Daily Archives: January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Source of the New Covenant

because of the tender mercy of our God, (1:78a)

It is God’s tender mercy that moves Him to show compassion to lost sinners. Tender translates splagchna, which literally refers to the inner parts of the body, such as the intestines, heart, liver, and lungs (cf. Acts 1:18). Figuratively, it describes the affections and the heart as the seat of those affections (2 Cor. 6:12; 7:15; Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12; Philem. 7, 12, 20; 1 John 3:17). In combination with eleos (mercy) it vividly depicts the intensity of God’s compassionate concern for sinners.

Mercy is a glorious attribute of God, celebrated throughout Scripture. He is “merciful and gracious” (Ps. 86:15; cf. 145:8), and “full of compassion and … merciful” (James 5:11; cf. Luke 6:36). The outworking of that mercy results in God showing kindness to sinners. Speaking of His tender mercy toward Israel, Isaiah wrote, “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them” (Isa. 63:9). In Jeremiah 33:26, God said of downtrodden Israel, “I will restore their fortunes and will have mercy on them” (cf. Ezek. 39:25). Mary rejoiced that God’s “mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him” (Luke 1:50) and that “He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy” (v. 54). Earlier in his hymn of praise, Zacharias also spoke of God’s past mercy to Israel (v. 72). Ephesians 2:4 declares that it is because God is “rich in mercy” that He redeems lost sinners, while in 1 Timothy 1:13 and 16, Paul praised God for His mercy in saving him. Titus 3:5 declares that God “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (cf. 1 Peter 1:3; 2:10).

In his classic exposition of the attributes of God, The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer expressed the wonder that all the redeemed should feel when they contemplate God’s mercy toward them:

When through the blood of the everlasting covenant we children of the shadows reach at last our home in the light, we shall have a thousand strings to our harps, but the sweetest may well be the one tuned to sound forth most perfectly the mercy of God.… We who earned banishment shall enjoy communion; we who deserve the pains of hell shall know the bliss of heaven. And all through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us. ([New York: Harper & Row, 1975], 96)

There was nothing inherently wrong with the Mosaic covenant; “the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:12). It was an absolutely perfect reflection of God’s righteous character. Had God merely enforced the terms of the Mosaic covenant and condemned all sinners to eternal punishment for violating His law, He would have glorified Himself by displaying His justice. But God chose to have mercy on hopeless, helpless sinners in the misery of their fallen state and institute the New covenant, with its promise of forgiveness, righteousness, and full eternal acceptance with God.

The Blessings of the New Covenant

which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (1:78b–79)

Zacharias anticipated the coming of the One whose death would procure the blessings of the New covenant—the Messiah. He identified Him using a metaphor rich in Old Testament messianic theology and symbolism. Anatolē (Sunrise) literally means “rising,” and refers here to the first light of dawn. On high (lit., “out of” or “from the height”) refers symbolically to heaven. Zacharias thus depicts the Messiah as a great light from heaven, who will shine the light of salvation upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (cf. Isa. 9:2; Ps. 107:10, 14; John 12:46). He is the “the sun of righteousness [who] will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal. 4:2), shining into the deep darkness of sin and ending the soul’s long night. Second Peter 1:19 speaks of the time when “the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts,” while in Revelation 22:16, the Lord Jesus Christ called Himself “the bright morning star.”

Darkness in Scripture can be used metaphorically in two ways. Intellectually, it refers to ignorance and error (e.g., Ps. 82:5; Eccl. 2:14; Eph. 4:18). Morally, darkness symbolizes sin (e.g., Prov. 2:13; 4:19; John 3:19; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:8, 11), and the realm of Satan (e.g., Luke 22:53; Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:13). God is light (1 John 1:5), and consequently Jesus, God incarnate, came into the world as the Light of the world (John 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). He is “a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison” (Isa. 42:6–7).

To a lost world groping in the darkness and desperately hoping for light (Isa. 59:9–10), God, knowing there was no human solution to sin’s dilemma (v. 16), sent “a Redeemer … to those who turn from [their] transgression” (v. 20; cf. 53:4–6, 8, 10–12). Speaking of the New covenant that would bring that about, God declared, “ ‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the Lord: ‘My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,’ says the Lord, ‘from now and forever’ ” (v. 21).

The light of salvation will continue to shine in the millennial kingdom, as Isaiah 60:1–5 reveals:

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice.

Indeed, throughout eternity the light of God’s glory will illuminate the New Jerusalem:

No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane; for you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be over. (60:19–20)

Not only would the Messiah bring the light of salvation to His people, He would also guide their feet into the way of peace. Lost sinners, stumbling around in the darkness, know nothing of true peace (Rom. 3:17). But peace is one of the elements of the New covenant. In Isaiah 54:10, God said, “ ‘For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,’ says the Lord who has compassion on you.” “Peace I leave with you;” Jesus promised, “my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Peace, Paul wrote, begins with salvation: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). The kingdom of God is characterized by “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). Peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard [believers’] hearts and [their] minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).

With the end of Zacharias’s song of praise, the curtain falls on the life of John the Baptist, not to be raised again until the beginning of his public ministry in chapter 3. The Bible passes over his childhood in silence, revealing even less details about it than it does of Jesus’ childhood. All that is known of John during the long years between his circumcision and the beginning of his public ministry is that he continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel. He then assumed the role predicted for him as Messiah’s forerunner, proclaiming the New covenant of which his father so eloquently and passionately spoke.[1]


78. Through the bowels of mercy. In so great a benefit Zacharias justly extols the mercy of God, and not satisfied with merely calling it the salvation which was brought by Christ, he employs more emphatic language, and says that it proceeded from the very bowels of the mercy of God. He then tells us metaphorically, that the great mercy of God has made the day to give light to those who were sitting in darkness. Oriens, in the Latin version of this passage, is not a participle: for the Greek word is ἀνατολή, that is, the Eastern region, as contrasted with the West. Zacharias extols the mercy of God, as manifested in dispelling the darkness of death, and restoring to the people of God the light of life. In this way, whenever our salvation is the subject, we ought to raise our minds to the contemplation of the divine mercy. There appears to be an allusion to a prediction of Malachi, in which Christ is called “the Sun of Righteousness,” and is said to “arise with healing in his wings,” (Mal. 4:2,) that is, to bring health in his rays.[2]


78, 79. Because of the merciful heart of our God,

With which the Rising Sun will visit us from on high,

To shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow,

To guide our feet into the path of peace.

Note the following:

  • “The merciful heart of our God” is literally “our God’s entrails [or: bowels] of mercy.” A discussion of this figure of speech can be found in N.T.C. on Philippians, p. 58, footnote 39.
  • “With which” = “equipped with this (merciful heart).”
  • “The Rising Sun” (some prefer “the Dawn” or simply “Dawn”), like “the horn of salvation” in verse 69, indicates and describes the Messiah. The point is that in and through him the Most High himself will in his tender mercy visit the people in order to help and save them.

Basically the Greek term used here (anatolē) means rising (cf. Matt. 2:2). It is but a small step from rising or rise to sunrise, and from there to the Rising Sun. Since we know that Zechariah, the author of this hymn, was deeply aware of the prophecies of Malachi (note resemblance between 1:17, 76 and Mal. 3:1), it is not difficult to believe that he is here echoing Mal. 4:2, the passage about the coming of “the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings.”

  1. There is considerable textual support for the reading “has visited us” instead of “will visit us.” But the reading “will visit us” is at least equally strong. Besides, accepting the future tense here is favored by the fact that the passage occurs in a context of futures (“will be called,” “will go before,” verse 76). Also, Jesus was not yet born, so that “has visited” can be justified only if it be interpreted as a prophetic past. All in all it would seem that the future tense deserves the preference in this case.
  2. The “visit” of this “Sun” has as its purpose: “to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow” (verse 79). This phraseology is derived from Isa. 9:1, 2, which is also quoted in Matt. 4:16.

Sitting in darkness and death’s shadow indicates a condition of danger, fear, and hopelessness, a pining away, with no human help in sight. In Scripture the designation darkness, when used figuratively, refers to one or more of the following features: delusion (blindness of mind and heart; cf. 2 Cor. 4:4, 6; Eph. 4:18); depravity (Acts 26:18); and despondency (Isa. 9:2; see its context, verse 3). Though all three qualities are probably in the picture here, yet the emphasis may well be on the last of the three (despondency, hopelessness).

The antonym of darkness is light, which, accordingly, refers to genuine learning (the true knowledge of God, Ps. 36:9), life to the glory of God (Eph. 4:15, 24; 5:8, 9, 14), and laughter (gladness, Ps. 97:11). All three may well be included, but here too the emphasis is perhaps on the last of the three.

The real meaning of the words, accordingly, is this, that Jesus Christ, by his presence, teaching, deeds of mercy and power, would fill the hearts of all his followers with the joy of salvation. No longer would they be pining away in gloom and despair. Whenever Jesus enters human hearts, the words of a popular hymn go into effect,

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,

The light of the world is Jesus.

  • “To guide our feet into the path of peace.” Those who a moment ago were pictured as sitting down in despair are now standing on their feet; in fact, are walking. Their sadness has been turned into gladness. Note the connection: “to shine on those … to guide our feet.” By means of shining, the Rising Sun guides our feet. All we, sinners, had gone astray and had turned to our own way (Isa. 53:6), not knowing “the way of peace” (Isa. 59:8, 9). Then the Sun rises, shines, directs our feet into the path of peace.

This peace is both objective and subjective. Objectively it amounts to reconciliation with God through “David’s horn,” “the Rising Sun,” the Messiah (2 Cor. 5:20). Subjectively it is the quiet and comforting assurance of forgiveness and adoption (Rom. 8:16 f.). It is the smile of God reflected in the reconciled sinner’s heart, the shelter from the storm, the hiding-place in the shadow of his wings, the stream that issues from the fountain of grace. To that peace the Rising Sun directs our feet.

As this touchingly beautiful song draws to its close it seems as if already we hear the angels sing:

Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace among men he has graciously chosen.

We have studied “Elizabeth’s Song of Love” and “Mary’s Song of Faith.” That we have every right to call the priest’s prophecy “Zechariah’s Song of Hope” can hardly be questioned. The very word prophecy, as here used, implies also the forward look, which, as has been shown, is the distinguishing trait of this song.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2009). Luke 1–5 (pp. 120–123). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 77). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (Vol. 11, pp. 128–129). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

January 17, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

The U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s call for Congress to fund a wall he promised to build on the U.S.- Mexican border is threatening another campaign pledge to make rules easier to navigate for banks and corporations.

Democrats in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday were moving ahead with legislation to prevent the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, following a court decision this week blocking inclusion of such information.

Zimbabwean police plan to charge activist pastor Evan Mawarire with subverting the government, a crime which carries up to 20 years in jail on conviction, after violent protests this week in which three people were killed and scores injured, lawyers said.

The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Jan. 12.

AP Top Stories

With the U.S. government shutdown now in its fourth week, states have begun taking steps to cushion the blow for federal workers who have been tossed out of work or forced to work without pay. Measures range from special arrangements for accessing unemployment benefits to an interest-free loan backstopped by state coffers.

According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than $13 billion in duties imposed by the Trump administration were assessed on imported goods as of Dec. 18. Actual collections could lag and be lower because of refunds and other factors, but Treasury Department reports show receipts from all customs duties have risen sharply since the tariffs took effect.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked Pakistan on Thursday for its help in pushing forward peace talks with the Taliban as diplomatic efforts continued to keep the process on track, Pakistani officials said.

An American teacher captured by Kurdish-led forces in Syria acknowledged in an interview aired Tuesday that he was drawn to the Islamic State movement but said he did not fight.

A US citizen was among those killed in a powerful truck bomb attack against a heavily fortified foreign compound in Kabul this week, officials said Wednesday, as the government continued investigating the blast site. The Taliban have claimed responsibility after the bomb detonated near the Green Village compound in east Kabul on Monday. Afghan authorities have said at least four people were killed and 113 wounded.

Disgraced former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick is almost certain to be defrocked in the next few weeks over allegations against him, including sexual abuse of minors, two Vatican sources said. Last July, McCarrick became the first Catholic prelate in nearly 100 years to lose the title of cardinal.

One of the world’s most successful brands committed ideological hara-kiri this week. Recognized around the world as a symbol of manly civility for more than a century, Gillette will now be remembered as the company that did itself in by sacrificing a massive consumer base at the altar of progressivism.

Newly obtained documents reveal that the United States has been training coalition military personnel from the United Arab Emirates for the air war in Yemen.

Representatives Steven Palazzo of Mississippi and Andy Harris of Maryland, both members of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the Border Bonds for America Act of 2019 — a law that would allow Americans to buy such securities from the U.S. The money would be put in a trust fund and used just to build a wall along the nearly 2,000 mile border.

The U.S. is stepping up its involvement in the debate over reforming the World Trade Organization and questioned the Geneva-based body’s policies that allow China to benefit from rules meant to bolster poorer nations.

Qatar donated 68 armored vehicles to Somalia on Thursday, Qatar’s defense ministry said, a sign that Doha is pushing for influence in the country with the role of its Gulf rival, the United Arab Emirates, under strain.

U.S. Border Patrol agents in New Mexico say a group of nearly 250 immigrants are in custody after turning themselves in to authorities at the Antelope Wells Port of Entry.

BBC

One of North Korea’s top negotiators is on his way to Washington to meet US officials ahead of a possible second summit between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. South Korean reports say that Kim Yong-chol, flying from Beijing, is carrying another letter from Mr. Kim to Mr. Trump.

A 21-year-old man from the US state of Georgia has been arrested over an alleged terror plot to attack the White House and Statue of Liberty.

Second Lady Karen Pence, the wife of the US vice-president, will return to teaching art at a school that requires employees to oppose LGBT lifestyles. The school in Springfield, Virginia, bars teachers from engaging in or condoning “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity”.

WND

There are approximately 1,800 campaigns to raise money for those affected by the stalemate on the fundraising website GoFundMe, according to GoFundMe spokesperson Katherine Cichy. The campaigns have raised over $400,000 total, Cichy said.

A new poll released on the eve of the annual March for Life protest finds that 41 percent of millennials, the largest group of American voters, are not in lock step with Democrats on abortion and their support for the landmark Roe vs. Wade case legalizing abortion.

Christians around the world suffered a huge increase in persecution last year – with around 30 million more people being targeted than in the previous year.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” —Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

Pelosi’s SOTU Political Play

The House speaker invited the president to give the annual address … in writing.

Furloughed Fed Employees Are Now on Paid Vacation

As Dems play political games, the president acts to mitigate as much of the impact of the shutdown as possible.

The Razor’s Edginess

Millions of Americans are sick and tired of being lectured, cajoled, berated, and bombarded.

90% of Guns Used in Crime Obtained Illegally

A DOJ report finds that the vast majority of guns used in criminal activity were obtained illegally.

RIP: Air Force Medal of Honor Recipient Joe Jackson

He was famous for his daring rescue of a team of Air Force combat controllers in Vietnam.

Video: Weatherman Fired Over Racial Slur Slip-Up

Matt Christiansen dissects how a man was canned for a tongue slip: Martin Luther “Coon.”

MLK v the Democrat Party

Black Americans are recognizing that Democrats have turned MLK’s dream into a nightmare.

Thursday Short Cuts

The BIG Lie: “The government is closed because of President Trump.” —Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Thursday Top Headlines

Federal workers guaranteed pay, Dems disunited, terror plot foiled, missile defenses expanded, Rainbow Mafia, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Edwin J. Feulner
The Presidential Loser Who ‘Won the Future’
Tony Perkins
First Freedom: A Day to Celebrate
Victor Davis Hanson
Trump’s Reelection Chances May Be Better Than You Think
Cal Thomas
Now Playing in Puerto Rico
Mona Charen
Is Gillette Wrong?

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon



News – 1/17/2019

FBI: Sting nabs jihadist who wanted to attack White House with anti-tank rocket
A would-be jihadist who had detailed plans to use an anti-tank rocket to storm into the White House was arrested in a sting Wednesday after he traded his car for guns and explosives, authorities said.

Nepal earthquake: Waiting for the complete rupture
…the country may still face the threat of much stronger earthquakes with a magnitude of 8 or more. This is the conclusion reached by a group of earth scientists from ETH Zurich based on a new model of the collision zone between the Indian and Eurasian Plates in the vicinity of the Himalayas. Our model shows that, although the Gorkha earthquake reduced the stress level in part of the rupture zone, tension actually increased in the frontal section close to the foot of the Himalayas. The apparent paradox is that ‘medium-sized’ earthquakes such as Gorkha can create the conditions for an even larger earthquake,”

Nairobi terrorists say attack was revenge for U.S. Jerusalem embassy move
Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based al Qaeda affiliate fighting to impose strict Islamic law, said it carried the assault on the upscale dusitD2 compound over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Magnetic Pole Shift Could Turn Our World Upside Down
But the movement of the north magnetic pole has been the object of study since 1831. Initially, it was tracked moving into the Arctic Ocean at a rate of about 15km each year. But, since the mid 1990s, it has picked up speed. It’s now shifting at a rate of about 55km a year. At the same time, Earth’s magnetic field has been getting weaker and weaker, and this has many experts deeply concerned that we could soon experience a catastrophic pole flip.

Israel Air Force Invited to First-Ever Joint Exercise With Britain’s RAF
The IAF has been invited to take part in the annual Cobra Warrior exercise at Coningsby airbase in Lincolnshire in September. While defense cooperation between Israel and Britain has been intensifying at all levels in recent years, the IAF has never been invited to participate in the exercise.

Was FBI Secret Trump Investigation After Firing of Comey a Treasonous Coup?
James Comey was appointed by Barack Obama to be the FBI Director in 2013 after Robert Mueller left the post. On May 9, 2017, President Trump fired Comey, causing him to turn against Trump and work with Mueller in trying to destroy the Trump presidency. The nation is now learning that upon Comey’s firing, loyal, Obamanite FBI leadership launched a top secret internal investigation into Trump. Many as asking if this secret investigation was legal and some are suggesting that it may have been an attempt at a treasonous coup to remove Trump from office.

Expel international observers from Hebron – top minister to Netanyahu
Netanyahu must oust the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), thereby ending the mandate of the international observer force, Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday. He issued his call 14 days before his decision to renew the mandate of the organization that has operated in Hebron for 12 years was expected to be in, based on an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Putin warns West on Balkans as Serbia prepares lavish welcome
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a powerful delegation to Serbia on Thursday, aiming to cement co-operation with a country seeking to join the EU. Ahead of his Belgrade visit, Mr Putin accused some Western countries of “destabilising” the Balkans. Security will be tight in the Serbian capital. MiG jets will escort his plane and 7,000 police are being deployed.

US Pentagon urges missile defence sensors in space
The US must research new technologies, such as a layer of sensors in space, to find and destroy incoming missiles, a Pentagon report is expected to say. The Missile Defence Review, due for release on Thursday, says the US should revamp its missile defence programme to combat foreign threats. It includes plans to study a possible orbital sensor system to intercept and stop missiles in their tracks.

Border rancher: ‘We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal’
Ranchers and farmers near the U.S.-Mexico border have been finding prayer rugs on their properties in recent months, according to one rancher who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by cartels who move the individuals. The mats are pieces of carpet that those of the Muslim faith kneel on as they worship.

Immigration group files suit to force Southern Poverty Law Center revoke ‘hate’ label
One of the most prominent groups advocating for stricter immigration went to court Wednesday to demand a judge order the Southern Poverty Law Center to stop labeling it a “hate group,” accusing the self-described watchdog of running an illegal racket to silence political opponents. The Center for Immigration Studies says the SPLC’s accusations that it is racist and anti-immigrant are wrong and have cost the nonprofit support and financial backing…

Report: Trump’s Mideast plan proposes Palestinian state in West Bank
Israeli television said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan would propose a Palestinian state on as much as 90 percent of West Bank, with a capital in East Jerusalem, but not including its holy sites. The Trump administration has said publication of the plan, kept closely under wraps, could be months away, and cautioned against speculation about its contents.

Black South African politician urges followers to ‘kill whites’, saying: ‘We will kill their children and their women’
The leader of a South African political party has called for the killing of white women and children in a row over the taxi industry. Andile Mngxitama, president of Black First Land First (BLF), was speaking at a rally on the weekend in Potchefstroom near Johannesburg when he made the violent comments.

‘Palestinian’ leader Abbas takes over largest UN bloc, calls for a global battle against terrorism
The global community must band together to combat terrorism, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday as he took over the chairmanship of the United Nations Group of 77 and China, the organization’s largest bloc of member states.

NYC: Sculpture proclaiming “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet” removed from Ground Zero
It looks as if the New York chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was caught napping on this one. Ordinarily one would have expected them to swoop in with charges of “Islamophobia” and make sure the sculpture stayed right where it was.

US Pentagon accounted plans for stationing troops on the Mexican border – liberals outraged
According to an Associated Press report, the military deployment will not only continue until the end of September 2019, but will be enhanced as soldiers and Marines continue to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its efforts to reinforce the southern border, including the arrival of more migrant caravans.

PURE HATE: Muslim mobs close four churches in Egypt –
In recent weeks, hardline Islamic extremists have carried out a spate of attacks against four churches in Egypt, persecution watchdog International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported. All four churches were in the midst of seeking official recognition from the state to carry out worship services.

‘Mass casualty’ attack on White House foiled
A metropolitan Atlanta man has been accused of plotting to destroy the White House – as well as other government buildings in Washington, D.C. – in a case that was revealed on Wednesday.

O’Rourke Questions the Relevance of the Constitution: ‘Does It Still Work?’
Former congressman and failed Senate candidate Robert Francis (Beto) O’Rourke questioned the relevance of the United States Constitution in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

US Foster Care Supplies 88 Percent of Sex Trafficked Children, Study Finds
Child sex slavery is a rapidly expanding problem in the United States, yet it’s a problem many people don’t want to face up to.


Headlines – 1/17/2019

Trump peace plan: divide Jerusalem, Palestinian state on 85-90% of W.Bank

US Special Representative says Israeli TV report on “Deal of the Century” is inaccurate, says speculation on its contents is unhelpful

Palestinians say any peace plan without a state along 1967 lines will fail

PA chairman’s spokesman rejects any agreement without a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders

Egypt, Israel Plan Undersea Gas Pipeline Amid Growing Spirit of Cooperation

New Regional Gas Forum Brings Israel Big Geopolitical Gains, but at What Cost?

Al-Shabaab: Kenya attack because of Jerusalem recognition

Police probing death of Israeli woman in West Bank crash; family: it’s terror

Australian police: In ‘horrific’ attack, Israeli student murdered while on phone

Think Tank: Biggest Security Threat Facing Israel in 2019 Is Multi-Front War in North and South

‘Israel may need to invade Iran to stop its entrenchment in Syria’

Russia’s air defenses can’t stop Israel from stomping on Iran in Syria with airstrikes

4 Americans killed in Syria attack. ISIS claims responsibility

An American CEO who survived 9/11 died in the terror attack on a Kenya hotel

U.S. troop deaths revive anger over Trump’s Syria withdrawal plan

Vice-President Pence says IS defeated despite Syria attack

In last 24 hours, over 2,000 evacuated from final Syria ISIS holdout

Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan to discuss U.S. pullout from Syria next week

Javad Zarif: Iran wants key role in rebuilding Iraq after ISIS fight

Iranian embassy in Beirut slams US as ‘ISIS incubator’

Iran Vows to Keep Forces in Syria After Netanyahu Warns of More Strikes

Netanyahu praises Bolton for ‘pressure on Iran to abandon nuclear ambitions’

Atomic chief: Iran could enrich uranium to 20 percent within 4 days

After botched satellite launch, Iran plans second try at space shot in months

Trump administration to roll out new space-based missile defense plan

Trump ‘might actually leave Nato’, former US ambassador says

U.S. to Withdraw From Major Nuclear Arms Treaty – Citing Russian Violations

Russia ready to work with US to save arms treaty, says Lavrov

Bid to keep U.S. sanctions on Russia’s Rusal fails in Senate

Russia Says Ukraine May No Longer Be a Country Soon

Kremlin: The idea that Donald Trump could have worked for Russia is stupid

Giuliani doesn’t deny Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia – says he only denies Trump himself colluded

As shutdown lingers, Pelosi pushes Trump to delay State of Union speech

Pelosi only gives Trump a bigger audience by canceling State of the Union

White House Redefines Who Is Essential to Get Parts of Government Moving Again

Oakland Airport TSA Agent: ‘Things Not Being Checked Like They Should Be’

Border rancher: ‘We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal’

Number of Anchor Babies in California Twice Wyoming’s Total Population

FBI: Man Wanted to Attack White House With Anti-Tank Rocket

Top Trump official resigned over White House plan to withhold disaster-relief funds from Puerto Rico: report

“People of Puerto Rico are paying off this debt with their life”: Court hearing begins on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis

Theresa May survives vote, but Britain remains in Brexit deadlock

Former Irish PM: No-deal Brexit will mean ‘psychological and political isolation’

Another good day for Putin as turmoil grips US and UK

Russia raises alarm over U.S. support of Venezuela’s opposition

Venezuela’s opposition looks for ways to oust Maduro, transfer power

Nationwide strike paralyzes Tunisia as 670,000 public servants demand pay rise

Zimbabwe protests: Military deployed after eight killed in fuel hike demonstrations

Zimbabweans say social media blocked in wake of violent protests

Man Who Says He Was Abducted By Aliens Breaks 45-Year Silence

The world’s first artificial meteor shower is set to fly over Japan tonight

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Mohean, India

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Sola, Vanuatu

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Cairo turns orange as sandstorm sweeps Egypt

Fine dust and toxic smog are suffocating these Asian countries prompting one country to experiment in extreme forms of weather modification

Trouble brewing? World’s top coffee species at risk of extinction thanks to global warming

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

Researchers Create Perfect Blood Vessels in a Petri Dish for the First Time

Opioid painkiller producer misled doctors to boost sales, prosecutor alleges

Anti-vax Movement Listed by World Health Organization as One of the Top 10 Health Threats for 2019

Ebola outbreak continues in the Congo as obstacles challenge health care workers

Oregon Could Become the First State to Require In-Home Surveillance of Newborn Babies

New job of U.S. vice president’s wife at Christian school sparks LGBT+ furor

Karen Pence just wants to teach art, but people are mad the school has standard Christian beliefs


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Is Saving the Earth More Important than Saving Souls? (The 10 Commandments of Progressive Christianity #10)

Divination Is Forbidden By God

James MacDonald to take ‘indefinite sabbatical’ amid scrutiny; elders plan ‘peacemaking’ process

Charismatic Preacher Claims Apostles Were Wrong When They Rejected Worship From Men

Chris Rosebrough exposes false prophet Belinda Williams

Charlie Shamp: Pete Rose Will Enter The Hall of Fame as a Sign of Christ’s Imminent Return


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This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

— Augustine

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Faithless Men and Women of Faith

Unfathomable Grace

When we look at our less-than-perfect faith today, what are we to learn? We know we believe. We know we have faith. We know we want to walk more faithfully than we do, but what we are we to conclude when we see ourselves — again — throwing our God and our neighbors “under the bus” while we selfishly and recklessly worship ourselves? I am fairly sure the story of Abraham and the words of Paul will be of great assistance to us today.

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Abraham proves to be a man of great faith. When reading his life story, there are times when Abraham seems to stand head-and-shoulders above most worshipers. God commands him to leave his family, his country, his people and all that is comfortable to him. God then instructs him to travel to an undisclosed location, and faithfully Abraham believes God, forsakes his old life, and…

View original post 1,395 more words

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500! — Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question. This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the…

via Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500! — Kimble Charting Solutions

#1 – The Doctrine of Personal Identity | 30 Practical Doctrines You Need to Know — Randy White Ministries

“Who are you? Are you any different from the animals? Have you lost the image of God? Can you be complete? These questions and many more will be answered in #1 of 30 Practical Doctrines You Need to Know.”

Session notes:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Frwmnew.tk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F01%2Fms-SFLwii-1.pdf&hl=en_US&embedded=true

Download (PDF, 991KB)

via #1 – The Doctrine of Personal Identity | 30 Practical Doctrines You Need to Know — Randy White Ministries

30 Practical Doctrines You need to Know – What is doctrine? — Randy White Ministries

30 Practical Doctrines You need to Know – What is doctrine?

Dr. White teaches a new series about the 30 Practical Doctrines You need to Know. This session teaches what a doctrine really is.

Session notes:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Frandywhiteministries.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F01%2F010618-What-is-Doctrine.pdf&hl=en_US&embedded=true

Download (PDF, 319KB)

via 30 Practical Doctrines You need to Know – What is doctrine? — Randy White Ministries

A Doctrinal Crises — Randy White Ministries

There is a doctrinal crisis in the broader Christian world today. It is a crisis that is seen in Protestant, evangelical, and, to a lesser degree, in fundamentalist circles. It is a crisis that is rampant within denominational churches and a growing menace in independent churches.

For several generations, doctrinal teaching has been out of favor. Today, the chickens have come home to roost.

As I see it, the doctrinal crises has three roots.

Problem 1: doctrine has been boiled down to that which is purely theological

We live in a world that is desperately in need of Biblical doctrine, but instead of providing it, the Christian community has reduced doctrine to bibliology, theology, Christology, pneumatology, anthropology, angelology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. These are certainly fundamental doctrines, but we live in a society that can’t figure out which bathroom to use. Why is our world so confused? Because Christians have not taught that issues like gender identity, marriage, sexuality, elder-care, types of church music, end-of-life issues, abortion, and a million other practical issues are only resolved by doctrine. I think it is time that churches begin to teach their families and families begin to teach their children that doctrine pervades every corner of life and that every problem of societal life is addressed by doctrine.

Problem 2: doctrine has largely been reduced to “secondary” and “tertiary” matters.

A common quote (often attributed to Augustine, but not likely to be so), says-

In essentials, unity

In non-essentials, liberty

In all things, love

The problem with this quote is that in recent days, almost all things have become “non-essentials” within the church. In fact, one professor said,

“I found that this quotation is a pan-denominational maxim, quoted as authoritative in a dizzying variety of incompatible Christian traditions.”

What is an essential doctrine? While Christians and local churches could certainly agree on a very short list, there are endless Christian communities that only have a few items on the “essentials” list. It is secondary or tertiary to determine a Biblical dogma for matters of Baptism, for example, or gender of church leadership, or the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. In recent years, tertiary has become common when discussing doctrine. It is a word that seems to have come to mean, “Believe whatever you want, but we are not going to talk about it around here.” It is also a word that is almost always assigned to eschatology issues in doctrinally weak churches (and how can one claim to have a Biblical worldview if they don’t have a clue how the world will end?)

The assembly gathered in Acts 2 was gathered around “the apostle’s doctrine” (Acts 2:42). Today, it is hard to find any kind of doctrinal statement on a church website, and equally difficult to find out a church’s doctrine in a face-to-face visit. Ask about a doctrinal issue and you’ll often hear the Augustinian quote and a lecture about how, “we just want to love people, and issues like that divide.”  How did it come to be that issues over which the first assemblies were gathered, and issues which later became the gathering point around which entire movements and denominations have been built, have now become issues that divide?

Today, the de-emphasis on doctrine to the secondary and tertiary has been a boon to the ecumenical movement, which is fully dependent on the trend toward tertiary doctrines. Because of this, churches that once had denominational or historical identity now join together for worship (because matters of gender leadership, prayer, gifts of the Spirit, etc. are all tertiary), Vacation Bible School (where evangelism is either non-existent or the churches simply don’t care that there really are doctrinal issues that affect even the manner of how to be saved, and what should happen after salvation), and missions (which has become mostly social-justice and humanitarian issue, but will still suck mission dollars out of unsuspecting generous donors).

Problem 3: Pastors are not taught the doctrines of the church nor practical doctrines of the faith, thus they do not teach others.

As I wrote about concerning the problem of denominational seminaries, there is little doctrinal or exegetical work done in the Master of Divinity program, which is the “go-to” degree for denominational pastors. I have personally grown away from denominational affinity (though I still retain a Baptist theology, one can be “Baptist” without being tied to any specific denomination), but denominations “rule the roost” in pastoral education. In the standard M.Div. degree, doctrinal education consists of a couple of classes of 10 areas of systematic theology and a class on denominational church history. No seminary student graduates with a comprehensive understanding of how to develop theological and practical doctrines. How can a pastor be expected to teach that which he does not know?

I would venture to say that the recent Master’s level seminary graduate that is headed into a pastoral role would struggle to carry on a conversation about most areas of theology, and I haven’t even discovered many signs that they want to engage in such conversations. This is because building a doctrinal bedrock is not a priority among these church-growth agents who will call themselves pastors.

Problems Ahead

A church without doctrinal clarity creates families with doctrinal drift. Families with doctrinal drift create confusion in society. Society under confusion is exactly what we have today. The only recipe to fix it is for churches to return to doctrinal clarity, and this is a “slow-fix” that will take a couple of generations but is well worth the effort.

It starts with your church, your pastor, your Bible study, your home. If you are in a church that doesn’t have doctrinal clarity, switch churches. If you are a pastor who has neglected doctrinal teaching, change your ways. Doctrine matters!


This article was adapted from comments given in the introductory sermon to a series called “30 Practical Doctrines You Need to Know.” The sermon can be viewed in whole below.

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Randy White is the founder and CEO of Dispensational Publishing House, Inc. He teaches Bible online at http://www.RandyWhiteMinistries.org and preaches at the Taos (NM) First Baptist Church.

via A Doctrinal Crises — Randy White Ministries

Beto O’Rourke Questions Validity of our Constitution

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

So Texas Representative, Beto O’Rourke questioned whether a document which is 230 years old can still “manage” the U.S.

I’ll give him one thing:  He is saying what all Leftist liberals are thinking.

Oh how I would love to have a sit down with this man and discuss our Constitution. I think that if he was asked what kind of government we have, Beto would say “We’re a democracy.”    That’s the Snowflake answer.

Nope, Mr. O’Rourke – we are a Democratic Republic and that is vastly different from a pure democracy.

We are governed by a body of laws which are stated articulately in our Constitution.  There are ways to “amend” this document, but it has to be through legislation and then upon ratification; a new amendment will be added. Mr. O’Rourke fails to recognize that our Constitution IS what sets us apart from other governments.

Benjamin Franklin

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January 17 A Divinely Offered Opportunity

scripture reading: Joshua 1:1–2, 10–18
key verse: Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water,
  whose waters do not fail.

The company needs to know by Friday. Will you take the job in Wichita or not? The church wants an answer next week. Will you teach the Bible study this quarter or decline?

Decisions. Opportunities. Some of them come only once, and they demand a precise response. How do you know what to do?

The Israelites were presented with a grand command from the Lord of hosts: be ready in three days to cross the Jordan River and enter the land promised to your forefathers. There were obstacles—an overflowing, raging river with enemies on the other side. But the Israelites obeyed God, and the blessings followed.

When decisions are not so clear–cut, you still employ principles to seize the opportunities offered by God. Just as Joshua was commanded, you are to meditate in the Word constantly. His Word rolls back the darkness and doubt.

If you fail, if you make the wrong decision, God is still with you wherever you go. He uses even your botches to teach you. Above all, obey what you believe God has shown you. Even when you are wrong, you will still be all right.

I want to seize each opportunity this day affords, Father. Let Your Word roll back the darkness and doubt threatening my life. I praise You that even when I am wrong, You will make it right.[1]


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