Daily Archives: December 21, 2018


I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

—Psalm 77:6

Both the Bible and the testimony of a thousand saints show that there is experience beyond song. There are delights which the heart may enjoy in the awesome presence of God which cannot find expression in language; they belong to the unutterable element in Christian experience. Not many enjoy them because not many know that they can. The whole concept of ineffable worship has been lost to this generation of Christians. Our level of life is so low that no one expects to know the deep things of the soul until the Lord returns. So we are content to wait, and while we wait we are wont to cheer our hearts sometimes by breaking into song….

The Bible is a musical book and, next to the Scriptures themselves, the best book to own is a good hymnbook. But still there is something beyond song….

Where the Holy Spirit is permitted to exercise His full sway in a redeemed heart the progression is likely to be as follows: First, voluble praise, in prose speech or prayer or witness; then, when the crescendo rises beyond the ability of studied speech to express, comes song; when song breaks down under the weight of glory, then comes silence where the soul, held in deep fascination, feels itself blessed with an unutterable beatitude. ROR168-169

Lord, as I “commune with mine own heart” (Psalm 77:6), let me in that silence find that something which is beyond song. I worship You now in the stillness. Amen. [1]

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

Weekly Watchman for 12/21/2018

Addressing Misinformation, Plus Q&A Friday

It’s been quite a ride this week since the news broke of our victory in court as we challenged a De Pere city “non-discrimination” ordinance. Many of you have weighed in with both praise as well as some criticism. Today, Mike addresses your comments and questions over the last couple weeks.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Let Earth Receive Her King, Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

Many of us began preparing for Christmas and the five ‘F’s a month ago: festivities, family, food, fellowship, and fun. It’s easy to forget one of the most important aspects of the season: forgiveness – and renewed hope. Christmas is the celebration of an actual historical event that forever changed the world, as the God who […]

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Standing Up to Bullying and Intimidation

Rarely does outright persecution just happen out of the blue. It usually seeps in gradually, starting with free people not being diligent and thinking the persecution of another individual or institution is none of their concern. Once the proponents of persecution see that we lack the courage to stand up for others they naturally assume we will lack the backbone to stand up for ourselves, and they begin to pick away at our freedoms, breaking down our resistance.

In every institution in our nation we are seeing Bible-believing Christians marginalized and attacked. From education to media to government itself, witnessed by the unconstitutional ordinance the City of De Pere tried to impose on local churches, the enemy is testing our will and commitment to God. Sadly, as I personally witnessed here in De Pere, there are some churches that decide to sit the battle out letting the other 5 brave churches who stood with us do all the fighting. This morning, we look at the expanding attack against the religious freedoms and conscience of Christians in America.

In our first segment, we are joined by Laurie Stewart, President of “Women in Apologetics”. We look at the crucial role Christian women play in teaching other women and our children correct biblical apologetics.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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When Human Emotions Are Held Higher Than God’s Word

Our human emotions are based on circumstances, prejudices, and programming. The heart is sick and emotions can lie to us. But God never changes and is incapable of lying. So when our human emotions conflict with God’s Word it is clear that the truly born-again believer should trust in God’s Word no matter what the world is trying to sell us. But the exact opposite is happening in our society and even in a growing number of churches. Logic and rational thought based on God’s Word is being replaced with humanistic ideals and emotional over-reactions to important issues.

John Loeffler of Steel on Steel Radio joins us for a discussion on the dangers to the church and our nation when irrational emotion becomes the bellwether for right and wrong instead of God’s Word.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Increasing Persecution of Christians in India and Beyond

Elijah Abraham, a former Muslim and now born-again believer in Jesus Christ, travels around the world teaching and equipping pastors and Christians where persecution is a daily occurrence.  Many of them risk their lives, traveling many hours to join other believers in Christian fellowship.

Elijah just returned from India, a Hindu nation where the government might say they allow people to worship freely, but persecution and the murder of Christians is accelerating rapidly. Elijah joins us to talk about the plight of Christians in India, and also share his thoughts on how prepared Christians in America are if we face similar persecution in the coming years.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Christmas Comes Early for Churches as Court Strikes Down Restrictive Ordinance

Here is the statement from Pacific Justice Institute.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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A Victory for Religious Freedom

On December 14, 2018, the Court strongly reiterated that Wisconsin Law provides strong protections from a church or non-profit religious organization being considered a “place of public accommodation”. This was a crucial ruling for several reasons.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The Dr. Duke Show, Religious Freedom, and Radicals in Academia

Dr Duke Show hosts, Duke Pesta and Katie Petrick of Freedom Project join us today for some almost unbelievable education updates. You’re not going to believe what is actually happening on college campuses and in public school classrooms in America. Some in the LGBTQ community are now openly admitting their goal is to “groom young children.” Their agenda has moved on from diversity to inclusion. We discuss what they mean by “inclusion.”

We look at recent news stories showing how government-run education is repressing Christian thought and expression.

We also explain the good news from Friday that a judge struck down De Pere’s extremely broad, non-discrimination ordinance. Judge William Atkinsion upheld our challenge and struck down the ordinance calling it unconstitutional, ruling in favor of Christian ministries and religious freedom.

So praise God! Our legal challenge to the City of De Pere’s “non-discrimination” ordinance was successful.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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This ‘n’ That for December 21, 2018 — Do Not Be Surprised…

  • I love this article. I admit, I get a little (okay, maybe more than a little) annoyed at the self-righteous folks who like to lambast Mary, Did You Know? every single Christmas season. This article puts the song in perspective, and teaches us how to use the good sense God hopefully gave us.
  • Why do we expect Christmas to be perfect every year? This article has some interesting thoughts to bring us back to reality.
  • I can’t imagine not attending church on Christmas Eve, and am astounded at how many churches don’t gather together to worship and celebrate at this time.
  • Here’s a great perspective on the importance of vaccinating your children.
  • What are kisses without tips? Yeah, now I have you wondering, don’t I?
  • Looking for a good book to close out 2018 or start 2019? Here are some recommendations.
  • Here’s your Christmas dose of adorable.
  • This is hilarious because it’s true, but it also makes you wonder why we give so much credibility to those TED talkers.
  • Yep, we really do have plenty of time to read our Bibles!
  • One of my favorite Christmas carols.
What God did when He sent His Son into the world is an absolute guarantee that He will do everything He has promised to do. —Martyn Lloyd Jones

via This ‘n’ That — Do Not Be Surprised…

12/21/2018 — Wretched


•Has Christmas been hijacked?
•John MacArthur shares the real meaning of Christmas
•How do I interact with family living in sin?
•What do I do when my marriage fizzles?
•A bad sermon illustration about being trapped under a back-ho
•Should we force retailers to say “Merry Christmas”?

Download Now (right click and save)

via 12/21/2018 — Wretched

December 21 Christ’s Virgin Birth

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:18

The virgin birth is an underlying assumption in everything the Bible says about Jesus. To throw out the virgin birth is to reject Christ’s deity, the accuracy and authority of Scripture, and a host of other related doctrines that are the heart of the Christian faith. No issue is more important than the virgin birth to our understanding of who Jesus is. If we deny that Jesus is God, we have denied the very essence of Christianity. Everything else the Bible teaches about Christ hinges on the truth we celebrate at Christmas—that Jesus is God in human flesh. If the story of His birth is merely a fabricated or trumped–up legend, then so is the rest of what Scripture tells us about Him. The virgin birth is as crucial as the resurrection in substantiating His deity. It is not an optional truth. Anyone who rejects Christ’s deity rejects Christ absolutely—even if he pretends otherwise (see 1 John 4:1–3).[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 382). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

RenewAmerica Newsletter for December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Under pressure from conservatives, President Trump said Thursday he would veto a stopgap spending bill unless Congress added money for his border wall – – dooming a bipartisan compromise worked on in the Senate, and putting the government careening toward a partial shutdown…. (more)

December 20, 2018
CNBC — President Donald Trump will not sign a Senate-passed spending bill, increasing the chances of a partial government shutdown. The Senate unanimously approved the legislation Wednesday night to keep the government funded through Feb. 8. With Trump’s support, it appeared set to breeze through the House before the midnight Friday deadline to fund seven agencies that make up about a quarter of the government…. (more)

December 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Republicans backed down in their border security fight Wednesday and settled instead for a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running through early February, avoiding a government shutdown and leaving the big fights for the new Congress…. (more)

December 20, 2018
NEWSMAX — An Iraq War veteran who lost three of his limbs is trying to raise money for President Donald Trump’s border wall – – and the effort has taken in nearly $5 million. The GoFundMe page went live this week and, as of midday Thursday, had raised $4.8 million toward its goal of $1 billion…. (more)

December 20, 2018
BYRON YORK — The sentencing of former Trump White House national security adviser Michael Flynn on a single charge of lying to the FBI turned into a dramatic scene in a Washington, D.C., courthouse Tuesday. Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan excoriated Flynn for what is called uncharged conduct – – that is, for crimes that Flynn has not been formally accused of committing…. (more)

December 20, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — Students at Pierce College will be able to pass out copies of the U.S. Constitution without conditions after two years of legal wrangling. The California school’s “free speech” zone the size of a few parking spaces, which hindered student Kevin Shaw in 2016, will no longer be an issue. The Los Angeles Community College District settled the lawsuit and will abolish the policy that prevented him from passing out Spanish-language copies of the document…. (more)

December 20, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The abortion debate in America could learn a lot from Italy, a country whose abortion rate has been steadily declining because doctors are simply refusing to do them. PRI reports that even though abortion was legalized in Italy 40 years ago, access to abortion has been declining, as has the number of abortions, because so many doctors are simply objecting to the procedure…. (more)

December 19, 2018
NEWSMAX — The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will be a “beautiful” structure made of “artistically designed steel slats” you can see through, President Donald Trump said Tuesday. “The Democrats, are saying loud and clear that they do not want to build a Concrete Wall – – but we are not building a Concrete Wall, we are building artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it,” Trump tweeted…. (more)

December 19, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump has asked all Cabinet agencies to find extra money that could be used to build his border wall, the White House said Tuesday. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr. Trump has asked all federal agencies “to look and see if they have money that can be used for that purpose.” “We’re looking at every possible avenue available to us,” she said…. (more)

December 19, 2018
NEWSMAX — Thirty-four percent of Republicans say they would contribute money to help pay for President Donald Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a poll conducted by conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports…. (more)

December 18, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Senate on Tuesday approved the most sweeping prison reform bill in years, voting to cut sentences of tens of thousands of inmates while also boosting access to programs designed to keep them from ending up back behind bars again. The measure cleared on an 87-12 vote, and marks a major bipartisan victory for President Trump, who had pressured GOP leaders to pass it this year, before lawmakers closed down Congress…. (more)

December 18, 2018
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — The Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008 to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner…. (more)

December 18, 2018
Owners told to destroy their property or face prison terms up to 10 years
WORLDNETDAILY — It took only hours for a lawsuit to be filed after the federal government on Tuesday announced a ban on gun bump stocks. The complaint by the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Firearms Policy Foundation, the Madison Society Foundation and others targets a final rule published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…. (more)

December 18, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — They are holding hands, beaming with smiles, gazing steadily into the camera and situated among gorgeous Christmas trees in the Cross Hall of the White House. The first couple look happy, and in good spirits. The White House has released the official Christmas portrait of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who wears a stunning white dress. The photo was taken during a Congressional party on Saturday evening and drew considerable media coverage…. (more)

December 18, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — The timeline that fired FBI Director James Comey provided to lawmakers on who funded the anti-Trump dossier conflicts with court filings and congressional testimony. Mr. Comey, in House testimony for which a transcript was released Tuesday, maintained that Republicans first financed the dossier, then the Democrats…. (more)

December 18, 2018
NEWSMAX — Multiple tech companies had access to Facebook users’ data in recent years, a revelation uncovered by The New York Times. The Times published a detailed report about the practice Tuesday night, which gave companies like Netflix, Microsoft, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon, and others access to users’ data, friend lists, and in some cases even private messages…. (more)

December 18, 2018
ALAN KEYES — According to the report I read in the Washington Times, after speaking by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump, Mexican President Lopez Obrador tweeted, “In respectful and friendly terms, we spoke about the migration issue and the possibility of implementing a joint program of development and job creation in Central America and our country.” If accurate, the new Mexican president’s sense of their conversation may be a hopeful sign for both countries…. (more)

December 17, 2018
CLIFF KINCAID — Some of President Trump’s biggest supporters on the Religious Right are now facing humiliation over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recent ruling in favor of Planned Parenthood. Kavanaugh, Trump’s second nominee to the court, joined with Chief Justice John Roberts and the liberal justices to declare that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, had a constitutional right to taxpayer money…. (more)

December 17, 2018
THE HILL — White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on Sunday predicted that the Affordable Care Act will ultimately be struck down by the Supreme Court. “I believe that’s the likeliest outcome, because ObamaCare has always been unconstitutional,” Miller said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Miller’s prediction came after a federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional…. (more)

December 17, 2018
WASHINGTON TIMES — A federal judge’s ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional has landed like a stink bomb among Republicans, who’ve seen the politics of health care flip as Americans increasingly value the overhaul’s core parts, including protections for pre-existing medical conditions and Medicaid for more low-income people…. (more)

December 17, 2018
DAILY SIGNAL — A judge has declared Obamacare unconstitutional – -but the case is far from over. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, granted a motion for summary judgment Friday in favor of 20 states led by Texas that had filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act…. (more)

December 17, 2018
CHERYL K. CHUMLEY — A new video from the American Association of Evangelicals reveals how George Soros, through his many funding ventures, has been busily infiltrating the Christian base in America to divide, and ultimately conquer, the religious minded within the Republican Party. Truly, with the left, political wars know no bounds. Nothing’s sacred; not when it comes to the leftists’ drive to succeed…. (more)

December 17, 2018
ROBERT KNIGHT — Ross Douthat, a columnist for The New York Times, says the culture war in America may not be so much about secularism or atheism replacing Christianity but the rise of an old Christian foe – – paganism. This ancient religion differs from atheism in that it allows for a spiritual dimension to life and creation, but not an omnipotent, benevolent God. The power is in the creation itself, which is why so many New Age adherents find divinity when they look at a sunset, a flower, or in some cases, their own mirror image…. (more)

December 17, 2018
YAHOO NEWS — Fewer than half the residents of Salt Lake County belong to the Mormon church, according to new figures that illustrate how Utah’s largest county is becoming more religiously diverse…. (more)

December 17, 2018
NATIONAL REVIEW — I pictured her arriving on a skateboard, midriff bare, singing a Katy Perry tune. I pictured twerking. Instead, Mary Poppins Returns is a seamless continuation of the story, free of all modern rubbish and defiantly lacking in edge…. (more)


December 21, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump on Friday threatened a “very long” government shutdown just hours ahead of a midnight deadline, calling on the Senate to pass spending legislation that includes his $5 billion demand for border wall funding and seeking to shift blame for a holiday showdown to Democrats.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday added $5 billion to a government spending bill to help President Donald Trump make good on a pledge to build a border wall, a move that made a partial federal government shutdown more likely this weekend.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was quitting on Thursday after falling out with President Donald Trump over his foreign policies, including surprise decisions to yank troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan.

London’s Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travelers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

The United States and three allies chastised China for economic espionage on Thursday, ratcheting up tensions as U.S. prosecutors indicted two Chinese nationals linked to a spy agency on charges of stealing confidential data from American government agencies and businesses around the world.

Sudanese police fired tear gas at dozens of demonstrators on Friday in the cities of Omdurman and Atbara, witnesses said, where people gathered in a third day of protests driven by price rises and a nationwide cash shortage.

Cargill, Bunge and other global traders have halted food supply deals with Iran because new U.S. sanctions have paralyzed banking systems required to secure payments, industry and Iranian government sources said.

A simple wreath-laying and prayer service in Lockerbie on Friday marked 30 years since a jumbo jet (Pan Am flight 103) was blown up over the small Scottish town, killing 270 people. It is the deadliest ever militant attack in Britain.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday decreed a 22 percent rise in the minimum wage, the biggest in four decades, and a move that could strengthen his grip on power but defies warnings that it could worsen unemployment.

U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in November as households bought motor vehicles and spent more on utilities, but wage growth remained moderate suggesting the current pace of consumption was unlikely to be sustained.

AP Top Stories

President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said on Thursday, in the latest sign Trump’s patience is thinning with America’s longest war and overseas military interventions.

Denmark’s ruling coalition has approved a controversial plan to put some 125 “unwanted” migrants on Lindholm, an uninhabited island, sparking outrage at home and abroad.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad raised doubts Thursday about the Taliban’s desire to end the 17-year war, after the militants refused to meet with a Kabul-backed negotiating team.

President Donald Trump is “right” to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is on course to post a higher deficit and lower economic growth than budgeted, due to a renewed fall in oil prices, economic experts said.

A congressional report on prescription pill dumping in West Virginia blames U.S. prescription drug distributors and the Drug Enforcement Administration for not doing enough to help mitigate the nation’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

Pakistan on Thursday defended its close ally China against a growing outcry over Muslims who are being detained by Chinese authorities, saying the issue was being “sensationalized” by foreign media.


Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is to go on trial for corruption, a federal court has ruled. She is accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes over a 12-year period in what has become known as the “corruption notebooks” scandal.

The US justice department has indicted two Chinese men accused of hacking into the computer networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries. The pair are allegedly part of a “hacking group” known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10, affiliated with China’s main intelligence service.


With Democrats opposing President Trump’s request for $5 billion for a border wall, an Air Force veteran has stepped with a GoFundMe page. After only a couple of days, the fund established by Brian Kolfage has raised more than $11.5 million. The campaign, titled “We the People Will Fund the Wall,” aims to raise $1 billion to help fund the wall that became a major plank in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

A United States judge ordered a convicted sex trafficker to pay his teenage victim nearly half a million dollars-the largest sum ever decreed under the district’s trafficking restitution statute.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has stepped up a nationwide crackdown on Christians, raiding and detaining pastors and members of churches in several locations as urban authorities warn against public Christmas decorations and events.

Two school districts in Iowa will reportedly introduce mandatory classes about firearm safety into school curriculum starting next year. Students enrolled in both the 7th and 8th grade at schools in the North Butler and Clarksville districts will be required to take part in a mandatory hunter safety course taught by the Butler County Conservation Board, Radio Iowa reported on Thursday.

News – 12/21/2018

Putin warns of risk of nuclear war, talks up Russian economy in annual press conference
Putin warned that the risk of a catastrophic nuclear conflict should not be underestimated and criticized the United States for abandoning Cold War-era arms treaties, while casting his country’s economy in a positive light but calling for improvements. With the world “witnessing the collapse of the international system” of arms control there is a dangerous “tendency to underestimate” the risk of nuclear war,

Japanese fighters intercept Russian nuclear-capable strike attack aircraft
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Sukhoi Su-24 nuclear-capable strike attack aircraft on December 19, according to the Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD). The Su-24 conducted its aerial patrol over international waters in the Sea of Japan; Japanese airspace was reportedly not violated. The December 19 Russian intercept marked the first following a five-week hiatus. The last intercept of a Russian military plane by the JASDF took place last month when an Ilyushin Il-38 “Dolphin,”

‘On to the Senate’ — Donald Trump Celebrates House Victory for Border Security Funding Bill
President Donald Trump celebrated the passage of a government funding bill that included an additional $5.7 billion in border security funds. “Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall,” Trump wrote about the vote, in which House Republicans passed the bill with a 217-185 vote.

District of Columbia sues Facebook over privacy ‘failures’
Social media company ‘put users at risk of manipulation’. Now, the attorney general for the District of Columbia is suing the social media platform for “failing to honor its promise to protect its consumers’ personal data.” AG Karl Racine charged Facebook also “deceived” users “about who had access to their data and how it was used.”

‘Kill your foster parents’: Amazon’s Alexa talks murder, sex in AI experiment
a customer was shocked last year when Alexa blurted out: “Kill your foster parents.” Alexa has also chatted with users about sex acts. She gave a discourse on dog defecation. And this summer, a hack Amazon traced back to China may have exposed some customers’ data, according to five people familiar with the events.

PA: Arab journalists’ visit to Israel a sin
The PA on Thursday called for punishing the journalists for allegedly supporting Israel, and said that normalization was an “unacceptable and unjustified disgrace.” Such visits, the PA added, are a “political and national sin and an unacceptable crime.”

Weapons Experts: Iran Falsified Uranium Mine Claims
Nuclear-weapons experts who have reviewed the Iranian nuclear archive that Israel recovered from a Tehran warehouse concluded that Iran lied that a uranium mine was under control of its civilian atomic-energy agency, according to a paper published jointly by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Institute for Science and International Security on Wednesday.

Mexico Just Made a Big Change on Migrants
Mexico has agreed to a fundamental change on how it deals with migrants seeking asylum in the US. Instead of being allowed to cross into America, they will now be returned to Mexico to wait out the legal process, reports the AP.

Eichmann prosecutor: Eyewitness testimony from within the gas chambers
Because of the extraordinary circumstances, the survivor was an otherwise impossible-to-obtain eyewitness actually from within the Auschwitz gas chambers. The witness added that “a train had arrived with potatoes and there were not enough men to unload” them, so an SS guard suggested to “take some of the children before they are killed, to help unload the train, and kill them after.” He added that “they took 30 children out of the gas chambers and they unloaded the potatoes” while the other children were gassed to death.

Mystery disconnects and loop recordings plaguing Israeli-U.S. phone calls
In recent days, a growing number of people have been noticing a loop phenomenon where, during transatlantic calls, they hear recordings of people to whom they had been speaking. This occurs when they are not on the phone anymore. They receive the recorded voice of the person they were speaking to played back to them, even as they see on call waiting that the person is trying to call them back and were then cut off.

The Devil Is at Work in Opp, Alabama, Police Say

Michael Oren on Mattis resignation: Israel will fend for itself
Deputy Minister and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren responded to the resignation of US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Friday, “Today, as in the past, Israel will have to defend itself with its own forces in order to deal with the great threats in the north.” Oren added, “”Thank you very much Jim Mattis, the outgoing Secretary of Defense, for many years of service and commitment to Israeli security.

President Trump ‘to pull thousands of troops’ from Afghanistan
The Trump administration is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, US media say. Reports, citing unnamed officials, say about 7,000 troops – roughly half the remaining US military presence in the country – could go home within months. The reports come a day after the president announced the country’s military withdrawal from Syria.

US charges ‘China government hackers’
The US justice department has indicted two Chinese men accused of hacking into the computer networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries. The pair are allegedly part of a “hacking group” known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10, affiliated with China’s main intelligence service. They have not been arrested.

UN declines to condemn Hezbollah’s terror tunnels
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday failed to officially condemn Hezbollah’s terror tunnels stretching from Lebanon into northern Israel, despite hours of debate and censure from multiple countries. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said the information Israel provided to UNIFIL…had been passed to the Lebanese Army, which then passed it to Hezbollah that then attempted to conceal the tunnels on the Lebanese side.

Japan Inc exit from nuclear exports would leave field to Russia, China
The possible withdrawal of Japanese conglomerates from nuclear export projects in Britain and Turkey would leave the nuclear newbuild industry open to Russian and Chinese state-owned companies as Western private firms struggle to compete. Japanese media reported this month that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) (7011.T) was set to scrap the Sinop nuclear project in Turkey as cost estimates had nearly doubled to around 5 trillion yen ($44 billion).

Canada’s Supreme Court Rules That LGBT Rights Come Before Your Religious Beliefs
Canada’s top court has ruled in favour of denying accreditation to a Christian law school that banned students from having gay sex.

HERO: Donald Trump Signs Genocide Relief Act for Christians Being Slaughtered By Muslims
President Donald Trump signed a law on Tuesday combatting genocide of Christians in the Middle East, legislation supported by the Knights of Columbus and a broad array of faith-based organizations.

Sydney Weather: Damaging winds, heavy rain and giant hailstones hit city
After days of severe thunderstorm warnings from the weather bureau indicating the risk not just of large but “giant” hail, the heavens have delivered in an intense downpour on Thursday afternoon.

Alabama Police Department Takes Heat For Blaming Rising Murder Rates On Embracing Satan
A police department in rural Opp, Alabama, deleted its Tuesday Facebook post linking area homicides to young people who have “embraced Satan” after backlash spurred by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Planned Parenthood President: Abortion Is ‘Basic Human Right’
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen tweeted the logic she uses to arrive at the conclusion that abortion is a “basic human right.”

Shocking documents reveal FBI was collecting data on internet activist without a warrant
Recently uncovered documents now show that the FBI engaged in the warantless collection of data on Reddit co-founder and “hacktivist” Aaron Swartz — and then later used that information against him in a completely unrelated case at a later date.

Judge States ‘U.N. Rules’ Require Deported Migrants Be Flown Back into U.S
Back in 1980, the United States agreed to implement the United Nation’s rules on deported migrants, meaning those recently deported must be allowed to fly back into the US for another chance of winning asylum, according to a Democratic-appointed judge.

JW: Obama Admin Knew About Benghazi Before It Happened
Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance.

California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto announces resignation
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed Monday that its director, Jean Shiomoto, will retire after three decades with the department and a tumultuous final year.

DHS Secretary: From Now on Illegal Aliens Will Be Deported to Mexico
Testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced a new partnership between the United States and Mexico.

Catholic church may face over 500 more abuse allegations in Illinois than it admits, report says
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said there could be as many as 500 more clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in Illinois than the Catholic Church has admitted publicly, according to “preliminary” investigation findings released Wednesday.

UN appeals to the world to fund the “Palestinian” Authority’s “Pay for Slay” policy
The UN keeps outdoing itself in vile Jew-hatred. Meanwhile, Israel continues to innovate and invent solutions that make the world a better place and alleviate misery and hunger.

Civil War: Swedish Citizens Rise Up To Protest Globalism
Citizens across Sweden have begun rising up to protest globalism, in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of French protestors.

City Bans Christmas to Avoid ‘Spreading Christianity’
A city has banned all public celebrations of Christmas to avoid “spreading Christianity” and ordered the removal of all festive displays, decorations, and references from public view to keep the streets “clean.”

Soros Gave $1.35M to ‘Nonpartisan’ Watchdog Inundating Trump with Lawsuits
Liberal billionaire George Soros provided $1.35 million to a “nonpartisan” government watchdog organization last year that is hitting the Trump administration with a steady flow of complaints and lawsuits in an attempt to “damage” his presidency, according to tax filings provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Muslims in Europe Becoming Less Secular, More Radical
Professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, Felice Dassetto, has claimed the number of secular Muslims in Europe is in steep decline and more are becoming radicalised.

Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.” –George Washington (1790)

An Eternal Message of Hope From Apollo 8

A Christmas Eve broadcast of unity and peace for all people.

Shutdown: Organized Political Theater

The president doubles down on his demand for border-wall funding. Planned chaos.

U.S. Departs Syria, Mattis Departs Pentagon

One withdrawal created the Islamic State; the other was the result of defeating it.

The Right Prescription: Less Government

There are important deregulation efforts afoot that will help lower prescription-drug prices.

DHS: Asylum Seekers Must Remain in Mexico to Await Approval

Trump closes a gaping asylum loophole. How long will his sanity hold up in court?

Video: A Democrat Makes the Case Against Impeaching Trump

Twenty years ago, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said this about Bill Clinton.

Friday Short Cuts

The BIG Lie: “The president is doing everything that he can to shut the government down.” —Nancy Pelosi

Friday Top Headlines

Shutdown looms, Mattis quitting, troops leaving Afghanistan, asylum seekers, farm bill, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Erick Erickson
An Evidence-Based Faith
Tony Perkins
Why SOGI Doesn’t Belong in the Law
Gary Bauer
Getting Serious About Syria
David Harsanyi
Colorado Is Still Trying to Destroy Jack Phillips
Michael Barone
American Fertility Headed to All-time Low

Today’s Meme

Today’s Cartoon

Headlines – 12/21/2018

IDF shoots dead Palestinian, injures another as car runs West Bank roadblock

Russia Ready to Organize Hamas-Abbas Meeting, Moscow Says

Israel, Greece, Cyprus to ink natural gas pipeline deal next year, PM says

Israel works to defuse US concerns over Chinese control of Haifa Port

Netanyahu canceled Albania visit due to possible plot to target him

Iran condemns Albania for expelling diplomats over plot to attack Israelis

Iran scoffs at Netanyahu’s claim Israeli agents operate in its country

Ex-defense chief warns US pullout from Syria could spark ‘all-out’ war in north

Israeli Security Experts Weigh in on US Withdrawal From Syria, Emphasize Ongoing Iran Threat

Netanyahu: We will step up our efforts against Iran in Syria after US pullout

Netanyahu: Israel to escalate fight against Iran in Syria after US exit

Commentary: US leaves Israel to fight its battles alone

Trump: U.S. Shouldn’t Be the Policeman of the Middle East – We Get ‘Nothing’

US announces ‘significant’ troop pullout from Afghanistan

Lindsey Graham says withdrawing troops from Afghanistan could pave way for ‘second 9/11’

Caroline Glick: Trump pushes past Obama’s legacies

US defense chief Mattis stepping down after surprise Syria pullout

Shaken, saddened, scared: Washington erupts over Mattis resignation

Trump unleashed: Mattis exit paves way for global chaos

Pentagon scrambles to plan Syria exit amid outrage over retreat

Trump’s decision on Syria is worrying allies in Iraq and emboldening opponents

France says Islamic State not defeated, troops to remain in Syria

King: ISIS will use Syria withdrawal to recruit

US Syria pullout draws Kurdish condemnation and Putin’s praise

Vladimir Putin Applauds Donald Trump’s Syria Withdrawal: ‘I Agree With Him’

Kurdish-Led U.S. Ally In Syria Says Withdrawing Troops Will Aid Islamic State

Syria’s Kurds Feel Trapped Between Threats From Assad and Turkey

Iranian and Turkish leaders meet in Ankara following Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria

Turkey, Iran vow to work closer on Syria after US announces pullout

IDF starts sealing Hezbollah attack tunnels, says process will ‘take time’

UN fails to take action against Hezbollah terror tunnels

Report: Israel rejects request to mediate between US and Russia

Putin issues ominous warning on rising nuclear war threat

Putin Warns of ‘Growing’ Threat of Nuclear War That Will End Civilization

Russia again successfully tests ship-based hypersonic missile – which will likely be ready for combat by 2022

Iran’s Persian rug-makers suffer, blame their leaders, as US unravels nuke deal

Saudi and US resistance delays UN resolution on Yemen ceasefire

Khalid bin Salman: We will continue to work with allies to reach Afghanistan peace

Eight people dead in Sudanese protests against soaring prices

Suspects in Scandinavians’ murder in Morocco pledged allegiance to Islamic State: general prosecutor

Morocco says Scandinavian hikers’ murder was terrorism, as new arrests made

German police step up security at airports in southwest amid terror scare

Drones Ground Flights at London Airport, Sowing Chaos for Christmas Travellers

US accuses China of massive cyberespionage campaign

China denies ‘slanderous’ economic espionage charges from U.S., allies

Poll: Americans can agree that the nation is divided. Beyond that, they don’t agree on much.

Trump refuses to back government funding deal, presses anew for border wall money

Trump’s demand for wall moves government closer to shutdown

House approves spending bill with $5.7B for border wall

IRS Defends Giving Refunds to Illegal Immigrants

Donald Trump Is Now Worried the Economy is Going to Cost Him 2020 Re-Election: Report

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says market plunge on Fed rate hike ‘is completely overblown’

Dow drops 470 points to 14-month low in second day of big losses following Fed rate hike

Stock market woes raise a nagging fear: Is a recession near?

As fear rises on Wall Street, strategists warn the worst is yet to come

Asian markets continue to fall on recession and trade-war fears

The crash in oil prices is raising a major red flag about slowing global growth

May Is Hatching Secret Plan B to Avoid No-Deal Chaos

U.K. Parliament erupts as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused of calling Prime Minister Theresa May a ‘stupid woman’

Commentary: Privacy … LOL … Privacy is over

Winter solstice 2018: Full moon and meteor shower make it special

7.4 magnitude earthquake shakes eastern coast of Russia, prompts tsunami warning

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikol’skoye, Russia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikol’skoye, Russia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Karakul, Tajikistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tres Picos, Mexico

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

River hits flood stage in areas hit hard by Hurricane Florence

Scientists Combine House Plant With Rabbit Gene to Form ‘Green Liver’ Against Indoor Air Pollution

Planned Parenthood President: Abortion Is ‘Basic Human Right’

Former Pennsylvania pediatrician admits to assaulting dozens of young patients

World Vision Forced Out of Pakistan After 13 Years

Witches Now Outnumber Presbyterians In The US

Alabama police department blames Satan for spike in homicides

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Eric Davis – What Does it Mean to be Led by the Holy Spirit?

Anthony Wade – Lamborghinis and Comforting God – This Week in “Well Aren’t You Special” Christianity

A.A.’s Broad Highway invitation contradicts Christ’s warning in Matthew 7:13

Brian Houston asks people to pledge financial allegiance to his cause for ‘financial revival’?

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome 20 Signs You Have This

A new Christmas pageant shows off the fierce side of Mary

The holy family was a migrant family: Fence around nativity scene meant to spark discussion on immigration

‘Holy Cow’: Cattle form the sign of the cross

Planned Parenthood Wouldn’t Hire or Promote Pregnant Women, Denied Women Maternity Leave

Police in China Given Quota’s for Arrests of Christians

Three Major Factors Driving the Crackdown on the Church in China

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December 21, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Satan’s Children Are Indifferent Toward God’s Children

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (3:16–18)

The phrase we know love by this again affirms genuine love as the outstanding mark of the Christian (cf. the discussion of v. 11 above). By God’s grace, a loving willingness to give up everything to help others (cf. 2 Cor. 9:6–12; 1 Tim. 6:17–19; Heb. 13:16, 21) permeates the attitudes of believers and shines forth in their lives. The New Testament contains several notable examples of such sacrificial love. One such example was Epaphroditus, whom the apostle Paul commended to the Philippians:

I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. (Phil. 2:25–30)

Paul also was willing to surrender his life for the cause of Christ, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21; cf. Rom. 9:3–5; 2 Cor. 1:9–10). Of course, the Lord Jesus was Paul’s role model, because at the cross He laid down His life for all who believe (cf. John 10:11, 14–18; 15:13; Rom. 8:32–34; Gal. 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24).

The expression laid down His life for us is unique to the apostle John (John 10:11, 15, 17, 18; 13:37–38; 15:13), and in addition to life itself it refers to divesting oneself of anything important. Obviously, Christ’s atoning death is the supreme example of selfless love (John 15:12–13; Phil. 2:5–8; 1 Peter 2:19–23; cf. 2 Cor. 8:9). Thus John exhorts his readers, as followers of Christ, that they ought to lay down their lives for the brethren, should such sacrifice be necessary. That this expression refers to something far more extensive than only sacrificial death for a fellow believer is clear from the subsequent statement about having goods that someone needs.

The selfish indifference of unbelievers stands in sharp contrast to the generous, compassionate love that believers exhibit (Acts 2:45; 4:36–37; 9:36; 11:29–30; 2 Cor. 8:1–5; 9:2, 11–13; Phil. 4:14–16). John illustrates the difference in attitude in practical, specific terms: But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? The children of the Devil often have the world’s goods (material wealth) at their disposal. When they do give sacrificially to anyone else (cf. Mark 12:43–44), they are motivated by selfishness. Unbelievers’ philanthropic efforts are usually merely to pacify their consciences, satisfy their emotions, or bring honor to themselves (cf. Matt. 6:1–2) rather than glory to God.

But that is not to be the case with believers, as John’s closing injunction to his readers indicates: Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. It is not enough for an individual merely to profess love for others (which is also true regarding faith; cf. Luke 6:46; James 2:18–26). The proof that one has genuine love and is a child of God rests not in sentiments but in deeds (cf. Matt. 25:34–40).

For John, therefore, the differences between Satan’s children and God’s children could not be more distinct. Those who murder, habitually hate, or are chronically self-centered and indifferent to the needs of others do not have eternal life. But those who, as part of their repentance from sin and trust in Christ, have renounced murderous, hateful attitudes and all cold, selfish indifference to the needs of others give evidence that they have been born again. In place of those sinful traits, Christians manifest genuine love to others, especially fellow believers (Rom. 12:10–13; Gal. 6:10), because of the love of God shed abroad in their hearts. They sincerely obey James’s injunction: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27; cf. 2:8, 15–17).[1]

Christian Love (vv. 14–18)

Just as the presence of jealousy and hatred in a life indicates that the person involved is of the world and not of the family of God, so also do love and self-sacrifice indicate that such a one has now passed out of the world and into God’s family. John turns now to an analysis of Christian love, elaborating his statements over against the background of the world’s hatred and murderous designs. In this section he restates and elaborates upon the social test itself, digs deeper into love’s essential nature, and finally suggests two ways in which the Christian may show love practically.

The Social Test

Once again John brings forward the social test, but this time he does so in the context of a black and white contrast with the world’s hatred. In the Greek text the opening pronoun is in a prominent position and is therefore emphasized. It has the effect of saying, “Whatever may be the attitudes and actions of the world, we who are Christians are different; we love one another. This is evidence of the fact that we are God’s children.”

In John’s statement of these ideas in verses 14 and 15 some important truths are passed over quickly. It is profitable to reflect on them. First, when John says that the one who does not love “remains in death,” he indicates that men and women are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins to start with and not that they die later through sinning. In other words, this is an indirect expression of the doctrine of original sin that is so unpopular with some churchmen. Men do not begin neutral, as we might say, and then either choose or reject God. They start as sinners and express their sin in everything they think and do.

Second, there is a passing reference to the supernatural nature of the new birth. When John says Christians are those who “have passed from death to life,” he is indicating that becoming a Christian involves something much like a resurrection. No one grows into Christianity, in other words. Christianity is a divine creation or recreation, by which God of his own free will plants spiritual life within a person who otherwise is dead spiritually.

Third, the impartation of the divine life is of necessity accompanied by the characteristics of the one who gave it, above all by love, so that the one who does not love cannot be assured that he is of God’s family (whatever his beliefs or upbringing) and so the one who does love can know that he is of the brethren.

John’s reference to “brothers” involves a special emphasis. We might have expected him to use the term “beloved,” as he did in the corresponding section earlier (2:7). But he says “brothers” instead, which suggests the idea of families. On the one hand, there is the world’s family with Satan as its father. On the other hand, there is the family of Christians with God as its father. The hatred of the world is seen not merely in the hatred itself but in the fact that it principally hates Christians. For in hating them it hates Christ (“Why do you persecute me?” Acts 9:4). Similarly, the love of Christians is seen not merely in a general love for all mankind, though they have that also, but rather in a particular love for the brethren.

If Christians really do love one another, then they will not spend so much time criticizing one another, as is often the case. They will not abandon the assembling of themselves together while substituting some kind of private religion. They will not neglect one another’s needs. Instead, they will find themselves uniting together in a spiritual fellowship in which the Lord is worshiped and they themselves are mutually encouraged in the Christian life.

The Example of Christ

As John has been writing of Christian “love,” he has been using the greatest of all Greek words for love, agapē. This now brings him inevitably to that supreme example of agapē love, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as he gave himself for our salvation. The love about which John is speaking cannot be analyzed apart from this event. Indeed, it cannot be known apart from it, for it is at the cross and only at the cross that this greatest of all loves is fully demonstrated.

It is interesting to notice in this connection that there is hardly a verse in the New Testament that speaks of God’s love that does not also speak (or the context does not also speak) of the cross. For instance, there is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” First John 4:10: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” In each of these verses the cross of Christ is made the measure of God’s love as well as the primary means by which we become aware of it.

What is it that gives the love of God as seen at the cross its special character? Primarily it is the element of self-sacrifice on behalf of those who are totally undeserving and even undesirous of the sacrifice.

Here the continuing contrast between Cain the murderer and Christ the Savior is seen in its sharpest focus. Life is the most precious possession anyone has. Cain showed his hate by killing righteous Abel. Jesus revealed his love by sacrificing his own life for those foul creatures of sin he chose to make his brethren.

Love for Others

But what does this supreme example of self-sacrifice have to do with Christians? It has everything to do with them, for John does not hesitate to point out that it is precisely in this self-sacrifice of himself that Christ is to be their example. Did he give of himself? Then “we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

It is not often the case, at least today, that a Christian literally has opportunity to die in place of a Christian brother or sister. So John (who knew this even for his own more perilous times) will move on to more common matters in the next verse. Nevertheless, we should not pass over the idea of self-sacrifice too quickly. True, we do not often have opportunities literally to die for others. But we do have opportunities to “die to self” or, as we might also say, “sacrifice our own interests” constantly.

This is true of all forms of Christian work, involving both time and money. To make the gospel of Christ known worldwide involves sacrifice on behalf of God’s people. They must live less lavishly than they otherwise might in order that money might be available to send Christian workers to tell others about Christ. They must be willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters to go if God should so lead them. They must go themselves if God directs it.

Another area in which self-sacrifice must be practiced is in the Christian home, particularly in love between a husband and wife. Today’s culture glorifies self-satisfaction. It teaches that if one is not personally and fully gratified in marriage, one has a right to break it off, whatever the cost to the other spouse or to the children. But this is not God’s teaching. God teaches that we must die to self in order that the other person might be fulfilled, for it is only as that happens that we will find the fullness of God’s blessing and personal satisfaction.

The title of Walter Trobisch’s little book, I Loved a Girl, is an illustration of this point. The book is a recollection of letters between a young African boy and Trobisch, his pastor, after the boy had made love to a girl and had written to his pastor about it. One of the pastor’s letters says this:

One phrase in your letter struck me especially. You wrote, “I loved a girl.” No, my friend. You did not love that girl; you went to bed with her—these are two completely different things. You had a sexual episode, but what love is, you did not experience. It’s true you can say to a girl, “I love you,” but what you really mean is something like this: “I want something. Not you, but something from you. I don’t have time to wait. I want it immediately.” … This is the opposite of love, for love wants to give. Love seeks to make the other one happy, and not himself.

“Let me try to tell you what it really should mean if a fellow says to a girl, ‘I love you.’ It means … ‘I will give everything for you and I will give up everything for you, myself as well as all that I possess. I will live for you alone, and I will work for you alone. And I will wait for you. … I will never force you, not even by words. I want to guard you, protect you and keep you from all evil. I want to share with you all my thoughts, my heart and my body—all that I possess. I want to listen to what you have to say. There is nothing I want to undertake without your blessing. I want to remain always at your side.”

This is the standard of love that blesses homes and makes them stable. But it is only learned, as Trobisch later notes, from God as he is revealed in Jesus Christ.

A third area in which self-sacrifice should be practiced is in professional Christian relations. Terrible battles again and again divide the churches. These are usually portrayed as doctrinal battles, as they sometimes are. But more often they are simply personality struggles fueled by jealousy. Choir members can be jealous of one another and hate one another even when they are singing in praise of God. Ministers can be jealous of other ministers, so much so that they rejoice in the others’ failures. Those in one denomination can have the same jealous hatred for those in another and can seek to undermine their ministry. These things ought not to be.

It is important, then, that we do not too quickly pass over the matter of the Christian’s obligation to emulate Jesus’ giving of himself. But neither do we want to linger there forever, for it is also true that the Christian is called to show love in less exacting ways. Suppose that one believer sees another believer in need, says John. And suppose that the first believer has the means to supply what the other is lacking. Well, then, he must supply it. For “if anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (v. 17). Here is practical Christianity. A person may claim to be filled with God’s love and to be so motivated that he would gladly give his life for others. But this can be no more than sentimentality. What John wants to know is how we treat our individual brother (singular, not plural) and how we meet his particular, very tangible need.

His final words are a true conclusion. “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (v. 18). It is not by words alone that love is shown. It is not by words alone that those who are without Christ are won to him, important as words are. It is by deeds, for these back up the words and give them content.[2]

16. Hereby perceive we, or, By this we know. He now shews what true love is; for it would not have been enough to commend it, unless its power is understood. As an instance of perfect love, he sets before us the example of Christ; for he, by not sparing his own life, testified how much he loved us. This then is the mark to which he bids them to advance. The sum of what is said is, that our love is approved, when we transfer the love of ourselves to our brethren, so that every one, in a manner forgetting himself, should seek the good of others.

It is, indeed, certain, that we are far from being equal to Christ: but the Apostle recommends to us the imitation of him; for though we do not overtake him, it is yet meet that we should follow his steps, though at a distance. Doubtless, since it was the Apostle’s object to beat down the vain boasting of hypocrites, who gloried that they had faith in Christ though without brotherly love, he intimated by these words, that except this feeling prevails in our hearts, we have no connexion with Christ. Nor does he yet, as I have said, set before us the love of Christ, so as to require us to be equal to him; for what would this be but to drive us all to despair? But he means that our feelings should be so formed and regulated, that we may desire to devote our life and also our death, first to God, and then to our neighbours.

There is another difference between us and Christ,—the virtue or benefit of our death cannot be the same. For the wrath of God is not pacified by our blood, nor is life procured by our death, nor is punishment due to others suffered by us. But the Apostle, in this comparison, had not in view the end or the effect of Christ’s death; but he meant only that our life should be formed according to his example.[3]

16 Having vilified the Antichrists by analogy with Cain, John offers a positive example of true love: Jesus. The NIV’s colon renders the Greek hoti, which here introduces a paraphrase of John 15:13—“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (cf. Jn 10:11–18). “Lay down his life [psychē, GK 6034]” is a uniquely Johannine way of describing Jesus’ voluntary self-sacrifice, an act that represents the highest possible expression of love (Jn 15:13). The citation at 1 John 3:16 is introduced with the perfect tense of ginōskō (“we have known,” GK 1182), which probably refers both to mental awareness and emotional experience (see comment at 2:2). True believers “have known” of Jesus’ love not only in the sense that they have accepted John’s witness about Jesus but also in the sense that they have experienced divine love and forgiveness. Such an experience should motivate them to act in the same self-sacrificing way toward other believers.

John’s dualistic mind-set is evident in his narrow and absolute definition of love (agapē). There are no degrees of love: those who sacrifice themselves, like Jesus, show love; those who do not act this way show hate. The NIV reflects this emphasis with the translation “This is how we know what love is.” Since there is only one kind of love, and since this one kind was modeled by Jesus, Christians, like Jesus, “ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” In the historical setting of 1-2-3 John (see Introduction), this might mean that some Johannine Christians had literally suffered martyrdom for the community, but the application of the principle in v. 17 suggests that John is thinking of one’s material possessions. The person who does not sacrifice herself and her wealth for her brothers is no different from the Antichrists and Cain. If it seems too much to ask for this sort of love, John could point out that Jesus laid down his life not only for his friends (Jn 15:13) but even for the hostile world (Jn 6:51). Surely, then, Christians can at least love other Christians.[4]

3:16 / Continuing the theme of love, the Elder offers an experiential and operational definition (lit., “By this we have come to know love”): Jesus Christ (the Greek text only has “he,” ekeinos) laid down his life for us. This is one of the most common elements in early Christian creeds (1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4; 2:20). Two aspects of the Greek text of this verse reinforce the idea of love. The Greek word order itself emphasizes for us; it is put first, just as Christ put us first in the gift of his life. The verb laid down (ethēken) stresses that Jesus gave up his own life willingly, thus showing the motivation of love. So in the Gospel of John, Jesus, “the good shepherd,” voluntarily “lays down his life for the sheep” (10:11, 15, 17–18). The death of Jesus is also the decisive evidence of God’s love (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:9–10).

Here, as in many other places in the nt, the conduct of Jesus is taken as the example or model for Christians to follow. (In 1 John 4:11, it is God’s love which provides the pattern.) This is true in general, but also with specific reference to his suffering and death (cf. 1 Pet. 2:21–23; Heb. 12:3–4; 13:12–13). In John 15:12, Jesus tells his disciples, “Love as I have loved you” (cf. 13:34), and in the next verse he says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus’ actions demonstrate the sacrificial element in authentic agapē love. Love is a personal commitment to give oneself to foster the highest good and well-being of others. Sometimes giving oneself for others means more than giving one’s time or money or energy; it may mean giving one’s very life.[5]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2007). 1, 2, 3 John (pp. 135–137). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2004). The Epistles of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 93–97). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (pp. 219–220). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 464). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (pp. 83–84). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Small Caps Hitting 2009 Oversold levels! — Kimble Charting Solutions

The Russell 2000 it’s 161% Fibonacci extension level in August and (1), where it quickly reversed and declined more than 20%! The swift decline now has small caps testing rising support and its 2015 highs at (2). While it is testing dual support, weekly momentum is now reaching oversold levels. The last time momentum was…

via Small Caps Hitting 2009 Oversold levels! — Kimble Charting Solutions

How Is the Exclusivity of Christ Alone under Attack in Different Cultural Contexts? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

How is the exclusivity of Christ under attack in different cultural contexts? From our 2017 National Conference, Leonardo De Chirico, Sinclair Ferguson, Augustus Lopes, Burk Parsons, Michael Reeves, and Stephen Tong consider the difficulties of sharing the gospel around the world.

Get answers to your biblical and theological questions online as they arise at Ask.Ligonier.org.

How Is the Exclusivity of Christ Alone under Attack in Different Cultural Contexts? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Witchcraft Moves to the Mainstream in America as Christianity Declines — Pulpit & Pen

[Yahoo News] Witchcraft is thriving in the US, with an estimated 1.5 million Americans now identifying as witches – more than the total number of Presbyterians. As Christianity declines across the country, paganism has swung to the mainstream, with witchcraft paraphernalia for sale on every high street and practises normalised across popular culture. In the past two years, it has also become darkly politicised.

Dakota Bracciale, a 29-year-old transgender/queer witch and co-owner of Catland Books and witch shop in Brooklyn, is pleased with the outcome of the ritual hex placed on US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in October. The curse, carried out from Catland Books, was well attended by witches, atheists ad humanists – and was followed around the country on social media.

Millennials, says Bracciale, are looking for spiritualism outside traditional religion. “The hex centres on the notion that we live in a universe of chaos, entropy, destruction, death, decay with a final ending of oblivion – scientists are telling us. So the witch does everything for themselves – there is no other help in this universe of decay and chaos. If you don’t get in the driver’s seat things will just get worse,” the witch said.

In a wide-ranging discussion with the Telegraph, Bracciale, who described the interview questions as “sensationalist”, talked about political hexes and witchcraft in general.

Bracciale is “absolutely” willing to cause physical harm through a hex – “no issue with that”. And while Bracciale would have been just as pleased with the new Supreme Court Justice’s death, resignation or physical disfigurement, the main goal of the Kavanaugh hex, and the three hexes on President Donald Trump from Catland Books this summer, was to “let them be exposed for who they are – especially as impotent men”. The curse began with a recitation of the Biblical scripture Psalm 109: 8: “let his days be few, let another take his office.”

Catland Books is replete with Christian images including the Archangel Michael, Christian defender against the demonic, and the Virgin Mary. Bracciale, a self-described sexual abuse survivor, who grew up in a born-again-Christian evangelical cult in Arizona, takes umbrage at the notion that witchcraft and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Witchcraft “has a ton of roots in Christianity”, the Brooklyn witch says. Indeed, in Bracciale’s view, the Bible is a spell book, particularly the Book of Psalms.

Witchcraft is powerful, according to Bracciale, because of the “intersectionality of feminism, sexuality, gender, the fight for freedom, eschewing the patriarchy and having sort of a vitriolic response towards it”.

US justice department memos were leaked to the press shortly after the Kavanaugh hex exposing potential attacks on transgender Americans’ rights – signalling a successful hex for Bracciale. The witch also believes that the Catland hexes on Mr Trump helped facilitate the myriad woes the US president has experienced in the past six months.

Bracciale hopes that hexes or curses will be used more frequently in politics in the future.

Careful to point out that “witchcraft is not a religion, it’s not a belief system, it’s not an ideology, it’s a practice,” this witch “has no time for Wicca”, a religion that went public in 1954.

In the confusing, loosely defined but growing world of witchcraft in America, many millennial witches may disagree with Bracciale’s views.

Three religious surveys from Trinity College in Connecticut concluded that the practice of Wicca witchcraft has increased continuously between 1990 and 2008 in the US.

That growth trend was confirmed by the Pew Research Center in 2014, whose surveys reported that more Americans identify as Wiccan, a form of modern paganism created in England, or pagan than as Presbyterian. At the time of the surveys, there were 1.4 million American Presbyterians and about 1.5 million Wiccans.

In addition to political protest theatre, the American beauty industry now caters to the phenomenon referred to as the “witch aesthetic”.

GOOP, the $250 million lifestyle company founded by the actress Gwyneth Paltrow, is not lacking for customers who are interested in the mystical side of the wellness industry that pushes the use of crystals, tarot cards, and astrology. The mainstream Nordstrom Department Store collaborated with the wellness crystal company Goldirocks to release a limited edition crystal set.

So, it may have surprised San Francisco-based Pinrose, an online fragrance retailer, when negative feedback from practicing witches persuaded them to cancel their launch of a Starter Witch Kit at cosmetics giant Sephora this October. The nine-piece set which would have retailed for $42 included fragrances as well as tarot cards, sage, and a rose quartz crystal.

Witchcraft Moves to the Mainstream in America as Christianity Declines — Pulpit & Pen

Ted Malloch: Hillary Clinton Knew About, Approved and Paid for Trump-Russia Dossier — The Gateway Pundit

Guest post by Ted Malloch author of The Plot to Destroy Trump

Hillary Clinton knew about, approved, and paid for the Trump-Russia dirty dossier from the beginning and hide the fact from the press.

The Democrat candidate for President in 2016 was an experienced pro, who had seen her way through many political campaigns, including contentious primaries against Obama, for the US Senate in New York, in Arkansas, and of course twice for her very husband, Bill– the 42nd President.

Clinton had a reputation for toughness and a harsh spirit with a knack for details and a large sized ego to match.

Some saw her as “bitch”, conceited, and a Yale Law School, Ivy League, feminist, know it all. Others, who worked with her, had a more benign view but nonetheless readily admitted — she made all the decisions.

Nothing got past her, her grip, or her two cents.

There wasn’t a policy, a message, or a statement that went out that she did not see and did not approve. In fact, she often revised things two or three times slowing down the well-oiled machine.

But she wanted it that way. She didn’t want to loose, damage her image, — or most definitely, loose control.

So throughout the primary she milked all her contacts in the DNC, in the media, and in the government.

Hillary knew just about everybody given her decades in government and kept close track of what they said about her, what they owed her, and how much they contributed to her. She had a list of no-goes and of people she flatly refused to see, hear, or listen to.

If you crossed her you were off her good list. Toast.

She worked every angle and source and played nice, when necessary, putting on a smile and even a grinning grandmotherly look, complete with the light blue, extra-wide pants suit.

The ‘woman’ card was the ace up her sleeve or so she thought.

How could any woman seriously vote against her?

Didn’t every woman want to break that impenetrable glass ceiling and see her become the first female President?

In the primary she had a pesky leftist, old fart nemesis named, Bernie Sanders, as her sole opponent.

He was an Independent (actually Socialist) Senator from the green State of Vermont. His politics were left of left and he liked to promise just about everything – and all for free.

Hillary had to bend her progressive views to get the nomination but as a Clinton she could be a chameleon and do anything to win the big prize.

She stacked the cards against poor Bernie from the very start, who she slandered and maligned just slightly so as not to loose all his kooky, and especially young followers.

Clinton stacked the Democrat Super Delegates to her cause and put all her people into the DNC and its organs, so that she could not possibly loose.

She owned the Party. Even a former Party Chairperson, in her own tell-all book after the election said, “Clinton cheated.”

That was news!

Clinton had cheated before and she had also lost in the primaries to that useless and inexperienced community organizer, black Senator, Barrack Obama and it wasn’t going to happen again. Her side even said he was not born in the United States.

Oh no.

Once she secured the Democrat nomination crookedly she figured there was absolutely no way she could loose the general election, especially to a buffoon like Donald Trump.

After all, his entire base was a bunch deplorables, irredeemables and the rankest members of society just clinging to their guns and religion.

Hillary had her own theories about the vast right wing conspiracy and their ilk, and there wasn’t a chance in hell that she would not get back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because of them.

She knew all the nooks and crannies in that Big House and this time the Oval Office would be hers—alone.

No Bill and NO Monika!

To tie down all the pieces, Clinton brought in a top-notch team and hired her old pal, John Podesta to chair the very organized and overly planned campaign.

They would take care of it this time. No holes were barred and nothing was to be left undone.

The ‘dirt’ on Trump would be easy to secure so she herself hired the Fusion/GPS boys to dig harder, to get more. Using the DNC and a private law firm as the go be tweens, she figured she had her ass covered and didn’t need to know everything or how, just the dirt—and the more the better.

It was both oppo research and an “insurance policy”—just in case.

Giving approval to everything her campaign did was not unusual for such a deliberate, maniacal, cannot fail candidate.

Behind her were still wayward Bill, who was a tad old and now rather clumsy, and her daughter, a reputed Satanist, Chelsea.

Her surrogates were legion and there wasn’t anybody in the media, with the possible exception of only one or two people at FOX News, who thought she wasn’t a shoe-in to win.

All the newspapers endorsed her, all the pundits kowtowed to her, the pollsters all predicted her inevitable victory, and she said she won the televised debates.

The only question was how much she would run up her tallies and numbers in the Electoral College.

How big a landslide could it possibly be?

Sure, she had a record of coyness and sometimes did not follow through on her word but her ratings were astronomical and her field game was second to none.

They would turn out the vote and make identity politics work like a charm.

The odds were 8 to 1 she would win in Las Vegas betting.

Getting the word out on how bad Trump was, was absolutely imperative.

Trump was a sleaze in Clinton’s eyes; wouldn’t the overall electorate agree that, even the dumbasses she so loathed?

She would hold nothing back.

She would throw everything at him — from disgraces to scandals to character flaws to Russia.

The Obama forces, even if there were past ‘histories’ between them, would help to elect her as a kind of “third term” to Barrack, who had achieved so little in his eight years in office.

His cronies would be her cronies.

They would do her bidding.

They would protect her and most certainly, fail to indict her. They would use the deep state, where needed, to do her work — behind the scenes.

And at the center of the whole design was the grand conspiracy called the Trump-Russia Dossier.

She paid for it and approved it from the get-go.

It was good as gold.

Ted Malloch author of The Plot to Destroy Trump

Ted Malloch: Hillary Clinton Knew About, Approved and Paid for Trump-Russia Dossier — The Gateway Pundit

December 21 Jesus Is Savior and Lord

“God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name … that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Philippians 2:9, 11


The Jesus who is Savior cannot be separated from the Jesus who is Lord.

Scripture never speaks of any human being’s making Jesus Lord. It is God who made Him Lord (Acts 2:36). Yet we often read statements such as this: “It is imperative to trust Christ as personal Savior and be born again. But that is only the first decision. Trusting Christ as Savior and then making Him Lord are two separate and distinct decisions. The two decisions may be close or distant in time. Salvation must always precede lordship. But it is possible to be saved without ever making Christ Lord of your life.” In effect that is saying Christ isn’t Lord unless we give Him permission—a completely unbiblical assertion. To be saved you must confess Jesus as Lord.

Jesus is called Lord throughout the New Testament. To omit the lordship of Christ from invitations to salvation would result in the elimination of numerous passages of Scripture. Peter’s sermon in Acts 2—“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21)—would need to be modified. Paul and Silas’ method of presenting the gospel—“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31)—would need to be corrected.

The centrality of the lordship of Christ is clear in the New Testament gospel. The Jesus who is Savior cannot be separated from the Jesus who is Lord. God cannot be separated from His authority, dominion, rulership, and right to command. When we acknowledge that Jesus is God, we mean He is all that God is.


Suggestions for Prayer: Worship the Lord Jesus Christ, using Psalm 8, a Messianic psalm, as the basis of your prayer.

For Further Study: Jesus is called Lord over 700 times in the New Testament. Use a Bible concordance as a handy way to check some of these many references to Christ as Lord.[1]

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

Party like its 2000 & 2007? Correction or Bear market in play? — Kimble Charting Solutions

The stock market correction has morphed into a bear market for the Russell 2000(INDEXRUSSELL: RUT) and Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ: .IXIC). The S&P 500 (INDEXSP: .INX) and Dow Jones Industrials are nearing bear market territory, down 15 to 16 percent. Fear is in the air and investors are beginning to wonder what happened. If you follow my charts, you’ve seen several bearish reversal…

via Party like its 2000 & 2007? Correction or Bear market in play? — Kimble Charting Solutions

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?


Several years ago I read a book called What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcomb. Some of these points are adapted from this book. I have also expanded on a few of the issues. I have heard alot of complaints about The Crusades (although that is a long topic which I think John Lennox has responded to), the Salem Witch Trials, or those who profess to be Christians that hold their signs up that say “God hates gays” etc. But it is evident that without Jesus our world would be a different place than the one we have now. So here are some points that may lead to further discussion:


Although many committed Christians owned slaves in history, it was Christians who historians credit with being the primary force behind ending international slave trade. Two-thirds of the members of the American…

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December 21 Daily Help

THE more you know about Christ, the less will you be satisfied with superficial views of Him; and the more deeply you study his life and the fulness of His grace which shines in all His offices, the more truly will you see the King in his beauty. Long more and more to see Jesus. Meditation and contemplation are often like windows of agate, and gates of carbuncle, through which we behold the Redeemer. Meditation puts the telescope to the eye, and enables us to see Jesus better than we could have seen him if we had lived in the days of his flesh. Would that we were more taken up with the person, the work, the beauty of our incarnate Lord.[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 359). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.

December 21 The Certainty of Judgment

“If the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Heb. 2:2–3).


There is certain judgment for everyone who does not receive Christ as Savior and Lord.

Today the majority believes that God is a God of love and grace but not of justice. One brief look at Hebrews 2:2–3 ought to convince anyone otherwise. The writer’s point is this: Since the Old Testament makes it clear that transgression and disobedience met with severe and just punishment, how much more so will equal or greater punishment be rendered under the New Testament, which was revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself!

Both the Old and New Testaments confirm that angels were instrumental in bringing the law (Deut. 33:2; Acts 7:38). The law the angels spoke, primarily the Ten Commandments, was steadfast. That meant that if someone broke the law, the law would break the lawbreaker. The law was inviolable; punishment for breaking it was certain.

“Every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense” (v. 2). “Transgression” refers to stepping across a line—a willful, purposeful sin. “Disobedience,” however, refers to imperfect hearing—the sin of shutting one’s ears to the commands, warnings, and invitations of God. It is a sin of neglect or omission—doing nothing when something should be done.

Hebrews 2:2 also puts to rest the notion that God is not fair. The writer says every sin received “a just recompense.” God, by His very nature, is just. Every punishment He meted out to those who defied Him was a deterrent to the sin He wanted to stop.

God severely punished the nation of Israel because they knew better. That leads to the important principle that punishment is always related to how much truth one knows but rejects. The person who knows the gospel, who has intellectually understood it and believed it, yet drifts away will experience the severest punishment of all.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Ask God to give you an even greater appreciation of the punishment He has saved you from in order to motivate you to pursue the lost more vigorously.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 11:20–24, 12:38–42, and Luke 12:47–48 to discover Christ’s attitude toward those who know the truth and yet rebel against it.[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 368). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.