Daily Archives: January 3, 2019

January 3 Getting God’s Viewpoint

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7–12

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:7

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

If you have ever flown in an airplane and peered out the window, you were probably enraptured with the view. In clear weather, you can see a vast landscape in one quick glance, allowing you to momentarily transcend the restrictive barriers of earthbound living.

It is but a minute portrait of how our omniscient, omnipotent God views the life of the believer. He sees all. He knows all. He is aware of every detail of your life from birth (even before you were conceived) until death.

Since God knows your future perfectly and how today’s ordinary events fit into His plan, you can rely on Him every moment. The timeless principles of Scripture help you make wise decisions from God’s viewpoint.

We are related to an all-seeing, all-knowing God who has given us resources to face life’s challenges and obstacles from His perspective. We are not limited by our own strength or wisdom.

We are hemmed in too often by our circumstances, unable to see through the fog of our finiteness. But if we seek God prayerfully and consistently, regularly digesting His Word, we can break through barriers with His insight.

Father, You see all, know all, and are aware of every detail of my life. You have planned today’s ordinary events to fit into Your long-range purpose for my life. As I travel through this day, help me break through barriers with Your insight.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Godly Priorities — The Thirsty Theologian

But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’”

—Luke 14:16–24

image

First then, I am to prove, that no temporal business, though ever so important, can justify a neglect of true religion.

. . .

This is true and undefiled religion and for the perfecting of this good work in our hearts, the eternal Son of God came down and shed his precious blood. For this end were we made and sent into the world and by this alone can we become the sons of God. Were we indeed to judge by the common practice of the world, we might think we were sent into it for no other purpose than to care and toil for the uncertain riches of this life. But if we consult the lively oracles, they will inform us that we were born for nobler ends, even to be born again from above, to be restored to the divine likeness by Jesus Christ, our second Adam and thereby be made meet to inherit the kingdom of heaven. And consequently, there is an obligation laid upon all, even the most busy people, to secure this end, it being an undeniable truth that all creatures ought to answer the end for which they were created.

. . . In the 14th of St. Luke, the 18th and following verses, our blessed Lord puts forth this parable, ‘A certain man made a great supper and bade many and sent his servant at supper-time, to call them that were bidden. But they all, with one consent, began to make excuse. The one said, I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs go and see it, I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought a yoke of oxen and I must needs go and prove them, I pray thee therefore have me excused. So the servant returned and showed his master all these things.’ And what follows? Did the master accept of their excuses? No, the text tells us the good man was angry and said, ‘that none of those which were bidden, should taste of his supper.’

And what does this parable teach but that the most lawful callings cannot justify our neglect. Nay, that they are no longer lawful when they in any wise interfere with the great concerns of religion. For the marriage supper here spoken of means the gospel. The master of the house is Christ, the servants sent out, are his ministers whose duty it is from time to time to call the people to this marriage-feast or, in other words, to be religious. Now we find those that were bidden were very well and honestly employed. There was no harm in buying or seeing a piece of ground, or in going to prove a yoke of oxen. But here lay their faults: they were doing those things when they were invited to come to the marriage feast.

Without doubt, persons may very honestly and commendably be employed in following their respective callings. But yet, if they are engaged so deeply in these, as to hinder their working out their salvation with fear and trembling, they must expect the same sentence with their predecessors in the parable, that none of them shall taste of Christ’s supper. For our particular calling, as of this or that profession must never interfere with our general and precious calling as Christians. Not that Christianity calls us entirely out of the world, the holy scriptures warrant no such doctrine.

It is very remarkable that in the book of life we find some almost of all kinds of occupations who notwithstanding served God in their respective generations and shone as so many lights in the world. Thus we hear of a good centurion in the Evangelists and a devout Cornelius in the Acts; a pious lawyer; and some that walked with God even of Nero’s household, in the epistles. And our divine Master himself, in his check to Martha, does not condemn her for minding but for being cumbered or perplexed about many things. No, you may, nay, you must labour out of obedience to God, even for the meat which perisheth.

. . .

But I come, in the second place, to apply what has been said. I beseech you, by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, let not your concern for the meat which perisheth be at the expense of that which endureth to everlasting life. For, to repeat our blessed Saviour’s words, ‘What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’

—George Whitefield, “Worldly Business No Plea for the Neglect of Religion” in Lee Gatiss (Ed.), The Sermons of George Whitefield (Crossway, 2012), 1:347–348, 350–351.

via Godly Priorities — The Thirsty Theologian

01/03/2019 — Wretched

WR2019-0103

•Starting 2019 off half-right
•Let’s create a holiday: Flymas
•A Southern church that honored African Americans through slavery and segregation
•Clown Church, Rick Steves, and Francis of Assissi
•A disappointing Christmas service
•New Years Eve programming has become filthy and childish
•5 reasons you are overworking
•The most searched verse of 2018
•Your end of year checkup
•Todd is being attacked by a lower back spirit
•Sweden declares Biblical views of gender to be hateful
•Legalism and the Parable of the workers

Download Now (right click and save)

via 01/03/2019 — Wretched

January 3 Holy in Behavior

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:14–16

Key verse: Leviticus 11:44

I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.

God commanded Israel to be holy because He is holy. He also admonished them to remain clean spiritually by not becoming involved in any impurity—greed, lust, idolatry, or wrongful attitudes. In other words, they had to abstain from compromising the sincerity of their faith, love, and devotion to the Lord.

Why was doing that so important, and is this commandment relative to us today? God gave Israel this instruction because He loved them and wanted them to experience the goodness of His blessing. God cannot bless disobedience.

Satan has one goal in mind for the lost man: keep him spiritually lost and estranged from God. The enemy’s goal for the believer is to discourage him and cause him to compromise his faith by yielding to temptation.

The enemy accomplishes this by tempting us to sin and then by accusing us before the Father. When we yield to temptation, we stifle the flow of God’s grace in our lives, and our spiritual insight becomes fuzzier.

There is only one way to live, and that is in purity and devotion to Christ. The apostle Peter wrote, “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also, be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:14–15).

Heavenly Father, keep me from temptation. Don’t let me stifle the flow of Your grace in my life.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 4). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

January 3, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

In their first action in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats plan to adopt a bill on Thursday to end a federal shutdown without funding a Mexican border wall, trying to firmly fasten blame for the 13-day-old closure on President Donald Trump and his Republicans.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday the Senate will not consider bills Democrats plan to vote on in the House on Thursday that would end the government shutdown but not include President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall.

Conservative Hindu groups paralyzed India’s southern state of Kerala on Thursday protesting against the state government for allowing two women to defy an ancient ban and enter a Hindu temple.

Thirty-nine bodies have been pulled from under the rubble of a Russian apartment building that partially collapsed this week after an apparent gas explosion.

The United States issued a pre-emptive warning to Iran on Thursday against pursuing three planned space rocket launches, which it said would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution related to its ballistic missile activity.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government launched a barrage of measures on its first day in office on Wednesday to crack down on crime and shrink the size of the state, sending Brazilian markets higher.

A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.

GM on Thursday reported that U.S. new vehicle sales fell 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, with declines across most of its brands as American auto sales appear set to weaken in 2019.

Arm teachers, spend more on school security and mental health and train police to be more aggressive when responding to school shootings — those are some of the recommendations in a report into the deadliest U.S. high school shooting released Wednesday.

Drugmakers kicked off 2019 with price increases in the United States on more than 250 prescription drugs, including the world’s top-selling medicine, Humira, although the pace of price hikes was slower than last year.

AP Top Stories

Three of North America’s biggest cruise lines – Carnival, Norwegian and Princess – will unveil new vessels in 2019. But while the ships will be new, they’ll look strikingly familiar. All three will be sisters to existing vessels.

Two victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic Church priest in Chile launched a fresh attack on the country’s bishops on Wednesday, accusing them of failing to reform or learn from the crisis.

After gaining 88 percent in 2018, the stock added as much as 30 percent to 5.25 reais in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, on the back of President Jair Bolsonaro’s plans to make it easier for Brazilians to own guns. It was the biggest intraday gain for the stock since Nov. 1.

The Vatican has long been aware of nuns sexually abused by priests and bishops in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, but it has done very little to stop it, The Associated Press reported last year. Now, the AP has investigated the situation in a single country – India – and uncovered a decades-long history of nuns enduring sexual abuse from within the church.

Three migrant fishermen received Greek citizenship Wednesday for helping rescue dozens of people who were forced into the sea by flames from a summer wildfire that caused 100 deaths.

Turkish authorities detained 12 suspects over alleged links to the Islamic State group including two French women sought by Interpol, state media reported on Wednesday.

Two militants in Tunisia blew themselves up on Thursday after they exchanged fire with security forces who stormed their hideout and encircled them, the interior ministry said.

On Tuesday millions of women in Kerala, India, joined hands, creating what they called a “women’s wall” to protest the Sabarimala Temple’s ban on women of menstruating age. The temple is one of India’s holiest sites, and the practice of banning women from entering dates back hundreds of years. For 15 minutes, women formed a nearly 385-mile-long human chain to support the end of the practice.

Thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday to demand full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China in the face of what many see as a marked clampdown by the Communist Party on local freedoms.

BBC

Archaeologists in Mexico say they have made an important discovery, uncovering a temple to Xipe Totec – the pre-Hispanic “Flayed lord”. Historically, throughout the region, priests paid tribute to the deity by wearing the skin of human sacrifices.

Scientists have found the most likely source of Yemen’s cholera epidemic, which is the worst in recorded history. Using genomic sequencing, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Institut Pasteur concluded the strain of cholera originated in eastern Africa and was carried to Yemen by migrants.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is “deeply concerned” about the increased production of coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, in Colombia.

WND

A hacking organization known as the Dark Overlord obtained some 18,000 documents from insurers involved in the many cases that arose from the Muslim terror attack on the United States, including Hiscox and Lloyd’s of London. “The Dark Overlord said it would sell the documents for bitcoin, inviting Isis, al-Qaida and nation states to bid for them online.”

A recent survey found that nearly two out of three millennials said they didn’t feel they belonged in the communities they lived in.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“It is a common observation here that our cause is the cause of all mankind, and that we are fighting for their liberty in defending our own.” —Benjamin Franklin (1777)

The Transitioning Agenda of the 116th Congress

Dems take over the House and signal no willingness to compromise to end the partial government shutdown.

Romney Rants His Way Into the Senate

The previous GOP presidential loser denounces the guy who won and is succeeding.

The Cost of ER Care Is Making Americans Sick

A year-long “crowdsourcing” research project highlights the gross over-billing from hospitals.

The Left’s Strange Alliance With Islam

The Left sides with the “Religion of Peace,” ignoring its horrific record on individual rights.

About That Crazy Cabinet Meeting…

One of the biggest hurdles to Trump’s agenda is that he gets in his own way.

America’s Oldest Veteran Dies at Age 112

WWII veteran Richard Overton passed away after a life fully lived. Rest in peace.

Video: End Racial Preferences at Colleges?

Asians sue Harvard for discrimination in a case that may end college racial preferences.

National Security Debates on the Border and Beyond

Two national security issues are casting a long shadow over 2019.

Thursday Short Cuts

“If you’re searching for enlightenment in politics, you should probably find a better religion.” —David Harsanyi

Thursday Top Headlines

Socialists take House, no shutdown deal, nominees confirmed, new regulations at record low, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Edwin J. Feulner
Out of Order on the Judicial Vacancy Crisis
Victor Davis Hanson
Actually, 2018 Was a Pretty Good Year
Larry Elder
Government Shutdown: Money, Money Everywhere, but Not a Drop for a Wall
Terence Jeffrey
Too Little, Too Late: A Lesson in Border Security
Jeff Jacoby
Your Guess Is as Good as Theirs

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


News – 1/3/2019

China Explores Dark Side of the Moon
Chang’e-4 – named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology – a robotic probe, has sent back the first shot of the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest, oldest, deepest, crater on the far side of the moon’s surface. A photo was sent to the Queqiao satellite, which will relay communications to controllers on Earth.

The Biggest Democrat Expert on Russian Trolls was a Russian Troll
The Russians were even going all the way into Alabama. “Russian trolls tracked by #Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise,” Morgan tweeted. It wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to him because the “Russian trolls” supporting Roy Moore in Alabama were actually his trolls. A New York Times story was forced to reveal that Morgan had participated in what a report described as, “an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet” thereby “radicalizing Democrats with a Russian bot scandal”

Non-Jewish Brazilian governor asks rabbi to blow shofar at inauguration
The non-Jewish governor of a Brazilian state was inaugurated with the sounds of a shofar blown by a rabbi. The shofar “represent(s) the call for freedom, to bring good vibes and positive energies to the new government,” according to organizers of the inauguration in the state of Rio De Janeiro.

Did 2018 usher in a creeping tech dystopia?
We may remember 2018 as the year when technology’s dystopian potential became clear, from Facebook’s role enabling the harvesting of our personal data for election interference to a seemingly unending series of revelations about the dark side of Silicon Valley’s connect-everything ethos. The list is long: High-tech tools for immigration crackdowns. Fears of smartphone addiction . YouTube algorithms that steer youths into extremism. An experiment in gene-edited babies .

Putin and Macron discuss Syria, Ukrainian crisis
According to the statement, the two presidents “thoroughly discussed the Syria issue in light of agreements to form a constitutional committee that the leaders of Russia, Turkey, German and France had reached in Istanbul on October 27, 2018.

Bali volcano eruption: Mount Agung woke up shooting ash 700m into air – is it dangerous?
The centre released a statement saying: “Residents near Mount Agung as well as climbers and tourists should not carry out any activity in the danger zone or within four-kilometre radius from the crater.” Several nearby villages were coated in a thin layer of ash but no lava was seen coming from the creator and no evacuation was ordered.

North Korea “ready” to denuclearize if Kim gets everything he wants
Kim Jong Un renewed his commitment to denuclearization Tuesday and said he was ready to meet President Trump for a second time, but he warned the United States not to “misjudge” his patience.

Indonesia on tsunami alert after new cracks found on volcano
New cracks have emerged on the Anak Krakatau volcano, prompting the Indonesian authorities to urge those in the vicinity to be on the alert in case a collapse sets off another tsunami. “The cracks are certainly deep”, unlike normal gaps, and they are located close to each other, she added. “If there is another eruption, the cracks might connect and weaken the slope, causing part of the mountain to collapse again,”

WSJ: Prepare to yawn at Mueller’s final report
I challenge Mueller to put up or shut up. You have no evidence of the President being involved in a conspiracy with anyone including Russia to hack. And you also have no evidence of collusion. It’s been 2 years so submit a report to DOJ and we will answer it.

Islamic Jihad tells Iran: We will create second front in any Israel-Lebanon war
The Iranian-backed Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has committed to spark an escalation on the southern front if Israel enters a military conflict with Lebanon’s Hezbollah on the north, said the Palestinian faction’s leader, Ziad Nakhala, in an interview to the state-owned Iranian TV channel Al-Alam. Islamic Jihad is the second largest military organization in Gaza.

China Moon mission lands Chang’e-4 spacecraft on far side
China says it has successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing. At 10:26 Beijing time (02:26 GMT), the un-crewed Chang’e-4 probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, state media said. It is carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region’s geology, as well to conduct biological experiments.

Is it a UFO? Multiple people report seeing flying red sphere off SC coast.
A South Carolina woman says she filmed a possible UFO off South Carolina’s Kiawah Island on Christmas Eve, and other witnesses are stepping forward on social media to report they saw the same “beautiful red sphere.” “I’m not a nut,” wrote Debra Thompson in a YouTube post with the video. “…I just wanted to know if anyone has had any experiences in the last few days…”

Protests paralyze south Indian state after women defy temple ban
Conservative Hindu groups forced India’s southern state of Kerala to a standstill on Thursday as they protested against the state government for allowing two women to defy an ancient ban and enter a Hindu temple. About 400 protesters…took to the streets of Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala…backed by officials from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)…

Report into deadliest U.S. high school shooting calls for arming teachers, more security
Arm teachers, spend more on school security and mental health and train police to be more aggressive when responding to school shootings — those are some of the recommendations… The 485-page report into the Parkland, Florida school massacre…will be studied by Florida Governor Rick Scott, Governor-elect Ron DeSantis and a state commission charged with finding ways to prevent another school shooting massacre.

Senate confirms two FCC commissioners, science adviser
The U.S. Senate confirmed Geoffrey Starks to join the Federal Communications Commission and approved a new term for Commissioner Brendan Carr late on Wednesday. Starks, who serves as assistant bureau chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, was nominated in June. He served previously as senior counsel at the U.S. Justice Department.

Apple Plunges 8% After Cutting Q1 Revenue Guidance, Blames China; Nasdaq Tumbles
And the hits for Apple shareholders just keep on coming.

Egypt water anxiety grows over Ethiopia dam on Nile
It’s an ancient worry facing a modern challenge. Anxiety over water is growing in Egypt as Ethiopian leaders press forward with plans to build a massive dam that officials here fear will block the flow of the Blue Nile.

How Hitler’s ‘fake news’ assault on America came perilously close to succeeding
Not only was president Franklin Roosevelt a war monger and closeted Jew, his real name was Rosenfeld. The war in Poland and Russia was entirely the fault of England, and the American press was bent on bringing the country into war against peaceful Germany.

DREAMers tell of ballot-harvesting in California to flip the House blue
..The Times describes how California’s famed ballot-harvestors, who flipped places such as Orange County blue in the last midterm, aren’t actually citizens. They did it by “helping” voters fill out, and turn in, and continue to turn in, ballots from otherwise uncommitted voters until they got the result they wanted. Here’s the DREAMers “helping” the voters vote the way they wanted, in action:

ENEMIES BEWARE: With Iran on Its Doorstep, Israel Quietly Readies Game-Changing Air Power
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Israeli air power now has capabilities beyond any yet seen in military history. Its aerial strike capabilities are likely to prove decisive to the outcome of any military action taken against Iran in Syria.

Does Joel 3:4 End of Days Prophecy Refer to Deadly Electromagnetic Pulse Attack?
An end-of-days scenario that was impossible, even irrelevant, not so long ago is now being developed by America and Israel’s enemies in a manner that fits perfectly into Biblical prophecy. Experts predict it could wipe out 90 percent of America’s population and render the military ineffective, but if used against our enemies, it might even go unnoticed.

Islamic Community Patrols are now policing Muslim neighborhoods in New York City, shocking residents
The Muslim Community Patrol will doubtless be on the lookout for incidents of “Islamophobia,” that is, anti-Muslim “hate crimes,” which is entirely unnecessary, since the NYPD exists, and such incidents are actually quite rare according to FBI hate crime statistics — much less common than incidents of anti-Semitism.

50 PEOPLE Treated For TUBERCULOSIS, FLU, PARASITES and Other Diseases Every Day At Border Urgent Care Facility
They’re coming (illegally) to America—and they’re bringing TB, flu, parasites and all kinds of diseases with them. Thousands of illegal aliens are attempting to illegally cross our southern border from Mexico. Many of them are very ill. Is President Trump responsible for the deaths of people with serious illnesses who make it across our border?

Forced Child Marriage Victims Must Pay for Own Rescue, UK Government Rules
The UK Foreign Office has ruled that victims of forced marriages must pay for their own rescue when government agents return them to the United Kingdom from foreign countries.

Muslim Doctor Admits Deliberately Giving Jews the “Wrong Meds”; Media Ignores
The mainstream media in America has completely ignored a bombshell story about a Muslim doctor in in Ohio who admitted to deliberately giving Jewish people the wrong medications.


Headlines – 1/3/2019

23 police hurt, 300 settlers removed in violent evacuation of Amona outpost

Settlers suspected of hurling stones at convoy of PA prime minister

AG said aiming for February announcement on Netanyahu indictment

Brazil applauds Netanyahu-Bolsonaro bromance, new ties with Jewish state

Israel vows to ‘worsen’ conditions for Palestinian prisoners

Zarif suggests US and Israel should withdraw from Earth

Israeli official ‘in shock’ as Trump says Iran ‘can do what they want’ in Syria

Trump gives no timetable for Syria, wants to protect Kurds

Algeria shuts southern borders to Syrians over security fears

Two militants blow themselves up in clashes with Tunisian security forces

Xi Jinping says Taiwan ‘must and will be’ reunited with China

China willing to use ‘force’ to absorb Taiwan if necessary

Vietnam criticised for ‘totalitarian’ law banning online criticism of government

Hackers Threaten To Reveal “Secret” Data Linked To 9/11 Attacks

Rashida Tlaib to be sworn in to US Congress with Jefferson’s Quran

Trump suggests Vatican proves border wall is moral

Disturbing photos show national parks and monuments overflowing with garbage as the US government shutdown continues

No deal to end shutdown; Trump says ‘could be a long time’

Lindsey Graham: Trump caving on border security ‘probably the end of his presidency’

Dems’ House takeover to usher in wave of Trump investigations

U.S. Evangelical Leader: Nothing Trump Does Could Stop Me From Supporting Him

Trump says the market’s recent sell-off was just a ‘little glitch’ after stocks post the worst December since the Great Depression

NASA names most distant object explored by spacecraft with a term used by Nazis

China ‘lifts mysterious veil’ by landing probe on moon’s dark side

Early warning earthquake app released in Los Angeles

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Zhongcheng, China

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

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Biha, Indonesia

Krakatau volcano in Indonesia erupts to 45,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 19,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 19,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 17,000ft

Thailand braces for tropical storm Pabuk as tourists flee islands

Tropical Cyclone Penny to strengthen, turn for Queensland

Tropical Cyclone Mona heads to Fiji

New York City’s law allowing gender-neutral birth certificates begins Jan. 1

Protests erupt after women break decades-long ban on entering Hindu temple


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Israel in Romans 11

Gospel singer Vicki Yohe accuses David E. Taylor of being cult leader, admits she slept with him

Extremists stone Christians in India, claim victory for Hindu goddess


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Gallup: Pelosi 38% Favorable, 48% Unfavorable

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

(YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) — As the new 116th Congress is sworn in today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who likely will be elected Speaker of the House by her colleagues — is viewed favorably by 38% of Americans and unfavorably by 48% of Americans, according to a recent Gallup survey.

For comparison, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is viewed favorably by 30% of Americans and unfavorably by 48% of Americans.

Congress overall — House and Senate — has an approval rating of 18% and a disapproval rating of 75%, according to Gallup.

(Gallup)

In the survey, Gallup asked Americans’ views of U.S. congressional leaders. While Pelosi was 38% favorable and 48% unfavorable, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) garnered a favorablity of 32% and unfavorability of 40%.

“Pelosi’s latest favorability rating of 38% has risen nine percentage points since the previous measurement last June and is currently higher than the historical average of 33%,” said Gallup. However, Pelosi “is the most polarizing leader, receiving both the highest favorable reviews from members of her own party as well as the highest unfavorable reviews from members of the opposing party,” said the polling firm.

As for retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), his “latest 34% favorable rating is the lowest of his speakership and below his overall historical average of 39%,” reported Gallup. “It has fallen six percentage points since June 2018, including a 12-point drop among Republicans.”

“The trajectory of Ryan’s favorable ratings is similar to other recent past speakers who left the speakership viewed more negatively than positively by Americans, much worse off than when they started,” said Gallup. “For his part, Ryan started his speakership with a net +13 favorable rating and leaves with a net -16 image rating.”

Looking forward, Gallup projected that with “Democrats controlling the House and Republicans leading the Senate, the extreme partisan polarization of the last few years shows no signs of relenting.”

(YouTube)

Source: Gallup: Pelosi 38% Favorable, 48% Unfavorable

Democrats Vow To Somehow Surpass Republicans In Messing Everything Up — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, they promised the nation they would surpass even the Republicans at doing everything in their power to screw up the nation.

In a speech Thursday, returning Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi committed to her constituents and the nation at large that she’d lead Congress in accelerating the nation toward its inevitable doom even faster than the Republicans have.

“Everything bad they do, we’ll do it worse,” Pelosi said Thursday. “Out-of-control spending? We got you covered. Endless bickering? You got it. Funding Planned Parenthood? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Elbowing Pelosi out of the way, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grabbed the microphone and promised to catapult the country toward its demise even faster than the Republican-controlled Congress was able to. “Republicans are good at one thing: being bad at stuff. I’ll tell you this much, fam, we’ll be even worse! Ain’t nobody can beat a Bronx girl at her own game!” Ocasio-Cortez was then quietly escorted away as she began a lengthy beatbox routine she found on the internet.

The nation is reportedly excited to see how bad the Democrats can do at their job, with Congress scoring an 80% approval rating on how much it’s messing everything up.

via Democrats Vow To Somehow Surpass Republicans In Messing Everything Up — The Babylon Bee

The Good News of Peace

We’ve just come out of a season that talks a lot about peace. Christmas time is the season of the year that carries a special place in our imaginations, that evokes certain feelings in our hearts. We sing songs about the cattle peacefully lowing, and the baby quietly sleeping. We have images in our heads or on TV of snuggling warmly next to the fire and being surrounded by children contentedly playing quietly with their toys beneath the tree. Everything is picture-perfect, the night is silent, the peace of the season pervades every square inch with Christmas magic.

And then we wake up to reality, and we remember that real life is not like a Thomas Kincade painting or a hallmark channel movie. The bills are piling up, the children are bickering, the car needs a new starter, your co-worker is still gossiping about you, your family member is still mad at you for what you said last year, and all these things add up to give you, not a profound feeling of Christmas peace, but a crippling sense of anxiety and restlessness. Rather than being filled with goodwill toward men, we feel guilty because we maybe have bitterness, anger, or vengeful thoughts. We are dominated by disquieted hearts, wrapped up in every feeling, every feeling except the peace of God.

Once we have come to faith we know that we have an objective peace with God (e.g., Romans 5:1), but we often struggle because we lack a feeling of peace. While feelings aren’t ultimate, they are important and a real aspect of our lives.

Thankfully, we aren’t left without hope. The Second London Baptist Confession says that we must diligently make our calling sure so that our “heart may be enlarged in peace” (2LBCF 18.3). By meditating on Christ’s work for us, and examining our vital union with him, we may experience the feeling of peace with God. We can have peace in our souls by meditating on what Christ has done to provide peace between us and God. With some help from David Murray, consider these various ways that we might experience peace in our souls through faith in Christ:

1. When we come to faith we can have the peace of forgiveness instead of guilt. “Forgiveness quiets the disturbing dread of just judgment for our sin.” That feeling in the pit of your stomach that you get when you know you’re guilty, you’re caught, you’re dead. That feeling of dread can be replaced when we receive the peace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. This knowledge that he has completely satisfied God’s wrath and taken away our curse allows us to battle against the feeling of guilt that can linger so strongly in our hearts, and replace it with the peace of forgiveness.

2. When we come to faith we can have the peace of friendship instead of fear. God was formerly our greatest foe. He was at war with us and we were at war with him. He was not a benevolent father, but a vengeful foe, with his white-hot wrath poised to plunge us deep into eternal hell as punishment for our sins. And that enmity produced fear within our hearts. But now He is our Father, our good, loving, and benevolent father, and even more than that, He our best friend. The fear of wrath that so crippled us can be replaced with the peace that comes through genuine friendship. Friendship that knows that we can do nothing to break that bond, friendship that comes with completely open and non-judgmental communication, friendship that is so satisfying and secure that all the earthly friendships that we can have only pale in comparison. Your best earthly friendship that you have, your favorite and most loyal friend, is only a small shadow of the peace of friendship that we have with God through Christ Jesus.

3. When we come to faith we can have the peace of acceptance instead of rejection. “Before faith, no matter how hard we tried to please God, we were rightly rejected and resisted.” God was both unwilling and unable to mingle with us in our sinfulness. We were alone in our fight, rejected by God and men, and without hope of restoration or forgiveness. But after conversion, we are completely accepted in Christ. There is no more fighting and resistance, only acceptance. There is no more enmity and estrangement, only unity. There is no more brokenness and alienation, only intimacy. We have in Jesus, the peace of acceptance instead of rejection.

4. When we come to faith we can have the peace of doing what I can instead of doing what I can’t (Mark. 14:8). “I can stop trying to be a Martha and enjoy being a Mary. Instead of spending life rushed off my feet, I can sit calmly at Jesus’s feet.” Instead of busying myself to death worried about all the things that I can’t do, I can cultivate a heart of peace that is content to serve God in the ways that he’s gifted me, and I can trust that he is both glorified and satisfied with my humble acts of service.

5. When we come to faith we can have the peace of God-glorifying instead of self-seeking. Without peace with God, we all sought to build up our lives, to make for ourselves our own personal towers of Babel, to make ourselves great. We are driven by pride. But when we’ve been gripped by peace with God, we can give up on self-promotion and aim only at God-promotion. We no longer have a heart that clamors for attention and fame, a heart that is motivated by the praise of men, and instead we have hearts that scream, “He must increase, I must decrease.” Rather than being driven to hear the praise of men, we instead become driven by the desire to hear, “well done my good and faithful servant,” which is done through seeking to glorify God instead of ourselves.

6. When we come to faith we can have the peace of love instead of hate. Before faith in Christ we are full of hatred. We hate those that have crossed us, those that have broken our hearts, those that are arrogant, those that annoy us, those that are our enemies, those that take what we think should be ours. But in our hating, we do nothing but bind our own souls to the turbulence of a stormy heart. But, because of the peace of God, “love stills that ugly storm and sends gentle ripples of peace through the soul.” Tranquility can dominate your once hate-filled soul, once you have been changed by the peace of God in Christ.

7. When we come to faith we can have the peace of peace-making instead of vengeance-taking. “No longer do I have to get even. Vengeance is God’s – I give it all over to His repayment department.” I can dissolve my bitter heart with the medicine of his peace-bringing grace. My need for vengeance died on the cross when God’s vengeance toward me was crucified on the back of his son in my place. I no longer need revenge, because I’ve been forgiven, which allows me to then become a peace maker, just like Christ.

8. When we come to faith we can have the peace of contentment instead of envy. Envy makes us full of unrest. Covetousness drives us to always look for the next, the greater, the other, the green pastures on the other side of the fence, and to never have contentment and peace with what we have been given. But, when we come to have peace with God, we know that we have been provided everything that we could ever need in Jesus Christ, that we have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading waiting for us in heaven. I can be content that God has the knowledge of my every need, the power to meet my every need, and the goodness to be inclined to meet my every need. When I am content, I know peace that passes understanding, rather than the unrest that comes with envy.

9. When we come to faith we can have the peace of presence instead of loneliness. “No matter how alone I am, I am never lonely, because God is with me everywhere.” The God of all peace has promised to be with me, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. My anxious heart of loneliness has been replaced instead with the peace of his presence.

10. When we come to faith we can have the peace of patience instead of impatience. Impatience makes our souls fidgety. We sit at the red light and fiddle with the steering wheel pleading for a green light. We tap our feet in frustration waiting for our number to be called at the DMV. We’re controlled by our perception of time, rather than by the peace of God. But, when we’ve been changed by God’s peace, “we no longer have to get agitated and annoyed at every delay, but rather wait calmly on God’s better timing.” We remember that God’s clock is more accurate than our own, and we can trust in the goodness of our divine time-keeper.

11. When we come to faith we can have the peace of purpose instead of aimlessness. Without the peace of God, we are adrift, wandering, unsure of our footing and floating through life seeking for we-know-not-what. But, “instead of zig-zagging, tacking, chopping, and changing my way through life, never knowing what I should do, I now have a God-given purpose, aim, and significance.” Peace with God makes me into a son of God, which gives me eternal, God-glorifying, soul-quieting purpose.

12. When we come to faith we can have the peace of obedience rather than rebellion. “Disobedience results in chaos.” That was true in the garden with Adam, and it is true in our lives. But, just like disobedience necessarily brings chaos, “Obedience results in harmony.” That was true for Jesus and it is true for us. Where there is true, heart-level, faith-fueled obedience, there will grow in your heart a peace that God uses to reward those that seek to joyfully follow the commandments of his Son.

13. When we come to faith we can have the peace of identity rather than confusion. “In a world that cannot even tell the difference between male and female, I can have the peace of a God-given identity in Christ.” I can know that I am not a mistake, and that although my feelings might be mistaken, God’s word is never so. God’s word is light in a world of confused darkness, and it reminds me that I am a son of the King, adopted into his family, and loved by our benevolent father. I find my identity in what he says about me, and not what the world, or even my fickle heart, says about me.

In conclusion, there is good news of peace with God that can be yours if you would but come to him in faith, turn from your sins, embrace the calling of our God, and you too may have your soul freed from unrest and anxiety, and enter into the glorious peace of God, a peace which surpasses all understanding.

Source: The Good News of Peace

Faith on the Hill

The new, 116th Congress includes the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the House of Representatives, and is, overall, slightly more religiously diverse than the prior Congress.
The 116th Congress’ freshman class poses for its official photo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

Christians overrepresented in CongressThe new, 116th Congress includes the first two Muslim women ever to serve in the House of Representatives, and is, overall, slightly more religiously diverse than the prior Congress.1

There has been a 3-percentage-point decline in the share of members of Congress who identify as Christian – in the 115th Congress, 91% of members were Christian, while in the 116th, 88% are Christian. There are also four more Jewish members, one additional Muslim and one more Unitarian Universalist in the new Congress – as well as eight more members who decline to state their religious affiliation (or lack thereof).

While the number of self-identified Christians in Congress has ticked down, Christians as a whole – and especially Protestants and Catholics – are still overrepresented in proportion to their share in the general public. Indeed, the religious makeup of the new, 116th Congress is very different from that of the United States population.

Within Protestantism, certain groups are particularly numerous in the new Congress, including Methodists, Anglicans/Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans. Additionally, Protestants in the “unspecified/other” category make up just 5% of the U.S. public, but 15% of Congress.2 By contrast, some other Protestant groups are underrepresented, including Pentecostals (5% of the U.S. public vs. 0.4% of Congress).

But by far the largest difference between the U.S. public and Congress is in the share who are unaffiliated with a religious group. In the general public, 23% say they are atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” In Congress, just one person – Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who was recently elected to the Senate after three terms in the House – says she is religiously unaffiliated, making the share of “nones” in Congress 0.2%.

When asked about their religious affiliation, a growing number of members of Congress decline to specify (categorized as “don’t know/refused”). This group – all Democrats – numbers 18, or 3% of Congress, up from 10 members (2%) in the 115th Congress. Their reasons for this decision may vary. But one member in this category, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., announced in 2017 that he identifies as a humanist and says he is not sure God exists. Huffman remains categorized as “don’t know/refused” because he declined to state his religious identity in the CQ Roll Call questionnaire used to collect data for this report.3

These are some of the findings from an analysis by Pew Research Center of CQ Roll Call data on the religious affiliations of members of Congress, gathered through questionnaires and follow-up phone calls to members’ and candidates’ offices.4 The CQ questionnaire asks members what religious group, if any, they belong to. It does not attempt to measure their religious beliefs or practices. The Pew Research Center analysis compares the religious affiliations of members of Congress with the Center’s survey data on the U.S. public.5

The religious makeup of the 116th Congress

Religious makeup of new Congress similar to that of previous class

Percentage of Christians in Congress down slightlyWhile the overall composition of the new Congress is similar to that of the previous Congress – roughly nine-in-ten members of each identified as Christian – the 116th Congress has 14 fewer Christians than the 115th, and 20 fewer Christians than the 114th Congress (2015-2016).

Anglicans/Episcopalians and Presbyterians experienced the largest losses in the 116th Congress, which has nine fewer members in each of these groups compared with the previous Congress. Methodists, Congregationalists, Restorationists and Christian Scientists also lost at least one seat; there are no longer any Christian Scientists in Congress.

Some Protestant denominational families now have more members in the new Congress, led by those in the “unspecified/other” category, which gained 16 seats, bringing the total number in this category to 80. Among members of Congress, “unspecified/other” Protestants include those who say they are Christian, evangelical Christian, evangelical Protestant or Protestant, without specifying a denomination. By contrast, nondenominational Protestants, who also gained two seats (going from eight to 10), are Christians who specifically describe themselves as nondenominational.

There are five fewer Catholics and three fewer Mormons in the new Congress. There has been no change in the number of Orthodox Christians (five seats in both the new and prior Congress).

Among non-Christians, four additional Jewish members bring the Jewish share of the new Congress to 6% – three times the share of Jews in the general public (2%). Additionally, Unitarian Universalists gained one seat.

Muslim women join the new Congress for the first time – Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar. They join Andre Carson, a Muslim Democrat from Indiana, in the House, bringing the number of Muslims in the new Congress to three – one more than in the 115th Congress. (Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th district – replacing Keith Ellison, who was the first Muslim elected to Congress in 2006.)

The number of Hindus in Congress is holding steady at three. All of the Hindus from the 115th Congress are returning for the 116th: Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.; and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii.

The number of Buddhists in Congress has dropped by one. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, decided to run for governor in Hawaii rather than seek re-election in the House. (She was ultimately unsuccessful in her gubernatorial campaign.) Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson and Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, both Buddhist members of the previous Congress, are returning for the 116th.

Sinema remains the sole member of Congress who publicly identifies as religiously unaffiliated, although there has been an increase of eight members in the “don’t know/refused” category.

Differences by chamber

Large gaps between chambers of Congress in shares of Presbyterians, CatholicsChristians make up large majorities in both chambers. In fact, Protestants alone form majorities in both the House (54%) and the Senate (60%). For the most part, there are only modest differences between the chambers within the Protestant denominational families, except when it comes to Presbyterians: There are 13 Presbyterians in each chamber, making up 13% of the Senate and just 3% of the House.

By contrast, Catholics make up a larger share of the lower chamber than the upper chamber: There are 141 Catholics in the House (32%) and 22 in the Senate (22%).

The Senate gains its first member to identify as religiously unaffiliated: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., joins the Senate from the House, where she was the first unaffiliated member in that chamber.6

All of the Hindus and Muslims (three each) are in the House, along with both Unitarians. The two Buddhists in the 116th are split between the chambers. Jewish members make up a slightly larger proportion of the Senate than the House (8% vs. 6%).

The number of members who prefer not to specify a religious affiliation doubled in the House between the 115th Congress and the 116th – they now number 14. In the Senate, there are four members who do not specify a religion, up from three who said this in the previous Congress.

Differences by party

GOP members of Congress almost all ChristiansIn the 116th Congress, just two of the 253 GOP members do not identify as Christian: Reps. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., and David Kustoff, R-Tenn., are Jewish.

By contrast, 61 of the 281 Democrats do not identify as Christian. More than half of the 61 are Jewish (32), and 18 decline to specify a religious affiliation. Congressional Democrats also include Hindus (3), Muslims (3), Buddhists (2), Unitarian Universalists (2) and one religiously unaffiliated member.7

Christians remain overrepresented in both parties’ congressional delegations compared with their coalitions in the general public. While 78% of Democrats in Congress identify as Christians, among registered voters in the broader U.S. adult population, the share of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party who identify as Christians is just 57%.8

Among Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party in the general public, 82% of registered voters are Christians, compared with about 99% of Republicans in Congress. Put another way, 18% of Republican voters are not Christian, which stands in stark contrast to the 0.8% of congressional Republicans who are not Christian.

Republican members of Congress are more likely than Democratic members to identify as Protestants (70% vs. 42%). Democrats in Congress, by contrast, are more likely to be Catholic – 35% of congressional Democrats are Catholic, compared with 26% of Republicans in Congress.

There has been a rapid shift in the partisan composition of Catholics in the House. In the 114th Congress (2015-2016), the numbers of Catholic Democrats and Catholic Republicans in the House were almost identical (68 vs. 69), and the figures remained similar in the 115th Congress (74 Catholic Democrats vs. 70 Catholic Republicans in the House). But the new Congress has 31 more Catholic Democrats than Catholic Republicans in the House (86 vs. 55).

First-time members

About eight-in-ten new members of Congress are ChristiansThe new, 116th Congress has the largest freshman class since 2011 – 96 new members join 438 incumbents.

Of the new members, fully 81% identify as Christians. While this is lower than the Christian share of incumbents, it is still higher than the share of U.S. adults who are Christian (71%).

About half of freshmen are Protestants (49%), and roughly three-in-ten are Catholic (29%). Of the Protestants in the freshman class, 23% are in the “unspecified/other” Protestant category. Rounding out the Christian freshmen are two Mormons (Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, both of Utah) and one Orthodox Christian (Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.).

Among the newcomers, there also are seven Jewish members and eight who prefer not to specify their religion, as well as two Muslims and an unaffiliated member (Sinema is counted as a freshman because she is moving from the House to the Senate).

Looking back

Over the 11 congresses for which Pew Research Center has data, the 116th has the lowest number of both Christians (471) and Protestants (293). The 116th Congress also has the fewest Mormon members in at least a decade – members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints now number 10, a low over the last six congresses.

Catholics have held steady at 31% over the last four congresses, although there are now many more Catholics in Congress than there were in the first Congress for which Pew Research Center has data (19% in the 87th Congress, which began in 1961). The share of Jewish members also has increased markedly since the early ’60s.

 

 

 

  1. In this report, Congress is defined as both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Nonvoting delegates that represent U.S. territories and the District of Columbia are not counted in this analysis. They are: Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-American Samoa; Michael San Nicolas, D-Guam; Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, R-Puerto Rico; Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands; and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, I-Northern Mariana Islands. All are Catholic except Norton (who is Anglican/Episcopalian) and Plaskett (who is Lutheran).
  2. Among the general public, the “unspecified/other” Protestant category includes Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of other Christian denominations that are not listed separately, as well as people who say they are Christian or Protestant and do not specify a denomination. There are no Jehovah’s Witnesses or members of other specific Christian denominations among members of Congress. Therefore, the “unspecified/other” Protestant category includes only those members of Congress who say they are Christian, Protestant, evangelical Christian or evangelical Protestant but do not specify a denomination.
  3. In April 2018, Huffman and three other members of Congress launched the Congressional Freethought Caucus, “to promote sound public policy based on reason, science, and moral values, protect the secular character of our government, and champion the value of freedom of thought worldwide.” The other founders, all House Democrats, include two Catholics (Jerry McNerney of California and Dan Kildee of Michigan) and one Jewish member (Jamie Raskin of Maryland). Several other members of Congress have since joined, including two from the “don’t know/refused” category (Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.).
  4. Figures for members of Congress reflect the 534 members to be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2019. One race, in North Carolina’s 9th District, has not yet been certified due to allegations of electoral fraud that could nullify the results of the election.
  5. Figures for U.S. adults are from Pew Research Center’s 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study, though the figures reported here differ from previously published Landscape Study estimates in the following ways: a) Those categorized in the “Jehovah’s Witness” and “other Christian” traditions in the Landscape Study reports are included as “Protestants” here. Specifically, they are included here in the “unspecified/other” group of Protestants, except for Christian Scientists, who are listed separately here. b) Those categorized as belonging to the “other world religions” and “other faiths” traditions in the Landscape Study reports are categorized as belonging to “other faiths” here, except for Unitarian Universalists, who are listed separately here.
  6. Former Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., publicly stated that he did not believe in God, but identified as Unitarian.
  7. Both independents in Congress, Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are counted as Democrats in this analysis because they caucus with the Democrats. King is in the Anglican/Episcopal category; Sanders is Jewish.
  8. Party affiliation data for the general public come from Pew Research Center’s 2018 report, “Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party Identification.”

Source: Faith on the Hill

Gold; 8-Year Breakout Attempt In Play! — Kimble Charting Solutions

Since the 2011 highs, Gold futures have created a series of lower highs and lower lows inside of falling channel (1). The rally since the lows in 2016 has Gold facing the top of its 8-year falling channel at (2). This test comes into play as resistance for Gold, something it has struggled with for…

via Gold; 8-Year Breakout Attempt In Play! — Kimble Charting Solutions

Stocks and Bonds look to be repeating 2000 & 2007 patterns! — Kimble Charting Solutions

This chart overlays the S&P 500 and the Yield on the 5-year note over the past 25-years. When Yields hit falling resistance in 2000 & 2007, they fell hard and stocks did too (50% S&P 500 declines)! Yields hit 20-year falling resistance a couple of months ago at (1) and they are turning lower and…

via Stocks and Bonds look to be repeating 2000 & 2007 patterns! — Kimble Charting Solutions

A reckoning is underway in US Catholic Church — Christian Research Network

“In the 16 years between the Boston scandal and the Pennsylvania investigation, only about 30 dioceses around the country had released lists of priests they deemed credibly accused of abuse. Most of those dioceses came clean because they were forced to do so by lawsuits or bankruptcy filings. Some dioceses declined to name any deceased priests, since they could not defend themselves, and some would not identify any clergy members at all.”

(Claudia Lauer – AP)  Over the past four months, Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. have released the names of more than 1,000 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children in an unprecedented public reckoning spurred at least in part by a shocking grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania, an Associated Press review has found.

Nearly 50 dioceses and religious orders have publicly identified child-molesting priests in the wake of the Pennsylvania report issued in mid-August, and 55 more have announced plans to do the same over the next few months, the AP found. Together they account for more than half of the nation’s 187 dioceses.

The review also found that nearly 20 local, state or federal investigations, either criminal or civil, have been launched since the release of the grand jury findings. Those investigations could lead to more names and more damning accusations, as well as fines against dioceses and court-ordered safety measures.

“People saw what happened in these parishes in Pennsylvania and said, ‘That happened in my parish too.’ They could see the immediate connection, and they are demanding the same accounting,” said Tim Lennon, national president of the board of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. View article →

Research:

RCC Sex Scandal

Homosexual Agenda

Roman Catholicism

via A reckoning is underway in US Catholic Church — Christian Research Network

The Need to Distinguish Error — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

As never before, Christians today need ability to distinguish between right and wrong, between truth and error. The notion is widespread, in our generation, that there are no “absolutes”—that nothing is always wrong and that nothing is always right. False doctrines, therefore, are more prevalent than at any time in history–and most men and women seem to be willing to accept almost any teaching except the truths of the Bible.
Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Real [commentary on 1 John], pg.23

via The Need to Distinguish Error — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Viktor Orban of Hungary: ‘Mixing Islam With Our Culture is Not Good’

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

Through the years I have written about this courageous man, Viktor Orban, the PM of Hungary.  He understands that the Muslim migration is a death sentence to societies in the west.  He knows this because he understands that Muslims do not assimilate into societies.

He knows that Muslims remain separate from the societies of their host countries. PM Orban made an epic speech years ago in which he beautifully articulated that the people of Hungary are patriots and do not wish for their beloved country to be invaded by a group of people who refuse to assimilate.

Here is the article I wrote in which I embedded Viktor Orban’s speech:

Viktor Oban of Hungary Makes Historic Speech Against Forced Migration: Show This to Your Liberal Friends

This man is a hero. He speaks for every freedom loving person on this planet. He is PM Orban of Hungary. He knows what…

View original post 2,387 more words

January 3, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Preparation: Strength in the Lord

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. (6:10)

Basic to the effective Christian life is preparation. The unprepared believer becomes the defeated believer who seeks to serve the Lord in his own wisdom and power. The strength of the Christian life is dependence on God, being strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Any other strength proves to be impotent.

The cardinal reality presented in the book of Ephesians is that, as believers, we are in Christ and are one with Him. His life is our life, His power our power, His truth our truth, His way our way, and, as Paul goes on to say here, His strength is our strength.

The Lord’s strength is always more than sufficient for the battle. When Jesus told the church at Philadelphia, “I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Rev. 3:8), He was affirming that even a little power was enough to preserve them, because it was the Lord’s supernatural power. Our own strength is never strong enough to oppose Satan, but when we are strong in the Lord, even a little of His strength is sufficient to win any battle. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” Paul said (Phil. 4:13). It is not the amount of the strength we have that is important—only its source.

In the ultimate sense, the church’s battles with Satan are already won. In his crucifixion and resurrection Jesus destroyed Satan and his power of sin and death (Rom. 5:18–21; 1 Cor. 15:56–57; Heb. 2:14). Trust in Jesus Christ initiates a person into that victory. To the extent that a Christian is strong in the Lord, his victory over the worst that Satan has to offer is guaranteed. We are in a war—a fierce and terrible war—but we have no reason to be afraid if we are on the Lord’s side. Appropriation of that strength comes through the means of grace—prayer, knowledge of and obedience to the Word, and faith in the promises of God.

After several years of ministry, Timothy became fearful and timid. He faced stronger temptations than he had expected and considerably more opposition. Paul wrote to him, “I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.… You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:6–8; 2:1).[1]


Our Enabling (6:10)

With the simple word “Finally” (Eph. 6:10), the apostle reminds us that there has been instruction preceding this immediate plan for spiritual battle. This plan cannot operate in isolation but presumes a grasp of matters previously addressed in the book of Ephesians. These matters include an understanding of the divine source of our relationship with the God who eternally loved us and made us his own (chaps. 1–2), the need for a unified relationship with others in the church whose varying gifts help make us spiritually mature (chaps. 3–4), and the beauty of loving and sacrificial relationships in our families that help us incorporate and reflect Christ’s grace (chaps. 5–6). Implicit in these preceding instructions are all the patterns of belief and behavior that we would expect the apostle to say equip us for godly living.

Godly Patterns

There are no shortcuts to the spiritual battle preparation identified here but, thankfully, there is no mystery either. Doing as Paul has instructed in preceding passages—putting ourselves under sound teaching, seeking prayerful association and accountability to others in the church, and serving one another in healthy family relationships—nourishes Christlikeness in us. Following these well-worn paths to godliness informs and aids Christian living. Ours is not a magic religion full of mysterious incantations, secret handshakes, and arcane codes. Thus we have a duty to challenge others and ourselves to be faithful in these ordinary patterns of spiritual preparation if we are to progress and persevere in spiritual maturity as God intends. Our immersion in, and integrity with, these patterns of Christian association and accountability are the ordinary means by which we grow in godliness.

Of course, we fear that these ordinary means of growth are not enough. And, in truth, they are not. If all we are depending on to help us overcome Satan are our own right beliefs and behaviors, then we are in grave danger. Perhaps we have discovered this when we have altered our patterns and renewed our personal resolve to master a sinful practice in our lives, only to struggle and fall again. Then what should we do? Paul answers in what follows with his gentle reminder of the necessity of godly patterns in our lives. Paul does not annul the necessity of the patterns, but he places them in their proper context.

Godly Power (6:10)

Ultimately God’s power alone equips us to grow spiritually by motivating our hearts and enabling our wills to follow the patterns of godliness his Word commands. God expresses this power by embracing us and energizing us so that we can do as he requires.

We can begin thinking how this empowering process works by acknowledging the reservations we may have about the biblical patterns already mentioned. We may feel cautious about these ordinary means of grace not because we question their goodness, but because we fear that we are not good enough to practice them faithfully enough. Our Lord’s care shines in how he deals with this concern in Paul’s initial words.

The apostle begins his instruction by urging us, “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6:10). The “in the Lord” phrase is Paul’s common way of referring to our relationship with God made possible through our union with Christ. We are in him: covered by his blood, robed in his righteousness, members of his household, sons and daughters, in union with him, beloved. We may dread the exposure of our weaknesses in our battle against sin, but the apostle reminds us that the strength of our relationship with our God is provided by Christ. Because we are in him, we have access to a power that is greater than we.

My five-year-old daughter decided to play soccer with her much older siblings and cousins at a Thanksgiving gathering. She quickly tripped and got trampled. In tears she ran off the field, determined to enter the fray no more. So I picked her up, hugged her to my chest, and played the rest of the game with her in my arms. Knowing that she was in my embrace renewed her zeal for the battle, and she could not have been a more enthusiastic team member. In a similar way we gain strength for spiritual battle from knowing that even if we have failed and fallen, we are “in the Lord.” Because knowledge of our unchanging relationship grants us the will to fight and to reenter the fray when we have fallen, we understand why Paul first urges that we “Be strong in the Lord.” In God’s embrace we will battle with renewed zeal and strength.

After these words of relational encouragement, Paul identifies the source of the power that we will need for spiritual battle: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (lit., “the power of his might,” Eph. 6:10). God not only provides us support but also the actual strength that we need for spiritual battle. The nature of this strength that comes from God should not be mistaken for mere internal energy, as though God were promising to dispense spiritual vitamins or pep pills. Paul’s specific wording indicates that God does not want us merely to supplement our strength with his, but so to invigorate the new life that he has regenerated in us that he is our strength.

The phrase that Paul here uses to refer to God’s might, he has used previously in this epistle. In the first chapter, Paul writes that he wants the saints to know God’s “incomparably great power for us who believe” (Eph. 1:19a). That incomparable power the apostle then describes as “the power of his might” (Eph. 1:19b) that God “exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 1:20). Then Paul goes on to say that this power also “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.… And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:5–6). All of this background makes it clear that the “mighty power” in which Paul urges us to “be strong” is resurrection power—the divine power that makes the dead live and reign in heaven.

The powers of resurrection and rule have special significance in this passage where Paul indicates that believers war not against flesh and blood but against authorities and powers of this dark world (Eph. 6:12). Since Paul has earlier said that the risen Christ is above all authorities and powers (Eph. 1:21), then we who are in union with Christ are spiritually seated with him in heaven and thus have rule with him over the authorities and powers of Satan. The present effects of this power have been carefully described in the early passages of Ephesians. Because of the power of God’s might, we who were once dead in our transgressions and sins are now alive (Eph. 2:1, 5). Once we followed the ways of this world and were under the dominion of the ruler of the kingdom of darkness, but now by virtue of the definiteness of his sovereign choice we reign with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:2, 6). Once we were by nature objects of wrath, but we are now his glorious inheritance (Eph. 2:3; 1:18). Once we were foreigners and aliens, but now we are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Eph. 2:19).

We can further understand the power of God’s mighty work in us by identifying the differences that distinguish our past spiritual status (before Christ indwelt us) from our present status (due to his indwelling Spirit):

Once We Were

 

Now We Are

 

Dead (2:1)

 

Alive (2:5)

 

Under the dominion of Satan (2:2)

 

Seated in heavenly realms (2:6)

 

Objects of wrath (2:3)

 

His glorious inheritance (1:18)

 

Separate (2:12)

 

Brought near (2:13)

 

Foreigners (2:19)

 

Fellow citizens (2:19)

 

Aliens (2:19)

 

Household members (2:19)

 

Denied gospel mystery (3:5)

 

Understanding gospel mystery (3:4)

 

Infants (4:14)

 

Maturing in Christ (4:15)

 

Old self (4:22)

 

New self (4:24)

 

Darkness (5:8)

 

Light (5:8)

 

These contrasting descriptions reiterate with startling clarity that God’s resurrection power has made us fundamentally different creatures than we were in our unregenerate state.

Through the power of God’s might, we have a new nature. Whereas the old nature was not able to resist the wiles of Satan and the lusts of our flesh, the new nature operates with the power of the risen Lord and thus has abilities never before attainable nor apprehensible. Sinclair Ferguson summarizes,

While we continue to be influenced by our past life, “in the flesh,” it is no longer the dominating influence in our present existence. We are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). Christ’s past (if we may so speak) is now dominant. Our past is a past “in Adam”; our present existence is “in Christ,” in the Spirit. This implies not only that we have fellowship with him in the communion of the Spirit, but that in him our past guilt is dealt with, and our bondage to sin, the law, and death has been brought to an end.

Biblical truths examined previously in this epistle now ring with greater clarity and significance (see Eph. 1:21–22; 2:4–10, 22; 3:16; 4:7; 5:8, 18). Because of Christ’s resurrection power at work in us, greater is he that is in us than the Evil One who tempts us (1 John 4:4). We enter spiritual warfare with strength born of the confidence that no temptation will assault us that is greater than our ability to resist—because we face our trials with that same indomitable force that raised Christ from the dead (1 Cor. 10:13). Isaac Watts wrote of the resurrection victory that we have over Satan’s attacks:

Hell and your sins resist your course;

But hell and sin are vanquished foes:

Your Jesus nailed them to the cross,

And sang the triumph when he rose.

Our minds protest, “This is not the way that I feel. I feel that I am not able to resist. I have fallen before and have resolved with all my willpower that I will not fall again, but then I have. I do not feel that this resurrection power is mine.” We feel this way because no greater vestige of our former nature clings to us than the doubt that our new nature is real and that the God who gave it is more powerful than any foe. That is why the apostle prepares us for spiritual battle with the truth of God’s certain relationship and the reality of our resurrection power. Faith in these is essential if we are to enter the battlefield with confidence.

Faith that God has made us new, has made us his, and has made us able is essential before we will experience God’s victory over compelling and compulsive sin. I thought of these truths as I listened recently to my wife working with a thirteen-year-old doing an algebra problem. The answer was not coming easily, and before too long my straight-A-student daughter was crying, “I will never get this. I can’t do it. I’m so dumb.”

My wife, with a voice made stern enough to cut through the tears, said, “You are not dumb, and I never want to hear you say that. Now look back two pages in your book and see what you already know is right and then come back to this problem.” Our daughter is not dumb. The sternness in her mother’s voice was actually a loving affirmation of our daughter’s true nature and ability. Only the lack of confidence that she could handle the problem kept her from pushing through to the answer. When her mother refused to allow this child to characterize herself by that powerless nature, the capability our daughter actually had came to the fore and she solved the problem.

God speaks in a similar fashion to his children through the apostle Paul. The Lord hears us crying, “I am so weak, evil, stupid, and incapable that I cannot overcome this sin.” We are lovingly corrected: “ ‘Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power.’ The One who has loved you gives you a nature that makes you capable. You must have faith in the power of his might. Your Adversary, who says that you cannot resist, lies and seeks your harm. Do not believe him.”[2]


Finally. Resuming his general exhortations, he again enjoins them to be strong,—to summon up courage and vigour; for there is always much to enfeeble us, and we are ill fitted to resist. But when our weakness is considered, an exhortation like this would have no effect, unless the Lord were present, and stretched out his hand to render assistance, or rather, unless he supplied us with all the power. Paul therefore adds, in the Lord. As if he had said, “You have no right to reply, that you have not the ability; for all that I require of you is, be strong in the Lord.” To explain his meaning more fully, he adds, in the power of his might, which tends greatly to increase our confidence, particularly as it shews the remarkable assistance which God usually bestows upon believers. If the Lord aids us by his mighty power, we have no reason to shrink from the combat. But it will be asked, What purpose did it serve to enjoin the Ephesians to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power, which they could not of themselves accomplish? I answer, there are two clauses here which must be considered. He exhorts them to be courageous, but at the same time reminds them to ask from God a supply of their own deficiencies, and promises that, in answer to their prayers, the power of God will be displayed.[3]


10 Paul introduces his final point with a customary “finally” (tou loipou; cf. Gal 6:17; Php 3:1; 1 Th 4:1). Returning to the language of power employed earlier in his prayers for his readers (1:19; 3:16, 20), Paul urges them to be strengthened continually (present, probably passive, imperative verbal form). The verb endynamoō (GK 1904; “strengthen”; NIV, “be strong”) is a favorite of Paul (six out of its seven uses in the NT are Paul’s) and one he often uses to describe God’s empowerment for his own ministry and for surviving hardship (Php 4:13; 1 Ti 1:12; 2 Ti 2:1; 4:17). In the same way, the church needs to appropriate God’s empowerment to fortify it for the spiritual ordeals it encounters. The call to “be strong” is natural in calling soldiers to battle (recall Jos 1:6–7, 9). To this appeal, Paul appends two prepositional phrases. First, they must be strengthened “in the Lord.” This comes as no surprise: only in union with Christ do the church and believers within it find the power to live the life to which God has called them. No human power alone can resist the devil’s designs. Second, and redundantly, they need to be strengthened “through the power of his [the Lord’s] strength” (en tō kratei tēs ischyos autou; NIV, “in his mighty power”). Paul first used the terms in this phrase in 1:19, where he told his readers of the “mighty strength” available to them in Christ. The capacity to fight spiritual battles lies in appropriating God’s strength. We are strong as we allow ourselves to be continually strengthened by God.[4]


“Be strong in the Lord” (v. 10)

The main idea in this paragraph is that Christians must “put on” (v. 11) or “take up” (v. 13) “the full armor of God.” Beginning in verse 14, in fact, Paul gives a point-by-point set of instructions for how we must do this. Notice, however, that Paul begins the paragraph with an even more basic idea. The first thing he says is not “Take up the … armor” but “be strong in the Lord” (v. 10). That command, it seems, is foundational. The Christian must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” This is the main thing—indeed, the goal which the armor of God serves: that we “be strong in the Lord”; that we have the courage and capacity to enter the fracas and engage the “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Let the self-sufficient among us remember, however, to put no confidence in our own power and abilities. For we are to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

“Be strong in the Lord,” Paul says. That is the most basic thing we must do as we engage the dark forces around us. But why? What are we trying to accomplish in our skirmishes with the devil? Our goal is to …[5]


6:10 / Finally, that is, this is the last or concluding exhortation. The phrase be strong in the Lord is not a plea for self-effort. The present passive verb endynamoō literally means “be made strong in the Lord continually.” The next phrase indicates that this empowerment is possible because of the resources that the Lord supplies—in his mighty power.

Within this verse there are three Greek words for power—dynamis, kratos, and ischus. Distinctions between these words are not always possible or necessary; the message that comes through is that God’s resources enable the believer to face evil. These same words in 1:19 described the spiritual gifts of the believer (indicative); now believers are exhorted to experience the effect of that power in their daily life (imperative).[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (p. 337). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Chapell, B. (2009). Ephesians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 329–334). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (p. 334). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 162–163). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Strassner, K. (2014). Opening up Ephesians (pp. 136–137). Leominster: Day One.

[6] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 285). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

January 3 God’s Guide to Life

scripture reading: Isaiah 43:16–19
key verse: Isaiah 43:19

 

Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.

Have you ever felt that your life was a dry, barren desert? In today’s passage of Isaiah, Israel felt spiritually and emotionally desolate. In their disobedience, they had wandered from God, and He had allowed them to go. When they came to their senses, they cried out in evidence of the burden they bore in their hearts. They were alone and needed a fresh touch from God.

The wonderful thing about God is that He is never at a distance. He is always beside us. Because faithfulness is a part of His nature, He cannot be unfaithful and still be God. That means when we are faithless, He is still faithful. And in the case of Israel, He proved true to His nature.

God commissioned the prophet Isaiah to record and report His words to His people. In Isaiah 43:18, God told Israel: “Do not call to mind the former things, / Or ponder things of the past” (nasb). In other words, “Don’t spend a great deal of time looking back over past failures. Today is today. Up ahead is where we are going, and this is what I plan to do.”

God always works in the present but looks to the future. Life at its best is not lived in the past—worrying over what happened or what once was. Instead, it is lived in the here and now, aware of one thing: God is a God of love, and He is always at work in your life to do something for your good and His glory.

Thank You, Lord, that You will do new things in my life during the coming year. Help me look forward and not back to the past. Work in my present as I look to the future You have planned for me.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

3 january (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The immutability of Christ

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8

suggested further reading: Hebrews 1:5–13

It is well that there is one person who is the same. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the changing billows of this sea of life; for how many and how grievous have been the changes of last year? How many of you who commenced in affluence, have by the panic, which has shaken nations, been reduced almost to poverty? How many of you, who in strong health marched into this place on the first Sabbath of last year, have had to come tottering here, feeling that the breath of man is in his nostrils, and wherein is he to be accounted of? Many of you came to this hall with a numerous family, leaning upon the arm of a choice and much loved friend. Alas! for love, if that were all, and nought beside, O earth! For you have buried those you loved the best. Some of you have come here childless, or widows, or fatherless, still weeping your recent affliction. Changes have taken place in your estate that have made your heart full of misery. Your cups of sweetness have been dashed with draughts of gall; your golden harvests have had tares cast into the midst of them, and you have had to reap the noxious weed along with the precious grain. Your much fine gold has become dim, and your glory has departed; the sweet feelings at the commencement of last year became bitter ones at the end. Your raptures and your ecstasies were turned into depression and forebodings. Alas! for our changes, and hallelujah to him that has no change.

for meditation: Change is part and parcel of everything in a fallen creation (Genesis 3:16–19). The Lord Jesus Christ is not part of creation, not even the very first part, but is Lord over all creation and not subject to any change. In him God’s children can look forward to glorious liberty from creation’s present bondage to decay (Romans 8:21–23).

sermon no. 170[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 10). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

3 JANUARY 365 Days with Calvin

Holy Work

And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15

suggested further reading: Matthew 25:14–30

Moses now says that the earth was given to man with the condition that he cultivate it. It follows, then, that man was created to employ himself in work and not to lie down in idleness. Labor, truly, was created pleasant and full of delight, entirely exempt from all trouble and weariness. Since God ordained that man should cultivate the ground, he also condemned all indolent repose. Nothing is more contrary to the order of nature than to spend life eating, drinking, and sleeping while having no work to do. Moses says Adam was given the custody of the garden. That shows us that we possess the things that God has given to us on the condition that we be content with a frugal and moderate use of them and that we also take care of what remains.

Let him who possesses a field so partake of its yearly fruits that he does not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence. Let him labor to hand it down to posterity, either as he received it or even better cultivated. Let him so feed on its fruits that he neither dissipates it by luxury nor permits it to be marred or ruined by neglect. Moreover, so that economy and diligence with those good things which God has given us to enjoy may flourish among us, let every one regard himself as the steward of God in all things that he possesses. Then he will neither conduct himself dissolutely nor corrupt by abuse those things which God requires to be preserved.

for meditation: Hard work is a gift from God, not a curse of sin; therefore, let us joy in work well done. Diligent and conscientious work brings glory to our Creator as we fulfill an important aspect of his will for humanity. Do you work “as unto God” or “as unto men”?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 21). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

“I know…”

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

Jesus is omniscient. We read this in the Bible and we accept it. But accepting it and understanding it at the deepest level are sometimes two different things. In listening to Pastor Eric Spuur of Mt. Angel Bible Church go through Revelation (series begins here, and is also here on iTunes), he emphasized the following point.

Jesus knows. He is fully aware of all that occurs in His church. See how many times it is written-

To Ephesus
“I know your works…” (Revelation 2:2)

To Smyrna
“I know your tribulation…” (Revelation 2:9)

To Pergamum
I know where you dwell…” (Revelation 2:13)

To Thyatira
“I know your works…” (Revelation 2:19)

To Sardis-
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:1b)

To Philadelphia
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:8)

To Laodicea
“I know your works…” (Revelation 3:15)

‘I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’…’I know’… it hammers you…

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Throwback Thursday ~ Touch Not My Anointed?

Michelle Lesley

Originally published January 23, 2018

“Never challenge or speak out against God’s anointed,” I recently read in a book for Christian women.

Have you ever heard someone say this? Is it biblical? Who are “God’s anointed”? Why should we never challenge or speak out against them? What does it mean to be “anointed” anyway?

This is just one more of the many dangerous false teachings coming out of the Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation heresies. It is an adulteration of Psalm 105:15/1 Chronicles 16:22 (same text). The phrase “touch not My anointed” is lifted out of context and imbued with the meaning “never criticize, correct, or rebuke the pastor.” Unfortunately, churches that wield this false teaching like a weapon usually do so because they are pastored by a false teacher who needs to be (or is being) biblically criticized, corrected, or rebuked.

The context of Psalm 105/1 Chronicles…

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