Daily Archives: March 2, 2019

March 2 Facing the Jerichos of Life

Scripture Reading: Joshua 6

Key Verse: Joshua 1:6

Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

No military officer worth his stripes would go into conflict unprepared, without a clear and cogent plan of attack. The risk would be too great, and the chances of winning slim. Yet that was exactly what God wanted Joshua to do—approach the awesome, fortified city of Jericho without the first conventional military procedure. Literally all God gave to Joshua was his marching orders and the promise that the Israelites would be the winners.

How could Joshua hold his head high and approach the battlefield with confidence? He knew who was in charge. He did not have to worry about defeat or loss. Any momentary feelings of weakness came crashing down with the walls and were forgotten in the glory of taking the city for the Lord.

When you face a Jericho in your life—a problem you cannot solve, the seemingly impenetrable fortress of a broken relationship—trust God for the conquest. Obey His Word and apply His principles to each situation.

You may not understand how the sequence of events will unfold, and you may not feel the emotions of triumph while you wait for the outcome. But in the Lord you cannot lose; the victory is yours.

Heavenly Father, as I face the Jerichos of life, give me assurance that victory is mine. I want to respond to Your marching orders and not worry about the seemingly impenetrable fortresses ahead.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 65). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why Was Elijah so Unpopular? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

We see Elijah as a trailblazing prophet and faithful servant of the Lord. He decried idol worship, performed miracles, was taken up into heaven on a chariot of fire, and would have special significance in the coming of the Messiah.

But that’s not how King Ahab saw things. To him, Elijah was the “troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17). For Ahab violated God’s law—and Elijah called him on it. When Ahab and Jezebel his wife worshiped Baal, a pagan idol of rain and fertility, Elijah prophesied drought and famine. And the more they transgressed God’s commands, the more Elijah rebuked them.

In today’s message from his video teaching series Dust to Glory, R.C. Sproul reminds us why prophets were often so unpopular. A primary role of the prophet was to pronounce God’s judgment. And to a wayward, sinful people, the voice of the prophet was hardly welcome.

Ahab and Jezebel ruthlessly hunted Elijah, but they failed to silence him. And Elijah’s message—his prophetic call to repentance—is one that still needs to be heard today.

via Why Was Elijah so Unpopular? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The Creeds Agree on the End Times

The world gives us many reasons to despair. Open a news feed app or scroll through social media for even a minute and you’ll find a day’s worth of events and perspectives to grieve.

Despite this, Christians ought to have an eschatology of hope.

And it’s not a hope we need to conjure out of thin air. For centuries, the Church has found profound hope in the return of Christ—it’s written into our creeds.

In recent centuries, the Church has argued more and more about the end times, but the bulk of our history is united on the matter, all sharing a common hope. Look at what the three creeds affirm together:

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in . . .

The resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ . . .

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end . . .

I look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Athanasian Creed

[Christ] rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, is seated on the right hand of the Father, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. At his coming, all men shall rise with their bodies and give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good will enter eternal life, and those who have done evil will go into everlasting fire.

No Charts, but Hope

Though there are no charts or timelines in these creeds, they are profound. Christian hope is plain in Scripture, and it’s mirrored clearly in our creeds: Christ will come again to establish justice and peace forever.

So, as Dayton Hartman writes, “Resist the urge to despair at the state of affairs in our nation and our world by joining the early Church in simply and confidently confessing: Jesus is coming soon, and Jesus wins” (Jesus Wins, p 58).

***

Learn more about the new book from Dayton Hartman, Jesus Wins.

Source: https://blog.logos.com/2019/02/the-creeds-agree-on-the-end-times/

The Roman Catholics Of Brazil Mark The Beginning Of Lent With Their Annual 5-Day ‘Carnival’ Brimming With Tribal Paganism — Now The End Begins

Carnival celebrations making the start of the Roman Catholic observance of Lent began across Brazil last night, with revellers swarming the streets in a sea of colour, glitter and feathers.

The Catholic Church in America is relatively conservative, at least outwardly, but all that changes when you go overseas. In many foreign countries Roman Catholicism is much more open about their pagan Babylonian and Egyptian roots, where you will frequently encounter Catholic occultism, Catholic exorcisms, and Catholic voodoo. In Brazil last night, they kicked off the start of Carnival which celebrates the Roman Catholic festival of Lent. As you can see from the main article photo, it is openly demonic and pagan.

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” Revelation 9:20,21 (KJV)

The Catholic Church instituted Lent as a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. The word Lent itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words lencten, meaning “Spring,” and lenctentid, which literally means not only “Springtide” but also was the word for “March,” the month in which the majority of Lent falls. Laodicean non-Catholic churches like the United Methodists also celebrate Lent. The origins of Lent go all the way back to the start of the Roman Catholic Church in 313 AD.

When you watch how the Catholics in Brazil celebrate their pre-Lent Carnival, to me it’s like what I imagine the One World religion under Antichrist will look like. Now, of course, Catholics will write in to say that these people in Brazil are not “true Catholics’, and that this pagan festival does not represent the global Catholic Church. Well, if that were true, why is not the pope denouncing it for the end times mess that it is? The Vatican must have no problem with it because they have never rebuked Brazil for doing it over the last nearly 200 years.

Brazilian party-goers turn Sao Paulo into sea of colour, glitter and feathers on first night of five-day festival to mark start of Lent

FROM THE DAILY MAIL UK: Party-goers showed off their opulent costumes in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro during the first night of celebrations for the five-day festival which marks the start of Lent.

This year’s event is the first such celebration since Jair Bolsonaro took office, and it is expected that the festival will target the far-right president known for offending the LGBT community and minorities.

At Carmelitas, one of Rio’s most traditional street parties, revelers sang along to a samba song titled: ‘Blue or pink, it’s all the same,’ a reference to Bolsonaro’s human rights minister, Damares Alves, who declared: ‘It’s a new era in Brazil, boys wear blue and girls wear pink,’ soon after she took up her post.

‘This parade is an act of resistance to the oppressive new government,’ said Monica Machado, a percussion player in the band.

The song’s lyrics went, ‘On the train of history, we can’t go in reverse,’ a reference to the Brazilian president’s open admiration of Brazil’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Bolsonaro has famously said he would rather have a dead son than a gay son and that police who kill criminals should be given medals not prison sentences. Several party-goers’ costumes targeted an early corruption scandal in the Bolsonaro government.

Carnival began in the 1830s as a continuation of the Portuguese tradition of celebrating and indulging on the day before Lent begins. Lent is the 46-day period observed primarily by Roman Catholics as a means of sacrifice and abstinence in preparation for Easter. During the late 1800s, street musicians and dancing were introduced in Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, in addition to themed costumes and the tradition of electing the Carnival’s “king.” The celebration includes live music, street performances, dancing, floats, costumes, food and beverages. Rio de Janeiro has one of the most well-known Carnival celebrations. source

Vinicius Alves, a university student, wore all orange with a headband adorned with fake money and orange slices, a nod to the Brazilian expression ‘orange employee,’ which refers to politicians’ use of ghost employees to launder money.

Rio’s evangelical bishop-turned-mayor, Marcelo Crivella, came under fire on the party’s first day for skirting his duty to kick off the celebrations by handing over the key of the city to the king of Carnival for the third consecutive year.

He told reporters that he would be turning in the keys to Carnival, not the keys to the city as is tradition.

‘It’s very disrespectful. I’m trying to understand why they wouldn’t want to participate in this ceremony,’ said Mauricio de Jesus, the president of the cultural center where the key is held.

The evangelical Crivella has made negative comments about African-rooted religions, which many Brazilians practice and have great cultural influence on Carnival celebrations. ‘This is disrespectful to the black population, to the black community, to our roots,’ de Jesus said. READ MORE

Rio Carnival 2017

GRAPHIC WARNING: There is much in this video of Carnival from Brazil that you might find offensive. That said, you will easily see the New Age and pagan influences that the Catholics in Brazil display as they prepare for Lent. 

via The Roman Catholics Of Brazil Mark The Beginning Of Lent With Their Annual 5-Day ‘Carnival’ Brimming With Tribal Paganism — Now The End Begins

March 2 Praying to Your Father

Scripture reading: Matthew 6:9–13

Key verse: Matthew 6:6

You, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

On the subject of prayer, A. B. Simpson writes,

The first view given of God in the Lord’s Prayer is not His majesty but His paternal love. To the listening disciples this must have been a strange expression from the lips of their Lord as a pattern for them. Never had Jewish ears heard God so named, at least in His relation to the individual … No sinful man had ever dared to call God his Father.

They, doubtless, had heard their Master use this delightful name of God … but that they should call Jehovah by such a name had never dawned upon their legal and unillumined minds. And yet it really means that we may and should recognize that God is our Father.

The entire idea of Jesus addressing God as Father is one of personal love and devotion. You cannot know a person unless you love him. And you certainly cannot love God unless you know Him and realize He is intimately in love with you.

The idea of God as your Father is one of extreme love. Regardless of what your earthly father was like, God is a Father of love, and He cares for you. His parental love offers security, encouragement, and nurturing. Therefore, know that He has the ability to step aside from the occupation of the world’s demands to listen to your heart. For the believer, prayer is a lifeline of eternal love and hope.

Listen to my heart today, Father. You are my lifeline in the midst of the storms of life.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 65). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

It’s Not The Internet That’s Dark. It’s Humanity. — ZeroHedge News

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Everyone is horrified lately about stuff on the internet.

From degrading comments to vile posts to videos that urge self-harm, the internet is a cesspool that shows the worst of humankind. Pedophilia, hate, racism, sexism, rape, animal abuse, bullying, and murder are everywhere. But it’s not the internet that is the problem. It’s humanity.

Children are urged to self-harm…maybe.

There’s the ultra-creepy Momo Challenge, which is a suicide “game” aimed at young children. Some sick individually actually took videos meant for children and spliced in horrible, creepy instruction of how to kill themselves, with threats that a creature of nightmares would do it for them if they didn’t comply. Instructions like, go to the kitchen, get your mom’s sharpest knife, and stick it in your neck. Three children are suspected to have died due to this vile and twisted “game.” I can’t even wrap my head around the mind of a person who would do this.

There’s some debate about whether this is real or whether it’s a hoax but if nothing else, it should underscore the need for parents of mall children to make sure that they are watching what their children are watching online.

Pedos are infecting YouTube

Then we have YouTube disabling comments on content that features children. They’ve suspended commenting not because people say horrible things about the children – that they’re ugly, stupid, etc, – but because of pedophiles who make repugnant comments on the videos.

YouTube said Thursday it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids — potentially affecting millions of posts on the site — after reports last week that pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children…

…It will take YouTube several months to disable comments on all videos featuring minors, the company said. It already started the process last week when it turned off comments from tens of millions of videos.

Advertisers including Nestle, AT&T and Fortnite-maker Epic Games pulled ads from YouTube last week after the inappropriate comments about children were unearthed by a popular YouTuber and media reports. At least one company, Nestle, was satisfied with YouTube’s response and reinstated ads late last week.

A small number of channels which have videos featuring kids will be allowed to keep comments turned on. But they must be known to YouTube and must actively monitor the comments beyond the standard monitoring tools YouTube provides.

Turning off comments on such a large number of videos seems an “extreme reaction,” said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. But the issue involves the safety of children, so it makes sense YouTube would want to act quickly, he said. (source)

And this is the tip of the pedophilia iceberg. There are chatrooms, child porn websites, sites that want to repeal laws against the sexual abuse of children, and sick, twisted mainstream sites that try to justify the abuse of and attraction to children by adults.

The internet is a dark and cruel place.

The internet can ruin your life in many different ways.

You can be “doxxed.” That’s when someone hunts down all of your personal information and posts it online. Maybe you use a pseudonym online and they find out your real name, your address, your place of work. Maybe you use your real name and someone finds out the names and locations of your loved ones. Your kids’ school, your parents’ home address, your spouse’s workplace.

You can be the victim of an internet mob determined to ruin your life.

Remember in January of 2019 when the boy from a Catholic high school in Covington, Kentucky was wearing a MAGA hat and a Native American guy got in his face and the internet descended on a 15-year-old in a fit of misplaced rage? Someone posted a 30-second clip on Twitter or somewhere that made the boy, Nick Sandmann, look like he might be smirking. Celebrities asked for him to be “named and shamed” and posted death threats and offered rewards if someone got it on video when the hit a fifteen-year-old boy in the face. They wanted his head.

But then it turned out that when video was shown from other angles the young man had actually shown remarkable courtesy and restraint and the issue was the guy in his face banging on a drum right beside his ear. That was the real story but the damage to Sandmann’s reputation was done.

People “unfriend” you for your opinions.

This article wouldn’t be complete without a dishonorable mention for Facebook, the place where everyone feels justified to insult others and dress them down publicly. The place where someone you’ve been friends with in real life for years “unfriends” you because you voted for a different person than they did in an election. The place where civility went to die.

Here are some crazy stats. Two billion people visit Facebook on a daily basis and a billion of those people are considered “active.” The average active user accesses the site 8 times throughout the day, spending a combined average of 35 minutes per day on there.

Sure, you can catch up with friends and family who are far away, but there’s a dark side. Actually, there are several of them.

Facebook actually experimented without users’ consent to see if they could change their moods. When they got caught, they weren’t really sorry for secretly manipulating users, but they wished they had maybe done things a little differently (or let’s be real, they wished they hadn’t gotten caught.)

People can be cruelly trolled on Facebook and psychologists suggest that the website is a place where psychopaths and narcissists can run amok without any real-life repurcussions.

And then there are the people who moderate the website. An article that recently appeared suggests that the low-paid moderators suffer from PTSD from all the horrific and hateful things that flash across their screens all day long. They smoke weed at work and do all sorts of things to combat the images and videos they watch.

But the internet isn’t ruining the world.

Despite all these examples of debauched internet experiences, it isn’t actually the internet that we need to worry about.

It’s humanity.

It’s easy to blame all the awful things we’re exposed to these days on the internet, but really, we’re just peeking inside the minds of people now because the internet puts that all on display.  The problem is that people think and act in these ways. People are pedophiles or animal abusers or racists or psychopaths or narcissists or bullies.

The reality is, we just see it now.

Before the internet, there were still people who were pedophiles or animal abusers or racists or psychopaths or narcissists or bullies but we were less likely to see it or learn about it, especially if they didn’t live in our neighborhood. We weren’t as likely to see someone proudly bully another person for their beliefs or torment someone with a different view, of say, vaccinations for children.

There is a website out there for everyone, telling them that they are acceptable no matter how deviant or downright evil they might be. There is a group for them someplace online where they can find like-minded deviants. Maybe that makes people more likely to act on their sick impulses or announce their twisted views of the world. Maybe it makes them find themselves more acceptable.

But it doesn’t cause them to be deviant or evil. They were already that way.

Don’t be fooled into thinking people are totally different today. The different thing today is that we have a window inside the dark and depraved minds of people. There always have been evil people and there always will be evil people.

If you are a person who believes we might one day live in a world without our current amenities, it would be wise of you to remember this. If the internet was gone forever, the evil that lurks there would still be present. In Selco’s book, The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival, he wrote of the degenerate and sickening behavior of people who lived right in his neighborhood. Those people were just waiting for their moment.

With the internet, we’ve had the dubious benefit of a crash course into the minds of people. We should use that as a lesson if a life-altering disaster were ever to strike. As horrible as it is, it could be our advantage. It could be what makes us willing to accept the fact that yes, there really are people who are this bad.

The problem in the world today is not the darkness of the internet.

It’s the darkness of humanity.

Source: It’s Not The Internet That’s Dark. It’s Humanity.

Southern Baptists have a problem with God — Christian Research Network

An honest examination of Southern Baptist churches reveals a much deeper problem than even sexual abuse. The real problem is spiritual before it is moral. That is, Southern Baptists have a problem with God. They trumpet their affirmation of the inerrancy of Scripture and unhesitatingly call it the written Word of God. Yet, at the same time the overwhelming majority of their churches blatantly defy the God of that Word.

(Tom Ascol – Founders Ministries)  The first story by the Houston Chronicle on sexual abuse within Southern Baptist churches and entities is horrific to read. The information that the authors compiled into a database was gathered primarily from public sources. The power of having all of that data from the last twenty years in one place is that the breadth and depth of the problem becomes undeniable.

The stories are tragic and the victims who have suffered at the hands of church leaders and volunteers deserve our sympathy, prayers and support. Seven-hundred victims and over two-hundred victimizers were discovered in the initial research of the reporters. Those numbers will undoubtedly swell since the article contains within it an invitation to provide confidential information about “sexual misconduct in Southern Baptist churches.”

Responses to the story have been appropriate, as far as they go. Al Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed the issues of minister ordination and associational accountability in his assessment. Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, is “Grieved Beyond Words and Resolved.” This article from the Chronicle, and the ones to follow, will no doubt inform the work of the SBC’s “Sexual Abuse Presidential Study Group,” which was appointed by President JD Greear last year.

As painful as it is to read, I am grateful that Southern Baptists are acknowledging the serious problem of sexual abuse within their ranks. I am sorry that they were in many respects forced into admitting it by the Houston Chronicle. However, given the way that many Southern Baptist churches operate, we shouldn’t be surprised at the revelation that abuse takes place within them.

A More Serious Problem

An honest examination of Southern Baptist churches reveals a much deeper problem than even sexual abuse. The real problem is spiritual before it is moral. That is, Southern Baptists have a problem with God. They trumpet their affirmation of the inerrancy of Scripture and unhesitatingly call it the written Word of God. Yet, at the same time the overwhelming majority of their churches blatantly defy the God of that Word.    View article →

Tom Ascol titled the article “Southern Baptists And Sexual Abuse” 

Research: 

Southern Baptist Convention

H/T The Aquila Report

via Southern Baptists have a problem with God — Christian Research Network

March 2, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Complaint

Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” (6:41–50)

Because their unbelief kept them from understanding, the Jews (this term has a negative connotation here as it frequently does in John’s gospel [cf. 1:19; 2:18–20; 5:10, 15–16, 18; 7:1; 8:48, 52, 57; 9:18, 22; 10:24, 31, 33; 19:7, 12, 14, 20, 21, 38; 20:19]) were grumbling about Jesus (as their ancestors had grumbled against God; Ex. 16:2, 8–9; Num. 11:4–6). Specifically, they were disturbed by two things He had said. The first was His claim to be the source of eternal life (v. 35). The verb translated grumbling (gogguzō) is an onomatopoetic word that both means and sounds like muttered complaints and whispers of displeasure. They were also outraged at His declaration that He came down out of heaven. They thought of Him merely on the human level, as a fellow Galilean, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother they knew (cf. 4:44; 7:27; Matt. 13:55–57). They also knew that He came from the despised town of Nazareth (cf. 1:46). And so, like the Jews in Judea (5:18), these Galileans hardened their hearts against their Messiah, who called for repentance and faith as a prerequisite to entering His kingdom (Matt. 4:17) and who outrageously, in their view, claimed equality with God.

Those who continually reject the truth may find that God will judicially harden their hearts. For those who refused to believe His teaching, Jesus made the truth more obscure by means of parables. To His disciples’ question, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” (Matt. 13:10) the Lord replied,

To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.” (vv. 11–15; cf. Isa. 6:10)

John 12:37–40 says of those who rejected Jesus after witnessing His miracles,

But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” For this reason they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.”

In the end times, those who will “not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10) will find that “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (v. 11). At the present time, there is a partial hardening of Israel (Rom. 11:25), leading to the salvation of the Gentiles (v. 11). But one day, during the future time of tribulation, God will remove Israel’s blindness, and all the believing remnant of the Jewish people will be saved (v. 26; cf. Zech. 12:10–13:1).

Rather than answer their confusion, Jesus commanded the Jews, “Do not grumble among yourselves.” He called for them to stop the mumbling complaints that reflected their rebellious and hard hearts. He had said and done enough, if they had been open and willing. Thus, there was no point in responding to their muttering discontent and disrespect with a detailed defense. They had willfully hardened their hearts, and would have only rejected the truth of His heavenly origin had He elaborated on it.

Then Jesus uttered some very solemn words: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him,” emphasizing man’s helplessness and utter inability to respond to Him apart from God’s sovereign call. Unbelievers are unable to come to Jesus on their own initiative (cf. the discussion of verse 37 above). If God did not irresistibly draw sinners to Christ, no one would ever come to Him.

To explain how lost sinners supposedly have the power to accept or reject the gospel of their own free will, some theologians introduce the concept of prevenient grace. Millard J. Erickson explains,

As generally understood, prevenient grace is grace that is given by God to all men indiscriminately. It is seen in God’s sending the sunshine and the rain upon all. It is also the basis of all the goodness found in men everywhere. Beyond that, it is universally given to counteract the effect of sin.… Since God has given this grace to all, everyone is capable of accepting the offer of salvation; consequently, there is no need for any special application of God’s grace to particular individuals. (Christian Theology [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985], 3:920)

But the Bible indicates that fallen man is unable, of his own volition, to come to Jesus Christ. Unregenerate people are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13), slaves to unrighteousness (John 8:34; Rom. 6:6, 17, 20), alienated from God (Col. 1:21), and hostile to Him (Rom. 5:10; 8:7). They are spiritually blind (2 Cor. 4:4) captives (2 Tim. 2:26) trapped in Satan’s kingdom (Col. 1:13), powerless to change their sinful natures (Jer. 13:23; Rom. 5:6), unable to please God (Rom. 8:8), and incapable of understanding spiritual truth (1 Cor. 2:14; cf. John 14:17). Although the human will is involved in coming to Christ (since no one is saved apart from believing the gospel—Mark 1:15; Acts 15:7; Rom. 1:16; 10:9–15; Eph. 1:13), sinners cannot come to Him of their own free will. (Moreover, a comparison of verse 44 with verse 37 shows that God’s drawing cannot apply to all unregenerate people, as proponents of prevenient grace argue, because verse 37 limits it to the redeemed whom God has given to Christ.) God irresistibly, efficaciously draws to Christ only those whom He chose for salvation in eternity past (Eph. 1:4–5, 11).

Once again, Jesus repeated the wonderful promise that all whom the Father chooses will be drawn, will come, will be received, and He will raise them on the last day (vv. 39–40, 54). Everyone who comes to Christ will be kept by Him; there is no possibility that even one elect person given to Him by the Father will be lost (see the discussion of v. 39 above).

In verse 45 the Lord paraphrased Isaiah 54:13 to emphasize that His teaching was consistent with the Old Testament. What was written in the prophets, “And they shall all be taught of God,” restates the truth of verse 44 in different terms. Those who come to saving faith do so because they are supernaturally instructed by God. Drawing and teaching are merely different aspects of God’s sovereign call to salvation; it is through the truth of His Word that God draws people to embrace His Son (Rom. 10:14, 17; cf. 1 Peter 1:23–25). As a result, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Christ. Jesus’ statement was also a subtle rebuke of His Jewish opponents, who prided themselves on their knowledge of Scripture. But had they truly understood the Old Testament, they would have eagerly embraced Him (5:39).

As the only way to God (John 14:6), Jesus hastened to add that no one has seen the Father (1:18; 5:37; Ex. 33:20; 1 Tim. 6:16) except the One who is from God. Because He was eternally in heaven one with the Father, and then sent to earth by the Father, the Son can speak authoritatively about the Father (cf. Heb. 1:2). No one else can rightly make such a claim. Thus, only the Son is qualified to speak firsthand about the expectations of the Father and the truth of salvation.

Jesus’ solemn statement, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (cf. v. 40; 3:15–16, 36; 5:24) sums up the importance of trusting God’s self-revelation in Christ. Those who believe in Jesus not only have the hope of eternal life in the future, but also enjoy the possession of that life even now, as the present tense of pisteuō (believes) indicates.

The Lord concluded this portion of His sermon by restating the truth that He is the bread of life (cf. v. 35). He then contrasted Himself as the true bread of heaven (cf. v. 33) with the manna (cf. v. 31) that the Hebrew fathers ate … in the wilderness. Although it was miraculously provided by God to sustain the Israelites’ physical life, the manna could not impart eternal life, since the fathers who ate the manna … died (Heb. 3:17; cf. Jude 5). Jesus, however, is the true bread which comes down out of heaven (vv. 33, 35), so that one may eat of it and not die. Eat refers metaphorically to believing savingly in Jesus, which alone rescues sinners from eternal death (cf. 3:16; 11:26). Appropriating Jesus as the Bread of Life is the theme of the next section of this sermon.[1]


The Two Mannas

John 6:48–51

“I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Several years ago I heard a story about a Scotsman who was coming to America. He had purchased passage on one of the great ocean liners. He did not have much money, so he decided to save on food by stocking up on crackers, cheese, and fruit before his departure. The ship sailed, and he began to eat his Spartan meals. This went fairly well for the first four or five days. But as the ship drew closer to New York the crackers became increasingly stale, the cheese became moldy, and the fruit spoiled. Finally there was nothing left that was fit to eat. The Scotsman decided that he would go to the dining room and have one last, good meal before the liner docked in Manhattan and he went ashore. Imagine his surprise to discover that nothing in the dining room cost anything and that all that he could ever have eaten had already been included in the price of his ticket before he left the British Isles!

Unfortunately, this is the way in which thousands of men and women act toward the true bread of life that is offered to us without price in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is there for all. But the sad fact is that many would rather feed upon the dry crackers of human philosophy or the spoiled fruit of good works than come to him.

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:48–51). We will enter into the full meaning of these verses when we recognize that in them Jesus Christ voices a great claim, makes a requirement, and offers a wonderful promise.

Christ’s Claim

The claim that the Lord Jesus makes in these verses is, quite simply, to be the “bread of life.” It is the second time in this chapter that he has described himself by this image, and the image itself constitutes the first of the great “I am” sayings that are a characteristic of this Gospel. Here Jesus is portrayed as the bread of life. Later he will say: “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5), “I am the gate” (10:7, 9), “I am the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25), “I am the way and the truth and the life” (14:6), “I am the true vine” (15:1, 5). By these images he shows that he is all that men and women need and that he is the sole way to come to God the Father.

Another way of setting the context for this saying is to notice that it is the third great Old Testament image that has been appropriated as a description of who Jesus Christ is and what he does. In chapter 1 Jesus has used the figure of Jacob’s ladder upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending from heaven. This suggests that Jesus is the One through whom God the Father is revealed to men. In chapter 3 he is the brazen serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness. Here the crucifixion is portrayed, that work by which men and women are healed from the serpent bite of sin. Now he is the bread of life, the new manna, by which the new people of God are fed during the years of their desert wandering. There are two mannas, of course. There is the manna upon which the Jewish people fed in the wilderness under the direction of Moses. This manna sustained physical life for a time; but even this physical life did not go on forever, and eventually all who had eaten this literal manna died. There is also the manna that Jesus gives. This bread imparts and sustains that kind of life that will go on forever.

What does it mean when Jesus claims to be the bread of life? It means that he is able to satisfy the deepest needs and longings of the human soul. He is able to satisfy your needs, your longings, whatever they may be.

This does not mean that Jesus is going to satisfy every want or desire you may have or think you have. It means that he will satisfy that which you most deeply need. You say, “But aren’t those two the same thing?” No, I do not think so. Let me give an example. Take a child who is beginning to grow up with a highly sharpened sense of what he “needs,” as most children do. He thinks he needs candy—about every hour or so throughout the day. He thinks he needs to stay up to watch the late, late show on television. He thinks he needs to be able to set his own schedule—get up when he wants to, go in and out with his friends when he wants to, come to dinner when he wants to. He thinks he needs leisure time, particularly when he is asked to straighten up his room or help his mother with the dishes. All these items are “needs” from the child’s point of view. But if the parent indulges the child in these, all he will produce is an unruly and obnoxious brat. What is more, when he grows up the child will attempt to inflict his unrestrained desires on everyone else and may well end up in jail.

What is it that the child needs? It is not what the child thinks he needs. Actually, the child needs discipline. He needs a standard of right and wrong conduct and someone to insist on that standard. He needs to be loved, to have goals, guidance, and encouragement.

In the same way, our real needs often differ from our imagined needs, and it is our real needs for which Jesus Christ is the answer. We find salvation in him. In him we have eternal life. We also are loved, receive goals and guidance, and are encouraged in life. “I am the bread of life,” said Jesus. The implication is that we should feed upon him and grow.

In this chapter Jesus gives what would be called in theology a “progressive revelation” of himself as the bread. It is as though he held the mystery of himself as the bread in his hand and then slowly opened his hand one finger at a time so that those who were listening to him would see the truth gradually. First, he spoke of a bread from heaven that the Father gives to men (v. 32). This was the opening of the first finger. After the curiosity of the crowd had been aroused Jesus opened another finger by pointing out that he was the bread about which he was speaking (vv. 35, 48). Finally, in the verses that we are considering, he opens his hand the whole way and shows that the bread is his body that will be given up in death for men and women. He says, “And the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (v. 51).

I am glad that Jesus went on to speak of the cross, because Christ without the cross is of no use to us. We can look to his example, to the way he led his life. We can admire it. But the life alone does not help. We can admire the life, but we cannot live it. Besides, we are condemned by that life, for it is the standard of what God would require of us as his creatures. A Christ without the cross is of no use to us. He condemns us. Fortunately, there is more. For Jesus went on to speak of the cross and eventually to die upon it and rise again. Now there is hope. He died for our sin. The chastisement of our peace is upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. In his resurrection life we now have life. In his righteousness, through his death, we are now reckoned righteous in the sight of a holy and loving God.

To understand these things is to understand not only why Christ is truly the bread that came down from heaven but also why he is necessary for spiritual life.

The Requirement

These verses not only contain Christ’s claim, which is a great claim; they also make a requirement. The requirement is that we feed upon him. This means to believe on Jesus, commit your life to him, take him into yourself so that he becomes a part of you and you of him. It is precisely the same act that is spoken of in verse 37, where we are encouraged to “come” to Christ, knowing that those who come to him will never be cast out. Have you come? I do not mean, do you know about Christ? Many people know about Christ but have never come to him. The devil knows about him but hates him. I mean, have you committed your life to him so that now your life, properly speaking, belongs to Jesus? If not, you need to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, I want you to know that I accept all the things said in Scripture about my sin and my need of you. I know that I am not holy. I recognize that I cannot please you by my own efforts. At the same time, I recognize that you died for me on the cross two thousand years ago, and I want that death to stand for my death. I want to be yours. Receive me now as one of your followers, as your child.”

Men and women have used many different words as they have prayed along these lines. Many who read this have come in different ways and have said different words as they have come. Still, at its heart the experience is the same. It is the experience of letting go of anything that you might present, in order that your hands might be empty to receive that righteousness that Jesus Christ gives. There is no substitute for that. If you have not done that, you are not a Christian, no matter how much you may know about the Christian faith. On the other hand, if you have done that, then you are already a Christian and know that God has placed his eternal life within you and will keep you until the last day.

What I have been saying is born out in a forceful way by this imagery of eating. Think what eating involves. First, it is necessary. Other things are necessary too, but not to the same degree. A person might argue that exercise is necessary. Yes, it is good for you. But if you do not eat, before long you are not going to be able to do your exercises. Someone else might argue that the life of the mind is necessary. I agree. But if you fail to eat, pretty soon you will not even be able to sit up and read or think clearly. You must eat to live. So, spiritually, you must eat of the Lord Jesus Christ if you are to come to life spiritually and grow strong.

How do you feed upon Christ? It is through studying the Bible. That is one reason why I place such a strong emphasis upon a systematic study of the Word of God on the Bible Study Hour. It is why in my church I comment upon the Scripture readings at each of the services, as well as preach the sermon. It is why I encourage area Bible studies in which people can meet informally to learn and grow together as they eat and digest the Word. These are tools by which you and I can feed upon Jesus. There is no substitute for them.

If we use the Word, God will bring us into contact with Jesus. He will use it to bring to our minds what we most need to know; he will reveal sin in us and correct it; and he will most certainly lead us in the way that we should go.

Then, too, eating is always a response to a need that is felt. In physical terms the need is for nourishment and the feeling of the need for nourishment is hunger. It is the same spiritually. When does a person come to the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior or for daily feeding after he has believed on him initially? It is when he has recognized his need. If you consider yourself all-sufficient spiritually—sufficient for this life and for the next—then it is not likely that you will come to the Lord Jesus Christ. However, if you have tried the allurements of this world and have found them to be empty, as many have, then there will be within you that sense of inner need and hunger that will drive you toward Jesus. If you have been reading the Bible, God will show you that need for holiness that will turn you to him.

At one point in my ministry I was talking with a number of young people who had seen other young people turn to sexual indulgences as a means of satisfying the hunger they felt in their hearts. It had a hold upon them, as sin always does. They enjoyed it. They did not see how they could possibly stay away from this style of life. It was everything to them. But the interesting thing is that they were not happy. They were miserable. There is an old saying, “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” We could also say, “If sex is the way, why aren’t you happy?” These young people needed to recognize that any way that is not God’s way—that is divorced from Jesus Christ—is empty. They needed to see that Jesus is the bread that satisfies.

How I wish I could make that clear! Jesus is the only One who satisfies. You will never have to go far to find those who say the opposite. Madison Avenue exists for no other reason than to say the opposite. It says it all the time. Buy a car; you’ll be happy. Take this vacation; you’ll be happy. Use a detergent; you’ll be happy. But it is not so. Do not permit yourself to be sold a bill of goods spiritually. Real joy comes from knowing the great God of the universe in Jesus Christ and from glorifying him forever.

Third, eating involves appropriation. Knowledge is not enough. It is possible to sit down at a banquet and identify all the dishes and even be able to address them by their French names—all the way from the potage de légumes to the crêpes suzette. But if you do not or will not eat of them, they do you no good whatsoever. In the same way, it is possible to understand Christian doctrine so well that you can tell where everyone else is wrong—where Barth is wrong, where Brunner is wrong, where Boice is wrong—but you are still lost unless you appropriate Jesus Christ personally.

That, of course, leads to the last significant point about eating. It must be personal. You must eat. No one else can do it for you. It also is true in regard to your relationship to the Lord Jesus. You cannot get along by saying, “Well, my husband believes … my wife believes … my children or my parents believe.” The question is: Do you believe? Are you feeding on Jesus? I hope that you will never cheat your wife or husband or children or parents by asking them to do something that you refuse to do personally, but rather will give them the best of yourself by allowing God to make you into the kind of person he has always planned for you to be.

Life or Death

The last point is involved in all that has been said previously. It has to do with believing or not believing in Jesus. What are the issues? They are “life” and “death.” It is not just a matter of a little bit of happiness versus more happiness or partial satisfaction versus greater satisfaction. It is life versus death. To know Jesus is to live—now and eternally. To refuse him is suicide.

There is no greater issue to be faced by anyone in the course of a normal human existence. Will you have life? God is the source of life; he gives it abundantly. Or will you choose that eternal death that comes from making yourself, rather than your Creator and Redeemer, the center of your spiritual horizons?

Do not do what the prodigal son did. He thought that he was going to find life when he left his father to enjoy himself in the city. We would say in today’s jargon that he was determined to “live it up.” So he took his inheritance and squandered it on riotous living. Did he find life? No, he found a life that to a Jew was a symbol of death. He was feeding unclean animals. When did life begin for the prodigal? Only when he saw his need, left his willful past behind him, and returned to his father. I covet that for you if you are one who has never really surrendered your will to Jesus and returned to him. Will you not come to him? Jesus is wonderful. He really is. He wants the best for you. Why do you not walk in that way willingly?[2]


Flesh and Blood

John 6:48–59

“Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:54)

It seems that almost every year brings some miracle drug. Not only does the human race benefit from new cures, but researchers are hard at work to reduce even the effects of aging. One treatment involves the enzyme telomerase, which may combat the degradation of human DNA. Research suggests that human cells grow older as their telomeres shorten; telomerase is designed to impede this process and extend our life span. If this science is developed, we can imagine starting the day with our telomerase milkshake, seeking the elusive eternal life for which mankind longs.

But God is far ahead of the scientists! Long ago, he sent his Son into the world to offer eternal life. Jesus gives not some miracle drug, but his own flesh and blood. He said, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54).

The Bread of Life

Eternal life is the topic of Jesus’ teaching in John 6. The chapter began with Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand, and in his subsequent teaching Jesus sought to elevate his hearers from earthly to heavenly bread. This chapter contains the first of Jesus’ “I am” sayings: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48). His Jewish audience connected this claim with the manna that had fed the exodus generation in the time of Moses—bread that fell from heaven. Jesus wanted them to see that he is not only a new Moses, but a greater Savior than Moses ever was. The people, however, struggled to understand and grumbled against his words.

Starting in John 6:48, Jesus continues his teaching, pointing out a significant difference between the bread that he gives versus the manna of Moses’ day. Whereas the ancient manna sustained physical life for just a day at a time, the bread that he offers gives so much more: “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die” (6:48–50).

This makes some important points. First, it reminds Jesus’ hearers of how the Israelites of the exodus complained about their manna and revolted against Moses. Jesus’ present hearers were making the same mistake. Second, as a result of their sin, the exodus generation was judged by God, so that none but the few believers ever left the desert. The entire generation that witnessed the great miracles of the exodus—miracles such as the ten plagues on Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea—subsequently died in the desert because of their sin.

This point would have been all the more poignant since John 6 takes place during the Passover celebration—the main feast that commemorated the exodus! Even though this crowd was fed by Jesus’ miracle, the result of their unbelief would be the same judgment and death experienced by their ancestors.

Third, Jesus makes a contrast between the bread he gives and the manna. His bread conveys life not just for the body but for the soul. His bread overcomes the deadly curse of sin and gives eternal life: “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51). A. W. Pink summarizes Jesus’ meaning: “I am that which every sinner needs, and without which he will surely perish.”

The Bread of Christ’s Flesh

As Jesus pressed his points, he continued with some startling language, which seems to have upset his hearers. He said, “The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).

John notes that this statement incited a great deal of agitation: “The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ ” (John 6:52). Given Jewish food regulations, this was a revolting thought. It was made even worse when Jesus added the idea of drinking his blood: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (6:53). The law expressly forbade the drinking of blood; Jews could not even eat meat with the blood still in it (Lev. 17:10–14), yet Jesus spoke to them of eating his flesh and drinking his blood.

The real problem was the people’s lack of spiritual understanding. Just as Nicodemus could not understand how one could be born again, and the woman by the well could not understand how Jesus could give living water, this crowd misunderstood Jesus’ true meaning. It was bad enough, they thought, for Jesus not to give them more of his miraculous bread, but now he spoke in this grotesque manner!

What did Jesus mean? Some interpreters have taken Jesus’ teaching in a mystical manner. An example is William Barclay, who understood the idea of eating Jesus’ flesh as meditating on his incarnate humanity:

It is as if Jesus said: “Feed your heart … on the thought of my manhood. When you are discouraged and in despair … remember I took that life of yours and these struggles of yours on me.” … He was telling us to feed our hearts and souls and minds on his humanity, and to revitalize our lives with his life until we are filled with the life of God.

The problem with this interpretation is that Jesus clearly was not referring to his incarnation. He describes his flesh as “the bread that I will give” (John 6:51), so he is looking to something in the future.

Other Christians interpret Jesus’ words as referring to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, also known as the Eucharist. When Jesus speaks of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, they see a clear reference to the ritual that Jesus would later institute. These verses are used as a proof text for the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, which teaches that the Lord’s Supper involves eating the physical flesh and blood of Jesus transubstantiated into the form of a wafer and cup of wine.

But there are at least five reasons why Jesus was not speaking of the Lord’s Supper. First, his original hearers could not possibly have been expected to recognize a sacrament that would not be instituted until a year later, on the night of Jesus’ arrest. Second, if Jesus were teaching that one can be saved only by partaking of the Lord’s Supper, this would contradict his emphasis on salvation through faith in this very chapter (John 6:29, 35, 40, 47), and would rule out the salvation of those who could not receive the sacrament, such as the thief on the cross and infants who die. Third, Jesus never used the word flesh when speaking of the Lord’s Supper, but said, “This is my body” (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24). Fourth, in John 6:63, Jesus informs us that his words had a spiritual, not a fleshly, meaning: “The flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

Finally, it is abundantly clear that Jesus is referring to his substitutionary offering of himself on the cross. His flesh is the bread “that I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51). This is why Jesus’ words about his “flesh” and “blood” are associated with the Lord’s Supper, since they both point to the same thing: Jesus’ atoning death on the cross. Jesus did not die so that we might be saved by taking the Lord’s Supper, and his teaching in John 6 does not direct us to the blessed sacrament. Rather, both Jesus’ teaching and the Lord’s Supper teach that we are saved only through faith in his death for our sins. The Lord’s Supper serves to strengthen our faith in Christ’s blood, by which alone we are saved.

There are good reasons to be sure that Jesus was speaking of his coming death on the cross. First, we remember that this chapter takes place at the time of the Jewish Passover (John 6:4). This festival remembered Israel’s deliverance from Egypt when God sent the angel of death to slay the firstborn of Egypt. Only God’s people were spared, by sacrificing a lamb and spreading its blood on their doorposts. The Passover meal consisted of eating the sacrificial lamb. This is a vital theme in John’s Gospel; we remember John the Baptist’s witness to Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (1:29). This is how Jesus meant the Jews to understand “eating” his “flesh.” By eating the Passover lamb, the Israelites identified with the sacrifice for sin offered by the Lamb of God. Jesus wanted his hearers to make the connection between the Passover lamb and his own sacrificial death.

Second, the last sentence in John 6:51 says, “The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” This would be better rendered as “The bread that I will give on behalf of [or in place of] the life of the world.” John Calvin writes that this “denotes that unique giving which was made on the cross when [Jesus] offered Himself to the Father as a sacrifice. Then He delivered up Himself for the life of men; and now He invites us to receive the fruit of His death.”

The famous theologian Karl Barth was once asked what is the most important word in the Bible. He replied, “Hyper,” the Greek word that Jesus uses in this verse: “for the life of the world.” This is the key to the gospel: Jesus died “for” us, that is, “on our behalf” and “in our place.” Jesus used this same word when he said that the Good Shepherd gives his life “for the sheep” (John 10:11, 15). The high priest Caiaphas justified Jesus’ death by observing that it was necessary that one man die “for the people” (John 11:50). Hyper means “on behalf of” and “in the place of,” and it was in this way that Jesus gave his flesh and blood on the cross to redeem us from our sins.

The Heart of the Gospel

When we understand his meaning, we see that Jesus was presenting his hearers with the very heart of the gospel. He said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:53–54). Just as the Israelites received the Passover in faith by spreading the blood on their doors and eating the lamb, Jesus offers salvation to the world through our believing receipt of his death in our place. Eating, therefore, describes our acceptance of Christ in faith. J. C. Ryle says, “Whenever a man, feeling his own guilt and sinfulness, lays hold on Christ, and trusts in the atonement made for him by Christ’s death, at once he ‘eats the flesh of the Son of Man, and drinks His blood.’ ”

This teaching gives us a potent description of saving faith.

First, faith in Christ is necessary. One gains no benefit from bread unless he eats it. Likewise, though Jesus died for “the world”—that is, for everyone who believes—his sacrifice gains us nothing unless we confess our need of forgiveness and trust in his cross. It is not necessary for you to have spiritual highs or perform religious quests, but it is absolutely necessary that you trust in Christ’s death if you would be saved from your sins.

Second, faith in Christ is always personal. Just as no one can eat for you, no one can believe on Christ for you. To be fed, you must pick up the bread, take it into your mouth, chew it, and swallow. Likewise, neither your parents nor your spouse nor the church can believe in Christ for you. You must pick up the Bible (for it is in the Word of God that we “feed” on Jesus), take it into your mind and heart, meditate on its promises, and believe on Christ for your own salvation.

Third, faith in Christ is foremost in his cross. It is not enough for you to admire the story of his birth, to appreciate his lofty teachings, or to praise his perfect example in life. To believe on Jesus is to trust that he died the death that your sins deserved. He suffered on your behalf as an atonement for your sins. He died in your place, as a Substitute provided by God, so that you might be forgiven and saved. Just as we eat when we sense our hunger, we trust in Christ as we recognize that our sins threaten us with damnation, of which the cross is our only escape. Jesus spoke of his “flesh” and “blood” because, as Charles McIlvaine wrote: “It is as having been once offered up on the cross, a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, that we receive our Saviour.… We must always keep that great sacrifice, of which his flesh and blood were the constituents, in the eye and embrace of our faith.” As Jesus said, “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (John 6:55).

Forever People

It is possible that scientists will devise ways to lengthen our lives, but only those who believe on the cross of Christ will have eternal life. This is the glorious promise that Jesus makes: “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:54).

When Jesus speaks of eternal life, he is referring to a quality of life that only he can give. He says: “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:56).

Jesus promises that when you come to him through faith in his cross, you will live in him and he will live in you. The apostle Peter said that believers “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). This does not mean that we become little deities, but rather that we are “born of the Spirit,” as Jesus told Nicodemus (John 3:8). The risen and ascended Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live within us, conveying “righteousness and peace and joy” (Rom. 14:17). We are made spiritually alive to know God and commune with him through Christ. To abide in Christ and have him abide in us is, Paul wrote, “to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:23–24). What, I ask, has the world to offer in comparison with this?

But the life of God can be received and enjoyed only through an active, feeding faith in Christ. Jesus added, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57). This recalls Jesus’ earlier teaching that his own life, though uncreated and eternal, is derived from God the Father. He said, “As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself” (5:26). But now we are added to this picture. We can receive this overflow of life, with the Father as the fountain and Jesus Christ the Son as the stream. According to Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” Jesus is that river, and by trusting in him we drink eternal life.

But how could we really enjoy this if we knew that it someday had to end? This is one of the problems with the joys of this world. Not only do the world’s pleasures pale in comparison to the life that Jesus gives, but they also will have an end. Even if science can extend life, there ultimately is no man-made solution for death. But Jesus spoke not only of the quality of eternal life, but also of its quantity. Believers in Christ do not need telomerase; in Christ, we are the “Forever People.” Jesus said, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:54).

Even death cannot end eternal life. We know from the Bible that when Christians die, our spirits enter immediately into the glory of our heavenly home (2 Cor. 5:8). But even our bodies will participate in eternal life, for Jesus will raise them up. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). So while the bread that came through Moses gave temporary life, Jesus said of himself: “This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (6:58).

As a preacher, I am instructed and encouraged by the last verse in this passage: “Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum” (John 6:59). At some point, Jesus’ meeting with the crowd had moved into the church, and this was his sermon on that occasion. It was not a sermon that was likely to be popular. This Jewish audience, like so many people today, preferred more worldly food: sermons offering tips for worldly success and happiness. But that is not what Jesus preached. Surely this chapter proves that Jesus did not preach what people wanted to hear or those things that they thought they needed. Jesus preached what he knew they needed, whether they wanted to hear it or not. Above all, he preached his cross. Death because of sin; eternal life through atoning blood: these were the chief themes of Jesus’ preaching. Our preaching today ought to follow his example.

“If Anyone” and “Unless”

Jesus’ teaching was so vital because it presents the greatest invitation. Two phrases in his sermon ought to catch our attention. In John 6:51, he says, “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” Then in verse 56, he adds, “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” “If anyone,” and “Whoever.” This appeals to you, if you have not yet believed on Jesus Christ. He does not say, “If religious people, or if the wealthy, or if the poor, or if those with good backgrounds, or if those who were raised in the church …,” and so on. Jesus said, “If anyone”! “Whoever”! This means that he offers forgiveness of sins and eternal life to everyone who simply accepts him in trusting faith. Jesus offers the most matchless gift, what no money can buy and no scientist can bottle—that you would be received forever as a dearly beloved child into the life and love of God, if only you will believe. Have you confessed your need of Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in his cross? Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (10:10). You—whoever you are—can have eternal life by receiving the Savior Jesus Christ in trusting faith.

But if Jesus’ teaching extends the greatest invitation, it also conveys the direst warning. We should notice two more terms: unless and no life. Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53). The life of this world is not true life, and it cannot last. The life of owning fine possessions, enjoying a pleasurable lifestyle, or feeding your cravings through sin is not the life for which you were made. Such a life will never satisfy your soul. Jesus states this dreadful reality: Unless you trust in him, “you have no life in you.” And when the Christless life comes to its bitter end in death, it will lead you to judgment and eternal condemnation.

The Israelites of Moses’ day received the manna, but because they did not believe, they suffered death. Jesus did not want his hearers to repeat that mistake, and neither should you. “Unless,” he says, “no life.” But out of the great love for which he took up the cross as a Sacrifice for sins, Jesus says to all who hear: “If anyone.” He promises that he is “the bread that came down from heaven.… Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (John 6:58).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (pp. 251–254). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 517–522). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Phillips, R. D. (2014). John. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (1st ed., Vol. 1, pp. 422–430). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

Voddie Baucham Shares His Testimony

Voddie Baucham is dean of the seminary at African Christian University and previously served as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. He has authored numerous books, academic journals, and magazine articles. He is married to Bridget and they have nine children.

Source: Voddie Baucham Shares His Testimony

An Encouragement to Christians in These Dark Times in Our Culture — Reformation Charlotte

It seems as though the onslaught of media attention given to horrifying news across the world, especially here in America, has increased exponentially in recent times. News report after news report about the next piece of legislation expanding abortion access or restricting our religious freedoms. Homosexuality and sexual deviancy being propagated in schools and everywhere else. How should we, as Christians, respond to this changing culture and hostility towards God?

First, remember what Jesus said:

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:18-19

The world is hostile to Christians first and foremost because they are in rebellion to God. Don’t seek to please them, nor should you seek to accommodate them. Jesus clearly said that he chose us out of this world, to be separate from the world. Jesus’ Kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), therefore, we should not seek our comfort in the culture of this world.

Speak truth boldly and unashamedly to lost people. The culture of this world has been given over to a politically correct notion that to offend someone is the greatest sin you can commit. Though it’s not specifically forbidden, it is not necessary to build a relationship with someone before you speak truth to them. In fact, throughout Scripture, we see the commandment to go and preach the gospel with a guarantee that you will be hated for doing so. Natural man is not receptive to the things of God — the natural mind is hostile to God (Romans 8:7). You must trust that your words, when spoken true to the Word of God, will have the desired effect God has ordained (Isaiah 55:11).

Also, remember that the world we live in is under God’s sovereign control. While we, as believers, are to be the salt and light of the earth, preserving the truth of God’s revelation and boldly proclaiming it, it is ultimately the work of God to change the hearts and minds of the people He chooses.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6:44

No amount of sugar-coating or man-made effort to attract people to God is going to change the lost man’s heart. It’s an impossible task for us to accomplish — but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

God has chosen to put you here in this world — in this fallen culture and dark times — for a reason. He has called you to proclaim the name of His son, Jesus Christ among the nations. He has called you to glorify Him in all that you do. Do not lose heart, for God is with you always (Matthew 28:20).

So just remember, our purpose is to bring glory to the Living God and it brings Him infinite glory to proclaim His name among a dark and dying world.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

Romans 10:13-15

via An Encouragement to Christians in These Dark Times in Our Culture — Reformation Charlotte

From Roy Rogers to Infanticide

Democrats, Hollywood, and fake news media say America no longer wants white guys like Roy Rogers on TV, infecting our kids with Christian morals and family values.

I learned that the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO closed its doors forever. Roy Rogers was a bit before my time. Still, the closing of his museum triggered something in me. My late black dad, Dr. Rev. Lloyd E. Marcus was a big Roy Rogers fan. I remember Roy Rogers as a good guy cowboy on TV who always did the right thing. Roy’s character was very much like my dad’s. No, I am not going to get sappy, reminiscing about a time when TV role models taught kids right from wrong. Suggest that some behaviors are right and some behaviors are wrong — how corny, judgmental, intolerant and old fashion is that?

America has moved on. Democrats, Hollywood, and fake news media say America no longer wants white guys like Roy Rogers on TV, infecting our kids with Christian morals and family values.

America has moved on from the biblical teaching that there are only two genders. NYC recognizes 31 different genders. Facebook gives customers 56 gender options. Leftists believe they are far more sophisticated and intelligent than Bible believers and Americans living in flyover country.

Leftists say determining a baby’s gender by its genitalia at birth is idiotic. They say we must allow the child to evolve into the gender it wants to be. This insane child abuse has led to hundreds of kids as young as four years old identifying as transgender and changing their sex.

American College of Pediatricians president Dr. Michelle Cretella wrote, “Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.” Dr. Cretella also stated, “No one is born transgender.”

America has moved on from children respecting their father and their elders. There I go sounding like an old guy. My sister, three brothers and I were raised respecting our dad, answering him with yes or no sir. Dad was fun and easy to talk to. But we understood that he was not our peer. Hollywood routinely portrays fathers as idiots whose kids give them zero respect.

America has moved on from TV heroes like Superman who stood for “truth, justice and the America way.” Leftist indoctrination in public school has our kids believing “the American way” and patriotism are racist. Singing the song “Proud to be an American” has been banned in public schools. Wearing an America flag t-shirt to school on a Mexican holiday has been banned in America. Unfortunately, many of our youths believe it is racist to expect immigrants to learn English, respect our flag, and enter our country legally.

Superman on TV has been replaced with America’s first lesbian superhero. LGBTQ indoctrination dominates kid’s TV programming. Public education beginning in pre-k promotes same-sex parents and encourages little boys to wear dresses to school.

When Roy Rogers was popular on TV, students still began their school day with a simple prayer for themselves, their parents, teachers and country. In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible reading in public school was unconstitutional which removed prayer from public school. The consequences have been devastating. Behavior and academic performance plummeted. Pregnancies for girls 10-14 shot up 553%; student STDs up 226%. Since removing biblical principles from public policy, divorce rates skyrocketed up 117%; single-parent households up 140%.

Since removing prayer, SAT scores declined for 18 consecutive years. SAT scores for students in Christian private schools are almost 80% higher than public school.

Democrats successfully caused America to move on, rescuing students from the horror of beginning their day by humbly acknowledging their creator with a prayer.

Once again, Democrats are intensely working to deceive Americans into moving on, away from valuing the life of human babies. Democrats seek to pass a law to execute babies even after they are born. Absurdly, Democrats claim they desire only to protect a woman’s health. How on earth does a baby threaten its mother’s health after it is born? Democratic women rant that fathers should not have any say in a mother’s decision to murder their babies.

Senate Democrats, many of them running for president, voted against saving the life of babies who survive abortions. Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans could never imagine a time when an entire American political party would become so overtaken by evil; claiming moral authority to pass legislation to murder living breathing crying babies. Welcome to modern America.

Folks, I am extremely excited about the Heartbeat bill that makes abortion illegal as soon as the baby’s heartbeat can be detected. The Heartbeat bill is gaining momentum in several states. Praise God.

Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, America has aborted nearly 60 million babies. I pray that the Heartbeat bill will mark the beginning of the end of America mass murdering babies. I also pray that the bill will end the effort by Democrats, Hollywood, and leftists to cause Americans to move on, away from Godly principles and values which have made America great.

For America to be great again, we must honor God again. Founding Father John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people.”

My fellow Americans, did I mention that the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, MO closed its doors forever?

Source: From Roy Rogers to Infanticide

President Trump Trolls Hillary Clinton with Website Error Page

President Trump’s website error page features a picture of Hillary Clinton as President of the United States, along with the text, “Oops! This is awkward. You’re looking for something that doesn’t exist…”

Source: President Trump Trolls Hillary Clinton with Website Error Page

Here are the top 10 children’s books according to USA TODAY’s best-selling books list

We took a look at the top children’s books over the 25-year history of our best-selling books list. Did your favorite make the list?

Not only is Saturday Dr. Seuss’ birthday, but it is also the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America. In honor of both, we took a look at the top 10 most popular children’s from USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list over the last 25 years.

Some books are newer, securing a ranking on the list after shooting to the top of the best-selling list. Others are classics, slow-burning and consistent purchases for children across generations.

1.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss

It is only fitting Dr. Seuss holds the top spot. Published in 1990, the title reached no. 1 in June of 1997 and has been a mainstay in the top ten every spring ever since, thanks to its popularity as a graduation gift.

Plot: Dr. Seuss addresses many of life’s certain ups and downs.

Highest rank: No. 1

More: 17 kids books to read for Black History Month from board titles to young adult

2.  Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch; art by Sheila McGraw

According to the author, the book began as a love song to his and his wife’s stillborn children. The book has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1986.

Plot: A mother never stops loving her child.

Highest rank: 20

3.  Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown; art by Clement Hurd

Published in 1947, this iconic book has spawned many parody versions including “Goodnight Goon,” “Goodnight iPad,” “Goodnight Brew” and “Goodnight Keith Moon.”

Plot: A bunny is ready for bed and bids goodnight to everything in the bunny’s room.

Highest rank: 47

4.  The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell

The 2005 book has become a holiday juggernaut, spawning a new Christmas tradition as well as countless Instagram posts.

Plot: Santa relies on elves to find out who has been naughty and who has been nice.

Highest rank: No. 1

5.  “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

The classic book is becoming a 2019 animated television series on Netflix produced by Ellen DeGeneres and featuring the voices of Tracy Morgan, Diane Keaton, Michael Douglas, Eddie Izzard and Keegan-Michael Key.

Plot: The main character Sam-I-Am really wants to know if you like green eggs and ham and if so, how do you like them?

Highest rank: No 2

6.  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”  by Eric Carle

First published in 1969, the original has spawned several more versions including four that have appeared on the USA TODAY Best-sellers list.”

Highest rank: No. 52

Plot: A caterpillar eats and eats all the time until it turns into a butterfly.

7.  “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

The book, which won the Caldecott Medal, was turned into a live-action film in 2009 directed by Spike Jonze and starring Max Records and Catherine Keener as Max and his mother.

Plot: Max’s adventures in wild dreamlands make him appreciate home.

Highest rank: No. 4

8.  “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin Jr.; art by Eric Carle

Published in 1967, this book helped jump start Eric Carle’s career as an illustrator and eventual author of children’s books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” which is at no. 6 on our list.

Highest rank: No. 26

Plot: Animals take turns catching glimpses of each other.

9.  The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg

The author not only won a Caldecott Medal for this 1985 book but also for his book 1981 book “Jumanji.” Both were adapted into successful motion pictures.

Plot: A young boy, awakened by a train on Christmas Eve, learns only believes can hear the bell.

Highest rank: No. 1

10.The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

Silverstein was not solely a children’s book author, before the publication of  children’s book he worked for the very adult-themed Playboy magazine as a cartoonist in the 1950s.

Plot: A parable about a tree who gives to a boy who keeps wanting more.

Highest rank: No. 19

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2019/03/01/dr-seuss-tops-list-10-best-selling-childrens-books/3006775002/

Source: Here are the top 10 children’s books according to USA TODAY’s best-selling books list

Propaganda Coup: China Infiltration Into U.S. Education System

Article Image
The dedication of the Colorado State University Confucius Institute, April 12, 2013
http://www.technocracy.news, BY: ADAM KREDO

China has riddled U.S. education with propaganda promoting Technocracy, from universities to kindergarten. Partly for dogma and partly for espionage, these ‘Confucius Centers’ have been established throughout America with no restraint or alarm from U.S. government officials. ⁃ TN Editor

The Chinese government has infiltrated nearly every sector of the U.S. education system via a package of programs and monetary schemes that seek to indoctrinate American children and bring the Communist government’s propaganda into the classroom, according to a new report by a Senate investigatory body.

The wide-ranging report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has found that China has spent nearly $200 million on educational entities known as Confucius Institutes. These programs have been instated in U.S. schools across the country with the mission of indoctrinating students and painting a sympathetic portrait of the Chinese Communist government, according to the report.

The institutes are shrouded in mystery and have been the cause of much consternation on Capitol Hill and elsewhere as information about their reach and power in the United States becomes clearer.

While the programs appear on their surface to be mundane—mainly focusing on language and cultural issues—the Senate committee found that these institutes constitute a threat to the United States. The Chinese government, the committee found, “is attempting to change the impression in the United States and around the world that China is an economic and security threat.”

There are more than 100 Confucius Institutes currently operating in America—the most of any country—and China has plans to open many more, according to the report.

“As China opened over 100 additional Confucius Institutes in the United States over the last 15 years, the Department of Education remained silent,” the Senate committee warns in its report.

While Confucius Institutes have become a mainstay on college campuses across the United States, the Chinese government also has plans to expand into the kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum.

“The Chinese government also funds and provides language instructors for Confucius Classrooms, which offer classes for kindergarten through 12th grade students,” according to the report. “Confucius Classrooms are currently in 519 elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States. Continued expansion of the program is a priority for China.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), a member of the Senate committee that conducted the investigation, said the bipartisan report shows a “stunning lack of transparency” about how these Chinese institutes function in the United States

“As China has expanded Confucius Institutes here in the U.S., it has systematically shut down key U.S. State Department public diplomacy efforts on Chinese college campuses,” Portman said in a statement. “We learned that schools in the United States—from kindergarten to college—have provided a level of access to the Chinese government that the Chinese government has refused to provide to the United States.”

“Absent full transparency regarding how Confucius Institutes operate and full reciprocity for U.S. cultural outreach efforts on college campuses in China, Confucius Institutes should not continue in the United States,” Portman said.

As the committee investigated these programs, it found that some U.S. schools contractually agree to uphold both Chinese and U.S. laws in order to get money for various programs.

Additionally, “the Chinese teachers sign contracts with the Chinese government pledging they will not damage the national interests of China,” according to the report. “Such limitations attempt to export China’s censorship of political debate and prevent discussion of potentially politically sensitive topics.”

U.S. school officials who spoke to Senate investigators disclosed that Confucius Institutes shun controversial topics, such as China’s poor human rights record and other hot button topics that could be damaging to the country’s reputation.

“Confucius Institutes exist as one part of China’s broader, long-term strategy,” the Senate committee concluded. “Through Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government is attempting to change the impression in the United States and around the world that China is an economic and security threat.”

There are provisions mandating that Chinese law be upheld on U.S. soil and the amount of public disclosure surrounding the institutes is extremely low. If a U.S. school were to spill the beans about these programs, the contracts—and money—would dry up.

“The Subcommittee obtained a contract between Chinese teachers and Hanban that requires Chinese instructors at U.S. schools to “‘conscientiously safeguard national interests.’” The contracts are terminated if the Chinese instructors “‘violate Chinese law’ or ‘engage in activities detrimental to national interests,’” according to the report.

Read full story here…

 

The US just officially hit the debt ceiling, setting up another high-stakes showdown for the fall

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • The debt ceiling was reimposed on Saturday, and Congress must pass a bill to raise it again.
  • The Treasury Department can use its “extraordinary measures” to prevent the US from breaching the debt ceiling until late September or early October.
  • If the debt ceiling is breached, it would have disastrous consequences for the US’s credit rating, the global economy, and stock markets around the world.
  • Congress has flirted with a debt-ceiling breach before, but a slew of deadlines around the debt-ceiling-breach date could complicate the negotiations.

As of Saturday, the US has officially hit the debt ceiling, capping the national debt at just over $22 trillion. And while the deadline to raise the ceiling is still a few months away, analysts are already worried about a fight that could get ugly.

Congress suspended the debt ceiling for a year in February 2018, which allowed the US to rack up new debt until the limit was reimposed on March 2.

While the country can’t add to the debt load until the ceiling is either raised or suspended by Congress, the Treasury Department can use its “extraordinary measures” to move funds around and prevent a breach of the ceiling for a few more months.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury will exhaust the ability to extend the deadline until sometime in late September or early October. The exact date is uncertain this far out because of the variability of tax receipts and potential federal spending.

Read more: The US national debt just topped $22 trillion for the first time in history

Raising the debt ceiling is a critical function of Congress because a failure to do so would mean that the US is likely to default on some of its debt. Such an event would almost certainly lead to a credit-rating downgrade for the US, a major stock-market sell-off, and disastrous ramifications for the global economy.

But even with the economic implications, fights over the debt ceiling have become increasingly politicized in recent years, and the difficulty of getting a deal done during the recent 35-day government shutdown has some analysts worried that Congress and President Donald Trump may not be able to reach a deal in time.

“After the longest government shutdown in American history, it is irresponsible not to see a read-through for broader 2019 and 2020 fiscal dysfunction with the mother-of-all ‘must pass’ bills coming into focus when the US hits its head on the debt ceiling this Friday,” Chris Krueger, a policy strategist at Cowen Washington Research Group, wrote in a note to clients.

In previous debt-ceiling fights, deficit hawks — especially those in the Republican Party — have demanded spending cuts to accompany the ceiling increase. And in more recent years, the debt-ceiling fights have become entangled in various issues, such as securing funding for Trump’s wall along the US-Mexico border.

Further complicating things is that the timing of the debt-ceiling-breach date will match up with the next round of negotiations on government funding.

But for now, Trump administration officials seem to be putting a positive spin on things. Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told CNN that the administration hopes negotiations won’t come down to the wire.

“Everybody hopes we can work together and make a positive deal and that it won’t come to that,” Hassett said.

Source: The US just officially hit the debt ceiling, setting up another high-stakes showdown for the fall

John McCain’s Family Fires Back At Michelle Malkin For CPAC Speech, Fireworks Ensue

Things are getting heated between conservative commentator Michelle Malkin and the family of the late Sen. John McCain.

Malkin appeared at CPAC, the annual gathering of conservatives, and gave a speech on open borders.

She included what many consider to be RINOS or Republicans In Name Only, that she believes are as responsible as the Democrats.

“It’s the GOP sell-outs — not just the radical, open-borders left — that is in bed with immigration saboteurs,” she said.

“Like the ones who hijacked the Tea Party movement to shill for amnesty,” the Fox News commentator said.

“Those are the real grifters cashing in at the expense of their base and at the expense of our country,” she said.

“Sanctuary cities have metastasized and both parties are to blame! And yes, I’m looking at you, retired Paul Ryan. And yes, I’m looking at you, Mitch McConnell,” she said.

“Yes, I’m looking at you, Bush family. And yes, I’m looking at you, the ghost of John McCain,” she said.

Do you agree with Malkin?

The comments angered the family of Sen. McCain and their friends who came out firing at the conservative author.

“@michellemalkin You never knew @SenJohnMcCain . You should be so lucky,” his wife, Cindy McCain, said.

@michellemalkin You never knew @SenJohnMcCain . You should be so lucky.

— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) March 2, 2019

“Meet the open borders family: McCain, Hernandez, Soros, and the ‘Reform Institute,’” she fired back.

Meet the open borders family: McCain, Hernandez, Soros, and the “Reform Institute”==>https://t.co/od3YYgQAIs https://t.co/1RbfvMqlGt

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 2, 2019

“CPAC was once a place to exchange conservative ideas. Now it’s just a place for agitprop and mean-spirited garbage,” CNN commentator S.E. Cupp, a close friend of Meghan McCain, said.

CPAC was once a place to exchange conservative ideas. Now it’s just a place for agitprop and mean-spirited garbage. https://t.co/kodegGXNB7

— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) March 1, 2019

Meghan McCain retweeted the jab from Cupp which prompted a response from Malkin to both.

“Useless virtue signaler abetting our destruction said what?” Malkin fired back sarcastically.

Useless virtue signaler abetting our destruction said what? https://t.co/5Coxdp5lsy

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 1, 2019

Source: John McCain’s Family Fires Back At Michelle Malkin For CPAC Speech, Fireworks Ensue

The Devil’s Lie About What Real Masculinity Looks Like — Faithwire

Sunday was the Oscars, full of drama about who would win, who should win, what the winners would say, and of course, what they were wearing on the red carpet.

This year, as Rachel Syme noted in The New Yorker, Billy Porter, one of the stars of the FX series, “Pose,”

“… managed to outdo himself yet again. He wore a ‘tuxedo gown’ … The top half of the outfit fit like a traditional men’s tuxedo, in plush black velvet, with oversized satin lapels; the bottom half, also an inky river of velvet, flared out into a massive bell skirt. His torso looked like it was smoking a cigar with a brandy, while his skirt looked like it was ready for a gothic Victorian-era coronation.”

When asked why he wore the gown, Porter said, “My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. What is masculinity? What does that mean?”

Porter isn’t the only one looking to buy a vowel. The American Psychological Association has decreed that “traditional masculinity is psychologically harmful.” The forces of political correctness are seeking to throw out the idea of assigned sex at birth in favor of a spectrum of gender from which we can choose. And then there is Gillette’s Super Bowl ad, “We Believe: The Best Man Can Be,” which famously hit bottom and kept digging with 1.4 million dislikes to 775,000 likes by both depicting a false image of masculinity and offering a flawed alternative for their false image.

And what do all of these trends have in common?

They reject biblical wisdom and replace it with a vision of masculinity which is soft, silent, and impotent at the exact moment when the world needs men who are servant kings — men who are proactive, courageous and humble; men who take decisive action to serve their neighbors, families, churches and communities; men who step out in bold obedience and trust in God’s Word.

The Bible is clear: “God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Genesis 1:27).

Satan has been around since before the human race, so he is playing the long game. Separating God’s beloved children from Him is a marathon for Satan, not a sprint. His lies build on his lies until even people who love Jesus have assumptions they believe to be true that are not. His schemes last far longer than our short lifetimes. We seek passionately to avoid becoming pawns in his wicked game; therefore, we must understand his plans so that we can fight and defeat them.

Satan has been attacking gender, gender roles, and especially masculinity with a vengeance over the last few years, and even Christians have been deceived.

Satan’s scheme, now and forever, is to disrupt the two most foundational building blocks of society:

  1. Our relationship with God
  2. Our relationship with one another

First, there is something not right in us, and to make things right, we must throw ourselves on the grace of the Creator. A philosophical change that started centuries ago has spread across the world to convince people that there isn’t actually anything wrong with them and, if there is, it isn’t their fault. We are seeing Romans 1 play out before us now — not only are sin and perversity abounding, but people publicly commend those who live this way.

Second, there is nothing more foundational to who we are and how we relate to one another than the fact that God created us male and female. Humanity was created as two types — both are equally loved in God’s eyes and both will have equal status in heaven. However, their relation to one another on earth is defined through distinctive roles determined by God at the foundation of creation.

The two genders, male and female, are together the earthly representation of who God is. Neither, on its own, is a full representation. This is one reason marriage between a man and a woman is so important and meaningful. The truest representation of God’s nature is a healthy marriage between a fully masculine man and a fully feminine woman, each acting in submission to Christ and in submission to each other.

What is masculinity? The life of Jesus embodied true masculinity. It’s being a servant king. If you’re not serving others like Jesus, you’re not fully walking in biblical manhood.

Adapted from Ken Harrison’s forthcoming book, “Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man,” coming to bookstores everywhere May 7, 2019, from Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC Copyright © 2019.

Ken Harrison is the president and chairman of Promise Keepers. Founded in 1990 by coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers is a Christ-centered organization dedicated to introducing men to Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, helping them to grow as Christians. Harrison also serves as CEO of WaterStone, a Christian Community Foundation that gives away over $1 million per week to build God’s Kingdom. After starting his career as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in the notorious area known as South Central, Harrison spent nearly two decades in the commercial real estate arena both nationally and internationally. He has been married to his wife, Elliette, for 28 years and they have three children. Harrison’s newest book, “The Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man,” releases May 7, 2019. Facebook: promisekeepers. Twitter: @promisekeepers.

via The Devil’s Lie About What Real Masculinity Looks Like — Faithwire

Tucker Carlson explains the totalitarian Left takeover of the Democrats

It’s already happened, and Tucker proves it.

In case you missed it, I embed below Tucker Carlson’s seven-and-a-half minute-long opening signet from last night’s show.  He did an excellent job of explaining how the Democratic Party has already become a force for totalitarianism.  He used the Joe Biden apology for calling Mike Pence a “decent guy” as a convincing way to make the case that the party has converted from a political to a religious movement, the difference being that in the former, dissent and discussion are the norm, while in the latter, no dissent from God’s (or Gaia’s or History’s) Truth is permitted.


Grabien screen grab.

If you have friends who Just Don’t Get It about the takeover of one of our two parties by the radical revolutionary Left, maybe email them this video segment.  It is well worth seven and a half minutes, and Tucker has perfected a humorous, ironic delivery.

In case you missed it, I embed below Tucker Carlson’s seven-and-a-half minute-long opening signet from last night’s show.  He did an excellent job of explaining how the Democratic Party has already become a force for totalitarianism.  He used the Joe Biden apology for calling Mike Pence a “decent guy” as a convincing way to make the case that the party has converted from a political to a religious movement, the difference being that in the former, dissent and discussion are the norm, while in the latter, no dissent from God’s (or Gaia’s or History’s) Truth is permitted.

If you have friends who Just Don’t Get It about the takeover of one of our two parties by the radical revolutionary Left, maybe email them this video segment.  It is well worth seven and a half minutes, and Tucker has perfected a humorous, ironic delivery.

https://share.grabien.com/share.php?id=569029&userid=2948&loginid=390&playercolor=%23ee1a3b&playersize=600&code=d12dbf29fb069094ac6f76417fbdbd74

Source: Tucker Carlson explains the totalitarian Left takeover of the Democrats

Michelle Malkin under fire after barn-burner of a CPAC speech | American Thinker Blog

Watch and enjoy a warrior who never relents and never gives up

Michelle Malkin doesn’t give a damn what the progressive media and PC hordes say about her. She speaks her mind – which is precisely why I enjoy her work so much.

Yesterday, she generated quite a bit of controversy (see this compilation of commentary) in her 20-minute speech to CPAC ). The entire speech is embedded below.

No small part of the criticism was implied outrage over her rejection of the “ghost of John McCain” in her jeremiad over the “grifters” who are “in bed with immigration saboteurs.”

.@michellemalkin: “I have been accused of being a ‘grifter’… but it’s the GOP sellouts, not just the radical open borders left, that’s in bed with immigration saboteurs. Like the ones who hijacked the tea party movement to shill for amnesty. Those are the real grifters.” pic.twitter.com/Htn9lpaEV0

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 1, 2019

She followed with a call-out of who she had in mind as saboteurs, and grifters:

“And yes I’m looking at you retired Paul Ryan,” she said. “And yes I’m looking at you Mitch McConnell. And yes I’m looking at you, Bush family. And yes I’m looking at you, the ghost of John McCain.”

Michelle Malkin points skyward and mocks “the ghost of John McCain” from the main stage at CPAC. Gets a standing ovation from some in the crowd. pic.twitter.com/9mqpkhFcR6

— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) March 1, 2019

It’s worth noting that she called out other people, including the presence of communist Van Jones at CPAC.

Watch and enjoy a warrior who never relents and never gives up:

Source: Michelle Malkin under fire after barn-burner of a CPAC speech

There’s an extreme divide in how Americans feel about the economy, and it’s a huge red flag to Wall Street that the next recession is near

  • There’s a massive gulf between how Americans feel about the future of the economy and their assessment of present conditions.
  • A divide of this magnitude has preceded every downturn since the 1970s, and is well-placed on a list of indicators that investors are watching for the next recession.
  • Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, gave Business Insider an exclusive look at this dynamic, and what it means going forward.

Stock-market investors are constantly on the lookout for signs that corporate profits are in jeopardy.

There are few cohorts of people that matter more to bottom lines than consumers, who have the power to fold entire companies simply by shunning their products or services. What’s more, consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of the US economy.

A recent trend among consumers has flagged to some Wall Streeters that their confidence is waning — even though it doesn’t appear that way on the surface. After all, the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index rebounded in February after three straight monthly declines.

However, pessimism about the future is growing, and that has raised eyebrows. The Conference Board’s index of consumers’ expectations about the future has slumped, creating its widest gulf with the present-situation index since the 2001 recession.

This can be clearly seen in the chart below, which was flagged to us by Liz Ann Sonders, the chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. It shows that the spread between the indexes of consumer expectations and their present situations has recently plummeted.

Read more: Paul Krugman, Rick Rieder, and 47 more of the brightest minds on Wall Street reveal the world’s most important charts

But what’s really sinister about this development is that expectations have always plunged and bottomed relative to present assessments before the start of recessions. The track record is virtually unblemished.

“Troughs in this spread have historically represented near-term recession warnings,” Sonders told Business Insider.

In a separate note, Sonders said it’s impossible to know for sure whether this indicator has indeed bottomed. Also, it’s just one of several indicators — both leading and lagging — that investors are keeping a close eye on.

However, its well-placed on a list of indicators that confirm the pace of growth is waning. And, at worst, they’re warning that the next recession is well on its way.

The most important of such indicators — and one that also has not failed investors as a signal since the 1960s — is the yield curve. It measures the gap between short- and long-term interest rates, and inverts below zero when tight credit conditions lift short-term borrowing costs above future ones.

The widely watched 2- and 10-year yield curve fast approached its tipping point last year and is hovering just above it, at 19 basis points. This has some strategists worried that the Federal Reserve could tighten financial conditions too quickly and accelerate the arrival of the next recession.

SEE ALSO: Paul Krugman, Rick Rieder, and 47 more of the brightest minds on Wall Street reveal the world’s most important charts

Source: There’s an extreme divide in how Americans feel about the economy, and it’s a huge red flag to Wall Street that the next recession is near