Daily Archives: January 24, 2019

January 24 Faith to Cling To

Scripture Reading: Genesis 7

Key Verse: Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

It is an old saying that people are “creatures of habit.” Of course, we love occasional variation in the routine, but we strive for stability as much as possible.

If you ever feel stressed when dealing with the unknown, then you have a small idea of how Noah felt when God told him to build an ark. An ark? He probably didn’t have a clear idea of what it even looked like until God’s blueprint began to take shape.

In a single encounter, Noah’s concept of daily life took a violent twist. Though he was surrounded by a self-serving, sensual society with no interest in God, he knew where he and his family stood. But suddenly his vision of the future changed forever. No more neighbors, no towns, no noise of crowds, no marketplace—what would the world be like?

Hebrews 11:7 (nasb) notes that in spite of the questions: “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household … and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

Faith was all he could cling to; God was literally his only port in the storm. When your circumstances turn upside down, when you don’t have the answers, trust the Lord. His plan is perfect.

Almighty God, You are my port in every storm of life. When my circumstances are confusing, when I don’t have all the answers, help me trust You. Your plan is always perfect.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 25). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

January 24 Keeping in Step with God

Scripture reading: Galatians 5:16–26

Key verse: Galatians 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Have you ever held someone’s hand as you walked along together? You surely noticed how important it is to maintain the same stride. You can’t walk too slowly and you can’t walk too fast, at least not without pulling your hand away.

That is what Galatians 5:25 is talking about when it says “walk in the Spirit.” The New International Version captures the original Greek flavor of the word walk here: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” The word picture is one of “walking in line with.”

When you are not following your fleshly urges to walk at your own pace, you feel the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit step by step along the way. When you are walking in harmony with the Spirit, the fruit of this relationship is evident. It makes sense that the fruit of the Spirit is the subject of the remaining verses of Galatians 5.

How many of these fruits do you see in your attitudes and behavior—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? It is truly an awesome list. As you think through these attributes, remember that they are not the products of a decision to try harder. The fruits of the Spirit are products of a walk with God, a personal relationship with Him. When you keep in step with Him, He keeps your feet on His good path.

Let me keep in step with You, O Lord. Manifest the fruits of Your Spirit in my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 25). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Clinton’s 2016 Strategy Revealed: Overwhelm FBI With Trump-Russia Narrative Until Something Stuck — ZeroHedge News

As it became clear during the 2016 US election that Donald Trump had a mountain of support underneath him, nervous Democrats connected to the Hillary Clinton camp reached out to US officials over a half-dozen times, “each tapping a political connection to get suspect evidence into FBI counterintelligence agents’ hands,” according to The Hill‘s John Solomon, citing internal documents and testimonies he has reviewed, along with interviews Solomon conducted.

Each contact by a Clinton crony was unsolicited, according to Solomon’s FBI sources, in what they described as a “classic case of information saturation” meant to inject toxic and unverified opposition research into the agency’s counterintelligence apparatus that should have known better than to eventually bite.

Ex-FBI general counsel James Baker, one of the more senior bureau executives to be targeted, gave a memorable answer when congressional investigators asked how attorney Michael Sussmann from the Perkins Coie law firm, which represented the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, came to personally deliver him dirt on Trump.

You’d have to ask him why he decided to pick me,” Baker said last year in testimony that has not yet been released publicly. The FBI’s top lawyer turned over a calendar notation to Congress, indicating that he met Sussmann on Sept. 19, 2016, less than two months before Election Day. –The Hill

Perkins Coie, as we know, paid Fusion GPS to produce opposition research assembled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele in his now infamous “Steele Dossier,” which suggested that Donald Trump colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election.

By the time Perkins attorney Sussman reached out to the FBI’s James Baker, the Steele dossier had already made its way inside the FBI. Sussman, however, “augmented it with cyber evidence that he claimed showed a further connection between the GOP campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” according to Solomon. Some of this digital evidence was delivered on a thumb drive, according to Baker.

“[Sussmann] told me he had cyber experts that had obtained some information that they thought they should get into the hands of the FBI,” Baker testified. “I referred this to investigators, and I believe they made a record of it,” he added, telling his colleagues to “Please come get this.”

Baker acknowledged that the Clinton-linked attorney’s evidence did not follow the typical route into the FBI – but since he was the bureau’s top attorney, agents snapped-to and collected it from him.

Rewinding to Steele’s first outreach

According to Solomon, “the tsunami began when former MI6 agent Steele first approached an FBI supervisor, his handler in an earlier criminal case, in London” on July 5, 2016 – the same day that former FBI Director James Comey made the shock announcement that he would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified emails on her homebrew server.

Steele’s approach was not initially embraced, however, and the FBI took no action on the dossier according to congressional investigators. Then things escalated…

Steele traveled to Washington later that month where he would reach out to two political contacts who were in positions to influence the FBI; a former State Department official under John Kerry, and former #4 DOJ official Bruce Ohr – who immediately took Steele’s “research” to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Ohr would eventually warn the FBI that Steele’s information was biased opposition research, which the agency ignored.

Then-senior State Department official Jonathan Winer, who worked for then-Secretary John Kerry, wrote that Steele first approached him in the summer with his Trump research and then met again with him in September. Winer consulted his boss, Assistant Secretary for Eurasia Affairs Victoria Nuland, who said she first learned of Steele’s allegations in late July and urged Winer to send it to the FBI.

(If you need further intrigue, Winer worked from 2008 to 2013 for the lobbying and public relations firm APCO Worldwide, the same firm that was a contractor for both the Clinton Global Initiative and Russia’s main nuclear fuel company that won big decisions from the Obama administration.)

When the State Department office that oversees Russian affairs sends something to the FBI, agents take note.

But Steele was hardly done. He reached out to his longtime Justice Department contact, Bruce Ohr, then a deputy to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Steele had breakfast July 30, 2016, with Ohr and his wife, Nellie, to discuss the Russia-Trump dirt.

(To thicken the plot, you should know that Nellie Ohr was a Russia expert working at the time for the same Fusion GPS firm that hired Steele and was hired by the Clinton campaign through Sussmann’s Perkins Coie.) –The Hill

The Australia connection

While Ohr had passed the Clinton-funded Steele dossier to the FBI, Australia’s ambassador to London, Alexander Downer, contacted US officials – who said Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Downer has a major connection to the Clintons – securing a $25 million donation from the Australian government to the Clinton Foundation in the early 2000s. Between 2006 and 2014, the Clinton FOundation received some $88 million from Australian taxpayers

Alexander Downer, Bill Clinton

Downer’s tip on Papadopoulos launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane – the FBI’s counterintelligence operation which employed spies to infiltrate the Trump campaign. 

Continuing with the Trump-Russia “saturation campaign” was the September 2016 delivery of more anti-Trump opposition research delivered to Winer and Nuland – the Kerry State Department employees. This time, however, the opposition research was crafted by known Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. This second “dossier” was also sent to the FBI.

All in all – it was a full court press against Trump and his campaign – including an outreach by Christopher Steele to the media which resulted in the FBI severing their relationship with him (despite using his research as the foundation for a FISA spy warrant against Trump campaign aide Carter Page).

By mid-September — less than a month before Election Day — there likely was agitation inside the Clinton machine: After so many overtures to the FBI, there was no visible sign of an investigation.

Simpson and Steele began briefing reporters with the hope of getting the word out. It is taboo for an FBI source such as Steele to talk to the media about his work. Yet, he took the risk, eventually getting fired for it, according to FBI documents.

Baker, the FBI’s top lawyer, testified to Congress that he was clearly aware Simpson’s team was shopping the media. “My understanding at the time was that Simpson was going around Washington giving this out to a lot of different people and trying to elevate its profile,” Baker told congressional investigators.

Ohr, through his contacts with Steele and Simpson, also knew the media had been contacted. In handwritten notes from late 2016, Ohr quoted Simpson as saying his outreach to reporters was a “Hail Mary attempt” to sway voters. –The Hill

Congressional push…

Clinton’s opposition research got some congressional assistance when then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – after having been briefed by then-CIA Director John Brennan, sent a letter to the FBI in late October, 2016 “demanding to know if agents were pursuing the evidence,” writes Solomon.

In other words, the Trump-Russia narrative from Team Clinton was promoted through the State Department, Congress, Justice Department and a top Democratic lawyer. And nobody in the FBI – according to what we know, made any efforts to interfere with an obvious attempt at a political hit job.

In another timeline, Hillary Clinton won the election and none of this information would have come to light. That said, it doesn’t seem to matter anyway since there’s clearly a ruling class that’s above the law – whether they win elections or not.

Source: Clinton’s 2016 Strategy Revealed: Overwhelm FBI With Trump-Russia Narrative Until Something Stuck

January 24, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump said in a late night Tweet on Wednesday that he would delay a State of the Union address until the government shutdown was over, responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s move to obstruct his plans for the speech.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would hold an alternative event to the State of the Union address after Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi barred him from speaking in the House of Representatives until the partial government shutdown ends.

The Republican-led U.S. Senate planned votes for Thursday on competing proposals, one broadly backed by Democrats and the other by Republicans, to end the partial government shutdown, both of which seemed unlikely to resolve the month-long impasse.

Four U.S. senators expressed concern on Wednesday that federal employees affected by the partial government shutdown could lose their dental and vision health insurance benefits if they are unable to pay their premiums.

The United States has offered to hold talks on arm control issues with Russia on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting in Beijing next week, a senior State Department official said.

Zimbabwe’s army said on Thursday soldiers accused of beating residents in townships following protests over fuel price hikes were impostors who tarnished the name of the military.

Venezuela’s opposition will on Thursday seek to maintain pressure on isolated President Nicolas Maduro after congress chief Juan Guaido swore himself in as interim head of state with the support of nations around the region.

The Midwestern states hit hardest by job automation in recent decades, places that were pivotal to U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, will be under the most pressure again as advances in artificial intelligence reshape the workplace, according to a new study by Brookings Institution researchers.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to more than a 49-year low last week, but the drop likely overstates the health of the labor market as claims for several states including California were estimated. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000 for the week ended Jan. 19, the lowest level since mid-November in 1969 when 197,000 applications were recorded.

AP Top Stories

Russia accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against U.S. military intervention there, putting it at odds with Washington and the EU which backed protests against one of Moscow’s closest allies.

Talks between U.S. and Taliban officials in Qatar entered a fourth day on Thursday, with the two sides trying to establish a mechanism for a ceasefire in the 17-year Afghan war and open dialogue between the insurgents and the Afghan government.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step aside and urged the country’s military to support efforts to restore democracy. In a statement, Pompeo said Washington would support opposition leader Juan Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and prepares the country for elections.

Boeing said Wednesday its prototype “flying car” — part of a project aimed at “on-demand autonomous air transportation” — has completed its first successful test flight.

Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday approved the government’s 2019 budget, which at $111.8 billion is one of the oil-rich country’s largest ever spending bills. It represents a nearly 45 percent increase from last year and awards even more money for public salaries, including those of the northern Kurdish region. Nearly 90 percent of the budget comes from oil revenues.

A Syrian refugee is expressing his support and love for the United States by offering free food to anyone affected by the government shutdown at his falafel shop in Tennessee. Yassin Terou, who immigrated to the country from Syria in 2011, said he wanted to help his community during the trying times of the partial government shutdown.

Global Chief Commercial Officer Stephanie Linnartz of Marriott International says the government shutdown is “having an impact our business.

The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) repeated its call for the partial government shutdown to end, arguing that it is undermining the bureau’s ability to protect the nation. The shutdown is compromising their work on a host of issues, including terrorism, drugs, gangs and child trafficking.


The new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, has been sworn into office. He is taking over from Joseph Kabila in the first peaceful transfer of power in the country in nearly 60 years, though many still dispute his victory in last month’s presidential election.

An extreme heatwave in Australia has led to the deaths of more than 90 wild horses in the outback, authorities said. About 40 of the animals had already died from dehydration and starvation. Surviving horses were later culled.

Parliament in Angola has abolished a law widely interpreted to be a ban on homosexuality.

Malaysia has elected Sultan Abdullah of Pahang as its new king after the shock abdication of the previous monarch. Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated in January after just two years on the throne, a first in Malaysian history.


An environmental group with Democratic socialist ties is calling on the University of Georgia to ban the popular restaurant Chick-fil-A from campus, calling it an “industrial, white supremacist, imperialist, capitalist cult.”

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hosts an annual “Pride Discovery Camp,” a summer program put on for teenagers by the school’s LGBT Resource Center.

Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

Venezuela Tries to Shed Socialist Dictator

The U.S. officially sides with declared president Guaido in direct opposition to dictator Maduro.

Pelosi’s SOTU Shutdown

The speaker has denied the president access to the House for the annual address.

Restoring Common Census

Leftists are fighting a 2020 Census question about immigration status for votes and money.

New York Expands Culture of Death

The Empire State is set to move most restrictions on abortion in the state.

Jackson Lee Sunk by #MeToo Trouble

Texas Dem resigns from CBC Foundation over accusations of retaliation against an alleged rape victim.

Mike Rowe: Lessons Learned From Gun Owners

Rowe highlights the importance of personal responsibility for one’s own self-defense.

Video: Exposing Students to Free Markets

It’s school choice week. Many kids don’t have choice in where they go to school.

The Leftmedia’s ‘Hate’ Narrative Lynch Mob

“Mob of white racist MAGA boys taunts noble native warrior”? What really happened at the Lincoln Memorial and why.

Today’s Opinion

Victor Davis Hanson
Auditing Our Auditors
Veronique de Rugy
Be Careful What You Wish for on the Minimum Wage
Jeff Jacoby
A Less Religious America Will Be a Less Generous America
Tony Perkins
Reading Between the Maligns
Joe Bastardi
Who or What Is to Blame for Coldmageddon?
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top Headlines

SOTU postponed, 10,000 migrants bound for U.S., House Oversight probing Trump, BuzzFeed layoffs, and more.

Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Thursday Short Cuts

D’oh! “There are two coequal branches of government, the president of the United States and the Congress.” —Elizabeth Warren

News – 1/24/2019

Is Saudi Arabia About to Build A Mega City Atop Mount Sinai?
As researchers debate the location of Biblical Mount Sinai, the Saudi Arabian government is moving forward with plans for a mega-city built on top of one of the prime candidates. Mauro is not alone in his assertion that Jabal al Lawz is the Biblical Mount Sinai. After visiting the site in 2018, Bible scholar and bestselling author Joel Richardson told WND, “If those on the fence actually could visit the site, I guarantee they would be fully convinced, or 95 percent there.”

Microsoft Teams with Establishment ‘NewsGuard’ to Create News Blacklist
Without consulting with its users, Microsoft has installed an establishment media browser extension, purportedly designed to rate the accuracy of news websites, as a default extension on mobile versions of its Edge browser. In practice, it creates a news blacklist by warning users away from sites including Breitbart News, The Drudge Report, and the Daily Mail. The browser extension, called “Newsguard,” presents users with a red warning label if they navigate to a website that it judges to be unreliable. A “green” rating is given to websites that NewsGuard considers trustworthy. A number of pro-Trump websites, including Breitbart News, are given a “red” rating by the extension.

Erdogan Seeks Support in Moscow as Putin Becomes Syria Kingmaker
The two leaders met again in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss coordination in Syria, where they’ve been on opposing sides even as they deepened their friendship. Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the eight years of fighting, while Turkey supported militant forces seeking to overthrow him.

New York Abortion Law Worse Than Pharaoh
A new law passed by New York now permits abortion up until the mother’s due date, a horrifying concept some compare to Pharaoh throwing the Hebrew babies into the River Nile. One rabbi emphasized that abortion is murder, the destruction of a soul that is instilled upon conception.

Britain Signs First Post-Brexit Trade Deal with Israel
Uncertainty still swirls around the United Kingdom and the issue of Brexit; will it happen or won’t it? And if it does happen what form will it take? Well, the first moves toward a British exit from the European Union coincided with the announcement that a trade deal has “in principle” been agreed with Israel. Britain’s International Development Secretary Liam Fox, a key cabinet supporter of Brexit, made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon alongside Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen.

The aftershocks keep coming: 4.5 earthquake rumbles through Southcentral Alaska
The shaker was the latest of thousands of aftershocks to roll through the region after the 7.0 mainshock hit Nov. 30. Seismologists say these earthquakes will continue to be considered aftershocks until the region returns to pre-Nov. 30 levels of seismic activity.

PA Accuses Israel, Hamas of Plotting to Assassinate Abbas
Al-Habbash claimed Israel and Hamas share a desire to “assassinate” Abbas. He alleged that Israeli cabinet members have talked about “ways of getting rid of” Abbas, and said this was done in parallel with Hamas urging foreign parliaments to revoke Abbas’s legitimacy as president:

Russia to Israel: Stop ‘arbitrary’ attacks in Syria
The practice of arbitrary strikes on the territory of a sovereign state – in this case, we are talking about Syria – should be ruled out,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, in answer to a question from Russian news agency TASS about recent Israeli airstrikes on Syria. These comments followed a predawn Israeli retaliatory raid in Syria on Monday that the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said killed 21 people, 12 of them believed to be members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps

Venezuela’s Guaido declares himself president
Juan Guaido, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, during a rally against President Maduro’s government in Caracas, January 23. Backed by hundreds of thousands of protesters and the support of the U.S., Guaido declared himself interim president.

U.S. ambassador says Trump peace plan to be revealed in April – report
The Trump administration is seriously considering releasing its Middle East peace plan as soon as possible after Israel’s national election on April 9. White House officials believe they have a window of just a year to roll out its plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, after Israel’s elections in April and before the launch of the US 2020 presidential campaign the following summer.

Iron Dome deployed near Tel Aviv, IDF forces fired on from Syria
The Iron Dome air defense system was deployed near Tel Aviv, Israel media reported Thursday morning. Overnight, IDF forces operating near the border with Syria were fired upon, according to a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The IDF returned fire. No Israel forces were reported wounded in the incident. The army’s statement did not identify who fired at the soldiers, nor if any enemy forces were wounded.

Australia horse deaths: Wild animals perish at dried-up waterhole
An extreme heatwave in Australia has led to the deaths of more than 90 wild horses in the outback, authorities say. Rangers found dead and dying animals in a dried-up waterhole near Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory, last week. About 40 of the animals had already died from dehydration and starvation. Surviving horses were later culled.

Antibiotic resistance plan to fight ‘urgent’ global threat
Drug-resistant superbugs are as big a threat as climate change, the health secretary will say as he unveils a new five-year plan to tackle the problem. Overuse of antibiotics is making infections harder to treat and leading to thousands of deaths a year through drug-resistant superbugs. The government plans to change the way it funds drug companies to encourage them to develop new medicines.

Controversial Fake News Filter NewsGuard Built Into Microsoft’s Mobile Browser
Corporate and neocon-backed startup NewsGuard is one step closer to its vision of bringing its “unreliable” news rater to every screen after Microsoft makes it an integral part of its Edge mobile browser.

Maduro Overthrow: Venezuela Rises Up From Ashes of Socialism
Venezuela is in turmoil after President Trump announced he recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s president, rather than socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.

IT’S OFFICIAL: The liberal left has now openly declared war on Christianity
The Left spent much of last week attacking Karen Pence because she got a job at a Christian school that follows Christian teaching. By the end of the week, #ExposeChristianSchools was trending on Twitter.

CATASTROPHE: Germany is now dumping thousands of Muslim migrants on other EU countries, making them pay for Merkel’s blunders
The German government says that in a first, more asylum-seekers were transferred to other European Union countries than Germany took in last year.

Iran’s General Soleimani primes pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq for terror attacks on exiting US forces
Iran’s Mid East commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani has devised a plot to force US troops not just to leave Syria but to be thrown out of US bases in Iraq as well, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report.

Left Wing American Catholic Priest calls March For Life repulsive
A prominent American priest has dissed the Washington March for Life as “repulsive and futile,” denouncing the pro-life event as “basically a gathering for many right-wing anti-abortion hardliners.”Franciscan friar Father Daniel Horan, a pro-LGBT priest and professor who will be speaking at the upcoming Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, took to Twitter this weekend to bash the March for Life and condemn without trial a group of white Catholic high school boys as “racists” for supposedly “taunting” a Native American man beating a drum.

Deadly Superbug Enters US After People Have Surgeries In Mexico
A potentially deadly superbug infected U.S. patients from multiple states after they had surgery in Mexico, underscoring a worrying trend in the rapidly growing medical tourism sector.

Court ruling confirms Gardasil vaccine kills people… scientific evidence beyond any doubt… so where is the outcry?
May God bless the Tarsell family, who fought the U.S. government eight long years to validate a medical burden of proof that the Gardasil vaccine killed their daughter. The Tarsell’s 21-year-old daughter Christina Richelle “died from an arrhythmia induced by an autoimmune response” to Gardasil, an HPV vaccine that she received only days before her death.

CARBON FOOTPRINT: Environmentalists Take 1,500 Private Jets To Davos, Switzerland, ‘Climate Change’ Gathering
A handful of the world’s wealthiest and most successful people are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, this week to discuss how to make the world a better place — and, in particular, how to address the “urgent” threat of climate change — but they’ll take more than 1,500 separate private jets to get to the tony ski resort.

Vermont Looks To Make Abortion Up To Birth A Constitutional Right
Taking a que from radical New York Democrats, Vermont is on track to make abortion up to birth a constitutional right.

Simmering, Ready to Explode: The War Between Iran and Israel Heats Up in Syria
As American pundits and policymakers debate how to approach Syria following President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops, the stage is being set in the war-torn country for a region-wide conflict. The key to this coming storm is the war between Iran and Israel, which escalated in important ways on Sunday night.

Venezuela Pres Nicolas Maduro Tells US Diplomats To Get Out After Trump’s Latest Move
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday he is severing diplomatic ties with the U.S. and expelling U.S. diplomatic personnel within 72 hours after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized his rival as the country’s true leader.

Venezuela Erupts Against Dictator Maduro as His Socialist Regime Starts to Completely Collapse
Hundreds-of-thousands of people took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday afternoon in protest of illegitimate President Nicolas Maduro and in support of internationally recognized President Juan Guadio.

Acetaminophen can induce a zombie-like state that makes people emotionless and uncaring
 it turns out acetaminophen (the active ingredient in drugs like Tylenol) can turn off more than just your pain — it can dull your emotions and reduce your ability to feel empathy for others.

Prog-Left Now Openly Calling All Would-Be Killers To The Kill
Fuelled by mainstream, social media and celebrity Twitter accounts, the hate-spewing progressive-left is now openly calling all would-be killers to the kill.

IT’S PARTY TIME! New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Celebrates As He Signs Reproductive Health Act Bill Authorizing Killing Of Babies Up To The Moment Of Birth
Just one generation ago, the world has horrified when newsreels from the Allied Forces liberating Germany shocked the world with raw moving images of Hitler’s concentration camps. People watched with jaws scraping the floor as they saw in utter disbelief the mass killing of human beings in gas chambers, ovens, and being shot in large groups.

Taliban Resumes Peace Talks with U.S. ‘Hours’ After Killing at Least 45
Afghan Taliban narco-jihadis issued a statement saying they had restarted peace negotiations with U.S. officials “hours” after they carried out a brazen attack on Monday that left at least 45 members of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency dead at a military base near Kabul.

Headlines – 1/24/2019

Pompeo: Peace efforts will resume after Israeli elections

Trump’s Mideast ‘Deal of the Century’ May Be a Raw One for Israel

Israel said pushing US to amend law that threatens security coordination with PA

Security cabinet approves transfer of Qatari cash to Gaza

Hamas warns Qatari cash freeze by Israel could cause ‘explosion’ in Gaza

Qatari cash for Hamas is politically toxic in Israel, but may stave off war

Netanyahu warns of ‘lethal’ reaction to any Gaza escalation

Bomb reportedly targets $500,000 car of billionaire seen as Abbas rival

Israel said to have sent a doctor to help save Abbas’s life last year

Protest closes Israel’s ‘apartheid road’ through West Bank

Court: DNA of Jewish teen suspect found on stone that killed Palestinian woman

Israeli teen charged with terror in stone attack that killed Palestinian woman

‘Raging Crisis’ of anti-Semitism Threatens Europe’s Jews, Community Leaders Warn

Judge lets Arkansas law against Israeli boycotts stand – Ruling says such a boycott is not protected by the First Amendment

Netanyahu’s lawyers seek to open criminal probe into leaks against PM

Rivlin warns Macron: Israel may have to hit Hezbollah rocket factories in Beirut

After Syria’s airport threat, IDF deploys Iron Dome in greater Tel Aviv area

Netanyahu mocks top Iranian general: ‘Look at the state of your bases in Syria’

Israel’s ‘Arbitrary’ Airstrikes on Syria Must Stop, Russia Warns

Opposition raps Netanyahu for touting Syria strikes, ‘forcing’ Russian condemnation

Putin and Erdogan agree to coordinate actions in Syria

Russia and Turkey to act to stabilise Syria’s Idlib province – Putin

Turkey Fighting Terrorists in Syria but More Action Needed, Putin Says

Nearly 5,000 flee last ISIS enclave in eastern Syria

Kurdish-led forces overrun last ISIS-held village in Syria

Car bomb kills soldier near Iraq’s Kirkuk

US backtracks on Iran-focused conference in Poland after objections

Iran arrested 7,000 dissidents in ‘year of shame’, says Amnesty

In Iran, parched lands hollowed by water pumping now sinking

Russia, in Effort to Defuse U.S. Nuclear Dispute, Finally Displays New Missile

US, Britain conduct joint navy drills in South China Sea amid worries about China’s military power

Venezuela’s opposition leader declares himself president, wins US recognition

Maduro Squeezed as Trump Recognizes Guaido and Protests Expand

Venezuela’s Maduro says he is breaking diplomatic relations with US

Venezuelan President kicks out US diplomats after Trump recognizes opposition leader as president

Mike Pompeo: Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro can’t expel US diplomats

Maduro isolated as Latin American nations back Venezuela opposition leader

Turkey’s Erdogan Backs Venezuela’s Maduro After U.S. Backs Opposition Leader

EU leaders and business chiefs are turning up the heat over Brexit

Italian Lawmaker Apologizes for Tweeting That Rothschilds Control International Banking

WikiLeaks sues to unseal any charges against founder Assange

U.S. ramping up probe against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks says

U.S. prosecutors press witnesses to testify against Assange: WikiLeaks

House votes to bar Trump from exiting NATO

Shutdown, Day 33: Democrats work on new offer, but Trump says impasse could last awhile

Trump agrees to delay State of Union until after shutdown ends

Trump ex-lawyer delays Congress testimony over president’s ‘threats’

Microsoft adds fake news warning to mobile Edge browser

Avoiding Social Media To Protect Your Privacy? Your Friends Still Put You At Risk, Study Finds

This Chinese app tells you if you’re within 500 metres of someone in debt

Privately produced satellites open uncharted territory in data collection

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kahale, Indonesia

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Aratoca, Colombia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Raoul Island, New Zealand

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits the Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea erupts to 50,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Overflowing dam kills at least 30 in Indonesia

It’s so hot in Australia that hundreds of baby bats are falling off trees and dying

Unusually wild, wintry weather hits WA’s south-west as cyclone possible in the north

Rains hit Broome as Tropical Cyclone Riley forms overnight

Study: Puerto Rico received slower, less ‘generous’ disaster aid than Texas, Florida

Apple Predicts ‘Global Warming’ Will Increase iPhone Demand

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The Rebellious Woman and the Destruction of Society — Reformation Charlotte

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not placing the blame of the destruction of our society squarely on woman’s shoulders. After all, God held Adam accountable for Eve’s rebellion, did he not? However, there is a trend in society, and we see it taking place in the Church as well, that when women rebel–that is, they remove themselves from their rightful place in the home, in the Churches, and in society–the judgment of God is imminent.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

1 Timothy 2:12

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created night and day, land and water, vegetation, birds, sea creatures and land animals. He then created man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in the garden, known as Eden. God gave them dominion over all of his creation, but gave them one command–not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. All was well, until, one day, the serpent deceived Eve into eating of the fruit–she rebelled against God.

Though Eve was the first to eat of the fruit, Roman’s chapter 5 makes it clear that God held Adam responsible for sin entering the world, and causing death (Romans 5:12-21). God created Adam first and then created Eve to be his helper (Gen 2:18). This means Adam was the head of the two, and Adam was responsible for any sin that Eve committed.

This was the beginning of feminism. Feminism has spread throughout history, especially in recent decades like cancer. It has been largely unstoppable. Voddie Baucham recently talked about how society has “feminized” the office of pastor in the Church. He is absolutely correct. However, the feminization of society, the Church, and especially the pastorate is not just a matter of women usurping the role of men–but that also men, given to the notion of “toxic masculinity,” have become largely feminine themselves.

Stoked by the #metoo movement, the flames of feminism have worked to earn the backing of not only liberal progressives, but even many who would be considered conservatives. However, liberalism is actually one of many fruits of feminism. The feminine subculture seeks to liberate women from the “tyranny” of men, especially white men, by rebelling against their God-given roles in society, the home, and the Church.

The feminist movement has worked not to liberate women, however, but to enslave men to a society that is anti-male. Misogyny is seen as obscene and prurient whereas misandry is seen as virtuous.

Feminist ideology isn’t just espoused by women, it’s embraced by men too. In the wake of a recent string of sexual misconduct scandals in the evangelical Church, men such as Matt Chandler, JD Greear, Tim Keller, and many others have been “reevaluating” the role of women in the Church by redefining what it means to be complementarian. Of course, any rationally thinking biblically-minded person knows exactly where this ends–destruction.

Just to be clear, God did not place women under the headship of men because they are somehow less worthy of leadership, less valuable, or less capable. God placed women under the headship of men as part of the curse of the fall of Adam and Eve. But in the New Testament, we see the role of Christian women in submission to their husbands as a blessing–to be a picture of the gospel of the Church’s relationship to Christ.

Under the Abrahamic covenant, everyone is either under the headship of Adam or the headship of Christ. That is, you’re either under the curse of the law or the grace of God. So we see that male headship is either a curse or a blessing, depending upon which side of the covenant you are under. If you are under the grace of God, male headship is a blessing to proclaim the good news to the world, but if you are in Adam, male headship is a curse–and a curse that can only be lifted by the salvific work of Jesus Christ.

When, as a society we try to lift this curse ourselves through the course of feminism apart from the saving grace of Christ, the end result will always be the destruction of that society.

via The Rebellious Woman and the Destruction of Society — Reformation Charlotte

Joyce Meyer Claims to Have Faith That Will Raise the Dead — Pulpit & Pen

Joyce Meyer, who lives in a four-million-dollar family compound and famously has a $23k gold toilet, claims that she has the faith that can raise the dead, and you can, too.

Meyer holds to “Little god Theology,” which purports that people are sparks of the divine – a perverted twist on the orthodox understanding of the Imago Dei – and can do everything God does. They argue that Jesus’ miracles were done not by his divinity, but by his faith. If you have faith like Jesus, then you can do the things Jesus did. This unbiblical notion is illustrated by Meyer’s last article in Charisma Mag.

Writing for Charisma Mag, Meyer recalled the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. She goes on to posit that with faith, you too can raise the dead.

When you release your faith, you take some kind of action that shows you believe God will do what He says He will do. You line up your attitudes and actions with God’s promises for you, according to His Word, and hold on to those truths when life gets tough. That’s what Jesus was asking the people to do when He told them to roll away the stone from Lazarus’ grave.

The post at Charisma News was entitled, “How to Walk in the Kind of Faith that Raises the Dead.”

Of course, the Bible never tells us to “release faith.” This would imply that faith is innate with an individual (which is what Pelagians like Meyer believe). Faith, however, is a gift given by God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Lost people don’t have to activitate, and there is no such thing as unsued faith or potential faith or dormant faith. Faith, by definition, is active.

Likewise, Jesus didn’t accomplish miracles because he had faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Jesus, being the pre-incarnate Son of God, co-eternal with God the Father, had seen. Jesus accomplished miracles by his divinity and not by faith. Meyer and other practitioners of Little god Theology, however, teach a “Kenotic Christ,” that Jesus emptied himself of all divinity when he took on flesh. This is a heresy that goes back (at least) to 19th Century German theologian, Gottfried Thomasius.

The reason why Little god Theologians “decree and declare” miracles all the time is they truly believe they can do the miracles Christ did because he was no more god than they are, and they are no less God than he is.

In reality, no one has risen the dead since the Apostles walked there earth. There is not a scintilla of evidence that anyone has, anywhere, at any time, raise a corpse back to life after the close of the holy canon. Joyce Meyer may claim to have the faith that can raise the dead, but she has never raised the dead and never will.

Faith given to you by God will save you, but it will not make you God.

via Joyce Meyer Claims to Have Faith That Will Raise the Dead — Pulpit & Pen

Welcome to Bizarro America! The World of Liberalism and the Left — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

What happened to the America we all once knew and loved? The land of – baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. The land of the free and the home of the brave. A country where its citizens felt safe and happy and proud to proclaim, “God bless America!” It seems like those noble ideals which made our country strong and great are rapidly slipping away and being replaced by the strange and bizarre. As some of our readers may recall, the Bizarro World was a fictitious planet in the DC comics universe, first appearing in the early 1960s. In the world of “Htrae” (“Earth” spelled backwards), society is ruled by the Bizarro Code which states, “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”

So without any further ado we say,

Welcome to Bizarro America (or “Acirema”)….

– Where our country should have been founded by lawless Fascists, Socialists, social justice warriors, anarchy, moral relativism and secular materialists.

– Where abortion, rejection of the God ordained boy and girl, godless immorality, slothfulness and base secularism are called virtuous and protected as constitutional rights.

– Where the secular and unrighteous ACLU, NAACP, Planned Parenthood, Pro – Choice lobby, the Gay Lobby, and Leftist College Professors are called righteous advocates, noble and just.

– Where Chuch Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Barack H. Obama, John Kerry, Hillary and Bill Clinton are great and virtuous statesmen.

– Where Hollywood, The Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Madonna,  Jay-Z, Carli B, MTV and the mother who has an abortion or a child out of wedlock are virtuous role models for our youth.

– Where ALMIGHTY God, the American flag, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers, capitalism, the Tea Party, private enterprise, personal morality and Judeo/ Christian values are viewed as evil hate and abhorred.

– Where people like Mike Pence, Ronald Reagan, Jesse Lee Peterson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Rush Limbaugh, Jim Vicevich, and the Lord Jesus Christ (Who is Almighty God the Son) are wicked and evil haters (Isa 5:20).

Political Correctness has destroyed this great nation and has made right and wrong obsolete.

This is the delusional world of the reprobate mindset of the secular liberals in America today. These slander (demonize) and vilify any and all that do not line up with their Bizarro American vision for this country (Rom. 1:18-32, Jude 1:10). They label by slanderous accusations those who practice morality and believe in Divine absolutes (e.g., natural and spiritual laws), going so far as brading them as haters, cold-hearted, evil, intolerant, racist and their always favorite tag: Nazis. They are extremely motivated by envy, desperately and defensively driven to push their Bizarro ideology on the will of the American people. They are “180 degrees backwards” in all of their ideology and rationale, which are devoid of any truth. Their subjective, sensual, carnally dominated ideology rejects the concept of absolute truth in all forms (spiritual, moral and natural). Thus, these secular Leftists deny and distort facts that are proven, information that is clear-cut and conclusions that are obvious to any reasonably minded individual. Slander and defamation is their only recourse in any discussion much like their fallen spiritual father (Psalm 49:20; 92:6; 1 Cor. 1:27-28; Philip. 3:18-19; James 3:14-16; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 1:10).

This is the delusional world of the reprobate mindset of the secular liberals in America today. They slander and vilify any and all that do not line up with their Bizarro American vision for this country.

This thinking is nothing new today; this ideology has dominated the world even before the creation of the World. It appeared first in Almighty God’s RIGHTEOUS Heaven where Lucifer and his angels rebelled against pure (undefiled) REALITY, thus abandoning ETERNAL (spiritual) absolutes for a godlessdelusion (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). It next appeared in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3); then in the days of Noah (Genesis 7-8); after that at Babel where its inhabitants rejected Divine revelation for a delusion, which continues until this day (Gen. 11:1-9; John 3:19; Rom. 1:18-32).

The grand conclusion of this madness is coming up in the near future and will be the apex of the upside down, “Bizarro” mindset under Lucifer’s global fascist, the Anti-Christ (2 Thess. 2:7-12). Lucifer and his lawless minion will institute a secular lawless movement of global proportions in “the Abomination of Desolation” or “The Image of the Beast” (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 13:14-15) and “the Mark of the Beast” (Rev. 13:16-18). This apocalyptic movement will be the pinnacle of the abandonment of absolute reality and truth. The end result of this delusion will be the eternal ruin and damnation of billions (Rev. 19:19-21; 20:11-15). (Chart link)

Hear what Almighty God – the Author, Designer and Creator of the cosmos and all spiritual and natural laws governing Heaven and Earth – has to say about these reprobates:

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

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination (a vile stench) to the LORD (Proverbs 17:15).

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44).

The liberal, secular movement of today is and has been accelerating at an exponential rate. It now dominates all facets of government, the media and the entertainment industry in the U.S.A. It is going to dominate the world coming up very soon under Lucifer’s Anti – Christ (The Man of Lawlessness) The social and cultural landscape in America today is a wasteland polluted with the refuse of “Bizarro” thinking and ideology. How can we as a nation survive?

In the midst of godless social engineering and a nation on the verge of collapse, the God of TRUTH is the only TRUE refuge today. Do your part as an Founding Father American with all your heart but do not trust in the end results.

My dear friend, Conservatives also need to possess a saving faith in Almighty God. A life that is morally upright and socially upstanding still falls short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-9). Even conservatives can possess a “bizarro” thinking mindset when it comes to the RIGHTEOUSNESS demanded by Almighty God and a saving faith to Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:2-4, Gal. 1:4, Eph. 2:8-9).

In these days of truly “Bizarro” thinking and backward values, may you be sure that you know the God of TRUTH, and if you do already, may we all allow Him to guard and keep our hearts and minds in His perfect and wondrous peace (Philip. 4:7).

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (Matt 7:24-25).

Build wisely my dear friends and see rightly!

The Kingdom of heaven is truly at hand!


The Gospel of John Challenge
What is Sin?

via Welcome to Bizarro America! The World of Liberalism and the Left — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

Transports suggesting a recession is not far away? — Kimble Charting Solutions

Transports are often considered a leading indicator of how the economy is doing. Since the Septemeber 2018 highs, the Dow Jones Transports Index has declined more than the broad market. This decline looks to be forming a new falling channel highlighted at (1).

The rally over the past month has this important index testing triple resistance at (2). Recessionary fears would be reduced by a great deal if this important index breaks out at (2).

Transports would be suggesting that the economy is slowing if they fail to breakout at (2).

Many are suggesting that a recession is not far away. What Transports do at (2), should go a long way in clearing up the recession debate!

via Transports suggesting a recession is not far away? — Kimble Charting Solutions

Communist Pope Slams Supporters of National Border Wall — Reformation Charlotte

It’s no secret that the current pope is a socialist. Francis has previously called for open borders–even comparing open borders to being pro-life–and is a staunch supporter of illegal immigration.

Aboard a flight to Central America, a hotbed for socialism, poor economic growth, and swaths of immigrants heading for the U.S. border, the pope was asked by journalists about the proposed border wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, suggesting support for it was driven by an irrational fear of “migrants.”

“Fear makes us crazy,” Francis said, dismissing it as folly.

Anyone with a modicum of understanding in economics and politics can see right through the pope’s comments. He is no religious leader, but a worldwide political activist–an anti-Christ for sure.

Championing the cause of the progressive evangelical left–like the ERLC and The Gospel Coalition–Francis has suggested that “while the wealthy few feasts on what, in justice, belongs to all. Injustice is the perverse root of poverty.” Christians and sane, rationally thinking people know that stealing from rich people just because they are rich is not “justice,” but theft.

The Bible speaks far more of laziness and lack of work ethic as the primary cause of poverty in the world, and even though injustices can be the cause of poverty, the Scriptures never once speak of inter-generational reparations.

If the pope were truly concerned with feeding the hungry and eliminating poverty, he could start by liquidating the assets in the Vatican, which are estimated anywhere between 400 billion and 2 trillion dollars and give it all away.

And why these reporters didn’t ask him about the border wall around the Vatican–nobody seems to know.

via Communist Pope Slams Supporters of National Border Wall — Reformation Charlotte

One World Trade Center Sparkles Pink After Infanticide Legalized in NY

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

More Demonic Activity and it is only going to increase

When our boys were born, both of them had to be rushed to NICU because they had swallowed amniotic fluid.  I remember the nurses wheeling me down to see them. One was born in 1980 and the other in 1985.

In the NICU I saw tiny babies who had been born very early. Most of these preemies grew and flourished, and their anxious parents could finally take them home.

But now, thanks to the demonic powers within so many Leftist monsters – while the tiny babies are being kept alive in the incubators; a couple of rooms over there will be full term babies being murdered. YES, I said Murdered.

Will the killer stab the spinal cord or will they strangle the child? Or perhaps they will place the babies in a dark room and leave them without water or…

View original post 582 more words

One World Trade Center Ordered Lit Pink by NY Gov. Cuomo to Celebrate Law Expanding Murder of Unborn in State — Christian Research Network

“Calling the issue a matter of women’s “equality,” he was joined on stage by Sarah Ragle Weddington, the attorney who had represented the Roe of Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court, and presented her with an award for her “public service” prior to the signing. The signing was filled with smiles and laughter.”

(Heather Clark – Christian News Network) One World Trade Center, the site where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed by terrorists in 2001, was ordered by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be lit pink on Tuesday night to celebrate the passage and signing of a bill that not only codifies, but also expands abortion access in the state. New York law will now allow for the murder of the unborn until birth if the child is not expected to survive or if the pregnancy is deemed a threat to the health or life of the mother.

The Reproductive Health Act is a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session—and we got it done.”

“I am directing that New York’s landmarks be lit in pink to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.” View article →


Abortion Issues

via One World Trade Center Ordered Lit Pink by NY Gov. Cuomo to Celebrate Law Expanding Murder of Unborn in State — Christian Research Network

Ultrasound Unable To Detect Heartbeat In New York State Legislators — The Babylon Bee

ALBANY, NY—After the New York State Legislature voted to greatly expand abortion rights all the way up until the point of birth Tuesday, doctors quickly ordered echocardiograms on every lawmaker who voted for the bill, but tragically, no heartbeats were found by any of the ultrasounds.

Physicians desperately searched the chest cavities of the legislators for any sign of a heartbeat but found only a black void where normal human beings have a heart.

“Not a single one of these legislators appears to have a heart,” said one doctor gravely. “This is a known medical condition. When you try to justify the murder of infants, you slowly sear your conscience. As a side effect, your heart begins to harden. Finally, it becomes pure stone and eventually withers away into nothing, leaving you with a black void: a husk of a human.”

“It’s really the only way you could possibly cheer on something like the murder of babies,” he added as he performed another cardiac ultrasound. “Nope, this one’s coming up negative too: just blackness where normal people have a heart.”

Doctors also ordered blood tests but found only cold hatred running through the veins of every legislator who voted to further oppress the unborn.

via Ultrasound Unable To Detect Heartbeat In New York State Legislators — The Babylon Bee

Mancow Leaves HBC and Says That James MacDonald, HIs Long Time Friend, Needs to Man Up — The Wartburg Watch

Long time friend of James MacDonald and member of HBC calls it quits

In the interest of playing catch up, I thought you might like to listen to this clip by radio personality, Mancow. It was released approximately 5 days ago. Mancow is a long time friend of James MacDonald and a member of HBC (until this week.) He discusses the situation with his typical bluntness. Please be sure to read my last two posts if you are not familiar with this growing controversy.

via Mancow Leaves HBC and Says That James MacDonald, HIs Long Time Friend, Needs to Man Up —

MAGA Hats and Facecrimes; Welcome to Our Dystopian Present — Pulpit & Pen

Winston worked in the Ministry of Truth, whose job it was to revise yesterday’s news and to flush inconvenient truths down the Memory Hole. Pulpit & Pen exists to fish facts from the Memory Hole, and if possible, burn the Ministry of Truth to the ground.

Winston, of course, refers to the protagonist character in George Orwell’s 1984. The book is part allegory, part post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction, part cultural commentary, and is prophetically more accurate than anything published in the pages of Charisma Mag.

The scene set by Orwell is a fictional European Union called Oceania, in the city still known as London, but in a nation known simply as, “Airstrip One.” In Orwell’s 1984, the world is dark, dreary, and dilapidated. In an alternate literary universe, Atlas has shrugged and in yet another, John the Savage is looking for elusive emotion in a brave, new world. But in this classic tale, Big Brother controls the world. Big Brother is not an individual, but essentially the Deep State of Airstrip One, and it controls every aspect of life. Most terrifying, in Orwell’s tale, is that Big Brother can even control thought by manipulating the media, rewarding snitching as a form of virtue signaling, and outlawing private thoughts even within someone’s head.

Winston heroically – but silently – begins to question Big Brother, as Orwell makes the reader aware of the thoughts inside his mind. As we read the book, we begin to champion Winston as we pray for his liberation from mind control. First, he noticed that the chocolate rations had gone down but the parades were celebrating that they had gone up. Secondly, he figured out that his job at the Ministry of Truth was designed to help enslave others. And third, he met a woman (that will do it for you). Soon he was playing loose with Big Brother’s rules and living dangerously by showing subtle signs of not being fully on board with Big Brother.

But soon, Big Brother catches up with Winston’s thoughts through its surveillance state. The goal for Big Brother was not to kill Winston, or any other doubter, however. The goal for Big Brother was to actually change the mind – or brainwash – its subjects. Winston eventually got hauled off to the torture chamber and in the end, tragically, Winston loved Big Brother.

I saw this clip of Savannah Guthrie, whose press badge probably has ‘Ministry of Truth’ written on the backside of it, interview Nick Sandmann. Sandmann is the kid in the MAGA hat who has been ruthlessly ridiculed for nothing short of smiling at a nutjob political activist who banged his drumb in the boy’s face like some kind of racial stereotype cliche’, all the while the Black Hebrew Israelites were taunting the boys from a different angle. In the clip, Guthrie asks Sandmann if he’s sorry for anything.

At which point, all of God’s people say, “That is the dumbest question we’ve ever heard.

This babbling, drum-banging First Nations hippie was conjuring the Spirit of the Squirrel or something in this boy’s face while he just stood there smiling. And the news lady asks the boy if he’s sorry? Some have suggested that the boy should be smacked across the face for nothing more than his facial expression.

Guthrie went on to ask Sandmann if he should take some blame for wearing a MAGA hat, as though that is responsible for triggering a grown man to act like a wind-up cymbal-banging monkey or trigger Black Hebrew Israelites to act like…well, Black Hebrew Israelites.

Evangelical leaders like Thabiti Anyabwile – who works with the Gospel Coaltion and 9Marx – condemned the young Papist man and refused to retract their condemnation. Essentially, in spite of the evidence now showing the young man did nothing wrong and this crazy political activist (who is guilty of ‘stolen valor,’ claiming to have been a Vietnam vet in recent days) accosted him with his drunken chanting, the complaint is not the smugness of Sandmann’s face.

In reality, the smugness is probably awkwardness. I doubt he knew what to do. But let’s concede the boy is smug. He’s been raised by good parents. He’s been educated in a quality school. He knows that murdering babies is wrong, and he’s surrounded by a drum-banging lunatic and a whole barrel of Black Hebrew Israelites. If there were any environment that would make you feel superior to someone else, it’d be that.

So what if he was smug? Is that a crime?

Consider this from Orwell…

Orwell writes, “In any case, to wear an inproper expression on your face was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.”

We are living in a time that is downright Orwellian.

I’ll be wearing a MAGA hat in today’s podcast, with the smuggest look I can muster, in honor of Nick Sandmann.

via MAGA Hats and Facecrimes; Welcome to Our Dystopian Present — Pulpit & Pen

WORLD WAR 3: As Israel Continues To Take Out Military Targets In Damascus, Both Syria And Iran Say They Are Ready To Go To War With The Jews — Now The End Begins

Syria’s United Nations envoy called on the world body’s Security Council to take measures against Israel’s continued assault on Syrian territories, as reported by the Syrian news agency Sana, wondering whether it would take a Syrian attack on Tel Aviv Airport to draw the council’s attention.

Yes, wars and rumors of wars abound all the time in the Middle East between the sovereign nation of Israel and any number of their relentless Muslim enemies. That by itself is nothing new, in fact it’s quite predictable. But what is happening now is different from previous wars and previous years.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Luke 21:20 (KJV)

For perhaps the first time, Israel is opening talking about their bombing campaigns on Iranian targets in Damascus, Syria, because I believe that Israel needs to provoke Iran in the hopes of going to war with the terror state.  The Iranian military has been gaining much strength over the past 5 years, and their alliances with Russia, Syria and China make them more and more dangerous. I believe Israel understands that neutralizing them now will be a whole lot more palatable than going to war with them in  2-3 years from now.

But either way, things have escalated to the point where war likely cannot be avoided. Kind of funny, isn’t it, that all these nations we are discussing are all mentioned as major players in end times Bible prophecy? Looks to me like everything is right on schedule. And that means that the blessed hope is right around the corner.

Syria: If Israel Can Strike Damascus, We Can Strike Tel Aviv

FROM HAARETZ: “Does drawing the attention of the war-makers in this Council require us to exercise our legitimate right to self-defense and respond to Israeli aggression on Damascus International Airport by responding in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?” the Syrian envoy, Dr. Bashar Al-Ja’afari, asked.

Al-Ja’afri also accused UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov of being equivocal rather than definitive in calling out Israel’s “daily crimes” and breaches of UN resolutions. The diplomat also blasted Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, claiming that Syria has a “permanent right that is not subject to negotiation” to the area and repeating its intention to restore sovereignty over all its lost territories.

The Israeli assault was in retaliation for an Iranian surface-to-surface missile attack on Mount Hermon in northeastern Israel on Sunday which followed a new IAF attack on Iranian weapon storehouses near Damascus the same day. source

On Sunday night, the Israeli military announced that it struck Syrian and Iranian targets, including sites of the Guards’ Quds Force, in response to a surface-to-surface missile fired toward northern Israel a day earlier. Satellite images show that damage was incurred to several structures in Damascus International Airport. Twenty-one people were killed in the strike, according to a war watchdog report on Tuesday, which also noted that at least 12 of them were members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Israeli officials meanwhile believe Iran will respond more aggressively to recent Israeli strikes as the civil war nears its end and the country is carved up into areas of control. READ MORE

Only a matter of time before Iran and Syria start airstrikes of their own on Israel

via WORLD WAR 3: As Israel Continues To Take Out Military Targets In Damascus, Both Syria And Iran Say They Are Ready To Go To War With The Jews — Now The End Begins

What Happened to Justice? ‘Woke’ Evangelicals Largely Silent on New York Abortion Holocaust. — Pulpit & Pen

All we hear from the ‘woke’ Social Justice Warrior in evangelicalism is about how important it is to “engage culture.” WorldMag accused Phil Johnson of not wanting to engage culture, which is an old canard used against those of us who want to preach the Gospel rather than preach Social Religion. In reality, however, when Social Justice institutions like The Social Gospel Coalition or 9Marx talk about “engaging the culture” they mean co-opting the plotline of summer blockbusters into sermon series, extrapolating Gospel themes from Harry Potter, or in the case of Reedemer Presbyterian Church, having effeminate sugar plum fairies do choreographed dance for the Lord’s Day assembly.

When these fair-skinned Summer soldiers and sunshine patriots of Christendom talk about “engaging culture” they’re thinking about Jared Wilson’s recent article about Christian movies. They’re not thinking about stopping fetal blood from being washed down the drain at abortuaries to be filtered and put back into our municipal water supply. These men don’t care about dead babies; they think engaging culture is about your church having an Instagram account.

And yet, the city where Tim Keller has pitched his tent, New York, glows pink at night in honor of the abortion Holocaust. Our recent re-post of an article on New York’s decision to make abortion legal up until the time of birth reached nearly 300k shares in about 24 hours, meaning people obviously care about the topic. The decision of the Empire State to have the worst abortion law in the world, making the violence done under Shariah regimes look like child’s play, has gone almost altogether unaddressed by those who scream the loudest about “Social Justice.”

The “Freedom Tower” at the former World Trade Center site, was lit pink in honor of the abortion bill passed in NYC (it should be crimson instead). This is Tim Keller’s home town, and he has been largely silent on this cultural matter.

For Tim Keller, there doesn’t appear to be a need of justice for the unborn. That doesn’t get any liberals to clap whatsoever. And frankly, everywhere Keller goes he hears the echoing sound of liberal applause. Liberals love Tim Keller like gay men love Karen Swallow Prior and gay women love Jackie Hill Perry. They love him like white girls love pumpkin spice latte. They love him like Joel Osteen loves Joel Osteen. You get the point.

A quick survey of the chief Social Justice ministries – The Gospel Coalition, 9Marx, the ERLC – shows an utter disinterest in the abortion holocaust. While some obligatory posts have been written – say, for example, by Joe Carter at TGC, it’s abundantly clear that woke evangelicalism has been infinitely more intent to advertise racebaiter Jemar Tisby’s latest book than “speaking prophetically into the culture” on abortion.

The anti-abortion resistance in this country is not being led by those who preach Social Justice; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Those who talk incessantly of “justice” are the most inclined to ignore the plight of the unborn.

If these men truly believed in justice – in the Biblical sense of the word – they would advocate strongly for the criminalization of abortion through the legislature, the trial of both abortion doctors and abortive parents through due process, and their lawful execution. Instead, they are fixated on the sins of our fathers which pale in comparison to the blood shed by our own hands.

via What Happened to Justice? ‘Woke’ Evangelicals Largely Silent on New York Abortion Holocaust. — Pulpit & Pen

January 24, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Th 4:1–8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

The Distinctiveness of Believers’ Behavior

so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. (5:6–8)

The phrase so then emphasizes the inseparable link between Christians’ nature and their behavior, between their character and their conduct—a truth taught throughout the New Testament (cf. 2:12; 4:1; Eph. 4:1, 17; Phil. 1:27; Col. 1:10). What people are determines how they act; believers are day people and must act accordingly.

On that basis, Paul exhorted the Thessalonians, let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. The apostle did not need to exhort them to be day people, because their nature was permanently fixed by the transforming, regenerating power of God in salvation. But because that new nature is incarcerated in fallen, sinful human flesh (cf. Rom. 7:14–25), it is possible for day people to do deeds of the darkness. Therefore, Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to live consistently with their new natures. The present tense verbs indicate that the Thessalonians were to be continuously awake, alert, and sober. Rather than threaten them with chastening, the apostle appealed to their sense of spiritual dignity. As children of the day and the light, it was unthinkable for them to participate in the deeds of darkness (cf. Eph. 4:1; 5:11).

The term sleep (katheudō; a different word than the one used to refer metaphorically to “death” in 4:13–15) adds yet another dimension to Paul’s portrayal of the night people (the others to whom he refers). As children of the night and the darkness, it is not surprising to find them asleep in spiritual indifference, living as if there will be no judgment. Like the man in the Lord’s parable (Matt. 24:43), who was unaware that he was about to be robbed, they are foolish, unwitting, and unaware of the disaster that threatens to overtake them. That they sleep further compounds their dilemma; not only is the night they exist in pitch black, but they also are in a coma. In verse 7 the apostle will complete his description of their sorry plight by noting that they are asleep in the darkness in a drunken stupor. Sadly, though they are asleep to spiritual reality, night people are wide awake to the lusts of the flesh.

As day people, the Thessalonians had been delivered out of the dark night of sin, ignorance, rebellion, and unbelief. Therefore, it was ridiculous for them to walk in the darkness. There is no place for night life among day people—a truth Paul reinforced in another exhortation:

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Rom. 13:12–14)

The apostle reminded Titus that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11–12). Redeeming grace is also sanctifying grace.

Living consistent with their nature as day people provides believers with comfort, because living a righteous, godly life brings assurance of salvation (cf. 2 Peter 1:5–10). When day people walk in the darkness, however, they forfeit that assurance and become fearful of God’s judgment. They become “blind or short-sighted, having forgotten [their] purification from [their] former sins” (2 Peter 1:9). Though it is not possible for day people to be caught in the Day of the Lord, it is possible for sinning ones to lose assurance and fear they might be.

Sleep is the natural condition of night people, but day people are to be alert. Grēgoreō (alert), the source of the name “Gregory,” means to be awake or watchful. Unlike the slumbering, witless night people, day people are awake and able to rightly assess what is happening in the spiritual dimension. They heed Peter’s injunction, “Prepare your minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13) and, knowing the Day of the Lord is coming (2 Peter 3:10), they are “diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14).

In contrast to the drunken stupor that envelops night people, day people are also sober. To be sober means to be free from the influence of intoxicants. A sober person exhibits self-control, lives a serious, balanced, calm, steady life, and maintains proper priorities. To be sober is to be alert; the two terms are essentially synonyms. Just as sleep and drunkenness define night people’s insensitivity to spiritual reality, so alertness and soberness describe day people’s sensitivity to it. William Hendriksen notes:

The sober person lives deeply. His pleasures are not primarily those of the senses, like the pleasures of the drunkard for instance, but those of the soul. He is by no means a Stoic. On the contrary, with a full measure of joyful anticipation he looks forward to the return of the Lord (1 Peter 1:13). But he does not run away from his task! Note how both here and also in 1 Peter 5:8 the two verbs to be watchful and to be sober are used as synonyms.

The apostle’s exhortation, then, amounts to this: “Let us not be lax and unprepared, but let us be prepared, being spiritually alert, firm in the faith, courageous, strong, calmly but with glad anticipation looking forward to the future day. Let us, moreover, do all this because we belong to the day and not to the night.” (New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981], 125–26; emphasis in original)

The self-evident observation that those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night, further strengthens Paul’s point. He also may have been alluding to a parable told by Jesus:

But if that slave says in his heart, “My master will be a long time in coming,” and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:45–46)

Both sleeping and getting drunk are things generally done at night. Sleeping refers metaphorically to passive indifference; getting drunk to active sin.

Repeating what he said in verse 6 for emphasis, Paul wrote, But—in sharp contrast to the sleeping, drunken night people—since we are of the day, let us be sober. The apostle’s repetition suggests that their fear of being in the Day of the Lord was a major concern for the Thessalonians. In fact, they were so concerned that Paul had to address the issue again in his second inspired letter to them (2 Thess. 2:1ff.). Once again, he stressed that as day people, the Thessalonians would have no part in the Day of the Lord. Both their nature and their behavior set them apart from the night people on whom the Day of the Lord will descend.

The concepts of alertness and sobriety suggested to Paul the image of a soldier on duty. He therefore viewed day people as having put on the “armor of light” (Rom. 13:12; cf. Isa. 59:17; Eph. 6:13–17). A soldier’s breastplate protected his vital organs, the area where he was most vulnerable. It was the ancient equivalent of a bulletproof vest. The obvious function of a soldier’s helmet (like a modern football or motorcycle helmet) was to protect his head from blows that otherwise might crush his skull. The breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of the hope of salvation equip the Christian soldier to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.… against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:11–12).

Faith, love, and hope form the supreme triad of Christian virtues (cf. 1:3; 1 Cor. 13:13). They also provide an excellent defense against temptation. Faith is trust in God’s power, promises, and plan. It is the unwavering belief that God is completely trustworthy in all that He says and does.

First, believers can trust God’s Person. He will never deviate from His nature as revealed in Scripture, but will always act consistently with His attributes. The writer of Hebrews declared of God the Son, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).

Second, believers can trust God’s power. God rhetorically asked Abraham, “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14; cf. Jer. 32:17, 27).

Third, believers can trust God’s promises. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

Fourth, believers can trust God’s sovereign plan, which can neither be halted nor hindered. Through Isaiah the prophet, God declared, “I act and who can reverse it?” (Isa. 43:13).

Faith provides a defense against temptation, because all sin results from a lack of trust in God. For example, worry is the failure to believe that God will act in love on behalf of His people; lying substitutes man’s selfish plans for God’s sovereign purposes; adultery denies God’s wisdom in instituting the monogamous marriage bond. Thus, faith is an impenetrable breastplate, providing sure protection against temptation. But to put it on, believers must study and meditate on the rich depths of God’s nature as revealed in Scripture, and then translate that knowledge into action in their lives.

If faith forms the hard, protective outer surface of a Christian’s breastplate, then love is its soft inner lining. Love toward God involves delight in and devotion to God as the supreme object of affection. It, too, provides a powerful deterrent to sin, since all sin involves a failure to love God. The greatest command, the injunction that sums up the whole law of God, is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10), because those who genuinely love God will not do what grieves and offends Him. So love and faith form an impregnable barrier against temptation; it is only when one or both are lacking that Christians fall victim to sin. Perfect trust in and love for God leads to perfect obedience.

The final piece of armor is the helmet of the hope of salvation. The salvation in view here is not the past aspect of salvation (justification), or its present aspect (sanctification), but rather its future aspect (glorification). Paul described that future aspect of salvation in Romans 13:11 when he wrote, “Now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” It is then that believers will receive the eagerly anticipated redemption of their bodies (Rom. 8:23), when the Lord Jesus Christ “will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:21). Focusing on the eternal glory that awaits them (2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Peter 5:10) protects believers against temptation. “Beloved, now we are children of God,” wrote John, “and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2–3).

When faith is weak, love grows cold. When love grows cold, hope is lost. When hope in God’s promise of future glory is weak, believers are vulnerable to temptation and sin. Only those who keep the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of the hope of salvation firmly in place can resist effectively the onslaught of the forces of darkness.[1]

Victors Valiant

1 Thessalonians 5:4–8

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. (1 Thess. 5:5–6)

In 1969, Bo Schembechler was appointed head football coach at the University of Michigan. One of college football’s most storied programs, the Michigan Wolverines had languished in mediocrity for over a decade. Schembechler arrived with an intensity that shocked his players, and almost half of them quit during his demanding first training camp. Schembechler’s philosophy was not based merely on individual expectations, however, but even more on a commitment to teamwork. He expressed his winning philosophy in a memorable speech on “The Team”:

We want the Big Ten championship and we’re gonna win it as a team … The Team. The Team, the Team.… We’re gonna play together as a team. We’re gonna believe in each other, we’re not gonna criticize each other, we’re not gonna talk about each other, we’re gonna encourage each other. And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know, it’s gonna be Michigan again.

Not only was Schembechler a legendary football coach, but the apostle Paul would have agreed with his priority on teamwork. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul responded to their challenges with a similar emphasis. At the end of chapter 4, Paul gave clear teaching about Christ’s second coming and urged, “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). In chapter 5, Paul addressed concerns about the timing of Christ’s return, concluding with a similar charge: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (5:11).

According to the apostle, the Christian strategy for enduring in faith through trials is to strengthen one another with biblical truth. This is Christian teamwork in the church and home. How is the Christian family to endure against cultural attacks? By the husband’s encouraging his wife and the parents’ encouraging their children with biblical truths. How are Christians to minister to those faltering or discouraged? With the encouragement of biblical truth. We are to take a team approach in the Christian life, not tearing each other down but building each other up with the truths of God’s Word.

Children of Light

The truth that Paul wants to impress on the minds of his Thessalonian readers concerns their relationship with Christ. The way to be prepared for Jesus’ coming, he says, is to have our heads clear about what it means to be joined to Christ in salvation. Paul writes: “But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thess. 5:4–5).

To describe the Christian’s situation, Paul employs the familiar biblical image of light. Believing in Jesus, the Christian no longer lives in the darkness but belongs to the realm of the light of Christ. This image has a number of facets, each of which is relevant to the believer. First, light reveals, whereas darkness leaves us in ignorance. Christians, therefore, are those who have seen the light of the truth of Christ and have come to know him as God’s Son and as Savior (see Isa. 9:2). Christians no longer live in ignorance of the great truths about God and man, sin and salvation, and Christ’s first and second comings. Second, light warms, which refers to the spiritual transformation of the heart that has been touched by the grace of Jesus. In darkness, our hearts were cold toward God. But now that Christ’s light has shone on us, our affections are warmed toward the things of God (John 12:46). Third, light conveys and stimulates life. We were once dead to God when we lived in darkness, but now we are alive and responsive to his Word. Just as sunlight causes plants to reach up toward the sky, God’s light draws us upward to heaven. Fourth, light guides us in the way we should go. The darkness of unbelief is the realm of stumbling, but Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Similarly, Jesus asserted, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness” (John 8:12).

Paul’s point is that Christians should not be unprepared for Christ’s coming, since we now belong to the light. By calling us “children of light,” he means that the blessings of God’s light have come to distinguish us and characterize our lives. We belong to and are being transformed by the light of Christ. This truth applies not only to some believers but by definition to all who come to Christ in faith. Paul proclaims that “you are all children of light, children of the day” (1 Thess. 5:5). Christians have gained knowledge of truth, have been warmed to God’s ways, have received spiritual life, and are guided by the light of God’s Word. John described Jesus as “the light of men” (John 1:4). Therefore, the day of the Lord should never come upon us as a “surprise,” like “a thief” (1 Thess. 5:4), since we have been looking forward to and preparing for that bright day.

Verses 4 and 5 present one of the Bible’s main principles for Christian living and sanctification, namely, that Christian living arises out of Christian thinking. We observed earlier that Christians are to persevere in faith by encouraging one another in biblical truth. Paul now explains how this works: God’s Word is taught to us, we begin thinking in light of God’s Word, and by God’s grace this new thinking yields a new and godly lifestyle. Jesus mandated this process of transformation by illumination when he prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

This knowledge-based approach to sanctification mirrors Paul’s teaching in the book of Romans. Paul had taught the doctrine of justification through faith in Christ alone, apart from works. This raised a question whether Christians may continue to live sinfully, since we are saved by God’s grace as a free gift. Paul answered that no Christian who really thinks about salvation can draw such a conclusion: “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” he asked (Rom. 6:2). Paul argued that as Christians, we have died to sin in Christ and have been raised in Christ to righteousness. This being the case, Paul wrote, “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:11 nkjv). When Paul said “reckon yourselves,” he employed an accounting term (logizomai), saying that just as we record financial transactions in our bank accounts, we must also take spiritual stock of our lives and take note of the radical change that has come through faith in Christ. James Montgomery Boice writes: “A holy life comes from knowing … that you can’t go back, that you have died to sin and been made alive to God.” The result of such biblical thinking will be a transformed lifestyle befitting our relationship with the Lord: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions …, but present … your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:12–13).

Using the imagery of light and darkness, Paul pressed this same case upon the Thessalonians: “For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (1 Thess. 5:5). Reckoning what we have been given and have been made in Christ, we should live accordingly as we prepare for his return.

Staying Awake

Having expressed his principle of reckoning who and what we are in Christ—children of light—Paul makes the application in terms of how we should therefore live in anticipation of Christ’s return. He focuses on three aspects of Christian readiness that will enable us to persevere in faith until the coming of Jesus to save us.

Paul’s first application is that since believers no longer belong to the darkness but are children of light, we should stay awake and not slumber: “So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake” (1 Thess. 5:6). Being children of the light, Christians should not engage in the nighttime activities of darkness. Those in the dark are asleep to God, unaware of what is happening in the world, and unresponsive to the call of the gospel. The children of light, in contrast, are to be awake to God’s plan and alive to God’s calling.

The Bible provides a number of illustrations of believers who have fallen asleep. We think of the three disciples who were summoned to watch and pray with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus returned and found them sleeping. “Could you not watch with me one hour?” he asked (Matt. 26:40). Likewise, Christians are to be watchful during the significant events of our times. Are we to be obliviously prayerless as the great work of the gospel goes forth today? Should we not be watching and praying for missionaries, church-planters, parents raising Christian children, evangelists reaching their neighbors, and Christian leaders trying to stand for truth in our society? Should we not similarly be praying to God about the decline of our culture and the advance of sin tendencies that the Bible abhors? When it comes to watchfulness and prayer, the evidence today suggests that many Christians are asleep, hardly responsive to the spiritual challenges of our time. Jesus warned, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (v. 41).

A second biblical example of a sleeping believer was Samson, who lost his strength as his hair was cut in the night. Samson had once been a mighty foe of the Philistine enemy. But he took his rest and made his peace with the world around him, settling into the arms of a Philistine named Delilah, who betrayed him. Samson’s slumber cannot be blamed on Delilah, however: Samson put himself to sleep spiritually by violating his covenant with the Lord. Once asleep, he awoke to his danger too late, realizing only then what he had lost through his alliance with the world. How many Christians today are asleep to the influences of popular culture, so that like Samson we become prisoners of worldly thinking and acting and so lose our usefulness to the cause of Christ?

A third example was given by Jesus in his parable of the tares and the wheat. A man sowed good seed in his field, “but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away” (Matt. 13:24–25). Likewise, in the tolerant spirit that grips the church today, there is little doctrinal vigilance over our churches and ministries. Christians are asleep to the threat of an active enemy who seeks to undermine and infiltrate the works of Christ’s kingdom so that we squander the gains given to us by God and lack the spiritual power to prevail in dangerous times. Charles Spurgeon lamented, “Those who ought to have been watchmen, and to have guarded the field, slept, and so the enemy had ample time to enter and scatter tares among the wheat.”

When Paul says that Christians should not sleep “as others do,” he notes that sleeping is the normal state of the unbelieving world, insensitive to the warnings of God’s wrath and the offer of God’s salvation in the gospel. John Lillie writes: “However wide awake they fancy themselves to be, however knowing and sagacious, they are really, as to all highest things—things of the soul, of eternity, of God—in a state of slumber; of habitual, deep, lethargic sleep.… They are alike insensible to the obligation of present duty, and secure as to the approach of danger.” Are you slumbering in the blissful folly of unbelief? If you are, the Bible offers you examples not merely of temporal loss but of eternal doom in God’s coming judgment. Sisera, the enemy of God’s people, was sleeping in his tent when Jael drove the spike through his skull (Judg. 4:21). Yet those who cry out to God for mercy will be saved. The prophet Jonah slept in the hold of the ship while the tempest raged above. For his hardness of heart toward God, Jonah was thrown overboard to die beneath the waves. God had mercy on the prophet by sending the great fish to bring him to salvation. If you are now asleep to your need for the gospel, God’s Word and the prayers of Christ’s people provide the only hope that you will be saved by awakening to faith.

Perhaps the most relevant biblical illustration of our need to stay awake is Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins waiting for the coming bridegroom. Five virgins were wise and “took flasks of oil with their lamps,” whereas the five foolish virgins “took no oil with them” (Matt. 25:2–3). The bridegroom was delayed, and when he arrived, only the five wise virgins had oil left to light their lamps. Furthermore, only “those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut” (v. 10). In the Bible, oil often stands for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the emphasis in the parable is on the Spirit’s work in enabling us to believe the gospel and respond with a life of faith. If we neglect our faith and fall into unbelief, then like the foolish virgins we may be caught unawares by Christ’s coming. “Watch therefore,” Jesus said, “for you know neither the day nor the hour” (v. 13).

Staying Sober

In addition to staying awake, Christians maintain their readiness for Christ’s return by staying sober: “For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober” (1 Thess. 5:7–8). This application is a companion to the previous one: since Christians belong to the day, they should not be characterized by practices that take place during the night. Among these nighttime practices is a lifestyle that is inebriated with earthly pleasures and sin.

Underlining Paul’s teaching here is the realization that “there are certain kinds of conduct which are appropriate enough in the sons of night, but quite unbefitting to Christians.” Most obvious, here, is the fact that being drunk from alcohol or drugs, along with related forms of sensual revelry, is inexcusable in a follower of Jesus. When I was a college professor, a Christian student once gave in to his roommate and went out drinking and carousing. In the morning, he was chagrined to discover that even his unbelieving friends expressed their disgust: after all, he was supposed to be a Christian! In Ephesians 2:2–3, Paul described spiritually dead unbelievers as “following the course of this world, … carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,” and thus identifying themselves as “children of wrath.” Obviously, the children of light, who are “destined … to obtain salvation” (1 Thess. 5:9), should not embrace a similarly drunken pattern of life.

We should understand Paul’s call to sober living to involve more than drunkenness on alcohol or drugs. Today, this calling extends to the whole realm of entertainments of which Christians may imbibe, including movies and music that promote a sensual, self-absorbed lifestyle and glorify values that are contrary to God’s Word. In the workplace, Christians can become drunk with academic prestige, political power, or financial success. G. K. Beale explains: “To be drunk spiritually is to imbibe too much of the world’s way of looking at things and not enough of the way God views reality. To be intoxicated with the world’s wine is to be numbed to feeling any fear in the present of a coming judgment.”

Paul’s emphasis on sober living, repeated twice in these verses, could indicate that this was a problem among the Thessalonian new believers. Given our similarly intoxicated culture today, many young believers and new converts will likewise need to seek God’s power to start living a sober life that no longer indulges in the kinds of worldly recreations that deaden us to the things of God.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul spoke similarly about sobriety: “The night is far gone; the day is at hand.… Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy” (Rom. 13:12–13). Here, Paul defines sobriety in terms of rejecting drunkenness, pursuing sexual purity and modesty, and living peaceably with others. He summed up his appeal in Romans 13:14 by exhorting his readers to “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” How essential it is for all Christians to realize as soon as possible our call to separation from the drunken ways of the world. Andrew Young writes: “Christians are not to be like others. As unpopular as it may be to stand apart from the crowd, we need to do so.… Ours is not to be a lifestyle of slumber and drunkenness, but by contrast, we are to be self-controlled and alert.”

Ready and Armed

Paul’s first two applications were negative in principle: “Let us not sleep … [or] get drunk” (1 Thess. 5:6–7). The third application is active and positive, calling for Christians to arm themselves with biblical virtues: “having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (5:8).

Paul presents here for the first time in his writings an analogy that he will continue to develop in his later epistles, especially in Ephesians 6. He imagines Christians as preparing themselves for life in the same way that a soldier puts on his armor before heading into battle. John Calvin notes that Paul therefore understands that “the life of Christians is like a perpetual warfare.… He would have us, therefore, be diligently prepared and on the alert for resistance.” It is not enough for Christians merely to say No to sin and worldliness; we must also actively cultivate faith, love, and hope in order to be guarded from threats that would endanger our salvation.

The three virtues noted by Paul have recurred throughout this letter as the chief Christian resources: faith, love, and hope. The apostle thanked God in 1 Thessalonians 1:3 for the believers’ “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” In 3:6, Paul rejoiced at Timothy’s “good news of your faith and love.” Now, he urges the Thessalonians to keep themselves ready for the coming of Christ by putting on these same virtues to defend themselves for salvation.

The two pieces of armor that Paul cites here are those that protect the vital areas of the heart and the head. The soldier’s chest was protected in battle by a breastplate, and Paul urges Christians to “put on the breastplate of faith and love” (1 Thess. 5:8). In Ephesians 6:14, Paul speaks of putting on “the breastplate of righteousness.” These descriptions go together—“faith and love” on the one hand and “righteousness” on the other—because faith and love are the means by which righteousness is received and then practiced. We are forgiven our sins and justified before God through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16). Having believed, we then pursue a practical righteousness by leading a life of love—love for God and love for one another as outlined in God’s holy law.

The breastplate was the primary and most important piece in any panoply of armor, and likewise faith and love are at the center of Christian life and readiness. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, what really matters is “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6). Christians should therefore put on faith by devoting ourselves to God’s Word and prayer, and then train ourselves to exercise our faith in loving obedience to God and loving service to others. With this armor, Christians fight to win in the warfare of this darkened age.

Added to the breastplate that guards the vital organs is the helmet that protects the head: “and for a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). According to Paul, the Christian who possesses a biblical hope for salvation is able to think clearly and resist blows that would daze him or her into unbelief or folly. We ground our hope in God’s sovereignty over history—a history that is defined by Christ’s saving death for our sins and that will conclude in Christ’s saving return. When life comes crashing down on a believer’s head, the Christian’s helmet—his or her hope of salvation—imparts “a calm assurance in the midst of all trials and perils.” We are confident that whatever may happen, Christ is certain to save us in the end, and this hope enables us to think clearly amid the tumults of this world.

As an illustration of this helmet of salvation, John Lillie cites the example of the first Christian martyr, Stephen, who rejoiced to see Christ standing to receive him even “as he sank beneath the blows of his murderers,” praying aloud for Christ to forgive his persecutors. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God,” Stephen cried with joy (Acts 7:56). Paul himself would face martyrdom with a bold calmness, confident of his salvation in the face of death:

I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6–8)

The helmet of salvation will deliver us not only from worldly threats but also from a misguided dread of Christ’s second coming, as many Christians have sadly been led to do. For Paul and the early believers, Christ’s return was the hope for which they fervently longed. We are to live in readiness for that day, not suspending our lives and gazing at the sky in trepidation, but awake, sober, and armed with faith, love, and Christian hope. G. K. Beale writes: “The way to be ready for the last advent is to live a life of trust in God and his promises.” If we trust in the work that Christ has done for our salvation, dying on the cross for our sins; if we cultivate a love for God and for one another according to God’s Word; and if we look in hope for Christ’s coming to bring us with him into glory, we will be guarded for salvation and crowned with the grace to stand without fear before a dark and wicked world that can be awakened to the gospel only by the witness that we are emboldened to give.

Hail to the Victors!

Paul makes it clear that Christians should expect struggle and difficulty as we await the return of our Lord. Some may wonder whether it is worth all the effort of staying awake, keeping sober, and arming ourselves with faith, love, and hope. Can we expect to prevail? Jesus answers, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

I mentioned how Bo Schembechler challenged Michigan football players with high expectations and rigorous demands, with nearly half his players quitting the team. During that first training camp, Bo strolled into the locker room one day and nailed a sign to the wall that remains there still. It reads, “Those Who Stay Will Be Champions!” That promise was kept throughout Schembechler’s tenure as Michigan football coach. Not one class of his recruits who stayed for four years failed to be conference champions at least once, and their collective efforts established a tradition of victory. If Bo Schembechler was able to keep his promise to make his teams champions, how much more able is Jesus Christ to promise eternal glory and salvation to all who persevere through faith, love, and hope in him. Paul urges believers to remind each other of such truths: “Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18).

The Michigan fight song exclaims, “Hail to the Victors Valiant! Hail to the conquering heroes!” How much more honor will accrue to all who answer the call of Christ for salvation, who are made righteous with God through faith in him, and who persevere in love and hope to the end! William Walsham How wrote of the great day to come when the valiant children of light will be hailed as victors:

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;

The saints triumphant rise in bright array;

The King of glory passes on his way.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

That is the glorious hope of all who trust in Christ. Our calling now is worthy of that glorious end:

O may thy soldiers faithful, true, and bold

Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,

And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.

Alleluia! Alleluia![2]

8. Having put on the breastplate. He adds this, that he may the more effectually shake us out of our stupidity, for he calls us as it were to arms, that he may shew that it is not a time to sleep. It is true that he does not make use of the term war; but when he arms us with a breastplate and a helmet, he admonishes us that we must maintain a warfare. Whoever, therefore, is afraid of being surprised by the enemy, must keep awake, that he may be constantly on watch. As, therefore, he has exhorted to vigilance, on the ground that the doctrine of the gospel is like the light of day, so he now stirs us up by another argument—that we must wage war with our enemy. From this it follows, that idleness is too hazardous a thing. For we see that soldiers, though in other situations they may be intemperate, do nevertheless, when the enemy is near, from fear of destruction, refrain from gluttony and all bodily delights, and are diligently on watch so as to be upon their guard. As, therefore, Satan is on the alert against us, and tries a thousand schemes, we ought at least to be not less diligent and watchful.2

It is, however, in vain, that some seek a more refined exposition of the names of the kinds of armour, for Paul speaks here in a different way from what he does in Eph. 6:14, for there he makes righteousness the breastplate. This, therefore, will suffice for understanding his meaning, that he designs to teach, that the life of Christians is like a perpetual warfare, inasmuch as Satan does not cease to trouble and molest them. He would have us, therefore, be diligently prepared and on the alert for resistance: farther, he admonishes us that we have need of arms, because unless we be well armed we cannot withstand so powerful an enemy. He does not, however, enumerate all the parts of armour, (πανοπλίαν,) but simply makes mention of two, the breastplate and the helmet. In the mean time, he omits nothing of what belongs to spiritual armour, for the man that is provided with faith, love, and hope, will be found in no department unarmed.[3]

8 Paul resumes his exhortation but drops for the moment the need for alertness, speaking only of sobriety as a countermeasure against spiritual drunkenness. The idea of belonging to the realm of spiritual daylight goes back to vv. 4–5 and becomes the motivation for self-controlled action. So Paul goes on to describe “self-control” in figurative language drawn from Isaiah 59:17 (cf. Eph 6:14–17). Though the breastplate and helmet were Roman military apparel, lexical similarity to the Isaiah passage points to the OT as the probable source for his reference to them here.

The relation of this soldierly figure of speech to sobriety has been a puzzle. Frame, 187, suggests soberness as a prerequisite to effective vigilance by a sentry on duty. Yet vigilance is covered in the earlier word about alertness. Obviously, intoxication prevents effective duty as a sentry, and this thought may supply the answer. To be armed against wild excitement with its disregard for normal Christian responsibilities requires soberness. Paul had earlier spoken of the need for calmness (4:11–12). The Thessalonians had already made significant progress in faith and love (1:3; 3:6), but additional improvement was still needed (3:10; 4:1, 10). So the “breastplate” of faith and love could furnish protection from the problems mentioned in 5:14.

To these Paul adds the “hope of salvation” (cf. 1:10) as the indispensable “helmet.” The anticipated salvation in 5:8–9 includes deliverance from eschatological wrath and being raised to life with Christ (cf. Bruce, 112–13). These three (faith, love, and hope) will strengthen the readers for their present trials (1:3) and doubts (5:14). The Thessalonians can confidently anticipate a future deliverance not to be enjoyed by those in darkness (v. 3) but assured for those in the realm of light (vv. 4–5). Self-control consists of balancing future expectations with present obligations. The well-equipped soldier wears both a breastplate and a helmet.[4]

Sons of the day or sons of the night? (vv. 4–8)

In these verses Paul contrasts believers, who are the sons of light, with those who belong to the darkness.

Fear not

Contrary to unbelievers, the Thessalonians need not fear that this day will surprise them like a thief, because they are not in ‘darkness’. This darkness is a reference to those who are spiritually blind and ignorant, the wicked and careless, who have no thought for their souls. All who are trapped in the darkness of sin and unbelief will be caught out by that day, for they cannot see it approaching, nor do they care about its coming.

The Thessalonians, however, will not be terrorized by the day of the Lord, nor will they be surprised by it. It will not steal in on them and destroy their reward, but be a day of light and joy. Why? Because they are ‘sons of the light and sons of the day’. They live in the light, and so will see the day coming and welcome it as the final triumph. The ‘light’ and ‘day’ point to the knowledge of Christ in salvation that they have already experienced. The light of redemption shines in their hearts and therefore they are destined for everlasting light.

As Christians we are a ‘chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God’, that we ‘may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light’ (1 Peter 2:9). We must not hold a vain curiosity concerning the day and hour of Christ’s return, but wait for it with a holy anticipation and prepare ourselves for its arrival. We must live in the light and behave as children of the light, for ‘we do not belong to the night or to the darkness’.

‘The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light’ (Rom. 13:12). What does Paul mean? The apostle explains it in the next verses: ‘Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature’ (Rom. 13:13–14).

Be alert and self-controlled

It is unnatural to sleep when the midday sun is shining in our eyes, so it is unnatural to sleep spiritually now that we are children of the light. Sleep is natural to those who live in darkness, for it is the sleep of being insensible and helplessly unaware of the judgement to come. But Christians must not be like that. Instead, we are to be:

‘Alert.’ We are to be watchful, sober and spiritually awake. As we wait for our Saviour from heaven, we must be morally alert and live a holy life in view of the day of the Lord. We must live on earth in a way that pleases the Lord as we wait for him to take us to heaven. ‘Night’ is the element and sphere of unbelievers, the time when they sleep and get drunk, which is the opposite of being spiritually and morally awake. In many ways, the uncertainty about the date of Christ’s second coming should make Christians more watchful.

‘Self-Controlled.’ We must be filled with a moral and spiritual earnestness, calm and steady in our faith and actions, and faithfully performing our duty as we look forward to that day.

Jesus gave his disciples this warning: ‘Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man’ (Luke 21:34–36).

Put on faith, love and hope

As the Thessalonians ‘belong to the day’, they must behave accordingly. They are told for a second time to be ‘self-controlled’. In other words, they must watch over their hearts and lives in the same way as an armed soldier standing on guard is careful not to get drunk or fall asleep, which would not only be a dereliction of duty, but dangerous to himself and the people he is meant to be protecting.

Paul exhorts them to put on the whole spiritual armour of God. Faith and love act as a breastplate that protects the heart, and the hope of salvation is a helmet that guards the mind. Faith is that certain knowledge of God, his promises and salvation; love is a yielding to God in joyful obedience; and hope, which looks to the future, is an assurance of salvation which goes hand in hand with obedience. The breastplate and helmet are the spiritual defence we have against the world. With them in place, we shall be ready for the day of Christ’s return.[5]

5:7–8 / Paul explains the exhortation of verse 6 by characterizing the conduct of “the rest” (hoi loipoi, 5:6). He speaks metaphorically. Activities associated with the night become images of the moral condition of those “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). In that sense, they are sons of darkness, For those who sleep, sleep at night, where the verb is again katheudō (see disc. on 5:6), and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. In contrast with such activities (and Paul now returns to the exhortation of v. 6 and develops it), since we (the believers) belong to the day, let us be self-controlled (nephō, again see disc. on 5:6), putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (cf. Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:7; 10:4; Eph. 6:11–17). The familiar metaphor of armor might have been suggested by a glimpse of armor catching and reflecting the first light of day. But equally the image might have been suggested by Isaiah 59:17, where God himself is said to be decked in the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation. At all events, Paul invites his readers, by means of this metaphor, to appreciate and to practice what is theirs (for the triad of Christian graces, see the disc. on 1:3, and for the close association of faith and love, see Gal. 5:6). The general term salvation embraces the whole work of God in Christ on our behalf. It becomes ours by faith (see disc. on 1:3 and 3:2f; cf. also 2 Thess. 2:13). But in speaking of the hope of salvation, Paul focuses especially on that part of the work that remains to be completed at the return of Christ. The awareness that God has begun a good work in us and that he will complete it (see Phil. 1:6) is our best protection (armor) against the contingencies of an uncertain world. It is also our best incentive to holiness.[6]

The right solution: staying alert (5:4–8)

The apostle explains that there is no need for us to be alarmed by the prospect of the Lord’s coming, because there is no need for it to take us by surprise. ‘Surprise’ is the key word in Paul’s argument. There are two reasons why people are taken by surprise when a burglar breaks in. The first is that he comes unexpectedly during the night, and the second is that the householder is asleep. We can do nothing about the first reason, but we can about the second. Similarly, Christ’s coming is definitely going to be unexpected. The solution to our problem lies not in knowing when he will come, but in staying awake and alert. For then, even if his Parousia is totally unexpected, we will be ready for him and not taken by surprise. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief (4).

Let me enlarge on Paul’s argument about day and night, light and darkness. Burglars take people by surprise because they come at night. To begin with, it is dark, so that we do not see them coming. In addition, most people are fast asleep. Or if they are awake, they are probably out at a party and may even be drunk. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night (7). So darkness, sleep and drunkenness are three reasons why people are unprepared for a night visit by a burglar. If only he would oblige us by coming in the daytime! Then we would be ready for him. It would be light, and we could see him. We would ourselves be wide awake, and we would be alert and sober.

Just so with the coming of Christ. Will he come in the darkness or in the light? Spiritually speaking, will he come at night-time or at day-time? The answer to this vital question is ‘Both; it depends who we are’. In the case of unbelievers, he will come in the night because they belong to the night and live in darkness. But you, brothers, are not in darkness … (4). You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness (5).

This truth needs further elaboration. The Bible divides history into two ages or ‘aeons’. From the Old Testament perspective they were called ‘the present age’ (which was evil) and ‘the age to come’ (which would be the time of the Messiah). Moreover, the two ages were sometimes portrayed in terms of the night and the day. The present age was like a long dark night, but when the Messiah came, the sun would rise, the day would break, and the world would be flooded with light.

The Bible also teaches that Jesus Christ is that long-awaited Messiah, and that therefore the new age began when he came. He was the dawn of the new era. He ushered in the day. He proclaimed the break-in of the kingdom of God. At the same time, the old age has not yet come to an end. As John put it, ‘the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining’.76 So, for the time being, the two ages overlap. Unbelievers belong to the old age, and are still in the darkness. But those who belong to Jesus Christ have been transferred into the new age, into the light. Already in Christ we have ‘tasted … the powers of the coming age.’ Already, God has brought us ‘out of darkness into his wonderful light’.78 Only when Christ comes in glory will the present overlap then end. The transition period will be over. The old age will finally vanish, and those who belong to it will be destroyed. The new age will be consummated, and those who belong to it will be fully and finally redeemed.

So then (and this is the point which we have been working up to), whether we are ready for Christ’s coming or not depends on which age we belong to, on whether we are still in the darkness or already belong to the light. It is only if we are in the light that we will not be taken by surprise.

Imagine that you and your family are enjoying your summer holiday. One evening the sun goes down, you draw the curtains, and everybody goes to bed. You sleep well too, because the following day you are expecting a visit from the family’s favourite Uncle Bill. But because you are tired, you oversleep. In the morning the sun rises as usual, but you know nothing about it because you are still fast asleep and the curtains are still drawn. Only one member of the family wakes early, your eldest daughter. She gets up and flings back the curtains of her room, so that the sun streams in. Suddenly, there is a loud knock on the front door, and Uncle Bill stands outside. Your daughter is ready to welcome him. She is not taken by surprise, for she is awake, alert and in the light. But the rest of you are covered with confusion because you are still asleep and still in the darkness.

So the question which Paul’s teaching presses upon us is this: to which age do we belong, the old or the new? Do we belong to the night or to the day? Are we asleep or awake? Are our curtains still drawn, or has the light of Jesus Christ shone in upon us? Verses 4 to 8 become quite clear, once we have grasped the biblical teaching on the two ages—the old age of darkness and the new age of light. For the imagery of day and night, light and darkness, is continued throughout.

Moreover, Paul begins with an affirmation as to who we are, and continues with an exhortation as to what we should be. Indeed, he repeats this pattern for emphasis. First, he declares: But you … are not in darkness (4), because you are all sons of the light and sons of the day (5a). In consequence (associating himself with them), we do not belong to the night or to the darkness (5b). So then, because of who we are, let us not be like others (literally, ‘the rest of humankind’, as in 4:13), who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled (6). In other words, if we belong to the day (the new day which dawned with Christ), our behaviour must be daytime behaviour. Let’s not sleep or even yawn our way through life, or live in our pyjamas. Let’s stay awake and alert. For then we shall be ready when Christ comes and we will not be taken by surprise.

The second time Paul affirms who we are and urges us to live appropriately, he goes beyond watchfulness and self-control to the need for us to be properly armed for the Christian warfare: But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet (8). Several times in his letters Paul likens Christians to soldiers and refers to our necessary armour and equipment. At the same time, he feels free to vary the symbolism. For example, in Ephesians 6 the breastplate is ‘righteousness’ and the helmet ‘salvation’, whereas here the breastplate and helmet together represent the triad of graces we considered in 1:3, namely ‘faith, love and hope’.[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2002). 1 & 2 Thessalonians (pp. 158–162). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Phillips, R. D. (2015). 1 & 2 Thessalonians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 204–214). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians (pp. 288–289). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Thomas, R. L. (2006). 1 Thessalonians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 424–425). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Shenton, T. (2006). Opening up 1 Thessalonians (pp. 97–100). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[6] Williams, D. J. (2011). 1 and 2 Thessalonians (pp. 89–90). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Stott, J. R. W. (1994). The message of Thessalonians: the gospel & the end of time (pp. 109–113). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

January 24 A Second Chance

scripture reading: John 8:1–7
key verse: John 8:11

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

While scholars argue whether or not the woman caught in adultery was a setup by the Pharisees to trap Jesus going against the Law of Moses, the overarching theme is forgiveness. God’s love, mercy, and grace were all present and active. Jesus did not condemn the woman but instead challenged her accusers to throw the first stone if one among them could be found without sin.

After the Pharisees departed, Jesus looked at the woman lying at His feet. That was not the first time she had committed such an act, but it was the first time she had appeared before Jesus. There was no doubt in her mind that He was a man of God. How exposed and embarrassed she must have felt, that is, until the Savior revealed His word of forgiveness and hope to her heart.

Perhaps there is something in your life you wish you could erase. Just the thought of it brings feelings of condemnation and sorrow. Adultery was an act that the law declared punishable by stoning. Yet Jesus set the woman free.

He gave her a second chance, and that is what He gives you. If there is something you have done, know that when you bring it to God in prayer seeking His forgiveness, it is forgiven. God will never bring the matter up again. His Son’s death at Calvary was sufficient payment for all your sins. Only almighty God can love you so much.

You are the God of the second chance, and for that I thank You, Lord. Your love and mercy cover my yesterdays and give me the opportunity to begin again. Only You can love me so much![1]

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

24 january (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The death of Christ

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10

suggested further reading: Acts 4:23–31

He who reads the Bible with the eye of faith, desiring to discover its hidden secrets, sees something more in the Saviour’s death than Roman cruelty or Jewish malice: he sees the solemn decree of God fulfilled by men, who were the ignorant, but guilty instruments of its accomplishment. He looks beyond the Roman spear and nail, beyond the Jewish taunt and jeer, up to the sacred fount, whence all things flow, and traces the crucifixion of Christ to the breast of deity. He believes with Peter—“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” We dare not impute to God the sin, but at the same time the fact, with all its marvellous effects in the world’s redemption, we must ever trace to the sacred fountain of divine love. So does our prophet. He says, “It pleased Jehovah to bruise him.” He overlooks both Pilate and Herod, and traces it to the heavenly Father, the first person in the divine trinity. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Now, beloved, there be many who think that God the Father is at best but an indifferent spectator of salvation. Others belie him still more. They look upon him as an unloving, severe being, who had no love to the human race, and could only be made loving by the death and agonies of our Saviour. Now, this is a foul libel upon the fair and glorious grace of God the Father, to whom for ever be honour: for Jesus Christ did not die to make God loving, but he died because God was loving.

“ ‘Twas not to make Jehovah’s love


‘Twas not the death which he endured,


Towards his people flame,


Nor all the pangs he bore,


That Jesus from the throne above,


That God’s eternal love procured,


A suff’ring man became.


For God was love before.”


for meditation: Who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16)?

sermon no. 173[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 31). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.