Daily Archives: February 12, 2019

John Dowd: Mueller Won’t Release a Report Following ‘Fraud’ Investigation — National Review

John Dowd outside Manhattan Federal Court in New York, March 9, 2011. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Former White House attorney John Dowd on Monday disparaged Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a “one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen,” and predicted that Mueller would not produce the comprehensive report so many lawmakers and pundits are anticipating and calling for.

“I don’t think there’ll be a report,” Dowd told ABC News during an interview for the premiere episode of the The Investigation podcast. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than, ‘We’re done.’”

Mueller is required to provide an accounting of his investigation to the attorney general, who must then decide what information should be shared with Congress and what information, if any, should me made available to the public. Trump’s attorney general nominee, William Barr, told lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that he would like to make public as much information as possible but did not make any specific promises.

Citing his familiarity with Mueller’s investigative tactics, Dowd, who left the White House in March due to disagreements with the president over the extent of his cooperation with investigators, went on to criticize the length and scope of the probe as unwarranted and harmful to the country.

“There’s no basis. There’s no exposure. It’s been a terrible waste of time,” he said. “What’s worse is let’s get on the other side of this, how it all happened. This is one of the greatest frauds this country’s ever seen. And I’m just shocked that Bob Mueller didn’t call it that way and say, ‘I’m being used.’”

Dowd, who was brought on by Trump just one month after the president fired former FBI director James Comey, told ABC that he cooperated extensively with the special counsel’s office during his time in the White House, but would not allow Trump to be interviewed because he believed the president would become confused and make a false statement.

“In my questioning him or talking to him, you know, first question, easy. Second question, easy. Third question, he wasn’t sure. And he doesn’t like being unsure. So he’ll guess,” Dowd said of his interactions with Trump. “There’s your trap, right there. It’s not whether he lies or not. . . . It’s not a matter of integrity. It’s overload.”

via John Dowd: Mueller Won’t Release a Report Following ‘Fraud’ Investigation — National Review

All is Vain without the Spirit — Unfathomable Grace

The church of Moses had been loved, chosen, graced, saved, protected, organized, and instructed. Their priests had been ordained and their building erected. Then it happened; heaven came down and glory filled their sanctuary:

“… So Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.”     (Exodus 40:33-38)

Without the fresh falling and filling of the Holy Spirit, the tabernacle would have merely been a really expensive mobile home.

However, God loved and graced his people with his immediate presence. The Holy Spirit descended upon, filled, guided, and encouraged the children of Israel. How happy they must have been each night as they turned down the lamps of their individual tents only to see the tabernacle of God shining with holy wonder throughout the night.


Last night, at Horizon Church, several church leaders met for hours to further discuss and outline the passion placed within us by the Lord. We left red-eyed and worn-out. However, we also left pretty excited about what we hoped the Lord might do in our midst. Oh, that God would help us be a Gospel-addicted family passionately worshiping, intimately fellowshipping, perpetually maturing, relentlessly serving, and ever-expanding. How much fun it will be to see more visitors, more converts, more disciples, more families, more children, more leaders, more staff, more church planters, more zeal, more churches, and more cultural impact. Oh, that God would use us to bring more glory to his name. Therefore, with this in mind, we prioritized, planned, and strategized, and still we are not done. Consideration of priorities, preferred strategies, staff-alignment, budget allocations, and facility needs still to be addressed. We will obey. We will follow God’s plan. We will dream. We will plan. We will work. However, this we know – all is vain without the Spirit.


Friends, the same is true for you and your family church. It matters not whether you unschool, home school, Christian school, private school, or public school. It matters not whether you lead your family in personal devotions or family devotions. It matters not whether you go to church 4 times a month or 4 times a week. Look around you; can you not see that reading the Bible, engaging in Christian education, utilizing youth ministry, and sending your children on mission trips is not necessarily fruitful and effective? How numerous are the families who have done all the above and still they are blown away by the world, the flesh, and the devil. Oh friends, all is vain without the Spirit.


The same is true for you and your para-church ministry. Go ahead and think seriously about your boards, bi-laws, values, vision, mission, strategies, measurable objectives, staff, target-market, and fundraising. Sure, take your ministry seriously, but remember this, all is vain without the Spirit.


Such is the case for your personal vocation and ministry. The Lord makes rich, and the Lord makes poor. The horse is to be made ready for battle, but victory comes from the Lord. Without God, nothing is possible. There is no profit or success for which man can say, “I am the one ultimately responsible for this.” So swing for the fences. Be aggressive. Be entrepreneurial. Be bold and seek to accomplish great things. However, always keep this in mind, all is vain without the Spirit.


photo-1498184103684-bc1a70b0c068Therefore, let us show our humility, dependence, and wisdom by engaging in more fervent prayer. Prayer is powerful. It is effective. It is the means of grace that turbo-charges the other means of grace. So, I suggest we put aside our mobile device, laptop, planner, and perhaps even our Bible and highlighter. Perhaps we need to find a breakroom, boardroom, or even a men’s room to converse with our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Therefore, to spur us on, here is a famous older prayer which has been set to music. Go ahead; let’s have a singfest with Divine Lover:

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart; wean it from earth; through all its pulses move; stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art, and make me love thee as I ought to love.

Has thou not bid me love thee, God and King? All, all thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind. I see thy cross; there teach my heart to cling. O let me seek thee, and O let me find.

Here is another hymn to guide us in your time of prayer:

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me. Spirit of the living God, Fall fresh on me.

Here is one more:

Brethren, we have met to worship and adore the Lord our God. Will you pray with all your power while we try to preach the Word. All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down. Brethren, pray and holy manna will be showered all around.

Oh friends, God would have all his ministers and their ministries prayer-powered and Spirit-saturated. Therefore, whether we be priests at home, in the office, driving the soccer-mom-van, serving in a para-church ministry, or laboring in the church, God calls us now to spend a bit more time with him.

How fantastic it was when the Spirit of God moved in to the Tabernacle!

How fantastic it was when the Spirit of God moved in to the Temple! How tragic it was when he left!

How fantastic it was when the Spirit of God moved in upon Christ’s disciples in the Upper Room!

I don’t know about you, but I could use a fresh pentecostal moment of my own life right now. I know God loves me. I know he dwells within me. I know he will never leave me. I know he is my Shepherd, and I should not want. And that being said, I want a sweeter experience with him. I want Christ’s Spirit to fall freshly on me and mine. I long for a greater experience of Gospel mercy, Gospel-grace, Gospel-satisfaction, and Gospel-motivation. And I would also love to see a greater measure of Gospel-success in my individual walk, my personal family, my chosen vocation, and my beloved church. For this I have been made aware of, all is vain without the Spirit, and I do not want to experience a vain day today.

 


 

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”    

Acts 1:8

via All is Vain without the Spirit — Unfathomable Grace

Luther’s ‘Praise’ of the Papacy — Zwinglius Redivivus

lutherOh, the depth of his worthlessness, covetousness, and robbery; how unsearchable are his thefts and how inscrutable his greediness! For who has known the shrine of his heart? Or who has first given anything to the church that he did not afterward snatch away? For from him and through him and in him are all the evils of the church. To him be horror and disgrace forever and ever. Amen.*

____________
*Martin Luther, “Preface, Marginal Glosses, and Afterword to Legation of Pope Adrian VI, Sent to the Diet of Nürnberg in 1522: 1538.”

via Luther’s ‘Praise’ of the Papacy — Zwinglius Redivivus

12 february (1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Sin immeasurable

“Who can understand his errors?” Psalm 19:12

suggested further reading: Matthew 5:21–30

With every commandment—the bare letter is nothing, compared with the whole stupendous meaning and severe strictness of the rule. The commandments, if I may so speak, are like the stars. When seen with the naked eye, they appear to be brilliant points; if we could draw near to them, we should see them to be infinite worlds, greater than even our sun, stupendous though it is. So is it with the law of God. It seems to be but a luminous point, because we see it at a distance, but when we come nearer where Christ stood, and estimate the law as he saw it, then we find it is vast, immeasurable. “Thy commandment is exceeding broad.” Think then for a moment of the spirituality of the law, its extent and strictness. The law of Moses condemns for offence, without hope of pardon, and sin, like a millstone, is bound around the sinner’s neck, and he is cast into the depths. Moreover, the law deals with sins of thought,—the imagination of evil is sin. The transit of sin across the heart, leaves the stain of impurity behind it. This law, too, extends to every act,—tracks us to our bed-chamber, goes with us to our house of prayer, and if it discovers so much as the least sign of wavering from the strict path of integrity, it condemns us. When we think of the law of God we may well be overwhelmed with horror, and sit down and say, “God be merciful to me, for to keep this law is utterly beyond power; even to know the fulness of its meaning is not within finite capacity. Therefore, great God, cleanse us from our secret faults—save us by thy grace, for by the law we never can be saved.”

for meditation: “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” (Exodus 19:8)—we should admire the spirit of the Israelites, but not their self-confidence. Only one slip-up spells condemnation (Galatians 3:10; James 2:10). Praise God for his Son who came to fulfil the law perfectly (Matthew 5:17) and then to die in our place to save us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).

sermon no. 299[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 50). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

12 FEBRUARY 365 Days with Calvin

Confessing God’s Good Pleasure

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord. Psalm 25:7

suggested further reading: Psalm 103

When David mentions the sins he committed in his youth, he does not imply that he does not remember the sins he committed in later years. Rather, he means to show that he considers himself worthy of much greater condemnation for past and present sin.

In the first place, as David considered that he has not only lately committed sin but for a long time has heaped up sin upon sin, he bows under the accumulated load. Second, he intimates that if God should deal with him according to the rigor of law, not only the sins of yesterday or of a few days will come into judgment against him. All the offenses he has committed, even from his infancy, might now with justice be laid to his charge.

Accordingly, as God terrifies us by his judgments and tokens of his wrath, let us remember not only the sins that we have lately committed, but also the transgressions of the past. That will offer us ground for renewed shame and lamentation before God as we plead for mercy.

In his supplication for pardon, David pleads upon the ground of God’s mere good pleasure. He says, According to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake. When God casts our sins into oblivion, he beholds us with fatherly regard. David can find no other cause to account for this paternal regard of God but that God is good. Hence it follows that there is nothing to induce God to receive us into his favor but his own good pleasure.

for meditation: If we step back from our daily grind and survey the mountain of sin we have been heaping up over a lifetime, how can we possibly arrive at any conclusion but the one David suggests? God’s mercy to us flows from no other source than his good pleasure. How should this change our way of thinking and our actions today?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 61). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

In Libya, ‘We Came. We Saw. He Died.’ Will There Be a Repeat in Venezuela?

Washington wants to ensure that there is suffering, in order that Maduro can be overthrown by those whom it has deprived of the basic necessities of life. Further, it wants its own man to be at the Top.

Libya is in a state of anarchic turmoil, with various groups fighting each other for control of the country, and as the Wall Street Journal reported last September, “Islamic State is staging a resurgence in chaotic Libya, claiming more than a dozen attacks in the North African country this year and threatening to disrupt the flow of oil from one of the world’s most significant suppliers.” To such mainstream media outlets as the Wall Street Journal the fact that oil supplies are being disrupted is much more important than the savage IS attacks that result in slaughter of so many innocent people who are only foreigners, anyway.

The UN Security Council said it deplored the Islamic State’s “heinous and cowardly terrorist attack… in Tripoli on 25 December 2018” and expressed “deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, as well as to the Libyan people and Government of National Accord, and wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.”

It is laudable that the Security Council should express such sentiments, but if Libya was not fractured by a six-year civil war”, there would be no need for sympathy from anyone.

The cause of the catastrophe in Libya in Libya was the seven month US-NATO blitzkrieg from March to October 2011 in which thousands of bombs and rockets rained down on that unfortunate land which was governed by President Muammar Ghaddafi whom the West was determined to overthrow by assisting a rebel movement. In Ghaddafi’s Libya, as detailed by the World Health Organisation the government provided “comprehensive health care including promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services to all citizens free of charge through primary health care units, health centres and district hospitals.” Life expectancy was 75 years (as against 66 in India; 71 in Egypt; 59 in South Africa), and the CIA World Factbook noted that there was a literacy rate of 94.2% which was higher than in Malaysia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

Ghaddafi was far from being a saint. He dealt with his enemies in the most brutal fashion and was guilty of numerous offences against humanity. But so were (and are) many others like that around the world whose countries are not subject to US sanctions or seven months of strikes by US-NATO planes and missiles.

The US-NATO blitz was successful, and Gaddafi was overthrown and captured by rebel forces, whereupon, as reported, “the increasingly desperate and terrified 69-year-old Gaddafi was thrown on to the front of a white car bonnet, his blood-soaked head locked between the knees of a militiaman… He slipped off the bonnet, his ravaged body unable to cope with the constant battering.” Then, as can be seen in a particularly horrible video, he was beaten mercilessly, sodomised with a bayonet, and murdered.

When she was informed of this, the news caused the United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to giggle and announce with a laugh that “We came. We saw. He died.”

Trump is the worst president in US history, but at least we have been spared the global ascendancy of a person who cackles with mirth when being told that someone had been murdered.

In any event, Libya was reduced to chaos amid the Clinton cackles, just as is happening in Venezuela at the moment. Its leader, Maduro, is not unlike Gaddafi in many ways, being ruthless and arrogant, and there is no doubt the country has suffered under his regime — but it has suffered a great deal more because of vicious sanctions imposed by Washington, just as happened in Libya.

The United Nations Human Rights Council is not regarded favourably by Washington’s sanctioneers, simply because it points out the negative side of sanctions, in that it is always ordinary people who suffer — and especially the poor, the deprived, the sick, the lame, all those whom Trump says he loves. At a Prayer Breakfast in the White House on 7 February he declared that “America is a nation that believes in redemption” and that religious faith “transforms lives, heals communities and lifts up the forgotten,” which, as with almost everything he says, was a load of hypocritical garbage.

These US sanctions have caused untold suffering. As Al Jazeera reported on 8 February, “a hospital… has said 14 children have died this week following an outbreak of amoebiasis, a form of dysentery transmitted by contaminated food or water. Dozens of other children infected by the disease cannot receive adequate treatment due to a lack of medical supplies.” And on it goes, just as it did in Libya and pre-invasion Iraq which had suffered similarly evil sanctions for so many years.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has urged everyone involved in the Venezuela crisis to “lower tensions” and begin speaking to each other, but there was no possibility that anyone would listen to him, least of all those intent on the overthrow of Maduro. The UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures as affecting human rights, Idriss Jazairy (an admirable and highly intelligent person), stated on 31 January that “coercion” by the US (without naming it) is a “violation of all norms of international law.” He said flatly that “Sanctions which can lead to starvation and medical shortages are not the answer to the crisis in Venezuela… precipitating an economic and humanitarian crisis . . . is not a foundation for the peaceful settlement of disputes.”

But Washington doesn’t want a peaceful settlement of disputes, least of all, at the moment, in Venezuela. It wants to ensure that there is suffering, in order that Maduro can be overthrown by those whom it has deprived of the basic necessities of life. Further, it wants its own man to be at the Top.

So — enter Mr Juan Guaidó, a minor politician in Venezuela’s parliament.

According to the Wall Street Journal on 25 January, “The night before Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president of Venezuela, the opposition leader received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence. Mr Pence pledged that the US would back Mr. Guaidó if he seized the reins of government from Nicolás Maduro by invoking a clause in the South American country’s constitution, a senior administration official said.”

As the New York Times noted on 8 February, “Mr. Trump said the oil sanctions were meant to punish Mr. Maduro for human rights violations and force him to cede power to Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader whom the United States has recognized as the rightful Venezuelan president.”

The entire “revolution” has been engineered from Washington, but at least, this time, they haven’t gone in with rockets and bombs. There is no doubt that Washington will win, and that Maduro will leave in one way or another.

And my advice to him is : don’t wait too long before you give up and get out. Otherwise, Maduro, baby, They’ll Come. They’ll See. And You’ll Die.

Photo: Flickr
— Read on www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/12/in-libya-we-came-saw-he-died-will-there-repeat-in-venezuela.html

Tuesday Briefing Feb. 12, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

Virginia’s soap opera continues: Will the Democrats apply their zero-tolerance policy?

The new orthodoxy of identity politics: Understanding the consequences of reducing human beings to just one characteristic

The real reason why Christians should reject identity politics

The post Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Download MP3

— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/02/12/briefing-2-12-19/

Why Don’t You Trust What Skeptical Scholars Say About the Gospels? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

J. Warner Wallace discusses Cold-Case Christianity with Brady Blevins from the Atheist Christian Book Club. In this clip, J. Warner addresses the fact that his inferences are sometimes different than those of atheist scholars. Why shouldn’t we simply agree with the conclusions of these scholars? How could we test these conclusions in light of the evidence?

Why Don’t You Trust What Skeptical Scholars Say About the Gospels? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Honor and Its Decline — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Here’s an excerpt from Honor and Its Decline, George Grant’s contribution to the February issue of Tabletalk:

It is commonly acknowledged that the cornerstone of the English literary canon is Shakespeare. What is only slightly less commonly acknowledged is that the cornerstone of Shakespeare is the virtue of honor. Just consider a brief sampling of the Bard’s unforgettable lines:

Honor’s thought reigns solely in the breast of every man. (Henry V, 4.3)

Mine honor is my life, both grow in one. Take honor from me and my life is done. (Richard II, 1.3)

If I lose my honor, I lose myself. (Antony and Cleopatra, 3.4)

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; it yearns me not if my garments wear; suchoutward things dwell not in my desires: but if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive. (Henry V, 4.3)

Continue reading Honor and Its Decline

Honor and Its Decline — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Isn’t it amazing how smart and strong Pelosi is seen by the media no matter what she does? | American Thinker Blog

Everything seen through the lens of Trump-hatred

In December, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi decided that they were willing to shut down the government instead of giving President Trump a dime for border barriers – for which they had voted for before. They had control of their subordinates who did what they were told instead of allowing them to vote for sensible barriers no matter how they had voted before.

Instead of the media calling out Democrats for being obstinate, uncompromising and flip floppers on the issue, the Democrats were supported, and Trump was blamed for the 35-day partial closing. The media marveled at how strong and firm Pelosi was. Pelosi even resorted to calling the border barriers that she voted for before and that exist and work in Pelosi’s home state of California “immoral.” The media continued its genuflection to Pelosi throughout the entire period. They colluded with Democrats to run sob stories and blame Trump.

Caricature by

After 35 days, Trump was pragmatic and compromised to get the government open because he realized that Schumer and Pelosi weren’t really negotiating.  

Instead of complimenting Trump for being willing to give in and open the government based on the promise that Pelosi, Schumer and the Democrats would negotiate after the government was open, they again pounced on Trump saying how weak he was.

The Atlantic declared her the victor:

Pelosi Won, Trump Lost

The government shutdown has revealed a new dynamic in Washington: The president has met his match.

CNN was proud that Pelosi was 100% firm and that there was not any meaningful dissent by the Democrats who seem to be willing to do what they are told. Independent thinking is not encouraged. After all she could get Democrats to vote for Obamacare before they actually knew what was in the bill.

How Nancy Pelosi broke Donald Trump

Pelosi, from the start, insisted that neither she nor any Democrats would cooperate with any negotiation that sought to leverage a government shutdown for Trump to try to secure the $5.7 billion he wanted for a border wall.

The key to saying something so definitive is a) sticking to it and b) enforcing it. There was never a peep from any House Democrat that they should make concessions on the wall to Trump. Not any meaningful dissent. For 35 days of a shutdown.

Now that there appears to be some actual negotiations and some money will probably go for some sort of border barrier, here comes a puff piece from the Associated Press on Pelosi about how pragmatic and moderate she is.  We will never see a piece about how pragmatic Trump is in his willingness to adjust his demands to reality to get things done.

Pelosi shows pragmatic streak

Republicans have vilified Nancy Pelosi for years as a San Francisco liberal, and now they’re trying to portray her as a captive of resurgent left-wingers in her Democratic Party.

But in her early moves so far as House speaker, Pelosi is displaying her pragmatic streak. She’s set to endorse a split-the-differences deal on government funding that appears on track to give President Donald Trump at least some barriers on the border, after she had said Trump’s border wall idea was “immoral” and promised he wouldn’t get a penny for it.

Pelosi’s more measured approach is playing out this weekend as talks grind on over border security money. Pelosi took a hard line during the recent 35-day partial federal shutdown, refusing to enter into negotiations while the government was shuttered, while dismissing Trump’s dream of a border wall.

That led many Republicans to believe that Pelosi would become an obstacle in the talks. Instead, Pelosi is intent on pursuing a deal with Republicans on a $350 billion-plus appropriations bill that has been hung up for weeks over Trump’s border wall demands. She still opposes the idea of a wall but has signaled she’s open to vehicle barriers and other steps. 

Now we see that the talks to keep the government open may break down because Democrats are trying to limit the number of beds that are available to detain illegal aliens. That shows how unserious they are about enforcing the immigration laws they passed and about securing the borders.

Maybe we should limit the number of people in the U.S/ than can be detained for murder, rape, property crimes, white collar crimes and gun crimes.

Those things make as much sense as what it appears the Democrats are proposing.

Every once in a while, Democrats pretend they want to enforce the immigration laws that they passed when they vote for funding barriers, but their true colors always come out when they refuse to appropriate the funds.

My guess is that most of the complicit. media will support Democrats as they always do and blame Trump and Republicans as they always do for the budget impasses. The outright bias is showing more each day and it is pathetic and dangerous to our freedom and prosperity. 
— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/02/isnt_it_amazing_how_smart_and_strong_pelosi_is_seen_by_the_media_no_matter_what_she_does.html

Free Film: We Choose Life by Dave Sterrett — Truthbomb Apologetics

In 2016, I had the opportunity to review Dave Sterrett’swonderful book, We Choose Life.  You can find my review here.  The book includes 17 different essays written by various individuals of all walks of life.  The list includes former abortion workers, individuals conceived through rape or incest, and men who confess to struggling with post-abortive guilt.  Further, as an added bonus, the work features an appendix written by Life Training Institute’sScott Klusendorf demonstrating to the reader how to make the case for life in 5 minutes or less.

The above film offers a look at some of the stories contained in We Choose Life.  I encourage our readers to not only view this film, but also share it with others!

My notes are as follows:

  • Right away the video mentions forgiveness, healing and hope.  This is precisely what followers of Christ need to be ready to offer those who have made the choice to have an abortion.
  • Sterrett’s sincere passion and love for others is evident in the beginning of the film.
  • The gospel is shared clearly within the first 3 minutes.  Amen!
  • Sterrett compares slavery to abortion and uses the S.L.E.D. approach in arguing for the unborn. Well done!
  • The racist ideas of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Singer are highlighted.  For more on Singer, go here.
  • Ephesians 5:11 and Proverbs 24:10-12 are shared in an effort to call Christians to action.
  • Former Planned Parenthood employee Ramona Trevino shares her story.
  • Trevino became pregnant at 16 and shortly after became a manager at Planned Parenthood.
  • She shares how she confronted the moral implications of her job.
  • It is noteworthy that someone who was so involved in the abortion industry readily admits that what is in the womb is an “innocent baby.”
  • Sterrett shares Proverbs 31:8 and shares a powerful illustration.
  • I am impressed with Sterrett’s ability to remain both empathetic, but uncompromising in regard to the truth about abortion.
  • Sterrett wisely encourages those standing for the unborn to focus on the question, “What is the unborn?”
  • Sterrett explains the S.L.E.D. test in more detail.  All defenders of the unborn need to learn this method.  Learn it here.
  • He continues by addressing some common objections or claims made by the pro-abortion choice crowd.  Most notably, he addresses the oft-repeated claim that in the case of rape, abortion is okay.  For more on this common claim, go here.
  • He also addresses the oft-repeated claim that “While I’m personally against abortion, we should not make it illegal.  It should be between a woman, her doctor and her God.”
  • Sterrett uses a tactic called, “Trotting out the Toddler.”  You can learn more about that tool here.
  • Lila Rose of Live Action shares her story.
  • During Rose’s story, an image is shared of a child that had been aborted in the first trimester. While some would object to the use of such imagery, I would contend that if there is nothing wrong with abortion, what is the problem?  In other words, if some pro-abortion choice advocates are right, and this isn’t a child, then how is this any different than looking at a liver that has been removed?  I believe we all know, deep down, that it is a baby, and that is why some object to the use of such imagery.
  • Rose shares that her organization is determined to expose the lies surrounding abortion and, more specifically, the lies told by Planned Parenthood.  For more on the lies told by PP, see here.
  • Sterrett shares the beauty of a child in the womb as seen through sonograms.
  • He then defends the use of pictures in changing the minds of those that are pro-abortion choice.
  • Sterrett continues by explaining what exactly abortion is.  He shares the different types of abortion that are popular.  Graphic video footage is shown.  Again, in my view, if you are going to defend abortion, own it.  While this footage is shocking, it needs to be seen.
  • Melissa Ohden shares her story of surviving a botched abortion and being adopted.  This testimony is powerful.
This is a powerful film that needs to be seen far and wide by both Christians and non-Christians. Sterrett does a great job of integrating powerful arguments with impactful stories.
Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Free Film: We Choose Life by Dave Sterrett — Truthbomb Apologetics

February 12, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

The Nature of Rest

For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (4:8–10)

it is spiritual

The rest spoken of here is not the physical rest of Canaan. That was only a picture. “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.” God’s true rest comes not through a Moses or a Joshua or a David. It comes through Jesus Christ.

God’s rest is not essentially physical at all. Certainly, resting in God and trusting in His promises can relieve us of nervousness, tenseness, and other physical problems. But these are by-products of His rest. Many cults promise their followers happiness, wealth, and health in this life. The Bible does not. The rest God promises is spiritual, not physical. Whatever physical or earthly benefits the Lord may give us, His basic promise is to give us spiritual rest, spiritual blessing. Some of God’s most faithful believers are the busiest, the hardest working, and sometimes even the most afflicted people imaginable. Yet they are in God’s salvation rest.

it is for israel

The term people of God may refer generally to anyone who knows God; but here it specifically refers to Israel. Salvation is first of all for Israel. The gospel “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). There is a rest remaining for the people of God, and in the Old Testament Israel is designated the people of God. His spiritual rest is promised first to Israel, and He will not be through with her until she comes into His rest.

it is future

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (4:10)

God’s rest is also future. In his vision on Patmos the apostle John heard these beautiful words from heaven: “ ‘Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!” ’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them’ ” (Rev. 14:13). I believe Hebrews 4:10 anticipates that final day when we cease from all effort and all work and enter into the presence of Jesus Christ. It includes the promised rest to Israel, the ultimate rest when she and all of God’s other people will cease from work and rest as God did when He finished His creation. That is the reality of Sabbath rest.[1]


Entering God’s Rest

Hebrews 4:6–11

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. (Heb. 4:9–10)

Heaven is like first base in a Little League baseball game. It is said that the hardest challenge in sports is hitting a baseball, and after you do there are nine devils out there trying to keep you from safely reaching first. To many young boys and girls, reaching first base is a distant goal, a high calling not unlike Israel’s thoughts of the Promised Land.

I use this comparison without making light in any way of the heavenly rest that waits for all believers in Christ. I realize that the Christian life is considerably harder than Little League and that the stakes are so much higher. But what draws me to this comparison is the presence of two figures on the Little League scene: a father and his child.

It is not the child alone who labors to reach first base. There was a father who dreamt of seeing and cheering on, perhaps when those first steps were taken or even before. There was a father who conveyed his own love of the game, who told stories and first kindled the passion for line drives and stolen bases. He came home early from work when he could; he stood in the blazing heat or drizzling rain, throwing soft pitches one after another. There is a father who sits on rusty bleachers agonizing with his child over every pitch. Finally, when after long strife that little boy or little girl puts wood on the ball, races toward first, and plants foot on the bag while the umpire screams, “Safe!” it is toward the father that the child’s beaming face turns, as they together bask in the sheer joy of what has been gained. “Did you see my son?” he cries with delight. “Did you see my little girl?”

This is why first base is like heaven—not merely because of the toil that precedes it, but also because of the satisfaction we will share with our heavenly Father when we finally arrive.

The Rest That Remains

It is ultimately heaven that is on the mind of the writer of Hebrews as he urges his readers to enter into the rest of God through faith in Christ. The term “rest” occurs five times in this passage (Heb. 4:6–11). It first occurred in 3:11, where he quoted Psalm 95 with reference to the faithless generation of Israel during the exodus: “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ ” There “rest” referred to entry into the Promised Land of Canaan, the land of prosperity and security. For several paragraphs, the writer of Hebrews has been exhorting us not to follow the example of that exodus generation that complained against God, accused him of failing to provide, and refused to place their trust in him. As a result, they did not enter the Promised Land, but died in the desert between Egypt and Canaan.

As this argument develops, the author anticipates an objection. His readers might naturally wonder, “Yes, that faithless generation did not enter the rest in Canaan, but their children did under Joshua. Why, then, do you keep talking about a ‘rest’ that still remains?” The writer responds:

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (Heb. 4:6–9)

The last verse of that passage (v. 9) makes clear that our salvation rest is something that is ultimately future; it is something that still remains for the people of God to enter. As great as Israel’s rest in Canaan was, it was not the ultimate rest that God intended for his people. It was outward. It was physical and symbolic; rather than fulfilling God’s rest it symbolized the rest that was to come. John Calvin explains: “This is not the final rest to which the faithful aspire, and which is our common possession with the faithful of that age. It is certain that they looked higher than that earthly land; indeed the land of Canaan was only thought of as of value for the reason that it was the type and the symbol of our spiritual inheritance.”

Realized Eschatology

To understand what Hebrews means by a rest that remains, it helps to understand a theological concept known as realized eschatology. Eschatos is the Greek word for “last,” and eschatology means “last things” or “with reference to the end.” When we say that Hebrews holds a “realized” eschatology, we mean that the writer emphasizes our present possession of things that God has promised. Although those blessings will be fully received at the end of history, we already begin to realize their benefits now by faith.

For instance, we have already seen how Christ “destroyed” Satan by dying on the cross (Heb. 2:14). Some might argue that Satan is not yet removed from the scene; he is still a raging lion who torments us. Nevertheless, his doom is sealed and even now we experience freedom from slavery to him. This reality—which will be consummated at the end—is conveyed to us now by faith.

Another example of realized eschatology is the rest offered to God’s people. On the one hand, we now enter that rest by faith: “We who have believed enter that rest” (Heb. 4:3). Note the present tense. Through faith we know the certainty of salvation and come into communion with the living God, which is what eternal life is all about. Instead of laboring in futility to earn forgiveness of sins and acceptance with God, we rest upon the finished work of Jesus Christ. Even in this present life of toil, our faith rests on him and his saving power. This is what we mean by a “realized eschatology”: the things of heaven, the things of the future which are promised us by God, are made real to us now through faith, so that we live by a strength that is not of us but of God. A major burden of this entire epistle is to encourage its early readers, with all their trials and weakness, that by faith they can be sure of what they hope for and certain of what they do not see (Heb. 11:1).

As strong as that emphasis is, however, it is important that we do not overstate the case. Israel in Canaan had a foretaste of God’s rest; that is what the Promised Land signified. But they were in fact surrounded by real enemies; their need for labor and warfare was very great. The Book of Joshua tells of their successes and failures; it is a book of war and not of peace. The Canaan rest pointed to a greater salvation, of which it gave a foretaste but not the fulfillment.

This same understanding applies to the Christian life. How wonderful it is that we rest upon our Lord Jesus Christ. We lay our burdens upon him, we bring to him our tears and our fears, and we find real rest in him. Yet what we long for is the day when there will be no more tears, when there will be nothing to fear, and when God’s promised rest is brought to full consummation in glory. Isaiah says of that day: “The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. 35:10).

But this is not our present experience. This present life compares to the wilderness journey, to the time of trial and testing, and not to the Promised Land itself. “There remains,” the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” Though we have very real blessings in this present life, what we now experience is not all there is for the believer, and we rightly long for a greater rest to come.

From Sabbath to Lord’s Day

This brings us to another matter that is of real importance for the Christian, namely, the relationship of the Old Testament Sabbath to the Christian church. There are two basic views on the Sabbath, both of which draw from this passage in Hebrews. What makes Hebrews of special interest is a change in terminology that takes place in these verses. All through this exhortation, the writer has been using the Greek word katapausis for the idea of rest, which in the Greek translation of the Old Testament stood for rest in the land of Canaan. In verse 4 he expands his idea of rest by referring to God’s rest in creation, so that his readers will start linking that geographical rest to the weekly Sabbath-rest of Israel. Now, in verse 9, the writer pointedly changes the word he uses for rest. Here he uses apoleipetai, combined with the word sabbatismos, a construction that designated the rest of the Sabbath day. It is because of this change of terminology that many English versions use the translation “a Sabbath-rest.”

Clearly, the New Testament readers are being directed toward the Sabbath day, but the question is how this fits in the new covenant dispensation. There are two views. The first is that with the coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the old covenant, the Sabbath ordinance no longer exists and the fourth commandment does not continue in force. This is a view widely held among evangelicals today, and draws the support of such writers as Ray Stedman, D. A. Carson, and Andrew Lincoln.

This argument holds that since the Old Testament Sabbath, like Joshua’s entry into Canaan, is a symbol that points to the greater Sabbath that came in Jesus Christ, it no longer holds force. The reality has come; the symbol has been fulfilled. The fourth commandment reads, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Ex. 20:8–10). According to Ray Stedman, in the new covenant this refers to “that cessation from labor which God enjoys and which he invites believers to share … [it is] dependence on God to be at work through us.” That being the case, Sabbath-keeping no longer consists of observing a special day, but sabbathkeeping “is achieved when the heart rests on the great promise of God to be working through a believer in the normal affairs of living.”3 Those who make this argument also point to Paul’s admonition in Colossians 2:16–17: “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.” Based on these arguments, the view that is perhaps dominant today holds that the Sabbath command is exhausted with the coming of Christ and thus has no binding control on Christian practice.

As compelling as that position is, there are some significant problems with it. These are pointed out by those who differ, among whom are John Owen, A.W. Pink, and Richard Gaffin. First, they note that the Sabbath is instituted as one of the Ten Commandments. They then observe that all of the other nine commandments remain in force in the New Testament. For instance, children are admonished to obey their parents, and in making that admonition Paul explicitly references the fifth commandment (Eph. 6:1–3). More obvious examples have to do with murder, adultery, and blasphemy; no one denies that these are prohibited as much in the New Testament as in the Old. Isn’t it peculiar, therefore, for only one of the commandments to be abrogated, especially when no such abrogation is stated in the New Testament?

Another problem is more telling. Those who argue against a Christian Sabbath note that the Sabbath was a sign pointing to something that now has come. When the reality comes, the sign passes away. This is the very argument that Hebrews will make about the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Since the true Lamb of God has come and shed his blood for sins once-for-all, there is no longer any need to sacrifice bulls and goats and lambs. Indeed, to do so is to deny the reality and sufficiency of Christ’s work.

But when it comes to the Sabbath, the very point of verse 9 is that the reality to which it points has not yet come: “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” In other words, there is still a valid need for and benefit from the sign of the Sabbath rest. Yes, Hebrews teaches a realized eschatology in which we have a great part of its possession now as we trust in the Lord Jesus and rest on him. But this realized eschatology is not yet fully realized. There is something still to come, and the Sabbath points not to what has already come in Christ but to what has yet to come in fulfillment as part of his future work.

As is often the case, the concerns of both sides are worth listening to. People opposed to the idea of a Christian Sabbath are concerned that we not fall into either a legalistic or a mechanical approach to our worship. It is certainly true that with the coming of Christ we have passed from the administration of law to that of grace. But this does not do away with the Ten Commandments. We still must reckon with the realities of God’s moral obligations, one of which deals with observing a full day of rest out of dependence on God. What then was the point of Paul’s admonition to the Colossians (Col. 2:16–17)? In context with the whole New Testament, it seems that Paul was correcting those whose faith consisted of little more than keeping a calendar of special days.

It is as a concrete expression of faith in the sovereign resting God that the idea of a weekly Sabbath has particular value. Even Ray Stedman, who opposes the Sabbath, can still write:

This does not mean that we cannot learn many helpful lessons on rest by studying the regulations for keeping the sabbath day found in the Old Testament. Nor that we no longer need time for quiet meditation and cessation from physical labor. Our bodies are yet unredeemed and need rest and restoration at frequent intervals. But we are no longer bound by heavy limitations to keep a precise day of the week.

Citations like this show that among Bible believers, even opponents of the Sabbath end up advocating what amounts to Sabbath-keeping. The reason for this is obvious. Everyone agrees that Sabbath-keeping amounts to dependence upon God. But how you can possibly say that you actually depend on the Lord, that you are looking ultimately to him for provision, and not to your boss or to the work of your own hands, if in fact you labor without ceasing every day of the week, if you observe no regular pattern of rest? We have freedom to follow God’s own pattern of labor and rest precisely because we are not left to our own devices. If I were to examine your weekly schedule, would it be clear that you are a person who depends upon the living God? If you find it impossible to set aside one full day a week (and surely this is the pattern we find in Scripture, not to mention the example of Jesus, who regularly assigned long portions of time to prayer and communion with the Father) to worship and draw near to God, then your claims to dependence on him are surely called into question.

A recent television commercial for an overnight parcel service began with great fanfare and the rolling of drums to herald a big announcement: “We now offer full service on Sundays. Now you can work unhindered seven days a week!” I could not help but think of the mud-pits of Egypt, in which the slave population of Israel labored day after day, without a Sabbath rest. I found it depressing that today we celebrate our willing return to the very kind of slavery from which the people of Israel were delivered in the exodus. Surely Christians will avoid such a view of life.

At a minimum, Christians need to set aside time not only to worship God but also to enjoy him and his bounty, to rest upon him and experience at least a partial taste of that Sabbath rest that is to come. And while we are admonished by the apostle Paul not to set stock in particular days or calendars, surely we will find ourselves worshiping together with the people of God on a regular schedule, so that our normal practice will be to set apart Sunday as the Lord’s Day, for both his worship and our enjoyment of the rest he has promised and now gives, at least in part. Few things are more profitable for Christians than to set apart the Lord’s Day for true rest and enjoyment of God’s provision, as well as for the worship he so surely is due.

Some will object that this seems legalistic. One use of the law is to reveal God’s character; the fourth commandment does this like all the others. The second use of the law is to condemn sin and drive us to the cross for salvation. All of us, no doubt, have sins under the fourth commandment which, like the others, can be forgiven through Christ. Third—and this is my emphasis here—the law is a fitting guide for living our lives. In this respect, the fourth commandment is an apt example of what James meant when he spoke in his epistle of the “law of liberty” (James 1:25). Having been forgiven by Christ and now living by the power of God’s grace, for us to live according to his commandments is the path of blessing and true freedom. In the case of the fourth commandment the freedom is from working without ceasing to a life of worship and rest.

Entering God’s Rest

All of that hard interpretive work puts us in a good position to make sense of the last two verses in our passage, which tell us: “Whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” (Heb. 4:10–11). At first glance, this seems contradictory. Verse 10 tells us that entering God’s rest means resting from our work as he did from his. The very next verse tells us to get busy working for that rest; we are to make every effort to enter it and not fall away, as the Israelites did in the wilderness.

In fact, there is no problem here at all. The overarching model for this whole exhortation is the exodus wanderings of Israel. They had left the bondage of Egypt, but had not yet entered into the land of rest. We, too, are to press onward through our difficulties, not complaining against God or hardening our hearts against him, but relying on him in this present day of testing. We are to strive with the resources of his rest. In contrast to the unfaithful Israelites, who failed to trust the provision of God’s grace, we follow and strive because our faith receives the benefits of God’s saving work in Jesus Christ. Appreciating the reality of our present challenge—here is the difference between a realized and an overrealized eschatology, the latter of which forgets our present pilgrim status—we eagerly draw forth on every resource of grace that God provides.

Now is the day of our labor, the day when we do work. We rest our burdens on Jesus Christ, and he sends his Holy Spirit to help us shoulder the load. But the same Savior who offers us rest is also the Lord who commands, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Our final day of rest is yet to come. It awaits us in heaven. God worked for six days and then he rested; now is the time when we work, after which we too will rest. This is what verse 10 emphasizes, pointing to the rest that is yet to come.

So understand that your labor now is not in vain. Your struggle, born of faith, fueled by God’s Holy Spirit as he works in you, is not for nothing. We are storing treasure up in heaven. As the angel proclaimed to the prophet Daniel: “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).

All of this brings me back to the subject of little boys and girls and the trials of Little League. Yes, it is they who swing the bat; but it was the father’s hands which taught them how to grip it, his strong hands gently wrapping around their little ones until they got it right. His voice patiently gave instruction, coached them, encouraged them, inspired them. And when they get that first base hit, it is his voice that rejoices with them, saying to them as our heavenly Father will say to us on that great day, “Well done, my child. Well done.”

Now is the day of our trouble and our toil. Now is the time of tears, of wrestling with sin, of witnessing to those around us, many of whom will scorn and abuse us. But if we do it all with our eyes looking up to heaven, gazing toward our home, trusting our heavenly Father, and asking him to find pleasure in our meager works, then we can be sure that he will. And in the day of our rest, we too will find joy in them forever.[2]


9–10 And picking up the reflections of vv. 3–5, that rest is now described as a “sabbath-rest.” The term used is not the regular sabbaton but sabbatismos, a verbal noun used nowhere else in biblical literature but with the effect of focusing on the experience of “sabbathing” rather than merely on the day itself. Such an experience of enjoying sabbath “remains” for God’s people in that it has not yet been fulfilled in history. It is boldly equated with God’s own experience of enjoying sabbath when he had finished his work of creation. So too God’s faithful people (the evocative noun laos [GK 3295], typically used in the LXX for Israel as God’s chosen people, is here used for the people of faith), their earthly work of serving him duly completed, can look forward to joining him in his heavenly rest (cf. Rev 14:13). For the prospect of joy and security in heaven as an incentive for faithful service on earth, cf. 11:13–16; 12:22–24.[3]


4:9 / The promised rest, therefore, remains … for the people of God to enjoy. Sabbath-rest comes from a single word that occurs only here in the whole of the Greek Bible. This word suggests God’s own sabbath-rest after creation (v. 4). God’s gift of rest may thus be regarded as the gift of his own rest. To enjoy the blessings of the eschaton is to participate in the sabbath-rest of God.[4]


4:9–10. These two verses provide a conclusion (v. 9) and the explanation of the conclusion (v. 10). Then introduces the conclusion: God’s people enjoyed a rest patterned after God’s own rest on the seventh day. Sabbath-rest is a new word, appearing only here in the New Testament. The author of Hebrews may have coined the word to express the special significance which he wanted to communicate. God’s people will share in God’s own rest. Those who enjoy this rest will be believers, those who have approached God through Jesus Christ.

Just what kind of rest can believers enjoy? When do they enjoy it—now, at death, or in the resurrection? This rest is not merely the entrance into Canaan. It is a present experience with Christ in which the Lord provides his presence, peace, and joy to replace the labor and heavy burdens of life (Matt. 11:28–30).

God’s own rest (see 4:4) becomes the pattern of the rest of the believer. God’s rest involved the completion of his work and not mere cessation of activity. Believers have become complete in Christ (Col. 2:10), and they can live in the light of a fulfilled relationship to Jesus as their exalted head.

The work from which believers have rested is perhaps a reference to the minute details of Jewish sacrificial ritual and purifying washings. Concern about these insignificant details was unnecessary. Christ’s full work on the cross made it possible for believers to trust him instead of their own works.

When do we begin to enjoy this rest? We can live in those blessings here and now by faith. However, our present enjoyment of these blessings is not the whole story. We will receive more at the time of the redemption of our bodies (Rom. 8:23).

Let us summarize an involved idea: The writer of Hebrews called his readers to faith in Jesus and the enjoyment of the blessings which accompany that faith. Through faith in Jesus, believers today enjoy peace, joy, and fellowship with the living Lord as a part of their rest in him. This foretaste, which we now enjoy, will become a complete, unclouded experience of bliss at the time of the return of Jesus and the resurrection. As believers we can say, “Hallelujah!”[5]


9. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10. for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

From Psalm 95 the author has shown that the rest that the Israelites enjoyed in Canaan was not the rest God intended for his people. The intended rest is a Sabbath-rest, which, of course, is a direct reference to the creation account (Gen. 2:2; see also Exod. 20:11; 31:17) of God’s rest on the seventh day.

For the believer the Sabbath is not merely a day of rest in the sense that it is a cessation of work. Rather it is a spiritual rest—a cessation of sinning. It entails an awareness of being in the sacred presence of God with his people in worship and praise. John Newton captured a glimpse of what Sabbath-rest is to be when he wrote:

Safely through another week

God has brought us on our way;

Let us now a blessing seek,

Waiting in His courts today;

Day of all the week the best,

Emblem of eternal rest.

The day of rest is indeed an emblem of eternal rest! During our life span on earth, we celebrate the Sabbath and realize only partially what Sabbath-rest entails. In the life to come, we shall fully experience God’s rest, for then we will have entered a rest that is eternal. “ ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’ ” (Rev. 14:13).

Who then enters that rest? Only those who die in the Lord? The answer is: All those who in faith experience happiness in the Lord because they are one with him. Jesus prays for those who believe in him, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21). In God we have perfect peace and rest.

My heart, Lord, does not rest

Until it rests in Thee.

—Augustine

However, the text indicates that whoever enters God’s rest does so only once. He enters that rest fully when his labors are ended. He then enjoys uninterrupted heavenly rest from which death, mourning, crying, and pain have been removed; at that time God’s dwelling will be with men; he will live with them and be their God, for they are his people (Rev. 21:4).[6]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 103–104). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Phillips, R. D. (2006). Hebrews. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 123–132). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 67). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 71). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 70–71). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 111–112). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Insect Apocalypse: The Global Food Chain Is Experiencing A Major Extinction Event And Scientists Don’t Know Why

Scientists are telling us that we have entered “the sixth major extinction” in the history of our planet.  A brand new survey of 73 scientific reports that was just released has come to the conclusion that the total number of insects on the globe is falling by 2.5 percent per year.  If we stay on this current pace, the survey warns that there might not be “any insects at all” by the year 2119.  And since insects are absolutely critical to the worldwide food chain, that has extremely ominous implications for all of us.

I write a lot about the inevitable collapse of our economic systems, but it could definitely be argued that our environment is already in a very advanced stage of “collapse”.  According to this new research, insects are going extinct at a rate that is “eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles”…

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

Perhaps the entire world will come together and will stop destroying the planet and we can reverse this trend before it is too late.

Unfortunately, you and I both know that this is extremely unlikely to happen.

And if it doesn’t happen, the researchers that conducted this scientific review insist that the consequences will be “catastrophic to say the least”

The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.

“Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” they write. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.

The clock is ticking, and time is running out for our planet.

Assuming that we could somehow keep the global insect decline from accelerating even more, we probably only have about 100 years before they are all gone

Chillingly, the total mass of insects is falling by 2.5 percent annually, the review’s authors said. If the decline continues at this rate, insects could be wiped off the face of the Earth within a century.

“It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none,” study co-author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, an environmental biologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, told The Guardian.

So what would a planet without insects look like?

Well, according to Francisco Sánchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney, millions upon millions of birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish would “starve to death”

One of the biggest impacts of insect loss is on the many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish that eat insects. “If this food source is taken away, all these animals starve to death,” he said. Such cascading effects have already been seen in Puerto Rico, where a recent study revealed a 98% fall in ground insects over 35 years.

And without bees and other pollinators, humans would be in a world of hurt.  You may have heard that Albert Einstein once said the following…

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

With that statement in mind, I would like for you to consider what this new study discovered about the decline of bee colonies in the United States

The study suggested that bee species in the UK, Denmark, and North America have taken major hits — bumblebees, honey bees, and wild bee species are all declining. In the US, the number of honey-bee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947 to 2.5 million just six decades later.

We aren’t there yet, but a food chain cataclysm is literally right around the corner.

So why is all of this happening?

Modern methods of agriculture, urbanization and pesticides are some of the factors being blamed, but the truth is that scientists don’t actually know exactly why insects are dying off so quickly.

And none of those factors directly impact our oceans, and yet scientists have discovered that phytoplankton is declining at an exponential rate.  As a result of that decline, seabird populations have been plummeting at a pace that is extremely alarming.  The following comes from Chris Martenson

Fewer phytoplankton means less thiamine being produced. That means less thiamine is available to pass up the food chain. Next thing you know, there’s a 70% decline in seabird populations.

This is something I’ve noticed directly and commented on during my annual pilgrimages to the northern Maine coast over the past 30 years, where seagulls used to be extremely common and are now practically gone. Seagulls!

Next thing you know, some other major food chain will be wiped out and we’ll get oceans full of jellyfish instead of actual fish.

A global collapse is not something that is coming in the distant future.

A global collapse is here, and it is happening right in front of our eyes.

Our environment is literally dying all around us, and without our environment we cannot survive.

If humanity cannot solve this crisis, and we all know that they cannot, then an extremely apocalyptic future awaits for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dreamand The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.
— Read on theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/insect-apocalypse-the-global-food-chain-is-experiencing-a-major-extinction-event-and-scientists-dont-know-why

Terra Forming Terra: Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told

Ouch.  If you understand what has happened, the DOJ and FBI gamed the FISA process to provide a way past any form of oversight.  Of course it could not end well.  This item tells us how this was been gamed even back in the nineties.

Mueller’s solution then was to lay in a so called Wood’s procedure.  He had to give the judges something.

Problem with that, he them placed his people in the loop to allow skating.  And now the whole thing was used in  a coup attempt against a sitting president.  This is now tyranny slides into place. 

No one will escape justice on all this and the system must be revamped..

 
Mueller hauled before secret FISA court to address FBI abuses in 2002, Congress told

By John Solomon, opinion contributor — 02/06/19 03:30 PM EST 4 

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill 

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/428755-mueller-hauled-before-secret-fisa-court-to-address-fbi-abuses-in-2002

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and current special prosecutor in the Russia case, once was hauled before the nation’s secret intelligence court to address a large number of instances in which the FBI cheated on sensitive surveillance warrants, according to evidence gathered by congressional investigators.

For most of the past 16 years, Mueller’s closed-door encounter escaped public notice because of the secrecy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

But thanks to recent testimony from a former FBI lawyer, we now have a rare window into documented abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and how the courts handled the matter.

The episode is taking on new significance as Mueller moves into the final stages of his Russia probe while evidence mounts that the FBI work preceding his appointment as special prosecutor may have involved improprieties in the securing of a FISA warrant to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.

The sin that plagued the FBI two decades ago, and that now lingers over the Russia case, involves the omission of material facts by agents applying for FISA warrants in sensitive counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases.

Such omissions are a serious matter at the FISC, because it is the one court in America where the accused gets no representation or chance to defend himself. And that means the FBI is obligated to disclose evidence of both guilt and innocence about the target of a FISA warrant.

Trisha Anderson, who recently stepped down as the FBI’s principal deputy general counsel, told House investigators late last year in an interview that early in Mueller’s FBI tenure, nearly two decades ago, the FISC summoned the new director to appear before the judges to address concerns about extensive cheating on FISA warrants.

“It preceded my time with the FBI but as I understood it, there was a pattern of some incidents of omission that were of concern to the FISA court that resulted in former Director Mueller actually appearing before the FISA court,” Anderson told Congress.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller at the special counsel’s office, declined comment on Anderson’s testimony. So, too, did FBI spokeswoman Kelsey Pietranton.

Other sources who worked for Mueller at the time told me the court’s concerns arose in 2002 and 2003 — shortly after America was stunned by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — when the FISC learned the FBI had omitted material facts from FISA warrant applications in more than 75 terrorism cases that dated back to the late 1990s.

Most of the omissions occurred in FBI work that pre-dated Mueller’s arrival, the sources said. But the court wanted assurances the new sheriff in town was going to stop such widespread abuses.

Mueller told the court the FBI had created a new system called the Woods Procedures — named for the FBI lawyer who drafted them — to ensure FISA warrant applications were accurate and did not omit material information, according to Anderson’s congressional interview.

“My understanding is he committed to the court to address the problem and then that the series of reforms that we implemented, including the use of the Woods form, were the direct result of his engagement before the FISA court,” Anderson told Congress.

Mueller does not appear ever to have publicly addressed his appearance before the FISC. But once, in follow-up written answers to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he acknowledged there was a period in which the FBI was caught filing inaccurate FISA warrants.

“Prior to implementation of the so-called Woods Procedures there were instances where inaccurate information was provided by FBI field offices and headquarters personnel to the Court,” Mueller wrote to senators in 2003.

A declassified FISC order from 2002 gives a glimpse into how serious the omissions were: In one case the FBI failed to tell the court that the person they were seeking a FISA warrant to surveil was, in fact, one of their own informants.

The court expressed concern that “misinformation found its way into the FISA applications and remained uncorrected for more than one year despite procedures to verify the accuracy of FISA pleadings.”

Anderson’s testimony isn’t just for the history books. It has as much relevance today as when the judges first became upset with the FBI.

That’s because we now know the FBI, in 2016, omitted significant information from the application for the FISA warrant that allowed it to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in hopes of finding evidence of collusion between Russia and the GOP presidential nominee’s campaign.

Thanks to congressional oversight and declassified documents, we now know the FBI failed to tell the court that the primary evidence it used to support its warrant — the so-called Steele dossier — was political opposition research produced on behalf of and paid for by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in hopes of harming Trump’s election chances.

We know the FBI falsely told the court in the first application warrant that it knew of no derogatory information about the dossier author, Christopher Steele, a retired British intelligence operative who worked simultaneously as an FBI source and a Clinton campaign opposition researcher. In fact, a senior Justice Department official named Bruce Ohr warned the FBI that Steele was desperate to stop Trump from becoming president, and other evidence showed Steele had been leaking to the media in violation of FBI rules — all derogatory evidence weighing against Steele’s credibility.

Further, we’ve learned from congressional testimony of other FBI officials that the dossier’s contents had not been corroborated by the FBI when it was used in the FISA application — even though the Woods Procedures mentioned above required that only corroborated evidence be used in support of a warrant request.

And, finally, we know from sources that the FBI had other evidence suggesting the innocence of two Trump campaign aides it targeted — Page and George Papadopoulos — that wasn’t provided to the court.

As such evidence has mounted, some Justice and FBI officials have whispered suggestions that the FBI didn’t have an obligation to disclose such information and, therefore, there were no abuses.

Yet, thanks to Anderson’s recounting of the episode from 16-plus years ago, we now know the FISA judges don’t tolerate omissions of material facts and were angry enough in an earlier time to haul the FBI director into court to make their point. Anderson testified Mueller got to see that lesson up close and personal.

The question now is, do the current FISC judges and Justice Department supervisors — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray among them — care the same about the integrity of the FISA process?

If they do, the first step (as 2002 showed us) is to acknowledge the wrongdoing and put corrective action into place.

Silence and hiding behind classified information don’t serve the American interest, just the interests of an intelligence bureaucracy that wrongly allowed itself to be used for a political dirty trick.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

Making Globalism Great Again – Did Trump Fold To The Deep State? | Zero Hedge

“Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. ‘America’ is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters use to sell whatever they are selling…”

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

Maybe Donald Trump isn’t as stupid as I thought. I’d hate to have to admit that publicly, but it does kind of seem like he has put one over on the liberal corporate media this time.Scanning the recent Trump-related news, I couldn’t help but notice a significant decline in the number of references to Weimar, Germany, Adolf Hitler, and “the brink of fascism” that America has supposedly been teetering on since Hillary Clinton lost the election. I googled around pretty well, I think, but I couldn’t find a single editorial warning that Trump is about to summarily cancel the U.S. Constitution, dissolve Congress, and proclaim himself Führer. Nor did I see any mention of Auschwitz, or any other Nazi stuff … which is weird, considering that the Hitler hysteria has been a standard feature of the official narrative we’ve been subjected to for the last two years.

So how did Trump finally get the liberal corporate media to stop calling him a fascist? He did that by acting like a fascist (i.e., like a “normal” president). Which is to say he did the bidding of the deep state goons and corporate mandarins that manage the global capitalist empire … the smiley, happy, democracy-spreading, post-fascist version of fascism we live under.

I’m referring, of course, to Venezuela, which is one of a handful of uncooperative countries that are not playing ball with global capitalism and which haven’t been “regime changed” yet. Trump green-lit the attempted coup purportedly being staged by the Venezuelan “opposition,” but which is obviously a U.S. operation, or, rather, a global capitalist operation. As soon as he did, the corporate media immediately suspended calling him a fascist, and comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and so on, and started spewing out blatant propaganda supporting his effort to overthrow the elected government of a sovereign country.

Overthrowing the governments of sovereign countries, destroying their economies, stealing their gold, and otherwise bringing them into the fold of the global capitalist “international community” is not exactly what most folks thought Trump meant by “Make America Great Again.” Many Americans have never been to Venezuela, or Syria, or anywhere else the global capitalist empire has been ruthlessly restructuring since shortly after the end of the Cold War. They have not been lying awake at night worrying about Venezuelan democracy, or Syrian democracy, or Ukrainian democracy.

This is not because Americans are a heartless people, or an ignorant or a selfish people. It is because, well, it is because they are Americans (or, rather, because they believe they are Americans), and thus are more interested in the problems of Americans than in the problems of people in faraway lands that have nothing whatsoever to do with America. Notwithstanding what the corporate media will tell you, Americans elected Donald Trump, a preposterous, self-aggrandizing ass clown, not because they were latent Nazis, or because they were brainwashed by Russian hackers, but, primarily, because they wanted to believe that he sincerely cared about America, and was going to try to “make it great again” (whatever that was supposed to mean, exactly).

Unfortunately, there is no America. There is nothing to make great again. “America” is a fiction, a fantasy, a nostalgia that hucksters like Donald Trump (and other, marginally less buffoonish hucksters) use to sell whatever they are selling … themselves, wars, cars, whatever. What there is, in reality, instead of America, is a supranational global capitalist empire, a decentralized, interdependent network of global corporations, financial institutions, national governments, intelligence agencies, supranational governmental entities, military forces, media, and so on. If that sounds far-fetched or conspiratorial, look at what is going on in Venezuela.

The entire global capitalist empire is working in concert to force the elected president of the country out of office. The US, the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, Israel, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina have officially recognized Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, in spite of the fact that no one elected him. Only the empire’s official evil enemies (i.e., Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and other uncooperative countries) are objecting to this “democratic” coup. The global financial system (i.e., banks) has frozen (i.e., stolen) Venezuela’s assets, and is attempting to transfer them to Guaido so he can buy the Venezuelan military. The corporate media are hammering out the official narrative like a Goebbelsian piano in an effort to convince the general public that all this has something to do with democracy. You would have to be a total moron or hopelessly brainwashed not to recognize what is happening.

What is happening has nothing to do with America … the “America” that Americans believe they live in and that many of them want to “make great again.” What is happening is exactly what has been happening around the world since the end of the Cold War, albeit most dramatically in the Middle East. The de facto global capitalist empire is restructuring the planet with virtual impunity. It is methodically eliminating any and all impediments to the hegemony of global capitalism, and the privatization and commodification of everything.

Venezuela is one of these impediments. Overthrowing its government has nothing to do with America, or the lives of actual Americans. “America” is not to going conquer Venezuela and plant an American flag on its soil. “America” is not going to steal its oil, ship it “home,” and parcel it out to “Americans” in their pickups in the parking lot of Walmart.

What what about those American oil corporations? They want that Venezuelan oil, don’t they? Well, sure they do, but here’s the thing … there are no “American” oil corporations. Corporations, especially multi-billion dollar transnational corporations (e.g., Chevron, ExxonMobil, et al.) have no nationalities, nor any real allegiances, other than to their major shareholders. Chevron, for example, whose major shareholders are asset management and mutual fund companies like Black Rock, The Vanguard Group, SSgA Funds Management, Geode Capital Management, Wellington Management, and other transnational, multi-trillion dollar outfits. Do you really believe that being nominally headquartered in Boston or New York makes these companies “American,” or that Deutsche Bank is a “German” bank, or that BP is a “British” company?

And Venezuela is just the most recent blatant example of the empire in action. Ask yourself, honestly, what have the “American” regime change ops throughout the Greater Middle East done for any actual Americans, other than get a lot of them killed? Oh, and how about those bailouts for all those transnational “American” investment banks? Or the billions “America” provides to Israel? Someone please explain how enriching the shareholders of transnational corporations like Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin by selling billions in weapons to Saudi Arabian Islamists is benefiting “the American people.” How much of that Saudi money are you seeing? And, wait, I’ve got another one for you. Call up your friendly 401K manager, ask how your Pfizer shares are doing, then compare that to what you’re paying some “American” insurance corporation to not really cover you.

For the last two-hundred years or so, we have been conditioned to think of ourselves as the citizens of a collection of sovereign nation states, as “Americans,” “Germans,” “Greeks,” and so on. There are no more sovereign nation states. Global capitalism has done away with them. Which is why we are experiencing a “neo-nationalist” backlash. Trump, Brexit, the so-called “new populism” … these are the death throes of national sovereignty, like the thrashing of a suffocating fish before you whack it and drop it in the cooler. The battle is over, but the fish doesn’t know that. It didn’t even realize there was a battle until it suddenly got jerked up out of the water.

In any event, here we are, at the advent of the global capitalist empire. We are not going back to the 19th Century, nor even to the early 20th Century. Neither Donald Trump nor anyone else is going to “Make America Great Again.” Global capitalism will continue to remake the world into one gigantic marketplace where we work ourselves to death at bullshit jobs in order to buy things we don’t need, accumulating debts we can never pay back, the interest on which will further enrich the global capitalist ruling classes, who, as you may have noticed, are preparing for the future by purchasing luxury underground bunkers and post-apocalyptic compounds in New Zealand. That, and militarizing the police, who they will need to maintain “public order” … you know, like they are doing in France at the moment, by beating, blinding, and hideously maiming those Gilets Jaunes (i.e., Yellow Vest) protesters that the corporate media are doing their best to demonize and/or render invisible.

Or, who knows, Americans (and other Western consumers) might take a page from those Yellow Vests, set aside their political differences (or at least ignore their hatred of each other long enough to actually try to achieve something), and focus their anger at the politicians and corporations that actually run the empire, as opposed to, you know, illegal immigrants and imaginary legions of Nazis and Russians. In the immortal words of General Buck Turgidson, “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed,” but, heck, it might be worth a try, especially since, the way things are going, we are probably going end up out there anyway.

February 12 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Genesis 45; Mark 15; Job 11; Romans 15

 

i shall comment briefly on the two readings set for the day.

Zophar’s speech (Job 11) carries forward the unfolding drama of the book of Job. Like Bildad, Zophar begins by condemning Job’s addresses (11:2–3). To him, it sounds as if Job is claiming personal perfection: “You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight’ ” (11:4). Job has been wishing that God would answer him. Well and good, responds Zophar: “Oh, how I wish that God would speak” (11:5). No less than Job, he would love it if God would reply—and he is quite certain that, were God to do so, he would powerfully rebuke Job.

Just for a moment, Zophar seems to take a healthy turn. He begins to deal with the fathomless knowledge and wisdom of the Almighty, far beyond human capacity. If that had been all Zophar had said, he would have anticipated part of the answer of God himself later in the book (chaps. 38–41). Sadly, however, Zophar immediately turns this in a mischievous direction, following the same path as Eliphaz and Bildad: a God so great in knowledge can certainly recognize deceitful men, “and when he sees evil, does he not take note?” (11:11). Once again, the argument degenerates to a fairly mechanical theory of recompense. There is no category for innocent suffering. Job must be very wicked, for he is suffering much; the only reasonable option for him is to turn from the sin that must obviously be engulfing him (11:13–20).

The second passage is of a very different sort. Consider the way Paul here exhorts the Romans to pray: “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen” (Rom. 15:30–33). Note: (a) What Paul asks for is prayer for himself. (b) If the Romans respond by praying, they will by their prayer be joining Paul in his struggle. (c) The particular struggle Paul has in mind is his relationship with unbelievers in Judea; he wants his service for the poor there to be so acceptable that he will be able to leave quickly and make his way to Rome. (d) Within the context of the chapter, this trip to Rome is part of his plan to evangelize Spain. In short, Paul asks for prayers that will further the Gospel in various ways.

What do you characteristically pray for?[1]


[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Email Between Clinton Lawyer David Kendall and FBI Lawyer James Baker Same Day FBI Was Forced to Re-Open Investigation… — The Last Refuge

A lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch has unearthed an email [full pdf below] from Clinton Lawyer David Kendall to FBI chief legal counsel James Baker on the day the FBI was forced to re-open the Clinton email investigation due to the Weiner laptop.

With the passage of time the inherent issues have become somewhat clouded, and most people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. However, the key takeaway from this latest FOIA finding is that Clinton lawyers directly contacted the FBI team that was investigating the Weiner laptop.  (Note: read email chain bottom to top)

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/399428924/content?start_page=1&view_mode=&access_key=key-yny559IL4sxvY3wIFNUv

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The Weiner laptop emails were originally discovered by New York investigators and reported to the FBI office in Washington DC on September 28th, 2016. However, the FBI never took action to review the emails until a month later on October 28th.

It was DOJ officials within SDNY (Southern District of New York) who called Main Justice (DOJ in DC) and asked about a needed search warrant a month later that kicked off the review.

Let’s look at the Page/Strzok messages and remind ourselves of what was going on.

Here are the messages from Lisa Page and Peter Strzok surrounding the original date that New York officials notified Washington DC FBI.  It’s important to note the two different entities: DOJ -vs- FBI.

According to the September 28, 2016, messages from FBI Agent Peter Strzok it was the SDNY in New York telling Andrew McCabe in DC about the issue.  Pay close attention to the convo:

(pdf source for all messages here)

Notice: “hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s attorney to SDNY”.   This is not an outcome of a New York Police Dept. raid on Anthony Weiner.  This is Weiner’s attorney going to the U.S. attorney and voluntarily turning over the laptop and by extension the emails.  The emails were not turned over to the FBI in New York, the actual emails were turned over to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, Preet Bahara.

The SDNY then called the FBI Mid-Year-Exam team in Washington DC, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was notified, and then nothing happened for over three weeks.

On October 21, 2016, a phone call kicks off additional inquiry.  This is the call referenced by James Comey in the Bret Baier interview.

Someone from New York called “Main Justice” (the DOJ National Security Division in DC) and notified DOJ-NSD Deputy Asst. Attorney General George Toscas of the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails via the “weiner investigation”.

George Toscas “wanted to ensure information got to Andy“, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe…. so he called FBI Agent Peter Strzok…. who told George Toscas “we know”.

Peter Strzok then tells Bill Priestap. Of course, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe already knew about the emails since September 28th, 2016, more than three weeks earlier.

That phone call kicks off an internal debate about the previously closed Clinton email investigation.  And Andrew McCabe sitting on the notification from New York for over three weeks kicks off a second internal FBI discussion about McCabe needing to recuse himself because of the optics of his doing nothing.

It’s October 27th, 2016, James Comey chief-of-staff Jim Rybicki wants McCabe to recuse himself.  But Rybicki is alone on an island. Lisa Page is furious at such a suggestion, partly because she is McCabe’s legal counsel and if McCabe is recused so too is she.

At the same time as they are debating how to handle the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails, the FBI begin leaking to the media to frame a specific narrative.  The issue of them sitting on the laptop for three weeks and doing nothing is a potentially damning detail.

Important to note here: at no time is there any conversation -or hint of a conversation- that anyone is reviewing the content of the laptop emails.  The discussions don’t mention a single word about content… every scintilla of conversation is about how to handle the issues of the emails themselves.  Actually, there’s not a single person mentioned in thousands of text messages that applies to an actual person who is looking at any content.

Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.

Within this “tight group” at FBI, as Comey puts it, there is not a single mention of a person who is sitting somewhere looking through the reported “600,000” Clinton emails that was widely reported by media.  There’s absolutely ZERO evidence of anyone looking at emails or scouring through laptop data…. and FBI Agent Peter Strzok has no staff under him who he discusses assigned to such a task…. and Strzok damned sure ain’t doing it.

It’s still October 27th, 2016, the day before James Comey announces his FBI decision to re-open the Clinton investigation.  Jim Rybicki is still saying McCabe should be recused from input; everyone else, including FBI Legal Counsel James Baker, is disagreeing with Rybicki and siding with Lisa Page.

Meanwhile the conversation has shifted slightly to “PC”, probable cause.  Read:

While Lisa Page is leaking stories to Devlin Barrett (Wall Street Journal), the internal discussion amid the “small group” is about probable cause.

The team is now saying if there was no probable cause when Comey closed the original email investigation in July 2016 (remember the very tight boundaries of review), then there’s no probable cause in October 2016 to reopen the investigation regardless of what the email content might be.  The inspector general report from June 2018 explains why:

Page #164, footnote #124

The DOJ’s legal interpretation of “intent”, as a prerequisite for criminal charges based on transmission of classified data, virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted.

This appears to be how the FBI “small group” or “tight team” justify doing nothing with the content and notification received from New York (SDNY).  They received notification of the emails on September 28th and it’s now October 27th, and they haven’t even looked at them. Heck, they are debating if there’s even a need to look at it.

Then on October 28th, 2016, the FBI and Main Justice officials have a conference call about the entire Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton email issue.  Here’s where it gets interesting.

George Toscas and David Laufman from DOJ-NSD articulate a position that something needs to happen because Main Justice is now concerned about the issue of FBI (McCabe) sitting on the emails for over three weeks without any feedback to SDNY (New York).

Comey later admitted in his memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” that political calculations shaped his decisions during this period. But, he wrote, they were calibrated to help Clinton:

“Assuming, as nearly everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the Justice Department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?”

Thanks to the political decision of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Main Justice in DC, specifically DOJ National Security Division, now looks like they are facilitating a cover-up operation being conducted by the FBI “small group”.  [which is actually true, but they can’t let that be so glaringly obvious].  FBI Director James Comey is worried that if anyone found out they had sat on this laptop discovery a “President Clinton” would then come under investigation…..  how would the FBI explain themselves?

As a result of the Top-Tier officials conference call, FBI Agent Strzok is grumpy because his opinion appears to be insignificant; the discussion is above his pay grade.

The decision is now reached to announce the re-opening of the investigation.  This sends Lisa Page bananas…

…In rapid response mode Lisa Page reaches out to journalist Devlin Barrett, again to quickly shape the media coverage.  Now that the world is going to be aware of the need for a Clinton email investigation 2.0 the internal conversation returns to McCabe’s recusal.

Please note that at no time in the FBI is anyone directing an actual investigation of the content of the Clinton emails.  Every single second of every effort is devoted to shaping the public perception of the need for the investigation.  According to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page every media outlet is being watched; every article is being read; and the entire apparatus of the small group (James Baker, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Mike Kortan et al) is shaping coverage therein by contacting their leak outlets.

The laptop emails Anthony Weiner’s lawyer brought to Preet Bharara (SDNY) might have been Anthony Weiner’s leverage to try and escape NY prosecution.  Eric Prince outlined the content of that laptop as carrying much more than just Clinton emails:

“Because of Weinergate and the sexting scandal, the NYPD started investigating it. Through a subpoena, through a warrant, they searched his laptop, and sure enough, found those 650,000 emails. They found way more stuff than just more information pertaining to the inappropriate sexting the guy was doing,” Prince claimed.

“They found State Department emails. They found a lot of other really damning criminal information, including money laundering, including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton went there more than 20 times. Hillary Clinton went there at least six times,” he said.

“The amount of garbage that they found in these emails, of criminal activity by Hillary, by her immediate circle, and even by other Democratic members of Congress was so disgusting they gave it to the FBI, and they said, ‘We’re going to go public with this if you don’t reopen the investigation and you don’t do the right thing with timely indictments,’” Prince explained.

“I believe – I know, and this is from a very well-placed source of mine at 1PP, One Police Plaza in New York – the NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making in this investigation, and they’ve gotten huge pushback, to the point of coercion, from the Justice Department, with the Justice Department threatening to charge someone that had been unrelated in the accidental heart attack death of Eric Garneralmost two years ago. That’s the level of pushback the Obama Justice Department is doing against actually seeking justice in the email and other related criminal matters,” Prince said. (Link)

There’s never been any investigation that would disprove the laptop content was not what Eric Prince’s sources outlined. However, the SDNY, responding to upper level leadership from Main Justice and FBI in DC, turned over all material and essentially the laptop was buried.

In DC the FBI (Comey and McCabe) created the appearance of a re-opening of the Clinton investigation on October 28th, 2016, to keep control and ensure the investigative outcomes remained in their hands; as Comey said: “they had no choice.”

However, once the FBI opened the investigation October 28th, they did exactly the same thing they had done from September 28th to October 28th… they did nothing.  A few days later they declared the second investigation closed, and that was that.

Again, they never expected her to lose.

When she did lose, panic ensued.

Now does Mueller make more sense?

The widely held view of the process is/was that Rod Rosenstein selected Robert Mueller as special counsel, and following that selection Mueller created his team. The perspective from CTH research is slightly different.

CTH believes that following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the FBI Chief Legal Counsel, Jim Baker and FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; together with the corrupt small group that was involved in the prior year’s counterintelligence investigation; reacted to Comey’s firing by pressuring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint their preferred person, Robert Mueller.

Within this internal debate (May 2017); at the time this construct was being argued; is when the famous comment from Rosenstein originates: “what do you want me to do, wear a wire?” The corrupt FBI investigative crew; having initiated and continued “Crossfire Hurricane”; including people from the DOJ-NSD side (Ohr, Weissmann, etc) were pressuring Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel….. but not just any special counsel.. Baker and McCabe had the person pre-selected. That person was Robert Mueller.

They needed Robert Mueller because they needed a person who held a similar level of risk from prior activity exposure as themselves.  Mueller, directly or indirectly, was at the center of multiple Obama and Clinton abuses of power.

Obviously we can see the reason for this FBI/DOJ crew to need a special counsel. As career corruptocrats they were operating from a mindset of mitigating risk to themselves and continuing to advance on the objective to attack the executive office through their investigative schemes.

The key point here is subtle but very significant. Robert Mueller didn’t select his team, the corrupt team, the “small group”, selected him.

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https://www.scribd.com/embeds/399428924/content?start_page=1&view_mode=&access_key=key-yny559IL4sxvY3wIFNUv

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Judicial Watch Uncovers Email Between Clinton Lawyer David Kendall and FBI Lawyer James Baker Same Day FBI Was Forced to Re-Open Investigation… — The Last Refuge

Is Reason Important for Truth? Yes, and Everyone Knows It! – Sean McDowell

Why do people believe as they do? What are good reasons for believing anything? Through a helpful activity, Sean surfaces why reason is vital for truth.

 

Is Reason Important for Truth? Yes, and Everyone Knows It!

by Sean McDowell

We live in a skeptical age that has been dubbed “post truth.” Yet in their hearts, people know that both truth and reason are important. And this is easy to point out.

I began class today asking my high school students why people believe as they do. We listed every reason they could think of on the white board including friends, media, desires, Scripture, parents, hope, fear, and so on.[1]

Then I showed the students how their answers fit into four categories, as you can see in the chart below:

SOCIOLOGICAL

PSYCHOLOGICAL

RELIGIOUS

PHILOSOPHICAL

Parents

Hope

Scripture

Experience

Friends

Fear

Pastor

Reasoning

Society

Purpose

Church

Consistency

Culture

Identity

Imam

Obvious

Then I simply asked then, “Which of these are good reasons for believing something?” We probed each of their responses carefully. They realized that parents are certainly well-meaning but can be mistaken. The students noted that friends and even entire cultures can be wrong. Psychological reasons can be compelling, they noted, but if they are false, they can be harmful in the long run. And they concluded that religious authorities are only worth believing if their teachings are true.

In other words, they concluded that truth is the best reason for believing something.

When I do this activity with students, the conversation often looks like this:

Me

“I see that many of you listed sociological factors. For example, many of you mentioned that our beliefs are shaped by our parents. Is that a good enough reason to believe something?”

Students

“No, not necessarily. Parents can sometimes be wrong!”

Me

“Okay, what about cultural factors such as tradition? Do you think people ought to believe something because it has been passed down through tradition?”

Students

“No, not necessarily. Traditions are not necessarily wrong, but they are also not necessarily right. Radical Muslims have a tradition of Jihad, but that can’t be right.”

Me

“Good. Now some of you mentioned psychological influences such as comfort. Is comfort alone a solid reason to believe something?”

Students

“No, we’re not ‘comfortable’ with that. Just because something is comfortable does not make it true. Lies can often be very comfortable!”

Me

“So, you’re saying that truth is an important reason to believe something because there can be consequences when people are mistaken?”

Students

“Yes, that does seem to be the case.”

Me

“What about religious reasons? Should we believe something because Scripture tells us it is true? Should we simply follow whatever a pastor tells us?”

Students

“No, because how would we know which Scripture is true? Which religious teachings do we follow? All religious leaders can’t be right.”

Me

“Good point. So, how do we know which religion we should follow, if any?”

Students

“We would need some outside evidence to indicate that the claims are actually true. There needs to be some proof.”

Me

“So, we seem to agree that something is worth believing if we have reason to believe that it is true.”

Final Thoughts

As image-bearers of God, people intuitively know that truth is important. We know we should believe things that are supported by evidence and reject things that are false. This exercise simply surfaces what people naturally know. 

Once young people see the importance of reason and truth, we can start to explore the next question: “How do we know what is true?” And if we carefully lead in the right way, we can get them to start considering the evidence.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, the National Spokesman for Summit Ministries, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.

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[1] I give full credit to my former professor at Talbot School of Theology, the late James Sire, for helping me think through this lesson. He developed this idea in his book Why Good Arguments Often Fail (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 150-152.

— Read on seanmcdowell.org/blog/is-reason-important-for-truth-yes-and-everyone-knows-it

02/12/19 Just as the Lord Commanded — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Exodus 39:22-40:38, Matthew 26:1-25

Sometimes the repetition of the scriptures is so obvious that it’s almost impossible to miss what the writer wants us to see. Today’s Old Testament reading is one of those examples. I’ve listed below some of the verses that echo with obedience, but I’ve not listed all of them in this chapter. I encourage you to go back through the reading and see these kinds of statements:

  • “They made it [the robe of the ephod] just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exo. 39:26)
  • “They did just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exo. 39:29)
  • “ . . . just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exo. 39:31)
  • “The Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exo. 39:32)
  • “The Israelites had done all the work according to everything the Lord had commanded Moses. Moses inspected all the work they had accomplished. They had done just as the Lord commanded. Then Moses blessed them” (Exo. 39:42-43)
  • “Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him” (Exo. 40:16).

I cannot imagine what it was like when all the people did exactly as God commanded. No one wavered, and Moses for once saw his people obey God. It’s no wonder that he blessed them – and further, it’s no wonder that God filled the tabernacle with His glory. When we obey God fully, He honors us with His presence.

PRAYER: “God, I want to do whatever You command me to do. Grant me grace to do so.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Leviticus 1-4, Matthew 26:26-56

02/12/19 Just as the Lord Commanded — ChuckLawless.com