Monthly Archives: December 2018

December 31 Desires Balanced by Needs

Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.

Philippians 1:24–25


One mark of a spiritual man is that his own desires are balanced by the needs of others. That’s the kind of man who could write, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:3–4, nasb).

The Philippian church needed Paul, as did many other churches. Paul knew they needed him badly enough that their need was likely to determine his future, which he expressed in today’s verse.

Although Paul desired to be with Christ in heaven, he also wanted to remain on earth to help strengthen the church. He knew that if he stayed the church would better glorify Christ, and glorifying Christ was all he desired.

As you contemplate a new year, what is Christ asking you to commit your life to? I hope it’s a desire to meet the needs of others with a humble heart.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 392). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

Living the Christian life in 2019 — The Cripplegate

The first time I went snowboarding was also only the second time I had ever seen snow. I was truly excited. The invitation to go was easy to accept and sourcing some equipment proved easy enough. The atmosphere among friends was electric. Even the lessons in the basic technique seemed straightforward enough; I’d dabbled in skateboarding in a former life.

But once I was on the ski lift I realized how deceptively high the looming mountain was and how relentlessly steep the daunting slope appeared. There is no way down except …down. Snow is colder and wetter and harder than I had imagined it being. This fun now seemed dangerous. I was committed, and so I slid off the lift and made an uncontrolled beeline toward a bevvy of girls who had no idea that this clumsy South African wrecking ball was about to ruin their day.

The moral of that unfortunate life lesson: you might embrace the image of being a skier, you might look the part—kitted out in all the right gear—you might even master the lingo, but you are not a skier until you actually ski!

Many people talk the talk of being a Christian, but they don’t walk the walk.

They visit Christ, but they don’t follow him. They can hold a conversation in fluent Christianese, their church attendance record is impeccable, they eagerly share prayer requests and even sometimes get teary when they sing. But after visiting hours are over, they slink easily back to their natural abode and return to behaving, talking, and thinking like unbelievers.

As we start this new year, let each of us examine ourselves in the light of Colossians 2:6.

Colossians 2:6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.

To bow before Christ as your Lord is the first step in a saving relationship with him.

To “receive” Jesus means to trust in him for your salvation, not just believe the facts about him. Receiving Christ is done by believing the message of salvation proclaimed by his messengers.

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

But does this now mean I can live any way I want, now that I have Christ in me? No. Paul follows his injunction to receive him with: so walk in him.

When you receive Jesus you receive him as your Savior, but also as your Lord. Lordship means that Jesus is not just a first-aid kit when you need help, he is your very life support, without which you are as spiritually dead as a doornail.

Jesus is not just your Savior, he is your Lord, your Master. You are his property. You are either a child of Satan or a child of God.

This is not popular vocabulary these days, but the Bible is not updated to suit our cultural sensibilities. God owns you and you have no rights except those he grants you.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Jesus bought you with his blood. Were some Christians cheaper than others? Were some souls on special? No!

And yet some live as if the price they were bought with wasn’t a major sacrifice. Do you know what the Bible says about Christians who live in the flesh and think they are saved?

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

If you insist on clinging to the anchor of sin around your neck, you can’t be assured that you are safe from drowning.

1 John 3:9-10 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

It doesn’t matter what you call yourself or how often you come to church. It doesn’t matter what ski jacket you put on and how often you visit the slopes. If you refuse to ski, you are not a skier. And if you refuse to follow Jesus, you are not a Christian!

Stop talking the talk and start walking the walk!

via Living the Christian life in 2019 — The Cripplegate

December 31, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren took the first step toward a 2020 presidential run on Monday, becoming the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to Republican President Donald Trump.

A senior Republican U.S. senator said he emerged from a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Sunday reassured that Trump is committed to defeating Islamic State even as he plans to withdraw American troops from Syria.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday he was optimistic that Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump could reach a deal to end a government shutdown that includes border wall funding and legal status for some illegal immigrants.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Monday they plan to upgrade their speed boats in the Gulf with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington in the vital oil shipping route.

Russia’s FSB state security service said on Monday it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow and had opened a criminal case against him.

Pollution levels spiked last week in New Delhi, India’s teeming capital of more than 20 million people, climbing to nearly 12 times the recommended level and exacerbating a public health crisis.

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

A cyber-attack caused major printing and delivery disruptions on Saturday at the Los Angeles Times and other major U.S. newspapers, including ones owned by Tribune Publishing Co such as the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.

AP Top Stories

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Saturday called on federal courts to enforce existing immigration laws to stem the tide of undocumented migrant families from entering the United States and Congress to fix a broken immigration system that has created “a humanitarian crisis” at the southern border.

Colombian authorities are investigating a possible plot involving Venezuelans to assassinate President Ivan Duque, a top official said Saturday night.

A U.S. healthcare worker who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while treating patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in the United States on Saturday and was put in quarantine in Nebraska.

At least 22 people died from a storm that swept through the central Philippine islands, authorities said Sunday, with rescue operations under way in flood-inundated communities.

Israel’s ultimate weapon: killer f-35 stealth fighters on steroids. “The F-35I will also be certified to carry major Israeli-developed weapons systems in its internal weapons bay, notably including the Python-5 short-range heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and the Spice family of glide bombs…”

Indian navy divers on Sunday launched an operation to find 15 men trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded “rat-hole” coal mine in remote northeast India, police said.

Egypt said Saturday its security forces have killed 40 militants in raids on their hideouts in the Sinai Peninsula and the Greater Cairo area, just hours after a roadside bomb targeted a tourist bus in the capital, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide.

A volcano on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali erupted Sunday, belching ash high into the air and over nearby villages as officials warned tourists to keep clear of the area.

Yemen’s Shiite rebels on Saturday said they handed over control of the main port in the Red Sea city of Hodeida to the coast guard and local administrators, but the government denied that, calling it a ploy by the Iran-aligned rebels to maintain control of the strategic facility.

Dutch police on horseback broke up a “Yellow Vest” protest in The Hague on Saturday and arrested eight people after the demonstration turned violent, police said.


President Donald Trump has now said the abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria he announced earlier this month will be carried out “slowly”.

A camera-equipped drone will watch over New Year’s Eve celebrations in New York City, the NYPD has confirmed. It is the first time the force has used a surveillance drone to monitor the annual party in Times Square.

Brazil’s incoming far-right president has said he will seek to issue a decree loosening the country’s gun laws. Mr. Bolsonaro has said more guns would allow “good people” in Brazil help combat violent crime.

Music festival-goers across Australia have been warned about a “dangerous orange pill”, after a young man died of a suspected drug overdose.


Ten months after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead, the sheriff of Broward County where the incident took place says policy is being changed to require officers to try to confront active shooters, instead of leaving it optional.

“Selfie wrist” is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. People who experience selfie wrist may feel a tingling or sharp pain, which comes from flexing your wrist inward or holding your phone too long without moving.

The first-ever multi-season TV series about Jesus’ life, “The Chosen,” has now become the most crowdfunded film projects ever, surpassing $5 million in investor pledges for the project.

News – 12/31/2018

Top Republican indicates Trump rethinking plans to withdraw from Syria
“He told me some things I didn’t know that made me feel a lot better about where we’re headed in Syria,” the South Carolina lawmaker said. “I think the president is committed to making sure when we leave Syria that ISIS is completely defeated and we are inside the 10-yard line,” he said,…

Iraqi warplanes strike Islamic State leaders in Syria
Iraqi warplanes hit a meeting of Islamic State leaders near Deir al-Zor in Syria on Monday, destroying the building they were gathered in, the military said in a statement, without giving further details about the militants targeted.

Iran denounces Brazil’s plan to move embassy to Jerusalem
Iran has denounced plans by Brazil’s newly elected president to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said Monday that such a move “will not help with peace, stability, security and retrieval of the Palestinian people’s rights.” He added, however, that “relations with Brazil will eventually be continued.”

Report: Kim sent Trump ‘conciliatory message’
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a “conciliatory message” to US President Donald Trump, the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported Sunday night, according to Reuters. The report did not include details about the substance of the message but said they related to US-North Korea talks.

Palestinian-American sentenced to life in prison by PA for selling properties to Jews
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah on Monday sentenced a Palestinian American citizen to life in prison with hard labor for his involvement in the sale of properties to Israeli Jews. The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested by the PA last October despite holding an Israeli ID card in his capacity as a resident of east Jerusalem.

Report: Russia Threatens Israel With Missile Attack
In response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last Tuesday, Russia threatened to respond to further Israeli action in Syria with surface-to-surface missiles against targets inside Israel. An Israeli military intelligence website reported that one such missile was already fired last week.

Palestinian-American sentenced to life in prison by PA for selling properties to Jews
A Palestinian Authority court in Ramallah…sentenced a Palestinian American citizen to life in prison with hard labor for his involvement in the sale of properties to Israeli Jews. The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested by the PA last October despite holding an Israeli ID card in his capacity as a resident of east Jerusalem. The US State Department and the US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman had protested against the incarceration of Akel by the PA.

Amal Fathy: Egypt court imposes jail term over harassment video
An Egyptian appeals court has imposed a two-year prison sentence against the women’s rights activist Amal Fathy, who criticised the authorities for failing to tackle sexual harassment. Fathy was charged with “spreading fake news” in May after posting a video in which she recounted her experiences. She was handed a two-year jail term by a lower court in September, but it was suspended pending an appeal.

Russian security agency arrests ‘US spy’ in Moscow
Russia’s FSB state security agency says it has arrested a US citizen “caught spying” in Moscow. It named him as Paul Whelan, saying he was arrested in Moscow on 28 December and charged with “espionage”. The FSB, Russia’s main counter-espionage service, gave no further details. If found guilty, he faces between 10 and 20 years in jail, Russia’s Tass news agency reports.

Angela Merkel: Germany to take on greater global responsibility
In 2019 Germany will assume greater international responsibility and must stand up for its convictions, Angela Merkel has vowed in an annual address. The chancellor said old certainties about international cooperation had “come under pressure”, alluding to strained US-German relations. This year, President Donald Trump and the chancellor have clashed on German domestic and foreign policy issues.

N. Korea continues missile development
North Korea has continued its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles despite declaring a halt to launches, having conducted a missile-linked radio wave experiment early this month, it has been learned. Despite sanctions limiting the North’s petroleum supply, the North Korean military is continuing to train at its usual levels.

Expert warns of 100 MASSIVE volcanoes on cusp of eruption – but no one knows which FIRST
ONE of the world’s foremost volcanologists has warned that there are around 100 “explosive” volcanoes around the world that could cause devastation at a moment’s notice. The further caveat is that no one can be sure which will blow first. Professor Stephen Sparks, from the University of Bristol, was discussing which volcano is currently the world’s deadliest – but couldn’t settle on a single one.

Mysterious space sounds picked up in EERIE recording by remote Antarctic base
SCIENTISTS working at a remote research station in Antarctica have recorded “eerie” sounds from space when trying to pick up lightning activity signals. The mysterious space sounds were picked up by an antenna which lies beneath the Earth’s geomagnetic field lines. The scientific research team at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recorded their bizarre sound signals during an attempt to detect signals from lightning activity and space storms.

New US law threatens Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation
The security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel hangs in balance due to a new US legislation, which is expected to take effect next month… The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump back in October and recently approved by the US Congress, would allow US authorities to seize assets from any foreign “terrorist entity” that receives financial aid from the American government.

160 Christians Seized by Communist Chinese Police, Social Media and Cell Phones Blocked
As part of its continuing crackdown on Christians and other religious believers, the Communist government of China seized a reported 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church…In addition, Communist authorities seized another 60 members of the church on Dec. 16 and placed a lock on the gate to the church.

Netanyahu Says Brazil Will Be Moving Their Embassy To Jerusalem To Join Growing List Of Nations Already There
It takes tremendous courage to defy the majority to go it alone and do the right thing. President Trump showed courage not displayed by Obama, either of the Bushies, Slick Willy Clinton, or even Ronald Reagan for that matter when he walked in the footsteps of Harry S. Truman, defied all the talking heads, and did the right thing regarding Israel.

ISRAELI MYSTICAL RABBI: First Super Blood Moon of the Year Sign of Earthquakes, Governments Will Fall
On the evening of January 21, as the holiday of Tu B’shvat begins, a lunar eclipse will pass over the Washington D.C., just as the President will reach the halfway point of his term in office. The eclipse will be a super blood moon, described in Jewish sources as having powerful significance.

Russia threatens Israel with a massive missile attack on the Jewish State
In response to an Israeli airstrike in Syria last Tuesday, Russia threatened to respond to further Israeli action in Syria with surface-to-surface missiles against targets inside Israel. An Israeli military intelligence website reported that one such missile was already fired last week.

“The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East.”

Israel is building a Land flowing with milk and honey…and WATER
The Bible suggests that Israel is a land flowing with milk and honey, but today, with steadily decreasing amounts of rainfall and drought conditions, flowing water is perhaps more essential.

Rose Parade queen says she’s first to be Jewish, LGBTQ
A California teen says she will be the first Jewish, LGBTQ and glasses-wearing queen to reign over Pasadena’s storied Rose Parade.

Major U.S. county pays up for censoring ‘anti-Muslim’ ads
King County, Washington, the home to Seattle, has paid a hefty price for censoring the ads that run on its transit system’s buses, writing a check to the American Freedom Law Center for $200,000 to cover the attorneys’ fees for a lawsuit brought by Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and their organization.

Is Ebola the Globalist Answer to the Rise of Populism in Europe and the US?
As it was in 2014, Ebola is on the loose. Central American illegal immigrant caravans are invading the US and we seem to reliving history as these two events seem to be, once again, coinciding as a threat to all of humanity, particularly to those people living in American and Europe.

Everyone safe but watched in mega-city full of cameras
Municipal officials in Shanghai now take pride in the litany of Internet of Things applications in their city that make streets and homes safer.

NYC’s New Year’s Celebration Will Be Dedicated To ‘Freedom Of The Press’
This year’s Times Square New Year’s Eve bash will have a theme, according to New York City’s Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment commission: a celebration of the downtrodden, oppressed members of the mainstream media.

Netanyahu speaks to Brazil Evangelicals, presented with ‘savior’ stamp
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised the Brazilian Evangelical Christian community for its strong support of Israel, as the visiting leader of the Jewish state was dedicated a stamp marked with the word “Savior.”

World’s Youngest Leader Closes Mosques, Deports Imams From Austria
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the world’s youngest leader, has ordered the closing of seven mosques and has begun deporting “radical” imams back to their homelands due to violations of a recent law in Austria that bans “political Islam”.

Media buries the truth about illegal immigrants bringing wave of hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV to America
An astonishing report from Judicial Watch reveals how the same deceptive media that goes insane over U.S. children who are unvaccinated simultaneously goes to extraordinary lengths to cover up the disease infestation of illegal migrants.

Christian Persecution Is Breaking Out All Across the EU
This is only supposed to happen in Russia, the Middle East or Communist China. Amazingly, Christians are being persecuted all across the European Union as the EU is being exposed for who they are really are.

More Obama crimes emerging after the fact, including treasonous cooperation with Iran
Congressional and foreign policy critics of former President Barack Obama’s engagement with Iran have long suspected there was much more to it than just a “nuclear agreement” that many felt was a bad deal for the U.S. and our friends in the Middle East.

Headlines – 12/31/2018

Jordan insists it respects peace deal, after minister walks on Israeli flag

In New Year greeting, Putin says he hopes for more cooperation with Israel

Hamas chief will meet Russian FM in Moscow next month, official says

New US law threatens Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation

Israel plans new West Bank settler housing project by Bethlehem, dubbed E2

‘It was terror’: Palestinians decry rise in attacks by Israeli settlers

IDF sees drop in West Bank terror attacks for 4th consecutive year

Minister doubles down on labeling Arab lawmaker a ‘terrorist’

US warns travelers to ‘exercise increased caution’ in Israel

Netanyahu: If Hezbollah provokes us – it will get hit hard

Iranian cargo plane suspected of bringing arms to Hezbollah departs Tehran

UAE regulator evaluating resuming flights by national carriers to Damascus

Why eastern Syria matters to everyone in the Middle East

Top Republican indicates Trump rethinking plans to withdraw from Syria

Graham rips Obama over Iraq troop withdrawal: ‘That’s a bunch of bulls—, pardon my French’

Iraq hints at bigger role in Syria after US withdrawal

Iraqi Sunni authority slams Grand Mufti’s Christmas fatwa as ‘reckless’

Assad Authorizes Iraq to Attack ISIS in Syria

Syria: Assad has decisively won his brutal battle

Beyond Syria: the Arab Spring’s aftermath

Ahead of Coptic Christmas, Egypt creates body to fight ‘sectarian incidents’

Sudan’s Bashir tells police to rein in force against protesters

Dozens have been killed by the regime. But Sudan’s protesters march on

Houthi militias admit death of top leader as Yemeni army advances in Harad

Bangladesh Prime Minister Wins 3rd Term Amid Deadly Violence on Election Day

N. Korea’s Kim vows more summits with south next year

Merkel vows Germany will keep pushing for ‘global solutions’

Border money would fund ‘not just a dumb barrier,’ says border chief

Trump points to ‘wall’ built around Obama’s DC home during fight for border wall funding

Shutdown compromise? Republicans float ‘Dreamer’ extension in exchange for border wall funding

Increasing number of churches agree to protect immigrants from deportation

Giuliani suggests Mueller cover-up, charges Dems ‘absolutely’ could have prevented illegal immigrant cop killing

Dossier fails the test of time; Trump-Russia collusion claims now called ‘likely false’

Cyberattack by Foreign Entity Halts Deliveries of Los Angeles Times, Other Newspapers

Origin of virus that hobbled newspapers still unclear

Franklin Graham: Facebook ban was ‘personal attack toward me’

More retailers are banning cash

Dow is set for triple-digit gains on hopes for US-China trade talks

Trump Hails ‘Big Progress’ Towards China Trade Deal

China Pushes for Primacy in Space

Indonesia’s latest tsunami raises global questions over disaster preparedness

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Cold Bay, Alaska

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Lubuklinggau, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits Carlsberg Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits Carlsberg Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Eruption Of Lava-Like Liquid Triggers Panic In Earthquake Vulnerable Tripura

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 33,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Death toll in Philippines floods, landslides rises to 68

California’s largest utility provider could face murder charges for wildfires, AG says

Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II

Chuck Todd says his show is ‘not going to give time to climate deniers’

Ohio fails to override Kasich’s veto of 6 week heartbeat abortion ban

Evangelical leader banned from Facebook for ‘hate speech’ 2016 post over transgender bathrooms

Trans Actors: We Would Be Proud To Play a Trans James Bond

Old favorites, outdated attitudes: Can entertainment expire?

Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target’

Calif. organizers cancel Women’s March for being too white

Man With Gun Told Police He Was Going To Texas Church To Fulfill ‘A Prophecy

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Are Russia, Iran and Syria Headed for an End Times Meltdown?

How Bethel made a mockery of the Australian Gospel Coalition

Americans Trust Clergy Less Than Ever, Gallup Poll Finds

Baptist, Catholic Delegations Meet to Promote Christian Unity

Armed, masked man arrested after allegedly heading to fulfill ‘prophecy’ at Texas church

Southern California Pastor Arrested on Suspicion of Child Molestation

Dallas Pastor and Gospel Singer, “The Apostle” Charged With Child sex Abuse

Facebook apologizes to Franklin Graham for temporary ban

85 churches built in Moscow in 8 years

India – Baby girl born with three hands is worshipped as a god

Asia Bibi’s neighbors want her dead: There is no forgiveness for insulting Muhammad

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Let the Church seek God’s honor, not this world’s acclaim.

ChurchWatch Central

A timely article from Phil Johnson as we continue to fight the modern-day downgrade that’s coming against the body of Christ.

Scripture forbids believers to imbibe the world’s values (cf.1 John 2:6;Romans 8:5-6;Matthew 6:19-21) or set their affections on things of the earth rather than on heavenly things (cf.Colossians 3:2;1 John 2:15;Matthew 16:23). Christians do not belong to this world. We are not beholden to the world. We cannot legitimately court the world’s admiration or approval. And it is wrong to think otherwise. Jesus told His disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:9).

That truth is ignored or rejected by multitudes of 21st-century…

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December 31 The Preeminence of Christ

“[Christ] is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first–born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him.”

Colossians 1:18–19


Christ has preeminence in everything.

The apostle Paul presents four great truths in Colossians 1:18 about Christ’s relation to the church. The first is that Christ is the head of the church. This concept looks at the church as a living organism, inseparably tied together by the living Christ. He controls every part of it and gives it life and direction (cf. 1 Cor. 12:12–20).

Christ is also the source of the church. The Greek word translated “beginning” (arche) is used here in the twofold sense of source and primacy. The church has its origins in Jesus. God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). As head of the Body, Jesus holds the chief position or highest rank in the church. As the beginning, He is its originator.

Another truth is that Christ is the first–born from the dead. Of all those who have been raised from the dead or ever will be, Christ is the highest in rank. Furthermore, it is Christ who will cause the resurrection of others (John 5:28–29; 6:40).

Finally, Christ is the preeminent One. As a result of His death and resurrection, Jesus has come to have first place in everything. Paul states that truth to drive home as forcefully as he can that Jesus is not merely another emanation from God.

Paul then summarizes his argument by saying that all the fullness of deity dwells in Christ alone (Col. 1:19). It is not spread out in small doses to a group of spirits, as the false teachers were saying. Rather, in Christ, and Him alone, believers are “complete” (2:10).

What should be your response to the glorious truths about Christ in Colossians 1:15–19? Be encouraged to meditate on the glory of Christ as revealed in this passage. Doing so will help you be transformed into Christ’s image and will prepare you to behold His glory in Heaven.


Suggestions for Prayer: Thank the Lord for each of the four truths discussed above.

For Further Study: According to John 1:16, what have you received?[1]

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

December 31, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Election by Christ

But you are a chosen race, (2:9a)

To underscore the contrasting eternal destinies of unbelievers and believers, Peter began this verse with a strong adversative, but. Unlike unbelievers who, because of their rejection of Christ, are destined for eternal destruction, believers are a chosen race. They are a spiritual people elect by God Himself.

The apostle again drew his terminology from an Old Testament passage:

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. (Deut. 7:6–9)

He identifies those who believe in Christ as chosen, just as God had chosen Israel for a special purpose within His redemptive plan (cf. Isa. 43:21). As discussed in chapter 1 of this volume, it is crucial for Christians to understand that their salvation is based on the sovereign, electing purposes of God. Scripture explicitly and implicitly makes that unmistakable (John 15:16; Acts 13:48; Rom. 9:13–16; 11:5; 1 Cor. 1:9; Eph. 1:3–5; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13–14; 2 Tim. 1:9; 2:10; Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:15); and election is the great privilege from which all other spiritual privileges derive.

Scripture suggests at least five superlatives related to God’s sovereign choice to save certain sinners. First, election is absolutely the solitary decision of God, thus it is the most pride-crushing truth in God’s Word. It devastates humans’ pride since nothing in their salvation derives from any merit in them—it is all of God (cf. Jonah 2:9; John 1:12–13; Eph. 2:8–9). Second, because election is totally by divine grace, it is the most God exalting doctrine (cf. Rom. 9:23; Eph. 1:6–7; 2:7; 2 Thess. 2:13). Third, election is the most holiness-promoting doctrine. Because God set His love on believers before the world began, they should be consumed with gratitude and a passion to obey Him no matter what (cf. Deut. 11:13; Josh. 24:24; Rom. 6:17; 7:25). Fourth, because God’s election is eternal and unchangeable, it is the most strength-giving doctrine in the Bible. Therefore it affords believers genuine peace no matter what circumstances they face (cf. Ps. 85:8; John 14:27; 1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 2:14–15; Col. 1:20; 3:15; 2 Thess. 3:16). Finally, election is the most joy-producing spiritual privilege because it is the surest hope believers have in the midst of a sinful world (cf. 1:21; Eph. 4:4; Col. 1:5, 23; 1 Thess. 5:8; Heb. 7:19).

Dominion with Christ

a royal priesthood, (2:9b)

Peter employed a remarkable symbol when he combined in one metaphor references to royalty and the priesthood. The concept of a royal priesthood comes from Exodus 19:6, where God through Moses told Israel, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” The sad fact is, however, that Israel forfeited her privilege of priestly dominion because of her apostasy and rejection of the Messiah (cf. John 12:37–48; Rom. 10:16–21; 11:7–10; Heb. 3:16–19). But all those who believe in Jesus as Messiah and trust in Him alone for salvation receive the privilege of becoming royal priests (Rev. 5:10).

Two primary elements constitute the image of the royal priesthood. First, the priests serve the King by having access to His holy presence, into which they come offering spiritual sacrifices to Him (see the previous chapter of this volume), and second, the priests rule with the King in His kingdom.

Basileion (royal) generally describes a royal residence or palace (cf. Luke 7:25), but it can also refer to a sovereignty or monarchy. Peter used the term here to convey the general idea of royalty. The spiritual house he mentioned in verse 5 turns out to be a royal house, the dominion of a royal family. Believers are a ruling priesthood, literally “a royal house of priests.” The apostle John wrote, “Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:6; cf. Luke 22:29–30; Rev. 3:21).

The only one who can establish such a royal house is Jesus Christ. He is both King (Isa. 9:7; Zech. 9:9; Matt. 2:2; Luke 1:33; John 1:49; 12:12–15; 18:36–37; 19:19; Rev. 19:16) and Priest (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 4:15). The writer of Hebrews sets forth the uniqueness of Christ’s royal priesthood:

For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb. 7:14–17; cf. Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6; 6:20)

Melchizedek was the Old Testament model for the royal priest (Gen. 14:18–20) and he foreshadowed Christ, the ultimate and perfect royal priest. Like Melchizedek, He did not inherit the priesthood through the priestly line; rather God appointed Him as the sinless royal priest who transcended the Levitical system (Heb. 3:1–2; 5:4–5; 7:11, 14, 16; 8:1–2, 6), fulfilled the old covenant law (Ps. 40:7–8; Matt. 5:17–18; Heb. 10:11–14), and offered Himself as the new covenant sacrifice for sin (Matt. 20:28; John 1:29; Heb. 2:17; 7:27; 9:25–26; 10:12). Because salvation unites believers with Christ, they too become royal priests.

Christians’ privilege to rule with Christ includes some practical implications:

Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? (1 Cor. 6:1–4)

Since believers will rule with Christ in His kingdom, they must be sufficiently qualified—without secular assistance or oversight—to settle relatively small earthly disputes between themselves. Paul further said they will have dominion over those heavenly realms God assigns to them. No one, not even an angel, can stand between them and God.

All this is cause for unleashing a doxology. As believers contemplate all their spiritual privileges, from union with Christ to security in Him to dominion with Him, they ought to be transported into unbounded praise and worship. Anything less betrays sinful indifference to these great privileges.

Spiritual Privileges—Part 3: Separation to Christ, Possession by Christ, Illumination in Christ, Compassion from Christ, and Proclamation of Christ

(1 Peter 2:9c–10)

a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (2:9c–10)

The Gospel narratives repeatedly emphasize the cost of following Jesus Christ. In Luke 9:23–26, Jesus declared to all who would be His disciples,

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (cf. Matt. 5:19–20; 7:13–14, 21; John 6:53–58, 60)

The regenerate understand there are sacrifices and costs involved in living the Christian life. Jesus gave two analogies of discipleship that illustrate the necessity of assessing the cost:

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:27–33)

Various other passages in the epistles also emphasize the cost of discipleship (5:8–9; Rom. 12:1–2; 1 Cor. 9:24–27; Eph. 6:10–18; Phil. 3:7–14; 1 Tim. 6:11–12; 2 Tim. 2:1–10; Heb. 12:1–2, 7–11; James 1:21–25; 1 John 2:15–17; cf. Rom. 13:11–14; Gal. 6:1–2; Eph. 5:15–21).

However in 2:4–10 the apostle Peter looks not at the cost and duty of following Christ but at the rich kaleidoscope of spiritual privileges He gives to those who have embraced that cost. Peter holds the jewels of redemption to the light of God’s grace and reveals wonderful patterns of spiritual blessings that belong to all who are in Christ. The theme of spiritual privilege, from union with Christ to dominion with him, is a familiar New Testament emphasis. In Romans 9:22 Paul wrote that God wanted to demonstrate His wrath and display His power, thus He patiently endured the vessels of wrath (unbelievers). Verse 23 then explains the reason for God’s approach: “He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory.” God wanted to pour out on believers the riches of His glory (2 Cor. 4:6; cf. Eph. 1:12; Phil. 2:11), all the privileges that accompany salvation. Such spiritual riches are promised both now and in the future (cf. Rom. 11:12; Eph. 1:7–8; 2:7; 3:8, 16; Phil. 4:19).

As Peter concluded his survey of the glories of believers’ spiritual privileges, he listed five additional advantages Christians possess: separation to Christ, possession by Christ, illumination in Christ, compassion from Christ, and proclamation of Christ.

Separation to Christ

a holy nation (2:9c)

As noted in previous chapters of this volume, Peter continued to refer to the Old Testament in support of the privileges God has granted believers. Here he alludes to Exodus 19:6 (“you shall be to Me … a holy nation”) when he declares that believers are separated to Christ as a holy nation. The word nation translates ethnos, which means “people,” as an ethnic group (Luke 7:5; 23:2; John 11:48, 50–52; Acts 2:5; 10:22; Rev. 5:9). Holy (hagios) means “separate” or “set apart.” It was common in the Old Testament to call God’s covenant people a holy nation (cf. Lev. 19:2; 20:26; Deut. 7:6; Isa. 62:12). However, because of sin and unbelief Israel forfeited (Deut. 4:27; 28:64; Ezek. 16:59; Hos. 9:17; Zech. 7:14; Rom. 11:17, 20) her great privilege (Gen. 12:2–3; Deut. 33:29; Rom. 3:1–2; 9:4–5) of being God’s unique people. But what was a tragedy for Israel became a blessing for believing Gentiles (cf. Rom. 9–11). Israel will not enjoy again the privilege of being God’s holy people until the nation finally turns in faith to the Messiah (cf. Ezek. 36:25–31; Rom. 11:24, 26).

God sets apart believers primarily to have a relationship with Him, and service to Him flows out of that relationship. Various Scripture references indicate that at the new birth believers are set apart to God from the condemnation of sin and the world (cf. Ps. 4:3; Rom. 6:4–6; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17; 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 2:11). Years earlier at the Jerusalem Council, Peter said this:

Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:7–9; cf. Heb. 10:10, 14)

Thus sanctification (cleansing from sin) is inherently bound up in salvation (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). And sanctification entails two important aspects: Christians’ position before God and their progressive, practical pattern of holy living. That is why earlier in his letter Peter could pronounce his readers holy (1:1–2) and yet in 1:16 urge them to be holy. In the positional aspect of sanctification, God recognizes believers as separated from the penalty of sin, but in the progressive and practical aspect of sanctification, He through the Holy Spirit assists them in living more and more holy lives, thus working out the reality of their position in their conduct (cf. Rom. 6:4; 8:1–2; Gal. 5:16–23; Eph. 4:20–24; Phil. 2:12–13; 1 Thess. 4:3).

The Acts narrative in several places reinforces the truth that sanctification is inseparable from justification. Paul told the Ephesian elders, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). The apostle identified the saved by the phrase “all those who are sanctified.” Likewise in his defense before Agrippa, Paul rehearsed part of what God had told him at his conversion on the Damascus Road, that He was sending him to the Gentiles “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). There again “sanctified” was used to describe all those whom God had forgiven and given heavenly inheritance.

Positional sanctification makes Christians a holy nation before God because His own righteousness is imputed to them. And practically, they are progressing in holiness by the work of the Spirit (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18).

Possession by Christ

a people for God’s own possession, (2:9d)

At Sinai God promised the Israelites, “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall by My own possession among all the peoples” (Ex. 19:5; cf. Deut. 7:6–7; 14:2; 26:18; Mal. 3:17). Again, that foreshadowed the truth of Peter’s statement that Christians are now a people for God’s own possession.

The Greek term rendered possession (peripoiēsis) means “to purchase,” “to acquire for a price” (cf. Eph. 1:14). Believers belong to God because He bought them at the ultimate price (1:18–19; cf. 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Heb. 13:12; Rev. 5:9). As Paul reminded Titus, that price was “Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us [Christians] to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession” (Titus 2:13–14; cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 6:20).

God sovereignly elected all who believe, and by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross paid the price to redeem them (2:24; 3:18; Rom. 3:25–26; 5:8–11; Col. 1:20–22; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 John 4:10), and the Holy Spirit brought them to new life through conviction of sin and faith in the Savior. Therefore all believers belong to the God who redeemed them.

One of the stanzas of George Wade Robinson’s nineteenth-century gospel song, “I Am His and He Is Mine,” expresses this privilege well:

His forever, only His—Who the Lord and me shall part? Ah, with what a rest of bliss Christ can fill the loving heart! Heav’n and earth may fade and flee, first-born light in gloom decline, but while God and I shall be, I am His and He is mine.

Illumination in Christ

who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (2:9f)

Throughout history, the unregenerate world has faced two kinds of darkness: intellectual and moral. Intellectual darkness is ignorance—the inability to see and know the truth, whereas moral darkness is immorality—the inability to see and do what is right (Ps. 58:3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 8:7–8; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:17–19). The darkness Peter refers to here is the second type—the sinful state of unbelievers who are trapped in the spiritual darkness of Satan (Eph. 2:1–2; 2 Tim. 2:25–26; 1 John 5:19), the prince of darkness. Such moral darkness is pervasive in its scope and profound in its depth (Ps. 143:2; Eccl. 7:20; Isa. 53:6; Rom. 3:9–12). Unbelievers are children born in the darkness. They not only walk in the darkness, they love the darkness. According to Jesus,

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19–20)

However, Peter reminded his readers that Christ had sovereignly, powerfully, and effectually called them out of darkness. Almost always in the epistles when kaleō (called) or the related words klēsis and klētos appear they indicate God’s effectual call to salvation (e.g., 1:15; 2:21; 5:10; Rom. 1:6–7; 8:28, 30; 9:24; 1 Cor. 1:9, 24; Gal. 1:6, 15; Eph. 4:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 2 Peter 1:3; Jude 1). That saving call is a recurring theme, close to the apostle’s heart in this letter (cf. 1:1, 15; 2:21; 3:9; 5:10).

The positive side of Christ’s calling sinners out of darkness is that they are also thereby called into His marvelous light. Paul expressed this spiritual privilege to the Colossians: “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). When believers receive Christ’s light, He illuminates their minds so they can discern the truth, and He changes their souls so they are able to apply it (cf. Ps. 119:105, 130; 1 Cor. 2:15–16; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Peter 1:19). They receive both the intellectual light of God’s truth and the righteous desires to obey it, neither of which they had before conversion.

Compassion from Christ

for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (2:10)

Peter drew an analogy from the prophet Hosea when he introduced the next spiritual privilege for believers, compassion from Christ:

Then she conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to him, “Name her Lo-ruhamah, for I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel, that I would ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the house of Judah and deliver them by the Lord their God, and will not deliver them by bow, sword, battle, horses or horsemen.” When she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not My people and I am not your God.” Yet the number of the sons of Israel will be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered; and in the place where it is said to them, “You are not My people,” it will be said to them, “You are the sons of the living God.” (Hos. 1:6–10)

According to that passage, there was coming a time when the Jews would no longer receive God’s compassion. This was directly fulfilled in the judgment that came on the Northern Kingdom at the hands of the Assyrians (722 b.c.). But there will also be a future time (v. 10), during the Millennium, when He will have compassion on “the sons of Israel” and Judah in saving uncounted numbers of them (cf. Isa. 61:4–6; Jer. 16:14–15; Ezek. 37:20–22; Rom. 11:26–27).

In principle, Peter applied to the church—particularly to its Gentile members—the prophet’s words concerning the Jews (cf. Hos. 2:23; Rom. 9:22–26). As unbelievers, the Gentiles knew no compassion from Christ—they once were not a people. But now they had become the people of God, because they had received His mercy. Mercy is synonymous with compassion and essentially involves God’s sympathy with sinners’ misery and His withholding from them the just punishment for their sins.

Scripture discusses two kinds of divine mercy. First there is God’s general mercy (cf. Ps. 145:9; Lam. 3:22), which is evident in His providential to all creation (Pss. 36:7; 65:9–13; Matt. 5:44–45; Acts 14:14–17; 17:23–28; cf. Rom. 1:20). Common mercy displays God’s patient pity and forbearing compassion toward sinners (3:20; Pss. 86:15; 103:8; 2 Peter 3:9; cf. Luke 13:6–9) because He had every right, in view of their sin, to destroy them all. Instead, at the present time He mercifully chooses not to unleash all the disastrous consequences that humanity’s sinfulness deserves (cf. Gen. 9:8–11). But eventually God’s general mercy will expire and people will feel the full consequences of sin (Matt. 24:4–22; Rev. 6:7–8; 8:7–9:19; 14:14–19; 16:1–21; 18:1–24; 19:17–21; 20:7–15; cf. Gen. 6:3; Isa. 27:11; Jer. 44:22).

Second, there is the divine, saving mercy displayed toward the elect, which is the mercy Peter referred to. They receive not only God’s common mercy in this life, but also His saving mercy for the life to come (Dan. 7:18; John 14:2; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 2:7; 7:16–17; 21:1–7). The elect, although no more inherently deserving than anyone else, receive God’s forgiveness for their sins and His deliverance from eternal condemnation—all according to His sovereign and loving purposes (Rom. 8:28–30; Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; cf. Ps. 65:4; Rom. 9:15–16; James 2:5).

Christ’s compassion, or mercy, for believers is a spiritual privilege that beggars language (cf. Pss. 57:10; 59:16–17; 103:11; 136:1–9). It rescues believers from judgment in hell and grants them an eternal inheritance in heaven (1:4; Ps. 37:18; Acts 20:32; 26:18; Eph. 1:11, 14, 18; Col. 1:12; 3:24; Heb. 9:15), which is why Paul called God “the Father of mercies” (2 Cor. 1:3; cf. Rom. 9:23; Titus 3:5). The words of one writer appropriately express how all Christians should feel toward such divine compassion:

When all Thy mercies, O my God,

My rising soul surveys,

Transported with the view I’m lost,

In wonder, love, and praise.

Proclamation of Christ

so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him (2:9e)

Finally, God has provided His kaleidoscope of spiritual privileges for believers for one overarching purpose: that they may proclaim the excellencies of Christ. There is no higher privilege than to be a herald for the gospel.

Proclaim (exangeilēte) is from a Greek word that appears only here in the New Testament. It means “to publish”, or “advertise” and to do so in the sense of telling something otherwise unknown. That which is generally unknown and which Peter encourages believers to publicize is the excellencies of Christ, the Savior. Excellencies (aretas) can imply the ability to perform powerful, heroic deeds. Contrary to what it might indicate in English, the term refers more to those kinds of actions than to some intrinsic royal attributes or qualities. Christians have the distinct privilege of telling the world that Christ has the power to accomplish the extraordinary work of redemption (Acts 1:8; 2:22; 4:20; 5:31–32; Rev. 15:3; cf. Pss. 66:3, 5, 16; 71:17; 73:28; 77:12, 14; 104:24; 107:22; 111:6–7; 118:17; 119:46; 145:4; John 5:36; 10:25 regarding God’s amazing acts).

For God to choose undeserving sinners as His representatives and use them to gather other sinners to Himself is a privilege beyond all expectation. It caused Paul to write:

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:12–17)[1]

9. But ye are a chosen generation, or race. He again separates them from the unbelieving, lest driven by their example (as it is often the case) they should fall away from the faith. As, then, it is unreasonable that those whom God has separated from the world, should mix themselves with the ungodly, Peter here reminds the faithful to what great honour they had been raised, and also to what purpose they had been called. But with the same high titles which he confers on them, Moses honoured the ancient people, (Ex. 19:6;) but the Apostle’s object was to shew that they had recovered again, through Christ, the great dignity and honour from which they had fallen. It is at the same time true, that God gave to the fathers an earthly taste only of these blessings, and that they are really given in Christ.

The meaning then is, as though he had said, “Moses called formerly your fathers a holy nation, a priestly kingdom, and God’s peculiar people: all these high titles do now far more justly belong to you; therefore you ought to beware lest your unbelief should rob you of them.”

In the meantime, however, as the greater part of the nation was unbelieving, the Apostle indirectly sets the believing Jews in opposition to all the rest, though they exceeded them in number, as though he had said, that those only were the children of Abraham, who believed in Christ, and that they only retained possession of all the blessings which God had by a singular privilege bestowed on the whole nation.

He calls them a chosen race, because God, passing by others, adopted them as it were in a special manner. They were also a holy nation; for God had consecrated them to himself, and destined that they should lead a pure and holy life. He further calls them a peculiar people, or, a people for acquisition, that they might be to him a peculiar possession or inheritance; for I take the words simply in this sense, that the Lord hath called us, that he might possess us as his own, and devoted to him. This meaning is proved by the words of Moses, “If ye keep my covenant, ye shall be to me a peculiar treasure beyond all other nations.” (Ex. 19:5.)

There is in the royal priesthood a striking inversion of the words of Moses; for he says, “a priestly kingdom,” but the same thing is meant. So what Peter intimated was this, “Moses called your fathers a sacred kingdom, because the whole people enjoyed as it were a royal liberty, and from their body were chosen the priests; both dignities were therefore joined together: but now ye are royal priests, and, indeed, in a more excellent way, because ye are, each of you, consecrated in Christ, that ye may be the associates of his kingdom, and partakers of his priesthood. Though, then, the fathers had something like to what you have, yet ye far excel them. For after the wall of partition has been pulled down by Christ, we are now gathered from every nation, and the Lord bestows these high titles on all whom he makes his people.”

There is further, as to these benefits, a contrast between us and the rest of mankind, to be considered: and hence it appears more fully how incomparable is God’s goodness towards us; for he sanctifies us, who are by nature polluted; he chose us, when he could find nothing in us but filth and vileness; he makes his peculiar possession from worthless dregs; he confers the honour of the priesthood on the profane; he brings the vassals of Satan, of sin, and of death, to the enjoyment of royal liberty.

That ye should shew forth, or declare. He carefully points out the end of our calling, that he might stimulate us to give the glory to God. And the sum of what he says is, that God has favoured us with these immense benefits and constantly manifests them, that his glory might by us be made known: for by praises, or virtues, he understands wisdom, goodness, power, righteousness, and everything else, in which the glory of God shines forth. And further, it behoves us to declare these virtues or excellencies not only by our tongue, but also by our whole life. This doctrine ought to be a subject of daily meditation, and it ought to be continually remembered by us, that all God’s blessings with which he favours us are intended for this end, that his glory may be proclaimed by us.

We must also notice what he says, that we have been called out of darkness into God’s marvellous or wonderful light; for by these words he amplifies the greatness of divine grace. If the Lord had given us light while we were seeking it, it would have been a favour; but it was a much greater favour, to draw us out of the labyrinth of ignorance and the abyss of darkness. We ought hence to learn what is man’s condition, before he is translated into the kingdom of God. And this is what Isaiah says, “Darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but over thee shall the Lord be seen, and his glory shall in thee shine forth.” (Isa. 60:2.) And truly we cannot be otherwise than sunk in darkness, after having departed from God, our only light. See more at large on this subject in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians.[2]

9 Here Peter recapitulates, stringing together OT metaphors that remind the saints of God’s covenantal faithfulness and their basic identity. The saints are a “chosen people,” a “royal priesthood,” “a holy nation,” and a “people belonging to God” (cf. Ex 19:5–6; Dt 7:6; 10:15; 1 Sa 12:22; Isa 43:21; 62:2). As God’s “chosen” people, believers are reminded of and encouraged by the notion of covenant. The fact that God has entered into covenant with his people entails both privilege and obedience/obligation; the two go hand in hand.

A “royal priesthood” is best understood in the light of the LXX’s translation of Exodus 19:6, rendered “a kingdom of priests” in most versions. Michaels, 109, and Achtemeier, 165, understand this phrase as a priesthood that belongs to and acts in the service of the king. For Kelly, 96, the community is royal because the king dwells in her midst. Not insignificantly, in Revelation the saints are a “kingdom and priests” (1:6; 5:10), where “they will reign”; i.e., the saints are vindicated.

As a “holy nation,” the readers are reminded again that they are consecrated to God and thus set apart, in the sense of being different, from the world. They will resist conformity to the world because of their ultimate allegiance. Also, they are “a people belonging to God” and, consequently, have great value. Precisely why is it important to affirm basic Christian identity? What is the goal of the Christian community? It is “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” The church’s mission, simply put, is to witness to the splendor of moral transformation.[3]

2:9 / But you! With an almost audible sigh of relief, Peter turns away from contemplating the dark and inescapable lot of those who disobey God’s command to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), to consider the bright and very different prospect of believers.

Peter draws expressions from the Greek ot (lxx) which there are addressed to Israel as the people of God. The apostle is thus boldly claiming that privileged status on behalf of the Christian church of believers. It is they who are now the chosen people (genos eklekton), a phrase echoing Deuteronomy 14:2 lxx: “The Lord your God has chosen you to be his special property from all the nations on the face of the earth.”

In his opening greeting, Peter addressed his readers as “elect” (eklektois); the same Greek word is here translated chosen. Now Peter adds people, genos, a term denoting race and blood relationship, and involving the idea of hereditary privilege. It is a further reminder of the new birth (1:23), whereby Christians have been brought into the divine family and thus share in all that such a relationship means (2:4–7).

Furthermore, believers are a royal priesthood and a holy nation, phrases quoted from Exodus 19:6; 23:22 lxx, which promise such a standing before God to those who are loyal to his covenant. The priesthood here spoken of is one applying to all Peter’s readers, that is, to believers in general (not to a hierarchy of a select few set apart), as in verse 5, where Christian priestly duties have already been touched upon.

As members of a holy nation, all believers are set apart for God (the sense of holy), but without geographic boundaries or without being limited to particular cultures, ages, or ethnic groups. This is a worldwide, spiritual people belonging to God (laos eis peripoiēsin, lit. “a people for [his] possession,” language reminiscent of such verses as Exod. 19:5; Deut. 7:6; 14:2; Mal. 3:17). Peter probably has in mind Isaiah 43:21 lxx, since that verse also goes on to refer to God’s chosen people who are to tell forth his “praises” (aretas), the word used by Peter in the next clause: that you may declare the praises (aretas) of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

That you may declare the praises of him who called you indicates the purpose for which God has chosen his people: they are to proclaim his praises, aretas, excellencies (nasb), glorious deeds (reb), triumphs (neb). The translations seek to express aspects of the meaning of aretas, which include moral worth of the divine action in bringing about salvation and the resultant worship by those who recognize and respond to what God in Christ has done for them individually and collectively. While the declaration of such praises would include the proclaiming of God’s glory in preaching, the primary sense is of adoring worship by believers.

Peter reminds his readers that God has called them out of darkness, that is, they are called to leave the darkness due to their earlier ignorance of God (1:14), which had kept them not only from a knowledge of his character, but also from realizing the immense love he had for them and the great blessings he had in store for their eternal benefit.

The divine call is into his wonderful light. To Jews, light was a familiar image of Messiah’s kingdom and spoke of the presence and active leading of God (Exod. 13:21; 14:20; Num. 6:25; Ps. 104:2). Light is the unexpected third element that makes a trio with the themes of precious stones and priesthood in the present chapter.

The light of the divine presence is often associated in Scripture with precious stones (Ezek. 1:16, 26; 10:1; Rev. 4:3, 6; 21:18–26). Whatever may be the relationship of the stones listed in Revelation 21 with the twelve stones set in the high priest’s breastpiece (Exod. 28:17–20; 39:10–14), the same association of priesthood and precious stones occurs here and in verses 5 and 9.

One of the values of the precious stones in the high priest’s breastpiece was their ability to reflect light, and the light most readily associated in the Jewish mind in this context would be the light of the Shekinah, the divine presence.[4]

2:9–10. In the midst of a culture that stumbles over Jesus Christ, disobeys the message of Christ, and then persecutes any who embrace Christ, believers can easily become discouraged from continuing in the journey with Christ. The thought of further growing pains is certainly not attractive to everyone. So Peter laid out in ascending order some of the incredible spiritual riches that believers have in Christ. This encourages us and reminds us of the value God places on each of us. It also ties us to the Old Testament heritage of the people of God, since much of the language here comes from Exodus 19.

A chosen people emphasizes God’s loving initiative in bringing people to himself and allowing us to be a part of his church. A royal priesthood reminds us as believers that as priests we serve royalty. We have not landed a maid-service position. We are part of God’s “forever kingdom.” A holy nation emphasizes that God has set apart the church for his use and that individual believers have a valuable contribution to make to his church.

“A chosen people,” “a people belonging to God,” and “the people of God” emphasize God’s ownership in our lives. Throughout history God has claimed for himself his own people as his prized possession. Christians are a people for God to possess. A very ordinary thing acquires a new value if it has been possessed by some famous person.

Several years ago, an auction was held that focused on sports memorabilia. Dan Quayle’s little league uniform was up for grabs, as were Michael Jordan’s running shoes. Although in themselves these items were of little value, they were sold for incredible amounts of money simply because of who had owned them. Peter’s repeated emphasis with the term people is that as a believer I may be a very ordinary person, but I acquire an immense new value because I belong to God and am possessed by him.

All of this has come to us not because we deserve it or have somehow earned it but because of God’s mercy. The people who first read Peter’s letter had lived without God and Christ for a long time. During that time they had tried through many ways to obtain mercy for themselves, but had failed. In coming by faith to Christ, they received the mercy that so long had eluded them. God’s mercy came to them in tangible form, bringing the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life.

The New Testament is consistent in suggesting that these kinds of benefits—extended to us through the mercy of God—are not only to be received with gratitude but are to motivate each believer to testify verbally on behalf of God and Christ. Verse 9 contains a purpose statement that describes our response. We are to declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Declare means “to advertise, to proclaim.” A very literal rendering of the verb would be “to tell out or tell forth.” This suggests we should give a high priority to verbal declarations.

The word is used in other contexts to describe the rehearsing in adoring language of God’s righteousness and praises. The praises of God or Christ is a word picture for his character. One translator suggested that “praises” means his “excellent attributes.” The Christian is to be an instrument that publicizes the attributes and character of God.

According to Grudem,

The answer to our search for ultimate meaning lies in declaring the excellencies of God, for he alone is worthy of glory. Salvation is ultimately not man-centered, but God-centered. To declare God’s excellencies is to speak of all he is and has done … This purpose is too often thwarted by our silence or pride, but even brief associations with a Christian whose speech fulfills this purpose invariably refreshes our spirits (Grudem, 112).[5]

9. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The contrast is evident; the term but marks the difference between disobedient unbelievers and God’s chosen people. In ascending order, Peter enumerates the glorious riches of the believers in terms that approach incredulity. From the Greek we learn that he addresses them personally and emphatically with the plural pronoun you. How does Peter describe the believers? Here are the words:

  • “A chosen people.” Peter writes to people who lived before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Himself a Jew, Peter addresses numerous Jewish Christians and Christians of Gentile descent. Moreover, he speaks to all believers of every age and place who read his epistle. Fully acquainted with the Old Testament, Peter applies its wording to his readers because he views them as God’s chosen people. He borrows from the prophecy of Isaiah, who records the words of the Lord: “My people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise” (Isa. 43:20–21). Peter, then, views the believers as the body of Christ, that is, the church.

Other translations have the term race instead of “people.” Members of a race have a common ancestor and through that ancestor are related to one another. For instance, Abraham is the father of the Jewish race. Christians through Jesus Christ call God their Father, and they are related to each other as brothers and sisters. Furthermore, because Jesus has been chosen by God (vv. 4, 6), they also are designated God’s chosen people (see 1:1; compare Deut. 10:15; 1 Sam. 12:22).

  • “A royal priesthood.” Peter continues to describe the glorious riches the believers possess. He calls them “a royal priesthood.” In verse 5 he speaks of a holy priesthood, a phrase which is meaningful in the light of the command to be holy (1:15–16). The descriptive adjective royal, however, adds the dimension of kingdom and king. In the kingdom of priests (compare Exod. 19:6), there is a king. In fact, the Messiah is both priest and king, as Zechariah prophesied: “He will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne” (6:13; also see Heb. 7:14–17; Rev. 1:5–6). Whereas Zechariah prophetically portrays the Messiah as the royal priest, Peter reveals that believers are priests in a royal priesthood.
  • “A holy nation.” Again Peter relies on Old Testament phraseology. He borrows the language of Exodus 19:6 (also see Deut. 7:6; Isa. 62:12). Peter resorts to using national and political terminology, but wants his readers to understand these terms in a nonpolitical manner.37 For this reason he qualifies the word nation with the adjective holy.

A nation consists of citizens who reside in a given locale, obey rules and regulations, and strive for the well-being of their society. Citizens of a “holy nation,” however, have common characteristics through Jesus Christ. Peter portrays God’s people as a holy nation, which means that the citizens have been set apart for service to God.

  • “A people belonging to God.” Throughout the ages God has claimed for himself his own people (see Mal. 3:17; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:14). These people, who differ from the nations of the world, are his prized possession. They are independent of nationalistic ties because they have a special relationship to God. They belong to God, who has bought them with the blood of Jesus Christ.
  • “Declare the praises.” Peter points to the task of God’s special people. As a skilled pastor, Peter addresses his readers personally. He says, “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (compare Isa. 43:21). Everywhere they should vocally proclaim God’s praiseworthy virtues, deeds, power, glory, wisdom, grace, mercy, love, and holiness. By their conduct, they must testify that they are children of the light and not of darkness (Acts 26:18; 1 Thess. 5:4).

Peter implies that in earlier days his readers lived in spiritual darkness. God called them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and redeemed them from the powers of darkness. Through the gospel of Christ, God called them into the kingdom of his Son (Col. 1:13).[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 123–134). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 74–76). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Charles, D. J. (2006). 1 Peter. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 318). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (pp. 68–69). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, pp. 30–32). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 91–93). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Former FBI Investigation Expert: Steele Dossier Is So Problematic for FBI It Will Never See a Courtroom Because It Is So Flawed — The Gateway Pundit

A former expert in dealing with ‘snitches from the FBI notes that the Steele dossier will never be used in the court of law.  The document is so bogus, from such a contaminated source that it would be laughed out of court.

An expert from the FBI provided us some information regarding the Steele dossier.  This individual prefers to remain anonymous.  This individual used to ‘run snitches’ like Christopher Steele –

Ordinarily, we’d put our snitches on a tight leash anyway because we never trusted them, and the moment they gave you issues, you had to have discussions on whether to keep them around or not because we knew the defense would use that information to discredit that snitch’s testimony in court, and we knew it would be successful.  Without corroborating evidence for everything that snitch said, that testimony would be completely useless to us, which meant we had to put that snitch on an even tighter leash than normal if we kept them around.

So then we look to see what sort of tight leash they had Steele on, but it looks like most of the interactions with the FBI were initiated by Steele, not the other way around.  What sort of corroborations of his “evidence” were they doing along the way?  We see nothing.  As a matter of fact, Steele, if he was “credible,” would be dealing with all his same contacts in the FBI, continuing on that relationship, but Steele doesn’t do that.  Instead, he goes to an outside source first, Ohr and Gaeta (in Rome who has contacts with the State Department).  That’s because Steele burnt his contacts at the FBI, and he needs outside pressure placed on the FBI to get them to take him seriously.

That’s why you know that this dossier will never see the inside of a courtroom because they know that even a paralegal could completely discredit it.  Instead of telling the FISA Court that their source was compromised, they instead billed him as a “trustworthy” source.  They knew he was compromised, and they knew who was paying Steele, which compromised him even more.

To this day there is no information that anything in the Steele dossier is accurate.  The dossier states many things but none are confirmed.  It appears all made up.  For example, the dossier states that President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was in Prague where he met with Russians before the election.  The problem is Cohen states he has never been to Prague and his passport could easily verify this. (It’s suspected that Steele used information on a different Michael Cohen in his report or just made it up.  If he did use information on a different Michael Cohen how did he get it?)

The more disturbing point about the dossier is that the FBI used a source that was compromised and even admonished and then fired by the FBI.  Also, Steele was paid either directly or indirectly from the Hillary campaign which also totally contaminates the use of the dossier.

The entire Trump – Russia collusion sham should be shut down.

The perpetrators in and outside the government should be locked up or dealt with for treason and sedition.  They had no legal reason to create the investigation.  This should never happen in the US ever again.

via Former FBI Investigation Expert: Steele Dossier Is So Problematic for FBI It Will Never See a Courtroom Because It Is So Flawed — The Gateway Pundit

Here’s the List: The Five Most Insane, Unhinged and Dangerous Liberal Actions of 2018 — The Gateway Pundit

2018 was the year of insanity.  Up was down.  In was out.  Nothing made sense.  Here are the top five most insane events of 2018.

1. The Mueller Investigation –

The Mueller investigation was set up by corrupt DOJ Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein in 2017 and it was in full swing in 2018.  There never was a reason to set it up, no crimes were identified, which is required by the law.  The investigation required a crime and a limited scope, neither of which Rosenstein had to set up the investigation in the first place.  Then the players that were added to the investigation were a who’s who of far-left cranks.  The entire gang, including Rosenstein, Mueller and the rest all have conflicts of interest.  To sum it up, the investigation is unconstitutional.

The Mueller team is doing what would be expected of a group of conflicted, far-left, anti-Trump investigators and attorneys – commit crimes.  We reported at least ten crimes  committed by the Mueller team this year.

The Mueller probe is so egregious, so criminal, so insane, it takes the top insane event of 2018.  An example of the insanity of the Mueller investigation is their indictment of Concord Management.  In an effort to tie their corrupt investigation to Russia, the Mueller team indicted 13 Russians after presenting their cases to a grand jury in February of 2018. Immediately, these indictments were suspect as everyone on the corrupt Mueller team knew that these ‘Russians’ would never be brought to justice, even if they were real, because they would never come to the US to stand trial and risk being put in jail.

Unfortunately for Mueller however, this soon turned into a royal mess. Lawyers defending one of three Russian companies indicted with the 13 Russians, Concord Management, showed up for court. Mueller’s team was caught off guard and never expected this. They immediately asked the judge for more time but the judge denied their pleas noting that they were the ones who indicted the Russian company in the first place.

When the case proceeded, the Concord attorneys noted that another of the three companies indicted by Mueller was not in existence at the time of Mueller’s indictment. They called this a case of Mueller indicting the proverbial ‘ham sandwich’.

At a following court appearance, the attorneys representing Concord stated that the corrupt Mueller team’s allegations of 13 Russian individuals impacting the 2016 election were “made up” nonsense. The individuals were not even real.

Concord Management’s lawyers revealed that Mueller’s team had ignored over 70 discovery requests they had made for information in the case. In response Mueller’s team offered to give Concord Management’s lawyers a massive amount of social media data from those dangerous trolls who sought to influence the US election and the majority of the data was in RUSSIAN.

Mueller’s lawyers then admitted that they didn’t even have English translations for the Russian social media posts. However, somehow Mueller’s lawyers believed Americans were influenced by these Russian language posts?

The case of the Russians soon turned into a big joke as the legitimacy of the Mueller indictment was challenged by Concord Management.

In a hearing on October 15th, Concord Management claimed that the Special Counsel’s entire case is built around a 100 year old law that the Mueller team is trying to use in a manner the law was not built for.  They then challenged the court for the rationale why the Mueller team was able to work with the court separately.  The response from Concord was that Mueller was claiming that the manner in which they obtained the nude selfie, of God knows who, is a matter of national security.

The Concord case sums the Mueller Special Counsel.  Mueller has a nude selfie on someone – we don’t know who, and his gang won’t tell how they got it, while running along with a special investigation created on a made up crime, indicting a company that wasn’t even in existence at the time of the crime, where the individuals prosecuted aren’t even real.  INSANE!

2. The Fed –

The Federal Reserve and its Head – Jerome Powell – have mandates to”promote stable prices” and “maximum employment” and to ensure a “healthy economy”.  However, the Fed’s recent radical and consistent rate hikes are destroying the economy and doing nothing close to their mandates.  The Fed is insane!

Just look at the Fed’s rate increases this century and since President Trump won the 2016 election. The Fed lowered interest rates to 0% for the Obama Administration and kept these rates at 0% for the first 7 years of Obama’s time in office. Finally, the Fed increased the interest rates 0.25% in late 2015 for the only increase during Obama’s Presidency up to the 2016 election.

After President Trump won the November 2016 election, the Fed began a steady program of increasing interest rates. This program continues to this day and in total the Fed has increased rates 8 times since Trump won the Presidency. The rates now stand at 2.25% and as a result of these horrible and political policies, the Trump economy and Americans’ 401(k)’s are being devastated.

The markets were up nearly 50% since the President won the 2016 election.  Then in early October, the Fed Chief announced more interest rate hikes.  Since then the markets have been devastated.  The markets are down about 20% since that time and now are down for the year.

Also, what’s not in the mainstream yet is how the Fed is adding billions to the annual US debt with their corrupt and crooked policy of raising rates on the Trump Administration. The US debt now stands at $21.8 trillion.

A 2.25% interest increase on this amount of debt is an annual increase in debt interest payments of $500 billion!!!  This is what the insane actions of the Fed have given hard working Americans in 2018.

3. The Mainstream Media (MSM) –

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and all their related entities have simply lost their trustworthiness.  The people who run and work at these institutions have gone insane.  Everyday these entities push their Trump Derangement Syndrome all day long.

In October it was reported that 92% of the media’s coverage of President Trump was negative.  Also, the President’s greatest accomplishments like the roaring economy go almost unnoticed –

For its report, the Media Research Center did a lot of visual spadework. It viewed some 1,007 evening news stories about the Trump White House on ABC, CBS and NBC from June 1 to Sept. 30. That’s the equivalent of about 32.7 hours of coverage, by TV standards an eternity of news time.

What they found was, as Trump himself might say, sad: “Over the summer, the broadcast networks have continued to pound Donald Trump and his team with the most hostile coverage of a president in TV news history — 92% negative, vs. just 8% positive.”

The MSM is an attack machine, not a news source.  Their insanity reached peak levels in 2018.  They hate President Trump and anyone and everyone who supports him –

4. Social Media’s Attack on the First Amendment –

In 2018 the social media giants picked where they left off in 2017 in their discrimination against conservatives.  The Gateway Pundit had it’s best year ever, but no thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia.

Facebook has targeted and ELIMINATED conservative content since the 2016 election. Over 2 billion conservative page views were deleted from top conservative websites since 2016. Facebook will not allow conservatives to have free speech EVER AGAIN!  In September The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft testified before Congress on the criminal actions by Facebook to eliminate conservative voices.

A study in 2018 found The Gateway Pundit was being shadow-banned on Twitter. Several top conservatives were found to be shadow-banned by Twitter this year including: Mike Cernovich, Jack Posobiec, Gateway Pundit writer Cassandra Fairbanks, Lucian Wintrich, author and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux, InfoWars Editor-at-Large Paul Joseph Watson, Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft, and commentator Laura Loomer. Freedom Caucus members in Congress were shadow-banned. Never-Trumpers however were not being shadow-banned. Gateway Pundit writer Cristina Laila was recently warned she violated Pakistani law with her tweets.

Wikipedia is now a far left filth site with the goal of smearing every effective conservative and conservative publisher in America.  Google is just as bad.  If you try to look up The Gateway Pundit on Google the far left tech giant makes you wade through a swamp of filth BEFORE THEY EVEN PROVIDE A LINK TO OUR SITE! This is criminal.  Google is also behind the scenes limiting advertising dollars to conservative sites and this is effective since they own such a large share of Internet ads.

The socials are insane in their efforts to prevent conservative free speech.

5. Democrats and Never Trumper Republicans –

The Democrat Party and every corrupt individual connected to them are totally committed, not to America, but to ending the Trump Presidency.  Everything the Democrats do is to stop the Trump Presidency.  The current government shutdown is just another action by the Democrats to attempt to stop Trump.  How dare President Trump beat corrupt Hillary in the 2016 election!  How dare he run for the Presidency in the first place!

The Democrats are showing who they are.  They haven’t changed since they seceded from from Union when abolitionist Republican Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860.  Democrats are not for Americans or for freedom of for blacks, Democrats are for power.  They will stop at nothing to obtain and keep power.  They did this in 1860 and they are doing it today.  To hell with the law and the constitution, Democrats need power and they aim to get it any way they can.  Their efforts to harm President Trump are not for Americans, they are for themselves and obtaining power.

2018 has been an insane year. Let’s hope and pray that 2019 will be the year of justice and redemption for all Americans and for President Trump!

via Here’s the List: The Five Most Insane, Unhinged and Dangerous Liberal Actions of 2018 — The Gateway Pundit

The Difference Between This ‘Transgender’ Rage-Monster and Lady Pastors is Marginal — Pulpit & Pen

First, let me start by striving for factual accuracy. The person you see in this video is not “transgender.” No one has ever been “transgender” in the history of the world, because gender doesn’t transition on account of it being biological. And because biology doesn’t change because you wear pink, nip and tuck, or cut and sever, being “trans” isn’t a thing.

Secondly, I feel sorry for the clerk.

He is being towered over by a considerably larger, clearly deranged, intentionally grotesque, and angry man who looks like he wants the clerk to ‘rub the lotion on its skin.’


The man who – ironically enough – has too much testosterone which makes him Hulk-like angry, was acting characteristically male in every way. He was raising his (deep) voice, acting aggressively, kicking objects and acting violently, and threatening the clerk with physical harm. Of course, none of these things are any more feminine than the man’s appearance, which was not feminine at all.

What most offends “transgender” people, when they are “misgendered,” is that it awakens them from their daydreams and their lifetime leisurely stroll through the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Señor Tranny probably looked at himself in the rearview, puckered his lips to dark cherry lip balm, and blew a kiss to himself before sashaying into the Gamestop only to receive the rude awakening of being called “sir.” I’ve dealt with trannies enough doing street evangelism to know that they’re actually under the very real delusion that they are the opposite sex. And no matter how poorly is their gender disguise, they are convinced that everyone except them is fooled by their cross-dressing. When you correctly ‘gender’ them, they lose it.

The clerk in the video, of course, didn’t think that the angry Hulk tranny was a woman, but he was willing to lie. Unfortunately, this was your standard tranny and not your Miss Universe level tranny, and so the clerk’s subconscious couldn’t stop saying “sir” (hilarious).


“Pastor” Nadia Bolz-Weber…

No. No, I’m not going to call you ma’am, Miss, or a feminine pronoun. I’m not going to call you that because that’s a lie. I’m also not going to call you that because it’s not helpful to you personally because you need to be told that you’re behaving deplorably and are making a giant donkey of yourself.

The tranny’s sin here is that God did not make him to be her. God made him to be a him. He’ll always be a him. So essentially, the tranny is refusing to submit to the gender and the accompanying gender roles God gave him. In this case, the creature looks back at the creator and denies that the creator can assign for him a role in life.

What if I told you that what you witnessed in the When Trannies Attack video (above) that the sin displayed is not exponentially different from Beth Moore, Jackie Hill Perry, Jory Micah, Christine Caine, Joyce Meyer, or Nadia Bolz-Weber when they stand behind the pulpit to preach?

Did God tell the testosterone-drenched cross-dresser to act like a woman? No.

Did God tell these female preachers to act like men? No.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. – 1 Timothy 2:12

The only real difference between the gender-bending that you see in this video and that which you see by women preaching is that one occurred in a GameStop and the other occurs in (ostensibly) the Lord’s House. Which one do you think is more blasphemous?

The authoritative exposition of Scripture (known as preaching) is a role for men (regardless the audience), as well as the role of pastor.

If anyone aspires to the office of pastor, he desires a noble task.  Therefore an elder must be above reproach, the husband of one wife….1 Timothy 3:1-2

A woman cannot be a man, and a man cannot be a woman. Likewise, a woman cannot be a pastor and a pastor cannot be a woman.

“Call me pastor.”

How ’bout no. We’ve got other words for that like impastor, shastor, pastrix, etc. But pastor? No. No, because that’s a lie. It’s not who God made you to be.

One of the manliest things a man can do is preach. One of the manliest things a woman can do is preach. But she shouldn’t. To take upon herself that role is to bend gender. It’s uncivilized, unladylike, unChristian, and ungodly.

And, in case you haven’t noticed, lady pastors pull off “preaching” about as well as this tranny pulled off “woman.”

via The Difference Between This ‘Transgender’ Rage-Monster and Lady Pastors is Marginal — Pulpit & Pen

Facebook bans Franklin Graham for “hate speech”, Google YouTube shadow-bans pro-life videos


Facebook banned Franklin Graham for "hate speech" Facebook banned Franklin Graham for posting “hate speech”

There were some really interesting stories of censorship by big technology on the weekend. First story is about famous Christian pastor and evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. Facebook didn’t like what he shared, so they decided to ban him from their platform.

The Washington Times reports:

The Rev. Franklin Graham was kicked off Facebook for defending North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” which the social-media giant’s review team decided was hate speech.

Facebook acknowledged over the weekend it had banned the prominent evangelist over transgender issues and called the 24-hour ban a mistake that it had already undone. But Mr. Graham was having none of it Sunday, calling the move “a personal attack towards me” and an example of the censorship that Silicon Valley has in store for Christians and/or conservatives.

A spokesman for Facebook told the Charlotte Observer on condition of…

View original post 903 more words


Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

—Matthew 28:20

We must meet the present emergency with a spirit of optimism. This is no time for repining, no time for looking backward, no time for self-pity or defeated complaining. We are on the winning side and we cannot lose. “I am with you alway” (Matthew 28:20) makes ultimate defeat impossible.

Surely the days are evil and the times are waxing late, but the true Christian is not caught unawares. He has been forewarned of just such times as these and has been expecting them. Present events only confirm the long-range wisdom of Jesus Christ and prove the authenticity of the prophetic Word. So the believer actually turns defeat into victory and draws strength from the knowledge that the Lord in whom he trusts has foretold events and is in full command of the situation….

Surely this is not the time for pale faces and trembling knees among the sons of the new creation. The darker the night the brighter faith shines and the sooner comes the morning. Look up and lift up your heads; our redemption draws near. OGM161, 163

We impatiently await Your coming, Lord, and we seek to be prepared for that glorious day. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen. [1]

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

December 31 Daily Help

“IN the last day, that great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink!” No other distinction is made but that of thirst. No waiting or preparation is so much as hinted at. Drinking represents a reception for which no fitness is required. Sinful lips may touch the stream of divine love, they cannot pollute it, but shall themselves be purified. Jesus is the fount of hope. Dear reader, hear the dear Redeemer’s loving voice as he cries to each of us, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 369). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

44 Numbers From 2018 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Authored by Michel Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Was 2018 everything that you expected it to be?  Every year contains surprises, but 2018 truly turned out to be a year that we will never forget.  Over the past 12 months we witnessed great political shaking, Wall Street experienced the worst downturn that we have seen since 2008, the crust of our planet was rattled by an increasing number of major seismic events, social decay spread like wildfire, and America continued to become even more divided as a nation.  In comparison, 2017 was rather bland and boring, and I truly believe that one day we will look back on 2018 as a major turning point.

It is amazing that 12 months has flown by already.  It seems like the years just keep getting faster, and perhaps that is because we are all getting older.

In any event, the following are 44 numbers from 2018 that are almost too crazy to believe…

#1 One study found that the average American spends 86 hours a month on a cellphone.

#2 A different study discovered that 37 percent of all Americans have eaten fast food within the last 24 hours.

#3 90 percent of the beer that Americans drink is produced by just 2 gigantic corporations.

#4 McDonalds feeds approximately 70 million people a day globally.  Pornhub gets more than 78 million visits a day.

#5 60 percent of all Americans actually believe that they have seen a ghost.

#6 The middle class continues to decline, and at this point half of all American workers make less than $30,533 a year.

#7 During the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats were able to pick up 40 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Those that were forecasting a “red tsunami” were completely and totally wrong.

#8 Kevin Spacey’s incredibly creepy YouTube video entitled “Let Me Be Frank” in which he promises that he will never be held accountable for his actions has already been viewed more than 8 million times.

#9 Since 2007, the total amount of student loan debt in America has nearly tripled.

#10 The suicide rate in the United States has risen by 33 percent since 1999.

#11 Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for Americans from age 15 to age 24.

#12 Netflix recently made a deal to renew streaming of “Friends” for another year for 100 million dollars.

#13 According to the United Nations Population Fund, 40 percent of all births in the U.S. now happen outside of marriage. But if you go back to 1970, that figure was sitting at just 10 percent.

#14 13 million households in the United States do not always have enough food to eat.  So if you have enough food to eat every day, you should consider yourself to be very blessed.

#15 According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, almost 1 out of every 4 children in rural areas is currently living in poverty.

#16 At this point, almost 52 percent of all children live in a home that receives monthly help from the federal government.

#17 Over half a million people are homeless in the United States right now.

#18 Today, a million Americans are living in their RVS, and that number is rising with each passing year.

#19 Social decay is clearly evident even in our most prosperous cities.  One recent investigation found 300 piles of human feces on the streets of downtown San Francisco.

#20 62 percent of all U.S. jobs do not pay enough to support a middle class lifestyle.

#21 In 1980, the average American worker’s debt was 1.96 times larger than his or her monthly salary. Today, that number has ballooned to 5.00.

#22 Over half the country now receives more in government transfer payments than they pay in taxes.

#23 According to one recent study, the “rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991”.

#24 More than 100 churches in the United States are dying every single week.

#25 If you go back to 1986, just 10 percent of all young adults were “religiously unaffiliated”, but now that number has jumped all the way to 39 percent.

#26 According to one recent survey, Americans from the age of 18 to the age of 29 favor Democrats over Republicans by a 66 percent to 32 percent margin.

#27 One study found that one-third of all American teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year.

#28 The number of married couples with children in the U.S. just reached a 56 year low.

#29 In the city of Baltimore, approximately one out of every four babies is born as an opioid addict.

#30 According to the New York Times, approximately 110 million Americans have a sexually-transmitted disease right now.

#31 It is being projected that the total amount of plastic in the oceans of the world will exceed the total weight of all fish by the year 2050.

#32 90 percent of all seabirds in the world now have plastic in their stomachs.  Back in 1960, that number was sitting at just 5 percent.

#33 In August, we learned that the number of global earthquakes over the last 30 days had risen to a level that was 50 percent above normal.

#34 In September, an all-time record high seven named storms were swirling across the globe simultaneously.

#35 In October, we witnessed the third largest single day point crash in stock market history on the exact same day that the third most powerful hurricane in U.S. history made landfall.

#36 In November, the Camp Fire destroyed 14,000 homes and businesses in northern California.  It was the most destructive wildfire in the history of the state.

#37 According to the official Twitter account of Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, they had wind chills of between -70 and -75 degrees on Thanksgiving morning.

#38 In the aftermath of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rattled Anchorage, the state of Alaska was shaken by more than 1,400 earthquakes.

#39 In early December, the largest earthquake in 45 years hit eastern Tennessee.

#40 During the last full week before Christmas, the Dow fell 1,655 points.  That was the worst week for the stock market since the financial crisis of 2008.

#41 The National Retail Federation was projecting that total Christmas spending would surpass $465,000,000,000 in 2018. Only 25 countries on the entire planet have a GDP that is greater than that number.

#42 In 2017, the Dow was either up or down by 1 percent or more just 8 times.  In 2018, it happened 64 times.  Volatility has returned to Wall Street in a major way, and that is a really bad sign.

#43 A recent survey of corporate financial officers discovered that 82 percent of them believe that a recession will have started by the end of 2020.

#44 During 2018, the U.S. national debt increased by nearly 1.4 trillion dollars.  We are now almost 22 trillion dollars in debt, and there is no end to our debt problems on the horizon.

Source: 44 Numbers From 2018 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Bye-bye, 2018— The Year of Living Hatefully

PJ Media, by Roger L. Simon

In 1982 Peter Wood and Mel Gibson made a film adapted from a 1978 Christopher Koch novel, The Year of Living Dangerously, about an attempted coup in Indonesia in 1965.

While it isn’t clear yet whether we had an attempted coup in the USA in 2018 (or earlier), we did have a year in which people despised each other seemingly as never before in our country — sometimes with reason but quite often not.

2018 was The Year of Living Hatefully — one of them anyway.

Practically no one was happy. Or if they were, they didn’t show it. All they wanted to do was vilify the opposition or even their neighbors.

Democrats hating Republicans (see the new movie “Vice“) and vice versa were just the tip of a rancid iceberg. Never Trumpers hate Trumpers and the reverse, Sanders supporters hate Beto supporters, Antifa hate the bourgeoisie, the Proud Boys hate Antifa, FOX hates CNN and MSNBC hates FOX…It goes on and on. Families and friends split from each other. People shut up at work for fear they’ll be fired. Thanksgiving is a festival of hostility, Christmas (when we’re allowed to speak its name) is only slightly better.

Twitter has become axis mundi for hurling vicious insults at people you never met, or don’t even know, while our college campuses — suffused with reactionary “intersectionality”  — have become ground zero for the promotion of competitive victimhood, another perfect excuse to hate the other without knowing him or her or “zhe.”

That all this is happening in a country awash in affluence, also as almost never before, with close to full employment for all ethnic and racial groups, even some salaries rising after decades, is the cliché about not being able to stand prosperity on steroids. The way we are going utopia would be Hell.

So what’s behind all this?

Before all Democrats scream Donald Trump and all Republicans shout The Media, allow me to remind everyone this has been going on for a long time. Calling 2018 The Year of Living Hatefully (or, perhaps more accurately, living in or through hate) is but the culmination of a trend that has been going on for many years.

There is and has been an emptiness in American society and I am going to suggest a cause I never thought I would, not because it is unique to me — it hardly is — but because I have, until relatively recently, been a rather typical agnostic of my generation.

It is the absence of God, augmented by the ongoing secularization of our culture largely perpetrated by that same generation (mine). We now almost have in America what the French call laïcité. It doesn’t work there (they hate each other more than we do) and it won’t here.

And before you go after to me to remind me that church- and synagogue-going people can be just as bad as everybody else, I will say, “Yes, of course,” then continue on to say that the majority of believing religious people, especially in the Judeo-Christian tradition (I don’t know the others well enough to comment), tend not to live lives as dominated by hate.

They are the people we see in the old Hollywood movies that we like to watch over the holidays. They are Americans from an era that may never have existed but may actually have more than we realize. (Excuse the Zen-ish  deliberate contradiction.) It’s Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” You can bet he went to church. Why can’t we be like that now?

As for whether 2019 will be any better in this regard — most likely not. Signs point to it being even worse. But we are not prisoners of the zeitgeist of an era, this or any other, at least not totally. We have some freedom and we can disconnect ourselves from the misbegotten rage around us. That doesn’t mean we don’t work for a better world. It just means we do it with the right spirit, with love, not hate, corny as that sounds.

Happy New Year to the readers of this site who are the best people in the world, some [he smiles] even like characters in an old Hollywood movie.

Roger L. Simon —  co-founder and CEO emeritus of PJ Media — has been working on a new novel that will be published in 2019.

Source: Byebye, 2018—The Year of Living Hatefully

[DANGER!] 5 Signs You’re Legalistic (and probably miserable) — The Blazing Center

Are you legalistic?

What exactly is legalism? A simple definition is:

Legalism is any attempt to gain acceptance or forgiveness from God through your own works or merits.

Let me tell you something about being a legalistic Christian: it’s a miserable sin.

There are certain sins that I call “happy sins” because even though they’re wrong, they at least give you some form of pleasure. But being legalistic isn’t a happy sin.

It sucks the life out of you, drains your joy, and makes your relationship with God an absolute nightmare. And more than anything else, it’s displeasing to God.

And while you may know the technical, dictionary definition, I’m beginning to learn that legalism (and being legalistic) is much slimier and more slippery. It shows up in odd places, unexpected and unwelcome.

It slides into the nooks and crannies of my heart. It’s an expert con man, pretending to be my friend and convincing me to give up the free grace of God for a much heavier burden.

It’s not something to be taken lightly. When I’m legalistic, I’m saying that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t quite enough and that I need to tack on a few of my good works to ensure my right standing with God. God hates legalism because it belittles his great work of salvation.

But how do you know if you’re legalistic? As one who is quite experienced in the area of legalism, let me sketch out the well-known symptoms of legalism.

via [DANGER!] 5 Signs You’re Legalistic (and probably miserable) — The Blazing Center

58 New Year’s Resolutions That Don’t Involve Dieting Or Exercising — The Federalist

It’s that time to commit to a new year’s resolution. Rather than resort to the go-to pledges of years past, such as dieting and working out, here are 58 fresh ideas.

via 58 New Year’s Resolutions That Don’t Involve Dieting Or Exercising — The Federalist

December 31 Our Sympathetic High Priest

“Assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:16–18).


Jesus came to sympathize with us, so He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest.

In his letters to Timothy, Paul counseled and encouraged his young associate about many things—his health, his critics, his moral and spiritual warfare, and so on. His counsel is well summed up in these words: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David” (2 Tim. 2:8).

Like Timothy, we need to be reminded of Christ’s humanity, especially when life becomes particularly tough. Then we can pray, “Lord, You know what You endured while You were here. I’m going through it now.” We can be sure that He knows and will encourage us.

Jesus came not only to save us but also to sympathize with us. He experienced what we experience, so He could be a “merciful and faithful high priest.” After all, “we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Jesus felt everything we will ever feel—and more. Most of us will never know the full degree of any given temptation because we usually succumb long before we reach it. But since Jesus never sinned, He took the full measure of every temptation.

Ours is not a cosmic God who is powerful and holy but indifferent. He knows when we hurt, where we are weak, and how we are tempted. Jesus is not only our Savior, but our loving Lord who sympathizes with us. Rejoice in the greatness of His love for us.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to remind you of your need of Him at all times, not just when times are tough.

For Future Study: Memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13 for quick recall whenever you are faced with any trial.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 378). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

New Year’s Resolutions for God’s Glory, Not Our Own — Ligonier Ministries Blog

It seems that every December, many people make well-intentioned resolutions for the new year. With premeditated bursts of enthusiasm, they are caught up in a whirlwind of peculiar, and sometimes public, activities that puzzle even neighborhood children. We witness surprising promises and new year’s manifestos whereupon we are summoned to behold what sweeping changes may come in the new year.

The skeptical observer may ask: Is all this new year’s fervor genuine? Is it helpful? Is it really necessary? Moreover, the curious onlooker may ask: Is it even appropriate to make resolutions? After all, shouldn’t we at all times and all seasons seek to live wisely, obediently, and biblically?

Some may even go so far as to argue that resolutions themselves are not biblical, based on the fact that the Word of God itself provides us with a complete and authoritative compilation of God’s resolutions for His people to obey. To manufacture our own list of resolutions, they would argue, is superfluous at best. These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to the whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my biblically informed brethren also ponder such questions. Yet, we know that it is right and biblically justifiable to resolve to establish certain priorities and principles in life so that we might serve others faithfully and glorify God in all we think, say, and do. And although it has not been my habit to make new year’s resolutions, I have always sought to establish and keep certain priorities and principles by which I strive to live every day, praying that the Lord would come to my aid daily to help me live according to those priorities and principles for His glory, and His glory alone, and not for the accolades and applause of those around me.

As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, it is appropriate for us to establish and keep certain priorities and principles as we strive to love and follow Christ as His disciples—to the end that we might obey all that He has commanded us. For some, resolutions may be one way they go about doing this, whether they make these resolutions at the turn of the new year or throughout the year. All the while, whether or not we make resolutions, we do well to remember that we can only keep our priorities and principles in life by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that by faith, and by faith alone, we have been declared righteous by the Father because of the righteousness of the Son.

The nineteen-year-old Jonathan Edwards knew his weaknesses and was aware of the destructive nature of his sin, so he resolved to establish certain priorities and principles in his life in his effort to live entirely for the glory of God. He helped pave the way for us as he prefaced his seventy resolutions with these words:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.

These simple introductory words of Edwards not only provide us with a glimpse into the mind of one of history’s greatest thinkers, but they also provide us with a glorious insight into the heart of a young man who had been humbled and mastered by the Lord God Almighty. We would therefore do well to consider Edwards’ prefatory remarks as we seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in our churches, our homes, and our hearts.

Resolving Sensibly

“Being sensible,” Edwards begins his preface—we must be sensible, reasonable, in making resolutions. If we hastily make resolutions out of an illusion of sinless perfection, it is likely that we will not merely fail in our attempt to keep such resolutions but that we will likely be less inclined to make any further resolutions for similar desired ends. We must go about making resolutions with genuine prayer and out of a thorough study of God’s Word. Our resolutions must be in accord with the Word of God; therefore, any resolution we make must necessarily allow us to fulfill all our particular callings in life. We must consider all the implications of our resolutions and be careful to make resolutions with others in mind, even if it means implementing new resolutions incrementally over time.

Resolving Dependently

“I am unable to do anything without God’s help,” Edwards admits. We must be honest in grasping the simple truth that every resolution must be made in dependence on God. And while every Christian would respond by saying, “Well, of course we must depend on God for all things,” most Christians have been sold the world’s bill of goods. They think that once they become dependent on God, they will have immediate strength. They repeat the world’s mantra: “Whatever doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.” While the principle is generally true, such thinking can foster an attitude of proud independence. We must understand that being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us means that we must depend on His strength continuously in order to do all things and to keep all our resolutions (Eph. 3:16; Phil. 4:13; Col. 1:11). In truth, whatever doesn’t kill us makes us weak, by God’s conforming grace, so that in our weakness we will rely continuously on the strength of our Lord (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

Resolving Humbly

“I do humbly entreat him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions.” In making resolutions for the glory of God and before the face of God, we must not come into His presence pounding our chests in triumphal arrogance as if God must now love and bless us more because we have made certain resolutions to follow Him more. In reality, the Lord in His providence may choose to allow even more trials to enter our lives; in His unchanging fatherly love for us, He may decide to discipline us even more in order that we might more detest our sin and delight in Him. We should approach Him in humble reliance on His grace as we seek not merely the blessings but the One who blesses.

Resolving for Christ’s Sake

“So far as they are agreeable to His will for Christ’s sake.” We cannot resolve to do anything with a presumptuous attitude before God. The whole matter of making resolutions is not just goal setting so that we might have happier lives. We are called by God to live according to His will, not our own—for Christ’s sake, not our own—for it is not to us but to Him that all glory belongs (Ps. 115:1).

This post is adapted from an article originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

via New Year’s Resolutions for God’s Glory, Not Our Own — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Is God Real? The Case from Cosmology — Cold Case Christianity

My friend, Frank Turek, often says, “Even if I wasn’t a Christian, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” In fact, as most of you know, Frank co-authored a powerful book with the same title: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. When I first examined the Gospels, I became convinced of their reliability, but I wasn’t yet a believer. I began to slowly inch from atheism to agnosticism, however, and this movement was caused by my growing confidence in the historical record related to Jesus. But if a resurrection actually occurred, I knew I was going to have to reconsider my atheism and begin to examine the evidence for God’s existence. It was time to answer the question: Is God real?

I had looked at the evidence many times prior to this, but as I became more accomplished as a detective and criminal case maker, the power and importance of circumstantial evidence began to dominate my thinking. The cumulative circumstantial case for God’s existence became harder and harder to ignore. One line of evidence was particularly interesting to me. The evidence from cosmology, specifically the evidence for a universe with a beginning, seemed to point to an uncaused, first cause with tremendous power (follow the section titles links to learn more):

The Evidence for a Universe with a Beginning Points to God’s Existence
Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the expansion of the universe, the radiation echo, the abundance of Helium in the cosmos and the philosophical problem of infinite regress indicate we are in a universe that began to exist at a fixed point in the distant past.

The Principle of Causality Points to God’s Existence
The Principle of Causality requires us to look for the cause of our universe based on the finite nature of the Cosmos. Every effect, everything that begins, everything that changes, everything that is finite, and everything that is limited has a cause. The first cause of our finite universe must also be uncaused in order for us to avoid the irrationality of an infinite series of causes. All of us, regardless of worldview, are searching for the uncaused, first cause of the universe.

The Lack of Reasonable Alternatives Points to God’s Existence
Scientists and cosmologists have proposed a number of alternative explanations in an effort to avoid the cosmic singularity described by the Standard Cosmological Model. The proposals (including eternal inflation, cyclic evolution, and emergent universe models) fail to eliminate the need for an uncaused, first cause.

The Evidence for a Personal Causal Force Points to God’s Existence
There are two kinds of forces in the universe: personal forces and impersonal forces. Impersonal forces, like the force of gravity, have no choice about how they affect their environment. Impersonal forces cannot decide when to act; if they are present, their effect is felt. If the cause of the universe is an impersonal force, its effect (the appearance of everything from nothing) would be realized the instant the force was present. If the force is impersonal, the cause of the universe could be no older than the universe itself. But if that’s true, we would once again find ourselves looking for whatever caused this first cause. The ultimate cause of the universe must itself be uncaused and eternal in order for us to avoid the illogical and endless pursuit of a prior cause. If the cause of the universe had the ability to decide to bring the universe into existence, this cause is personal. Only personal forces have the ability to decide.

The Biblical Affirmation of the Standard Cosmological Model Points to God’s Existence
The Bible repeatedly describes the causal force of the universe as a personal agent possessing the characteristics anticipated by science and cosmology: God is described as an uncaused, non-spatial, a-temporal, immaterial and personal cause with incredible power. The God of the Bible meets the criteria outlined by science.

[bctt tweet=”As the evidence amasses from a number of divergent areas of study, the inference of God’s existence becomes more and more reasonable.” username=”jwarnerwallace”]

Is God real? The evidence from cosmology certainly seems to point us to an affirmative conclusion. This cosmological evidence is only one piece of a larger cumulative case for God’s existence. As the evidence amasses from a number of divergent areas of study, the inference of God’s existence becomes more and more reasonable. Learn more about the scientific and philosophical evidence pointing to a Divine Creator in God’s Crime Scene: A Cold-Case Detective Examines the Evidence for a Divinely Created Universe.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Apologetics at Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

via Is God Real? The Case from Cosmology — Cold Case Christianity

December 31, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

Tears and tear-producers (21:4)

There will also be no tears in heaven because ‘God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ (21:4). The reason there will be no tears in heaven is because the tear-producers—death, sorrow and pain—will all be for ever gone (v. 4).

Death will have died, and all the things associated with death—hospitals, funeral homes, cemeteries, obituary columns—will no longer exist. All sorrow will have vanished. No one in heaven will be broken-hearted or in anguish. Pain will also have no place there. Nothing will hurt in heaven!

There will be no night in heaven (21:25; 22:5). The night, which we associate with sin, will no longer exist.[1]

4. “And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be death, or grief, or crying, nor will there be pain anymore, because the first things passed away.”

This is now the second time (7:17) that John alludes to Isaiah 25:8 (see Jer. 31:16), “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.” Like a mother who bends down and tenderly wipes away the tears from the eyes of her weeping child, so the Lord God stoops down to dry the tear-filled eyes of his children. Here is a telling portrait of God’s tender mercies extended to the suffering members of his household. Ever since the fall into sin, mankind has shed countless tears, so that this present world indeed can be called a vale of tears. The shedding of tears is the result of anguish, oppression, persecution, sorrow, and death.

Death rules supreme until the final judgment (20:14). But that power will have effectively come to an end when God and his people are together. Jewish literature also states that at the time of the Messiah death will cease forever. With the departure of death, mourning, crying, and disease also disappear, for all these have been caused by the curse of sin affecting God’s creation (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 8:20–23). None of them have any part in God’s renewed creation, which is marked by peace and harmony, joy and mirth, pleasure and delight (Isa. 35:10; 51:11; 65:19). Indeed the first things have passed away and all things are new (Isa. 43:18; 65:17).[2]

Ver. 4. God shall wipe away, etc.—See Ps. 126:5, 6; Is. 25:8; 65:19.—Death.—See ch. 20:14.—Sorrow.—Mourning for the dead, especially.—Nor crying, nor pain.—Κραυγή is the acute form of sorrow (“vehement outcry,—for instance, at the experience of such acts of violence as are indicated in ch. 13:10, 17; 2:10. [Bleek, Ewald; comp. Ex. 3:7, 9; Esther 4:3.]” Duesterd.). The πόνος, pain, or painful labor, is the chronic form of the same.—For the first things.—To be taken in an emphatic sense, like the first man (1 Cor. 15:4, 5 sqq.)—the present æon. In accordance with the entire mass of Holy Scripture, the world is designed to be a succession of two worlds.[3]

21:4 wipe away every tear. Since there will never be a tear in heaven, nothing will be sad, disappointing, deficient, or wrong (cf. Is 53:4, 5; 1Co 15:54–57).[4]

21:4 By wiping away every tear and eliminating death, mourning, and pain (Isa. 25:8; 65:19–20), God will reverse the curse that entered the world through human sin.[5]

21:4 wipe away every tear from their eyes God will extinguish all sorrow and grief (Rev 7:17).[6]

[1] Ellsworth, R. (2013). Opening Up Revelation (p. 144). Leominster: Day One.

[2] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 557–558). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[3] Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 363). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Re 21:4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2494). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 21:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.