries (Video)

An Israeli surveillance software tool capable of accessing microphones, cameras and other data has been tracked to 45 countries around the globe. Researchers think the tool, designed to track criminals, is being misused by governments to snoop on innocent civilians.

SEPTEMBER 21 LOVE NOT THIS WORLD

The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.

2 Corinthians 4:4

Our Lord Jesus Christ drew a sharp line between the kingdom of God and this present world. He has instructed us that no one can be at the same time a lover of both!

The apostles stood together in the New Testament teachings that it is necessary for a person to turn the back upon the world and have no fellowship with it.

What, then, is this world against which we are warned?

It is the familiar world of human society. No Christian need fail to recognize it, providing he wants to know what it is. Here are a few of its marks of identification:

  1. Unbelief. To have fellowship with those who live in unbelief is the love of the world. Religion without the Son of God is worldly religion.
  2. Impenitence. The worldling shrugs off his sin and continues in it. The Christian mourns over his sin and is comforted.
  3. Godless philosophies. Men and women of this world accept the sufficiency of this world and make no provision for any other, esteeming earth above heaven.
  4. Externalism. The man of the earth lives only for the world around him—he has no kingdom within him!

Lord, I pray specifically that You will undo what the god of this world has done—that is, blinded the minds of unbelievers. Then, once they are unblinded, I pray that Your Spirit will do its work of convicting the consciences of sinners everywhere. Foil the Evil One![1]


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

09/21/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0921

•Your questions answered
•Can Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?
•Can women be ushers in Church?
•Revising the Judge analogy for evangelism
•The brazenness of Nigerian charlatans
•Baptism and the transliteration of “Immersion”
•What do I do when the kids leave the nest?
•I’m taking over my dad’s business, but my partner is a pagan
•How do I deal with deep-seated doubt?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 09/21/2018 — Wretched

This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised… for 9/21/2018

  • How do you reconcile depression and the Christian faith?
  • Wow, we just keep spiraling downward. I don’t understand people who think this world is getting better.
  • Here is your weekly dose of adorable.
  • An interesting article: “The Bible teaches that our desires—all of them, voluntary or involuntary—are morally implicated.”
  • This looks like a good read.

When we believe that we ought to be satisfied, rather than God glorified, we set God below ourselves, imagine that He should submit His own honor to our advantage; we make ourselves more glorious than God, as though we were not made for Him, but He made for us; this is to have a very low esteem of the majesty of God. —Stephen Charnock

via This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

The 5 Church Ladies You Don’t Want to Be

Michelle Lesley

It’s just as easy to fall into a ditch on the right side of the road as it is to fall into a ditch on the left side of the road.

The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I see how true this is in the Christian life. We can be legalistic or antinomian. Crushed by guilt over our sin, or hard-hearted about our sin. Extending too much grace to unrepentant sinners, or not extending enough grace to repentant sinners.

Abandoning the church altogether, or taking ownership of the church and using it for our own purposes.

The purpose of the local church is to glorify God through worship and discipling the saints. Proper, biblical church membership is not optional for Christians. It is not to be treated as unnecessary by “Lone Ranger” Christians, nor is it to be used as a means toward our own ends…

View original post 1,065 more words

20 Inspiring Christian Women — CultureWatch

Church history is full of amazing stories of great men of God who have done mighty things for God. But sometimes we can overlook the many great women who have also been so wonderfully used of God. There would be countless women that we could mention in a list of faith-filled female Christians.

Indeed, to just feature 20 of them will undoubtedly mean that many of your favourites are not included here. Feel free to send in comments mentioning your own heroes of the faith. I will likely do further articles about godly women who have made a great impact for Christ and the Kingdom.

Here I present to you 20 of them. I offer them simply in chronological order. Each brief write-up will be followed by something for further reading. If I have already penned a full-length piece about one of them in my “Notable Christians” series, I will provide a link to it. Otherwise, I will offer one good biography under each of the other women featured here.

Susanna Wesley 1669-1742
John and Charles Wesley are known worldwide, but much of the credit for their godly and devout lives has to go to their mother. As such, she can rightly be described as the mother of Methodism. Of course she bore 17 other children as well, nine of whom died in infancy. She was a Proverbs 31 sort of woman, one who was deeply involved in the spiritual formation of her children, drenching them in godly counsel and intercessory prayer.
Arnold Dallimore, Susanna Wesley. Baker, 1993.

Hannah More 1745-1833
More was an English educator, poet, playwright, religious writer and philanthropist. One of her most memorable activities was to work as an abolitionist alongside people like William Wilberforce, whom she first met in 1787, along with John Newton. As with Wilberforce and the other members of the Clapham evangelicals in London, she fought not only against the slave trade but for the “reformation of manners”.
Karen Swallow Prior, Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More. Thomas Nelson, 2014.

Florence Nightingale 1820-1910
Although famous for her medical work, nursing and health care, and her work as a social reformer, Nightingale was also a devout theist. Jesus’ life of service and sacrifice was a powerful model for her. Born in Italy, she spent much of her life in England. She really did help to revolutionise medical care, laying the foundations of modern nursing.
Lynn McDonald, Florence Nightingale at First Hand. Continuum, 2010.

Fanny Crosby 1820-1915
The American hymn writer left an amazing legacy in so many ways. Within weeks of her birth she became blind, yet she was throughout her life a dynamic Christian witness and evangelist, proud of her Puritan heritage. Incredibly she wrote over 8000 hymns and gospel songs, including “Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour” and “Rescue the Perishing.”
billmuehlenberg.com/2013/09/02/notable-christians-fanny-crosby/

Catherine Booth 1829-1890
Along with her husband William, we have here the powerful team who founded the work of the Salvation Army in England. They married in 1855 and ten years later the Salvation Army was born. The amazing work they did not just in preaching the gospel but working with so many destitute and despondent souls, including prostitutes and the homeless, is always worth reading about. Some of her important books include: Practical Religion (1878), Godliness (1881), and Aggressive Christianity (1883).
billmuehlenberg.com/2017/01/07/on-aggressive-christianity/

Mary Slessor 1848-1915
Slessor was a Scottish Presbyterian missionary to Nigeria. She was there from 1876 until her death, except for some health furloughs. Although she long-suffered fever from malaria, she was a tireless missionary in Calabar and beyond. She wanted to go where no missionaries had been before, learning the language of those she sought to reach, and getting involved in dangerous tribes – even those practicing cannibalism and head-hunting. She built schools and established churches, and adopted a number of local children.
Bruce McLennan, Mary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God. Christian Focus, 2014.

Amy Carmichael 1867-1951
The famous Irish missionary and orphanage founder in India has been an inspiration to millions. Although she suffered greatly with various physical ailments, she served in India for 55 years without a furlough. She wrote three dozen books, many of them about her incredible work in Dohnavur. They include such classics as Rose from Brier (1933) and Gold by Moonlight (1935).
billmuehlenberg.com/2018/03/22/notable-christians-amy-carmichael/

Ida Scudder 1870-1960
The missionary to India was born there to missionary parents. At first she wanted out, but God had other plans. She attended seminary in the United States and returned to India in 1890. She went back to America and graduated from Cornell Medical College in New York City in 1899. She went back to India in 1900, treated some 5,000 patients in two years, and then opened the Mary Taber Schell Hospital in 1902. In 1928 she began a Christian Medical College in Vellore, now one of India’s top-ranked medical colleges. She often felt she had done little for Jesus, but in her dying days she had a vision of her Lord standing by her side, thanking her.
Janet and Geoff Benge, Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts. YWAM, 2003.

Henrietta Mears 1890-1963
Mears was a teacher and educator who made Christian education a chief calling in her life. She taught her first Sunday School class at the age 12. In 1928 she became the director of Christian Education at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, California – a position she held until her death. She completely rewrote the Sunday school curriculum there, and in 1933 she founded Gospel Light Publications. Her ministry impacted many, including Bill Bright and Billy Graham. Her most well-known book, What the Bible is All About, has sold over 4 million copies.
Marcus Brotherton, Teacher: The Henrietta Mears Story. Tyndale, 2016.

Corrie ten Boom 1892-1983
The famous Dutch Christian who suffered so horribly as a prisoner of the Nazis was a gifted writer and speaker who inspired so many others worldwide with her words of love, forgiveness and grace. Her story was told in her classic 1971 book, The Hiding Place, which was later made into a motion picture. Other books of hers include In My Father’s House (1974) and Tramp for the Lord (1975).
Carole Carlson, Corrie ten Boom: Her Life, Her Faith. Revell, 1982.

Dorothy Sayers 1893-1957
The English academic, novelist, lay theologian and apologist has had a huge influence. Her impact comes not only from her theological and academic works, but as a popular novelist as well, with her Lord Peter Wimsey detection fiction still read and loved today. But her important essays from the 1940s such as “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged,” and “Creed or Chaos?” are tremendously important works in defending orthodox Christianity.
billmuehlenberg.com/2018/04/23/dorothy-sayers-christian-doctrine-and-the-offence-of-the-gospel/

Isobel Kuhn 1901-1957
Kuhn was a Canadian missionary who ministered mainly in China but also in Thailand. In 1929 she married John Kuhn and they served together for many years. The disappointments and hardships they endured so bravely are quite inspiring, and the importance of intercessory prayer is certainly highlighted in their lives. Some of her important books include By Searching (1957) and In the Arena (1960).
Gloria Repp, Nothing Daunted: The Story of Isobel Kuhn. JourneyForth, 1994.

Gladys Aylward 1902-1970
The British missionary to China also had a powerful and inspiring life that is well worth knowing about. Her many missionary endeavours and work with orphans is soul-stirring, and her protective rescue of 100 orphans when the Japanese invaded China is especially moving. One book about her life, mentioned below, was made into a film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, in 1958.
Alan Burgess, The Small Woman, Pan, 1957, 1969.

Betty Stam 1906-1934
Betty and John Stam were American missionaries in China with the China Inland Mission. She had grown up in China, but went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in the mid-1920s where she met John. She returned in 1931, followed by John in 1932, and they married in 1933. Their work there did not last long however. They were both martyred by the communists in December of 1934, leaving behind a young baby.
Vance Christie, John and Betty Stam. Christian Focus, 2008.

Mother Teresa 1910-1997
Born in Albania, Anjezë Gonxhe of course is known worldwide for her work with the poor and outcasts in Calcutta. In 1928 she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland. She went to India in 1929, and her missionary work with the poor began in earnest in 1948. Soon the Missionaries of Charity was formed. It would care for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, Something Beautiful for God. Harper Collins, 1971.

Edith Schaeffer 1914-2013
Edith and her husband, Francis Schaeffer, were the founders of L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland in 1955. Born to missionary parents in China, she met Francis in college in Pennsylvania and they married in 1935. Francis was one of the great Christian apologists and evangelists of last century, and he penned over 20 books. But Edith also wrote over 20 books, including such important works as L’Abri (1969), Hidden Art (1972), and A Way of Seeing (1977).
Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry: The Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer. Word, 1981.

Sophie Scholl 1921-1943
Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were young German students who withstood the Nazis, paying for it with their lives. Together with a handful of others they formed the White Rose, a clandestine group of young people who distributed anti-Nazi literature at German universities, and sought to actively resist Hitler and his evil regime. Both were arrested and put to death in 1943. She was just 21 years of age.
billmuehlenberg.com/2018/07/30/notable-christians-sophie-and-hans-scholl/

Helen Roseveare 1925-2016
Roseveare was an English missionary to the Congo, as well as a doctor and an author. For twenty years she laboured there (1953-1973). She knew plenty of hardships and trials, including her capture in 1964 by rebel forces. She was held prisoner for five months and was viciously raped and beaten during this time. Her incredible story is told in her various autobiographical books, including Give Me This Mountain (1966), He Gave Us a Valley (1976), and Living Sacrifice (1979).
May Beth Lagerborg, Helen Roseveare: Though Lions Roar. CLC, 2012.

Elizabeth Elliot 1926-2015
Elliott was an American missionary, author, and speaker. She especially came to prominence as the wife of Jim Elliot, one of five young American missionaries killed in Ecuador in 1956, just three years after their marriage. Her 1957 and 1958 volumes, Through Gates of Splendor and Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot have become classics in missionary biography and devotional spirituality. She wrote many other important works, including A Slow and Certain Light (1976), and A Path Through Suffering (1990).
billmuehlenberg.com/2015/06/16/notable-christians-elisabeth-elliot/

Joni Eareckson Tada 1949-
This is my only champion who is still alive. Her story is well known: at 17 years of age, she dove into shallow waters and fractured her spine. She has been wheelchair-bound as a quadriplegic ever since. While at first suicidal, she turned her life over to Christ, and now she ministers the world over, testifying to the matchless grace of God. She is a strong advocate for the disabled and speaks a strong pro-life message in the face of the euthanasia movement. Some of her well-known books include: Joni (1976), A Step Further (1978), When Is It Right To Die? (1993), and Finding God in Hidden Places (2010).
Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni: An Unforgettable Story. Zondervan, 2001.

I hope all Christian women (and men) are greatly challenged and inspired by these women and their amazing stories. We all need heroes and role models, and these 20 women certainly qualify.

For further reading

There are a number of books which feature stories of godly women. Here are just three recent volumes. The first one looks at great saints who had godly mothers.

Tim Challies, Devoted: Great Men and Their Godly Moms. Cruciform Press, 2018.
Vance Christie, Women of Faith and Courage. Christian Focus, 2011.
Eric Metaxas, Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness. Thomas Nelson, 2016.

via 20 Inspiring Christian Women — CultureWatch

Covenant Theology, the Law, and Biblical Justice — Founders Ministries

You do not have to venture long into the Christian blogosphere before you find yourself immersed in the recent discussions regarding the role that biblical justice ought to have in the Christian life. This is an important and needed discussion. We live in an age that is saturated with the effects of postmodernism, intersectionality, and critical theory, and Christians have an obligation to speak into these theories and cultures with the sufficient and authoritative Word of God. With that being said, many of these discussions of biblical justice are missing the hermeneutic needed to get to the heart of the issue, and I believe that that hermeneutic is what we see in reformed Baptist covenant theology. There are many making arguments from positions of either dispensationalism or a leaky theonomy. Both of these approaches will miss the heart of the argument, as both sides insufficiently consider what God says regarding the nature of the covenants and the role of the law in the life of the believer. God’s progressive revealing of the covenant of grace, by means of His covenants of promise, greatly aids us in understanding the role that biblical justice ought to play in the new covenant believer’s life.

When many speak about the need for biblical justice in our broken world, they often rush to civil aspects of Mosaic law, such as Exodus 21-23, Leviticus 19, and Deuteronomy 23-24. Micah 6:8 is used heavily as well. These are all important passages in our discussion of how the new covenant Christian ought to live as a child of God, but we must remember that these passages are to be interpreted in their own covenantal contexts. When we read these passages through the lens of covenant theology and New Testament priority, we see that the civil aspects of the Mosaic law have been fulfilled and abrogated in the person and work of Christ. Peter’s vision and experience with Cornelius in Acts 10 is a demonstration of this, as well as Paul’s letter to the Colossians, particularly Colossians 2:16. So when we use these passages in our discussions of what biblical justice is, we are to remember that those particular laws are not binding upon Christ’s new covenant people. We are a spiritual kingdom, and no longer a physical nation. The kingdom of God does not grow through physical expansion and the imposition of Mosaic law upon human society. The kingdom of God grows through the conversion of sinners into children of God. But even though the civil aspects of the Mosaic covenant have been fulfilled and abrogated through Christ’s ministry, these laws still have underlying principles that are important for new covenant believers to seriously consider.

It’s important to remember that the civil aspects of the Law were not thought of in a vacuum. The civil aspects of the Law were essentially the Ten Commandments (i.e. the moral law of God) applied to how Israel lived as God’s national people in contrast to the pagan peoples around them in the land. Thus, as we, reformed Baptist covenant theologians, rightly affirm the perpetuity of God’s moral law, we need to affirm that obedience to God’s moral law has implications for these discussions on biblical justice. Likewise, when we read the words of the prophet Micah against the idolatrous people of Judah, we are to take seriously the call to do justly. Judah had been practicing injustice against their own people and those around them. God, as perfectly righteous and just, hates injustice. God’s people are not to be those who practice injustice or silently allow injustice to take place around them as much as it depends on them. So, the question then arises, what exactly is biblical justice and injustice?

As I see the numerous blog posts, forums, and sermons about the need for biblical justice, I’ve yet to see many seriously engage with the Scriptures in order to answer the question of what biblical justice really is. Many are quick to haphazardly adopt cultural definitions or ideologies, without taking the time to consider whether or not that ideology or cultural term has a biblical warrant. Thus, I believe that when we look at all of the Scriptures through the lens of reformed Baptist covenant theology, we see that living justly is living out God’s moral law towards one’s neighbor. Likewise, biblical injustice is the failure to live out God’s moral law towards one’s neighbor. This can be done either individually, as we see with Zacchaeus in Luke 19, or corporately, as we see with the nation of Israel throughout the time of the prophets. These biblical definitions of justice and injustice are absolutely crucial to these conversations. Justice and injustice are not whatever we make them out to be. They have been biblically defined by God. We, as God’s people, do not have to sit around wondering about what is just or unjust. God has graciously gifted us with His Word to aid us in defining our terms, and in applying those biblical concepts to our own lives. We can look out upon the world, and our own lives, and see clearly through the lens of Scripture those actions which are just or unjust. I can hold up God’s moral law against the laws of my nation to help discern what laws are genuinely just or unjust. I can use the Ten Commandments to discern whether or not someone is genuinely experiencing injustice.

As I’ve thought through that last sentence numerous times in my head, here are some questions that I hope are helpful in recognizing biblical injustice in our world:

    • Is an individual, or an institution, provoking my neighbor towards idolatry (treasuring some created thing above God)? If so that is unjust.
    • Is an individual, or an institution, murdering my neighbor by committing that physical act of unjust murder, or by showing hatred or partiality against my neighbor? If so, that is unjust.
    • Is an individual, or an institution, stealing from my neighbor by either committing the physical act of theft, or by keeping my neighbor from what they’ve been given rights to by God? If so that is unjust.

These questions are not exhaustive, as there are many more insights that can be grasped from seeking to apply God’s commandments in our everyday life, but this can be a good starting place for us as we look to rightly discern what genuine transgressions against God’s law are.

God’s people are to be a justice-loving people, and it is God’s moral law that is the standard for righteousness. Biblical justice is not to be defined by the latest proponents of intersectionality or critical theory. It is to be defined by God himself in His Word. It’s easy for us to get caught up in our own experiences and feelings, but we must be a people of the Book. Our experiences and feelings are not our authority as to what biblical justice and injustice are, God’s Word is. The Protestant Reformers fought tooth and nail for the doctrine of sola Scriptura, and we must be diligent to keep fighting for the authority of the Word in such manner.

via Covenant Theology, the Law, and Biblical Justice — Founders Ministries

Key Players and Buzz Language of the Social-Justice “Gospel” — Lighthouse Trails Inc

The Dangerous Truth About the Social Justice GospelThe following two lists are from Mary Danielsen’s booklet, The Dangerous Truth About the Social-Justice “Gospel,” which we posted earlier this week. It’s good to be aware of both the names and the language. (see video clip below)

Some Key Players in the Social Gospel Movement*

Bill Hybels
Bono
Diane Butler Bass
Greg Boyd
Henri Nouwen
Ian Morgan Cron
Jim Wallis
Joan Chittister
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
Leonard Sweet
Lynne Hybels
N.T. Wright
Phyllis Tickle
Richard Foster
Richard Niebuhr
Richard Rohr
Rick Warren
Ron Sider
Shane Claiborne
St. Thomas Acquinas
Thomas Merton
Tony Blair
Tony Campolo
Tony Jones
Walter Rauschenbusch

Some Buzz Words in the Social Gospel Movement

Activist
Awakening
Biphobia
Christian Palestinianism
Colonialism/Imperialism
Common Ground
Conflict Resolution
Consumerism
Cultural Relevance
Dialogue
Distribution of wealth
Diversity
Environmental Stewardship
Ethnocentrism
Faith-based initiative programs
Feminism
Gay
Gender identity
Homophobia
Islamophobia
Justice
Missional
Multiplicity
Politics of Jesus
Progressive Christians
Progressive politics
Reconciliation
Red Letter Christians
Revolution
Social gospel
Social justice
Solidarity
Stewardship renewal
Tolerance

*Most of these names can be found on our site. Just type a name into our search engine on either the blog or the research site.

Below is a 10-minute video clip of one of Roger Oakland’s “Emerging Church lecture series.”

via Key Players and Buzz Language of the Social-Justice “Gospel” — Lighthouse Trails Inc

Baltimore: Examining the Fruits and Roots of Word of Faith Teaching — The Cripplegate

Benny Hynn, John Hagee, Marilyn Hickey, TD Jakes, Jessie Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Jamal Bryant, Joseph Prince, Joyce Meyer, the Osteens and and the Copleands. These are the most watched, most listened to, and most influential Christian leaders in the United States. When a non-Christian thinks of a pastor, this is who they think of. They are always on TV and social media. They are everywhere.  

What do they all have in common? To one degree or another, they advocate for what is called Word of Faith Teaching. Because of their popularity, this teaching is mainstream, and unfortunately is antithetical to the gospel.

September 28-30, Baltimore Bible is hosting a conference to examine this teaching more closely. Friday night, Jesse Johnson of Immanuel Bible Church will be teaching on the doctrine of cessationism, followed by a Q&A. Saturday, Justin Peters will be teaching about the history and dangers of the Word of Faith movement. Then Sunday our teaching continues with worship at Baltimore Bible Church. The conference concludes with another Q&A Sunday evening.

For more information, please check out our website. Registration is free, but helpful for us.

via Baltimore: Examining the Fruits and Roots of Word of Faith Teaching — The Cripplegate

A Brief Overview of the Will of God — The Reformed Collective

“What is God’s will for my life?”  That question will inevitably enter the mind of a Christian at some point during their existence in a fallen world.  It may manifest after a traumatic event, after the end of a relationship, or during an ordinary day.  Whatever the context behind the question the universal reason for asking it is that we are not all-knowing, but we sure wish we were.

A Cursory Look at the Ineffable Will of God

We have all heard the Story of Joseph.  He was the favored son of Jacob and had visions of ruling his family.  And Joseph was sure to let them know of this impending rule.  Obviously, they weren’t enthusiastic. His brothers threw him in a ditch and planned to murder him.  But, by the sovereign work of God, they sold him into slavery instead.  Through a series of providential events, he became the second most powerful man in the ancient world. When Jacob died his sons were worried that Joseph would destroy them because of the whole slavery debacle. Joseph’s response to their concern in Gen. 50:20 gives us a beautiful insight into the will of God.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

— Genesis 50:20 (ESV)

Joseph’s brothers willed to do evil against him, they nearly killed him, then they unapologetically sold him into slavery.  But while they willed to do this evil act for their own purposes God willed it to take place for His glory and the preservation of His people.  This shows us two aspects of His will, the decretive nature of His will and the Moral nature of His will.

Moral will – “You meant evil against me”

The moral will of God is His will regarding how we should act.  This is revealed to us in the moral law and is summarized by Christ in the following way:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

— Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)

The basic answer to, “What is God’s will for my life,” is that He calls you to obedience and faith.  Now, it is imperative to know that God is sovereign and He, as RC Sproul put it, is not in heaven wringing His hands at our sin in despair.  Joseph’s brother’s act was truly evil, and it was their desire to carry out their jacked-up plan. They acted against the Law of God and the standard He set for mankind because they wanted to.

Decretive will – “God meant it for good”

The decretive will is His unshakeable will in which he decreed the events that will take place in our time, and in eternity (Eph. 1:4).  His decretive will comes to pass without variation as He clearly reveals through Isaiah

“Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done. Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”

— Isaiah 46:9-10

In the account of Joseph and his brothers, we see God sovereignly use man’s evil heart to accomplish His eternal purpose.   We see this again 400 years later when God calls His people out of Egypt.

“But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.”

— Exodus 9:12

Encouragement Through God’s Sovereign Will

If you were to ask anyone what God’s will is for your life, the only honest answer would be, “I do not know, but whatever it is, he decreed it in eternity for His glory.” Our temporal circumstances shift by the second. But the eternal plan of our Holy God stands forever unaltered.  And His designs are exceedingly pleasant.

So, you may ask, how should we then live?  Seek his counsel during whatever season of life you’re in, do all you do to His glory.  His redemptive plan will unfold in unfathomable beauty, you’re called faithfulness in whatever place He has put you.  Be faithful, pursue holiness, and see the awesome work of the Spirit. Whatever direction He takes you will be good. His will is eternal, His Kingdom is eternal, and Christ’s rule is eternal. Everyone who trusts in Christ alone for salvation will eternally live under the security of our Lord’s will.  He’s superior to anything we could ever want.

Recommended Resources

What Is Gods Will for My Life by Jonathan Parnell
Guidance and God’s Will (A Variety of Articles) from Monergism.com
God’s Revealed Will by Ligonier Ministries

via A Brief Overview of the Will of God — The Reformed Collective

RenewAmerica Newsletter for 9/21/2018

September 20, 2018
CLIFF KINCAID — Both sides are claiming the FBI can or will get to the bottom of the Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault matter. The Kavanaugh accuser’s backers say she wants a full FBI investigation of her charges, and that a former FBI agent conducted a lie detector test that she passed. Kavanaugh’s backers say the FBI has already conducted a background investigation of Kavanaugh…. (more)

September 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump said Wednesday that his order to declassify documents about FISA, Carter Page and the Russia probe is a “great service to the country” that could expose the special counsel investigation as a “hoax.” In an interview with Hill.TV, Mr. Trump said the move is all about transparency but hopes to expose “something that is truly a cancer in our country.”… (more)

September 20, 2018
MICHAEL BARONE — ” I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.” That was Bob Woodward, promoting his book on the Trump White House, Fear, replying to talk radio host and columnist Hugh Hewitt’s question, “Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?”… (more)

September 20, 2018
Aligning with Democrats in ‘desperate mission’ to destroy Trump
BOB UNRUH — A column by Julie Kelly at American Greatness contends the American media are destroying their credibility and are in a death spiral resulting from “we-are-a-collection-of-dishonest-miscreants-who-are-unworthy-of-an-ounce-of-the-American-people’s-trust” behavior…. (more)

September 20, 2018
The key is for the president to be comparatively cautious
CONRAD BLACK — The current standing of the Democrats in the midterm election polls is a levitation. Their record when they had the administration was poor. Their official leader, former president Obama, bombed with his long-winded, self-serving monotone of historical revision at the University of Illinois two weeks ago and its dreary sequels in Orange County, Calif…. (more)

September 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The FBI pushed in 2016 to include the discredited dossier into the official intelligence community assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton, two former senior officials said. The officials told The Washington Times that as the historic ICA, as it is known, was being drafted, the FBI wanted to fold in allegations and observations from dossier writer Christopher Steele…. (more)

September 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Project Veritas has caught a State Department bureaucrat on hidden camera proclaiming he is part of the anti-Trump opposition and his job is to “resist everything” at “every level.” Conservative activist and Veritas chief James O’Keefe released the video on Tuesday. He said it kicks off what he promises is wide exposure of the so-called “Deep State” actively working to defeat President Trump from within via media leaks and policy sabotage…. (more)

September 20, 2018
PROJECT VERITAS — DOJ: “These allegations are deeply concerning…referred to Inspector General.” Leaks at Department of Health and Human Services: “It’s kind of like the Nixon, ‘deep throat’ type of thing.” Department of Justice Paralegal Allison Hrabar: “what’s kind of lucky is at the DOJ, we can’t really get fired.”… (more)


September 20, 2018
CAMPUS REFORM — Last week, President Obama stirred controversy after giving a speech where he told attendees that credit for the historically strong U.S. economy should go to him, and not President Trump. After accusing Trump of being a “threat to our democracy,” Obama went on to say “When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started,” alluding to his own role in the economic upturn…. (more)

September 20, 2018
TRIGTENT — At a certain point, having ingested enough of Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric and policies, one can’t help but wonder: is Bernie Sanders really that dumb, or does he simply want to dupe the nation into impoverishing itself, both on an individual and group level?… (more)

September 20, 2018
PAUL BEDARD — Nearly half of the residents in the nation’s five biggest cities do not speak English at home, choosing instead their native language, according to the latest Census Bureau data that details the impact of a decade of soft immigration policies…. (more)

September 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Archbishop of the New York Diocese Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked a former judge to conduct an independent investigation into abuse allegations within his own community of churches. Cardinal Dolan announced that Judge Barbara Jones accepted his invitation to become the diocese’s special counsel and independent reviewer. He explained that Judge Jones will have access to all records, Church personnel, and himself to probe all allegations of abuse by priests, deacons and bishops…. (more)


September 19, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — President Trump announced Tuesday that he will launch an energy security collaborative with Poland to advance his energy diversity agenda for Europe, an initiative meant to counter the influence Russia wields through its supply of gas to Europe…. (more)

September 19, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — Incumbent Texas senator Ted Cruz is leading his Democratic opponent, Representative Beto O’Rourke, by nine percentage points among likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. The poll found that 54 percent of likely voters supported Cruz and 45 percent backed his opponent, a widely profiled progressive star who currently represents El Paso in the House. Notably, just 1 percent of those surveyed were undecided while 93 percent reported having made their final decision…. (more)


September 19, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The NRA has joined with President Trump and others to decry protesting professional sports figures, mostly in the NFL, who continue to take a knee to protest the National Anthem. National Rifle Association President Oliver North, in a new video titled “We Stand For Our Flag,” said that protesting players are turning their backs on the flag, police and troops who gave their limbs and life “so you could spend your Sundays playing games.”… (more)

September 19, 2018
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER — The film focuses on anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, who spent years working for Planned Parenthood before switching sides. A $6 million anti-abortion film that takes a critical look at Planned Parenthood recently wrapped after being shot in secret in Oklahoma, and the filmmakers behind such surprise hits as God’s Not Dead and I Can Only Imagine are hoping for similar success when they release the movie wide next year…. (more)

September 17, 2018
ALAN KEYES — In an issue (Sept. 6, 2018) of the New England Journal of Medicine this month, two professors have written an article calling for euthanasia of the elderly to harvest their body parts for organ donation, “if consent is obtained.”… (more)

September 17, 2018
CLIFF KINCAID — Conservatives who backed Judge Brett Kavanaugh without examining his record are looking like complete fools. Before the sexual assault charges surfaced, he was already on record saying the atrocious Supreme Court decisions on abortion-on-demand and “gay marriage” were “settled law.” Now, his character is under assault as questions surface about the party atmosphere and secular nature of his Jesuit-run Catholic high school. Catholic “education” has become another crisis…. (more)

September 17, 2018
JOAN SWIRSKY — Judge Brett Kavanaugh has always been in the crosshairs of the left, ever since he played a major role in urging the impeachment of their icon of moral rectitude, President Bill Clinton, and also led the investigation into the alleged suicide (or fishy murder) of Vince Foster, Clinton’s Deputy White House Counsel and close friend of Ms. Hillary…. (more)

September 17, 2018
BRYAN FISCHER — An accuser has crawled out of the shadows to charge Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with sexual assault. The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, contends that 36 years ago Kavanaugh, in a drunken stupor, shut her in a room at a party and clumsily attempted to undress her…. (more)

September 17, 2018
Joseph Farah explains why the Pharisee’s question has much deeper meaning
JOSEPH FARAH — I have always found the story of Nicodemus, told in three separate passages in the Gospel of John, among the most fascinating stories in the Bible. Like much of Scripture, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Here was a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin whose very Greek name has two seemingly relevant meanings – – “Innocent Blood” and “Victory of the People.” With a name like that, Nicodemus might have been expected to be on the lookout for the Messiah who would restore the world to the way it was intended to be at Creation before the fall. Or maybe we read too much into some Bible names…. (more)

September 17, 2018
White House moves as Lisa Page admits ‘no collusion’
ART MOORE — President Trump has directed the Justice Department and the director of national intelligence to immediately declassify documents related to the Obama administration’s handling of claims of Trump campaign collusion with Russia during the 2016 election…. (more)


September 17, 2018
Want American people see his committee’s depositions before election day
WORLDNETDAILY — Ever wonder how the Deep State works? Do you understand how what is becoming known as “the Media-Intelligence Complex” works? Fox News’ Maria Bartiroma took the time Sunday morning to explore these issues with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who patiently exposed how leaks by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to the media result in fake news stories that bolster the case for investigations and indictments of innocent people and prosecutions in which no crimes were actually perpetrated…. (more)

September 17, 2018
Meteorologist Ryan Maue says Gore’s assertion made ‘without any evidence’
WASHINGTON TIMES — Another climate-change claim by former Vice President Al Gore is coming under fire, this one involving Hurricane Florence. Mr. Gore said Friday that two major storms from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had never made landfall at the same time, referring to Hurricane Florence, the Category 1 hurricane that struck North Carolina on Friday, and Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which hit the Philippines early Saturday…. (more)

September 17, 2018
USA TODAY — Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has repeatedly told the news media that Twitter doesn’t ban content based on users’ viewpoints. Earlier this month, at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, members of Congress tested him on that assertion and asked several times whether Twitter engaged in suppressing more conservative voices. Each time, Dorsey replied no…. (more)

 

Weekly Watchman for 09/21/2018

Questions and Comments from Listeners

Rather than list many of the questions and comments this week, let’s sum them up this way:

Comments and questions discussed on today’s podcast include an overwhelming response to the current Willow Creek Church/Bill Hybels scandal. Over all listeners who sent in questions or comments on the issue, over 90% are opposed to the Willow Creek Association and Global Leadership Summit, and many have addressed their concerns with their pastor.

Some have already left their churches if it continued to be a part of the Willow Creek Association, while others plan to ask their pastor about it to see how they justify partnering with an organization having so many unbiblical approaches and teachings. In our experience, when confronted about WC, most church leaders double down and refuse to acknowledge the problems.

A few listeners mentioned politics and the fiasco the Senate hearings have become regarding Supreme Court nominee, Bret Kavanaugh. Someone also brought up the difference between being a Christian and a conservative which are often used interchangeably.

Another Christian couple wants to know how to strike a healthy, biblical balance in the home as campaign season is already upon us. One spouse is more active politically wanting to be salt and light in culture and the other just wants to pray and vote as God leads without getting immersed or frustrated with the political process.

The others we had time for today mentioned the importance of believers knowing and appreciating the Old Testament. Also, a new believer who asked about the parable of the Sower in Mark chapter 4 and does it refute the “once saved always saved” doctrine.

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 Real Cause Behind the Crisis at Willow Creek

When you are suffering from the flu, feverish with a soar throat and body aches, are these symptoms the cause of the flu or are they the effects of the flu? They are of course the effects of a virus (the true cause) that has invaded your body leading to physical illness and mild suffering. When you treat the cause you get to the root of the problem; but treating effects will not lead to a cure.

Why bring this up? It’s a key to understanding the latest crisis at Willow Creek Church. The sexual assault scandal involving former Pastor Bill Hybels and several women has led to the Elder Board announcing their resignation. A consulting team has been brought in for damage control and a reorganization plan—you know just like secular businesses and corporations do when facing an internal or PR crisis. But is the sexual scandal the cause of Willow Creek’s crisis or the effects? The fallout is an effect – and in segment 2 we will address the true cause.

In the first segment, Mike and David talk with Carl Teichrib about his upcoming book, “Game of Gods” where he did boots on the ground’ research at Burning Man festival. Carl documents the strange, popular movement combining earth worship, pagan rituals, anarchy and spiritual oneness—all under the guise of “radical tolerance.” And while it might be easy to dismiss what you will hear by calling 80,000 followers goofy nuts, could it be part of Satan’s master plan for the world to worship Anti-Christ?

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

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Is Biblical Prophecy Being Ignored in the Church?

An estimated 30-40% of the Word of God deals with prophecy: Prophecy points Old Testament people to the coming of Jesus the Messiah, and indicates how Jesus returns one day to judge all men and establish His everlasting Kingdom. These are the two most significant events the world will ever experience, so why is Bible Prophecy practically ignored or discounted in more and more churches?

Gary Kah of Hope For the World is a student of biblical prophecy and has researched and written about the coming one world government and religion the Bible says will happen just before the return of the Lord. We’ll discuss the dangers of ignoring biblical prophecy along with looking at events in the Middle East that might be signalling the fulfillment of prophecy in our lifetime.

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

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Are we Medicating Ourselves into an Intellectual Coma?

Watch television for any length of time and you are sure to see ads for new medications promising to make your life better. And while many of these drugs have dangerous side effects, the Pharmaceutical Industry continues to make billions of dollars peddling the latest “cure” for the latest problems of life. Anti-depression medications have saturated the market and record numbers of American children are now being medicated for ADHD. Today, Mike and David discuss the dangers of over-medication and the long term effects on mental health.

On a related subject we look at two interesting, yet very sad articles that are becoming all too common in these days. First, the number of young girls struggling with “gender identity” is skyrocketing; and second, a professor in Sweden is under attack for stating something so obvious that only a fool would argue that he is wrong. Is there a connection between over medication and the intellectual insanity permeating every aspect of 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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The Prayer of a Red Letter Christian

Have you ever wondered how members of the “Red Letter Christians” pray when they gather together? How do you pray to God when you believe He cares more about social justice and immigration than he does the eternal souls of men? This morning, Mike and David will share the opening prayers cited at the Red Letter Christian “Lynchburg Revival.” See if you can spot anything missing.

Mike and David will also discuss the danger of the #MeToo Movement combining with politics and activism. Abortion is just one of the hot-button issues and the Left thinks nothing of destroying its opponents just to make sure they can go on eliminating the lives of innocent children in the womb.

In our first segment, Don Veinot of Midwest Christian Outreach joins the program as he prepares to attend the Parliament of World Religions in Canada in November.

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

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Most Millennials Believe the Bible Is ‘Just a Book’

Most Millennials Believe the Bible Is ‘Just a Book’

 

 

It appears today’s younger generation is more disengaged than ever from the Christian faith. A recent Barna Group study reveals that only 14 percent of Millennials believe the Bible is the literal Word of God. The 2017 study also found that one in three Millennials view the Bible as “just another book.” And according to researchers, both Millennials and Generation Z are more hostile to the holy book than previous generations.

To combat this phenomenon, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the largest Scripture-translation organization in the world, has announced the third annual launch of its #WhyBible campaign. The initiative is designed to meet young people where they are in this new digital age and hopefully inspire discussion of the Bible’s lasting importance. READ MORE

September 21, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said on Friday that his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was “under assault” by radical leftist politicians, appearing to grow impatient with the delay of his appointee’s confirmation proceedings.

The Justice Department is considering delaying a meeting with state attorneys general planned for next week to discuss concerns about conservative voices being stifled on social media, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Turkey’s defense ministry said on Friday the borders of the demilitarized zone to be set up in Syria’s Idlib region were agreed in meetings with a Russian committee.

Israel will cut the tax revenue it transfers to the Palestinian Authority if it pays the family of the killer of an American-Israeli settler, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said on Friday.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of two more Chilean bishops, the Vatican said on Friday, in his latest move to confront a widening worldwide sexual abuse scandal.

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military on Thursday for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russia, in breach of a sweeping U.S. sanctions law punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards and army carried out a joint aerial military drill in the Gulf on Friday in what official media said indicated the “pounding reply” that awaited the country’s enemies.

AP Top Stories

The Russian military says that over 3,000 Syrians have returned to their homes over the past week.

Israel has provided Moscow with proof it bore no responsibility for bringing down a Russian plane in Syria, an Israeli military official said on Friday. Fifteen Russian crew were killed when an IL-20 surveillance plane crashed near Latakia in northern Syria on Monday. Russia has said Syria shot the plane down shortly after Israeli jets hit a target in the area.

Air Force Special Ops is accelerating a strategic shift from its recent counterinsurgency focus to major power war.

Moments after Afghan journalist Samim Faramarz wrapped up his live report on the latest suicide attack in Kabul, a car bomb exploded just metres away, killing him and his cameraman Ramiz Ahmadi. The deaths of Faramarz and Ahmadi on September 5 took the number of journalists and media workers killed in Afghanistan this year to 14, making the country the deadliest in the world for the media.

Three babies and two adults were slashed during an early-morning assault at a suspected illegal childcare center in New York City on Friday, police said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns Hezbollah “not to think twice but at least 20 times before deciding whether to attack Israel,” after the Shiite movement said it had acquired “precision missiles”.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tested Israel’s new high-speed train from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on Thursday, but much work remains before it is fully operational.

Turkey has played a positive role in Syria’s Idlib province, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday after Turkey and Russia announced on Monday that their troops would enforce a new demilitarized zone in Idlib.

India cancelled on Friday a rare meeting between its foreign minister and her Pakistani counterpart scheduled to have taken place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, only a day after announcing it would take place. The Indian foreign ministry blamed the “latest brutal killings of our security personnel by Pakistan-based entities and the recent release of a series of twenty postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism”.

Suspected dissident FARC guerrillas murdered three geologists working for a Canadian gold mining company in northwestern Colombia, the army said on Thursday.

Iran’s air force is carrying out a drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea, the country’s official IRNA news agency said Friday.

BBC

At least 126 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, officials said. Many are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people in total may have drowned. Rescue efforts resumed on Friday after being halted overnight.

Japan’s space agency (JAXA) believes it has successfully landed two robotic explorers on the surface of an asteroid, making history. “We don’t have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful.”

At least 12 villagers were killed late on Thursday during an attack by suspected jihadists in Mozambique’s northern village of Paqueue, in Cabo Delgado region. “Ten people were shot by firearms and two burnt [to death] after 55 houses were charred. A person was beheaded after being shot dead.”

WND

Under the communist Soviet Union, political dissent was deemed a psychiatric disorder, and opponents regularly were sent to mental institutions. Critics say it’s still going on in Russia. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s definitely going on in France. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing National Rally party, has been ordered to be examined by a psychiatrist “to determine if she “is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions.'”

The idea of police and prosecutors confiscating the property of criminals began logically: A bank robber shouldn’t be able to keep the money he stole or anything he bought with it. But that has evolved into prosecutors in Philadelphia confiscating property before a conviction, or even without one. And using the proceeds for their own salaries.


News – 9/21/2018

The Next Big Geomagnetic Storm Poses An Astronomical Risk To Modern Man
Scientists are concerned about the next significant “space weather” event, which begins at the sun in the center of the solar system. Severe space weather occurs less frequently than traditional weather on Earth but can be more destructive in nature. The sun is now headed towards a solar minimum, forecasted to arrive in 2019 as the Sun changes over from Solar Cycle 24 to Solar Cycle 25. The Sun goes through 11-year cycles, during which solar activity increases and decreases.

DOJ stonewalling Trump order to release Russia docs
Nunes told the Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Wednesday night he doesn’t understand why the FISA documents haven’t been released, noting Trump ordered that they be declassified immediately without redactions. “In terms of the FISA, it’s only 20 pages. All you have to do is make a copy and send it out, put it on the internet,” he said. “So, they’re, at this point, I do not understand why this hasn’t been declassified.” Nunes said the people “running around” saying there are national security concerns are the culprits themselves.“They are either covering up for their agency, or they are involved,” he said.

Bill Clinton’s Former ‘War Room’ Director Quietly Advising Kavanaugh Accuser
Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford is getting advice by Democratic super-activist Ricki Seidman, Politico reports.

Iran puts on ‘show of strength’ military exercise in Gulf
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards and army carried out a joint aerial military drill in the Gulf on Friday in what official media said indicated the “pounding reply” that awaited the country’s enemies. Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.

Haley: US holds Iran ‘fully accountable’ for proxies’ attacks
US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley on Thursday chaired a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East. At the meeting, Haley pointed out the gravity of Iran’s actions, and urged the Council to focus on Iran’s aggression in Iraq. “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is serious and worthy of this Council’s attention. But if there is one country that is the source of conflict and instability in the Middle East – one country that merits a quarterly debate in the Security Council – that country is not Israel. It’s Iran,”

Air Force Commander briefs Russia on Syria op
The Israel Air Force’s Commander, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, returned from Russia today (Friday) after meeting his Russian counterpart and briefing him on the attack on Latakiya four days ago. That attack – which struck advanced Iranian weapons systems en route to Hezbollah – has been ascribed to Israel. “In the past hour, the coordination mechanism between the Russians and the IDF again operated in an efficient manner,” an IDF source said.

Putin: Probe expected on Russian plane shot down in Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Friday morning that there will be further examinations regarding the Russian plane that was shot down after an Israeli air strike on an Iranian military facility in Syria. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset MK Tali Fluskov (Kulanu) met with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a Conference of Euro-Asian Women, which included some of Euro-Asia’s female leaders.

Nikki Haley: Iran proxies reportedly develop missile production in Iraq
Iranian proxies in Iraq are reportedly developing the capacity to produce missiles, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said…as she warned against the growing Iranian foothold in Iraq. “In recent months, Iran’s aggression has escalated. Iranian proxies in Iraq operate openly, with funding, training, and weapons supplied by Tehran. The Iranian regime has reportedly begun over the last few months to transfer ballistic missiles to these proxies in Iraq.

Netanyahu to Nasrallah: Want a fight? You’ll get ‘unimaginable’ response
If Hezbollah dares confront Israel it will receive an unimaginable blow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as Jerusalem’s crisis with Moscow over Syria’s downing of a Russian plane triggered an unusual “war of words” with terrorist leader Hassan Nasrallah. Speaking on Thursday at a Bible study…Netanyahu referred to comments Nasrallah made earlier in the day that Hezbollah already has the precision missiles Israel is trying to prevent…

White House sends warning shot to Palestinians over ‘pay for slay’
The Trump administration is warning the Palestinian Authority that severe US aid cuts to Ramallah may be in the offing unless it ends its compensation program for the families of murderers and terrorists…a White House official noted that…legislation compels the administration to “restrict the use of…Funds…unless…the PA has taken steps to end the practice of providing payments to individuals, and families of individuals, who committed acts of terrorism.”

Chinese anger at US sanctions for Russian weapons purchases
China has told the US to withdraw sanctions on its military over purchases of Russian jets and missiles or “bear the consequences”. The US says China has contravened US sanctions on Moscow introduced over Russian actions in Ukraine and alleged interference in US politics. China recently bought 10 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 missiles.

Philippines landslide victims ‘sent texts from underneath rubble’
A landslide in the Philippines has killed at least 21 people and left dozens missing, with some texting for help from under the rubble, say police. The slide on Thursday engulfed two villages in Naga in Cebu province. It comes days after the north of the Philippines was hit by a typhoon, killing more than 80 people.

Syria war: Seized foreign IS fighters ‘must be taken home’
Captured foreign Islamic State militants must be taken back by their home countries, the Kurdish-led forces in north-eastern Syria have said. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said it would not put them on trial themselves and lacked the resources to hold them indefinitely. The SDF, which controls the region, say they hold about 500 jihadists, and hundreds of their wives and children.

Yellowstone thermal spring erupts for 4th time in 60 years
A thermal spring near Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park has erupted for the fourth time in the last 60 years, a park official said Thursday. Ear Spring on Yellowstone’s Geyser Hill went from being dormant on Saturday to spewing steam and water between 20 and 30 feet (6 and 9 meters) high, a height not recorded since 1957, said park spokesman Neal Herbert.

Iran puts on ‘show of strength’ military exercise in Gulf
The Iranian Revolutionary Guards and army carried out a joint aerial military drill in the Gulf on Friday in what official media said indicated the “pounding reply” that awaited the country’s enemies. Tehran has suggested in recent weeks that it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude.

Emergency declared at Brunswick nuclear power plant in North Carolina… all personnel blocked from entering the facility as “hot shutdown” under way
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has declared a state of emergency for both units of the Brunswick nuclear power facilities in North Carolina. An “unusual event” has occurred which is interfering with the ongoing “hot shutdown” of the nuclear power plants (a process which takes several weeks to complete).

Courts Have Deported Half of Obama’s 2014 Adult Migrants
Federal agents have repatriated 90 percent of the Mexicans and 45 percent of the Central American adults who created the border crisis of 2014, but only a tiny share of the 2014 “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” according to September 2017 data reported by the Department of Homeland Security.

Republican Congress Using Defense Bill to Fund Planned Parenthood and Aborted-Baby Parts Research
The Republican-controlled Congress is moving to enact a massive multi-agency spending bill that will permit funding of Planned Parenthood and federal research that uses tissue taken from aborted babies.

Transgender Kids in the UK: Number of Girls Jumps 4,415%, Number of Boys Rises 1,151%
The number of children in the United Kingdom (UK) seeking to change gender has skyrocketed since 2009/10, and the UK government wants to find out why.

Christians on bus executed for not reciting Islamic statement
Two Christians were murdered by members of the Islamic jihadist group Al-Shabaab in Kenya for refusing to recite the Islamic declaration of faith.

Philippines Typhoon Mangkhut death toll 81 with dozens more feared dead in Itogon landslide that hit miners’ shelter
The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Mangkhut has climbed to 81 and could hit triple digits as searchers dig through a landslide where dozens are presumed dead, authorities said Wednesday. Mangkhut swamped farm fields in the nation’s agricultural north and smashed houses when it tore through at the weekend with violent winds and heavy rains.

Middle School Opposes Pro-Life Club, Faces Potential Civil Rights Lawsuit
The Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm, has declared the Rio Rancho Middle School’s refusal to allow students to form a pro-life club a “violation of the First Amendment,” and advised the public school that it could face a federal civil rights lawsuit if it does not sanction the club.

Apple Is Now Giving People “Trust Scores” Based on Their Calls and Emails
This information will likely not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to Big Tech’s increasing propensity to violate the privacy of users and use their data for questionable reasons, but here we are.

Christine Blasey Ford Published Eight studies about “Abortion Pill” and Works for Company that Produces It
Professor Christine Blasey Ford, while working for Stanford University, was also affiliated with Corcept Therapeutics (2006 – 2011). Her new Wikipedia page describes her as “director of biostatistics at Corcept.” Corcept Therapeutics Inc. (CORT) has a $1.66 billion market cap (worth), with current annual sales of $216 million.

Watch – Beto O’Rourke to Black American: Illegal Immigrants Needed for Cotton Gin
During a town hall event on Wednesday night, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) — running against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the Senate seat — told a black American who questioned his support of illegal immigration that illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico are today’s cotton pickers.

Why Is Bill Gates Warning About Global Pandemic Disease X?
Owen Shroyer speculates on why a leader of the World Health Organization, Bill Gates- indirectly responsible for both Ebola and Zika outbreaks- would warn about a global pandemic known as Disease X.

Christians, Aid Worker Brutally Murdered By Radical Islamic Terrorists In Kenya
Christians, citizens and at least one aid worker were brutally murdered by radical Islamic terrorists with ties to Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram in Kenya earlier this month. International Christian Concern (ICC), a group that tracks attacks on Christians around the world, first brought attention to the murders.

Child pornography reason behind Sunspot Observatory closure, according to court documents
A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

Indonesian city orders top staff to ‘pray or get a new job’
An Indonesian city has ordered its top civil servants to visit their local mosque for dawn prayers or risk being fired, underscoring the growing influence of religion across the world’s biggest Muslim majority country.


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Oppenheimer – Did Jonah die in the whale or did he survive three days?

The Sanhedrin Seduction and Third Temple Temptations—A Warning to Christians!

Reinhard Bonnke Pals Around with False Prophet Benny Hinn Abandoning Any Ounce of Credibility He Had Left

SBC Executive Committee Shuts Down Free Speech, Criticism of “Woke” Leaders

Pope Francis Welcomes Bono After He Campaigned For Abortion In Ireland


Headlines – 9/21/2018

Spain pushing European recognition of Palestinian state

Trump to hold meeting with Netanyahu, other leaders at UN General Assembly

IDF chief said to warn West Bank ripe for major violent outbreak – could be fueled by Abbas speech to UN

US: Why should we fund PA hospitals, when Abbas diverts money to pay terrorists?

US envoy: Abbas pay to family of terrorist who killed Ari Fuld is unconscionable

At UN, 8 European countries urge Israel not to demolish Palestinian village

Report: Qatar pushed Gaza deal before May violence; plan never reached PM

Ex-aide to Jimmy Carter named head of UN probe into Gaza clashes

IDF aircraft fires at Gazans launching arson balloons at Israel

Prime Minister Theresa May says she does not underestimate threat posed by those who promote anti-Semitism

PM: Israel will use all its might if war is forced upon us

Netanyahu threatens ‘crushing’ response after Hezbollah missile boast

Iran and Israel call each other nuclear threats, ask U.N. to take action

Iran dismisses U.S. offer of talks, says Washington broke last deal

Netanyahu signals Israel won’t curb activities against Iran, despite Russia row

Blaming Assad for downing Russian plane, Israel says it won’t stop Syria strikes

Israel: Putin angry at Syria over downing of reconnaissance plane

Russia says Israel must provide more data on plane downing near Syria

Russian bombers intercepted by British jets after ignoring air traffic control, UK says

Anyone but Putin: Russians are starting to look for an alternative

Russia, China embrace uneasily, aim for ‘desirable world order’

China distances children from families to subdue Muslim west

North Korea’s Kim wants another Trump summit to speed denuclearization: South Korea’s Moon

EU pushes for October Brexit agreement, but threatens May with no deal

Pennsylvania Rep Proposes Bill To Ban Political Talks In Schools

Former Google CEO predicts the internet will split in two by 2028 – and one part will be led by China

Fight looms over national privacy law

Delta says Atlanta airport will feature USA’s ‘first biometric terminal’

Yellowstone thermal spring erupts for 4th time in 60 years

Strange and unpredicted behavior behind mysterious California earthquakes, new research suggests

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Suva, Fiji

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Suva, Fiji

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Mapastepec, Mexico

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Western Denmark Shaken by ‘Super Rare’ Earthquake

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 12,000ft

Ulawun volcano on Papua New Guinea erupts to 12,000ft

Volcanic eruptions get new early warning systems

Storm Ali: two killed as 100mph winds lash UK and Ireland

Florence-weary South Carolina could get more record flooding

Northern and western Iowa seeing another round of flooding after heavy rain

Iowa rivers go above flood stage for the second time this month

Flooding In Nigeria Leads To 100 Dead, Officials Declares A State Of Emergency

Argentina’s economy contracts 4.2% in second quarter: severe drought blamed

It’s high times for soaring marijuana stocks on Wall Street

Drugs, Alcohol and Suicide Are Killing So Many Young Americans That the Country’s Average Lifespan Is Falling

Illegal Organ Harvesting Is Rampant in Egypt, and Refugees Are the Main Target

Ireland Plans To Offer Abortions For Free, As Ban Is Officially Repealed

Inconsistencies emerge in Kavanaugh accusations, with hearing in doubt

Ford: ‘Zero chance’ I would confuse Kavanaugh with other student

Trump, in Las Vegas, on Kavanaugh confirmation vote: ‘I don’t think you can delay it any longer’

Kavanaugh accuser’s offer to testify about alleged sexual assault puts key Republicans in a bind

Judiciary Committee eyes independent lawyer to conduct Kavanaugh questioning

Dershowitz: Brett Kavanaugh Has ‘Core Right to Confront His Accuser’

Brett Kavanaugh, wife and Christine Blasey Ford all receiving death threats

Feinstein’s office receiving ‘threats of bodily and sexual harm against staff’

Chicago priest who calls sex abuse ‘a gay thing’ burns rainbow flag in an ‘exorcism’

Beyonce accused of using ‘extreme witchcraft’ to control former drummer video

There have been 263 days in 2018 – and 262 mass shootings in America


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September 21, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

9 The three hymns interpret the symbolism of the scroll and the Lamb. The number of singers increases from twenty-eight in v. 8 to every creature in all creation in v. 13. The first two hymns are songs of praise to the Lamb, whereas the last is praise to both the One on the throne and the Lamb (v. 13). The first hymn (vv. 9–10) is called a “new” song because there was never any like it before in heaven (see comments at 14:3).

“You are worthy” (axios, “comparable, equal to, deserving”; GK 545) refers to the qualifications of this person who alone has won the right to take the scroll and open its seals. His worthiness for this task was won by his loving sacrifice on the cross—“because you were slain.” This must be understood as a direct reference to the earthly death of the human Jesus of Nazareth—an understanding supported by the Greek aorist tense used here. It is no mythological death or salvation. Like other NT writers, John views the death of Jesus as a redeeming death—“and with your blood [or by the price of your blood] you purchased [or redeemed, agorazō, GK 60] men for God.”

The death of Jesus broke the stranglehold of the “powers and authorities” over the creation and produced a great victory of liberation for humankind (Col 2:15). It is this victory, obtained through suffering and death, that entitles Christ to execute the unfolding of the mystery of God’s consummation of history. The centrality of the cross and its meaning as a redemptive act comes repeatedly to the fore and should dominate our understanding throughout Revelation (1:5; 5:12; 7:14; 12:11; 13:8; 14:4; 15:3; 19:7; 21:9, 23; 22:3; etc.). Jesus’ death secured a salvation universally applied to all classes and peoples of the earth—“every tribe and language and people and nation” (cf. 7:9). Handel’s great closing chorus, “Worthy is the Lamb,” of his masterful oratorio Messiah has immortalized this text for the concert hall and the church since its first presentation in Dublin on April 13, 1742.[1]


5:9 / The niv adds men to the phrase, you purchased men for God, thereby glossing over an important textual problem. Some ancient mss include the pronoun “us” (hēmas), rendering the phrase, “you purchased us for God.” The decision can not be decided on textual grounds alone, since both readings enjoy significant external support. In the context of the composition itself, if we take the elders, who sing the song, to be angelic beings, then the pronoun should be omitted on christological grounds: Christ did not die for angels. If however we take the elders to be risen elders (i.e., apostles and prophets) of eschatological Israel, then the pronoun could be retained on the same grounds.[2]


5:9–10. John now hears the elders—perhaps joined by the living creatures—singing a new song, one with a different focus than their original song (Rev. 4:11). If the original song was the “Creation Song from the Elders,” this is the “Redemption Song from the Elders.” This song may be phrased and punctuated as follows:

You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,

because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation, [and]

you have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

and they will reign on the earth.

The first line of the song answers directly the question of verse 2, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” The elders respond in the second person, speaking directly to the Lamb (as they had earlier sun to the Creator, 4:11). The basis of the Lamb’s worthiness is his willing sacrifice (you were slain) and the result of the sacrifice (with your blood you purchased men for God). The crucifixion of Jesus, although not specifically mentioned, is the reason for his worthiness. The verb purchased was the normal word used for the business transaction of buying (as in Matt. 13:46). In a few New Testament passages it describes the effect of Jesus’ death (as in 1 Cor 6:20). His blood given to the point of death was the price of their admission to the kingdom of God (v. 10). A similar verb is usually translated redeemed as when slaves were purchased and set free. (Some of the ancient manuscripts and the King James Version read, “purchased us for God,” but this is a mistake made by ancient copyists based on the notion that the elders John saw were glorified humans rather than angelic beings.)

How far-reaching was the Lamb’s purchase? Persons of every tribe and language and people and nation were included. His redemptive work was not for Jews only, but included representatives from ethnic groups and societies around the world. Today we have a much better understanding than John did of how widely varied human societies are. The worship of the elders anticipated the time when the Great Commission of Christ had reached its fulfillment (Matt 28:19–20).

The result of purchasing representatives from all the earth’s peoples is that they will be a kingdom and priests to serve our God. This marks a wonderful transformation and fulfillment of what God had told the Israelite people in the days of Moses: “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod. 19:5–6). Throughout the centuries from John’s day until now, the Lamb’s purchased people have been fulfilling this privilege. The apostle Peter also understood this: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

There is also the future dimension. Lamb’s people one day will reign on the earth with their King. This wonderful time is described fully in Revelation 21–22 with the portrait of the new Jerusalem: “They will reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:5; see also 3:21).[3]


9. And they sang a new song, saying,

“You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals,

because you were slain

and with your blood you bought [men and women] for God

out of every tribe and language and

people and nation

  1. and you made them for our God

a kingdom and priests,

and they will rule upon the earth.”

  • “And they sang a new song.” This is the first of the three hymns that exalt the Lamb for his redemptive work on the cross. The other two hymns are sung respectively by the angels and all creatures. Who are the singers of this first hymn? At least one scholar states that they are the twenty-four elders because they have harps. Another argument is the reading of the line “you bought [men and women] for God,” which in the TR reads, “you bought us for God” (see KJV, NKJV). The four living beings are unable to say that the Lamb had bought them with his blood. But these are questionable arguments grammatically and textually. Scholarly opinion favors the inclusion of the four living creatures, because with the elders they fell before the throne in worship (v. 8) and would be expected to express their worship in song.

Twenty-eight voices sing a new song. The adjective new suggests that the new has come forth out of the old as a separate entity. The Old Testament lists new songs celebrating God’s wondrous deeds (Ps. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1; 144:9; Isa. 42:10). But in the Apocalypse, the singers extol the redemption of God’s people through the atonement of Jesus Christ. They praise not the one sitting on the throne but the Lamb who has accomplished his redemptive task. The Lamb deserves jubilant praise, because he triumphed over Satan by dying for the redeemed purchased from every tribe, language, people, and nation. The song is new not only “in point of time, but more important, it is new and distinctive in quality”. The Lamb is worthy of the highest praise.

  • “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slain and with your blood you bought [men and women] for God out of every tribe and language and people and nation.” The Lamb is worthy because of his willing sacrifice of his own life on the cross. His death was not a random casualty or an unavoidable tragedy. He voluntarily gave up his life to pay the penalty for sin, to satisfy God’s justice, to remove the curse, to reconcile the world to God, and to restore his people to true fellowship with God (14:4; 1 Pet. 1:18–19). Because of his sacrificial death, the Lamb is worthy to take the scroll out of God’s hand, to break its seals, and to make its contents reality (Rev. 13:8; Isa. 53:7).

The Lamb slain to redeem his people symbolizes the voluntary sacrifice of the crucified Christ and at the same time the supremacy of the exalted Christ. As we shall see later, one of the heads of the beast coming up out of the sea was slain as a parody of Jesus’ death (13:3). The difference is that Christ rose from the dead, while the beast is consigned eternally to the lake of fire (19:20). By shedding his lifeblood and dying on the cross, Christ Jesus paid for the sins of his people and set them free. By contrast, the beast, having suffered a fatal blow to one of his seven heads, enslaves his followers and continues to attack God, his name, his dwelling place, and his people (13:5–8).

Christ Jesus bought his people with his blood shed at Calvary. He did not pay Satan to redeem them, but with his death on the cross he satisfied the justice of God. He paid the penalty that God had placed on Adam and Eve and their descendants (Gen. 2:17) and set them free. God’s people owe Jesus “an overwhelming religious debt” for his willingness to pay the price for their redemption.

The phrase “out of every tribe and language and people and nation” occurs repeatedly in Revelation with variations in word order (7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15). The word tribe conveys the meaning of physical ties and descent, while the term language has a much broader connotation and points to linguistic communication. The word that I have translated as people relates to an ethnic group of common descent; and the expression nation refers to a political entity with distinct geographic boundaries. But because of the frequent appearance of these four categories in Revelation, it is better to interpret them as an all-encompassing idiom. Jesus calls his followers, both Jews and Gentiles, from every possible place on the face of this earth, so that his people are the church universal.

  • “And you made them for our God a kingdom and priests, and they will rule upon the earth.” Here is a parallel to the words in 1:6, “and made us a kingdom and priests to his God and Father,” and 20:6, “they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.” John relies on Exodus 19:6, where God tells the people of Israel that they are to be for him a holy nation and a kingdom of priests (Isa. 61:6). As God called the Israelites to be a special people in their time, so he addresses his people today and instructs them to be citizens in his kingdom and serve him as dedicated priests. This charge is for time and eternity, for this present life and the life to come. The present rule of the saints on earth will continue with Christ on the renewed earth.

The text expresses three points: first, those who have been purchased are placed in God’s kingdom; next, they are made priests; and last, they are given the privilege of ruling as kings. The text reads that the Lamb made them priests, that is, they are priests already and are in the kingdom now and certainly in the future. Through their prayers, they even now rule on the earth.[4]


5:9–10. In a new song the 4 creatures and 24 elders ascribed worthiness to the Lamb to take the scroll and break the seals, stating that the Lamb had been slain and had purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Those He purchased with His blood were made a kingdom and priests to serve our God (cf. 1:6), and to reign on the earth. “Purchased” is from the verb agorazō, “to redeem.” (See the chart, “New Testament Words for Redemption,” at Mark 10:45.)

A textual problem exists in these verses. The Greek text used by the KJV indicates that the new song is sung by those who themselves have been redeemed: “Thou … has redeemed us to God … and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.”

The NIV, however, reads, “You purchased men for God.… You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” If the KJV is correct, the 24 elders must represent the church or saints in general. If their song is impersonal as in the NIV and they simply are singing that Christ is the Redeemeer of all men, it opens the possibility that the 24 elders could be angels, though it does not expressly affirm it.

While scholars differ on this point, it would seem that since the elders are on thrones and are crowned as victors, they represent the church rather than angels. Angels have not been judged and rewarded at this point in the program of God. But angels soon join the creatures and the elders in praising the Lamb (5:11–12). The two different interpretations here should not mar the beauty of the picture and the wonder of this song of praise.[5]


Revelation 5:9

The song that the four living creatures and the elders sang was a new song. The phrase a new song is very common in the Psalms; and there it is always a song for the new mercies of God. ‘Sing to him a new song,’ says the psalmist (Psalm 33:3). God took the psalmist out of the fearful pit and from the miry clay and set his foot on a rock and put a new song in his mouth to praise God (Psalm 40:3). ‘O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous things’ (Psalm 98:1; cf. 96:1). ‘I will sing a new song to you, O God’ (Psalm 144:9). ‘Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful’ (Psalm 149:1). But the nearest parallel in the Old Testament comes from Isaiah. There, God declares new things, and the prophet calls upon people to sing to the Lord a new song (Isaiah 42:9–10).

The new song is always a song for new mercies of God; and it will be noblest of all when it is a song for the mercies of God in Jesus Christ.

One of the characteristics of Revelation is that it is the book of new things. There is the new name (2:17, 3:12), the new Jerusalem (3:12, 21:2), the new song (5:9, 14:3), the new heavens and the new earth (21:1); and there is the great promise that God makes all things new (21:5).

One most significant thing is to be noted. Greek has two words for new: neos, which means new in point of time but not necessarily in point of quality, and kainos, which means new in point of quality. Kainos describes a thing which has not only been recently produced but whose like has never existed before.

The significance of this is that Jesus Christ brings into life a quality which has never existed before—new joy, new thrill, new strength, new peace. That is why the supreme quality of the Christian life is a kind of brightness. It has been said that ‘the opposite of a Christian world is a world grown old and sad’.

The Song Of The Living Creatures And Of The Elders

Revelation 5:9–10

And they sang a new song and this is what they sang:

Worthy are you to receive the roll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and so at the price of your lifeblood you bought for God those of every tribe and tongue and people and race, and made them a kingdom of priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.

The praise offered to the Lamb by the four living creatures and the elders is given because he died. In this song, the results of the death of Jesus Christ are summed up.

(1) It was a sacrificial death. That is to say, it was a death with purpose in it. It was not an accident of history; it was not even the tragic death of a good and heroic man in the cause of righteousness and of God; it was a sacrificial death. The object of sacrifice is to restore the lost relationship between God and humanity; and it was for that purpose, and with that result, that Jesus Christ died.

(2) The death of Jesus Christ was a death which brought freedom. From beginning to end, the New Testament is full of the idea of the liberation achieved by him for all people. He gave his life as a ransom (lutron) for many (Mark 10:45). He gave himself as a ransom (antilutron) for all (1 Timothy 2:6). He redeemed us from—literally bought us out from (exagorazein)—the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). We are redeemed (lutrousthai) not by any human wealth but by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:19). Jesus Christ is the Lord that bought us (agorazein) (2 Peter 2:1). We are bought with a price (agorazein) (1 Corinthians 6:20, 7:23). The New Testament consistently declares that it cost the death of Jesus Christ to rescue us from the dilemma and the slavery into which sin had brought us. The New Testament has no ‘official’ theory of how that effect was achieved; but of the effect itself it is in no doubt whatever.

(3) The death of Jesus Christ was universal in its benefits. It was for men and women of every race. There was a time when the Jews could hold that God cared only for them and wished for nothing but the destruction of other peoples. But in Jesus Christ we meet a God who loves the world. The death of Christ was for all people, and therefore it is the task of the Church to tell everyone about it.

(4) The death of Jesus Christ was a death which was of benefit. He did not die for nothing. In this song, three aspects of the work of Christ are singled out.

(a) He made us royal. He opened to men and women the royalty of the children of God. Human beings have always been God’s children by creation; but now there is a new relationship of grace open to all.

(b) He made us priests. In the ancient world, only the priest had the right of approach to God. When ordinary Jews entered the Temple, they could make their way through the Court of the Gentiles, through the Court of the Women, into the Court of the Israelites; but into the Court of the Priests they could not go. It was a case of so far and no further. But Jesus Christ opened the way to God for all people. We all become priests in the sense that we have the right of access to God.

(c) He gave us triumph. His people shall reign upon the earth. This is not political triumph or material lordship. It is the secret of victorious living under any circumstances. ‘In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’ (John 16:33). In Christ, there is victory over self, victory over circumstance and victory over sin.

When we think of what the death and life of Jesus Christ have done for us, it is no wonder that the living creatures and the elders burst into praise of him.[6]


5:9, 10 In their new song, they acclaimed the Lamb as worthy to execute judgment because of His redemptive work on the cross. There is a question whether they include themselves among the redeemed (“have redeemed us to God”) or whether it should read, as in some versions, “and did purchase for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation”.

Beyond redemption, the Lord has made believers kings and priests to worship Him, to witness for Him, and to reign with Him over the millennial earth.[7]


5:9 The new song celebrates the redemptive work of the Son as the basis of His right to judge. Divine rule has its basis in creation (ch. 4) and redemption. Christ is worthy to open the scroll because He was slain on the Cross, purchasing with His blood believers out of every nation. True authority links both sovereignty and love, might and morality.

5:10 Many claim that the reign of the saints on the earth is a fancy. It is claimed that it is carnal and Jewish. The saints in heaven, who are made kings and priests (1:6), do not so regard it. That reign is not first spoken of in 20:4, because it has been stated in 3:21 in a promise and here in praise (compare Matt. 25:31).[8]


5:9, 10 — “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation .… ”

God does not play favorites. He searches for men and women, boys and girls, to redeem from every ethnic group, race, and language subculture from throughout the world. He is truly the God of all the earth.[9]


5:9 new song. Cf. 15:3. The OT is filled with references to a new song that flows from a heart that has experienced God’s redemption or deliverance (cf. 14:3; Pss 33:3; 96:1; 144:9). This new song anticipates the final, glorious redemption that God is about to begin. purchased for God with Your blood. The sacrificial death of Christ on behalf of sinners made Him worthy to take the scroll (cf. 1Co 6:20; 7:23; 2Co 5:21; Gal 3:3; 1Pe 1:18, 19; 2Pe 2:1).[10]


[1] Johnson, A. F. (2006). Revelation. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 648–649). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Wall, R. W. (2011). Revelation (p. 108). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Easley, K. H. (1998). Revelation (Vol. 12, pp. 94–95). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 209–211). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Walvoord, J. F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 945–946). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] Barclay, W. (2004). The Revelation of John (3rd ed. fully rev. and updated, Vol. 1, pp. 193–196). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2363). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1743). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[9] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Re 5:9–10). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[10] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Re 5:9). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.