Daily Archives: October 9, 2018

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


President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Axios news site reported on Tuesday.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sought to put a bruising confirmation battle behind him on Monday at a White House ceremony in which President Donald Trump declared him innocent of sexual misconduct and apologized for the heated process.

President Donald Trump will seek to lift a federal ban on summer sales of higher-ethanol blends of gasoline on Tuesday, a senior White House official said, delivering on a move long sought by anxious Midwestern farmers ahead of the Nov. 6 elections.

President Donald Trump pledged on Monday to end a “crime spree” in Chicago and called for loosening restrictions on police in the third-largest U.S. city to allow stopping and frisking suspects for weapons and other contraband.

Just three days after he was narrowly confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court despite facing allegations of sexual assault, Brett Kavanaugh is set to take his seat on the bench on Tuesday morning, solidifying a conservative majority for years to come.

Former Guatemalan Vice President Roxana Baldetti was sentenced to 15-1/2 years in prison on Tuesday for fraud, influence peddling and illicit association related to a government contract to clean up a polluted lake, in the first of several cases she faces.

Recent failings by Russian military intelligence (GRU) have made it easy to laugh at its spies but the West should not underestimate the skills of the Kremlin’s once mighty espionage services.

Rescue workers in Indonesia stepped up their search for victims of an earthquake and tsunami on Tuesday, hoping to find as many bodies as they can before this week’s deadline for their work to halt, as the official death toll rose to 2,010.

Health workers in Indonesia are struggling to care for tens of thousands of people displaced by an earthquake and tsunami, with a lack of shelter and clean water among major problems as the focus turns from injury to disease.

Britain’s foreign minister Jeremy Hunt called on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, missing since he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

AP Top Stories

Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 2 storm with 100-mile-per-hour winds on Tuesday as Florida’s governor warned it could bring “total devastation” to parts of the southern US state. “We can expect it to make landfall as a major Category 3 storm.”

Pope Francis is so convinced that Satan is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis and deep divisions racking the Church that he has asked Catholics around the world to recite a special prayer every day in October to try to beat him back.

Nearly 3,000 Marriott employees went on strike in Hawaii on Monday, adding to a major multi-city work stoppage hitting the world’s largest hotel chain.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit the officially atheist country, South Korea said Tuesday.

NASA announced Monday that one of Hubble’s gyroscopes failed last Friday. As a result, the telescope is in so-called safe mode with non-essential systems turned off. That means all science observations are on hold.

The Taliban on Monday directed Afghans to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections and demanded a complete withdrawal of foreign forces as the only solution to end the 17-year-old war as they ramped up attacks in strategic provinces.

Ford Motor Company is reportedly preparing to initiate major layoffs after suffering a blow to profits of at least $1 billion due to tariffs enacted by President Donald Trump.


France’s most famous Nazi-hunting couple, Serge Klarsfeld and his wife Beate, have received top honors from President Emmanuel Macron. Serge Klarsfeld, 83, received France’s highest award, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, while Beate, 79, received the National Order of Merit.

Google has abandoned efforts to win a $10bn Pentagon cloud computing contract. The firm said the work might have transgressed principles it published in June limiting its artificial-intelligence-related activities. Thousands of its staff had previously protested against its involvement in a separate Department of Defense project.

People born at increased risk of heart attack could be identified by a one off-genetic test, a study has found.

The International Monetary Fund has warned a trade war between the US and China risks making the world a “poorer and more dangerous place” in its latest assessment of the global economy. The IMF has lowered its forecast for global growth this year and next.


Some 1,500 people were wrongly registered to vote between late April and late September. These errors, which included other non-citizens, are in addition to the roughly 23,000 registration mistakes disclosed by the California DMV last month.

Arkady Zverev, the 22-year-old man accused of pedophilia, murder and cannibalism, has told a Russian court how he gouged out the eye of his victim, boiled it and ate it with a 12-year-old girl he refers to as his ‘girlfriend’. He also confessed to putting the severed head of murdered Alexander Popovich, 21, in a microwave and turning it on the highest setting for three minutes before eating his brains.

Google is shutting down much of its social network, Google+, after user data was left exposed. It said a bug in its software meant information that people believed was private had been accessible by third parties. Google said up to 500,000 users had been affected.

News – 10/9/2018

Mexican couple accused of killing, dismembering at least 20 women, selling body parts
Gomez said the couple kept the remains in buckets filled with cement and in a fridge. He said they also sold some of them, but it was unclear which parts were supposed to be sold and who the buyers were believed to be. In the vacant lot, police found more body parts but they were in such poor condition forensic tests were needed to identify them. According to authorities, one of the couple’s victims was Nancy Huitron, who disappeared in September along with her two-month-old baby, Valentina, after dropping her two older daughters at school. Police said the couple killed Huitron and sold her baby to another couple, who have been arrested. The baby was found and returned to her maternal grandmother.

First Full Hebrew Spelling of ‘Jerusalem’ Unearthed on Second Temple Inscription
Found at the excavation site of an ancient Jewish potter’s quarter near Binyanei Ha’Uma (The International Convention Center) in Jerusalem, excavation director Danit Levy found the limestone inscription last winter. Discovered out of context, the Aramaic inscriptions appear on a column drum supporting the foundations of a Roman structure are Hebrew letters, typical of the Second Temple Period, that read: “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem.”

Hurricane Michael strengthens to Category 2 storm on way to Florida
Hurricane Michael strengthened to a Category 2 storm on Tuesday as it moved toward the Florida Panhandle, where residents were ordered to get out of harm’s way ahead of life-threatening waves, winds and rains.

Rocked by Trump’s sanctions, Iranian oil exports drop further
Islamic Republic is feeling the effects of US punitive measures as country’s crude exports fall far ‘more significantly than previously foreseen’, allowing Saudi Arabia, non-OPEC Russia and other producers to fill the gap.

“Fu*k. You. All. To. Hell”: Google Exec Threatens GOP Over Kavanaugh Confirmation
Hogue, a Google US design lead who has been with the Mountain View, CA company since December 2013, confirmed that he deleted the tweet – and that the opinions expressed in it “are mine personally.” Yes, I deleted that tweet. Yes, those opinions are mine personally, and I am responsible for them.

Could we see the end of Google?
According to futurist George Gilder the era of Google could be coming to an end. In his recent book “Life after Google”, Gilder explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns.

Washington DC Honors Baal Worship
This past week, thanks to some of the members of Congress, our government hailed the most evil of idols recorded in the Bible – Baal… “The Arch of Baal …was reconstructed at the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC, on Thursday and displayed through Sunday, allowing spectators to marvel in the pagan false god of power, fertility and child sacrifice worshiped by the apostate Queen Jezebel of the Bible and ancient Phoenicians and Canaanites…”

Hate, Inc. Loses the Pentagon but Gains Silicon Valley
The hate business may not be what it used to be – at least on the government level. The Defense Department has become the latest federal agency to sever ties with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based, hard-left group whose “hate map” is being used against Christian groups. Google now supports a “hate news” database that links to articles referencing Liberty Counsel and other Christian groups on the SPLC “hate” list. The SPLC’s smears have led Amazon Smile, a charity donation program run by Jeff Bezos’ Amazon company, to ban pro-family Christian groups. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a $1 million Apple donation to the SPLC and added a portal so iTunes buyers could donate directly. Big Tech, meet Big Hate.

New Jordanian envoy takes up post in Israel
Jordan’s new ambassador to Israel Ghassan Majali arrived in Israel this week and on Tuesday presented a copy of his credentials to the Foreign Ministry. Majali is replacing Walid Obeidat, who served for five years as Jordan’s envoy to Israel. Majali is a member of a prominent Jordanian family, and served from 2013-2017 as Jordan’s ambassador to Spain.

Archeologists unearth 2000-year-old Hebrew ‘Jerusalem’ inscription
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem unveiled the latest spectacular addition to its archeology collection, a column drum dating from the Herodian period that is the first written evidence of the name Jerusalem… The artifact is now on display in the archeology wing of the museum. “Dudolos of Jerusalem” was etched on a limestone column drum that was a part of a building that stood in a Jewish potters’ village near the entrance of the Jerusalem during the Second Temple period.

Ukraine ammo dump blasts blamed on ‘possible sabotage’
Explosions and fire have hit an ammunition depot in Ukraine in a possible act of sabotage, officials say, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people. Videos on social media showed the blaze and explosions on the horizon near Ichnya, Chernihiv region. Around 10,000 people were moved from the area around the depot, about 109 miles (176km) north-east of the capital Kiev, emergency services say.

Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public
Google exposed the private data of hundreds of thousands of users of the Google+ social network and then opted not to disclose the issue this past spring, in part because of fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage, according to people briefed on the incident and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Egypt to press Abbas: Cooperate with Gaza talks or we’ll quit efforts
Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel left Cairo on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Jordan, during which he is expected to press…Mahmoud Abbas to cooperate with the Egyptian-mediated indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on a ceasefire in Gaza. According to Egyptian sources…Kamel will pass on a…message to Abbas from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: Either he cooperates…or Egypt will stop its mediation efforts.

China slashes U.S. LPG imports amid trade war
China has choked back on imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the United States, traders and analysts said, turning to the Middle East for extra supplies amid the two countries’ trade dispute. China bought nearly 3.6 million tonnes of U.S. LPG in 2017, making the United States the country’s second-largest supplier of the fuel used in petrochemicals, as well as for cooking, transport and heating.

Disgraceful: Black High School Band Half-Time Show Hits A New Low – Mock Killing Of Cops
Fans watching a halftime performance by a Mississippi high school marching band Friday night were outraged at a show that depicted students holding toy guns and an apparent shooting, The Daily Leader of Brookhaven reported.

Muslim Arab Nation Spends Millions Sneaking Anti-Israel and Pro-Islam Propaganda into US Schools
For seven years, the terrorist-sympathizing Qatari government has been spending $8 million to influence content in classrooms across the United States, including in the heavily Jewish-populated town of Newton, Mass., according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why are Muslims allowed to use a high school football field for prayer, while Christians were banned?
Court rules that it is unconstitutional for a football coach to pray on the side of a football field after a game. But a few miles away, hundreds of Muslims are allowed to pray right in the middle of a football field, and nobody says a word.

Furious Canadian groups are lashing out about Muslim prayer in schools, and threatening violence to prevent it
Threats of burning down a mosque, a torn-up Quran, protests against supposed Muslim indoctrination — these are just some of the incidents in a community in Canada that make Shireen Ahmed fear for her children’s safety.

Netanyahu Warns That Iran And Hezbollah Will ‘Dip Their Toes’ In Biblical Sea Of Galilee If Israel Withdraws From The Golan
If Israel withdraws from the Golan Heights it will find itself with Iran and Hezbollah on the banks of Lake Kinneret, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday

What Does The Bible Say About False Accusers And #BelieveWomen?
Despite the best efforts of unhinged leftists – the nature of which was perhaps most aptly demonstrated by the hysterical howls of the Shrieking Banshee Brigade coming from the Senate gallery right before Saturday’s final vote – Judge, er, Justice Kavanaugh was finally confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Victims group in Poland maps 255 sex abuse cases by priests
A private foundation published a map Sunday showing where Catholic priests in Poland have been accused of child sexual abuse, adding pressure on the church in the predominantly Catholic country to respond.

Members ‘offend’ Jesus and please the devil when they use the term ‘Mormon,’ President Nelson says
In his second major address during the faith’s 188th Semiannual General Conference, President Russell M. Nelson issued a stern, uncompromising lecture on his August edict — for members, media and others — to use the faith’s full name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Rudy Giuliani shares tweet calling George Soros ‘anti-Christ’
The “George Soros-is-behind-the-anti-Kavanaugh-protests” theoryseems to be gaining steam rather than dying out.

Trump Helps Israel to Overcome New Russian Hostility in Syria
The Israeli air force is extremely active in Iran-controlled Syria. Hezbollah will often attempt to transfer deadly weapons from Syria into Lebanon. As a result, the Israeli air force will frequently (and rightfully) bomb Hezbollah targets in Syria. Recently, a Russian military plane was mistakenly shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile.

Pope Francis: Satan is to Blame for the Child Abuse Crisis
Pope Francis has claimed that The Vatican child abuse scandal on Satan, who he claims is working hard to undermine the Roman Catholic Church.

Deep State FBI And DOJ Caught Redacting Key Intel Documents That Implicate Hillary And DNC – Have Nothing To Do With National Security!
Yesterday we reported that Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) , Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures to discuss the latest developments in the House investigation of Deep State spying on the Trump campaign and administration.

Nobel Prize-Winning Breakthroughs Show Power of Intelligent Design – Not Evolution
I greeted with enthusiasm Wednesday’s news that a fellow enzyme bioengineer, Cal Tech’s Frances H. Arnold, won part of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She’s a worthy recipient. And the win shines a light on the good work going on in our subdiscipline.

Judicial Watch: New Documents Show State Department and USAID Working with Soros Group to Channel Money to ‘Mercenary Army’ of Far-Left Activists in Albania
Judicial Watch today released 49 pages of new documents obtained from the U.S. Department of State about U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funding for George Soros’s left-wing nonprofit organizations in Albania.

New Facebook ‘Portal’ Camera Follows You Around the Room
Facebook has announced the rollout of its new ‘Portal’ smart speakers, which it brags have a camera that can automatically follow users around the room.

What to Expect When the Democrats Lose the Midterm Elections
..It is my hypothesis, based on known facts and telegraphed intentions from the world or predictive programming that we are going to witness the following, in an escalating series of events, should the Democrats not prevail in the coming midterm elections:

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Dictionary of Christian Lingo

Burning of Christian churches in Israel justified, far-Right Jewish leader says

Beth Moore Has Man Get on His Knees, Apologize on Behalf of All Men

Greg Locke’s First Wife Speaks Out About Divorce

Pope blames devil for Church divisions, scandals, seeks angel’s help

Hindu Parliamentarian Calls for Drive to ‘Get Rid of Christian Missionaries’ in India

Headlines – 10/9/2018

EU’s Mogherini: Two-state Solution Being ‘Dismantled Piece by Piece’

Israeli Labor Leader Discusses Two-state Solution With Jordanian King

Greenblatt tells ToI: US won’t propose Israel-Jordan-Palestinian confederation

INSS presents peace plan: Two-states, ‘separation’ from the Palestinians

Leaders from Three Major Religions Call for “Peace Caravan” to Israel

Abbas seeks ‘new strategy’ towards Israel, U.S. and Hamas

Thousands riot at Gaza border, as Navy clashes with Palestinian flotilla

Bennett says IDF should shoot to kill Gazans who cross border

Palestinians: 11 Protesters Wounded by Israeli Military Fire in Gaza Clashes

Second Israeli Terror Victim Laid to Rest, as Manhunt Continues for Palestinian Attacker

Israel envoy calls on UN to condemn Barkan terror attack

“We Try to Learn Every Terrorist Attack”: Inside the Top-Secret Israeli Anti-Terrorism Operation That’s Changing the Game

Netanyahu: Iranians will dip their toes in Kinneret if Israel leaves Golan

Netanyahu: Putin understands Israel’s need to act in north for security

Iranian official: Israel can’t take ‘serious steps’ in Syria because of S-300

Russia says it provided Syria with 24 advanced S-300 launchers for free

Tehran Says Saudi Arabia Unable to Replace Lost Iranian Oil

Turkey seeks answers from Saudi Arabia on missing journalist; Trump says he’s ‘concerned’

Pakistan delays decision on whether Christian woman will face death penalty for blasphemy against Islam

Ukraine suspects sabotage after ammo depot explosions

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang

Pompeo hails ‘significant’ North Korea progress; experts skeptical

China tries to boost its economy, as long trade fight looms with Trump

Chinese stocks fall almost 5% in market bloodbath as investors digest a week of bad news in a single day

Venezuela’s 2018 Inflation to Hit 1.37 Million Percent, IMF Says

Anger management: Outraged liberal pundits declaring war after Kavanaugh

Democratic US senators urge voters to focus Kavanaugh anger on election

Trump: ‘Democrats are going to end up voting Republican’ in midterms

Dershowitz: Dems ‘Shooting Themselves in the Foot’ by Floating Kavanaugh Investigation, Impeachment

Rosemount educator on leave after tweeting ‘kill Kavanaugh?’

Some anti-Kavanaugh protesters were paid, journalist reveals

Trump apologizes to Kavanaugh for ‘pain and suffering’ of Democrats’ smear campaign

Trump’s evangelical supporters hail Kavanaugh confirmation

John Oliver Rips Into the Fox-Trump George Soros Conspiracy Theory

Rudy Giuliani shares tweet calling George Soros ‘anti-Christ’

Richard Branson says Virgin Galactic will be in space for test flights ‘in weeks not months’

Toll in Indonesia earthquake, tsunami nears 2,000 with thousands still missing

Death toll in Haiti earthquake rises to 15; at least 333 injured

Haiti earthquake: Hospital struggles to cope with patients

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Severo-Kuril’sk, Russia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Palu, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,500ft

Evacuations ordered as ‘monstrous’ Hurricane Michael approaches Florida

Hurricane Michael Intensifies to Category 2; May Be Florida Panhandle’s Strongest Landfall in 12 Years Wednesday

Tropical Cyclone Luban Aiming at Arabian Peninsula

Al Gore warns ‘time is running out’ after U.N. gives world 12 years to fight climate change

A $240 Per Gallon Gas Tax To Fight Global Warming? New UN Report Suggests Carbon Pricing

How your surgeon could soon be replaced by a robot

Bill, Hillary Clinton to embark on speaking tour amid #MeToo backlash — with tickets topping $745

Trump seeks dismissal of Stormy Daniels hush money lawsuit

Pope blames devil for Church divisions, scandals, seeks angel’s help

Couple arrested for ‘raping, killing 20 women’ in Mexico

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October 9, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Empty Confession

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? (2:14)

My brethren perhaps refers especially to James’s fellow Jews, but he is also addressing the church at large.

If someone says is the phrase that governs the interpretation of the entire passage. James does not say that this person actually has saving faith, but that he claims to have it.

No particular kind of faith is mentioned, but the context indicates that it refers to acknowledgment that one believes the basic truths of the gospel. A person making such a claim would believe in such things as the existence of God, Scripture as the Word of God, and, presumably, in the messiahship of Christ and in His atoning death, resurrection, and ascension. In any case, the theological orthodoxy of such a person’s faith is not in question; the issue is that he has no works. The verb form in that phrase describes someone who continually lacks evidence to support the claim of faith he routinely makes.

Likewise, no particular type of works is specified; but the obvious meaning is that of righteous behavior conforming to God’s revealed Word that is pleasing and acceptable to Him. Some of the righteous and godly works James has already mentioned are endurance (1:3), perseverance under trial (1:12), purity of life (1:21), obedience to Scripture (1:22–23), compassion for the needy (1:27), and impartiality (2:1–9). Later he mentions such things as acts of compassion (2:15), control of the tongue (3:2–12), humility (4:6, 10), truthfulness (4:11), and patience (5:8).

The question Can that faith save him? is not offered to dispute the importance of faith, but to oppose the idea that just any kind of faith can save (cf. Matt. 7:16–18). The grammatical form of the question calls for a negative answer—“No, it cannot save.” A profession of faith that is devoid of righteous works cannot save a person, no matter how strongly it may be proclaimed. As already noted, it is not that some amount of good works added to true faith can save a person, but rather that faith that is genuine and saving will inevitably produce good works.

No New Testament writer is more adamant that salvation is solely by God’s grace working through man’s faith than Paul, and no writing of Paul makes that clearer than does his letter to the church at Rome. Yet in that letter he unequivocally asserts that God

will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.… It is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Rom. 2:6–10, 13–16)

James is therefore obviously not in conflict with Paul about the basis of salvation, as some interpreters have maintained. They are not standing face-to-face confronting each other, but are standing back-to-back fighting two common enemies. Paul opposes works-righteous legalism; James opposes easy-believism. But both men make clear that we are going to be judged on the basis of what we have done, for that is a sure indicator of genuine salvation. “Do not marvel at this,” Jesus said; “for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28–29).

In a passage already cited, Paul delineates in the clearest possible way the proper relationship between faith and works. After declaring that “by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast,” he immediately adds, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:8–10). In another place, he says that in all things believers are to “show [themselves] to be an example of good deeds” (Titus 2:7). Stated negatively, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness” (2 Tim. 2:19b), and those who “profess to know God, but by their deeds … deny Him, [are] detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16).

Where there is true salvation, where sovereign grace reaches down to regenerate and transform a person from sinner to saint, God will create in the soul of that person new longings to forsake sin and self and gladly serve the Lord Jesus Christ and obey His divine standards of righteousness. The moment that Zaccheus believed in Jesus, he said, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much” (Luke 19:8). When pagans in Ephesus trusted in Christ and were “confessing and disclosing their practices … many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver” (Acts 19:18–19). By the indwelling Spirit working through their new natures, they instinctively knew that occult practices were evil and had no place in their redeemed lives. In the same way, many former pagans in Thessalonica had “turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9).

It is not that newborn believers immediately understand the full implications of the gospel and know everything they should believe and everything they should and should not do. Those things come with ever-increasing awareness as one grows in knowledge of the Word and in fellowship with the Lord. But there is an immediate and new spiritual and moral orientation that the Lord gives every child who is born into His family and kingdom. No one is saved without becoming a new creation, and, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the new creation produces such righteous works as repentance, submission, obedience, and love of God and fellow believers. Salvation does not produce immediate perfection, but a new direction. The new disposition that hates sin, loves the Lord, and seeks to know Him and obey His will begins to manifest itself in behavior.[1]

What Good Is This “Faith”? (2:14)

James begins the process with a question: “What good is it [or “What is the benefit”], my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (2:14 esv). That is, does the kind of faith that affirms orthodox theology, but produces no distinctively Christian deeds, save? Does that faith lead to justification before God the Judge? It is an old question: Does every brand of faith save? Is there a faith that does not? Does an evangelical confession of faith, with nothing more, make one right with God?

As the truck driver and lawyer show, it is a contemporary question. When James faced it, he answered directly. There is a “faith” that does not save. It is the faith that adheres to orthodox theology but has no actions.

James 2:14–26 is rightly viewed as the theological high point of the epistle. James bends every effort to make his point clear. The kind of faith that utters orthodox words but produces no deeds is useless and dead. It has no value for humanity in this life or the next. James makes this point three times:

  • Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (2:17).
  • Faith without deeds is useless (2:20).
  • Faith without deeds is dead (2:26).

In fact, he says it a fourth time, in his opening verse, through a question (2:14). The literal translation of verse 14b is quite stark: “Faith can’t save him, can it?” In Greek, there is a way to ask questions that shows the author anticipates the answer no; James uses that form, making his position clear: No, “faith” cannot save the person who has no works.

For various reasons, modern translators soften James’s language a bit, when they render the key phrase in verse 14, “Can such faith save him?” (niv) or “Can that faith save him?” (esv). But there is no word corresponding to “such” or “that” in the original Greek. The original (preserved in the KJV) asks, starkly, “Faith can’t save him [the person with no works] can it?” No, there is a kind of faith that is so dry and feckless that it cannot save.

Case Studies: Faith, False or True

Once James states his theme—that faith without works cannot save—he illustrates it with four case studies. We will consider the first two in this chapter and the last two in the next chapter.

  • Case #1: Faith without deeds of compassion for a needy brother does that brother no good. Thus “faith” without works is dead (2:15–17).
  • Case #2: Demons believe [have faith that] God is one, but they shudder. Such faith is useless (2:18–20).
  • Case #3: Abraham was justified by a work—when he offered his son on the altar. That act proved his faith was alive (2:21–24).
  • Case #4: Rahab was justified by the work of caring for Israel’s messengers (the spies sent to examine Jericho). That act proved her faith was real (2:25–26).
  • Conclusion: The faith that justifies proves it is alive by its deeds. Conversely, faith without works is dead.

This is provocative language, but it has the capacity to shake the church from its orthodox lethargy. Since we know that Paul taught and traveled widely, we may assume that James’s congregation knew Paul’s foundational apostolic teaching on justification by faith: “A man is justified by faith apart from observing the law” (Rom. 3:28). And again, “A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 2:16 esv).

If James’s readers knew the gospel of justification by faith, then James means to induce consternation when he says there is a faith that does not save. He also says Abraham was justified by works—again, to provoke thought, correct an error, and effect a reform. James says there is a “faith”—a strictly external faith—that does not save. It is lifeless, and its deadness is proved by its inability to generate any good deeds (Matt. 7:17–20; 12:33–37).

Clearly, James is using the word “faith” in two ways. There is a faith that makes us heirs of the kingdom (James 2:5), and there is a “faith” that does not work and cannot save. In a way, this merely restates what James has already said: we must be doers of the word and not hearers only (1:22). Actually, Paul says the same thing: “It is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous” (Rom. 2:13).

Here then is the question: What good is a faith that has no works? What good is a church service where worshipers casually mistreat people whom God has commanded them to love? What is the value of that worship? What is the benefit if someone claims to live by faith in God, but refuses the way of life that God requires of the faithful? What is the benefit if someone says, “I have been baptized, catechized, and sanitized from most major sins. So please let me live as I please”?

There is no benefit, James says. When he asks about the benefit, he is using a category of ancient rhetoric. In moral discourse, rhetoricians and ethicists asked their readers to consider what course of action was morally beneficial. Similarly, James 2:14–17 asks the church a series of rhetorical questions that begin, in essence, “What is the benefit …?” If someone says he has faith but has no works, that faith cannot save that man, can it?[2]

14 Here James uses a couplet of rhetorical questions to put forth his basic thesis: a confessed faith that does not manifest righteous works is not saving faith. He begins by asking, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?” The term ophelos (GK 4055), rendered “good” by the NIV and “use” by the NASB, connotes the idea of benefit or advantage (cf. 1 Co 15:32). James’s rhetorical question anticipates a negative answer—“there is no benefit.” The situation he has in mind concerns a person who talks “faith talk” but does not walk in the “works” associated with true faith. The word “claims” is very important at this point. To claim that one has faith does not mean that true faith is at hand. In fact, a confessed faith is marked as inadequate if the person “has no deeds.” The NIV’s “deeds” (ergon, GK 2240) helps to make a distinction between what James has in mind here and Paul’s focus on religious practices such as circumcision (see the discussion on James and Paul below). As is clear from the hypothetical situation that follows in vv. 15–16, James’s concern is that faith is manifested in practical acts of piety, such as caring for the poor. The “works” he has in mind, therefore, are quite distinct from Paul’s rebuke of those who would depend on “works” (i.e., religious rituals) for salvation. Consequently, for James, a person who gives mere lip service to faith but does not live righteously lives in a religious posture that has no advantage or benefit. In fact, he asks, “Can such faith save him?” James is not suggesting that faith cannot save but rather that the type of faith just described cannot save. Further, the salvation in mind is the salvation of the soul, mentioned also at 1:21; 4:12; and 5:20—i.e., deliverance from God’s righteous judgment (2:12–13) at the end of the age (Moo, 123–24).[3]

2:14 / My brothers indicates a new departure in the argument. What good is it … if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? The question is purely rhetorical. The form of the question implies James’ expectation of a negative answer: No good at all!

The situation is that of saying one has faith but lacking deeds. In this passage, faith has a special meaning for James, that is, orthodox belief conventionally expressed (like “religion” in 1:26). This person can pass the test of orthodoxy, asserting belief in Jesus as Savior. The problem is that his or her lifestyle is identical to that of Jewish (or pagan) neighbors (except for the form of worship): there is no evident self-giving, no detachment from and sharing of wealth. James’ response is, What good is it?

Again James asks, Can such faith save him? The form of this second question also implies the negative answer. There is no salvation for the person who stops short of discipleship. If faith is only intellectual, only expressed in religious practices, it will not save. The Old Testament also condemns piety without action, as do John the Baptist (Luke 3:7–14), Jesus (Matt. 7:15–27), and Paul (Rom. 1:5; 2:6–8; 6:17–18; Gal. 6:4–6). James follows the rest of scripture: faith without actions (discipleship) will never save.[4]

2:14. Two rhetorical questions here expect negative answers. Three features of the questions are important. First, they accept the reader’s claim to faith, but do not assume that the claim without works represents saving faith. The absence of deeds of obedience in this person’s life makes the claim highly suspicious, if not outright wrong!

Second, the topic is not faith in general but a specific kind of faith, one which has no deeds. Such in the niv text implies this focus. The question is not, “Can faith save the lost?” Of course, faith saves the lost. The question is, “Can a faith without deeds save the lost?” The answer to that question is “no.”

A verbal testimony alone is not an adequate evidence that true saving faith is present. Only works of obedience can prove the presence of genuine faith. Verse 15 provides an example of such deeds.

Third, save refers to acquittal at the final judgment. The question is, “What type of faith can guarantee a favorable verdict in the final judgment?” Only a faith that produces works can provide security in the final judgment.

Prospective drivers of automobiles and trucks must pass a written test on road rules and a skill test on the road. Lawyers must pass the bar examination, and accountants must pass the CPA exam. Students in all institutions must show their knowledge on examinations. It is only reasonable to realize that our profession of Christianity demands a test. That test is the production of works. Without works to demonstrate faith our claim becomes false, and we show our deception.[5]

  1. What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?James begins by posing two direct questions which the reader can answer only with a negative reply. Faith without works is useless to man, for it cannot bring him salvation. Does this mean that faith does not save man? Paul writes, “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

Is Paul saying one thing and James another? Not at all. Rather, James looks at the one side of the coin called faith and Paul at the other. To put the matter in different words, James explains the active side of faith and Paul the passive side. In a sense, the writers say the same thing even though they view faith from different perspectives. Paul addresses the Jew who seeks to obtain salvation by keeping the law of God. To him Paul says, “Not the works of the law but faith in Christ brings salvation.” By contrast, James directs his remarks to the person who says that he has faith but fails to put it into practice.

Consider these points:

  • Faith without deeds

What does James mean by faith? Certainly he is not referring to a doctrinal statement that is called a confession of faith, for example, the testimony Jesus is Lord (1 Cor. 12:3). The difference between expressing faith in a confession—reciting the Apostles’ Creed—and actively confessing our faith in word and deed is that faith expressed in a confession can result in mere intellectual assent without deeds to confirm it. This is what James has in mind when he asks, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?”

James is specific. He says, “if a man claims to have faith.” He does not write, “if a man has faith.” James intimates that the faith of this particular person is not a genuine trust in Jesus Christ. In fact, that man’s claim to faith is hollow. If he only nods his head in assent to the words of a doctrinal statement, his faith is intellectual, barren, and worthless.

Faith in God through Jesus Christ is a certainty that flows from our hearts, emanates from our minds, and translates into deeds. Vibrant faith of word and deed, spoken and performed out of love for God and our neighbor, saves us.[6]

2:14. For James, being “quick to hear” (1:19) meant to be prompt to obey God’s command to do good deeds that benefit others. But the readers had neglected good works, content to claim their justification before God by faith alone. James agreed that justification before God was by faith alone. But believers must add works to their faith to develop maturity. Then they will be justified (called righteous) by their works in the eyes of other people (cf. Mt 5:16). A person who says he has faith finds it easy to talk his faith while lacking useful deeds. Bible teachers may be in mind (cf. 3:1–12). The question Can [“that” is not in Gk.] faith save him? demands a negative answer in Greek (“Faith cannot save him, can it?”) and appears to contradict justification by faith alone (Rm 3:27–28; 4:4–5; Gl 2:16; Eph 2:8–9). But James’s use of the Greek verb “save” (soizo) is flexible. This is evident in 5:15, where James uses the word in a way that does not mean “delivered from eternal judgment.” Contextually, “save” in v. 14 is equivalent to the believer’s triumph over a stern evaluation (“judgment”) by God mentioned in 2:13 and 3:1 (an inclusio). (Also see comments on “save” at 1:21.) So the phrase, “Can faith [alone] save him?” asks if a believer without acts of mercy will be able to escape a strict evaluation at the believer’s final performance review.[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 124–126). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Doriani, D. M. (2007). James. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 81–83). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Guthrie, G. H. (2006). James. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 239). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Davids, P. H. (2011). James (pp. 63–64). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 285–286). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 87–88). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[7] Hart, J. F. (2014). James. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1951). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

October 9 Enduring to the End

Blessed is the man who endures temptation [trials].

James 1:12

The word endurance in today’s verse speaks of patiently and triumphantly enduring. It connotes passive or even painful survival and focuses on the outcome of being victorious. The person who goes through trials and comes out a winner never gives up his faith or abandons God. He is shown to be the genuine article.

Some people come to church, profess Christ, and even get baptized. Yet when trouble comes into their lives, they’re gone. And they may never come back. Maybe they encountered a broken relationship, the death of a loved one, or some other struggle, and the circumstances were so overpowering that they blamed God and walked away, convinced that Christianity doesn’t work.

As believers, we may experience times of struggle and doubt, but our faith will never be destroyed. We cling to the Lord despite our trials because we love Him. That kind of loving perseverance results in true blessing.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 306). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Bill and Hillary Clinton launch their ‘We’ll never go away, Democrats!’ tour

When the tour was announced yesterday, the stock of Live Nation, the concert promoters sending the Clintons on the road, took an immediate hit.

No longer able to get half a million bucks for a brief speech before foreign interests seeking the favor of the American government, Bill and Hillary Clinton are going the concert tour route, hoping to cobble together another fortune built on selling a few thousand tickets per show, from about $70 to $750.  The venues they have chosen, starting with the Park Theatre in Las Vegas (capacity: 5,200) and including the Beacon Theatre (capacity: 2,894) in New York are not in the Madison Square Garden league of stadia, though not yet quite as humiliating as a dinner theatre tour, but if they live long enough, I would not completely rule that out, eventually.
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/10/bill_and_hillary_clinton_launch_their_well_never_go_away_democrats_tour.html

October 9 A Right View of God

“Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge.”

Psalm 51:4


True confession involves a proper understanding of God.

Today we will see a second element of true confession in David’s prayer in Psalm 51: true confession requires not only a proper view of sin, but also a proper view of God. David gives us an understanding of four essential truths about God.

First, God is holy. Affirming God’s omniscience, David declared, “Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom” (v. 6). David knew that because God is holy, He is never satisfied with mere external behavior.

Second, God is powerful. David prayed, “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness” (vv. 7–8). David believed God had the power to change him—unlike some who think their sinful habits are too strong for Him to overcome.

Third, God will chastise believers for their sins. David pleaded with God, “Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice” (v. 8). He alluded to the way shepherds sometimes dealt with wayward sheep. They would take such troublesome sheep and break one of their legs. Then they would set the leg and carry the sheep while the leg healed. Afterwards the sheep would remain close to the shepherd. Through this picturesque metaphor, David described God’s chastisement of him for his sin.

Fourth, God is a forgiving God. “Hide Thy face from my sins,” pleaded David, “and blot out all my iniquities…. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation” (vv. 9, 14). David obviously believed God would forgive his sin or he would never have asked Him for forgiveness. In Isaiah 43:25 God Himself affirmed that He is a forgiving God: “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”

Does your confession reflect a right view of God?


Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His holiness, power, and forgiveness.

For Further Study: Read the prayers of the exiles (Neh. 9:5–38) and Daniel (Dan. 9:4–19). What do those prayers tell you about their views of God?[1]

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

Truth and Politics – Reformation21 Blog

I’ve been listening to a fascinating audio book on the nature of warfare in World War II. Giles Milton’s book, Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare details the unconventional and sometimes brutal methods employed to defeat the Nazis. Churchill’s belief was that the Nazis were inflicting total warfare on the British. Thus, the only response was to defeat them by any means. The idea of a genteel and gentlemanly war was discarded in favor of espionage, deception, and sabotage. This was a zero-sum game. It was either won or lost, and losing was not an option. It seems that many today are approaching modern American politics with the same zero-sum game attitude. And in that type of battle, the end justifies the means. The truth is, I planned on writing this post well before the current brouhaha in national politics had erupted. When it was planned, I didn’t have any idea that the nation would be embroiled in a hyper-politicized “he said/she said.” But here we are; a nation that feels, in many ways, to be ripping at the seams. What is a Christian to make of it? How should believers in Jesus Christ evaluate their political opinions? How should Christians express their opinions (even political ones)? The Scriptures point us to the sanctity of truth, the necessity of honesty, and the maintaining of our own and our neighbor’s good name. Truth is to be regarded as sacred because it is an attribute of God. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). God’s word is truth (Jn 17:17). God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his truth (WSC 4). But untruth and falsehood is rampant in this fallen world because of sin. Satan is the deceiver (Rev. 12:9). He is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). The sacred nature of truth makes an ethical and moral demand upon the lives of Christian. Christians are to cherish and uphold truth while rejecting falsehood. The ninth commandment instructs us, “You shall not bear false witness against…

Continue Reading at Reformation21 Blog
— Read on www.reformation21.org/blog/2018/10/truth-and-politics.php

Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? (Hebrews 6) | Crossway Articles

We must respond to the terrifying possibility of irreversible apostasy and the comforting evidence of God’s heart-transforming, love-producing grace

This article is part of the Tough Passages series.

— Read on www.crossway.org/articles/can-christians-lose-their-salvation-hebrews-6/

Voters unimpressed with Democrats’ Kavanaugh performance, dashing hopes for midterm boost – poll — RT US News

Democrats thought they would capitalize on outrage over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but they were wrong, a new poll shows. 
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/440747-kavanaugh-democrats-independents-poll/

October 9 Giving Godly Counsel

“Concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another” (Rom. 15:14).


Scripture is the source of godly counsel.

In recent years the question of who is competent to counsel has become an important issue in the church. Many pastors and other church leaders have curtailed their counseling ministries or stopped them altogether. They’ve been made to feel inadequate for not having formal training in psychological counseling techniques.

Behind this movement away from pastoral counseling is the subtle implication that the Holy Spirit and Scripture are incapable of addressing the deepest needs of the human heart. It is claimed that only secular psychology dispensed by trained analysts can do that.

But the truth is, the heart of man is “more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). No one. That includes humanistic counselors. Verse 10 says, “I the Lord search the heart, I test the mind.” Only God can understand the human heart.

David prayed, “O Lord, Thou hast searched me and known me. Thou dost know when I sit down and when I rise up; Thou dost understand my thought from afar. Thou dost scrutinize my path and my lying down, and art intimately acquainted with all my ways. … Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?” (Ps. 139:1–3, 7).

Only God knows what’s in a person’s heart. Only His Spirit working through His Word can penetrate one’s deepest thoughts and motives to transform the heart and renew the mind (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 12:2).

Professional psychologists are no substitute for spiritually gifted people who know the Word, possess godly wisdom, are full of goodness, and are available to help others apply divine truth to their lives (Rom. 15:14).

When people come to you for counsel, the best thing you can do is show them what God’s Word says about their problem and how it applies to their situation. But you can’t do that unless you know the Word and are allowing it to do its work in you first. Then you’ll be in a position to counsel others more effectively.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the wise and all-sufficient counsel of His Word. ✧ Reaffirm your commitment to share it at every opportunity.

For Further Study: According to Psalm 119:24, on what did the psalmist rely for his counsel?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 295). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Laura Ingraham: ‘America Is Back on the Right Track’ Thanks to President Donald Trump

In an excerpt from her new book, the Fox News host shares a blunt assessment of a man ‘dismissed, ridiculed and maligned’ by the ‘smart people’

You would have thought that the “political experts” who failed to understand, let alone predict, the rise of Donald Trump in 2016 might have learned something by now. They haven’t. While they obsess over silly side issues that do not concern most Americans, President Trump has been methodically making stunning progress in his pledge to undo the policies of his predecessor and pursue others that are improving the lives of working men and women.

Despite the hundreds of hours of media reports about the number of times Trump played golf, staff turnover at the White House, his television viewing habits, and of course the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, we see that the American public is generally feeling better about the direction of the country and their own lives. It turns out that Donald Trump’s style — at times brash, unconventional, and even unpredictable — is largely irrelevant to voters who just want more control over their own lives, more money in their pockets — a shot at a better life.

By Day 500 of his presidency, Trump was the most popular Republican president among members of his own party since World War II, with the exception of George W. Bush after 9/11. The 87 percent of Republicans approving of his job performance were focusing not on cable chatter, but on some of his achievements.

Trump’s record at that point:

  • Quarterbacked tax reform that saved more than 80 percent of Americans money and spurred massive job growth and investment in the United States.
  • Appointed dozens of phenomenal judges to the federal courts, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
  • Cut the federal payroll by 24,000 jobs.
  • Eliminated 16 regulations for every one added.
  • Boosted our energy sector by removing barriers to the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
    Historically low unemployment rates for African Americans.
  • Withdrew from the Paris climate accord.
  • Repealed the Obamacare individual mandate.
  • Defunded Planned Parenthood funding via Title X.
  • Reinstated an expanded Mexico City policy blocking foreign aid from being used for abortions.
  • Overhauled the Department of Veterans A airs.
  • Enacted new protections for religious liberty.
  • Cracked down on MS-13, “sanctuary cities,” and deported thousands of criminal aliens.
  • Successfully renegotiated our trade deal with South Korea and began process with Mexico and Canada (the North American Free Trade Agreement).
  • Reset our trade relationship with China after years of bad-faith actions by the communist regime.
  • Held historic talks with North Korea with the goal of averting a nuclear showdown in the Korean Peninsula.
  • Moved America’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which prior presidents promised but never delivered.

As impressive as the above list is, it’s far from comprehensive, and Trump’s team insists they are just getting started.

Contrary to what the Bushes, Obamas, and Clintons contended, Trump’s “America First” approach to governance hasn’t and doesn’t result in isolationism, nativism, and/or protectionism. If properly executed, it results in more prosperity for more Americans, less dangerous and wasteful military interventionism — more happiness, and less hopelessness here at home.

Plus, let’s fact facts: With $20 trillion in debt and budgets still wildly out of balance, pragmatism had to replace idealism. Globalism had to give way to a conservative populism.

Policies that don’t work had to be abandoned in favor of ones that return power to the people, where it rightly resides.

Of course, plenty has not gone smoothly. at shouldn’t surprise anyone when a disrupter like Donald Trump rolls into Washington. From my personal interactions with him, I know that he’s a man impatient for change. I happen to think that’s a good, not bad, quality. For decades he observed our government from afar, enriching other countries with mega-trade deals as our own people struggled. He saw Europe fail to live up to its financial obligations for NATO’s military budget.

He saw our borders overrun. Smart people should be able to fix this, he thought, and it shouldn’t be that difficult or take that long. Well, anyone who has worked in government knows nothing transformative happens easily or quickly.

Trump, a newbie to the workings of Washington, stumbled unnecessarily out of the gate. The executive branch is a labyrinthine behemoth that will swallow you up if not staffed and managed correctly. He needed to hire more personnel in key positions who knew how to work with Congress, prioritize policy goals, understand the rule-making process, and manage the nastiest characters of all — the press. In other words, staff who know the system. There’s simply no time for “on-the-job training” when you’re president. Crises happen. Domestic and world events take over. If everyone isn’t rowing in the same direction, you’ll find yourself going in circles.

At the Trump White House, they found themselves defending a hastily worded travel ban instead of pushing a robust tax reform or an infrastructure bill that included a border wall.

For more than a year, Trump’s Presidential Personnel Office was understaffed and slow to move on new hires. People with zero history of supporting the Trump agenda were advanced into positions that would have been better served by others. Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson was never suited for the job of secretary of state. Replacing him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo was an astute move. Tom Price was similarly a swing and a miss. Just because he had served ably in Congress and practiced medicine didn’t mean he was suited to run a department as massive and unwieldy as Health and Human Services. To his credit, Trump saw Price’s weakness and slotted in the guy who many of us thought should have gotten the job in the first place — Alex Azar, former deputy HHS secretary under George W. Bush. (Disclosure: He is a close personal friend going back to our Supreme Court clerkship days.)

Of course, the high rate of senior staff turnover and occasional controversies among certain Cabinet members became a favorite narrative of the media always desperate to paint an administration in a constant state of chaos. “Trump Cabinet Turnover Sets Record Going Back 100 Years,” NPR reported.

More white noise to Americans who by the summer of 2018 were really feeling the strong Trump economy kick in for themselves and their families.

But he tweets too much! He publicly criticizes his own Cabinet! He’s erratic! (Kim Jong-un’s “rocket man” one day and a summit partner the next.) He’s too thin-skinned! His older sons are still doing international business deals! His wife looks unhappy! And what the heck are Jared and Ivanka doing in there?

Related: ‘Busting the Barricades’ by Laura Ingraham: Unique Insights, Abundant Acumen into Donald Trump

The more popular and successful the president becomes, the more unhinged the anti-Trump “resistance” becomes. Ultimately, their hatred for the president blinds them to what’s happening all around America — more people are working and taking home more pay. The hard-core Left and the bitter Never Trump Right seem to be cheering against America when they fail to recognize that the policies of this administration are delivering real results and insist that Trump be removed from office.

The media complex will continue to be a barrier to Trump, but he manages to bust through daily. By communicating directly to the people through Twitter, using talk radio, Fox News, OAN, social media, and various websites, the Trump administration is able to reach more Americans than ever before, without the usual filter of bias. Trump has made a decision that appearing on networks like CNN or MSNBC is generally not worth the aggravation. That may or may not be the right decision, but it seems to be working for him.

The Mueller investigation also remains a constant distraction. Rod Rosenstein never should have been appointed deputy attorney general and, in turn, he should never have appointed a special counsel in the first place. The more we learn, the worse the story gets. An FBI director — Jim Comey — who lectured others against leaks but who leaked memos to the press to spur the appointment. FBI agents who expressed their political animus against the presidential campaign they were investigating in text messages and their talk of an “insurance policy” as the campaign was drawing to a close. Dozens of “unmasking requests” made by Obama U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and still others by his national security adviser Susan Rice. Applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants that failed to disclose Hillary Clinton’s funding of the Christopher Steele “dossier” that contained dirt on Trump. News that a “confidential informant” was placed by the FBI in the Trump campaign to investigate its possible ties to the Russian government. Questions swirling about what President Obama and his top staff knew about the investigation into Trump’s campaign and when they knew it.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was cleared by Jim Comey and the Obama Department of Justice for conduct that would have gotten any low-level government staffer or U.S. soldier prosecuted. That’s Washington “justice” for you. One set of rules for the Clintons. Another for everyone else.

What is most heartening is that Republicans (and I bet a lot of independents) are able to separate the distractions from the reality of President Trump.

Elites always maintained that refashioning our global trade agreements was too complicated, that if we revisited these old decisions the nation would be imperiled. That was total poppycock. Trump’s instincts were right and theirs were wrong.

They were also wrong on China becoming a member of the World Trade Organization. They were wrong about allowing open borders.

They were wrong about admitting so many unskilled, poorly educated workers. They were wrong about the formation of the European Union. They were wrong to support German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s wave-in of millions of mostly Muslim, male refugees from Syria.

While they keep hoping for a world that will never be, Trump operates in the world as it is. It doesn’t mean he won’t make missteps. But what it does mean is that before every decision he makes, he will ask the question — how does this affect the life of that working-class family of four in Kentucky? Is America’s interest advanced?

This is the whole point of America — freedom. We were supposed to govern for ourselves. We created the richest, most powerful country in history of the world because our system worked better than others.

Populists don’t care how policies make elites feel while at their international forums. They care if they work. Policymaking is supposed to exist for the betterment of your own people first. We tried ceding our authority, our sovereignty, to international organizations and courts, and it was an abject failure. When liberals say other countries don’t respect us any longer with Trump as president, they get it exactly backward. Trump demonstrated that America will not be bullied by other governments into losing ground. We have power and we should use it for ourselves — he instinctively understands this. Imagine trying to be Hungary or the Czech Republic or Poland and at odds with the entire EU over the key issue of immigration. In America we decide our own destinies.

This is the whole point of America — freedom. We were supposed to govern for ourselves. We created the richest, most powerful country in history of the world because our system worked better than others.

Their policies were good for rich elites but not for most people who prefer that we have a middle class.

In 2020, Democrats are going to have to answer this question: How are you possibly going to get better unemployment numbers, better growth, and a better policy toward China? That’s a tough climb.

When Democrats aren’t railing on about how “embarrassing” Trump is, they’re embracing the same high-tax, big government, open borders policies that the voters rejected in the 2016 election. As they spin their wheels, Trump will work to do what George W. Bush could not — expand his base of support.

Why should African-American and Hispanic voters buy into the stale old game of identity politics and feel compelled to stick with the Democrats? Because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer support removing Confederate statues and celebrate kneeling for the national anthem? How will that create more jobs? Democrats, once the party of slavery, talk a good game about civil rights as they relentlessly push policies that obliterate religious liberty. Their leaders march for “social justice,” but preside over cities where violent crime is the norm and two-parent households the exception.

Today, thanks to a president who is determined to forge a new path, and leave behind the failed ideas of the past, America is back on the right track. Twenty-five years from now, I hope my children will look back on the 2016 election the way I look back on 1980 — the time when a man who so many of the “smart people” dismissed, ridiculed, and maligned restored faith in the American experiment.

Excerpted from “Busting the Barricades: What I Saw at the Populist Revolt” (All Points Books/St. Martin’s), preface copyright 2018 by Laura Ingraham, used by permission of All Points Books. Best-selling author Laura Ingraham is host of “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News, host of “The Laura Ingraham Show,” heard coast-to-coast on 225 radio stations, and co-founder of LifeZette. 
— Read on www.lifezette.com/2018/10/laura-ingraham-america-is-back-on-the-right-track-thanks-to-president-donald-trump/

‘I sleep with a loaded gun’: Rand Paul’s wife afraid of ‘unhinged’ people goaded by Democrats — RT US News

Facing an increasingly polarized political climate, the wife of Senator Rand Paul says she sleeps with a loaded gun as a precaution against “unhinged” people being goaded by Democrats into harassing Republican lawmakers. 

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/440736-kelley-paul-loaded-gun-liberals/

5 Surprising Facts About Christianity in North Korea – Open Doors USA

The relentless persecution of Christians in North Korea is not the full story. Christianity and North Korea have a long relationship! Check out these five surprising facts about Christianity in North Korea.

— Read on www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/5-surprising-facts-about-christianity-in-north-korea/

Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Iran, the Skripal Incident, and Hillary Clinton – Stephen Lendman

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Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria, Iran, the Skripal Incident, and Hillary Clinton

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Commenting on Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman  Maria Zakharova (MZ below) said Moscow and Damascus opened a humanitarian corridor so Idlib province residents can reach government controlled areas if able to escape being held hostage by US-supported terrorists.

Despite some Idlib opposition groups going along with a demilitarized zone, Al Nusra and other US-supported jihadists refused.

They’re provocatively “escalating tension along the perimeter of the Idlib de-escalation zone and making calls to continue the ‘resistance’ to government troops,” MZ explained, adding: 

“(T)he terrorists are trying to prevent opposition groups who expressed their desire to lay down arms and join the political process” from leaving.

Reports still indicate a false flag CW attack is planned to be wrongfully blamed on government forces.

Staged scenes were earlier videotaped, some sent to media. Civilians, including women and children, were kidnapped to be used as props for one or more staged incidents.

MZ: “Russia is committed to keeping up its uncompromising fight against terrorism until its full elimination from the Syrian land.”

Social and economic infrastructure is being gradually restored to liberated areas, Russia heavily involved, along with providing humanitarian aid.

According to Damascus, about 50,000 refugees returned to Syria since January.

MZ: Russia supports “the Iranian military(‘s) right to assist Syria in combatting international terrorism since they have an invitation to this effect from the Syrian government.”

US, Turkish, UK, and French occupiers operate in the country illegally.

Commenting on IAEA chief Yukiya Amano affirming Iran’s full compliance with JCPOA nuclear deal provisions, MZ said the following:

He “has every right to make statements on matters relating to the statutory activities of the Agency. We fully share Mr Amano’s approach to verification work in Iran reflected in his official statement on October 2.”

“Iran is the most vigorously IAEA-verified country today.” It’s in full compliance with its nuclear obligations.

Britain continues to stonewall Russia’s request for evidence on the Skripal incident, Russia falsely blamed for what it had nothing to do with.

MZ: “(W)e are witnessing an elaborate theatrical production…London relies on its favorite tactic of planting stories, only to debunk them later, which happens often.”

Big Lies substitute for verifiable facts. The Skripal and Amesbury incidents “are being used in the domestic political contest to advance various interests – to boost approval ratings, or in an attempt to damage political opponents,” said MZ.

The May regime “fanatically…believe(s) (it) do(esn’t) need to present any proof.” Turning truth on its head saying “highly likely” is good enough. No legitimate tribunal would accept it.

MZ asked: “Where and in what condition are the victims, the Russian citizens Sergey and Yulia Skripal? Why has there been no access to them for more than six months?”

What is the May regime hiding? Clearly it’s concealing the truth.

At a conference in Washington, Hillary Clinton outrageously compared nonexistent Russian US election interference to the 9/11 attacks – the mother of all US false flag incidents, she failed to explain.

MZ politely called her accusation “ridiculous,” asking:

“What makes Hillary Clinton say what she says? Is it really so difficult to accept one’s own failures and blunders that one has to make such bizarre, absurd and wild statements?”

The Trump regime exceeds the worst of its predecessors. A Hillary presidency would have been humanity’s worst nightmare – the most ruthlessly dangerous aspirant in history for the highest US office.
— Read on stephenlendman.org/2018/10/russian-foreign-ministry-on-syria-iran-the-skripal-incident-and-hillary-clinton/

The Final Truth Of Russia-Gate | Zero Hedge

Authored by Justin Raimondo via Anti-War.com,

As the hoax unravels, the real story of “foreign collusion” comes out…

The conspiracy to overthrow a sitting US President extends far beyond our own “Deep State.”

As I’ve been saying in this space for quite some time, it’s been an international team effort from the beginning. Setting aside the British origins of the obscene “dossier” compiled by “ex”-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, we now have further confirmation of foreign involvement in President Trump’s decision to delay (perhaps indefinitely) the declassification of key Russia-gate documents. While US intelligence officials were expected to oppose the move, “Trump was also swayed by foreign allies, including Britain, in deciding to reverse course, these people said. It wasn’t immediately clear what other governments may have raised concerns to the White House.”

But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise “concerns” to the White House. It’s clear from the public record that the following “allies” have rendered the “Resistance” essential assistance at one time or another:

United Kingdom – This entire episode has Her Majesty’s Secret Service’s fingerprints all over it. Steele’s key role is plain enough: here was a British spook who was not only hired by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump but was unusually passionate about his work – almost as if he’d have done it for free. And then there was the earliest approach to the Trump campaign, made by Cambridge professor and longtime spook Stefan Halper to Carter Page. And then there’s the mysterious alleged “link” to Russian intelligence, Professor Joseph Mifsud, whose murky British-based thinktank managed to operate openly despite later claims it was a Russian covert operation.

It was Mifsud who orchestrated the Russia-gate hoax, first suggesting that the Russians had Hillary Clinton’s emails, and then disappearing into thin air as soon as the story he had planted percolated into plain view. Some “Russian agent”!

Australia – Why would the former Australian High Commissioner to the UK seek out George Papadopoulos, a low-level semi-advisor to the Trump campaign, and milk him for information while getting him drunk?

Israel – So how did Papadopoulos find himself spilling his guts at a bar with a top Australian intelligence figure? The Times reports that “The meeting at the bar came about because of a series of connections, beginning with an Israeli Embassy official who introduced Mr. Papadopoulos to another Australian diplomat in London.”

Estonia – The Times and other outlets report that a “Baltic intelligence agency” was the first to relay “concerns” about Russian influence over the Trump team. I’m willing to bet it was the Estonians, who have always been the most actively anti-Russian actors in the region.

Ukraine – Democratic National Committee members actually met with Ukrainian government leaders in an attempt to uncover dirt on Trump. Working together with the DNC, Democratic official and Ukrainian lobbyist Alexandra Chalupa received active assistance from the Ukrainian embassy, which became a veritable locus of Clintonian campaign operations.

This is part of the price we pay for our vaunted “empire,” and the “liberal international order” the striped-pants set is so on about. As that grizzled old “isolationist” prophet, Garet Garrett, described the insignia of empire at the dawn of the cold war:

“There is yet another sign that defines itself gradually. When it is clearly defined it may be already too late to do anything about it. That is to say, a time comes when Empire finds itself –

“A prisoner of history.

“The history of a Republic is its own history…. A Republic may change its course, or reverse it, and that will be its own business., But the history of Empire is a world history, and belongs to many people.”

A Republic may restrain itself, wrote Garrett, but “Empire must put forth its power” – on whose behalf? There are many claimants whose wealth, position, and prestige depend on the Imperial largesse. When that claim is threatened, the “satellites” turn against their protector. This is what the Russia-gate covert action — carried out by coordinated action of our “allies” – is all about. We now have clear evidence of just how far our “client” states are willing go to ensure that the American gravy train of free goodies continues to flow.

Trump’s decision to walk back his announcement that the key Russia-gate intelligence would be declassified tells us almost as much as if he’d tweeted it out, unredacted. For what it tells us is that public knowledge of the contents would constitute a major break in relations with at least one key ally.

So here we have it at last, the final truth of Russia-gate: yes, there was indeed foreign collusion in the 2016 election, but it came from the opposite direction than the media are telling us.

We weren’t attacked by Russia: a few thousand dollars in Facebook ads that nobody saw did not put Trump in the White House. Our democratic process was undermined, not by the supposedly omnipotent Vladimir Putin but by the intelligence agencies of some of our more beloved “allies.” We were attacked by a tag-team, both foreign and domestic, intent on ousting a democratically-elected President by any means necessary.

Here is the final irrefutable argument against America as the “world leader,” designated champion of the “liberal international order” – we become, as Garrett noted, a prisoner of history. Indeed, we are no longer entitled to write our own history, but must endure the lobbying and aggressive interventions of our ungrateful and spiteful “allies,” whose welfare states could not exist without generous US “defense” subsidies.

When those subsidies, subventions, and special privileges are threatened, as they are by the nationalist cheapskate Trump, who would gladly demolish the whole decrepit, dated, and dangerous cold war architecture with a wave of his hand. A US President who puts America first? They can’t allow it.

And that’s really the essence of the fight, the issue that will determine the woof and warp of American politics in the new millennium. The global Establishment has risen up against the People. There’s no telling what the outcome will be, but one thing I know for sure: I know what side I’m on. Do you?
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-08/final-truth-russia-gate

Tuesday Briefing Oct 9, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

After UN report on climate change, deluge of headlines warns of impending doom

Why those operating from a biblical worldview can understand environmental evils better than those operating from a secular worldview

Calling abortion a ‘fundamental right’ is an radical step, but it’s the next step for those committed to the culture of death

How Can We Trust What’s Been Written About the Martyrdom of the Apostles? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

In this clip from a Q&A Session at the 2018 NRBtv Defending Truth Conference, J. Warner Wallace answers a question related to the martyrdoms of the disciples in the historical record. Other panelists include Ravi Zacharias, Frank Turek, and Stuart McAllister. For more information about NRBtv, please visit their website.

How Can We Trust What’s Been Written About the Martyrdom of the Apostles? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

October 9, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

49:6 light to the Gentiles: The Servant fulfills the call of Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3) and the nation of Israel (Ex. 19:5, 6) to be a blessing to other nations. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the great commission of global evangelism is carried on by His apostles (Acts 13:47; 26:23) and those who succeed them to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18–20).[1]

49:6 raise up the tribes of Jacob … My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. The Servant’s goal is the salvation and restoration of Israel for the fulfillment of the covenant promise. But not limited to Israel, He is to function as a light bringing salvation to the Gentiles. Israel’s mission had always been to bring the nations to God (19:24; 42:6). This she will finally do very effectively in the tribulation after the conversion of the 144,000 witnesses (Rev 7:1–10; 14:1–5) and when she is restored to her Land at the Servant’s return to earth. Cf. 9:2; 11:10; 42:6; 45:22; Lk 2:32. Paul applied this verse to his ministry to the Gentiles on his first missionary journey (Ac 13:47).[2]

49:6 It is trivial for you to be The Servant announced His mission to Israel in v. 5. Now, Yahweh reveals that the mission is not to Israel only, but to all the nations of the world. Redeeming Israel alone was too easy; Yahweh wishes for a greater display of His sovereignty.

a light to the nations Compare 42:6, where Israel may be given this mission to be a light to the nations (see note on 42:1–9). The mission that was Israel’s corporately is reassigned to the Servant individually, who fulfills Israel’s obligations to Yahweh in order to restore their relationship.

be my salvation to the end of the earth The entire world—not just Israel—will have access to Yahweh’s salvation through the Servant (see Acts 13:47). Isaiah has elsewhere hinted that the nations would one day be included in the people of God (see Isa 2:2–4).[3]

49:6 light for the nations. A second purpose of the Servant is to bring the gospel to the nations (Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47; 26:23). He fulfills the call of Abraham (Gen. 12:3; 22:18) and of Israel (Ex. 19:5, 6). Today the ascended Christ brings the gospel to the nations through His body, the church (Matt. 28:18–20; 1 Pet. 2:9, 10).[4]

49:6 In another deeper sense the Servant of God and Israel are one, for Jesus came of Israel and is the glory of Israel.[5]

49:6 The servant will do more than restore Israel to its former glory. He will serve as an agent of salvation to the nations, thus fulfilling the divine promise to Abraham that through his descendants God would be a blessing to “all the peoples on earth” (Gn 12:3). Paul and Barnabas quote these words in Ac 13:47.[6]

[1] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 858). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 49:6). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 49:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1022). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[5] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 49:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1113–1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.