Daily Archives: December 13, 2018

DECEMBER 13 WONDER

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

—Hosea 6:3

God always acts like Himself, wherever He may be and whatever He may be doing; in Him there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. Yet His infinitude places Him so far above our knowing that a lifetime spent in cultivating the knowledge of Him leaves as much yet to learn as if we had never begun….

So imperfectly do we know Him that it may be said that one invariable concomitant of a true encounter with God is delighted wonder. No matter how high our expectation may be, when God finally moves into the field of our spiritual awareness we are sure to be astonished by His power to overwhelm the mind and fascinate the soul. He is always more wonderful than we anticipate, and more blessed and marvelous than we had imagined He could be. TIC038

Great God of wonder, help me to know You well enough to be awed by that knowledge. Help me to have the type of encounter with You today that would leave me in speechless wonder. Amen. [1]


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

Letter that Prompted Harvest Excommunication: “We are convinced that James . . . is not biblically qualified to be an elder” — Julie Roys

Five years ago, eight former elders of Harvest Bible Chapel, including Dave Corning who had served as chairman of the elder board for 21 years, sent a strongly worded letter to the elder board about the character of Senior Pastor James MacDonald. In it, they said there are “20 disqualifying traits listed in 2 Tim. 3:1-5” and “it is our opinion that these apply substantially to James.”

The former elders had hoped the letter would prompt an investigation and offered to “bring forth a host of specific examples with witnesses.” Instead, Harvest elders went on the attack. And within 24 hours, they had produced a video excommunicating two former elders who remained at the church, and formally censuring a third.

This letter has never before been published. However, one of the former elders who signed the letter recently sent it to me “because the 2013 HBC Elders chose to do nothing with it and because I believe the letter is still valid today.” I also contacted the seven other signers of the letter who likewise said they see no evidence that MacDonald’s issues have resolved. Here is their letter. To read more about the controversy surrounding Harvest and James MacDonald, read my WORLD Magazine article, which published today.

via Letter that Prompted Harvest Excommunication: “We are convinced that James . . . is not biblically qualified to be an elder” — Julie Roys

President Trump Cancels White House Media Christmas Party… — The Last Refuge

After two years of fake news, narrative engineering and coordinated resistance efforts from an adversarial media, President Trump cancelled the indulgent White House Christmas Party for media.  Good.

WASHINGTON DC –  President Trump has canceled the White House holiday party for the media, making the decades-old tradition a victim of his increasingly contentious relationship with major news organizations.

The annual Christmas-season gathering was a significant perk for those covering the White House, as well as other Washington reporters, anchors and commentators, and New York media executives would regularly fly in for the occasion. At its peak, the invitation-only soirees grew so large that there were two back-to-back events, one for broadcast outlets and one for print organizations.

Journalists who attended the events, which featured a catered buffet of lamb chops, crab claws and elaborate desserts, got to roam the decorated mansion with a spouse or other family member, a friend or a colleague, adding to the invitation’s allure.  (read more)

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via President Trump Cancels White House Media Christmas Party… — The Last Refuge

12/13/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-1213

•5 Myths the Church believes about domestic violence
•Sexual abuse is happening in protestant churches too
•Why do women seem more prone to defending false teachers?
•John Gray criticizes “Pulpit pimps” before buying his wife a Lamborghini
•The types of stunts that disqualify youth pastors
•Does your pastor dress less professionally than sports commentators?

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12/13/2018 — Wretched

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

The world around us is broken and filled with sin. We are surrounded by human depravity at every level (from childhood relationships to political leaders). Yet, we long for the day when God will make all things new and our broken world will be renewed, changed, and filled with the glory and splendor of God. In short, we await the second coming of Christ.

As we await the second coming of Christ, we celebrate his first coming. This was something the prophets wrote about and pointed to even as Isaiah did some 700 years before Jesus was born. Isaiah records one of the most eloquent prophecies of Jesus that is filled with hope. Read it and think of the already and not yet aspects of how Jesus fulfills (and will fulfill) this glorious verse of Scripture.

Isaiah 9:6 — For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

The prophecy of a child to be born and a son given was not a reference to just any child. It was a reference to the most glorious birth that has ever occurred in human history. It’s a reference to Emmanuel. When God took upon himself human flesh and entered his very own creation, what a glorious hope. Isaiah longed for the day and yet that day has come and gone and we live on the other side of this prophecy. We celebrate the birth that has already occurred.

There is no doubt about our corrupt political system in America and while can see such depraved political strategies here, around the world in various other nations the corruption is far worse. Like Isaiah, we long for the sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords to rule visibly. Every part of Isaiah’s words in this single verse has already been fulfilled except this reference to the government being upon his shoulder.

In actuality, this has been partially fulfilled, but we long for the visible reign of Christ. Some believe that Jesus will rule in the future and the government will be upon his shoulder in the future, but in actuality, he is ruling now from heaven’s throne. In supremacy he sits on the throne and he is unchallenged and unflinching at all of the marching armies of this world. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” As Jesus rules now, we await his second coming where he will rule in our visible presence.

Because of sin, we have to navigate the broken road of human depravity on a daily basis. For that reason, we need good counsel. We seek the counsel of close friends, family members, parents, pastors, and fellow church members. However, there is none who can provide greater counsel than our Lord. We come to him in his Word, we seek him and look into the great wisdom of his teaching, and we follow him as we submit to his commands. Not one time has Jesus given bad counsel or provided for us failed promises. We can trust him and we should find hope in his words (words of comfort, hope, and truth).

The central truth of the gospel is that Jesus is more than a gifted rabbi. When you examine the cults around the world, often they want to attack the deity of Jesus. They want to relegate him to the level of a prophet or a good moral teacher, but that cannot be so if Jesus isn’t God while he made such lavish claims to be God (see John 8:58 and John 17). In John’s prologue, he writes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).” The grand truth we celebrate at Christmas is that far greater than angels appearing to shepherds in a field was the reality that God had clothed himself in human flesh and was lying in a manger. He came to save his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), and it was only possible if Jesus is very God of very God.

As “Everlasting Father” Jesus is not the Father. Isaiah is not suggesting that the Son is the Father in the sense of confusing the persons of the Trinity (which is a heretical position). He is using the tern “father” in perhaps two ways in this statement. First, Jesus can show compassion as a father shows compassion to his children (Ps. 103:13). Secondly, Jesus is the everlasting father of the universe and he upholds everything but he word of his power (Col. 1:15-20).

Finally, Isaiah speaks of Jesus as the “Prince of Peace.” Only in Jesus can rebel sinners find peace with God (Rom. 5:10). Only in Christ can a world that is filled with sin, brokenness, murder, and violence find peace. It’s only in Christ that God’s children can navigate this broken world with peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). While we as believers live in a world of sin and experience the peace of God, we will one day live in a peaceful world. We long for that day to come. As we celebrate the first coming of Jesus we anticipate the second coming of Jesus. As John said, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

December 13 Sustenance for the Righteous

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.

Zechariah 4:6

God’s Word, prayer, and the Holy Spirit all work together for the benefit of God’s servants. The Spirit’s special part is to grant all that is necessary to sustain the righteous.

The Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Christ” and “the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:9). He can be called by either title because He is within the Trinity and proceeds from the Father in the name of Christ (cf. John 14:26).

The apostle Paul knew the Holy Spirit as his indwelling teacher, interceder, guide, source of power, and all–sufficient provider. That’s what the Spirit is for all believers. Paul’s confidence in knowing that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28) was based on the provision of the Spirit, who “helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (v. 26).

Knowing what the Spirit provides will help you face with tremendous confidence anything that comes your way.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 374). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God? Psalms 42:1-2 (NASB) 

Spiritually healthy Christians have a deep desire to know God’s will thereby knowing where God wants them to be as well as doing what God wants them to do. Without a doubt, discovering God’s will commands more interest and arouses more anxiety among those spiritually healthy Christians than anything else. That desire is a sign of spiritual health. Why do they deeply desire this? They want to please God. At their regeneration, God gave them a love of obedience that is bolstered as they find joy in doing His will. Along with that, the very thought of offending God grieves them deeply. They deeply desire to live in a way…

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Not journalism but propaganda: Fact-checkers turn on Facebook for spreading its own fake news

Journalist fact-checkers who signed up for a controversial partnership with social media giant Facebook to combat fake news are abandoning ship citing ethical concerns and shady practices.

The fact-checkers became disillusioned with Facebook after the company ignored requests for meaningful data that showed the impact of the anti-fake news initiatives. Participating journalists anecdotally reported minimal results and Facebook allegedly did nothing to assuage their concerns.

Facebook began courting journalists and roughly 40 media partners, including AP, Snopes, and Politifact for the project in the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential elections but despite the noble intentions and lofty goals, research and anecdotal evidence suggest the debunking had little effect. Facebook’s hiring of the Definers PR firm to smear critics was the final straw for many disillusioned do-gooders.

Source: Not journalism but propaganda: Fact-checkers turn on Facebook for spreading its own fake news

FROM WOKE TO BROKE: Group Formally Known As The Boy Scouts Files For Bankruptcy One Year After Accepting Girls And Openly-Gay Scout Leaders — Now The End Begins

The once proud organization known as the Boy Scouts is declaring bankruptcy after severely flagging numbers due to a myriad of problems, including implementing social justice measures to make it more inclusive.

I was a Cub Scout as well as a Boy Scout when I was a kid, my 4 brothers were as well. My dad was a Scout leader in Troop 38 and my mom was a Den mother. Scouting back then wasn’t perfect, but it was a firm, stable foundation teaching young boys to be strong and independent leaders. I have a lot of great memories of scouting.

“On my honor, I will do my best. To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Boy Scouts Oath

In 2018, things have become so distorted and confused that Boy Scouts really don’t know why allowing girls to join was a bad thing. Or why allowing openly-gay people to be Scout leaders with young boys on overnight camping trips was also a bad thing. The group formally known as the Boy Scouts of America thought that making these changes would show the world how ‘woke’ and progressive they had become. Sadly, ‘woke’ has become ‘broke’ as bankruptcy proceedings in Chicago were initiated yesterday. This is what happens when you allow 3% of the population to set the agenda for the other 97% of the country.

The Boy Scouts Filing Bankruptcy After A String Of “Woke” Decisions Caused It To Go Broke

FROM RED STATE: According to the Daily Caller, the Boy Scouts changed its name to Scouts BSA and began to allow girls into their ranks. Before that, the Boy Scouts ruled that openly gay scouts and scout leaders could also join the program. This lead to a serious decline in membership and now the organization is filing Chapter 11.

The Wednesday report comes in the wake of sinking membership and multiple controversies surrounding the 108-year-old organization, including sex abuse allegations and its controversial decision to change its program name from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA and allow girls into that program.

Chicago law firm Sidley Austin has reportedly been hired to assist in what would be a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. As the organization has made decisions deemed to be more inclusive, such as allowing openly gay scouts in 2013 and scoutmasters in 2015 as well as the 2018 decision to allow girls, membership has continued to decline sharply, from over 4 million members at its peak to a claimed 2.3 million members at present.

It’s only going to get worse as well. The Mormon Church has announced that it’s discontinuing its partnership with the Boy Scouts and will be starting up its own boy’s program in 2020, according to the Daily Caller. When that happens, the Scouts will lose a third of its membership.

Combined with the fact that it kept sexual abuse allegations secret for decades, the Scouts seems to have rotted from the inside.

Whether the Scouts would have survived in this modern age without any of these events happening is still up for debate, but it definitely didn’t help it. Boys clubs are becoming few and far between with each of them coming under attack for not being inclusive to girls or members of the LGBT community. READ MORE

via FROM WOKE TO BROKE: Group Formally Known As The Boy Scouts Files For Bankruptcy One Year After Accepting Girls And Openly-Gay Scout Leaders — Now The End Begins

Tim Keller Promotes Globalism at The “Gospel” Coalition — Pulpit & Pen

“Also, it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation” – Revelation 13:7

Tim Keller is a Marxist. That should come as no surprise to anyone who the vaguest understanding of the economic and political philosophy or with the the vaguest grasp of Keller’s body of work. This is not conspiratorial, this is an assessment of Keller’s own very explicit words and his very evident worldview. As a Marxist, Keller eschews nationalism, which is the bulwark and champion of personal freedom, civil rights, and individual liberties.

Globalism, as it is most commonly defined, is a rejection of the nation-state, or at the least, the subjection of the nation-state to international law and international governing bodies. Globalism is an aspiration of Marxism, which seeks to dismantle personal freedom as supported by national governments in the name of communitarian utilitarianism.

Tim Keller did an interview with the Gospel Coalition, the audio of which you can find here. The grotesquely liberal Relevant Magazine lauded Keller’s words and called it a “takedown of Nationalism.”

Nationalism, although liberals have sought to redefine it over the course of the last two years, refers to the traditional belief in Western Civilization that personal individual liberty is best preserved by nation-states who have a vested interest in the freedom of their Citizenry. Far from representing some kind of latent ethnocentricty or racism, nationalism simply recognizes that civil liberties must be protected by localized – and not international – governments. Anyone who cares about the rights, liberties, and equality of minorities should be a nationalist. Anyone who cares about individual religious liberty or freedom of speech, assembly, or petition should be a Nationalist.

For Keller, however, Nationalism is evil. The world must operate internationally, not nationally. For Keller, the world’s geopolitical design must undergo significant renovation.

Citing his new book, The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy, Keller claimed that “border security” isn’t wrong per se (he is against border walls), but claimed that there must be “balance.”

“I do think most thoughtful, balanced Christians should feel somewhat uncomfortable in either political party. Christians need to recognize the danger of what they call xenophobia. I’m afraid of Christians getting too radicalized on either side.”

Keller no doubt feels uncomfortable in either political party because he’s a social conservative (barely), at least acknowledging the sinfulness of abortion, but a Marxist on economic and cultural issues.

In April of 2018, Keller met with a Marxist political braintrust at Wheaton College to discuss ways to keep evangelicals from voting Republican. In order for Keller’s Democrat friends with their New York values to win their political battles, they don’t need evangelicals to vote Democrat. They just need us not to vote.

“Jonah was putting his national interest over the spiritual good of the people of Ninevah. God cares about all races and all people, and in the end, His church will consist of people from every tribe, people and nation. We can’t lift up one nation over other nations.”

Of course, the story of Jonah is not about border security. It’s not about Nationalism or Globalism. This is just part of the Social Gospel that is repeatedly eisegeted into every text that Keller handles.

In regards to missiology, Jonah stands out as the rare prophet who evangelized outside both the Northern or Southern Kingdom. He went to them. After all, that’s what missions is really about.

We would encourage evangelicals to be like Jonah when it comes to missions, and take the Gospel into Mexico and Central America. We would also encourage evangelicals to be like Nehemiah when it comes to border security, and build a wall.

via Tim Keller Promotes Globalism at The “Gospel” Coalition — Pulpit & Pen

December 13, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Word of Life Is Communicable

and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, (1:2b–3a)

For John, that which was manifested to him—the Word of Life—became the basis for his proclamation of truth. His privileged life in the presence of the Lord Christ was not a private experience to elevate him above others who were not so blessed, as if he were somehow one of God’s “favorite sons.” Rather, his privilege became the platform for his responsibility and mandate, as an apostle and eyewitness, to bear witness (testify) of the truth (John 20:30–31; 21:24; cf. 1:41–42; 2 Cor. 5:14–15) and proclaim the gift of eternal life in Him (cf. Ps. 145:11–12; 1 Cor. 2:2; 9:16) to those, including his readers, who had never seen Jesus. Because of his widespread reputation as one who had been with Jesus as an apostle (cf. John 1:14, 16–18, 37–51), John was a true and credible witness (John 19:35–37). Other New Testament books written by apostles or their associates also present eyewitness accounts of Jesus and the truth of the gospel. The other Gospels do that (cf. Luke 1:1–4), as does the book of Acts (cf. 1:1–3) and the epistles (e.g., 2 Peter 1:16–21).

The apostle John knew that the matter of communicating the Word of Life was not an option but a command. The content of the message was not to be hoarded but its unchanging truth declared far and wide. Commenting on this passage, John R. W. Stott provided this key perspective:

The historical manifestation of the Eternal Life was proclaimed, not monopolized. The revelation was given to the few for the many. They were to dispense it to the world.… He [Christ] not only manifested Himself to the disciples to qualify them as eyewitnesses, but gave them an authoritative commission as apostles to preach the gospel. The author [John] insists that he possess these necessary credentials. Possessing them, he is very bold. Having heard, seen and touched the Lord Jesus, he bears witness to Him. Having received a commission, he proclaims the gospel with authority, for the Christian message is neither a philosophical speculation, nor a tentative suggestion, nor a modest contribution to religious thought, but a dogmatic affirmation by those whose experience and commission qualified them to make it. (The Epistles of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964], 61, 62–63, emphases in original)

The Word of Life Is Relational

so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1:3b)

John proclaimed the Word of Life so that (hina, “in order that”) all believers would realize they have fellowship (an authentic partnership) with Jesus Christ and fellow believers (cf. Acts 1:14; 2:42, 44–47; 1 Cor. 12:26–27; Eph. 4:1–3; Heb. 10:25; 12:22–24). The word rendered fellowship, the familiar Greek term koinonia, signifies a mutual participation in a common cause or shared life (cf. Gal. 2:9; 6:6; 1 Tim. 6:18; Titus 1:4; Philem. 6; 1 Peter 4:13; Jude 3). It is far more than a mere partnership of those who have the same beliefs and are thus drawn together. Rather, it is the mutual life and love of those who are one in spirit (1 Cor. 6:17; cf. Eph. 5:30–32).

The aim of gospel preaching is to produce faith that rests in Christ (John 6:29; Acts 20:21). Those who believe savingly in Jesus enter into a genuine union with the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul wrote,

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 1:9; cf. Gal. 2:20)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (2 Cor. 13:14; cf. John 17:21)

Even sinning Christians who lose the joy of their fellowship with God never lose the reality of that eternal life from Him (1 Cor. 1:9; 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:1; Heb. 12:10), given them through their union with Christ (Rom. 6:3–5; Eph. 2:5; Col. 3:2). Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24; cf. Eph. 5:26; Titus 3:5). The new birth produces new life, so that believers are regenerated into everlasting fellowship with the triune God (cf. John 3:5–8).[1]


The Christian Proclamation (vv. 3–4)

The message John and the other apostles received was not only for themselves. Rather, it was for the whole world, as Jesus commanded (cf. Matt. 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). Here was a striking contrast with the Gnostics and, by extension, with any other kind of exclusive Christianity. The Gnostics wanted to establish a fellowship of the intellectually elite. The apostles by contrast were attempting to proclaim to the world what they had received.

John uses three words in describing how the gospel is shared. First, he says we “testify” to what we have seen and heard. This word (martyrein, v. 2) is an important word in John’s Gospel. Originally it comes from the courts of law and denotes the bearing of testimony to that which one has seen. In the Gospel Jesus is said to have borne witness to the Father because he has seen the Father and is willing to reveal him (John 3:31–32; 18:37). In the same way the disciples are called to bear witness of Jesus because they had experienced him firsthand during his three-year ministry (John 15:27). Second, John says we “proclaim” to you what we have seen and heard. On the surface this verb seems much like the other, involving a verbalized testimony to what has been seen and heard. But it also suggests something else. It suggests a commission from Christ, authority. Thus, as Stott says, Jesus “not only manifested Himself to the disciples to qualify them as eyewitnesses, but gave them an authoritative commission as apostles to preach the gospel.” Finally, as John says in verse 4, we “write” these things that our joy might be full.

This then is the way in which the gospel has come to us and must be passed on. The apostles bore witness to what they had seen and heard of Jesus, proclaimed it authoritatively on his commission, and finally preserved it in the writings that have since become our New Testament. Today believers are to take their writings and, having through them entered into the experience of the apostles, proclaim the Christ of the apostles to the world.

The Twofold Objective (vv. 3–4)

But why is this done? Why this enormous effort, beginning in eternity past, prepared for in the Old Testament writings, focused in Christ, seen by the apostles, preached by them, and recorded by them in the New Testament? And why should we be a part of it? John concludes the preface by stating this objective: “that you also may have fellowship with us” and “to make our joy complete.”

John speaks of fellowship rather than salvation in these verses, perhaps because the fellowship had been so recently broken by the Gnostic schism. Properly understood, however, the word includes the full meaning of salvation, as the accompanying phrases indicate. There is salvation on the horizontal dimension. It is an overcoming of hostility between man and man. There is also salvation on the vertical dimension, between God and man. Indeed, John indicates that it is only when the latter is established that the first becomes possible. Why is it that human beings experience friction with one another? The answer, as James writes in his epistle, is sin (James 4:1ff.). And how can sin be conquered? Not by men, certainly, for all are sinners. It can be conquered only by Christ, who died once that fellowship might be restored between man and God and who now lives in order to communicate the power of God in overcoming sin to those who follow him.

Those who are already Christians must take the words of John seriously. He says that the purpose of this great plan of God for the revelation of himself to men and for their salvation is fellowship, and that on the horizontal level. How then can believers be content with that which disrupts their fellowship? Or how can they be content with an evangelism that wins men to God but fails to draw them into a vital and visible relationship with one another?

Finally, says John, we have written “to make our joy complete.” There is a textual variant at this point in which “your” is substituted for “our” in John’s statement. Either would be correct, and in fact there is not much difference. Yet “our” is dramatic; for it is John’s way of saying that his joy is their joy—it was also John the Baptist’s testimony (John 3:29)—and that the apostle will have full joy only when the Christians to whom he is writing, as well as all who would come after, enjoy fellowship. This is real joy, but it will not be perfected in our or any other lifetime. Therefore, verse 4 may rightly be understood as pointing forward ultimately to heaven.

If believers will ultimately be one in heaven, however, why should they not be one while here on earth? And why should there not be a joy in true Christian fellowship, as there certainly will be later? Clearly Christians are to recognize and work toward a vital fellowship here as well as pray for and anticipate that day in which that which began with the revelation of God in the historical Christ and which was preached and believed on by millions in this world will be consummated.[2]


3 It is clear that John wishes to create a sense of solidarity with the reader at the beginning of the letter by differentiating between two groups—“us” and “them.” The boundary between the two groups is the message (“word,” v. 1) that John proclaims. Only those who accept John’s teaching that Life manifested itself in the human Jesus “may have fellowship with us.” As noted in the introduction, there has been considerable debate over the identity of the “we” in 1:1–4. These verses include eleven first-person-plural verbs (“we do x”) and seven occurrences of the pronoun hēmeis (“we/us”). Some scholars interpret “we” here to be the entire Johannine community or a group of orthodox teachers within the community, making these verses a rallying cry to defend the “corporate tradition” against the Antichrists (see Introduction). This view does not, however, adequately account for fact that the pronoun “you” (hymeis) is also used four times in these verses to distinguish the reader from the author. Since “1 John is probably not a missionary tract for unbelievers but a communication with those who belong to the church” (R. A. Culpepper, The Gospel and the Letters of John [Nashville: Abingdon, 1998], 255), “we” (the author) and “you” (the audience) must be co-members of the Christian community who are different in some way. The point of difference seems to be that “we” have heard, seen, touched, and witnessed Jesus, while “you” have not. “We” must therefore refer to the collective group of witnesses to the life of Jesus, of whom John claims to be a member. This witness puts John in a special category with those whose testimony cannot be refuted, a status the Antichrists do not enjoy. Only those Christians among “you” who accept John’s witness may remain in fellowship with him.

3a The Greek word koinōnia (GK 3126) is translated “fellowship” in the NIV. While the English word “fellowship” is used to describe everything from a deep friendship to a potluck dinner, koinōnia refers to a bond of partnership in a common enterprise or experience. Luke uses this term to refer to the sharing of possessions in the early church (Ac 2:44; 4:30), and Paul speaks of the koinōnia he enjoys with the Philippians due to their common commitment to the gospel (Php 1:5). To have koinōnia with someone means to share a sense of community with that person. Brown, 170, therefore refers to koinōnia as “both the dynamic esprit de corps that brings people together and the togetherness that is produced by that spirit.” John hopes that his audience will be united with him on the basis of their common faith in Jesus.

3b The second half of 1:3 elevates the basic distinction between “us” and “them” to absolute terms with ultimate consequences. John’s word gives him fellowship “with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ”; logically, those who refuse to accept John’s witness put themselves out of fellowship with Christ and God and therefore render themselves ineligible for eternal life. Ironically, the Antichrists, by focusing too much on their present experience of Christ through the Spirit and rejecting John’s witness about Jesus’ past, have placed themselves out of fellowship with God.[3]


1:3 / Verse 3 summarizes what has been said in vv. 1–2 and then moves on to a new affirmation. The author (and the apostolic community he represents, hence the we) proclaims this message about the Word of life, in order that those who hear it might join “the circle of salvation,” i.e., those who have fellowship with God (which, according to John 17:3, is eternal life). It is essential to be in fellowship with the author, because the author is in fellowship with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. The Elder’s opponents, the secessionists—those who have left the community (2:19) and are antichrists (2:18), false prophets (4:1), deceivers (2 John 7), and liars (2:22)—are not in fellowship with the author, and they no longer have either the Father or the Son (2 John 9; cf. 2:22–24). They are outside the “circle of salvation.” It is evident here that fellowship (koinōnia) is not simply a matter of love and hospitality (though for the Elder it is also that), but is primarily a matter of eternal life and death.[4]


1:3. John proclaimed what he knew about Jesus so that you also may have fellowship with us. Since John made it clear in 2:12–14 that the readers of this letter were already believers, he was not referring to the fellowship with other Christians that begins at salvation. Rather, he was referring to the ongoing fellowship of people who are already believers. They needed to be sure of who Jesus was and of their salvation. If they doubted their salvation, their fellowship with the Father and Son would be limited. If Christians are not in fellowship with God, they cannot be in full fellowship with other devout Christians. Christian-with-Christian fellowship is rooted in fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. Apparently, the false teachers had called into question the salvation of the readers, so John was reaffirming their faith.[5]


3. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

These are the points John communicates:

  • Emphasis

After the parenthetical comment, John resumes the thought of the first verse and repeats from the second verse the verb proclaim. John emphasizes proclaiming the message which he and the other apostles had received from the Lord. He builds his argument by repeating clauses from verse 1. But note that he reverses the verbs, for he says, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard” (italics added). Also, this is the third time that he uses the verb to see. What is John saying?

By reiterating the same verbs, John seems to warn the readers against false doctrines that deny the human nature, physical appearance, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. John testifies that he has seen Jesus and has heard his voice. John wants his readers to know the core of the apostolic message: “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has appeared in human flesh.” As an eyewitness and earwitness, John is able to testify to the veracity of this message and proclaim what he has seen and heard.

  • Purpose

John states the purpose of his letter in this verse. Says he, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.” He states a parallel purpose near the end of his letter: “I write these things to you … so that you may know that you have eternal life” (5:13). The purpose is to invite the readers to the fellowship of the apostles who are eyewitnesses of the earthly life and ministry of Jesus.

The invitation serves two ends. First, John seeks to shield the readers from the doctrinal attacks of false teachers and to strengthen them spiritually within the fellowship of the apostles and disciples. When people have fellowship, they share their mutual gifts, goals, and goods (compare Acts 4:32–37). The apostles shared their spiritual gifts with members of the church. And second, John invites the readers of his epistle to join the eyewitnesses in their fellowship “with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

  • Focus

In the last part of verse 3, John reveals the focal point of his introduction: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This focus is significant, because in his epistle the name Christ is the official title of Jesus. Except for one instance (1:7), John always uses the combination Jesus Christ (rather than the terms Jesus or Christ) or the clause that Jesus is the Christ. He wants his readers to know that the human Jesus is indeed the heavenly Messiah, that is, the Christ.

John also considers the name Son significant. In his first epistle this is a key word. John emphasizes the basic confession of the church: “Jesus is the Son of God.” Throughout his epistle he mentions the fellowship of the believer with the Father and the Son (1:7), the redeeming work of the Son (1:7; 4:10), the mission of the Son (3:8), God’s testimony about the Son (5:9), the gift of the Son in terms of eternal life (5:11, 13), and last, the coming of the Son (5:20). Especially in chapter 5, John explains the significance of the word Son.[6]


3. That which we have seen. He now repeats the third time the words, seen and heard, that nothing might be wanting as to the real certainty of his doctrine. And it ought to be carefully noticed, that the heralds of the Gospel chosen by Christ were those who were fit and faithful witnesses of all those things which they were to declare. He also testifies of the feeling of their heart, for he says that he was moved by no other reason to write except to invite those to whom he was writing to the participation of an inestimable good. It hence appears how much care he had for their salvation; which served not a little to induce them to believe; for extremely ungrateful we must be, if we refuse to hear him who wishes to communicate to us a part of that happiness which he has obtained.

He also sets forth the fruit received from the Gospel, even that we are united thereby to God, and to his Son Christ in whom is found the chief good. It was necessary for him to add this second clause, not only that he might represent the doctrine of the Gospel as precious and lovely, but that he might also shew that he wished them to be his associates for no other end but to lead them to God, so that they might be all one in him. For the ungodly have also a mutual union between themselves, but it is without God, nay, in order to alienate themselves more and more from God, which is the extreme of all evils. It is, indeed, as it has been stated, our only true happiness, to be received into God’s favour, so that we may be really united to him in Christ; of which John speaks in the seventeenth chapter of his gospel.

In short, John declares, that as the apostles were adopted by Christ as brethren, that being gathered into one body, they might together be united to God, so he does the same with other colleagues; though many, they are yet made partakers of this holy and blessed union.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 17–19). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2004). The Epistles of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 25–26). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 427–428). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (pp. 26–27). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, p. 156). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, pp. 237–238). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[7] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 161–162). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

The Church Of England Introduces LGBTQ ‘Affirmation Of Baptismal Faith’ Ceremony For Gender-Transitioning People to ‘Rededicate To Christ’ — Now The End Begins

While the Church of England – the largest Christian denomination in the United Kingdom – is stopping short of calling its newly instituted blessing for “transgenders” a second baptism, priests are being directed to offer baptism-style ceremonies for those announcing their new sexual identity.

For those of you who may be confused, the Church of England in the UK is not a Protestant church, not by a long shot. The Church of England runs the typical Catholic hierarchy of priests and bishops, uses a Catholic liturgy, even though they make a lame attempt to also try and include some Protestant ideals as well. But in short, the Church of England is a hodge-podge, big tent mess of Laodicean Christianity and Roman Catholicism. And now they want to help members of the LGBTQ transgender community ‘rededicate thier lives to Christ’. Yes, you heard that right.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

The message of the Bible is certainly one of ‘come as you are’, and let God clean you up for His glory. Jesus went to the cross for the lowest of the low. But it is absolute blasphemy to say that you can ‘come as you are’ and stay as you are, and God will accept you anyway. He will not, no where in any scripture does it teach that. So for the Church of England to now have a ceremony telling LGBTQ transgender people that God ‘celebrates’ and ‘affirms’ your lifestyle choices is a lie. He doesn’t. This is a complete and total denial of who God is, a denial of what the Bible teaches, and it falsely allows people to think they are right with God when clearly they are not. It is mind-boggling to consider that the same church that gave us the King James Bible now gives us a LGBTQ gender-transitioning ‘rededication’ ceremony. Sad day indeed.

The world is very rapidly darkening, and if the Lord tarries much longer, I think we will live to see the day where there will be Temple prostitutes and ritual pagan human sacrifices in the church service. And those who preach and teach the ‘archaic and outdated’ truth of the Bible will be publicly ridiculed and executed.

Church of England introduces baptism-style ceremony for gender ‘transitions’

FROM LIFE SITE NEWS: In a newly issued pastoral guidance, clergy are being told to call men by their new female names, and women by their new male names. The guidance declares, “For a trans person to be addressed liturgically by the minister for the first time by their chosen name may be a powerful moment in the service.”

“It should be noted that the giving or adoption of a new name has a long history in the Judeo-Christian tradition as may be evidenced from Scripture,” continues the new guidance. “In some Christian circles, for example, it is customary for candidates to adopt an additional or saint’s name at their Confirmation.”

Clergy are further advised to be respectful of prefered gender pronouns, even if those pronouns do not correspond with reality.

Referred to as the “Affirmation of Baptismal Faith,” the service invites the already-christened gender-confused to “renew the commitments made in baptism in a public setting and provides space for those who have undergone a major transition to re-dedicate their life to Jesus Christ.”

For “transgendered” people who are not yet baptized and who seek entrance to the Church of England, the new guidance describes baptism as the “natural liturgical context for recognizing and celebrating their identity.”

Rather than create a new sacrament, the Church’s bishops are recommending that the already established sacrament of baptism and the affirmation of baptismal vows can be contorted to not only accommodate but to celebrate gender dysphoria within their church.

The guidance issued by the Church of England’s House of Bishops on Monday advises pastors to lay hands on the candidate and pray, using the candidate’s new transgender name. Pastors are also told that the sprinkling of holy water and anointing with oil can be incorporated into the service.

vatican-lgbtq-welcoming-catholic-church-synod-youth-bishops-pope-francis

Christian Concerns chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams, a lay member of the Church’s General Synod, criticized the new guidance, saying it is a continuation of the denomination’s “devastating trajectory towards an outright denial of God and his word.”

“The point of baptism is to identify a person with Jesus as they begin a life of following him,” continued Williams. “Using an affirmation of baptism to celebrate a gender transition turns this upside down by encouraging people to follow their own feelings and live in identities contrary to how God created them.”

“It is not loving to mislead people – and wider society – into the falsehoods and myths of transgender ideology,” said Williams. READ MORE

via The Church Of England Introduces LGBTQ ‘Affirmation Of Baptismal Faith’ Ceremony For Gender-Transitioning People to ‘Rededicate To Christ’ — Now The End Begins

December 13, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday for crimes including orchestrating hush payments to women in violation of campaign laws before the 2016 election, and he promised to keep cooperating with the U.S. government against his former boss.

A rush of Democrats will likely announce U.S. presidential bids in January in an unusually early start to the 2020 election cycle, lining up for what is poised to be a crowded race to take on President Donald Trump.

Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Wednesday she supports a proposal that would limit the terms of senior Democratic leaders, likely paving the way for her to reclaim the speaker’s post in January when her party takes control of the chamber.

The United States plans to counter the rapidly expanding economic and political influence of China and Russia in Africa, where the two nations use corrupt business practices with little regard for the rule of law, according to prepared remarks on Thursday by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton.

A fire overnight at a warehouse in Congo’s capital destroyed thousands of voting machines and ballot boxes that were due to be used in the country’s long-delayed Dec. 23 presidential election, authorities said on Thursday.

Yemen’s warring parties agreed to a ceasefire in the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah and placing it under local control at the close of talks on Thursday in a breakthrough for U.N.-led peace efforts to end the war.

A Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers at a bus station in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Israel’s military said, hours after Israeli forces killed two Hamas fugitives it blamed for earlier deadly attacks.

The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near 49-year lows last week, which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labor market and economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000 for the week ended Dec. 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

AP Top Stories

As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials tasked with enforcing them, The Associated Press has found – another sign of how deeply cyberespionage is embedded into the fabric of US-Iranian relations.

Donald Trump has insisted he is “not concerned” about the threat of impeachment because “the people would revolt if that happened”.

The U.S. rejected the European Union’s proposal to reform the World Trade Organization, dealing a blow to international efforts to bolster the Geneva-based body, which has come under attack from President Donald Trump’s administration.

The former president of a fraternity at a private Christian university in Texas has been spared jail time after being accused of raping a fellow student at a party, in a decision which has devastated the victim and her family.

Twenty one prisoners, most of them members of Islamic State jailed on terrorism charges, broke out of a prison in northern Iraq but 15 of them have been recaptured, Kurdish security officials said on Thursday.

Five Democrats saved House Republicans from an embarrassing floor defeat Wednesday, voting with the GOP on a farm bill rule that controversially included language blocking a vote on U.S. involvement in Yemen.

Nelson Martinez, the jailed former head of Venezuela’s state-run oil giant PDVSA who was arrested last year as part of anti-corruption purge, died in state custody Wednesday.

Pakistan on Wednesday condemned a U.S. decision to add it to a list of nations that infringe on religious freedom, calling the move “unilateral and politically motivated.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to again ban Iranian ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and to maintain an arms embargo that is scheduled to be lifted in 2020 under the landmark Iran nuclear deal.

Japan has chosen the character for ‘disaster’ to symbolize 2018. The public chose the symbol following a series of natural disasters.

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki arrived Thursday in Mogadishu, marking improved relations in his first visit to neighboring Somalia since he took office in 1993.

BBC

A statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the famed Indian independence leader, has been removed from a university campus in Ghana’s capital, Accra. The petition said Gandhi was “racist” and African heroes should be put first. Ghana’s government said the statue would be relocated.

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has accused the US of plotting to kill him and topple his government. President Trump has labelled the leftist leader a dictator and has imposed sanctions.

A monk meditating in a forest in the Indian state of Maharashtra has died in a leopard attack. Rahul Walke had been “meditating under a tree” in the Tadoba forest, which is a protected tiger reserve, officials told PTI news agency.

WND

State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Two groups of Central American migrants made separate marches on the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana Tuesday, demanding that they be processed through the asylum system more quickly and in greater numbers, that deportations be halted and that President Trump either let them into the country or pay them $50,000 each to go home.


News  – 12/13/2018

Netanyahu doesn’t rule out taking battle inside Iran
Netanyahu said his policy has always been “to stop bad things when they are small. So we meet Iran head-on in Syria, and if we need to, will do whatever we need to do protect ourselves, as you would.”

‘French Aliyah – missed opportunity, will be corrected’
Following the announcement earlier this week of a new plan to promote and encourage French Aliyah (immigration to Israel), Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, participated this morning, Thursday, in the annual conference held by Qualita, the umbrella organization for Olim (immigrants) from France in Israel. The conference was held with the participation of organizations and associations working for French-speaking Olim in Israel in order to promote cooperation in their activities and training employees.

Israel preparing Jerusalem compound for embassies
The Housing and Construction Ministry is planning a secure diplomatic complex in Jerusalem to house embassies that Israel hopes would follow the US and Guatemala’s lead and move to the capital.

7 top threats Christian churches in America face today
There are seven significant current threats, according to John Harding of ADF, who warns that churches need to be prepared and protected legally. The major threats, he said, are: The potential loss of a provision that treats pastors’ housing as tax-exempt. It is being challenged by the Freedom from Religion Foundation at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals….

“Have They Learned Nothing?” – The End Of France As We Know It?
sometimes it’s hard to separate the manufactured reality show from the spontaneous uprising of human frustration. But after the past two weekends of violent protests, after the French government backed down on the new diesel tax which was the inciting incident of this story, it’s safe to say this is real and there is real fear brewing among the political elite of Europe. It’s jumped borders. It’s part of the zeitgeist now.

Hamas, Fatah praise deadly shooting attack in West Bank
Hamas praised the shooting attack that killed two Israelis and injured two others near the West Bank settlement of Givat Asaf Thursday. “Hamas praises the numerous resistance attacks as well as the citizens of the occupied West Bank and the revolutionary youth,” Hamas Spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanou said. The attack, he said, “is in response to the crimes of the Zionist occupation in the occupied West Bank…”

‘We will not be sitting ducks in a Palestinian shooting range:’ Settler leader
“Residents of the Binyamin region will not be sitting ducks in a Palestinian shooting range,” said Israel Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, en route to the site of the latest terror attack on Thursday. “Terrorism has lifted its head,” he continued, noting that Israel needs to break out of its mindset, which he called “stuck.”

Politicians praise IDF, warn ‘Israel’s strong arm will reach anyone’
Israeli leaders applauded the capture and killing of two terrorists on the run… The IDF nabbed and killed Ashraf Suleiman Na’alwa, 23, responsible for the Barkan terror attack in October, and Saleh Omar Barghouti, 29, responsible for the Ofra terror attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the IDF and the Shin…lauding their “impressive actions which lead to the identification and liquidation of the Barkan and Ofra terrorists.”

Canadian Michael Spavor detained in China as Huawei row continues
A second Canadian has been detained in China on accusations of harming national security, as tension continues between the two countries. It was confirmed on Thursday that Michael Spavor, a businessman, had been detained in addition to former diplomat Michael Kovrig. Canada drew Chinese protests after it arrested an executive at telecoms giant Huawei at the request of the US.

North and South Korea soldiers cross DMZ in peace
North and South Korean soldiers have made several friendly crossings into each other’s territory for the first time since the countries were divided. The men were checking the dismantling of guard posts in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) along the border as part of the two sides’ recent rapprochement. Footage showed the soldiers shaking hands at the border before crossing.

Hungary ‘slave labour’ law sparks protest on parliament steps
Protests have broken out in Hungary after the country’s parliament passed new labour laws, which have been labelled “slave labour” by opponents. New rules mean companies can demand up to 400 hours of overtime a year and delay payment for it for three years. Police used tear gas against crowds on the steps of the parliament building on Wednesday night as crowds gathered.

AP Exclusive: Iran hackers hunt nuclear workers, US targets
As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials tasked with enforcing them… The AP drew on data gathered by the London-based cybersecurity group Certfa to track how a hacking group often nicknamed Charming Kitten spent the past month trying to break into the private emails of more than a dozen U.S. Treasury officials.

Temple Mount activists celebrate new altar, but plea to ‘practice animal sacrifice’ rejected
Activists who want the ancient Temple rebuilt thus had to slaughter the sheep elsewhere. ‘What we still have to do is awaken the people,’ says one activist

Church of England to offer baptism-style services to transgender people to celebrate their new identity for first time
The Church of England has encouraged its clergy to create baptism-style ceremonies for transgender people to welcome them into the Anglican faith.

‘Deadpool’ ignites holy war over famous Jesus painting
“Thou shalt not steal” is one of the Ten Commandments. But the latest incarnation of the “Deadpool” film franchise has sparked a holy war of sorts, as the movie poster for the Ryan Reynolds action flick appears to have at least borrowed heavily from a famous depiction of Jesus.

Lauren Daigle Put on the Spot: We Should All Be Prepared for This Question
When yet another Christian celebrity fails to give a straight answer on a hot-button moral issue, it reveals a deeper problem.

FBI Documents Show Evidence of Homemade Child Pornography in Clinton Emails
We have all been told that Anthony Weiner was in prison for sending inappropriate texts to a minor. That’s what everyone from the media to our own politicians have stated but that’s not what FBI documents say. While being vague about the details, they stated he Produced CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.

CNN Wants You to Eat Bugs to Save the Planet
The world has found itself in a “mammoth environmental crisis,” and we will all have to dramatically alter our diets to reduce our impact on the Earth, CNN argues in a story advocating replacing beef consumption with bug consumption.

Iran threatens Trump and the United States with BOMBS and TERRORISM, as sanctions are crippling their country
IRAN’s firebrand president has warned the West will be flooded with “a deluge of drugs, asylum seekers, bombs and terrorism” due to Donald Trump’s sanctions against Tehran.

Cardinal George Pell, The Vatican’s Third Most Powerful Official, Convicted In Australia Of Sexually Molesting Young Choir Boys
As the pedophilia sex scandals in the Catholic Church continue to come to light, you will take note that it’s not just the priests anymore. Now it’s bishops, cardinals, and could it possibly be a pope as well? One can only speculate, but the conviction of the Vatican’s third most powerful official does not bode well for Pope Francis.

University of London Students Demand Comedians Sign ‘Safe Space’ Contract Before Performance
Students at the University of London in London, England, are demanding that comedians sign a “behavioral agreement” form in order to ensure that their event in January will be a “safe space” for everyone in attendance.

Italy’s far-right government forces Islamic migrants to leave shelters ahead of Christmas
Migrants in Italy, including trafficking victims and children, are being expelled from shelters in the run-up to Christmas under a new law brought in by the country’s far-right government.

Google Is the Enemy of Humanity and Needs to Resisted At All Costs
…Google has moved passed Monsanto (ie Monsatan) as the most evil corporation in the world. Google is an active participant in Chinese genocide against their conservative social class with the installation of the Google-created Chinese Social Credit System that sends average citizens to prison and ultimately their demise for expressed populist opinions as detected by the Google technology.

Strasbourg gunman cried ‘Allahu Akbar’ during attack, says prosecutor
The gunman who carried out a mass shooting in Strasbourg cried the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Greatest”) as he opened fire, France’s anti-terror prosecutor Remy Heitz told a news conference Wednesday, citing witnesses.

Pedophile Priest Claims ‘The Devil’ Made Him Abuse Children
A pedophile priest accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in his car has claimed that thought “the child was older,” and the “devil forced him” into committing the crime.

Lawsuit Against Santa Barbara School District Over ‘Unconscious Bias’ Curriculum
Los Angeles attorney Eric Early, working with a group of Santa Barbara parents and teachers over anti-Caucasian, anti-male, anti-Christian and ‘Unconscious Bias’ curriculum, filed a complaint Monday evening in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of Fair Education Santa Barbara against the Santa Barbara Unified School District and JUST Communities Central Coast.


Mid-Day Snapshot

THE FOUNDATION

“During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare.” —Thomas Jefferson (1805)

Trump’s Campaign Finance Problems

DOJ announces agreement with National Inquirer to admit that it paid hush money to protect Trump.

Hypocrisy Illustrated: Ford Presents #MeToo Award

Sports Illustrated chose Christine Ford to present an award about courage after assault.

New Jersey Turns Law-Abiding Citizens Into Felons

A new Garden State law makes felons of formerly law-abiding gun owners.

Another Known Wolf

Cherif Chekatt attacked a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg Tuesday night. He killed three people and wounded 13 more.

Trump EPA Rolls Back Another Obama Power Grab

Navigable waters is now clearly defined so as not to be Obama’s overly broad power grab.

Climatologist Rebuts Rising Sea Level Narrative

Not that you’ll hear about it from the press, which is preoccupied with alarm.

Video: Trump’s White House Clash With Pelosi, Schumer

Scott Ott leads Bill Whittle and Stephen Green in a game of their own.

The Mueller/Comey/Clinton Collusion to Take Down Trump

The claim of campaign-finance violations will fuel the Democrats’ relentless hounding of Trump over the next two years, as it fits with their “stolen election” narrative and is fodder for faux impeachment charges.

Thursday Short Cuts

Non Compos Mentis: “It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president.” —Matthew Yglesias

Thursday Top Headlines

Cohen to prison, farm bill approved, Pelosi speaker deal, earmarks revival, Theresa May survives, and more.

TODAY’S OPINION

HANS VON SPAKOVSKY
Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws, and Neither Did the President
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
Comey Continues to Display His Lack of Credibility
JEFF JACOBY
America Needs More Immigrants and Less Welfare
EDWIN J. FEULNER
Ending the Electric-Car Subsidy
VERONIQUE DE RUGY
Will Uprisings Thwart Green Central Planners?

TODAY’S MEME


TODAY’S CARTOON


Headlines – 12/13/2018

Two police officers wounded in Old City stabbing attack

Two Israelis killed, two seriously wounded in shooting near Ramallah

Two car-ramming attempts reported in West Bank; one suspected attacker shot dead

After two-month manhunt, IDF finds and kills terrorist who killed two in Barkan

Hamas says killing of Barkan terrorist ‘proves resistance still exists in West Bank’

Israel arrests 4 suspects in Ofra terror attack; fifth is killed trying to flee

Hamas claims deadly Ofra terror attack after Israel kills suspected shooter

Baby dies after emergency delivery following Ofra terror attack

Hundreds mourn as baby boy born after mother shot in terror attack is buried

Palestinians offer new details of IDF Gaza special ops raid that went awry

Palestinians to protest to Security Council over ads calling for death of Abbas

US rebukes ‘unacceptable’ West Bank posters urging Abbas’s assassination

Netanyahu: Israel prevented dozens of aviation related attacks

IDF official: ‘army is ready for war’

Australian PM quashes talk of imminently recognizing Jerusalem as capital

Marc Lamont Hill keeps job after call to ‘free Palestine from river to sea’

Netanyahu justifies tacit support for Saudi Arabia despite ‘horrific’ Khashoggi murder

Netanyahu on Khashoggi Murder: Destabilizing Saudi Arabia Would Destabilize the World

Saudi Arabia announces to form entity of countries along Red Sea, Gulf of Aden

5 Democrats Bail Out Paul Ryan And Protect Saudi Arabia

Top FBI official warns of strategic threat from China through economic and other forms of espionage

FBI Says Chinese Espionage Poses ‘Most Severe’ Threat to American Security

FBI: China threatens ‘the future of the world’

‘Amazed’ at lack of concern over ‘grave’ threats from China: FBI official

Chinese state hackers reportedly responsible for data breach affecting 500 million customers at Marriott, the US government’s biggest hotel provider

China-based oil co. settles alleged Iran sanctions violations, US says

Second Canadian feared detained in China amid rising tensions

Netanyahu says Israel would hit Iran to ensure its own survival

UN: Missile launchers found in Yemen appear to be from Iran

Alone at UN, Pompeo blasts Iran nuclear deal, but searches for common ground on missile threat

Pompeo at UN says Iran stocking up on ballistic missiles

U.S. Pushes UN Security Council to Ban Iran’s Ballistic Missile Production

UN chief urges Iran to address missile worries

Russian envoy knocks UN policy on Iran

Israel says ‘understandings’ with Russia reached over Syria

On the Syria-Iraq Border, Iran-backed Militia Eyes U.S. Troops

Syria war: ‘Seven mass graves found’ in former IS stronghold

Turkey primed to start offensive against US-backed Kurds in Syria

Pentagon: Offensive against Kurds in Syria ‘unacceptable’

Syria Democratic Forces escalate attacks to expel ISIS from Syria’s Hajin

U.S. Downplays Reports of Surge in ISIS Activity

The U.S. has more military operations in Africa than the Middle East

Egypt Says 27 Militants Killed in Sinai, Border With Libya

Yemen’s Warring Sides Shake Hands On Deal To Swap Thousands Of Prisoners

Haley: Russia making it ‘impossible’ to have relationship with US

Stasi ID card belonging to Putin found in East German secret police archives

The Koreas take historic steps in de-escalation as Trump silently seethes in Washington

Gunman from Christmas market attack in France still at large

Strasbourg Terror Suspect Yelled ‘Allahu Akbar’ During Attack, Has 27 Prior Criminal Convictions

France shooting suspect Cherif Chekatt was radicalized while in jail: officials

ISIS Group That Threatened Bioattacks Vows Holiday ‘Era of Surprises’ After Strasbourg

France tax protests often feature anti-Semitic rhetoric

Trump cites French terrorist attack as he pleads for funding for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall

Migrant groups march to U.S. consulate in Tijuana demanding reparations

Migrant group demands Trump either let them in or pay them each $50G to turn around: report

Venezuela’s Maduro: US leads assassination plot against him

Under Trump, the U.S. debt grew by the size of the Brazilian economy in just two years

Most CFOs see a U.S. recession coming by 2020

UK’s May survives no-confidence vote, but Brexit troubles still brew

Former Trump fixer Cohen jailed for 3 years over hush money, lying to Congress

Michael Cohen gets 3 years, says Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’ led him to ‘choose darkness’

Pelosi’s Team Under Rising Pressure to Pursue Trump Impeachment

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Not Banning Those Who Violate ‘Our Morality’ ‘Is a Sin’

California to consider tax on text messaging to support phone accessibility for the poor

Taylor Swift tracked stalkers with facial recognition tech at her concert

6.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

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

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tadine, New Caledonia

Magnitude 4.4 earthquake jolts Tennessee; felt in Atlanta

East Tennessee jolted by strongest earthquake to hit area in 45 years

How likely is an earthquake in the Midwest, South? The Big One could be coming

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft

Scientists think this exotic fish hitchhiked from Japan to California in tsunami debris

Al Gore Says President Trump’s Climate Change Stance Could Be a ‘Perverse Step Forward’

This Killer Opioid Could Become a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Tennessee U.S. Rep.-elect Mark Green alleges vaccines may cause autism, questions CDC data

Abortion opponents are starting to worry Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh isn’t the ally they were expecting

Susan Collins feels “vindication” as Supreme Court’s Brett Kavanaugh sides with Planned Parenthood

Israeli High Court to state: Register gay adoptive parents on birth certificate

Congress reaches deal ending taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements

Boy Scouts of America Considers Bankruptcy Filing Amid Sex-Abuse Lawsuits

American University Students and Staff Call for Minority-Only ‘Spaces’ on Campus to Promote Inclusion


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Daniel Mann – What Happens When We Lose Interest in Truth and the Christian World View

Mark Driscoll is Using Theophilus to Scam for Money

The Master’s Seminary and the big Christian accreditation scandal no one is talking about

Church of England introduces baptism-style ceremony for gender ‘transitions’

Pastor charged for murder of transgender woman

Church youth leader charged for sexual relations with teen boy

Ex-minister stole $800K from Houston megachurch; church explains silence


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J. Warner Wallace: different answers to the question “why are you a Christian?”

WINTERY KNIGHT

This assault rifle is OK, but apologetics is better LAPD homicide detective Jim Wallace examining an assault rifle

I sometimes think about the horrible experiences I had encountering “normal” Christians in American churches after having become a Christian on my own through reading the New Testament, reading apologetics, and watching William Lane Craig debates. I heard a lot of different reasons to be a Christian from the church Christians, and what struck me was 1) their reasons had nothing to do with objective truth, and 2) their reasons hadn’t prepared them to have serious conversations about Christianity with non-Christians.

Well, J. Warner Wallace recently posted an episode of his podcast about this, and I thought that this might be useful to people who (like me) were confused by what they found in the church.

Here is the video:

And he has a blog post about it, where he explains all the responses to the question “why are you…

View original post 952 more words

December 13 Elements of Christ’s Exaltation

“God highly exalted Him.”

Philippians 2:9

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Christ followed the path to glory so that we could follow Him.

Because Christ humbled Himself, the Father wonderfully exalted Him. His exaltation includes the elements of both His resurrection and His coronation—His exaltation to the right hand of God. The apostle Peter said Jesus was “raised up again” and “exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:32–33). Peter and the other apostles preached, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus…. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (5:30–31). Thus, the New Testament affirms both the resurrection and coronation of Christ (see also Eph. 1:20), as well as the forgiveness of sins that comes with Christ’s intercession for His people.

Paul described Christ’s coronation as placing Him “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come” (v. 21). The final element is described in Hebrews 4:14: “We have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” That alludes to the ascension of Christ. He “always lives to make intercession for [believers]” (7:25).

Christ’s exaltation was thus fourfold: resurrection, ascension, coronation, and intercession. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Then He was seated on the throne of God to intercede as High Priest of His people.

As a believer, you will follow Christ in His exaltation. You will rise from the grave and ascend to Heaven. There you will experience coronation, for you will sit with Christ on His throne. You will no longer need our Lord’s intercessory ministry, for the work of transformation will be complete.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Thank Christ for establishing the path to glory so you can follow after Him.

For Further Study: Meditate on Revelation 22:1–5. What in this passage helps you think about your future glory?[1]


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

December 13 Daily Help

God says to you, “Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Believer grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus say, “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” Think you see him walking on the waters of thy trouble, for he is there, and he is saying, “Fear not, it is I; be not afraid.” Oh, those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Ghost make you feel them as spoken to you; forget others for a while—accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, “Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under his shadow with great delight.”[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 351). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

Why Every Christian (Ultimately) Believes in Election — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

The idea that God chooses or “elects” people is taught in many Scriptures (Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1:4; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2). People struggle with this concept. Doesn’t that make the whole thing unfair? Isn’t it unjust to choose people for salvation? Surely salvation is then all a stacked-deck, with people nothing more than robots, with no freedom of choice. With these doubts, some people throw out the idea of election altogether, saying it is unbiblical. “God could not love everyone and only choose some”, they say. Some even claim that election is a doctrine invented by faulty humanistic reason, attempting to apply logic to what cannot be understood by reason, resulting in absurd claims. One such claim suggests it was Renaissance humanism that created the doctrine of election. (I don’t know what such people would say about the strongly predestinarian Essenes, who pre-dated the Renaissance by at least 1500 years.) But election is not an abstruse conclusion derived from convoluted rabbinic reasoning. Election is stated in Scripture in unambiguous, straightforward language. God chose people for salvation.

As much as that statement elicits vehement denials, election is actually implicitly believed by all Christians, and explicitly believed by some. Often people who reject the idea of God’s choosing simply haven’t thought about what they presently believe. In almost every case, they already believe in election, without realising it. For example, try answering these three yes/no questions.

1) Does everyone get saved?
2) Do you believe God is in control of His universe?
3) Could God have created a universe which everyone was saved?

If you answered no to the first, and yes to the last two questions, then you already believe in election, though you may think you do not.

Read more: Why Every Christian (Ultimately) Believes in Election — Religious Affections Ministries: Conservative Christianity, Worship, Culture, Aesthetics, Classical Education, Homeschooling, Family

Boards to Endorse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as “Basic Human Rights” in Exchange for Religious Freedom — Pulpit & Pen

[World Magazine] Two major evangelical organizations have formally endorsed principles that would add sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) to federal nondiscrimination law.

The boards of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) quietly passed similar motions in recent months, advancing a multiyear effort they say is necessary to preserve religious freedom.

“As Christian higher educators, we are increasingly persuaded that the most viable political strategy is for comprehensive religious freedom protections to be combined with explicit support for basic human rights for members of the LGBT community,” Houghton College President Shirley Mullen—one of several people who sit on both boards—wrote in a position paper provided to NAE board members.

CCCU President Shirley Hoogstra announced her board’s vote to member presidents in August, but did not publicly announce the move.

The NAE motion—obtained by WORLD—unanimously passed in October. It’s titled “Fairness for All” and calls on Congress to consider federal legislation consistent with three principles:

• We believe that God created human beings in his image as male or female and that sexual relations be reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman.
• We support long-standing civil rights laws and First Amendment guarantees that protect free religious exercise.
• No one should face violence, harassment, or unjust discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

“Fairness for All” is a concept based on the “Utah Compromise”—a SOGI law with religious exemptions. The 2015 legislation remains the only statewide SOGI law enacted over the last seven years.

Boards to Endorse Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as “Basic Human Rights” in Exchange for Religious Freedom — Pulpit & Pen

December 13 Worship of Distinction

“When He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, ‘And let all the angels of God worship Him’” (Heb. 1:6).

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Jesus Christ is greater than angels because He is worshiped.

Even though Jesus Christ humbled Himself and was made lower than the angels for a time, angels are still to worship Him. Since angels are to worship Him, Christ must be greater than them.

Angels have always worshiped Christ—as God. It wasn’t until His incarnation that angels were commanded to worship Him as God’s Son. It is a sin to worship anyone or anything but God. In fact, note how sternly the Apostle John was rebuked for worshiping angels (Rev. 19:10; 22:8–9). The very fact that angels are to worship Christ verifies that Christ is indeed God.

At present, the angels don’t fully understand the entire picture of God’s redemptive plan. Peter tells us that the prophets didn’t understand all that they wrote, “seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow” (1 Peter 1:11). Then he added, “… things into which angels long to look” (v. 12). They are still trying to figure out things they don’t understand.

But that won’t always be the case. Notice that Hebrews 1:6 says, “When He again brings the first-born into the world . . .” (emphasis added). God already brought Christ into the world once; at the Second Coming He will bring Him into the world in blazing glory. Then the fullness of the prophecy of Psalm 97:7, quoted in Hebrews 1:6, will come to pass: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

In His Second Coming Christ will be revealed in full glory as the Son. More than ever we will have reason to join the heavenly chorus in declaring, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12).

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for His wonderful plan of salvation. Ask Him to make it more real to you every day.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 5:1–12, and note the reactions of the angels to the Lamb of God. What specific event motivated their response?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 360). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.