Daily Archives: October 4, 2018

OCTOBER 4 “TOWARD THE MARK”

Forgetting those things which are behind…I press toward the mark.

Philippians 3:13–14

It is one of the devil’s oldest tricks to discourage Christian believers by causing them to look back at what they once were. It is indeed the enemy of our souls who makes us forget that we are never at the end of God’s love.

No one will make progress with God until the eyes are lifted to the faithfulness of God and we stop looking at ourselves!

Our instructions in the New Testament all add up to the necessity of looking forward in faith—and not spending our time looking back or just looking within.

Brethren, our Lord is more than able to take care of our past. He pardons instantly and forgives completely, and his blood makes us worthy!

The goodness of God is infinitely more wonderful than we will ever be able to comprehend. If the “root of the matter” is in you and you are born again, God is prepared to start with you where you are!

Thank You, Lord, that we can never reach the end of Your love for us. Your love, like all Your attributes, is never-ending.[1]


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

OCTOBER 4 WE STILL HAVE GOD

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

—Matthew 6:20

As Christians we look at everything differently….

People of the world, for instance, hope for life, health, financial prosperity, international peace and a set of favorable circumstances. These are their resources—upon them they rest. They look to them as a child looks to its nursing mother.

Christians do not despise these temporal blessings, and if they come to them, they sanctify them by receiving them with prayers of… gratitude to God. But they know their everlasting welfare is not dependent upon them. These blessings may come or go, but true Christians abide in God where no evil can touch them and where they are rich beyond all the power of their minds to conceive—and this altogether apart from earthly circumstances….

The world’s resources are good in their way, but they have this fatal defect—they are uncertain and transitory. Today we have them, tomorrow they are gone. It is this way with all earthly things since sin came to upset the beautiful order of nature and made the human race victims of chance and change….

If the world’s foundations crumble we still have God, and in Him we have everything essential to our ransomed beings forever. TWP025-026

Thank You, Father, for the eternal treasure that can be mine when I serve You. Keep me from the lure of transitory treasure and focused on that which is eternal. Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Video: “The Sword of the Spirit, Part One” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

In addition to protective wear, soldiers must also arm themselves for battle. In spiritual warfare, Christian soldiers take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Contemporary culture often regards the Bible as irrelevant, but as Alistair Begg demonstrates, God’s Word is no ordinary book: it speaks with clarity, authority, and veracity, and is necessary for coming to faith. God cannot be found through human investigation, but He reveals Himself generally through His creation, specially through His Word, and ultimately through His Son.

Video: “The Sword of the Spirit, Part One” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

October 4 Daily Help

WE must manifest the spirit of Christ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness. Let us search and see if we truly suffer with Jesus. And if we do thus suffer, what is our “light affliction” compared with reigning with him? Oh, it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ, and such an honor to stand in the pillory with him, that if there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in present honor; but when the recompense is so eternal, so infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not take up the cross with alacrity, and go on our way rejoicing?[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 281). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

The Attempted Personal And Political Assassination By Democrats Of Brett Kavanaugh Has Only Succeeded In Uniting Republicans — Now The End Begins

Brett Kavanaugh is no longer a mere Supreme Court nominee. His name is now a veritable conservative cause, one that has united the right for the first time since the 2016 primary sent Republicans quarreling over Trump and Never Trump.

As I write this, Liberal Democrats in Washington are in full meltdown mode, so much so that that senators are being given police protection due to pending outbreaks of riots and violence. Why? Because the FBI has concluded its investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, and found no corroboration of any of the allegations against him. The Democrats are furious that their character assassination attempt has failed, which is why Dianne Feinstein is demanding the FBI report be kept from the American people.

It is game over for the Democrats, and they know it. They commit such overreach in their attempt to stop Kavanaugh, that the Conservative Right is galvanized like they haven’t been in quite some time. So sure of their ability to crush Kavanaugh, Democrats put all their eggs into the one basket of the politics of personal destruction, but have failed spectacularly in their attempt. The resulting ‘omelette’ may just usher in a Red Wave not seen in this country in the past 100 years.

FROM THE NY POST: Whatever the outcome of the immediate contest, it’s increasingly clear that Democrats and the media establishment made an enormous miscalculation by waging total war against Kavanaugh and his family.

Liberals set out to cast the federal judge — amiable, well-credentialed, mildly conservative — as a demon. In the process, they have reminded GOP voters and all but the most stubborn Never Trump intellectuals that there are worse things than Donald Trump’s outbursts and the ineptitude of congressional Republicans.

Dianne Feinstein wants FBI report kept secret…why?

Elizabeth Landers seems like a very nice person and good at what she does. She is also a reporter for CNN, so for her to be tweeting this adds a whole lot more weight than if a Conservative reporter had tweeted this. 

Whatever disputes we have on our own side, the thinking on the right now goes, we have to set them aside and stop a politics of personal destruction, fueled by a moral panic and an uncritical mainstream media that sees itself as an adjunct of the anti-Trump resistance.

These forces have combined to turn Kavanaugh into a folk hero, a stand-in for every American who has found himself falsely accused, or railroaded by malicious hearsay, or facing an unfeeling bureaucracy that treats juvenile missteps as unforgivable sins.

Democrats insist they’re merely seeking to smoke out a potential predator who wants a lifetime gig on the high court. But they’ll find few right-of-center voters and, I suspect, independents willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Any reservoir of trust that existed leaked out under the press of the left’s blatantly underhanded moves and violations of norms.

I’ve written in these pages about a rigged process that began with a secret and (initially) anonymous allegation, kept hidden from Kavanaugh and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee until the 11th hour, when the judge was poised to be confirmed and it was too late to properly investigate. And though Kavanaugh had already passed six FBI background checks, Democrats insisted on yet another FBI probe before he could clear his name.

Then the media piled on. READ MORE

via The Attempted Personal And Political Assassination By Democrats Of Brett Kavanaugh Has Only Succeeded In Uniting Republicans — Now The End Begins

GOP Fundraising Through the Roof After Appalling Liberal Smears on Judge Kavanaugh (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Americans saw right through the last minute political attacks on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Not only have Republicans narrowed the enthusiasm gap with Democrats but GOP fundraising is through the roof.

Stuart Varney reported on the numbers on Thursday morning.

** This last week compared to the same week in August – donations up 175%.
** The amount raised is up 194%.
** The average gift given to the Republican party is up 111%.

Via Varney and Co.:

via GOP Fundraising Through the Roof After Appalling Liberal Smears on Judge Kavanaugh (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Even Democrats are noticing how their Kavanaugh stunts are poisoning their blue wave

From polls to politicians to even NeverTrumps climbing onboard with Trumpsters, even the smarter elements of the left are getting nervous.

Source: Even Democrats are noticing how their Kavanaugh stunts are poisoning their blue wave

Feinstein: Friday Is Too Soon to Vote on Kavanaugh (We are all SHOCKED that she would say such a thing)

Timing is everything right Ms. Feinstein?

It should be noted that this year we learned that Ms. Feinstein, a crony capitalist of the first order, employed an alleged Chinese spy for 20 years until fairly recently. And it was not her “driver” as was originally proclaimed, but a close adviser.

Nothing came of this discovery. The alleged Chinese spy actually continues to be active in California politics.

As for Kavanaugh, did anyone think that Ms. Feinstein wouldn’t pull this? Her goal is to delay, delay, delay, any vote until after the November election which she hopes will motivate the p—y hat crowd to the polls.

Let’s see what the FBI has to say. Then the Senate can vote. There is no reason for any extended delay. At least no good reason.

(From The National Review)

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said on Tuesday that lawmakers should not be made to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court this week.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that the Senate would vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Friday, at the conclusion of the one-week FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual assault that have been levied against the nominee by three women.

Click here for the article.

Source: Feinstein: Friday Is Too Soon to Vote on Kavanaugh (We are all SHOCKED that she would say such a thing)

The Attack on Truth

The Attack on Truth

by Nat Crawford

If you knew the truth, would that change your mind? I wonder how many of us would answer honestly.

Some would just ask, “What is truth?” Pontias Pilate asked that question to Jesus two thousand years ago. If someone asked me, “What is truth?”, I would answer “Truth is that which corresponds to reality. In other words, truth is an accurate picture of the way a thing is. This is exactly what Merriam-Webster would say.[1]

So what?

Unless you’ve been locked away from the world, you know there is a fiery battle happening right now in the U.S. Senate regarding Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The debate, one might assume, is whether or not Kavanaugh is innocent or guilty of alleged crime(s). The debate one might say is whether or not the claims of alleged victims are true or false.

But at a closer examination, the debate isn’t over truth, but rather desire. There is an attack on truth.

Why do I suggest such a thing? Because regardless of affirmation or acquittal, the vast majority of Senators will not change their vote. Their votes are based upon desire not truth. The vast majority of Americans will not change their viewpoint of Kavanaugh. The issue is not truth, but desire.

Kavanaugh isn’t the only example of the preference of desire over truth.

In a recent Q&A session with Apologist Frank Turek, Turek asked a student…

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE:

Source: The Attack on Truth

Agents of Betrayal in the Church — Pulpit & Pen

This post was written by Thomas Littleton and has been reposted here with permission. The original can be found here.

AGENTS OF BETRAYAL: WILL EVANGELICAL INFLUENCE BE RUINED FROM WITHIN?

WHICH TRUSTED EVANGELICAL LEADERS HAVE SOLD OUT THE FLOCK AND WHY.

Note: This author is focused on the church and the serious infiltration of the remaining Biblical conservative denominations and groups. This article is a departure from that singular focus in light of the grave influence that political operatives like Russell Moore and Tim Keller are having. A redefining of the role of Christians in the culture including in politics and policy is underway. Motives and goals of the very people who condemn evangelicals for supporting the election of Donald Trump in 2016 or GOP candidates going forward have become more glaringly progressive and left than ever. Their perversion of the Gospel into social justice, contracting with grant funding and big business, inclusive, and affirming, open borders, weakening of pro-life and family values metrics are doing great harm to religious freedom, domestic and foreign missions and the Biblical worldview of our youth. These self-righteous efforts masked as a theological movement provide some of the greatest threats to the future of our churches and our children’s faith that we have known in our lifetime.  These agents of BETRAYAL must be exposed and stopped.

 

The Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission President Russell Moore, pictured on the right, is a primary operative in the evangelical betrayal and remains one of the more shameless infiltrators totally insulated from accountability.

GAME CHANGERS

A deeply divided climate remains in the American cultural and political landscape as we approach the horizon of the midterm elections. To the shock of many conservative voters, the leaders of the evangelical right have continued to live and work in the echo chamber they created by their “Never Trump” mantras during the 2016 Presidential season. Vocal leaders like Russell Moore and Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and high stakes global operator, Timothy Keller of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) and co-founder of progressive emergent movement among pastors called The Gospel Coalition, have proven to be well-endowed “agents of change” embedded deep within the conservative Christian right. Moore and Keller fill our headlines with progressive verbiage to shame and convict conservative Christian voters for Trump and other conservative candidates. The new gospel they pitch has progressive social justice equality replacing once solidified evangelical values like pro-life, pro-family and pro-America policy. Second tier players like Ed Stetzer who spent years at Lifeway Research and writing for TGC and Christianity Today along with a stable of authors with coordinated messages working with TGC under the directive of editors like Joe Carter and gay Priest Sam Allberry have primed the church for the dulling of Biblical clarity and conviction translating into salt and light in the public square. Collectively this group have overwhelmed most conversations and have further spread the leaven of leftist progressivism masked in a historic theological packaging. Sad to say trusted outlets like World Magazine have become more often echoes of Social Justice than alternative news outlets for Christians. One of the new arrivals on the scene in the SBC is Nate Collins of the Revoice organization /conference advocating for “LGBTQUI+ flourishing in historic Christian tradition” such as Southern Baptist and conservative Presbyterians churches. Unthinkable yet true – this is where the wave of false teaching by key leaders has brought to the conservative church today.

Meanwhile, the churches of the once reliably conservative SBC and PCA are being transformed through the compromise of such conservative seminary heads as Albert Mohler. Living on the reputation he garnered in 1993 as the new leader of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (flagship of the SBC) in Louisville KY, Mohler and others have filled their institutions with the false gospels of social justice calling for “Racial Reconciliation,” “Egalitarian Equality,” “Revoicing the Church on LGBTQUI+,” and “Immigration Reform.” Pro-Life is being watered down and broadened to include elder, refugee, and immigrant care.

BURNING DOWN THE EVANGELICAL HOUSE

A primary example of the change in motion is J D Greear, the Moore, Keller and Mohler disciple who now heads the SBC denomination. J.D. Greear is a mega-church pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh North Carolina. He is young, well-liked, and to the casual observer, appears to be the hope of a denomination. Yet Greear’s own church members did not even know their denominational identity and affiliations as he accepted the nomination for its presidency in early Summer 2018. Greear’s youthful appearance and hopeful demeanor actually hold an ominous and looming air of doom for the conservative movements reliant on the Christian base. Greear was trained in Mohler/Keller associate Danny Akin’s South Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been steeped in their rhetoric of Social Justice, Progressive Politics, LGBTQUI+, and American Psychological Association-driven ideology. Greear’s landscape is awash in the Soros-funded pro-Muslim immigration work of the SBC’s revamped missions organizations and World Relief.

Greear embraces the radical ideology espoused on LGBTQUI+ and the Evangelical church from Mark Yarhouse and the 2010 whitepaper Yarhouse promoted for TGC as a gold standard for “Christian Sexual Ethic. It is both Biblically baseless and APA compliant. Greear boasts that he “can no longer tell where Timothy Keller’s mind ends and his own begins.” There are many others like Greear coming into leadership in our denominations, proving that the decades-long push for change at the top of the SBC and PCA through organizations like Keller’s The Gospel Coalition has created a tinderbox of progressive politics soaked in 200 proof bootleg funding awaiting ignition. The conservative movement is about to be decimated from within.

SUFFERING A SETBACK

After the Trump victory over 16 primary rivals and Hillary to capture of the White House in 2016, Russell Moore and Tim Keller continue to efforts to undermine the conservative Christian base through article after article. Meanwhile, as they have ramped up the rhetoric, Moore/Keller have doubled down criticism of conservative voters to hopefully spark a sudden flash point among American conservatism. Young pastors and disciples of these agents of change appear to be theological conservatives but prove social liberals with no problem embracing the redefinition of marriage, pro-choice, legalizing drugs and think little of the American Dream, the Constitution, and national sovereignty. These relentless long-term efforts to undermine our foundations if successful, could mean the setback of Trump’s election may be a temporary one.

Examples of the relentless attacks of Russell Moore and Tim Keller aimed at Christian conservatives Moore

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/opinion/a-white-church-no-more.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/opinion/have-evangelicals-who-support-trump-lost-their-values.html

https://world.wng.org/2016/12/supporters_rally_to_russell_moore_after_trump_criticism

https://amgreatness.com/2017/01/05/elite-cosmopolitanism-russell-moore/

Moore with World Magazine

https://world.wng.org/2016/10/two_unfit_candidates

 

Keller

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/can-evangelicalism-survive-donald-trump-and-roy-moore

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/04/12/when-you-google-evangelicals-you-get-trump-high-profile-evangelicals-will-meet-privately-to-discuss-their-future/?utm_term=.305eb9131cdd

 

THE ERLC &TGC NARRATIVE ON LGBTQUI+ BELIES THE DEPTH OF THEIR BETRAYAL LIKE NO OTHER ISSUE

Moore has a history of faking stories, such as claiming in 2000 that he was bullied, harassed and threatened by an unnamed missionary at a Cooperative (liberal) Baptist meeting while Moore was a reporter for the Baptist Press and finishing his Doctorate at Mohler’s SBTS. This occurred just prior to Moore’s ascent as a Mohler protégé’ and then on to head the ERLC in 2013. That same year the great SBC shift began in earnest to disown the old conservative branding and rewrite the narrative to favor every progressive agenda in the Social Justice victim narrative playbook. Readers may recall Moore’s now notorious Wall Street Journal interview in Oct 2013. Complete with messianic pose in his D.C. offices, Moore struck a new tone for Evangelicals and Baptists in particular, declaring the Culture War LOST and “we must change the tone and love our gay and lesbian neighbors.”

The recently scandalous and radical Revoice brand to push “Queer Culture, Queer Literature, and Queer Theory” into PCA/ SBC churches by 2018 was actually incubated at SBTS and promoted by ERLC fellows and Associates. By 2014, Mohler and Moore held their ERLC conference on “Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage” in which Mohler apologized for being wrong about Homosexual Orientation and began to toss Reparative Therapy and the call for Repentance out the Evangelical window and under the proverbial bus. Again, this was driven by the associations of these leaders with The Gospel Coalition and APA-compliant psychologist, Mark Yarhouse, to bring the Church into step with their secular LGBTQUI+ counseling narrative while promoting the normalization and acceptance of the Marriage, Sexuality, Gender revolution.

KELLER THE GLOBAL THIRD WAY POLITICIAN

Tim Keller has his own camp of change agents as well as his partnership through TGC to a broader camp of compromised Evangelical leaders. In 2012, Tim Keller went with two younger associates – Gabe Lyons of Q Ideas Forum (a progressive TED talks for Christians) and David Kinnaman who now runs Barna – on a visit to the Whitehouse where they met with then president Barack Obama. This meeting is outlined in their book “Good Faith…” where, under the pretext of concerns about religious freedom, this trio and another straggler or two offered to lead the Church into classic Leftist “Third Way” political compromise on the great cultural issues of our day. President Obama seemed little impressed with these self-appointed agents of change and even less came from their meeting.  However what Keller and friends placed on the table is telling indeed. They assume and assert that Christians are a small minority in the US now and must operate with “Principled Pluralism” and Civility. We must go the Third Way path to assure the broader “human flourishing “and “thriving community” of which Keller is now an avid proponent. Keller is a globalist wearing a gospel mask who has shown little care for the theological roots of his PCA associations.

In 2015, he signed the Civilitas Group document advocating deep compromise with the LGBTQUI+ community, racial identity politics, immigration and other politicized social issues. Keller and other ministers including SBC leading globalist Rick Warren and three Christian Education institutions – Wheaton College, Biola University, and Fuller Seminary – all agreed to engage “The Civilitas Theory of Social Change” designed to sway the Evangelical Church, again toward “Third Way” politics and social engagement. The document asserts that “incivility is the greatest danger faced by society” ignoring the conservative understanding of threats like open borders, redefining marriage, undermining the Constitution, and globalism in general, pose to personal, religious, and economic freedoms. Civilitas was developed in part by two Ivy League sociology departments and the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, which boasts of its ideological and intellectual inspiration from the Frankfurt School. Keller’s work with the Civilitas Group reveals he still holds his longtime leanings toward Cultural Marxism.

Civilitas Document has been removed but can be found here. Frankfurt School Marxist roots are boasted of plainly by the contributing developers at UVAs IASC .

https://web.archive.org/web/20170506051340/http://www.civilitasgroup.org/uploads/7/8/1/6/78160154/civilitas_vsp_paper.utv.pdf

Keller is an agent of change in the conservative Presbyterian movement of D James Kennedy and Francis Schaeffer. His TGC message is in fact theologically Emergent (a mingled new age Christianity) cloaked in traditional Reformed Theology. TGC boast that it is a non-political gospel movement yet advocating for human flourishing for “the Common Good.” In other words, classic Christian Socialism’s false gospel. The new narrative is old school Cultural Marxism and is being shamelessly used to replace conservative values. Keller is also responsible for bringing the narrative of gay priest from the United Kingdom and the Church of England into TGC including Sam Allberry and Ed Shaw who now dare to introduce a “Church Inclusion Audit “ into both UK and US churches making demands to police private thoughts conversations, our pulpits  and force the hiring of LGBTQUI+ staff members and even advocate the requirement of couples “sharing children “ with those of other backgrounds and lifestyles in the church. This horrendous movement is becoming a part of Tim Keller and his TGC heritage /legacy in and to the church who has trusted him and others like Russell Moore .

EAT THE YOUNG OF YOUR OPPOSTION

Keller’s organization and other associated media have flooded the airways with the one-sided narrative, but the greater point of entry is provided by the near saturation of our SEMINARIES. Reformed Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Covenant Seminary, Beeson Divinity School (in this writer’s city) and many more – once considered steadfast conservative and Reformed institutions – are now deeply infiltrated by the 2013 introduction of a Social Justice / Anti -Poverty / Works Driven curriculum. The young hearts and minds of our present and future pastors are being leavened as they are moved into our pulpits to destroy our church’s influence as “salt and light” in culture, elections and policy. Albert Mohler, while less open about his affiliations with such ideology, its funding and compromise is, in fact, a more effective and dangerous agent of change because of his status as a trusted conservative theological leader for decades. Mohler engages his battle through his disciple Russell Moore who now seems to love his progressive lightening rod status in the SBC.  These trusted men, Mohler / Moore / Keller and others like them privately devour our own young, sell out our collective future into a sterile and failed Christian Socialism where our children’s nation and lives and opportunity will bear little or no resemblance to our own.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

If we continue to entrust the future of our churches, children and politics to the present Evangelical machinery and its leaders…we are done .We must expel  this alien social justice, neo-Marxist dogma from our seminaries before it devours our churches. The LGBTQUI+ activist have no place in the household of faith to redefine family, sexual norms and Christian Faith to fit their whims. If these things are not purged from the SBC PCA  and conservative churches  then they will turn evangelicalism  into a leftist wilderness barren of the Gospel and life giving power. Religious Freedom, Personal Freedoms, the Constitution, and Life as we know it – are gone. Why sit we here until we die? Arise! and be heard in the company of the Lord’s host.

You can read more and find documentation in great detail of these issues in the articles below.

About the Evangelical Deep State and Social Justice Curriculum

http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/is-this-the-evangelical-deep-state/

http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/is-this-the-evangelical-deep-state-part-two/

On LGBTQUI+ Telling Compromise in the Church

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2018/05/29/make-the-gospel-great-again-reject-the-false-gospel-of-lgbt-christianity/

Collapsing Conservative America ( provides more detail and documentation of the above article)

http://bluecollarsaints.org/2018/06/21/collapsing-conservative-america/

via Agents of Betrayal in the Church — Pulpit & Pen

Seven Effects of False Teachings — Famine In The Land

False teachings have serious consequences, not only for those who teach error, but also for their hearers.  The Apostle Paul took false teaching seriously:  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. Acts 20: 29-31.
If the apostle Paul were alive today he would have been accused of being a heresy hunter, judgemental, divisive, unloving, and would have been rejected by certain well known churches and teachers that are adored by millions.  Paul was however judging righteously when he warned of false teachers.  He was dividing correctly by making a distinction between truth and error, and he was loving in that he presented the truth in order to save those being tossed about by the various winds of doctrine.  It is these winds of doctrine that are systematically poisoning millions within the Evangelical Industrial Complex.  It may take some time for false teachings to have an effect, but when they do, they are destructive.  In this article we explore seven effects of false teachings.

 

1.  SENSUALITY that leads to destruction.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

I don’t think I even need to list the church scandals of the past few decades. Pulpits have become a platform for predators of the worst kind. Sexual abuse, affairs, abuse of power and the lust for money in the visible church have made it difficult for unbelievers to make a distinction between the immorality of the world and what takes place in the church. This is how the way of truth is blasphemed.
The word that translates as “sensuality”  is ἀσελγείαις – which means lascivious, and is used in the majority of manuscripts as opposed to the word  ἀπωλείαις – meaning destructive or pernicious. The lasciviousness of these false teachers meant that they satisfied the lusts of their flesh, particularly sexual pleasures. I found Mark Dunagan’s commentary on these verses above helpful:

“The ethics and morality of such men have become a matter of private choice or personal opinion. The key words they use are ‘self-expression’, ‘fulfillment’, rather than purity and obedience. ‘If there is no longer a master to please, then there will only be ourselves to please; and if someone starts speaking a message that flatters people rather than calling them to repentance and faith, and that encourages them to enjoy their darkest and most secret wishes rather than hard discipleship and learning, it will not be surprising that many will follow. Such a message makes no demands other than the ones we want to make on ourselves”

These false teachers avoid the message of the cross and justify the lusts of the flesh.  They avoid messages on sin, God’s wrath, eternal judgement, and death to self. Their ear tickling messages will satisfy the souls who want to fulfil their dreams and appease their carnal appetites. They don’t preach tithing because they want you to prosper – they need your tithe to pay for their new building and opulent lifestyle. They won’t tell you that they got rich from exploiting biblically illiterate people due to their own greed; instead they will tell you that tithing worked for them. They justify their divorces by blaming their spouse, and within months marry that other woman from their own congregation. They are admired and revered as influential voices in the visible church while secretly abusing women in their own congregation. They teach on accountability yet they are accountable to no one. These are sensual and greedy people whose version of god is merely an expression of themselves. And here’s the effect – “many will follow their sensuality.”

2.  SELF is appeased.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
2 Timothy 4:3

Those who sit under false teachings are not interested in death to self, but in elevating self. They want to satisfy their passions; they want to appease self. And so they listen to those teachers who commend themselves in this regard. These teachers boast of their exploits. Some have cameras following them as they perform their crafty “miracles” in public. Others will let their followers on twitter know all the details of their lives, from their pets names and activities to the latest colour nail varnish they are using. Their followers know more details of their idol’s lives than they do the gospels. One thing is for certain -they are going to let you know “the Lord” told them this or that. This gives credence to their teachings and revelations, and elevates them above the ordinary believer.

Not all of them are blatant motivational speakers and easy to discern as being a fraud.  Some of them talk of mysteries, deep revelations, and the desire to bring in billions of souls for Christ. It is these “apostles” and “prophets” in particular that are luring many into their web of deceit, simply because they come across as passionate, deep, and spiritual. Those who are prepared to “search the scriptures” and compare the teachings of these well known celebrity teachers will find that they twist and narcigete scripture. While it’s easy to identify those who are wallowing in the obvious lusts of the flesh, it is more difficult to spot subtle sins like spiritual pride. Spiritual pride captivates those who have been told that they are an amazing breed who will supersede the works of Christ. Many are swept up in movements such as the New Apostolic Reformation. Their ministry, their stories, their revelations, and their claims of how God has used them are simply a spiritual veneer over rotting flesh. The really tragic part is that many sincere and passionate people who want to do God’s will are deceived by this version of appeasing self.

A W Tozer warned of deception tailored to ensnare the passionate:

“Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness” – The Best of A. W. Tozer, compiled by Warren W. Wiersbe

False teachings are not Christ centered, and as a result the gospel becomes a story about what men and women can do, instead of what Christ has done. The gospel becomes a means to gain, instead of a cross that slays self. Many deceived by these man centered teachings imagine that the atonement guarantees perfect health, financial increase and superpowers. We would be wise to heed the words of Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

3.  SLAVERY instead of freedom.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.   Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law.  You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”  Galatians 5: 1-6.

Paul is warning the Galatian believers not to fall for the false teachings of the Judaizers. These false teachers were persuasive, but their teachings were based on the law instead of grace. Unfortunately legalism did not end with the early church. Today there are movements and denominations that place a heavy and unnecessary burden on their followers.  Considered by many evangelicals to be a cult, The Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) have a legalistic approach towards dietary laws and keeping the Sabbath. A greater threat however, and possibly influenced by SDA is the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM).  I say greater threat in the sense that I know many folk who have become disillusioned with Charismania, or who have come out of the New Apostolic Reformation, and have somehow get entangled with the HRM.

In this article, Fisher, G. Richard writes the following:
“Many Christians don’t realize that there is a battle being waged between Jewish externals and rituals as a means of spirituality and sanctification and truly biblical means that are internal heart issues…It’s hard to define the HRM because it is so diverse and made up of so many disparate groups and individuals. It’s a moving target. It’s a vast smorgasbord of everything from scholarship, as in the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, to so-called Third Questers, to individuals practicing subjective pop (make-it-up-as-you-go) Judaism. It can even include the medieval mystical Kabbalah, with its esoteric numerology. More often than not there are no distinctions made between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant or between the Bible and the Talmud. This movement can impose legalism with a vengeance or in some instances may simply suggest Jewish practices that they say will give us deeper insight and understanding as well as make us more “authentic” believers.”

Some within the HRM claim to have superior insight and an authentic faith through engaging a Hebrew mindset, keeping certain feasts, using the real names of “G-d” such as Yeshua or YHWH. In reality, it’s just back to another form of slavery. Read about the Dangers of the Hebrew Roots Movement here. While types and shadows in scripture are beneficial, and serve a purpose, they do not make us one bit more spiritual or accelerate our conformity into the image of Christ.

 “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”  Col 2:16-17

4.  SHAKEN in mind concerning end times.

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-3

Somehow believers in Thessalonica had got the impression that the end of the world was near – a time of judgement on the earth and the second coming of Christ. How they got that impression is not clear, but Paul suggested three possibilities:
• by a spirit – prophetic word or revelation
• spoken word – teaching
• letter – they had possibly misinterpreted his first letter to them, or there were forged letters doing the rounds.

Whether they had misconstrued Paul’s teachings on the subject or been purposely misled by others, they had fallen for a false teaching and Paul’s warning to them is clear – “Let no one deceive you in any way.”
The result of the false teaching was that they were shaken in mind, meaning that they had lost sound reasoning due to their fear or agitation of what might shortly transpire. They were like a ship being tossed on the high seas. If there is one subject that troubles people, or can cause them to be shaken in the mind, it’s eschatology, and that’s the context of these verses. It’s a subject that still causes much consternation. Natural phenomena such as the blood moons, books such as The Harbinger by false prophet Jonathan Cahn, and the fear-mongering by Jim Bakker in an effort to sell his survival food buckets, have caused many to be shaken in their minds.
While I believe we are in the closing stages of time on earth, I also know that “.. concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”  Matthew 24:36
In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes concerning the day of the Lord and encourages the believers to : “be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

We have no need to fear, or to be shaken in our minds regarding the end of the world – in fact the opposite is true:

 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 3:18-20

so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,  who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Titus 2:11-13

“and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”  1 Thessalonians 1:10

An eschatology that causes you to fear, feel superior, or divide you from brothers and sisters in Christ needs to be revisited.

5.  STABILITY is lost.

“..just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”  2 Peter 3:15-17

Albert Barnes describes the “unstable” as follows: “And unstable – Who have no settled principles and views. The evil here adverted to is that which arises where those undertake to interpret the Bible who have no established principles. They regard nothing as settled. They have no landmarks set up to guide their inquiries.They have no stability in their character, and of course nothing can be regarded as settled in their methods of interpreting the Bible. They are under the control of feeling and emotion, and are liable to embrace one opinion to-day, and another directly opposite to-morrow.”

While the context of the passage from second Peter is about scoffers of the second coming, the methodology of the scoffers are applicable to all false teachers – they twist the scriptures. Many of the well known pastors, “apostles” and “prophets” that people flock after today are ignorant and unstable. They don’t know the basics of exegesis, and as a result are unable to rightly divide the word of truth. These are the men and women who concoct the various winds of teaching that sway the immature and cause them to be “carried away” into error. Despite all the conferences, courses and impartations on offer, followers of these ignorant and unstable teachers are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” They become unstable themselves, as they rely on “revelations” and teachings laced with error. They cannot mature in the faith, and are unable to explain what scripture actually teaches on different subjects.  Scripture is downplayed and new revelations, interpretations and experiences are elevated. The result is a fall from steadfastness

6.  SEPARATION from the body and head.

“I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”  Acts 20:29-30

Those who distort the truth are often narcissists; they speak of themselves more than they do of Christ.  Instead of pointing their followers to Christ, they magnify themselves and their own teachings. They separate their followers from truth, and from true fellowship with other believers. Those of us who warn our friends and family of teachers who twist the truth are often accused of being divisive, but the real dividers are those who draw away disciples by twisting the truth – “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”
Romans 16:17

It is the “humble” false teacher whose deep “spirituality” and “revelations” beguile many. To the biblically illiterate and naive, they seem to be on the cutting edge of what the “Spirit” is doing and saying, but they are speaking and operating from their flesh:

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Colossians 2:18 – 19

Many people who come out of Word of Faith, Prosperity and New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches can struggle to find a church where sound doctrine is taught. For a time, they may be isolated, which is not ideal but understandable in their situation. It’s common for them to be condemned by those who remain under the “covering” of NAR and other unsound churches. The fact is that those who have come out of those churches have done so because they are connected to the head, and covered by Christ, while the one’s deceived are in danger of being disconnected from the head (if connected at all) and are under a carnal covering.

7.  SHIPWRECK of their faith.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,  holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.” 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Paul is warning Timothy about false teachers in Ephesus. These false teachers had “swerved” from a good conscience and sincere faith, and were described as people who were “without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” 1 Timothy 1:7

Hymenaeus is probably the same individual Paul identifies in 2 Timothy 2:15-16, who taught that the resurrection had already happened. Rejecting a “good conscience” caused Hymenaeus and Alexander to swerve from truth, and the result was increasing ungodliness. The word “rejected” implies that they had wilfully thrust away faith and a good conscience. When a good conscience is rejected, the result is a seared conscience : “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.”
1 Timothy 4:1-2

A sure way to shipwreck your faith is to neglect the anchor of God’s word. In doing so, the winds of doctrine will toss you around and like a ship adrift in a stormy sea, you will soon find yourself on the rocks. Hymenaeus and Alexander had rejected the faith in the sense that they were not teaching sound doctrine. When the gospel is replaced with error, the result can only be destructive. This does not mean that those who have shipwrecked their faith are beyond redemption. The hope remains that discipline and God’s chastisement will restore those who are true believers. Although Paul’s words towards Hymenaeus and Alexander seemed harsh,his intentions were clearly remedial: “By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,  among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  1 Timothy 1:19-20

These are some of the effects of false teachings, more articles related to this topic:

Ten ways to identify false teachings
Ten ways false teachers ensnare people
Invalid reasons for staying in a church you know teaches false doctrine
Ten invalid arguments in defense of false teachers

via Seven Effects of False Teachings — Famine In The Land

More Doctrines of Devils: The SDA IS a CULT

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Brethren, the Word of God tells us that demons have their own doctrines. It also says that in the latter times, many will embrace these “doctrines of demons” as truth.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Throughout my years of walking with Jesus, the question of whether the Seventh Day Adventists were truly part of the church or a cult has puzzled and troubled me.  I just could not find solid evidence either way.

Yesterday, a reader of my articles sent me an email. She asked if I would consider researching the SDA and exposing them as a cult.  She sent me information about them which peaked my interest. I began my research.

Confusion

As I began my research, I was overcome by intense confusion.  I realized that…

View original post 3,985 more words

October 4, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Trump rejected Democratic criticism of the White House’s handling of an FBI probe into sexual misconduct accusations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, as Senate Republicans maneuvered to confirm the conservative judge within days.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said on Thursday he planned to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Flake said he was not aware of any information in the FBI report that substantiated sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins said on Thursday she believed the FBI probe of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was thorough.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said on Thursday that the FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the “product of an incomplete investigation.”

The Democratic U.S. senator who helped initiate an FBI probe into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said investigators may not have questioned a number of vital witnesses, and that lawmakers need to consider whether Kavanaugh was truthful.

Vice President Mike Pence escalated Washington’s pressure campaign against Beijing on Thursday by accusing China of “malign” efforts to undermine President Donald Trump ahead of next month’s congressional elections and of reckless military actions in the South China Sea.

A U.S. federal judge in California barred the Trump administration from implementing a plan to end temporary protections for more than 300,000 immigrants in the United States from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.

French forces carried out air strikes in northern Burkina Faso night after dozens of Islamist fighters attacked a police unit at a local gold mine.

Pakistan ordered 18 international aid agencies to shut down operations and leave the country, the ActionAid charity said, in what would be Islamabad’s latest move against foreign-funded groups.

The United States on Thursday indicted seven Russian intelligence officers for conspiring to hack computers and steal data, including attempts to break into the computer networks of the nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric Co.

Apple Inc and Amazon denied a Bloomberg report on Thursday that their systems contained malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence, statements from the tech companies released separately by Bloomberg showed.

AP Top Stories

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran on Wednesday for threats to American missions in Iraq and said the United States was terminating a treaty of amity with Tehran, which is the target of increasing U.S. sanctions over its missile programs.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that the U.S. is canceling a 1955 treaty with Iran establishing economic relations and consular rights between the two nations.

Over 1,400 people have died after a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday and triggered a devastating tsunami. At least 800 others were injured by the combination of the earthquake and tsunami.

Australia’s government says it will send more than 50 medical professionals to Indonesia to help with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami as part of a $3.6 million aid package.

The FBI arrested a U.S. Navy veteran on Wednesday as a suspect in its investigation into letters sent to senior U.S. officials initially feared to contain the poison ricin, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Salt Lake City said.

At least nine Afghan police officers were killed in attacks by insurgents on checkpoints in three different parts of the country, provincial officials said Wednesday.

BBC

Video streaming service Netflix is the world’s most data-hungry application, consuming 15% of global net traffic, according to research from bandwidth management company Sandvine. Video in general accounts for more than half of net traffic, it suggests.

More than 200 million US mobile phones have received a test “Presidential Alert” notification. The trial is designed to check that a previously unused emergency communications system works properly. Unlike other alerts – such as natural disaster warnings – there was no way to opt out, except switching a device off or otherwise blocking its connection.

A court in Peru has reversed a pardon granted to the country’s ex-president, Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori was pardoned in December on health grounds, nine years after being found guilty of having links to a death squad and two massacres. But a court ordered him back to jail after a victims’ group won an appeal against the decision, made by then-president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Australia will become the first country to effectively eliminate cervical cancer if vaccination and screening rates are maintained, researchers said. The disease could be eradicated as a public health issue nationally within 20 years, according to new modelling.

WND

12,000 Christians who fled from Iraq to Jordan because of ISIS were saved from death, but were left destitute. Help came from Israel, through The Fellowship. Rabbi Eckstein, president of The Fellowship, was asked to hide his kippah and remove the word ‘Jews’ from the sign at the medical clinic, but he is certain this is the bridge to peace: ‘In the end, everyone will know that the aid comes from Israel.’

Missouri is down to one clinic providing abortions Wednesday, after the only other clinic in the state that performs the procedure failed to adhere to new state requirements and its license expired.

Regularly eating foods like bacon and sausages may raise the risk of breast cancer, according to researchers.


News – 10/4/2018

Report: Catholic Church Faces Gravest Crisis Since ‘Protestant Reformation’
The Catholic bishops are gathering in Rome for a synod in a moment in which “the Church faces perhaps its gravest crisis since the Protestant Reformation in the form of the worldwide clerical sexual abuse scandals,” …

French ‘Youths’ Set Traps for Police in Guerrilla-Like Clashes
Small groups of young people in the French city of Mulhouse clashed with local police over the weekend, allegedly using guerrilla-style tactics against the officers including laying traps and attacking them.

Initial Senate vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination set for Friday
The Senate braced for a crucial initial vote Friday on Brett Kavanaugh’s tottering Supreme Court nomination after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set his polarized chamber on a schedule to decide an election-season battle that has consumed the nation. A showdown roll call over confirmation seemed likely over the weekend.

Fish in the Dead Sea: A Prophetic Yet Endangered Restoration of Life
On the shores of the Dead Sea – more than 400 meters below sea level – are freshwater sinkholes, created as a result of dropping water levels. These large sinkholes were discovered in 2011, carpeted with microorganisms and on the sea’s shores – fish and algae. According to the Bible, the landscape changed with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which turned the valley into a wasteland. The Bible also describes the area as fertile and well-watered in its narrative of Lot looking out onto the valley where the Dead Sea is now.

International UNRWA Employees Flee Gaza in “Fear of Their Lives”
An agency source claimed that approximately 10 staff members crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday. They were taken out of the Strip via the Erez Crossing, despite the fact that the checkpoint was officially closed for Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). The Israeli Defense Ministry unit that oversees the crossing said a number of foreign employees from the agency known as UNRWA “were evacuated from the Gaza Strip to Israel.”

Putin says all foreign troops should leave Syria after war
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that all foreign troops should leave Syria when the war is over, including Russian forces, if the Syrian government asks them to.

US nixes 1955 treaty with Iran after UN court rules to lift sanctions
The United States said Wednesday that it was terminating a 1955 treaty reached with then-ally Iran after Tehran cited it in an international court ruling against Washington’s sanctions policy. “I’m announcing that the US is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. This is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters, referring to the date of the 1979 Islamic revolution. He said Iran’s claims under the treaty, which established economic relations and consular rights between the two nations, were “absurd.”

U.S. warns of new hacking spree from group linked to China
The Department of Homeland issued a technical alert for cloudhopper, which it said was engaged in cyber espionage and theft of intellectual property, after experts with two prominent U.S. cybersecurity companies warned earlier this week that Chinese hacking activity has surged amid the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing.

IDF beefs up troops in Gaza border as rioting grows in the South
The IDF will significantly reinforce troops in southern Israel to prevent terror infiltration into Israel from the Gaza Strip, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit announced Thursday morning. The decision was made following a situational assessment by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as well as senior IDF and Shin Bet officials.

Iran expert: IAEA needs to be able to inspect everywhere
The International Atomic Energy Agency needs to be able to inspect everywhere in Iran, from military bases to suspicious run-down warehouses, INSS Arms Control program head Emily Landau told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. Landau was reacting to the IAEA’s seeming thumbing its nose at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement issued on Tuesday, in which it seemed to brush off his demand during his September UN speech that it probe certain newly disclosed Iranian nuclear sites.

Anti-Israel group calls on E.U. to cancel Israeli-Palestinian gathering
The anti-Israel Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has called on the EU to cancel a program to bring together young Israelis and Palestinians in December under the pretext that the event promotes normalization between the two people. The group said that it sent a letter last month to Ralph Tarraf, Head of the EU delegation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, protesting the planned event…

Russia’s GRU ‘targeted chemical weapons watchdog OPCW’
Dutch security services expelled four Russians over a cyber plot in April targeting the global chemical weapons watchdog, officials said. The operation by Russia’s GRU military intelligence allegedly targeted the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. The OPCW has been probing the chemical attack on a Russian ex-spy in the UK.

US to end Treaty of Amity with Iran after ICJ ruling
The US will pull out of a decades-old treaty with Iran which was used by Tehran as a basis for a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Iran took the US to court after it re-imposed sanctions on the back of abandoning a nuclear deal in May. Iran argued that decision violated the terms of the 1955 Treaty of Amity.

South Carolina: Seven officers shot, suspect in custody-
Seven US law enforcement officers have been shot, one of them fatally, in an incident in South Carolina, officials say. Police in the city of Florence had been responding to a call for help from the sheriff’s office. A gunman had been holding children hostage and was involved in a two-hour stand-off before surrendering and being taken to hospital.

Guard at Fethullah Gulen’s compound in Poconos fires warning shot to scare away intruder
A security guard fired a “warning shot” in response to an apparent intruder at Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen’s compound in the Poconos on Wednesday morning, prompting a response by Pennsylvania State Police. An unidentified male, who appeared to be armed, attempted to enter the Golden Generation Worship and Retreat Center property on Mount Eaton Road in Ross Township, Monroe County, around 8:30 a.m., according to a statement from…the Alliance for Shared Values.

Chicago local leader murdered, Jewish community in shock, fear
The Jewish community in Chicago is in shock and mourning, a local rabbi has said, after Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, was shot and killed close to the West Roger’s Park neighborhood which has a large Jewish community. Moscowitz was out taking a walk in a nearby park some 25 minutes walking distance from the neighborhood when he was murdered on Monday night during the Simchat Torah holiday, apparently by a masked gunman who is also suspected of killing an elderly man the previous day.

Britain says Russian military intelligence behind host of global cyber attacks
Britain accused Russian military intelligence on Thursday of directing a host of cyber attacks aimed at undermining Western democracies by sowing confusion in everything from the 2016 U.S. presidential election to the global chemical weapons watchdog. In a British assessment based on work by its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Russian military intelligence (GRU) was cast as a pernicious cyber aggressor which used a network of hackers to spread discord across the world.

Time running out for earthquake survivors as Indonesia death toll tops 1,400
he death toll in Indonesia’s quake-tsunami disaster passed 1,400 Wednesday, with time running out to rescue survivors and the UN warning of “vast” unmet needs.

Mega mosquitoes, up to 20 times larger than normal, follow Florence flooding
…Gallinippers are a type of mosquito that can grow 20 times larger than their more common cousins, and LiveScience.com reported have gallinippers’ stings are so painful, victims feel like they’ve been stabbed.

Dead trees and dry springs: Impact of drought felt in Israel
The Banias Stream in the Golan Heights, whose cold waters have refreshed generations of hikers, is finding it difficult to do just that nowadays without a little help.

Trump administration halts visas for unmarried same-sex partners of foreign diplomats
The Trump administration will no longer provide visas for same-sex domestic partners of foreign diplomats and U.N. officials serving in the U.S., a policy that went into effect Oct. 1.

Cancellation of government contract PROVES the FDA has been buying aborted baby parts for medical research
Despite claims to the contrary, the Trump administration has just proven that the FDA has indeed been buying and using aborted baby parts for medical research.

Einstein’s ‘God letter’ to go on sale for $1 million
A year before his death, the famed scientist wrote to friend and philosopher Eric Gutkind of his thoughts on religion, the Bible and being a part of the Jewish people

We Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood
Watching the recent political theater that our ever more divided country serves up as leadership reminds me that the natural man cannot receive the things of God for they’re foolishness to him.  The mockery of the late night political hacks masquerading as comedians or of the not even close to being funny Democrat shills haunting SNL reminds us that weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

British City Protests Franklin Graham Visit with Giant Rainbow-Colored Jesus
The Franklin Graham-led Festival of Hope in Blackpool, England, saw an estimated 9,000 people attend and more than 200 churches participate, despite opposition from city officials and LGBT activists.

Palestinians defy Trump, continue paying terrorists
A consumer fraud case against one of the nation’s best-known Muslim advocacy groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, will go to trial early next year. A federal court in Washington, D.C., denied a motion by CAIR on Wednesday to dismiss a case brought by five Muslims who claim they were victims of a CAIR staffer who falsely claimed to be an attorney and mishandled their cases.

Vatican Decries Child Abuse at U.N. While Hushing Internal Scandals
The Vatican denounced the scandal of child abuse before the U.N. General Assembly Monday but made no mention of the Church’s own crisis with allegations of mishandling abusers pointing to Pope Francis himself.

Dementia now striking people in their 40s as mercury from vaccines causes slow, degenerative brain damage
Dementia and other neurological brain diseases are striking people younger and younger, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Bournemouth University in England and published in the journal Surgical Neurology International.

Left-wing operatives just unleashed coordinated terrorism attacks on Senators, a member of the House, the Pentagon and the President… CIVIL WAR now moves to active phase in America
Unfolding exactly as I warned last Friday in a widely viewed video, radical left-wing lunatics have unleashed coordinated “intimidate and terrorize” attacks today, targeting two U.S. Senators, a Congressman, the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. President.


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Judgment

Spiritual Abuse – Consequences of Abuse

Paige Patterson to Teach Ethics Course at Southern Evangelical Seminary After SWBTS Firing

Youth Pastor Arrested on Suspicion of Sexually Assaulting Girl in Church

At Least 34 Indonesian Children Attending Bible Camp Found Dead


Headlines – 10/4/2018

IDF sends reinforcements to Gaza amid nightly riots along security fence

‘We Can’t Prevail Against a Nuclear Power’: Hamas’ Gaza Chief Says He Doesn’t Want War With Israel

Qatar to buy fuel for Gaza, doubling household access to electricity

Pipe bomb hurled at Jewish shrine in West Bank as 13 suspects arrested in raids

PLO envoy: Palestinians believe UK can play leading role in achieving peace

Top Israeli ex-officials warn US Jews that Israel on ‘reckless’ path to 1 state

U.S. withdraws from international accords, says U.N. world court ‘politicized’

U.S. Pulls Out of Vienna Treaty Following Palestinian Complaint Over Embassy Move

US pulls out of Vienna treaty amendment to block Palestinian lawsuit

Bolton Calls Palestine a ‘So-Called State,’ Doubles Down After Being Pressed by Reporter

At Yad Vashem, Merkel says Germany has ‘everlasting’ duty to fight anti-Semitism

Merkel at Yad Vashem: ‘Germany has a responsibility to remember crimes of the Holocaust’

German Finance Minister: Iran nuclear deal protects Israel

Merkel heads to Israel amid deep disagreements over Palestinians, Iran

Merkel in Jerusalem: Iran must not have nuclear weapons

Germany calls for end to Iranian ballistic missile program

Moscow Hopes Israel Will ‘Exercise Good Judgment’ After Transfer of S-300 to Syria

Pompeo: Iran behind threats directed against our missions in Iraq

Khamenei threatens to defeat the US amidst economic problems and sinking Rial

Iran supreme leader promises to ‘slap’ US, defeat sanctions

Iran expert: IAEA needs to be able to inspect everywhere

Russia’s Putin says no major military action needed in Syria’s Idlib

Assad Says ‘Major Understanding’ Reached With Arab States After Strife Over Syria War

Turkey renews mandate for military actions against Kurds in Syria, Iraq

7 Turkish Soldiers Killed in Blast Blamed on Kurdish Rebels

Turkey’s Inflation Rate Hits Highest Point in 15 Years Amid Deepening Economic Crisis

Yemeni army advances further into Saada amid violent clashes with Houthis

In Yemen, Key Battle and Major Win for the Saudis Risks Tipping Country Into Famine

India Risks U.S. Sanctions With $5-bln Purchase of Russian Missiles

Trump’s ambassador to NATO sets off diplomatic incident with a nuclear edge

Pompeo backs away from denuclearization goal for N.Korea

North Korean Hackers Stole Over $1 Billion and Destroyed Computers Around the World, Reports Reveal

Chinese spy chips are found in hardware used by Apple, Amazon, Bloomberg says; Apple, AWS say no way

UK minister slams ‘pariah state’ Russia over worldwide cyber attacks campaign

Cryptocurrency ATMs coming to Argentina to exploit peso volatility

Facebook faces possible $1.6 billion fine as data breach investigation opened

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Kavanaugh Nomination Battle Is Fought With Millions In Secret Cash

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Ford’s lawyers slam FBI investigation after McConnell signals Kavanaugh vote later this week

Christine Ford’s friend denies being helped on polygraph, fires back at new claims

Hundreds of ‘Stop Kavanaugh’ vigils held across US

Capitol police probe additional doxxing incidents targeting senators, including Rand Paul

GOP-doxxing suspect arrested; worked or interned for Feinstein, Jackson Lee, other Dems

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McConnell vows Republicans won’t be intimidated by Kavanaugh protesters

Trump’s Mocking of Kavanaugh Accusers Stuns Senators Before Vote

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The Problem With #BelieveSurvivors – It’s important to listen to those who come forward – and also to those accused

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Indonesia tsunami: drone footage shows trail of destruction in Palu

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5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Lambasa, Fiji

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ust’-Kamchatsk Staryy, Russia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Soputan volcano in Indonesia erupts ot 15,000ft

Another powerful typhoon barrels toward Japan

Rosa and non-tropical storm to deliver dangerous flooding, drought-busting rain in southwestern US

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Police officer deceased, identified after 7 law enforcement officers, 1 other shot in Florence


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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy Now in Effect, Declares “Life Begins at Conception” — Blogs

In its strategic plan that went into effect Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ policy now defines life as beginning at conception.

via U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy Now in Effect, Declares “Life Begins at Conception” — Blogs

October 4, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Reality of Freedom—No Condemnation

There is therefore now no condemnation (8:1a)

By simple definition, therefore introduces a result, consequence, or conclusion based on what has been established previously. It seems unlikely that Paul is referring to the immediately preceding text. He has just finished lamenting the continued problem of sin in a believer’s life, including his own. It is surely not on the basis of that truth that he confidently declares that believers are no longer under divine condemnation. One might expect rather that any further sin would deserve some sort of further judgment. But Paul makes clear that such is not the case with our gracious God. It seems probable that therefore marks a consequent conclusion from the entire first seven chapters, which focus primarily on justification by faith alone, made possible solely on the basis of and by the power of God’s grace.

Accordingly, chapter 8 marks a major change in the focus and flow of the epistle. At this point the apostle begins to delineate the marvelous results of justification in the life of the believer. He begins by explaining, as best as possible to finite minds, some of the cardinal truths of salvation (no condemnation, as well as justification, substitution, and sanctification).

God’s provision of salvation came not through Christ’s perfect teaching or through His perfect life but through His perfect sacrifice on the cross. It is through Christ’s death, not His life, that God provides the way of salvation. For those who place their trust in Christ and in what He has done on their behalf there is therefore now no condemnation.

The Greek word katakrima (condemnation) appears only in the book of Romans, here and in 5:16, 18. Although it relates to the sentencing for a crime, its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands. As Paul has already declared, the penalty, or condemnation, for sin is death (6:23).

Paul here announces the marvelous good news that for Christians there will be no condemnation, neither sentencing nor punishment for the sins that believers have committed or will ever commit.

Ouketi (no) is an emphatic negative adverb of time and carries the idea of complete cessation. In His parable about the king who forgave one of his slaves an overwhelming debt (Matt. 18:23–27), Jesus pictured God’s gracious and total forgiveness of the sins of those who come to Him in humble contrition and faith. That is the heart and soul of the gospel—that Jesus completely and permanently paid the debt of sin and the penalty of the law (which is condemnation to death) for every person who humbly asks for mercy and trusts in Him. Through the apostle John, God assures His children that “if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 John 2:1–2).

Jesus not only pays the believer’s debt of sin but cleanses him “from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Still more amazingly, He graciously imputes and imparts to each believer His own perfect righteousness: “For by one offering He [Christ] has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14; cf. Rom. 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9). More even than that, Jesus shares His vast heavenly inheritance with those who come to Him in faith (Eph. 1:3, 11, 14). It is because of such immeasurable divine grace that Paul admonishes Christians to be continually “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). Having been qualified by God the Father, we will never, under any circumstance, be subject to divine condemnation. How blessed to be placed beyond the reach of condemnation!

The truth that there can never be the eternal death penalty for believers is the foundation of the eighth chapter of Romans. As Paul asks rhetorically near the end of the chapter, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (v. 31), and again, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (v. 33). If the highest tribunal in the universe justifies us, who can declare us guilty?

It is extremely important to realize that deliverance from condemnation is not based in the least measure on any form of perfection achieved by the believer. He does not attain the total eradication of sin during his earthly life. It is that truth that Paul establishes so intensely and poignantly in Romans 7. John declares that truth as unambiguously as possible in his first epistle: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). The Christian’s conflict with sin does not end until he goes to be with the Lord. Nevertheless, there is still no condemnation—because the penalty for all the failures of his life has been paid in Christ and applied by grace.

It is also important to realize that deliverance from divine condemnation does not mean deliverance from divine discipline. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Heb. 12:6). Nor does deliverance from God’s condemnation mean escape from our accountability to Him: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

The Reason for Freedom—Justification

for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (8:1b–2)

As noted at the beginning of the previous section, the therefore that introduces verse 1 refers back to the major theme of the first seven chapters of the epistle—the believer’s complete justification before God, graciously provided in response to trust in the sacrificial death and resurrection of His Son.

The divine condemnation from which believers are exonerated (8:1a) is without exception or qualification. It is bestowed on those who are in Christ Jesus, in other words, on every true Christian. Justification completely and forever releases every believer from sin’s bondage and its penalty of death (6:23) and thereby fits him to stand sinless before a holy God forever. It is that particular aspect of justification on which Paul focuses at the beginning of chapter 8.

Paul’s use of the first person singular pronouns (I and me) in 7:7–25 emphasizes the sad reality that, in this present life, no Christian, not even an apostle, is exempt from struggles with sin. In the opening verses of chapter 8, on the other hand, Paul emphasizes the marvelous reality that every believer, even the weakest and most unproductive, shares in complete and eternal freedom from sin’s condemnation. The holiest of believers are warned that, although they are no longer under sin’s slavish dominion, they will experience conflicts with it in this present life. And the weakest of believers are promised that, although they still stumble and fall into sin’s power in their flesh, they will experience ultimate victory over sin in the life to come.

The key to every aspect of salvation is in the simple but infinitely profound phrase in Christ Jesus. A Christian is a person who is in Christ Jesus. Paul has already declared that “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death,” and that “therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:3–5).

Being a Christian is not simply being outwardly identified with Christ but being part of Christ, not simply of being united with Him but united in Him. Our being in Christ is one of the profoundest of mysteries, which we will not fully understand until we meet Him face-to-face in heaven. But Scripture does shed light on that marvelous truth. We know that we are in Christ spiritually, in a divine and permanent union. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive,” Paul explains (1 Cor. 15:22). Believers are also in Christ in a living, participatory sense. “Now you are Christ’s body,” Paul declares in that same epistle, “and individually members of it” (12:27). We are actually a part of Him and, in ways that are unfathomable to us now, we work when He works, grieve when He grieves, and rejoice when He rejoices. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,” Paul assures us, “whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). Christ’s own divine life pulses through us.

Many people are concerned about their family heritage, about who their ancestors were, where they lived, and what they did. For better or worse, we are all life-linked physically, intellectually, and culturally to our ancestors. In a similar, but infinitely more important way, we are linked to the family of God because of our relationship to His Son, Jesus Christ. It is for that reason that every Christian can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” (Gal. 2:20).

God’s Word makes clear that every human being is a descendant of Adam and has inherited Adam’s fallen nature. It makes just as clear that every true believer becomes a spiritual descendant of Jesus Christ, God’s true Son, and is thereby adopted into the heavenly Father’s own divine household as a beloved child. More than just being adopted, we inherit the very life of God in Christ.

Martin Luther said,

It is impossible for a man to be a Christian without having Christ, and if he has Christ, he has at the same time all that is in Christ. What gives peace to the conscience is that by faith our sins are no more ours, but Christ’s, upon whom God hath laid them all; and that, on the other hand, all Christ’s righteousness is ours, to whom God hath given it. Christ lays His hand upon us, and we are healed. He casts His mantle upon us, and we are clothed; for He is the glorious Savior, blessed for ever. (Cited in Robert Haldane, An Exposition of Romans; [reprint, McLean, Va.: McDonald, 1958], p. 312)

The relationship between God and His chosen people Israel was beautifully illustrated in the garment of the high priest. Over his magnificent robes he wore a breastplate in which twelve different precious stones were embedded, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Each stone was engraved with the name of the tribe it represented. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies once each year on the Day of Atonement, he stood before God with those visual representations of all His people.

That breastplate was a rich symbolism of Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, standing before the Father making intercession on behalf of all those the Father has given Him (Heb. 7:24–25). In what is commonly called His high priestly prayer, Jesus prayed on behalf of those who belong to Him “that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me” (John 17:21).

Luther also wrote,

Faith unites the soul with Christ as a spouse with her husband. Everything which Christ has becomes the property of the believing soul; everything which the soul has, becomes the property of Christ. Christ possesses all blessings and eternal life: they are thenceforward the property of the soul. The soul has all its iniquities and sins: they become thenceforward the property of Christ. It is then that a blessed exchange commences: Christ who is both God and man, Christ who has never sinned, and whose holiness is perfect, Christ the Almighty and Eternal, taking to Himself, by His nuptial ring of faith, all the sins of the believer, those sins are lost and abolished in Him; for no sins dwell before His infinite righteousness. Thus by faith the believer’s soul is delivered from sins and clothed with the eternal righteousness of her bridegroom Christ. (Cited in Haldane, Exposition of Romans, p. 313)

The phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” appears at the end of verse 1 in the King James, but it is not found in the earliest manuscripts of Romans or in most modern translations. It is probable that a copyist inadvertently picked up the phrase from verse 4. Because the identical wording appears there, the meaning of the passage is not affected.

The conjunction for, which here carries the meaning of because, leads into the reason there is no condemnation for believers: the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Paul does not here use the term law in reference to the Mosaic law or to other divine commandments or requirements. He uses it rather in the sense of a principle of operation, as he has done earlier in the letter, where he speaks of “a law of faith” (3:27) and as he does in Galatians, where he speaks of “the law of Christ” (6:2). Those who believe in Jesus Christ are delivered from the condemnation of a lower divine law, as it were, by submitting themselves to a higher divine law. The lower law is the divine principle in regard to sin, the penalty for which is death, and the higher law is the law of the Spirit, which bestows life in Christ Jesus.

But it should not be concluded that the law Paul is speaking of in this passage has no relationship to obedience. Obedience to God cannot save a person, because no person in his unredeemed sinfulness wants to obey God and could not obey perfectly even if he had the desire. But true salvation will always produce true obedience—never perfect in this life but nonetheless genuine and always present to some extent. When truly believed and received, the gospel of Jesus Christ always leads to the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:25–26). The coming kingdom age of Christ that Jeremiah predicted and of which the writer of Hebrews refers is far from lawless. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them upon their hearts” (Heb. 8:10; cf. Jer. 31:33). Release from the law’s bondage and condemnation does not mean release from the law’s requirements and standards. The higher law of the Spirit produces obedience to the lower law of duties.

The freedom that Christ gives is complete and permanent deliverance from sin’s power and penalty (and ultimately from its presence). It also gives the ability to obey God. The very notion of a Christian who is free to do as he pleases is self-contradictory. A person who believes that salvation leads from law to license does not have the least understanding of the gospel of grace and can make no claim on Christ’s saviorhood and certainly no claim on His lordship.

In speaking of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, Paul makes unambiguous later in this chapter that he is referring to the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s mind is set on the things of the Spirit (v. 6) and is indwelt and given life by the Holy Spirit (vv. 9–11). Paul summarized the working of those two laws earlier in the epistle: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

When Jesus explained the way of salvation to Nicodemus, He said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). God “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,” Paul explains, “but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:5–6). It is the Holy Spirit who bestows and energizes spiritual life in the person who places his trust in Christ Jesus. Paul could not be talking of any spirit but the Holy Spirit, because only God’s Holy Spirit can bring spiritual life to a heart that is spiritually dead.

The truths of Romans 7 are among the most depressing and heart-rending in all of Scripture, and it is largely for that reason that many interpreters believe they cannot describe a Christian. But Paul was simply being honest and candid about the frustrating and discouraging spiritual battles that every believer faces. It is, in fact, the most faithful and obedient Christian who faces the greatest spiritual struggles. Just as in physical warfare, it is those on the front lines who encounter the enemy’s most fierce attacks. But just as frontline battle can reveal courage, it can also reveal weaknesses and vulnerability. Even the most valiant soldier is subject to injury and discouragement.

During his earthly life, the Christian will always have residual weaknesses from his old humanness, the old fleshly person he used to be. No matter how closely he walks with the Lord, he is not yet completely free from sin’s power. That is the discomfiting reality of Romans 7.

But the Christian is no longer a slave to sin as he once was, no longer under sin’s total domination and control. Now he is free from sin’s bondage and its ultimate penalty. Satan, the world, and his own humanness still can cause him to stumble and falter, but they can no longer control or destroy him, because his new life in Christ is the very divine life of God’s own Spirit. That is the comforting truth of Romans 8.

The story is told of a man who operated a drawbridge. At a certain time each afternoon, he had to raise the bridge for a ferry boat and then lower it quickly for a passenger train that crossed at high speed a few minutes later. One day the man’s young son was visiting his father at work and decided to go down below to get a better look at the ferry as it passed. Fascinated by the sight, he did not watch carefully where he was going and fell into the giant gears. One foot became caught and the boy was helpless to free himself. The father saw what happened but knew that if he took time to extricate his son, the train would plunge into to the river before the bridge could be lowered. But if he lowered the bridge to save the hundreds of passengers and crew members on the train, his son would be crushed to death. When he heard the trains whistle, indicating it would soon reach the river, he knew what he had to do. His son was very dear to him, whereas all the people on the train were total strangers. The sacrifice of his son for the sake of the other people was an act of pure grace and mercy.

That story portrays something of the infinitely greater sacrifice God the Father made when He sent His only beloved Son to earth to die for the sins of mankind—to whom He owed nothing but condemnation.[1]


1 The reader is hardly prepared by the contents of ch. 7 for the glorious pronouncement that there is “no condemnation” at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. Here is the statement of the gospel in just a few words. Here is the answer to the condemnation mentioned in 5:18. It is not easy to associate the “therefore” with anything in the immediately preceding context. The connection must be sought in the entire sweep of the thought as developed from ch. 3 on. The natural antithesis to the sentence of condemnation is justification. It can be replied, of course, that Paul has already covered this truth and would not be likely to revert to it here. However, this is such a basic truth that Paul brings it even into his discussion of the Christian life (vv. 33–34; cf. v. 10). Justification is the basis and starting point for sanctification. One must be assured of acceptance with God before one can grow in grace and conformity to Christ.

At the same time, it is clear that the construction of vv. 2–4 carries us beyond the thought of freedom from condemnation in the sense of guilt. What is developed is the application of the redeeming work of Christ by the Spirit to the believer’s life in such a way that the dominion of sin is broken and the reign of godliness assured. In Christ we have entered a new aeon, and those “in Christ Jesus,” i.e., Christians, participate in the freedom of this new aeon. The noun “condemnation” (katakrima, GK 2890) has its counterpart in the verb “condemned” (v. 3), which is followed immediately, not by a statement about the standing of the believer, but by one concerning the believer’s manner of life (v. 4). Consequently, there is both a forensic and a practical force in “no condemnation.”[2]


8:1 / Chapter 8 begins with the triumphant crash of Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto”—Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Greek behind Therefore (ara nyn) signals an emphatic break from the preceding train of thought. To be in Christ Jesus is to experience something not offered by the law of Moses. Paul’s tireless labors have shown that the law reveals sin (3:20), aggravates sin (7:8–9), and condemns both sin and sinner (7:11); and the burden of this awareness causes him to cry out, “What a wretched man I am!” (7:24). His only recourse is to cry for help outside himself, and help he finds in Jesus Christ.

Without diminishing the force of verse 1, we must not mistake its message. Paul does not say that those in Christ Jesus no longer sin or that they are exempt from the struggle against sin so dramatically portrayed in 7:7–25. Romans 8 is not an apology for Christian perfectionism. What he does say is that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. The antecedent idea is found in 5:16 where, in speaking of Adam’s sin, Paul said, “The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation” (also 5:18). It is that condemnation which is revoked in Jesus Christ. Verse 1 is therefore a victorious summary of 5:12–6:11. The ongoing skirmishes with sin do not defeat believers, but the thought of being cursed or abandoned by God does. Believers need to know that they do not stand condemned by God. Christ has cancelled the bond of indebtedness against humanity (Col. 2:14). The accent throughout falls on Christ’s victory, not on human merits.

When Paul says, there is now no condemnation, he means that the sentence of death and judgment on the Last Day has been commuted. Verse 11 will repeat the idea of 7:24: believers remain in “mortal bodies” (see also 2 Cor. 4:7–11). But the consequences of sin are annulled through Christ’s death, and even now the Spirit begins in believers a work of regeneration that will be completed in the world to come. Grace is knowing that God is for us and with us even in our “body of death” (7:24).[3]


1. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The statement, “There is therefore now no condemnation” is closely connected with the main thrust of Paul’s previous reasoning, taken as a unit. See especially verses 1:16, 17; 3:21, 24; 5:1, 2, 6–8, 15–21; 7:6. In these passages the apostle has been setting forth the fact that, through Christ’s debt-removing and sanctifying self-sacrifice, believers have been released from the curse of the law. Because of the entrance of sin (cf. 8:3) the law cannot now be regarded as a means of obtaining salvation, nor does it have the power to condemn believers. Rather, the law is the means for the expression of their gratitude. As such it is the object of their delight, even though, as 7:14f. has shown, in the present life complete obedience is impossible.

This does not mean that there is no connection between 8:1 f. and the immediately preceding context. As has been indicated—see pp. 238, 239—there is a close connection between “Thanks be to God through Christ Jesus our Lord” (7:25a) and “There is therefore now no condemnation, etc.” (8:1). But even what Paul says in 7:25b—and more generally in 6:1–7:25—about the enslaving power of sin, is not absent from his mind in 8:1, as the sequel (8:1 f.) indicates. For Paul “no condemnation” means freedom not only from sin’s guilt but also from its enslaving power.

To be sure, a distinction must be drawn between justification and sanctification. But this distinction must never become a separation. Calvin has made this clear by stating, “As Christ cannot be divided, so also these two blessings which we receive together in him are also inseparable” (Institutes III, xi, 6).

In line with this twofold reference of the words “no condemnation” is the phrase “in Christ Jesus.” What Paul is saying is that for those who not only forensically are in Christ Jesus—the guilt of their sins having been removed by his death—but also spiritually—the sanctifying influences of his Spirit dominating their lives, there is now (=consequently) no condemnation. For them there is justification and therefore salvation full and free (see 8:29, 30). For more on the phrase “in Christ Jesus” see above on 3:24, p. 131, and on 6:3 f., p. 196. See also N.T.C. on Ephesians, pp. 70, 71.

Justification and sanctification always go together. The fact that the expression “no condemnation” implies both pardon and purification is also clear from verse[4]


8:1. The question naturally arises, Must a believer spend his whole life on earth frustrated by ongoing defeats to indwelling sin? (7:21–25) Is there no power provided to achieve victory? The answer to the first question is no and to the second, yes. In chapter 8, Paul described the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God who is the source of divine power for sanctification and the secret for spiritual victory in daily living. But first Paul reminded his readers that therefore—since deliverance is “through Jesus Christ our Lord” (7:25)—no condemnation (katakrima, “punishment”) awaits those who are in Christ Jesus, as a result of their faith and identification with Him (cf. 6:13; John 5:24). They are justified, declared righteous, and therefore stand in His grace (Rom. 5:2) and not under His wrath (1:18), and possess eternal life (5:17–18, 21). Christ is the sphere of safety for all who are identified with Him by faith. In the better Greek manuscripts, 8:1 ends here. The words “who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” were probably transcribed from verse 4.[5]


8:1 From the valley of despair and defeat, the apostle now climbs the heights with the triumphant shout, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! This may be understood in two ways.

First, there is no divine condemnation as far as our sin is concerned, because we are in Christ. There was condemnation as long as we were in our first federal head, Adam. But now we are in Christ and therefore are as free from condemnation as He is. So we can hurl out the challenge:

Reach my blest Savior first,

Take Him from God’s esteem;

Prove Jesus bears one spot of sin,

Then tell me I’m unclean.

W. N. Tomkins

But it may also mean that there is no need for the kind of self-condemnation which Paul described in chapter 7. We may pass through a Romans 7 experience, unable to fulfill the law’s requirements by our own effort, but we don’t have to stay there. Verse 2 explains why there is no condemnation.[6]


8:1 therefore: This Greek word does not draw a formal conclusion, but an informal inference, from 7:25. In contrast with the preceding vivid description of sinfulness, Paul depicts the freedom of living in the Spirit. no condemnation: In Christ, we are no longer under the sentence of the law, but empowered by the Spirit to live for Christ.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 1, pp. 398–405). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 128). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Edwards, J. R. (2011). Romans (pp. 198–199). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 244–245). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 469). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1708). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (pp. 1438–1439). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

What are the historical arguments for the empty tomb narrative?

WINTERY KNIGHT

Investigation in progress Investigation in progress

I wanted to go over this article by William Lane Craig which includes a discussion of the empty tomb, along with the other minimal facts that support the resurrection.

The word resurrection means bodily resurrection

The concept of resurrection in use among the first converts to Christianity was a Jewish concept of resurrection. And that concept of resurrection is unequivocally in favor of a bodily resurrection. The body (soma) that went into the grave is the body (soma) that came out.

Craig explains what this means with respect to the fast start of Christian belief:

For a first century Jew the idea that a man might be raised from the dead while his body remained in the tomb was simply a contradiction in terms. In the words of E. E. Ellis, “It is very unlikely that the earliest Palestinian Christians could conceive of any distinction between…

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October 4 What’s in Your Heart?

God withdrew from him [King Hezekiah], in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

2 Chronicles 32:31

God didn’t need to test Hezekiah to know what was in his heart. God already knew by omniscience. But He tests us so we can find out. He assists us in doing a spiritual inventory on ourselves by bringing trials into our lives to demonstrate the strength or weakness of our faith. If you’re currently experiencing a trial and are shaking your fist at God and wondering why it’s happening, that’s a good indication that you have weak faith. If, on the other hand, you’re resting and rejoicing in the Lord, having placed the trial into His care, then you have strong faith.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 301). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

October 4 God Is Light

“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”

1 John 1:5

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God’s truthfulness and holiness are powerful motives not to sin.

Light and darkness are familiar metaphors in Scripture. Intellectually, light refers to truth, and darkness to error; morally, light refers to holiness, and darkness to evil.

Intellectually, the Bible reveals God as the God of truth. In Exodus 34:6 God described Himself to Moses as “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” Both Psalm 31:5 and Isaiah 65:16 refer to Him as the “God of truth.” In the New Testament, Jesus called Himself “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Not only is God true, but so also is His Word. In 2 Samuel 7:28 David exclaimed, “O Lord God, Thou art God, and Thy words are truth.” The Lord Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible, “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), imparts the light of knowledge. In the familiar words of the psalmist, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105).

Morally, light describes God’s absolute holiness and separation from evil. Psalm 5:4 says of Him, “No evil dwells with Thee.” “Thine eyes are too pure to approve evil,” said the prophet Habakkuk to God, “and Thou canst not look on wickedness with favor” (Hab. 1:13). Because God is light in the sense of truth, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). When His Word promises that things will go well with the righteous (Isa. 3:10) and that sin brings consequences (Prov. 11:5), we can be certain that is exactly what will happen. Because God is moral light, we know that He is neither the cause of any evil we encounter, nor the source of our temptation (James 1:13).

Understanding the truth that God is light is foundational to dealing with sin in our lives.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God that He has revealed His truth in the Bible. ✧ Ask God to give you a deeper understanding of His holiness as you study the Scriptures.

For Further Study: Read Proverbs 11:3; 19:3; James 1:13–15. Based on those passages, how would you answer someone who blames God for the bad things that happen to him or her?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

October 4 What Is Living Water?

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?… Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”—John 4:10–11, 13–14

Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well is another opportunity for Him to teach profound spiritual truth through a metaphor. When their conversation began, He was the thirsty one, and she the one with the water. Now He spoke as if she were the thirsty one and He the one with the water. Her confusion is not unexpected. She did not understand Jesus was talking about spiritual realities. The “living water” He offered was salvation in all its fullness.

But she was skeptical of His ability to provide the living water He offered. So Jesus patiently answered her skeptical question: “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” Here was Jesus offering her the living water of spiritual life to quench her parched, needy soul.

ASK YOURSELF

What activities of Jesus in your life share some common qualities with water—its clarity, its refreshment, its cleansing, its sustenance, its replenishment? Praise Him for each of these things as He brings them to mind.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 286). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

2001 video shows Obama admitting being a ‘thug,’ fighting, drinking, drugging in high school

The standards being applied to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness for high office would have killed the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama, among other recent Democrats.
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/10/2001_video_shows_obama_admitting_being_a_thug_fighting_drinking_drugging_in_high_school.html