Daily Archives: October 17, 2018

October 17, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Excluded From Righteousness

For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. (5:5–6)

A fourth consequence of trusting in works is to be excluded from the righteousness for which the believer has hope, to forsake the true life of blessing God desires for His children.

The Judaizers’ hope of righteousness was based on adding imperfect and worthless works of law in a vain attempt to complete the perfect and priceless work of Christ, which they assumed to be incomplete and imperfect. We, that is, true believers, Paul says, through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness that is based on God’s grace.

Believers already possess the imputed righteousness of justification, but the yet-incomplete righteousness of total sanctification and glorification still awaits them. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.… The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:18, 21). In this life, believers are still waiting for the completed and perfected righteousness that is yet to come.

Paul here mentions three characteristics of the godly life, the life that continues to live by the grace through which salvation was received. First of all, it is a life lived through the Spirit rather than the flesh. Second, it is a life lived by faith rather than works. And third, it is a life lived in patient waiting and hope rather than in the anxious uncertainty of bondage to the law.

Nothing that is either done or not done in the flesh, not even religious ceremony, makes any difference in one’s relationship to God. In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything. The outward is totally unimportant and worthless, except as it genuinely reflects inner righteousness.

Life in the Spirit is not static and inactive, but it is faith working through love, not the flesh working through self-effort. Believers are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). But their working is the product of their faith, not a substitute for it. They do not work for righteousness but out of righteousness, through the motivating power of love. In so doing they “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might” (Col. 1:10–11).

Love needs neither the prescriptions nor the proscriptions of the law, because its very nature is to fulfill the law’s demands. As Paul declares a few verses later, “the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (Gal. 5:14; cf. Rom. 13:8). A person does not, for instance, steal from or lie to someone he truly loves. He certainly does not kill someone he loves. The person who lives by faith works under the internal compulsion of love and does not need the outward compulsion of law.

The story is told of an aspiring artist who was commissioned to do a large sculpture for a famous museum. At last he had the opportunity to create the masterpiece he had long dreamed of. After laboring over the work for many years, he saw it grow not only in shape but in beauty. But when it was finished he discovered to his horror that it was much too large to be taken out a window or door and that the cost for tearing down part of the building in order to remove it was prohibitive. His masterpiece was forever a captive to the room in which it was created.

That is the fate of all human religion. Nothing a person does to earn God’s favor can leave the room of this earth where his self-made works are created.[1]


5–6 Paul’s argument shifts subtly here in vv. 5–6. These two verses must be understood together, as they function at this point of the letter as a tightly packed theological statement that positively recapitulates the whole of Paul’s argument, and “each term and construction of the sentence is significant” (Burton, 279). Paul writes here of the Spirit, implicitly contrasting life in the Spirit with enslavement to law observance. In this way Paul refocuses attention where he began his supportive discussion (3:1–5) of the letter’s propositio (2:15–21) and looks immediately forward to his discussion of life in the Spirit (5:13–18). He writes also about faith, which implicitly recaptures for the Galatians his use of Abraham as the exemplar of justification through faith in the person and promise of God (3:6–18). He states that Christians “eagerly await … the righteousness for which we hope,” which often functions as background to Paul’s thought as an expression of the value of present Christian experience (as, e.g., in Ro 2:5–16; 1 Th 5:8). And he states that, in Christ, there is no soteriological significance to being circumcised or uncircumcised (cf. 3:28), which is the burden of all that Paul has written to this point. All of this is then followed up with and subsumed in the statement that what does matter for believers in Christ is “faith expressing itself through love.”

These verses are intended by Paul as a reminder to the Galatians that “Christ has set [them] free” (v. 1) from slavery to the law. But freedom in Christ does not leave one without a moral compass, as the Judaizers seemingly maintained; there is no necessity for the yoke of the law to guide one’s moral life. Instead, Paul insists here that the operative dynamic for the follower of Jesus is the ethic of love, worked out in one’s life by the Spirit as he enables righteous behavior. This is the proper expression of one’s faith in Christ.[2]


5:6 / In Christ … neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The shape of the believer’s life is defined by being in Christ, which is what Paul affirmed earlier in 3:28. The power the believer has is the power of faith, which is effective through love. Paul sets in semantic parallelism being “in Christ” and “faith working through love.” This is another way of saying that it is the faith of Christ that justifies (2:16; see Introduction). As believers share in Christ’s faith, so they share in his love (cf. 2:20). Believers put on Christ (3:27) and so become as Christ, the one who is the epitome of faith working through love.

The phrase “faith expressing itself through love” can also be translated “faith made effective through love,” depending on whether the Greek verb “expressing” (energoumenē) is read as a middle or a passive; “made effective” is the middle form. Since Paul has used this word with the middle sense in Galatians 2:8 and 3:5, it is likely that here it also has that meaning. The verse would then mean that faith comes to expression by means of love. This points to what Paul has said elsewhere: Christ is the one who loves (2:20), and believers in Christ become as Christ (3:27) through participating in the faith of Christ (2:16). For Galatian believers concerned about righteousness and willing to turn to the law as a guarantee this statement hits the mark. Paul states that faith is not abstract but a way of life that is made effective, visibly and daily, through love. Paul has in view the love of Christ in which believers participate through being “in Christ.” This love will be manifest in love of neighbor (5:13).[3]


6. This declaration concerning the eager forward look of Spirit-imparted faith is true, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. As far as Christ Jesus is concerned—or, as one might say, in the sphere of Christian religion—being circumcised will be of no benefit toward salvation. But here as always Paul shows excellent balance by immediately adding, nor being uncircumcised. The circumcised person must not boast about the fact that his foreskin was removed, nor should the uncircumcised put on airs because he still has his. Cf. the similar statement in 1 Cor. 8:8 regarding food. What is important, however, is “faith working through love.” Compare Rom. 14:17, “For the rule of God does not consist in eating and drinking but in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

A controversy has long raged between Roman Catholic and Protestant interpreters with respect to the question whether Paul meant to say “faith wrought through love” or “faith working through love.” According to the first view, generally favored by Rome, love precedes faith. Our works of love or “charity” give substance to faith. In this way the danger of ascribing too great a value to works and of making works basic in the effectuation of our salvation, is great indeed. This theory, therefore, contradicts the very thesis which the apostle is trying to establish in this epistle, namely, that justification is by faith, apart from works. And as to which is first in order, whether a. love and the work it produces or b. faith, basically the priority should be given to faith. The works are fruits, not roots. Cf. Eph. 2:8–10; 1 Thess. 1:3; and see N.T.C. on 1 Tim. 1:5.

This having been said, it is well, nevertheless, to point out that just as in the natural sphere the young married woman who becomes the happy mother of a child, not only lavishes her love upon that child but is also herself reciprocally enriched, so also mother faith, having produced her child love, receives grace and glory from this child. Action begets reaction in this blessed circle of interrelationships. The endowments with which the Holy Spirit graces the believer overlap. None stands by itself. And is not this implied in Paul’s very statement that faith works through love? It works, becomes effective, proves its genuine character, by means of love and loving deeds. Indeed, by works faith is made perfect (James 2:22). Paul and James are in complete agreement!

Whether or not those are right who say that the Judaizers must have accused Paul of minimizing love, and that in this passage the apostle is answering this charge, we do not know. One fact, however, stands out clearly: the faith which Paul proclaims is always far richer than mere understanding. It is fruitful (5:22, 23; cf. John 16:2, 5, 8), not barren. It is warm, not cold. The man who wrote Gal. 5:6 also wrote 1 Cor. 13:2.[4]


5:5–6. Contrary to the false approach described in vv. 2–4, Paul gave the proper approach. First, salvation does not require obedience to law; it is by the Spirit (cf. 3:2–3). It is not by works; it is by faith (cf. 2:16). Further, in Paul’s letters, first, righteousness is often a state of acceptance with God (e.g., Rm 3:22; 4:13; 10:5). Second, hope is often objective; that is, not a feeling but a thing hoped for (Ac 28:20; 2Co 3:12; Eph 1:18). Thus v. 5b can be rendered “we are waiting for the future hope that our present righteousness will grant us.” Furthermore, Christian living does not require obedience to law. Thus circumcision as part of conversion to Judaism does not matter. What matters is faith—ongoing trust in Christ—expressed though love. While the NT often views love as an attitude or motivation (Rm 5:7–8; 1Co 4:21; 13:3), here Paul has in mind the other side of love: godly action (1Jn 3:18). Joseph Fitzmyer, in his comments on 1Co 13:1–3, defines love as “a spontaneous inward affection of one person for another that manifests itself in an outgoing concern for the other and impels one to self-giving” (First Corinthians, The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries, [New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008], 489).[5]


5:6 Legalism avails nothing. As far as a person who is in Christ Jesus (that is, a Christian) is concerned, circumcision does not make him any better, and uncircumcision does not make him any worse. What God looks for in the believer is faith working through love. Faith is complete dependence on God. Faith is not idle; it manifests itself in unselfish service to God and man. The motive of all such service is love. Thus faith works through love; it is prompted by love, not by law. This is a truth found many times in the Scriptures—that God is not interested in rituals, but in the reality of a godly life.[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians (pp. 136–137). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Rapa, R. K. (2008). Galatians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, pp. 621–622). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Jervis, L. A. (2011). Galatians (pp. 131–132). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Galatians (Vol. 8, pp. 198–199). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] Peterman, G. W. (2014). Galatians. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (pp. 1837–1838). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 1891–1892). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

EXCLUSIVE…Diamond and Silk: Don’t #WalkAway, ‘Run And Run Like Hell’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Americans are going to #WalkAway from the Democrat Party after witnessing the party’s deception, corruption and greed in the movie “Dummycrats.”

“They are going to “run and run like hell,” the stars of the newly released movie Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson told The Gateway Pundit.

“I am not telling you to walk away, I’m telling you to run and run like hell. If you don’t want to see the trajectory of our country change so horribly that you don’t know you’re left from your right, baby, you need to vote right, vote red and vote Republican,” Diamond warned during the premier of Dummycrats in Washington D.C. at Trump International Hotel.

“The Democrat party keeps walking around here, talking about ‘resist,’ because they don’t want America to exist as we know it,” she continued. “You are going to see people running away. You are going to see people switching their party, and pretty soon there’s going to be one party called ‘Make America Great Again.’””

“Vote right, so you won’t get left,” Silk added.

Dummycrats features top Democrats including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

In the film, Diamond and Silk visit impoverished Democrat-run cities, like the California districts of Waters and Pelosi to expose the detrimental repercussions of progressive policies –   heavy taxation, government dependence, illegal immigration and identity politics – have had in their communities.

The sisters blast Waters for living in a mansion in an affluent neighborhood and refusing to live in her own “poverty-stricken” district.

They also talk to citizens to understand whether they like the policies of their elected officials.

“You’ve got to look at these politicians. They are going in poor coming out rich. They are working for their own greed, not the need of people – unacceptable. It’s time for everybody and I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on, start paying attention to these politicians” Diamond asserted. “Often times, people just listen to soundbites, but they don’t really pay attention to what’s going in in their communities, in their districts, whose representing you and that matters. If Congress is going to be working for we the American people – we pay their tax dollars – they are going to have to do right by the American people. If not, Diamond and Silk are going to have to call them out and then we are going to have to vote them out.”

Dummycrats will have a profound impact on Americans from all sides of the political spectrum, Silk noted, because the sisters “talked directly to the people” affected by liberal policies.

“We went to the streets,” Silk said. “We talked to real people, not somebody staged, not someone that’s politically correct. We talked to real human beings that are being affected by the individuals that supposed to be running these districts and doing absolutely nothing for these districts. With us talking to real people, it will relate to another real person and another real person. It’s going to resonate with the masses of people.

Kyle Olson, founder of American Mirror and the film’s executive producer, asked Diamond and Silk to star in Dummycrats days after they testified before the House Judiciary Committee about Facebook shadow banning their content.

“We had just come from [Capitol] Hill – we saw how the Democrats treated us so horribly. They acted like we just didn’t exist and it just really bothered us,” Diamond said. “We said hold up – we are Americans, we were born on this soil. Why are you treating us like we don’t matter? Our voices matter. And our First Amendment rights matter and you should sit here and pay attention to that. After that [Olson] came to us and asked us if we’d want to be featured in this film  and we said ‘absolutely’ because its exposing the hypocrisy on the left – you have got to expose it.”

The growing number of conservatives who have gained notoriety for speaking out in support of President Trump and conservative principles has created a “snowball effect” that that will disseminate the left’s stronghold of pop culture, Olsen told the Gateway Pundit.

Diamond and Silk, former Democrats from North Carolina, who quit the party and campaigned for Trump during the 2016 election, claimed they were maliciously castigated with racial slurs by the left when they first became vocal and loyal supporters of the president and his policies.

“When we started it was a revolution, we have the battle scars to prove it – because like they are doing Kanye today, they called us all kind of coons, minstrels, Aunt Jemima, Notyomama, Bahamama – all kinds of things like that. But we kept on talking. We understood the power of our voices,” Diamond explained. “When your voice is power and you are not a robotic talking head, but you are a truth teller, they will do anything to shut you up because they don’t want people running from that Democrat plantation.”

The film premiered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on Oct. 15 and screened in nearly 800 theaters across the country for a one-night event, but DVDs are for sale at http://www.Dummycratsthemovie.com

The YouTube stars are currently working on a project called ChitChatMe.com to overcome Facebook’s overt censorship of conservatives, “a platform where no one is being discriminated against based on the color of their politics,” Diamond revealed.

via EXCLUSIVE…Diamond and Silk: Don’t #WalkAway, ‘Run And Run Like Hell’ (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Tim Keller and Speech Act Theory — Christian Research Network

Keller referenced the Speech Act Theory as his basis for his view that words can’t just be analyzed for what they say but also for what they do.

David Wheaton, host of The Christian Worldview, and Cameron Buettel of Grace To You discuss Buettel’s recent column on the ramifications of the Speech Act Theory on interpreting words. From TCW:

The reason the framers of The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel wrote the document is spelled out in its Introduction: “We are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.”

As we have discussed recently on the program, a division has taken place within the more biblically conservative side of Evangelicalism over this issue of “social justice.”

For instance, Tim Keller, the highly regarded Evangelical founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, vice president of The Gospel Coalition, and author of numerous influential books, said this about the Statement:

“You can’t just analyze words by what they say, you also have to analyze words by what they do. . . . When I go through [the Statement]—if you go really, really strictly—I think just about anybody would take about eighty percent of it. . . . But in the end what concerns me most about it is not so much what it’s saying but what it’s trying to do. . . . It’s trying to marginalize people who are talking about race and justice. It’s trying to say, ‘You’re really not biblical.’ And it’s not fair in that sense.”

Keller referenced the Speech Act Theory as his basis for his view that words can’t just be analyzed for what they say but also for what they do.

Our guest this weekend on The Christian Worldview is Cameron Buettel, researcher and writer for Grace to You, will join us to discuss his recent column on the ramifications of the Speech Act Theory on interpreting words.

Listen to the broadcast 

via Tim Keller and Speech Act Theory — Christian Research Network

October 17, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

The Trump administration said late on Tuesday it has withdrawn or delayed more than 2,200 regulatory actions since taking office in January 2017 as it vows to reduce the role of government.

Coordinated police raids in 93 countries have netted more than 55 tons of drugs including a cocaine, heroin and millions of synthetic drug pills, the Interpol police organization said on Wednesday.

German prosecutors said on Wednesday there was evidence the Syrian man who took a woman hostage in Cologne on Monday had a radical Islamist motive.

At least 17 people were killed and dozens injured at a college in the Black Sea region of Crimea on Wednesday when a student went through the building shooting at fellow pupils before killing himself, Russian law enforcement officials said.

The European Union should agree a sanctions law to target computer hackers by early next year, the bloc’s leaders are set to say on Thursday and will also seek a pledge from Russia and China to help stop cyber-attacks, internal EU documents show.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkey’s President and Foreign Minister on Wednesday to discuss the disappearance of a Saudi journalist as pressure mounted on the kingdom to provide answers following Turkish allegations he was killed.

Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday, but a lawful buzz will be hard to come by in its biggest cities like Toronto and Vancouver, which will have no stores open.

More than a thousand people were still missing on Wednesday a week after Hurricane Michael flattened communities across the Florida Panhandle, killing at least 27.

United States Steel Corp workers are set to get the biggest wage jump in at least six years under a new deal negotiated with the company, providing early signs that gains from U.S. President Donald Trump’s clampdown on foreign imports are finally trickling down.

AP Top Stories

Two students accused of baking cookies with human ashes and feeding them to classmates won’t face criminal charges, according to authorities in California. “We’re letting the school handle the matter with the juveniles and the families.”

Cologne police are investigating whether extremism was the motivation behind a bloody hostage-taking at the city’s main train station, but so far have found no ties to the Islamic State group, authorities said Tuesday.

A rocket was fired on Israel from the Gaza strip early Wednesday, the Israeli army and police said, causing damage in a southern city.

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday stressed the need for the judicial branch to remain independent, taking note of the tumultuous debate over the confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh to say that the high court makes mistakes when it yields to political pressures.

At least 11 Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers, were abducted on the southeastern border with Pakistan on Tuesday, state media reported.

Iran has extended the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles to 435 miles, a senior Iranian military official said on Tuesday amid rising tensions with the United States over Tehran’s missile program.

The United States conducted its largest air strike in nearly two years against militants in Somalia, killing about 60 Al-Shabaab fighters, the US military said Tuesday. “This precision air strike was the largest air strike against Al-Shabaab since November 21, 2017,” when air-dropped US munitions targeted one of the group’s training camps, killing about 100 extremists.

South Korea on Wednesday denied refugee status to nearly 400 asylum seekers from war-torn Yemen months after their arrival on the resort island of Jeju sparked an anti-immigrant uproar.

A bomb placed under a sofa killed four Afghans including an election candidate on Wednesday, officials said, as deadly violence escalates ahead of the October 20 parliamentary ballot.

BBC

A Democratic US senator facing a tough re-election bid has apologized for disclosing the names of survivors of sex crimes in a campaign advert. The women’s names were among 125 featured in an “open letter” Sunday newspaper advert for North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Some women whose names appeared on the advert have said that they never gave permission for their names to be used.

President Donald Trump has threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras over a large group of migrants heading towards the US border. Mr. Trump said the country’s president was told funds would be cut “immediately” if the group was not stopped and returned. Honduras has a long history of poverty and corruption. It also has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Nigeria’s army has launched a cyber-warfare division to help tackle fake news that can “distract and misinform public opinion” and help fight against terrorist activities online, army chief Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai has announced.

WND

Responding to a request for voter rolls in a lawsuit by the government watchdog Judicial Watch aimed at election integrity, the state of Maryland came up with a unique excuse for not complying. Maryland’s officials want Judicial Watch to identify any Russian nationals or government agents with whom they’ve been in communication regarding the lawsuit. Russian agents?

“Making Love” has jaws dropping at MIPCOM, the world’s biggest TV market in Cannes, by having contestants have sex first before deciding if they like each other. Its French producers WeMake said it has brought together “scientifically-matched singles” to ask the essential question, “Could making love make you fall in love?”


News – 10/17/2018

Did British Empire Fall Because It Failed to Bless Abraham?
For religious history buffs, a video series explores the possibility that the British Empire – which once spanned a quarter of the globe – fell and that Great Britain has now been relegated to its current second-rate status because it failed to fulfill its part in the covenant of Abraham. Stephen Briggs, Director of Operations for Hatikvah Films, explained how the one verse became the basis of video series titled “Blessing, Curse, or Coincidence?”

2,000-Year-Old Decapitated Skeletons Uncovered At Jerusalem Dig
Based on the coins and pottery found at the site, it believed that the massacre took place during the period in which Yannai ruled over the ancient kingdom of Judea, between 103 and 76 BCE. According to the Israel Antiquities Authority, the skeletons were discovered in an ancient water cistern, which was found during a recent salvage excavation, close to the Jerusalem Municipality offices.

Democrats’ communications official: ‘Guillotines’ for Republicans
A deputy communications director for Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has been suspended for a week for a tweet threatening members of the GOP with “guillotines.” It’s just the latest in a long list of statements advocating violence that have been made recently by Democratic leaders.

Denmark And Italy Fight Back Against Open Borders As Populism Swells Across Europe
Inger Støjberg, Danish Integration and Immigration Minister, recently rejected EU migrant quotas for 2018, detailing that refugees do not do enough to contribute to Denmark. Matteo Salvini led the Italian government’s deportation of three African migrants suspected of plotting with Islamist terrorist groups, including one refugee who expressed the desire to kill “Christians” and white tourists”.

More than a thousand remain missing a week after Hurricane Michael
Teams made up of hundreds of volunteers with the Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue organization were searching for more than 1,135 people in Florida who lost contact with friends and family, Matthew Marchetti, co-founder of Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue.

Iran says its land-to-sea missiles can now travel 700km
Iran, which says its missile program is purely defensive, has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s oil exports.

Israel-Hamas Nearing War Over Continued Terrorism, Rocket Strikes Beersheba
Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza strip are about as close to outright war as they have been since the cessation of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge. Tensions have been high for several weeks, but the temperature was raised significantly earlier today following the launch of two rockets just before 3:40 a.m., including a long-range missile, fired at Israel.

Magnitude 6.5 quake near New Caledonia
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 has been recorded east of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, the US Geological Survey says. The epicentre of the quake was 190 km east of Tadine in the Loyalty Islands at a depth of 33 km, the USGS said. There was no immediate threat of a tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

Hamas denies responsibility for attack, IDF: Only Hamas has these rockets
Following rocket fire from the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, which destroyed a home in the city of Beersheba, and an IDF strike on the Palestinian coastal enclave in response, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis held Palestinian faction Hamas responsible for the attack. Hamas “creates an atmosphere of terror in the demonstrations near the border fence, where grenades have been thrown in recent weeks,” Manelis said.

U.N. ups Palestinians’ status, makes it head of Group of 77
The United Nations General Assembly voted 146-3 to place the “state of Palestine” at the head of a group of 134 member nations, known as the Group of 77 and China. There were 15 abstentions. The United Nations considers the Palestinians to be a non-member state, but grants it many of the same privileges that it would award a member state.

U.S. envoy Haley: Palestine is not any state at all
The United States does not recognize Palestine as a state, its envoys said on Tuesday as they opposed United Nations General Assembly move to enhance the stature of the Palestinian Authority. “The Palestinians are not a UN Member State or any state at all. The United States will continually point that out in our remarks at UN events led by the Palestinians,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said.

Trump threatens to cut aid to Honduras over migrants
President Donald Trump has threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras over a large group of migrants heading towards the US border. In a Tweet posted on Tuesday, Mr Trump said the country’s president was told funds would be cut “immediately” if the group was not stopped and returned. Honduras has a long history of poverty and corruption. It also has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Canada becomes second country to legalise recreational marijuana
The first recreational cannabis to be legally bought in Canada was purchased at midnight on Wednesday (02:30 GMT) on the eastern island of Newfoundland amid queues of hundreds of people. Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.

CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological ‘Mystery Illness’ In Kids
A rare condition causing weakness in the arms or legs — and sometimes paralysis — has been confirmed in 62 children so far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. One child has died of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. At least 65 more cases are under investigation, said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Facebook accused of censorship after hundreds of US political pages purged
On Thursday, Facebook announced it had removed more than 800 political pages and accounts for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and spamming. This week, the people behind the pages Facebook purged for being inauthentic are angry. They feel they have been unfairly targeted for practices they say are common across the entire social network.

Supreme Court agrees to hear a case that could determine whether Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies can censor their users
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could determine whether users can challenge social media companies on free speech grounds. The case, Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck, No. 17-702, centers on whether a private operator of a public access television network is considered a state actor, which can be sued for First Amendment violations.

More than a thousand remain missing a week after Hurricane Michael
More than a thousand people were still missing on Wednesday a week after Hurricane Michael flattened communities across the Florida Panhandle, killing at least 27. Teams made up of hundreds of volunteers with the Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue organization were searching for more than 1,135 people in Florida who lost contact with friends and family…

UK German military practice mobility logistics before Trident Juncture
More than 40,000 personnel, 10,000 vehicles, 130 aircraft, and 70 vessels from 31 countries are descending on Norway for Trident Juncture, NATO’s largest military exercise since 2002, which comes as NATO countries reorient themselves toward large-scale conflict.

Pepper The Robot Becomes First Non-Human To Address The British Parliament In Over 700 Years Of Its Existence
British MPs made history today as they took evidence from a robot for the first time ever. Pepper the robot spoke to the education select committee on the rise of artificial intelligence and how UK schools should respond

Trump’s America: Job Openings Reach Record High of 7.1 Million
A record number of new jobs opened up in the United States in August as President Trump’s booming economy showed no sign of slowing down amid an escalating trade war with China and Hurricane Florence-hit Carolinas.

IDF aircraft fires at cell launching incendiary balloons from Gaza
An IDF aircraft opened fire at a group of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, the army said.

Signaling war, Liberman urges cabinet to okay ‘serious blow’ to Hamas in Gaza
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday called on his fellow ministers to approve a large-scale military campaign against the Hamas terror group in Gaza in light of ongoing riots and violence along the Strip’s security fence.

German ‘anti-racism’ demonstrators urge destruction of Israel
An “anti-racism” march that drew more than 200,000 people in Berlin featured speakers who called for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Macron Still Awaiting Information From Iranian Regime on Foiled Bomb Plot But Wants to Stay in Nuclear Deal
France is still awaiting explanations from Iran about a foiled plot to bomb a dissidents’ rally near Paris over the summer, but maintains that staying in the nuclear deal with Tehran is the best option available to Europe, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss
Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.

Washington Catholic Archdiocese releases names of 31 clergy members ‘credibly accused’ since 1948 of sexually abusing minors
Four days after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl amid criticism of his handling of clerical sex abuse, Washington’s archbishop released a list of 31 members of the clergy who had been “credibly accused” of abusing minors dating back 70 years.

Rocket fired at Beersheba from Gaza, hits house; no injuries reported
Rocket warning sirens blared early Wednesday in the southern city of Beersheeba and nearby communities and at least one projectile hit the courtyard of a house, media reports said.

Democrat suggests ‘guillotines’ for Republicans
A deputy communications director for Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has been suspended for a week for a social-media statement threatening members of the GOP with “guillotines.”

Sweden Begins Hand Grenade Amnesty
It’s war and the Swedes think the invaders are going to give up their explosives?

France Caught Dumping Migrants In Italian Woods, Matteo Salvini Says
The Italian anti-immigration leader Matteo Salvini has slammed the French President Emmanuel Macron calling him an “international embarrassment” after French officials where caught dumping migrants in an Italian forest.

Jewish Home draws fire over anti-assimilation poster in Jewish-Arab city Ramle
A municipal election poster campaign poster by the national-religious Jewish Home party drew condemnation from an Arab member of Knesset on Tuesday over its pledge to counter interfaith assimilation between Jews and Arabs.


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Ryan White – Should I Study the Book of Enoch? 

Kenneth Copeland Healed Plane Corrosion By “Laying Hands On It”

Texas ‘Prophet’ Joshua Holmes Is ‘Jesus in the Flesh,’ Followers Say

‘Christine Caine appears to be harvesting what Joel Osteen planted’ – more plagiarism?

Gay Priest Speaks at Southern Baptist Event

Disciples of Christ Continues Decline; Church Membership Drops by Half Since 2000

Argentina – Violent Pro-Abortion Rally Ends With Abortion Activists Throwing Firebombs at Church

Florida – Pro-Life Man Praying at Planned Parenthood Assaulted, Taken to Hospital After Blow to His Face

Almost Half of U.S. Births Happen Outside Marriage, Signaling Cultural Shift

Antifa puts severed pig heads at campaign offices, calls for “people’s war”

Iran Is Witnessing ‘One of Fastest Growing Church Movements,’ but Christians Face Intense Persecution


Headlines – 10/17/2018

Defying US, UN gives ‘Palestine’ extra rights so it can head major bloc in 2019

Palestinians Win Vote to Chair Group of 77 Developing Countries at United Nations

U.S. envoy Haley: Palestine is not any state at all

Palestinians accuse Australian PM of jeopardising Middle East peace

Australian parliament debates fallout from possible embassy move to Jerusalem

Leading candidate for Brazil presidency inclined to move embassy to Jerusalem

US envoy looks to boost Israel-Palestinian business cooperation in West Bank

US Ambassador participates in business forum in settlement of Ariel

Pro-Israel Congress members push bill for investment in Palestinians

Incendiary devices burned half of forests near Gaza, data shows

Palestinians use explosives to damage Israel-Gaza border fence

Rocket fired at Beersheba from Gaza hits house; no injuries reported

Netanyahu: Israel prepared to ‘act with force’ in Gaza

IDF says 20 targets bombed in Gaza, including tunnels; blames Hamas for rockets

Israel strikes Gaza, closes both border crossings after rocket attack

Hamas, Islamic Jihad disavow rocket attack on Beersheba

Netanyahu to hold consultations with top defense officials after rocket attack

UN envoy to the Middle East visits Gaza to accelerate ceasefire efforts

Report: Egyptian mediators reach ceasefire between Israel and Hamas

Hamas official says neither side really wants another war in Gaza

ICC Prosecutor Warns Israeli Demolition of Bedouin Village Could Be War Crime

Hate crimes in England and Wales targeting people by religion rise 40% – 12% of hate crimes last year were directed at Jews

Iran says it has carried out 700 drone attacks in Syria

US said planning targeted economic sanctions to push Iran out of Syria

US imposes sanctions on Iranian network supporting child soldiers

Iran: US sanctions on Iran show ‘spitefulness’ toward Iranian people

Jamal Khashoggi: gory reports of killing emerge as Pompeo meets Erdogan

Turkish official: Police found evidence journalist was killed in Saudi consulate

Erdogan: toxic materials and evidence of repainting found in Saudi consulate

Turkish Media Floats Claim Saudis ‘Evaporated’ Khashoggi’s Body with Acid

Saudi crown prince vows wider probes into Khashoggi case but still denies knowledge of journalist’s fate, Trump says

In the Wake of Khashoggi’s Disappearance, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Is Pushed to the Brink

Suspects in Khashoggi Case Had Ties to Saudi Crown Prince

Jared Kushner ‘Deeply Involved’ In White House Response To Khashoggi’s Disappearance

Khashoggi: Trump defends Saudi Arabia amid international condemnation

Trump criticizes rush to condemn Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi case

Trump says Saudi Arabia should be presumed innocent over missing journalist

American Mercenaries Worked for Saudi-Led Coalition to Assassinate Clerics and Islamist Political Figures in Yemen

Egyptian army says 450 jihadists killed in Sinai offensive

US airstrike in Somalia kills around 60 al-Shabab fighters

Yemen air strike: The school that’s lost 42 children

Arab Coalition, KSRelief help evacuate thousands following floods in Yemen

‘Taliban bomb planted under sofa’ kills Afghan election candidate

Crimea college hit by deadly bomb blast in terror attack

Bomb in Crimean high school kills 13, wounds 50, say Russian authorities

Trump threatens to cut aid from Honduras as new migrant caravan nears US

France’s Macron reshuffles cabinet amid scandals, plummeting popularity

EU leaders prepare hardball Brexit summit for May

Trump calls Federal Reserve his ‘biggest threat’

Menendez, Pompeo feud over diplomatic nominees at a time of mounting global challenges

Mueller Ready to Deliver Key Findings in His Trump Probe, Sources Say

Trump resumes ‘Pocahontas’ moniker after Warren DNA test

Trump calls Stormy Daniels ‘horseface’; she fires back with ‘tiny’ and notes the president’s ‘shortcomings’

GOP lawmaker rips Trump for Stormy Daniels attack: This is ‘unbecoming of any man’

Democrats Eye ‘Internet Bill of Rights’ If They Win U.S. House

Facebook accused of censorship after hundreds of US political pages purged

Supreme Court agrees to hear a case that could determine whether Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies can censor their users

Advertisers Allege Facebook Failed to Disclose Key Metric Error for More Than a Year

Facebook lured advertisers by inflating ad-watch times up to 900 percent: lawsuit

YouTube experiencing worldwide outage

Robot ‘talks’ to MPs about future of AI in the classroom

Japan plans to flush Fukushima water ‘containing radioactive material above permitted levels’ into the ocean

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Lata, Solomon Islands

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Southeast of Easter Island

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 18,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 11,000ft

Rincon De La Vieja volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 10,000ft

More than a thousand remain missing a week after Hurricane Michael

Florida towns face dark weeks without power. ‘This isn’t a restore. This is a rebuild.’

10 percent of Air Force’s $339 million F-22 fighter jets damaged in Hurricane Michael

Hurricane aftermath threatens to unleash Florida election chaos

France hit by worst flash floods in 100 years

More flooding likely in Texas as record rains continue to fall

Texas Flooding Kills 1: State of Emergency Declared in 18 Counties, Bridge Washed Out

USA’s infamous ‘Tornado Alley’ may be shifting east

India is trying to prevent apocalyptic air pollution. Step 1: Stop farmers from burning their fields.

UN warns of ‘perfect storm’ of hunger, climate change

Black Death and other ancient diseases could be re-awakened by climate change, professor warns

WHO Considers Declaring Congo Ebola Outbreak an International Emergency

CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological ‘Mystery Illness’ In Kids

CDC confirms 62 cases of polio-like illness across US

Almost Half of U.S. Births Happen Outside Marriage, Signaling Cultural Shift

New York City Creates Gender-Neutral Designation For Birth Certificates

Hungary gender studies ban draws university anger

Indian minister in #MeToo storm announces resignation

The Archdiocese of Washington Releases Names of Clergymen Who Were ‘Credibly Accused’ of Sexually Assaulting Children

Grandmother charged with murder after baby found stabbed and put in oven


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October 17 Wisdom from God

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.

James 1:5

When you are being tested, you need to recognize your need for strength, and you must look for a greater resource to hold onto in the midst of the trial—God Himself. The search for wisdom is man’s supreme search. For those who know and love the Lord, He provides that wisdom.

This kind of wisdom is not philosophical speculation, but the absolutes of God’s will—the divine wisdom that is pure and peaceable (James 3:17). Divine wisdom results in right conduct in all of life’s matters. When some Christians go through troubles, their first response is to run to some other human resource. Although God may work through other believers, your initial response to trials should be to ask God directly for wisdom that will allow you to be joyous and submissive in finding and carrying out God’s will.

Today’s verse is a command to pray. It is as mandatory as Paul’s instruction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Trials are intended to drive us to dependency on God by making us realize we have no sufficient human resources.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 314). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

It’s not the man of God, but the God behind the man

Unfathomable Grace

Too often, we foolishly place our confidence in earthly leaders. We are sure that children will grow to love the Lord if their parents are sufficiently diligent. Some women are absolutely certain their life will stabilize as they find that man who will lovingly lead them for the rest of their days. There are church boards and bodies who cannot imagine how they could thrive without their current minister; he is their rock-star, their “Moses” of sorts. Then there are others churches equally certain a new man is that which is necessary for God to move and shake in their midst. Yes, too often we place our confidence in earthly leadership. We are like football, basketball, and baseball executives who are absolutely sure we will soon be breaking out the champagne and singing “We are the Champions” if we can only secure the indispensable head-coach or franchise player.

However, while…

View original post 1,082 more words

October 17 Yielding to God

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.”

Romans 6:12–14

✧✧✧

Believers are to yield themselves to God, not to sin.

Three key words in Romans 6 define the believer’s relationship to sin: “know” (vv. 3, 6, 9), “consider” (v. 11), and “present” (v. 13). The first two speak of understanding and believing that we are dead to sin. The third demands of us active obedience in our lives based on that truth. Since we are truly dead to sin, we must not allow it to be the dominant force in our lives.

Sin is a dethroned monarch, but it is still present in this fallen world and desires to lure the believer back into its grasp. Knowing that, Paul exhorts Christians, “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.” He says, “Sin has no right to rule; so don’t let it!” Peter echoed that thought in 1 Peter 2:11: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.”

How does a believer keep sin from reigning? Negatively, believers defeat sin by no longer “presenting the members of [their bodies] to sin as instruments of unrighteousness.” We must make sure that our thoughts, speech, and actions are not used for unrighteous purposes. Positively, we must yield all of our faculties to God as “instruments of righteousness.” To do both requires self–discipline—like that which Paul expressed in 1 Corinthians 9:27: “I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

Yield to sin, and experience chastening and sorrow; yield to God, and experience joy and blessing. Which will you choose today?

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Is there a part of your life (thoughts, speech, actions, habits) where sin still reigns? If so, confess it to God, and ask for His help in breaking sin’s hold in that area.

For Further Study: Memorize Romans 12:1 to help you remember the importance of yielding your body to God.[1]


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

Why are the media so interested in the Khashoggi death over so many other deaths?

Seth Rich, Kate Steinle, Brian Terry, Chris Stevens … the list is long.

The media and other Democrats are extremely concerned about missing Jamal Khashoggi, as they should be, and they believe the Saudis murdered him.

I am just curious why they had so little concern about other people who have been killed and why there is so much coverage about Khashoggi in comparison:
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/10/why_are_the_media_so_interested_in_the_khashoggi_death_over_so_many_other_deaths.html

Nearly half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day: World Bank

In a twice-yearly report the World Bank found the number of poor worldwide was still “unacceptably high”

Despite progress in reducing extreme poverty, nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $5.50 a day, with a rising share of the poor in wealthier economies, the World Bank said Wednesday.
— Read on phys.org/news/2018-10-world-day-bank.amp

October 17 A Psalm of Sufficiency

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.

“They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

“Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Ps. 19:7–14).

✧✧✧

God’s Word addresses the soul’s every need.

King David was a man of stark contrasts. He knew the humility of shepherding a flock and the prestige of reigning over a nation. He experienced glorious triumphs and bitter defeats. He sought after God, yet also suffered immense guilt and pain from immorality and murder. That led to even his own son’s seeking to take his life. Some of his psalms reflect great hope and others despair. But through it all he continued to look to God, being assured of God’s sovereignty and the sufficiency of His divine resources.

In Psalm 19 David penned the most monumental statement ever made on the sufficiency of Scripture. As we study it in the days ahead, keep in mind that every need of your soul or inmost being is ultimately spiritual, and God has supplied sufficient resources to meet those needs completely. That was David’s confidence. May it be yours as well.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Throughout our study of Psalm 19, ask God to give you fresh insights that will enable you to appreciate and rest more fully in His gracious provisions.

For Further Study: Reread Psalm 19:1–14. ✧ What terms did David use for God’s Word? ✧ What benefits does the Word bring to believers? ✧ Are you enjoying those benefits?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 303). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Brannon Howse: October 16, 2018 | Worldview Weekend

Topic: Liberal Lilly Endowment gives $70 million to various “Christian” organizations. Brannon shares the religious Trojan horse individuals and initiatives that Lilly Endowment has and is financially supporting. This is further proof that liberal foundations are greatly influencing the evangelical deep state as Brannon lays out in his new book Marxianity. Topic: A New York Times article features evangelical, Texas ladies that are supporting socialist, U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. The various ladies apparently attend conservative evangelicals churches including one of them reportedly attending the church of Matt Chandler. The church of Matt Chandler is not conservative as Brannon points out. Brannon uses this story to further point to the fact that it will be so-called evangelical Christians that greatly assist in building the false-dominate church, aide in the advancement of socialism in America, and set up true Christians and conservatives for persecution. Topic: We take your calls.

Download File Here
— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-october-16-2018

Wednesday Briefing Oct 17, 2018 – AlbertMohler.com

Schism: Russian Orthodox Church severs ties with Constantinople, pointing to significant developments in geopolitics and world history

The pursuit of greater glory: What Putin’s quest to strengthen Russian identity has to do with recent headlines

Hero or villain? The dramatic and horrific story of an abortion doula

One more step in the transgender revolution: Influential conservative transitions, is embraced by conservative community

  • https://mohler-media-5ox2mshyj.stackpathdns.com/Podcast/20181017_TheBriefing.mp3
  • — Read on albertmohler.com/2018/10/17/briefing-10-17-18/
  • Where Does Ultimate Authority Lie?

    There is a science in theology and in biblical studies that we call hermeneutics. It is the science of biblical interpretation. It teaches objective principles and rules that govern our treatment of the text, lest we turn the Bible into a piece of clay that we can shape and form for our own desires, as the Pharisees did. At the heart of the science of hermeneutics in Reformed theology is the regula fidei, or “the law of faith,” which says that no portion of Scripture must ever be set against another portion of Scripture. The first assumption here is that all of Scripture is the Word of God. The second assumption is that God does not speak with a forked tongue, that what He reveals in His Word is always consistent. It is sometimes said consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. If that adage is true, we have to say that the tiniest mind to be found is the mind of God. However, I believe consistency is the sign of clarity of truth, and God’s Word is consistent with itself.

    For a glaring example of pitting one portion of Scripture against another, we need look no farther than Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. When Satan tried to seduce Jesus, he quoted Scripture to Him. He took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem and dared Him to leap off, saying, “He shall give His angels charge over you,” a quotation from Psalm 91:11 (Matt. 4:6). He was saying to Jesus: “Throw Yourself down. Nothing bad will happen because God has promised that His angels will catch You.” But Jesus replied, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God’ ” (Matt. 4:7; Deut. 6:16). Jesus said: “Satan, you’re violating the rule of faith. You’re operating with a poor hermeneutic. You’re setting Scripture against Scripture. The Bible says I am not to tempt God. If I am to be obedient to that dictum, I cannot acquiesce to your suggestion.” He did not allow Satan to tempt Him to act on one verse of Scripture ripped from the context of the entire Word of God.

    That is the kind of thing Jesus was dealing with in His dispute with the Pharisees and scribes. Their traditions were opening all kinds of loopholes to permit people to get out from under the clear teaching of the truth of God. For this reason, He said, they were “making the word of God of no effect through [their] tradition” (Mark 7:13).

    The biggest theological controversy in church history was the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. On the surface, it seemed as if the whole controversy was about one doctrine—justification by faith alone, which is the gospel itself. When Martin Luther was brought into disputes with the princes of the church, they reminded him that his understanding of justification was not the traditional understanding, that the church long had explained justification in different categories. But Luther simply said: “Here is what the Bible says. My conscience is held captive by the Word of God. I must submit to Scripture, not to man-made traditions.” So, the secondary issue was the question of authority.

    Where does ultimate authority lie? Is it in the Scriptures alone or is it in the Scriptures and tradition? If it is in both Scripture and tradition, tradition trumps everything by giving the binding interpretation of Scripture. So, for all practical purposes, there are not really two sources of authority, Scripture and tradition, but one, tradition, which becomes more important than the Word itself.

    I do not understand how any sentient creature could read the New Testament teaching, particularly Paul’s words in his letter to the Romans about justification, and draw from it anything that resembles the Roman Catholic doctrine, which is based on tradition. But it is not only Roman Catholics who fall prey to this problem. We all do. We all tend to give our traditions more weight than Scripture. It is easy for us to look back and say, “Shame on the Pharisees,” “Shame on the rabbis,” or “Shame on the medieval theologians of Rome.” But we need to look no farther than our own hearts. The final arbiter of all theological and moral debates must be the Word of God.

    This excerpt is adapted from the Saint Andrew’s Expositional Commentary on Markby R.C. Sproul.

    — Read on www.ligonier.org/blog/where-does-ultimate-authority-lie/

    Big Tech Snuffing Free Speech; Google’s Poisonous ‘Dragonfly’

    If the big social media companies choose what to publish and what not to publish, they should be subject to the same licensing and requirements as media organizations. Google has decided it will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial
    — Read on www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13129/google-censorship-china

    October 17, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

    6  On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
    of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
    7  And he will swallow up on this mountain
    the covering that is cast over all peoples,
    the veil that is spread over all nations.
    8  He will swallow up death forever;
    and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
    and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the LORD has spoken.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 25:6–8). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


    6–8 Many point out the close connection between v. 6 and 24:23 (we recall, of course, that chs. 24–27 constitute a special section, with its diverse parts all bound into one). As the Lord’s eschatological purposes unfold, he will reign in glory on Mount Zion. The prophet has already pictured the Gentile nations as coming up to that mountain for worship (2:1–4); 25:6 now gives a view of the great feast God will prepare for them there. The image of the kingdom of God as a banquet is familiar to readers of the NT (Mt 22:1–14; Lk 14:15–24; Rev 19:6–10).

    Kaiser (in loc.) points out many contrasts between the judgment of the earth in ch. 24 and this scene; for instance, God’s judgment takes away the wine (24:9), but here it is restored in highest quality (25:6). All the adjectives and adjectival phrases in v. 6 underline the superb quality of God’s provision for the once rebellious nations. The Gentile prodigals find the fatted calf killed for them on their return to the Lord.

    Verse 7 is understood in two different ways. It may refer to the blindness of the nations, which has caused them to worship false gods and not to acknowledge the Lord. The theme of light from God is important in Isaiah, and in ch. 60 he pictures a great light shining over God’s people and all nations moving out of the darkness that covers them and into that light. Alternatively, he may have mourning veils or even a shroud of death (see NIV) in his mind. If so, vv. 7–8 concern God’s victory over death. Either interpretation seems possible, though the second is perhaps the more likely.

    Many modern commentators are reluctant to ascribe belief in resurrection to Isaiah, often arguing for the opening clause of v. 8 as a later addition and interpreting 26:19 as a figure for national renewal somewhat like the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. Clements (in loc.), for example, declares, “The idea of the resurrection of the dead occurs in the Old Testament only as a very late idea (cf. Dan 12:2).” Yes, if evidence of earlier belief is removed or reinterpreted! This kind of argument is often circular. But if the rest of vv. 6–8 is attributed to the prophet, there is no adequate reason—except for a particular theory of how biblical eschatology developed—to deny this clause to him, especially if 52:13–53:12 comes from him also (see the Introduction, pp. 438–48). Paul quoted 25:8a in 1 Corinthians 15:54 and applied it to the resurrection.

    If God finally deals with death and thus with the tears it brings, and if vv. 6–8 continue and develop the thought with which ch. 24 closes, the important issue of prophetic interpretation surfaces. The banishment of death belongs to the final stage of God’s great plan and is associated with the descent from heaven of the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:1–4). This suggests that Mount Zion and Jerusalem in 24:23 are not geographical but symbols for the ultimate society. This raises acutely the question of the relationship between the millennium and the final state (see Introduction for extended comment on this). If v. 7 is about the removal of spiritual blindness (as must surely be its meaning), it is unlikely that vv. 6–7 (and so also 24:23) refer to the millennium with the prophecy moving on to the final state in v. 8.

    The “disgrace” of God’s people (v. 8b) is best understood in the light of the later prophecy in Ezekiel 5:13–17. Destined for salvation, they must first suffer judgment at his hands, although this disgrace will pass away when that ultimate day comes. God now stresses that these are his own promises, and so they cannot fail.[1]


    25:6–8. The second response to God’s judgment will be triumph. This is depicted as a lavish banquet for all peoples, a reference to the great messianic banquet (not the marriage supper of the Lamb in Rv 19, but the millennial kingdom on earth) with abundance and community (v. 6) and the removal of death and disgrace (vv. 7–8). With the onset of the messianic kingdom, God will bring comfort, wiping tears away from all faces and restore Israel, removing the reproach of His people from all the earth (v. 8).[2]


    25:6–8 The end of darkness and death. The feast (6) introduces a positive note into what is otherwise chiefly an account of ills removed. It has the note of achievement (for a feast is a celebration), of plenty (6b) and of shared delight (note the fivefold all in vs 6–8). Our Lord relished this festive prospect even as he handed a very different cup to his disciples (cf. Mt. 26:29).

    The shroud or sheet (better, ‘covering … veil’) could be either the mourning (8b) or the blindness (cf. 2 Cor. 3:15) of fallen humanity; both are apposite. The translation for ever (8a) is the most straightforward (cf. e.g. 28:28), but the root does also contain the idea of ‘victory’ (cf. 1 Cor. 15:54) or pre-eminence, and is so used in 1 Sa. 15:29 and 1 Ch. 29:11, where it appears as ‘Glory’ and ‘majesty’ respectively. In either sense, the promise is one of the summits of the OT and the NT. In a single verse (cf. also Rev. 21:4) the last enemy is gone and the last tear shed.[3]


    25:6. God’s deliverance of His people in the kingdom is pictured as a banquet feast on the mountain of the Lord Almighty. Mountains are often symbols of governmental authority (e.g., Dan. 2:44–45) but here the mountain probably refers to Jerusalem (Mount Zion) from which the Messiah will rule in the kingdom. Food will be provided for all peoples, which fact once again stresses the worldwide extent of God’s kingdom over those who believe. This does not mean that everyone who lives in the Millennium will be saved (though only redeemed people will enter the Millennium at its beginning); instead it means that people in all areas of the world will be saved. The best of meats and the finest of wines picture God’s ability to supply the needs of His people during that time. Some Bible interpreters say this refers symbolically to God’s care for His people in the present age. However, Isaiah was speaking of a future time when (after God’s worldwide judgment) His people in Israel and other nations will feast together in peace and prosperity. This is the 1,000-year reign of Christ.

    25:7–8. Death, pictured as a shroud and a sheet, the covering placed over a dead body, will be swallowed up or done away with. This will mean that tears of grief caused by the separation of the dead from the living also will be a thing of the past. This removal of death and wiping away of tears will take place at the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Rev. 21:4), when death, Satan, and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14) and the new heavens and new earth established (Rev. 21:1–3). Since God’s future kingdom includes both the Messiah’s millennial reign and the eternal state, Isaiah telescoped them together (cf. Isa. 65:17–25). Elsewhere the first and second comings of Christ are seen together (9:6–7; 61:1–3). The certainty of future prosperity and joy and absence of death would encourage Judah in Isaiah’s day to trust in the Lord and not lose heart.[4]


    [1] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, pp. 627–628). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

    [2] Rydelnik, M. A., & Spencer, J. (2014). Isaiah. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1037). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

    [3] Kidner, F. D. (1994). Isaiah. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 648). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

    [4] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1073–1074). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

    The Difference Between Believing the Gospels and Trusting the Gospel — Cold Case Christianity

    I leaned over and said, “I think it may be true.” “What may be true?” asked Susie. “Christianity,” I responded. “The more I look at the Gospels, the more I think they look like real eyewitness accounts.” I spent months examining the claims of the Gospels, evaluating them with the template I typically apply to eyewitnesses in my criminal investigations. At the end of my examination, I was confident in their reliability. I believed the Gospels were telling me the truth about Jesus. But I wasn’t yet a Christian. I had what I often refer to as “belief that”. I examined what the Gospels had to say about Jesus, and after testing them rigorously, I came away with confidence in their accuracy, early dating, reliable transmission and lack of bias. But I still had a profoundly important question: “What is the cross all about? Why did Jesus have to die that way?” My wife, Susie, had been raised as a cultural Catholic, and although she was familiar with the language and doctrines of Catholicism, her answer was simply, “I don’t really know.” After months of investigation, I believed what the Gospels told me about Jesus, but I wasn’t yet ready to accept the Gospel of Salvation.

    Yesterday, CBN posted the story of my journey from “belief that” to “belief in”. It’s really the first time I’ve told the story this completely, and I hope it will help you see the role evidence can play in moving someone from intellectual assent to volitional submission:

    Read more: The Difference Between Believing the Gospels and Trusting the Gospel — Cold Case Christianity

    Most corrupt countries in the world, according to the World Economic Forum – Business Insider

    The World Economic Forum has released its annual corruption index as part of its Global Competitiveness Report.

    Using a methodology linked to Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index, the WEF ranks 140 countries out of 100 for the level of corruption within their society. 

    A score of 100 means a country is entirely without corruption, while 0 is the most corrupt possible. All the countries featured on this list score 30 or less.

    The countries seen as most corrupt tend to be in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East, in societies with weak legal and governmental systems and widespread poverty. 

    For instance, Yemen, which is in the middle of a brutal civil war, is ranked as the most corrupt nation by the Global Competitiveness Report. A handful of the world’s 20 largest economies also make it onto the list, however.

    Check out the world’s most corrupt nations below.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 18 most corrupt countries in the developed world

    — Read on www.businessinsider.com/most-corrupt-countries-in-the-world-world-economic-forum-2018-10

    Fraud allegations fuel scandal at Christian Post and Christian Today – Global Christian News

    by Andrew Carey, Global Christian News:

    Evangelical news websites, Christian Post and Christian Today face embarrassment and scandal after two leading chief executives were arraigned this month in New York on charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and falsifying business documents.

    William C. Anderson, formerly CEO of Christian Media Corporation (CMCI) responsible for Christian Post and Christian Today, and Etienne Uzac, CEO of IBT Media (International Business Times and until recently Newsweek) have been caught up in a long-running investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

    The claim is that the two companies committed fraud by securing millions of dollars in loans to purchase high end servers. The companies bought cheaper servers and the money was spent differently including $1.5 million to CMCI to make up for deficits. Both executives strenuously deny the charges.

    Christian Post calls itself the No. 1 Christian website in the world. The British website, Christian Today, which was for several years was regarded as influential was previously edited by Ruth Mawhinney, now working for the Archbishop of Canterbury and then the leading religion writer, Ruth Gledhill.

    Earlier this year Christian Today laid off most of its staff. Current editor, Mark Woods refused to answer questions about connections between Christian Today and the fraud allegations. Christian Today is now listed as a micro-company at Companies House in the UK meaning that it has less than £10,000 turnover. This leaves unanswered questions over how it can afford to employ any staff at all in the UK.
    — Read on www.globalchristiannews.org/article/fraud-allegations-fuel-scandal-at-christian-post-and-christian-today/

    October 17 Jesus’ Deity in His Works

    Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”—John 5:19–20

    For a mere man to claim to be God was, to the Jews, outrageous blasphemy. Therefore if they had misunderstood Him, Jesus surely would have immediately and vehemently denied making such a claim. But instead, He became even more forceful and emphatic. In the strongest possible terms, the Lord assured His hearers that what He said to them was true.

    He further defended His healing on the Sabbath by tying His activities directly to those of the Father. “The Son can do nothing of Himself,” Jesus declared, “unless it is something He sees the Father doing.” He always acted in perfect harmony with and subordination to the Father’s will. Thus His works paralleled those of the Father in both their nature and extent: “for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” Christ’s statement is a clear declaration of His own divinity.

    Jesus continued by declaring that the Father would show Him still greater works. His healing of the crippled man had amazed the crowds. But in obedience to the Father, Jesus predicted that He would perform even more spectacular deeds—deeds that would make His listeners marvel.

    ASK YOURSELF

    Is there any application of this principle for us—observing what the Father is doing, and then participating in those very things “in like manner”? How could this become more than a theory, shielded from human error? What would be some of the expected results from this kind of lifestyle and ministry approach?[1]


    [1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 299). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

    10/17/18 Worry — ChuckLawless.com

    READING: Luke 12:1-13:30

    “Why worry about the rest?”

    Luke 12:26

    I wish I could say that I never worry . . . that I have grown so much in my faith that I no longer let worries capture me. But, even though I’ve been a believer for more than four decades now, I still sometimes struggle. I occasionally allow worrisome thoughts to enter my mind, linger there, grab my heart, and keep me awake at night. I’m still learning. . . .

    And, what I’m learning to do is trust what Jesus said: “Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26). The question is really quite a simple and logical one. Worry not only does not add anything to life, but it actually can cost years of life. Its effects on the physical body are real indeed. Worry simply makes little sense.

    God has always taken care of me, and I can count no times when He did not have the best for me in mind. He’s taken care of the birds and the wildflowers; surely He will also take care of we who are created in His image. Worry brings me nothing except grief—so I must continually say as I grow, “Lord, I give You this worry. I know You’re not worried. Forgive my sin, and free me from this bondage.”

    ACTION STEPS:  

    • Meditate on how often God has taken care of you in the past.
    • Give your biggest worry to God today.
    • Check out this post about breaking the bondage of worry.

    PRAYER: “Lord, I give You my worries.”

    TOMORROW’S READING: Luke 14-15

    via 10/17/18 Worry — ChuckLawless.com