Daily Archives: March 8, 2019

March 8 Prevailing Peace

Scripture Reading: John 15:18–25

Key Verse: 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Europe trembled. Hitler’s menacing armies were poised for a strike against Poland. Attempting to appease the dreaded dictator, England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain traveled to Germany and, on September 29, 1938, signed the infamous Munich Pact. Upon his return Chamberlain triumphantly announced, “I believe it is peace for our time.” A short time later Germany invaded Poland, and World War II began.

Was Jesus’ talk of peace like Chamberlain’s optimistic boast? After all, why talk of such when war, violence, greed, and ill will still abound? Although Jesus talked much about peace and promised the disciples (and us) that He would leave us His peace, He did not ignore the reality of the world’s conflict.

That’s why His Passover message concerning peace was immediately followed by this clarification: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Jesus was a realist. There is nothing of evasiveness or idealism in His ministry. How, then, could He promise peace?

Christ Himself is our peace. His presence, strength, and comfort are ours in every gale—for He is always with us.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You that despite the tribulation in this world, I can have peace. I claim Christ as my peace right now. I accept His presence, strength, and comfort as I face the storms of life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 71). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 8 The Ultimate Burden Bearer

Scripture reading: Philippians 2:19–30

Key verse: Psalm 55:22

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Shouldering the load of a fellow Christian’s troubles is both hard and easy. It’s hard because often we are consumed with our own problems and have little time for another’s pain. It’s easy because once we see Christ’s power and wisdom unleashed to solve another’s strait, we develop a taste for the spiritual adventure of burden bearing.

It begins with a commitment to cultivate relationships with a few friends. This is the right context for authentic sharing and caring. We can’t handle everyone’s assortment of woes, but as we see in our Scripture reading for today, we can help bear the hurts of some, especially those friends with whom we have developed accountability and a track record of trust.

Most people are reluctant to unload their burdens for fear of rejection. Actually, many are not sure we really want to hear about their problems. A phone call, a letter, a lunch, a walk around the block are practical means to provide the opportunity for effective burden bearing. Take the initiative. Be sensitive and timely, but don’t wait for the hurting person to knock on your door.

Lean on God, and don’t try to solve the problem alone. Beneath the obvious issue can be a maze of root causes that only God can deal with through the Holy Spirit. Trust Christ to guide, comfort, and provide. Remember, He is the ultimate Burden Bearer.

Father, thank You for the privilege of extending Your love by bearing the burdens of others to You in prayer. Work through me to lighten their heavy load.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 71). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 8, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump said on Friday he would be disappointed if North Korea were to resume weapons testing, and reiterated that he had a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Congressional Democrats are debating whether to expand the scope of their inquiry into President Donald Trump’s taxes to include his business tax returns along with his personal returns, a risky step seen by some as crucial to effective oversight.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced on Thursday by a U.S. judge to less than four years in prison – far shy of federal sentencing guidelines – for financial crimes uncovered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit brought by adult-film actress Stormy Daniels to end a hush-money agreement she had with U.S. President Donald Trump, court papers showed.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a broad resolution condemning bigotry on Thursday after remarks by a Democratic member that some viewed as anti-Semitic exposed an ideological and generational rift in the party.

Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has accepted an invitation to visit China and is evaluating the best date for the trip, Chinese Ambassador in Brasilia Yang Wanming said on Friday.

U.S. job growth almost stalled in February, with the economy creating only 20,000 jobs as construction and retail payrolls dropped, which could raise concerns about a sharp slowdown in economic activity. The unemployment rate fell back to below 4 percent and annual wage growth was the best since 2009.

An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning after a short-term stay on the International Space Station, capping the first orbital test mission in NASA’s long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from U.S. soil later this year.

Venezuela shut schools and suspended the workday on Friday as the worst blackout in decades paralyzed most of the troubled nation for a second day, spurring outrage among citizens already suffering from hyperinflation and a crippling recession.

Campaigners for gender equality marked International Women’s Day on Friday with protests, discussion panels and celebrations.

AP Top Stories

Iranian naval forces intervened to repel pirates who attacked an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, state television reported on Friday.

Staying true to his brand of nostalgic nationalism, President Trump is reviving a conservative line of attack on Democrats that dates back generations – socialism is on the march.

Iraqi President Barham Salih said foreign Islamic State fighters tried in Iraq could be handed death sentences, according to an interview published by Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National on Friday.

Executives at a Miami TV station say their correspondent based in Venezuela has been freed from custody hours after security forces seized him at his apartment.

Angry crowds evacuating from the last shred of territory held by Islamic State militants in Syria praised the extremist group Wednesday and chanted “Islamic State will remain,” in a menacing show of support, even as defeat loomed.

The British government has claimed only one civilian has been killed by RAF bombing in Syria and Iraq that killed and injured more than 4,000 Isil fighters.

Iranian hackers working to penetrate systems, businesses and governments around the world have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, a report said Wednesday. Researchers for tech giant Microsoft said the attackers stole secrets and wiped data from computer networks after targeting thousands of people at some 200 companies over the past two years.


Finland’s entire government has resigned over its failure to achieve a key policy goal on social welfare and healthcare reform. Finland’s extensive welfare systems are under financial pressure as the nation’s population ages, yet reform plans remain politically controversial.

Chinese exports saw the steepest fall in three years in February, adding to worries about growth in the world’s second largest economy. Official data show exports from China plunged 20.7% from a year earlier, as its trade war with the US took a toll.

A new study has found US Civil War-era tunnels and buildings buried beneath the famed Alcatraz island prison in San Francisco, California. Historians had long-suspected that the notorious federal penitentiary were constructed atop US military fortifications built in the 1800s.

Ethiopian Airlines is marking International Women’s Day by operating an all-women flight from Addis Ababa to Oslo.

There is growing anger in Liberia over a video posted on social media and widely circulated on Facebook that shows two naked women being dragged through the streets as a group of young men call on them to confess to being witches.


Based on his 20-year-long studies on integration and assimilation, Dutch professor of sociology Ruud Koopmans has come to the conclusion that Muslims are more difficult to integrate than other migrant groups. Ruud Koopmans claims than no Western country has managed to successfully integrate Muslims.

Newly-restored video clips from nuclear tests conducted in Nevada more than 60 years ago shows how the terrifying power of a 15-kiloton Grable bomb blast can strip the paint off cars.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Mar. 8, 2019

The Foundation

“When Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771)

The Unemployment Rate Can Only Go So Low

Only 20,000 jobs added in February, but unemployment is down and wages are up.

Fascist Democrats Won’t Condemn Anti-Semitism

Even Ilhan Omar voted for the resolution that was originally supposed to rebuke her.

Hyperventilation Over the Trade Deficit

The biggest reason for the increase is that the Trump economy is doing so well.

Save Social Security or Expand It?

Democrats have a plan to keep it solvent, but, of course, it would do just the opposite.

Miserable Military Housing but Billions for Illegals

Illegal aliens gain greater government focus than do U.S. military personnel and their families.

Is Trump’s Free Speech EO a Good Idea?

His proposed order oversteps executive authority and creates sketchy future precedent.

The Day Liberals Went Brain Dead

From Obama’s arrogance to investigating Trump to the mindless Green New Deal…

Video: The Abortion Enthusiasts … Who Are They?

Largely childless women who believe almost any professional goal is preferable to kids.

Today’s Opinion

Michael Reagan
Illegals Hurt Latinos Most
Mona Charen
If You’re Serious About Climate…
David Harsanyi
Democrats Keep Trying to Cover Up Their Anti-Semitism
Rich Lowry
Yes, There’s a Crisis at the Border
Caroline C. Lewis
Relationships, Career, and the Meaning of Success
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday Top Headline Summary

“Bigotry” resolution, Manafort sentenced, tax-refund stats, jobs numbers, Stormy Daniels lawsuit, impeachment, and more.

Friday Short Cuts

“I think the $33 trillion price tag for Medicare for All is a little scary.” —Democrat Rep. Cheri Bustos

Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

News – 3/8/2019

‘Time for a Jewish Exodus from the Democratic party’
Elizabeth Pipko, a 23-year-old Jewish figure skater-turned-model, who recently launched the ‘’JEXODUS’ movement, calling for a “mass Jewish exodus from the Democratic party”.
House Democrats were drawn into an internecine fight over their party’s response to a string of anti-Semitic controversies sparked by Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s criticism of Israel supporters and allegations Jewish groups had bought off lawmakers to support Israel. Her suggestions that supporters of Israel were guilty of ‘dual loyalties’ or allegiance to a foreign power were decried as anti-Semitic by Republicans and even some Democrats. I think we saw it in the Obama presidency, the turn towards anti-Israel policies, accompanied by a rise in anti-Semitism in our country. And its only gotten worse, and right now we have anti-Semitism in the halls of Congress. So if not now, when?”

Islamic Waqf Refuses Order of Israeli Court to Withdraw from Temple Mount
The court ordered that the “Gate of Mercy” (Sha’ar HaRachamim) be closed by next Monday. However, Waqf Council chairman Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab refused, not only vowing the area would “remain open for Muslims to pray,” but demanding that Israel permit the Waqf to renovate the site. He also demanded that Israeli revoke orders against dozens of Waqf officials and guards who have been banned from the Temple Mount.

Top U.S. general: Fight against ISIS not over – report
ISIS is “waiting for the right time to resurge,” according to the top US general overseeing military operations in the Middle East. Gen. Joseph Votel said that despite ISIS’ territorial loss, the fight against ISIS is “far from over.” Rather, he said, the group is positioning itself for a potential resurgence. “This ISIS population being evacuated from the remaining vestiges of the caliphate largely remains unrepentant, unbroken and radicalized,” Votel said, noting that in the next phase, “we will see low-level attacks, we’ll see assassinations, we’ll see IED attacks, we’ll see ambush type things as they begin to emerge from this.”

A synagogue on the Temple Mount? Activists say let the Jews move in
According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzel (Otzma Yehudit) and members of the rabbinate. Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the First and Second Temples used to sit.

The U.S. peace plan will divide Jerusalem – Saudi reporter
Saudi Arabia has been in touch with the US administration regarding the peace initiative, as it is rumored that the deal will include recognition of Israel by surrounding Arab countries.

House approves resolution condemning hatred
While critics argued Omar should have been directly named in the resolution, a number of progressives and members of key minority caucuses stood by her this week, balking at the suggestion she be singled out and calling for the language to be broadened to include the condemnation of other forms of bigotry.

Petition seeks deportation for Ilhan Omar
She’s already the target of a petition demanding her resignation. Now, the Department of Homeland Security is being urged to investigate her and begin deportation or other removal proceedings. The petition was submitted to DHS by former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayman, who this week added a demand that the House of Representatives “investigate, consider and take remedial action” on the issue.

U.S. House passes resolution condemning antisemitism
After democratic lawmakers revised a resolution condemning antisemitism to include broad condemnation of hate in all its forms, the US House of Representatives passed the new legislation… “We are pleased the House of Representatives took a firm stance against anti-Semitism, including making an explicit statement rejecting the pernicious myth of dual loyalty and other vile slurs…,” the Anti-Defamation League…said…”We strongly agree that anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and other forms of hate constitute a threat to our democracy.”

Finland’s government resigns over failed healthcare reform
Finland’s entire government has resigned over its failure to achieve a key policy goal on social welfare and healthcare reform. Prime Minister Juha Sipila said he was “hugely disappointed” in the outcome. Finland’s extensive welfare systems are under financial pressure as the nation’s population ages, yet reform plans remain politically controversial.

Venezuela power cuts: Blackouts hit Caracas and spread
The power cut plunged the capital Caracas into almost complete darkness during rush hour on Thursday, before extending to other areas. The government of President Nicolás Maduro has blamed the opposition, accusing them of sabotage. It comes amid rising tensions over opposition efforts – backed by the US and some Latin American countries – to remove Mr Maduro from power.

Students at elite Washington school projected swastikas during assembly
High school students at the elite Sidwell Friends School displayed swastikas during an afternoon assembly Wednesday, the head of the private academy informed families in a letter. The incident happened during an interactive portion of a presentation about a student-run nonprofit that uses soccer to build community among refugee children in the Washington region, according to the letter.

Adults won’t take climate change seriously. So we, the youth, are forced to strike.
We, the youth of America, are fed up with decades of inaction on climate change. On Friday, March 15, young people like us across the United States will strike from school. We strike to bring attention to the millions of our generation who will most suffer the consequences of increased global temperatures, rising seas, and extreme weather. But this isn’t a message only to America.

Historic avalanche danger causes havoc in Colorado mountains
Historic avalanche danger caused havoc in the Colorado mountains Thursday, shutting down portions of two highways and prompting a rare warning for drivers to avoid a route leading to some of the state’s busiest ski resorts. After another round of heavy snow, at least three major snow slides buried vehicles and ruptured a natural gas line. No injuries were reported.

Heads bowed to the ground, suspected IS members surrender
Suspected Islamic State group members, including foreign fighters, sat in a long line in a field of bright yellow flowers, exhausted and hunched over as they were questioned and searched Thursday by U.S.-led coalition members and Kurdish fighters. They were the latest group to surrender from the besieged final pocket of Syrian territory held by the militant group.

New Russian bill introduces punishment for insulting state
Russian lawmakers passed legislation Thursday that imposes restrictions on online media and criminalizes anyone who insults the state. The bill introduces fines for publishing materials showing disrespect to the state, its symbols and government organs. Repeat offenders could face a 15-day jail sentence.

Lebanon warns neighbours against using disputed territory for Israel’s EastMed gas pipeline
Lebanon on Thursday warned its Mediterranean neighbours that a planned EastMed gas pipeline from Israel to the European Union must not be allowed to violate its maritime borders. Beirut has an unresolved maritime border dispute with Israel – which it regards as an enemy country – over a sea area of about 860 sq km (330 square miles) extending along the edge of three of Lebanon’s southern energy blocks.

Suicide, alcohol, drug deaths reach all-time high
The number of deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide in 2017 hit the highest level since federal data collection started in 1999, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by two public health nonprofits.

36 Christians in Greece arrested for erecting a massive cross to scare off Muslim migrants
Police arrested 35 Greek citizens and an Albanian man on the Greek island of Lesbos for raising a giant metallic cross meant to deter migrants and refugees from reaching the island.

Trumps Deal of the Century will force Israel to give up half of Jerusalem to the Muslims for their own state
Saudi Arabia has been in touch with the US administration regarding the peace initiative, as it is rumored that the deal will include recognition of Israel by surrounding Arab countries.

Facebook To Begin Deleting Groups And Pages That ‘Spread Misinformation’ On The Risks And Dangers Of Vaccinations
When I first became a parent some years ago, I did my research on the risks, benefits and known dangers of vaccinating your child. The Internet was still in its infancy, pardon the pun, but even at that time there much evidence to pour over. I concluded my research by deciding to not have our kids vaxxed, opting instead for raising them in a healthy and largely organic lifestyle. Today my children are robust and healthy and with one or two notable exceptions, almost never need to visit the doctor.

Pedophiles Demand to be Part of LGBT Community, Call for ‘Normalization’
Pedophiles are now attempting to ‘rebrand’ themselves as ‘MAP’ (Minor-Attracted Persons) in a strange effort to be accepted into the LGBT community by ‘normalizing’ pedophilia.

Perry HS (AZ) Goes Full Gestapo and Declares Itself to be a Constitutional Free Zone
..at Perry High School in Arizona, the administration has decided what political views will be tolerated and which ones will not be honored. Last week at this school, students were singled out for the political expression of wearing MAGA clothing, they were harassed, belittled and even punished for participating in an administratively sponsored event at the school.

More than 140 children may have had their hearts removed in ancient sacrifice in Peru
Anthropologists have found evidence of a mass ritual killing that involved the deaths of more than 140 children, three adults, and at least 200 young llamas on the northern coast of Peru.

Joe Biden Confronted Over Child Molesting Claims At CSPAN LIVE Event
Joe Biden is a prime example of the permissiveness that infests the inner circle of the D.C. Satanists and pedophiles?The pedophilia problem in government is the elephant in the room, and it used to keep politicians in check.

Sadiq Khan Admits Defeat on London’s Knife Crime Epidemic: ‘I’ve Done All I Can’
As the British government prepares to send military troops to deal with violence in the capital, London Mayor Sadiq Khan rolled his eyes as he admitted defeat on London’s knife crime epidemic.

Southern Poverty Law Center website triggered FRC shooting
The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.

Largest Child Porn Bust in History Ignored By Mainstream Media
Norwegian Police has just uncovered over 150 terabytes of child porn, in the largest child sex abuse case in modern history, according to reports.

Election Fraud: Brenda Snipes Destroyed Ballots & Allowed Aliens, Felons to Vote
As the controversy swirls around the election results in Florida, at the eye of the storm is an official who has a long history of losing and destroying ballots and breaking laws by allowing felons and illegal immigrants to vote.

Headlines – 3/8/2019

Jason Greenblatt urges outside parties to back peace plan, not undermine it

Jason Greenblatt urges outside parties to butt out of peace plan: We will be presenting a plan that is fair, realistic and implementable. There will have to be compromises of course.

Yair Lapid Outlines Four Demands for Peace With Palestinians

Palestinian negotiator calls for boycott of new US embassy unit

Abbas expected to tap longtime Fatah ally as next PM, officials say

Western Wall Rabbi: Refrain from bringing your war to the Wall

Orthodox groups warn of ‘Reform conquering Western Wall’

Women of Wall forced to move service amid ‘violent’ ultra-Orthodox protest

Israeli forces gird for fresh violence as tensions mount in Jerusalem, Gaza

Netanyahu warns Hamas over uptick in Gaza border violence

Netanyahu: Israel will strike Gaza doubly hard for every Hamas attack

Future conflicts will bring ‘widespread missile fire on Israel,’ cautions former IAF chief

Settler says outpost neighbors torched her house due to romance with Palestinian

Under threat of indictment, Netanyahu enters campaign’s final weeks

US House passes resolution against anti-Semitism, bigotry after Omar remarks

Full text of House Resolution against hate, including anti-Semitism

US Jews divided by House resolution condemning anti-Semitism, bigotry

Emotional Meghan McCain slams anti-Semitism: ‘What Ilhan Omar is saying is very scary’

Omar retweets post blasting Meghan McCain for ‘faux outrage’ in response to Omar’s remarks on Israel

‘A lesson for life’: Holocaust survivor educates California teens after ‘horrible’ party

Holocaust survivor who is stepsister of Anne Frank says swastika-party teens apologized

Lebanon Warns Israel Not to Violate Maritime Borders in Construction of Gas Pipeline

Syria war: Lawyers submit first war crimes cases against Assad

Tulsi Gabbard Slams ‘Regime Change Wars’ Using Footage of Assad Bombings

Waves of people still leaving Islamic State’s last Syrian enclave

Heads bowed to the ground, suspected IS members surrender

Top US general warns of ‘calculated’ ISIS retreat from Syria amid ongoing battle for remaining territory

Egyptian forces kill seven militants near Cairo, says government

Algeria’s Bouteflika warns of ‘chaos’ ahead of protests against him

Four dead in Somali capital car bombing, says police

Germany charges couple who tested ricin on hamster with plotting Islamist attack

Guards set fire to tires, block gates to 18 prisons in France after ‘terror attack’

Iran strives to be a ‘regional hegemon’: US Commander

US urges UN to impose sanctions on Iran – warns Security Council that Iran’s recent missile-related launches could be capable of delivering nuclear weapons

Saudi Arabia rebuked over detention of women activists at UN forum

For Kremlin, Ukrainian election a choice between lesser of three evils

Afghanistan: Explosions target political gathering in Kabul

India and Pakistan Are Flirting With Nuclear Disaster

As Its Conflict With Pakistan Heats Up, India Looks to Israel for Arms, Tactics

Pakistan seizes religious schools in intensified crackdown on militants

Taiwan seeks new warplanes from U.S. as tension with China mounts

North Korea Escalates Rhetoric Following Reports of New Nuclear Activity

North Korea condemns US-South Korea military drill

U.S. open to North Korea talks despite missile program activity

Jimmy Carter offers to visit North Korea to try and break nuclear stalemate

Trump’s Venezuela envoy vows sanctions on banks backing Maduro

Venezuela hit by major blackout, government blames ‘sabotage’

Rubio: Starving Venezuelans about to suffer in ‘a way we have not seen’

Senators push Trump on emergency legal status for 74,000 Venezuelans

Trump reverses Obama-era policy requiring US to report on civilian casualties in drone strikes

White House prepares for Robert Mueller’s report, whatever it says

‘Humiliated and ashamed’: Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison

Manafort sentencing marks rare reprieve for Trump world in Mueller probe

Mike Huckabee: Manafort sentencing has zero, zilch, nada, nothing to do with Russian ‘collusion’

Manafort legal woes to continue with DC sentencing next week, possibly new charges in NY

Trump: I did not break campaign finance laws

Michael Cohen sues Trump Organization over legal fees

U.S. judge dismisses Stormy Daniels’ hush-money agreement case vs Trump

Stormy Daniels’ nondisclosure lawsuit dismissed; may have to repay Cohen $130G: report

Trump Threatens to Block News Networks From Holding Future Debates

Commentary: Facebook’s new move isn’t about privacy. It’s about domination

Russian lawmakers pass bill to punish online sites for spreading ‘fake news’

New Russian bill introduces punishment for insulting state

China chat log leak shows scope of surveillance

The mind distracted: technology’s battle for our attention

Restaurants are now employing robots – should chefs be worried?

Philadelphia Is First U.S. City to Ban Cashless Stores

US households see biggest decline in net worth since the financial crisis

More than 1,100 stores closures were announced in a single day as fallout from the retail apocalypse picks up steam

Stocks fall for fourth straight day as European Central Bank flashes warning signs

China’s 21% plunge in exports shows weakening global economy

Oil Spill In Solomon Islands Threatens World Heritage Site

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Coquimbo, Chile

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

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

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Taitung City, Taiwan

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Abepura, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 23,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

Historic avalanche danger causes havoc in Colorado mountains

South Korea plans artificial rain to reduce Seoul air pollution

Worldwide student strike is coming to the U.S. on March 15, as global climate protests cross the rising oceans

How CRISPR could save 6 billion chickens from the meat grinder

More Americans under the age of 40 are having heart attacks

Patients Experiment With Prescription Drugs To Fight Aging

Teen who defied anti-vax mom says she got false information from one source: Facebook

Facebook steps up fight against vaccine misinformation

Violence Impeding Fight Against Ebola in Congo, Group Says

22 states sue Trump rule stripping Planned Parenthood of Title X funding

Georgia heartbeat bill takes step closer to passage after clearing state House committee

Utah Legislature Passes Bill to Legalize Sex Outside of Marriage

A Catholic school refused to admit the child of a same-sex couple. More than 1,000 Catholics signed a protest petition.

Majority of churches in decline or flatlining; nearly half see dip in giving, study says

Killer Mike, Chance the Rapper, Meek Mill to Supreme Court: Pittsburgh rapper’s lyrics are not ‘a true threat of violence’

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Biblically discerning the Lord’s Will

Rick Becker – Taken Captive By False Teachers & False Doctrines – 10 signs

LDS Church, moves away from those three letters to ChurchofJesusChrist.org – more changes on the way

Muslim Mobs Attack 10 Church Buildings in Ethiopia

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RenewAmerica Newsletter for March 8, 2019

March 8, 2019
He is fighting for injured workers’ rights
RENEWAMERICA STAFF — In Utah, unethical “insurance medical examiners” hired to deprive injured workers of guaranteed Workers Compensation medical and other benefits are protected by “state policy” from any liability for harm resulting from their fraudulent examinations…. (more)

March 7, 2019
WES VERNON — One hesitates to use the “T” word, even in times like these when arguably treasonous plots are not only publicized, but in some quarters are almost regarded as “just another day at the office.” “So what” if a scheme is hatched by an acting director of the FBI and a deputy attorney general to topple a president-elect even before he is sworn into the office for which the voters elected him. Failing that, a full power-driven effort has been underway to “stick it” to those same voters for daring to defy the not-so-gentle hints of what is often termed “the Deep State” that the elected head-of-state be ousted…. (more)

March 7, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — On Sunday, New York Post had an editorial about how many millennials embrace “socialism” while not really knowing what it means: “Millennials – – ignorant of socialism’s appalling economic and human-rights history – – increasingly embrace socialism and its naively unrealistic prescriptions for ending all human want.”… (more)

March 7, 2019
REV. MARK H. CREECH — Most people can appreciate a practical joke. Some people are really good at setting them up. During Hollywood’s golden years, there was a fellow in the film industry who was probably the best that there has ever been at practical jokes. Writer and movie director Jack McDermott would go to great lengths to pull off a good one…. (more)

March 7, 2019
NEWSMAX — The massive amount of people trying to enter the United States through Mexico and the drugs that flow across the border daily clearly justify there is a national emergency happening, Bill O’Reilly told Newsmax TV. During his regular Wednesday appearance on “The Wayne Allyn Root Show,” O’Reilly was asked about the pushback President Donald Trump is receiving from both sides of the political aisle regarding his national emergency declaration to build more barriers at the southern border…. (more)

March 7, 2019
1 month ago branded Trump liar for declaring emergency
ART MOORE — One month ago, the New York Times claimed in a “fact check” there was “no emergency” at the southern border, but now the “paper of record” says the border is at a “breaking point.” Breitbart News pointed out that the Times branded President Trump a liar when he said during his State of the Union address last month that there is an “urgent national crisis” at the border with Mexico…. (more)

March 7, 2019
DAILY CALLER — Fox News host Sean Hannity introduced the topic by noting that Graham has “been in the forefront trying to urge [his] Senate colleagues that this is a national emergency.” “Well, what did we learn today?” Graham began, referring to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s remarks before Congress about the sharp rise in border apprehensions. “We had the border patrol commissioner and DHS Secretary Neilsen testify that family apprehensions have gone up 335 percent…. (more)

March 7, 2019
CDC warned staff of infections in 2016 without informing public
WORLDNETDAILY — More than 200 Georgia high school students were tested for tuberculosis after a student was diagnosed with the disease, the third case in the state in two weeks. The Gwinnett County Health Department said a Discovery High School student was being treated for TB, reported WSB-TV in Atlanta on Tuesday…. (more)

March 7, 2019
Say vaccines are necessarily risky
WORLDNETDAILY — A prominent physicians’ organization that strongly opposes mandated vaccines is urging the federal government to let parents make medical decisions for their children. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons’ letter to the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions comes amid a new attack on opponents of mandatory vaccination because of minor outbreaks of measles…. (more)

March 7, 2019
NEWSMAX — The Democratic National Committee will not allow Fox News to televise any of its candidates’ political debates through 2020, citing a report on the conservative media network’s ties to President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reported Wednesday…. (more)

March 7, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are demanding access to Obama administration documents that were used to brief Congress and the Trump and Clinton campaigns about Russian interference in the 2016 election…. (more)

March 6, 2019
Obama appointee tries to knock down reputation for deceiving Congress
WORLDNETDAILY — Obama administration National Security Agency director James Clapper is claiming he didn’t lie to Congress when he told members that the NSA didn’t collect “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans.” The truth was that it did…. (more)

March 6, 2019
NEWSMAX — The Trump administration warned Republican lawmakers Tuesday about record numbers of illegal crossings at the southern border with Mexico as Congress appeared to be on the verge of terminating President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency there…. (more)

March 6, 2019
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — A U.S. company is offering to build 234 miles of President Trump’s border wall for just $1.4 billion, a fraction of the $8 billion the Trump administration is hoping to use for that project…. (more)

March 6, 2019
WORLDNETDAILY — A former commissioner for the Federal Election Commission believes jail time is possible for freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., because of her control of a political action committee while running an election campaign…. (more)

March 6, 2019
THE HILL — CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Tuesday asked Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) what she thinks “the U.S. should have done post-9/11 regarding Afghanistan” after the freshman congresswoman said that both the GOP and Democrats led her generation “into a disastrous” and “wrong war” and called for an end to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF)…. (more)

March 5, 2019
MICHELLE MALKIN — Watch out. Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley have locked their sights on the next targets of a frightening free speech-squelching purge: independent citizens who dare to raise questions online about the safety and efficacy of vaccines…. (more)

March 5, 2019
ALAN KEYES — The president’s ultimate duty is to avoid tyranny while preserving the nation’s sovereign, constitutional existence…. (more)

March 4, 2019
NEWSMAX — Attorney General William Barr said he won’t recuse himself from being in charge of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a major development affecting the fate of the politically charged probe into President Donald Trump…. (more)

March 4, 2019
NEWSMAX — Americans are least favorable toward a presidential candidate who’s a socialist or older than 75, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that said President Donald Trump’s approval rating ticked up in the past month…. (more)

March 4, 2019
JOE KOVACS — Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has launched a ferocious attack on U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calling her an “immature bully” and “pompous little twit” with “ZERO expertise” who is “going for the jugular of civilization” and “would bring about mass death.”… (more)

March 4, 2019
(With apologies to CBN)
(CBN NEWS) — A dangerous new internet craze is raising concern among parents and law-enforcement officials. The “Momo Challenge” encourages people to text a random number on the free messaging app called “WhatsApp.” A creepy bird woman responds back, asking the user to perform a series of escalating dares. If they do not complete the challenges, the number threatens to leak their personal information to friends, family members, and strangers…. (more)

March 4, 2019
DAILY WIRE — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has responded to reports that, despite being the author of the extreme environmental legislation known as the Green New Deal, she has a far larger carbon footprint than the average American, and does not appear to have made any changes to her lifestyle, despite her apocalyptic environmental predictions…. (more)

March 3, 2019
CHRISTIAN HEADLINES — Senator Kamala Harris recently shared that she is in favor of decriminalizing prostitution and sex work. According to Life Site News, the 2020 presidential hopeful said that despite her previous crack down on sex work when she was California’s Attorney General, she would like to see prostitution – – between two consenting adults – – decriminalized…. (more)

March 3, 2019
Joseph Farah shines light on recent poll that’s ‘a media nightmare’
JOSEPH FARAH — A Gallup poll was released last Friday that didn’t get much notice – – perhaps because of the hour it came out or maybe because the media disapproved. But it was shocking – – even to me for whom it was not bad news. The headline from Gallup, hardly known as a “conservative” pollster: “Conservatives Greatly Outnumber Liberals in 19 U.S. States.”… (more)


Weekly Watchman for 03/08/2019

Christian Concerns, Comments, and Questions

Pastors and elders are called to be strong, loving, spiritually mature men that guard and protect the flock of Jesus Christ assigned to them.  They are to stand and fight against disguised wolves that bring false doctrines into the church, guarding the people Jesus has entrusted to them. But a growing number of Christians are seeing that biblical job description morphing into something completely different, where some pastors are corporate leaders and CEOs instead of teachers, nurturers and protectors.  This is one of the subjects on the minds of our listeners in today’s Q&A podcast.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The Religion of Socialism

Make no mistake, socialism is not the end game, but merely the means by which a people enslave themselves and worship government instead of God.  Socialism inevitably leads to godless Communism.  It is every bit the false religion that Islam is, setting us up to follow and worship Anti-Christ when he appears on the scene.With a growing number of Americans approving of Socialism, Democrats selling out to it, and a church that stands neutral in the battle, America is possibly on the brink of leading the world to the feet of Anti-Christ when he presents himself as “savior” with solutions to the world’s problems.The amazing thing about those who desire Communism is how they ignore history and the facts; it has always destroyed nations and economies that have enacted it, and the very system socialists claim will free us, instead enslaves us.  Our nation is going through it’s Romans 1 moment in which God has turned us over to a debased mind to believe lies and act with unrestrained evil.Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Council joins us in our first segment to discuss the importance of knowing what and who you are voting for, and the increasing pressure being put on Christians to conform to this world.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Indoctrination: ‘Coexist’ With Lies and False Teachings?

Government education in America kicked God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments out of public schools over fifty years ago leaving a massive spiritual void. The doors were then flung open to Atheism, evolution, Humanism, witchcraft, Islam, Liberalism, sexual promiscuity, the LGBTQ agenda, and recently, Buddhism.

All the religions in the world cannot possibly be true, but in a secular culture influenced by postmodernism, people don’t want to hear there is only one way to God. But if you’re sincerely seeking truth, I suggest you take a look at Jesus before trying everything else. But many people prefer the coexist philosophy even though world religions contradict each other. The coexist slogan was actually created to oppose Christianity, and demand that we keep our beliefs to ourselves. Public schools follow this philosophy and insist we conform and tolerate all behavior as well as other religious claims.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Persecution is Coming Soon to American Christians

We are blessed to reconnect with former Mayor of Shiloh, Israel, David Rubin about the pending corruption charges against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the peculiar timing of these allegations just before an election, and the impact on Israel and the Middle East should Netanyahu lose his re-election bid.President Trump is also preparing to roll out his Middle East Peace Plan, and David shares his thoughts and concerns. David Rubin is also the founder of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund which helps children heal from the trauma of terrorism.In our second segment today, we look at Step 2 of the 5 Step Plan to bring persecution upon disciples of Jesus Christ in America.  We covered step 1 on Monday: creating doubt about the Bible’s truth, has already been successfully implemented in a growing number of churches.  Step 2: Preaching human unity over biblical truth in churches.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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A Clear Choice for Christians

The most difficult decisions in life come when there is ambiguity and confusion and we are not quite sure of the effects of our beliefs and decisions.  Satan thrives in this world of confusion, convincing us something might be good when in reality it is dangerous or evil.  But when direction, intent and consequences become clear we are able to move forward and make correct decisions in life.America has become increasingly confused morally and spiritually over the past 50 years.  And as a result a growing number of professing Christian Churches and Christians themselves have become confused on issues that God is clear about in His Word.This morning we discuss what the next presidential election will really be about:  Should the U.S. remain a sovereign nation or become the leader in the growing globalist movement that leads to Anti-Christ coming on the scene with his “solutions” to our problems?  Now the Bible tells us it is inevitable that Anti-Christ will rise to power and be given great authority, so it’s really a matter of if the U.S. supports or opposes his agenda…the same question the professing Christian Church in America faces.Pastor and best-selling Author Carl Gallups has studied the bible’s prophecies and this inevitable march toward globalism at length and joins us to discuss the challenge before us as believers.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Confusion by Creating Doubt About Truth

Over the eight years on this show, we have covered a lot of news and trends in society as well as within the church.  One of our primary focuses has been to expose the darkness and draw a clear picture of a world growing more and more evil.  The vast majority of our public institutions have sold out to Satan’s agenda of globalism under the rule of his puppet, Anti-Christ.  In just the past three years we have witnessed new levels of evil being called good by Hollywood, the media, public education, the courts, and the government:Homosexual marriage legalized by the Supreme CourtChristian business owners and individuals denied their freedom of religious expressionThe rapid advancement of gender confusion and dysphoriaThe celebration of (legal) infanticideSo what are Christians to do? Get back to the basics of our faith in Christ, and don’t be surprised. The Word of God tells us that in the latter days evil would become the norm in our society.  God also tells us that one called “Anti-Christ” will rise to power and deceive many into thinking he is actually the savior of this world.  But before Anti-Christ is revealed something very important and tragic happens:  there is a great apostasy within the professing Christian Church.  (2 Thessalonians)We will continue to point out the growing evil of this world as it marches to worshiping Satan through Anti-Christ one day soon.  We will equip you with how to disarm and confront the growing deception of this world and its institutions.  But we will also focus more on this growing apostasy within the professing church that the Bible says many professing Christians will fall for.  Today we look at what Mike believes is Step One of Satan’s master plan to bring persecution upon true believers in America in the next few years.  How many churches will remain faithful to God when persecution comes – and how many will submit to Caesar instead?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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New study reveals that Majority of churches in decline or flatlining and nearly half see dip in giving

New study reveals that Majority of churches in decline or flatlining and nearly half see dip in giving(CP) – A majority of churches have fewer than 100 people attending services each Sunday and have declined or nearly flatlined in membership growth, according to a new study from Exponential by LifeWay Research. The study, which was conducted to help churches better understand growth in the pews, showed that most Protestant churches are not doing well attracting new Christian converts, reporting an average of less than one each month. “The primary purpose of this study was to obtain a set of objective

measures on churches’ reproduction and multiplication behaviors today as well as to understand their core context of growth,” Todd Wilson, chief executive officer of Exponential, said in a release from LifeWay research. “By combining these measures, we can help churches think about multiplication.” The study found that 6 in 10 Protestant churches had plateaued or declined in attendance in the past 12 months and more than half saw fewer than 10 people become new Christians. READ MORE

Stock Rollover Could Be Starting, Says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

The NYSE Index is facing a very important price level as Momentum and the MACD are at the highest levels in a year!

The 9-week rally from the late December lows has the NYSE index facing the October, November, December highs and its 78% retracement this past week.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- Momentum, MACD, and the NYSE index look to be rolling over from levels that could send a big-time caution message to the bullish case!

Below looks at the yield on the 10-year note (TNX) over the past 25-years

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- The bullish case for stocks hopes another rollover isn’t taking place here! If support breaks at (1), look for stocks to decline in price along with yields.

Stock Rollover Could Be Starting, Says Joe Friday — Kimble Charting Solutions

THE LIST: More than 100 Times the FBI, DOJ and/or Mueller Gang “Deviated from Standard Practice” or Committed Crimes in Effort to Exonerate Hillary and Indict Trump — The Gateway Pundit

The FBI leadership under the Obama Administration took many actions that deviated from standard practice and/or were corrupt and/or criminal in their efforts to exonerate Hillary from her crimes and then spy and frame candidate and then President Trump.  Today current members of the FBI are embarrassed to even turn on their TV’s as a result.

Time magazine of all places reported recently about the many efforts the FBI took related to Hillary exoneration and then the Trump framing.  These corrupt and criminal actions have taken a desperate toll on the current members of the FBI –

In normal times, the televisions are humming at the FBI’s 56 field offices nationwide, piping in the latest news as agents work their investigations. But these days, some agents say, the TVs are often off to avoid the crush of bad stories about the FBI itself. The bureau, which is used to making headlines for nabbing crooks, has been grabbing the spotlight for unwanted reasons: fired leaders, texts between lovers and, most of all, attacks by President Trump. “I don’t care what channel it’s on,” says Tom O’Connor, a veteran investigator in Washington who leads the FBI Agents Association. “All you hear is negative stuff about the FBI … It gets depressing.”

Of course the employees of the FBI are in a funk, their fearless and corrupt leaders, as well as leaders in Obama’s corrupt DOJ, went to extravagant links to exonerate the obvious criminal actions of Hillary Clinton, and then to do all they could to prevent candidate Trump from winning an election.  Then once the election was won by President Trump, they went to unheard of depths of deceit and corruption to attempt to remove him from office.

Here’s a list of more than 100 actions the Deep State FBI and DOJ took that were either outside of policy and/or were corrupt and/or were criminal surrounding the 2016 Presidential election and exoneration of Hillary Clinton and the setup/attempts to remove Donald Trump from office –

Read more: THE LIST: More than 100 Times the FBI, DOJ and/or Mueller Gang “Deviated from Standard Practice” or Committed Crimes in Effort to Exonerate Hillary and Indict Trump — The Gateway Pundit

Party Adamantly Opposed To Hate Struggles To Pass Resolution Condemning Hate — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The party of love and tolerance which is adamantly opposed to hatred in all its forms struggled mightily before finally passing a resolution that vaguely condemns hate, sources confirmed Thursday.

Only after revising the language several times and making sure the resolution didn’t condemn any specific acts of hate was the Democratic Party able to pass the anti-hate resolution.

“We are opposed to hate in all its forms,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a speech Thursday afternoon, after desperately trying to get Democrats to sign onto the resolution. “And we can show how much we’re against hate if we can word this resolution to condemn the specific kinds of hate we’re against while not turning off any Democrats who are actually in favor of a particular brand of hate.”

Party Adamantly Opposed To Hate Struggles To Pass Resolution Condemning Hate — The Babylon Bee

March 8, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

5. Is it such a fast as I have chosen? He confirms the preceding statement, and shews that fasting is neither desired nor approved by God in itself, but so far as it is directed to its true end. He did not wish that it should be altogether abolished, but the improper use of it; that is, because they believed the worship of God to consist in it, and by neglecting or even despising true godliness, thought that bodily exercise was enough; just as hypocrites always put forward external ceremonies, as if they were satisfactions to appease God.

Again, because men, through their rashness, define what is the worship of God, he expressly refers us to his own will, that we may not suppose that he approves of everything which our own judgment pronounces to be right. Although men are well pleased with themselves, and swell with astonishing haughtiness, and indulge in insolent boasting, the Lord rejects and abhors them, because he claims for himself alone the right to “choose.” Now, “to choose” a thing is of the same import as “to take pleasure in it.”

And hanging his head like a bulrush. He says that he is not delighted if a man passes a day in hunger, and then walks with a sad and downcast look. The Prophet employs an appropriate metaphor; because the bulrush, though it is straight, is easily bent. So hypocrites bend themselves, and bow down the head, as if under the influence of oppressive leanness, or display some empty appearance of humility. The Prophet therefore intended to censure superstitious attitudes, in which hypocrites imagine that there is some holiness.

And spread sackcloth and ashes. These things also were added to fasting, especially when they made solemn professions of repentance; for they clothed themselves with “sackcloth,” and threw “ashes” on their head. (Joel 1:13.) Now, such an exercise was holy and approved by God; and we see that the prophets, while they exhort the people to repentance, cry aloud for “sackcloth and ashes.” But as we have said that fasting is not here condemned on its own account, so Isaiah does not condemn those outward ceremonies, but reproves hypocrites for separating them from reality.

If it be asked, Are “sackcloth” and “ashes” suitable to our time? I reply, they are indifferent matters, which may be used for edification; but in the light of the Gospel, which has brought liberty to us, we have no need of such figures. At the same time, we should attend to the difference between Eastern nations, which make use of a great abundance and variety of ceremonies, and Western nations, whose habits are far more simple. If we wished to imitate the former, it would be nothing else than to enact the part of apes, or of stage-players. Yet there is nothing to hinder those who intend to confess their guilt, from wearing soiled and tattered garments, after the manner used by suppliants.

A day acceptable to Jehovah. Hence it is evident that to solemn prayer, when a holy assembly was held, there was added fasting; for fasting, as we have already said, is an appendage to prayer; as we see that it was added to prayer by Christ himself. (Matt. 17:21.) It is not appointed, therefore, for its own sake, but is directed to a different end.[1]

5 Having set the scene, the rest of the chapter is a lesson on proper worship. The criteria for such worship turn on what God chooses, not what the people like to do, but what God requires of any “human being” (אדם). Does God rejoice in seeing a person “wilt” like a plant without water, as when “he spreads sackcloth and ashes?” Is the fast they observe “a day acceptable to YHWH?” The question is answered by a question, but the implication is no, it is not.[2]

58:5 Is it a fast that I have chosen: For related passages, see 1:10–15; Amos 5:21–23; Mic. 6:7. The people’s fast was not an acceptable day to the Lord because it focused on self-righteousness and not on justice for others. Bow down and spread out refer to the mourning ceremonies that accompanied fasting (2 Sam. 12:16; Joel 1:13, 14). Like a bulrush is meant to signify humility (42:3).[3]

58:5 Isaiah uses sarcasm to dismiss false piety. What establishes true religion is not what is acceptable to man but what is acceptable to the Lord (cf. Ps. 51:17; Isa. 56:6–7).[4]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 4, pp. 230–232). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Watts, J. D. W. (2005). Isaiah 34–66 (Revised Edition, Vol. 25, p. 843). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 867). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1346). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

March 8 Responding to Tribulation

scripture reading: Job 1–2
key verse: Job 2:10

He said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

The reason many of us are surprised by trials is that we have a subconsciously held notion that suffering can somehow bypass us. In When Life Isn’t Fair, Dr. Dwight Carlson and Susan Carlson Wood relate this concept:

This assumption that if you live a good life you will be granted immunity from life’s difficulties permeates our society. So many people proceed blindly until tragedy strikes, thinking they are immune from disaster because they are good.

I have often noticed that many Christians hold a non–verbalized, unconscious belief that a dedicated follower of Christ should be immune to misfortunes.… This unconscious belief surfaces quickly when misfortune strikes; the person becomes bitter and may even reject God. But God never promised that He would insulate you from misfortune. God may intervene at His sovereign choosing—but it is not our divine right to demand His intervention.

Your response to tribulation and its effects can be vastly different when you understand the character of God and His purposes.

I have not always understood when problems came, dear Lord. Help me comprehend Your character and purposes, then let me respond properly to suffering.[1]

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

8 march (1857) 365 Days with Spurgeon

A faithful friend

“There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

suggested further reading: Proverbs 27:6–10

You have a friend, have you? Yes; and he keeps a pair of horses, and has a good establishment. Ah! but your best way to prove your friend is to know that he will be your friend when you have not so much as a mean cottage; and when homeless and without clothing, you are driven to beg for your bread. Thus you would make true proof of a friend. Give me a friend who was born in the winter time, whose cradle was rocked in the storm; he will last. Our fair weather friends shall flee away from us. I had rather have a robin for a friend than a swallow; for a swallow abides with us only in the summer time, but a robin cometh to us in the winter. Those are tight friends that will come the nearest to us when we are in the most distress; but those are not friends who speed themselves away when ill times come. Believer, have you reason to fear that Christ will leave you now? Has he not been with you in the house of mourning? You found your friend where men find pearls, “In caverns deep, where darkness dwells;” you found Jesus in your hour of trouble. It was on the bed of sickness that you first learned the value of his name; it was in the hour of mental anguish that you first did lay hold of the hem of his garment; and since then, your nearest and sweetest intercourse has been held with him in hours of darkness. Well then, such a friend, proved in the house of sorrow—a friend who gave his heart’s blood for you, and let his soul run out in one great river of blood—such a friend never can and never will forsake you; he sticketh closer than a brother.

for meditation: God offered us the hand of friendship when we were his enemies (Romans 5:10)—it cost the Lord Jesus Christ his life to make us his friends (John 15:13–15). How much do you display your side of the friendship in a world which has no time for the cause of Christ (James 4:4)?

sermon no. 120[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 74). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

8 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

The Purpose of the Sabbath

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High. Psalm 92:1

suggested further reading: Isaiah 1:12–18

As the psalm’s inscription says, the Jews were in the habit of singing Psalm 92 on the Sabbath day. It is apparent in other passages that other psalms were also applied to this use. As the words may be literally read in the Hebrew, it is good for giving thanks unto the Lord. The psalmist says it is good to have a certain day set apart for singing the praises of God; it is a useful arrangement that one day is chosen on which the Lord’s people can celebrate God’s works.

The reason the psalmist dedicates this psalm to the Sabbath is obvious. The day is not to be holy in the sense of our being devoted to idleness, as if idleness could be acceptable worship to God, but in the sense of separating ourselves from all other occupations so that we can meditate upon divine works. Because our minds are inconstant, we are apt to wander from God when exposed to various distractions. We need to be disentangled from all cares if we would seriously apply ourselves to the praises of God.

The psalmist teaches us that rightly observing the Sabbath does not consist of idleness, as some absurdly imagine, but in the celebration of the divine name. The argument that he makes is drawn from the profitableness of service, for nothing is more encouraging than to know that our labor is not in vain and that what we engage in meets with divine approbation.

for meditation: The Lord did not give us the Sabbath so that we might fritter it away doing nothing profitable. It is given so that we might focus on him and on his Word, and keeping it is a matter of the heart. Take a moment to re-examine how you spend your Sabbaths. Is there room for improvement?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 86). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Friday Briefing March 8, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

Why the push for confidential medical advice for adolescents is actually a bigger deal than the Wall Street Journal suggests

The therapy generation: What millennials seeking out therapeutic help communicates about a generation starving for meaningful community

The drug problem of American children: Why no pill can ever fully treat the deepest issues of the human heart

The post Friday, March 8, 2019 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Download MP3

— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/03/08/briefing-3-8-19/

March 8, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27  So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ge 1:24–27). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

The Sixth Day

Genesis 1:24–27

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

In our study of the days of creation I have set the sixth day off from the other five, because man is created on the sixth day and there is something special about his creation. He is the peak of creation. Moreover, from this point on the story of Genesis is the story of man—in rebellion against God but also as the object of his special love and redemption.

To say that man is the most important part of creation might be thought a chauvinistic statement, as though we might as easily say, if we were fish, that fish are most important. But this is not true. Men and women actually are higher than the forms of creation around them. They rule over creation, for one thing—not by mere force of strength, for many animals are stronger, but by the power of their minds and personalities. Men and women also have “God-consciousness,” which the animals do not have. No animal is guilty of moral or spiritual sin. Nor do animals consciously “glorify God, and enjoy him forever.” The Bible stresses man’s high position when it says toward the end of the creation account: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (vv. 26–27).

In these verses the uniqueness of man and his superiority to the rest of creation are expressed in three ways. First, he is said to have been made “in God’s image.” This is not said of either objects or animals. Second, he is given dominion over the fish, birds, animals, and even the earth itself. Third, there is a repetition of the word “created.” This word is used at only three points in the creation narrative: first, when God created matter from nothing (v. 1); second, when God created conscious life (v. 21); and third, when God created man (v. 27). This is a progression, from the body (matter) to soul (personality) to spirit (life with God-consciousness). Lest we should miss this, the word “create” is repeated three times over in reference to the man and woman. As Francis Schaeffer writes, “It is as though God put exclamation points here to indicate that there is something special about the creation of man.”

How Old is Man?

How old is man? This is a troublesome question, because there seems to be a conflict between the account in Genesis and the apparent evidence of science on this point. The various biblical genealogies (Genesis 5 is the earliest example) suggest that man is on the order of thousands—perhaps ten or twenty thousands—of years old. But anthropologists speak of man or manlike creatures being on the order of 3.5 to 4 million years old. The work of the Leakey family in Kenya and Tanzania provides the best-known examples.

What are we to say of this conflict? It may be impossible to resolve it finally at this stage of our knowledge, but the issues can be put in proportion. First, we must say that this seems to be a real conflict and not merely a case in which we are dealing with two different ways of looking at the same evidence. It has been pointed out by biblical scholars, among them no less a scholar than Princeton’s B. B. Warfield, that the biblical genealogies are not necessarily all-inclusive when they list a series of descendants. That is to say, they may (and in fact do) leave gaps, so that a person identified as a “son” of the person coming before him in the list need not necessarily be a literal son but may be a grandson or great-grandson. Moreover, the gaps may sometimes be quite large, as for example, the summation of the genealogy of Jesus Christ occurring in Matthew 1:1 (“the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham”). Because of this, it is possible, even probable, that the genealogies of Genesis, which suggest a creation of Adam in a time scale of approximately four thousand years before Christ (Bishop Ussher’s date was 4004 b.c.), are actually summations of much longer periods. Still, even if we multiply the figure of four thousand years three, four, or even five times, we are far from what most anthropologists are claiming. An origin of the race on the order of twelve thousand to twenty thousand years ago is very different from an origin of 3.5 to 4 million years ago.

It helps to put the fossil evidence in perspective, however, for not all fossils claimed to be human are necessarily so. Skeletal materials found at sites from historical times are essentially the same as those of modern man, called Homo sapiens (“thinking” or “discerning man”). But as one goes back beyond historical times there are increasing differences. Cro-Magnon man, who is prehistoric and whose remains have been found scattered widely throughout western Europe, was similar to people who exist today. He used bone and stone tools and made cave paintings of animals and other features of his world. Slightly farther back (on the order of one hundred thousand years) is the so-called Neanderthal man. He also used tools and buried his dead. But he was less human in appearance, having a receding forehead and a pronounced jaw. He seems to have been more apelike. Remains of this “man” were found in Europe, Israel, Zambia, and Rhodesia. Still farther back are a number of other essentially “modern” types found in France, Germany, and England, dating from perhaps 250,000 years ago, according to the most accepted calculations.

The so-called Peking man and Java man date from between five hundred thousand to 1 million years ago. Sometimes crude tools have been found with these skeletons, but the chief reason for their being regarded as humans is that they apparently walked upright, hence are designated Homo erectus. Most anthropologists would call Homo erectus the first truly modern man. The discoveries of Richard and Mary Leakey in Africa, while frequently referred to as evidences of ancient men in the secular press, are at best prehuman creatures, even by the Leakeys’ own judgments. They apparently walked upright, but they were quite small—about four feet in height—and had a brain capacity of about one-third that of modern man. The general impression one has of the skulls is that they represent extinct apelike rather than manlike forms.

One other perspective needs to be thrown on this problem: the uncertainty in dating these apparently ancient human ancestors. One case is particularly worth noting. In the Paluxy River basin in central Texas, near the town of Glen Rose, fossilized tracks of men and dinosaurs apparently appear together. This does not mean that either men or dinosaurs are of relatively recent history. Both may be quite ancient. But it does mean that something is wrong with the currently accepted time framework proposed by evolutionists, for according to that framework there should be a 60-million-year gap between the last of the dinosaurs and man. Clearly, there may yet be great revisions in what anthropologists and other scientists are proposing.

In the interim what may Christians, who hold to the truthfulness of Genesis and who still want to be honest where scientific data is concerned, conclude? One scientist, Robert A. Erb of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, concludes that fossil “man” is not necessarily man and that Christians do themselves a disservice when they regard all such as Adam’s descendants. He writes, “I believe in a historical Adam and would tend to date him near the beginning of the Neolithic (new stone) age in the Near East (about 8,000 b.c.). Indeed, this step in the creative work of God may be the cause of what is known as the Neolithic Revolution, with the domestication of plants and animals, the building of cities, the invention of pottery, the beginnings of writing and such things. That Adam does not belong to the Upper Paleolithic age of 30,000 years ago is suggested by: the domestication of plants and animals in the account of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:2) and Cain building a city (Gen. 4:17). In about six generations (neglecting the probable gaps in genealogy), Tubalcain was working with metals (Gen. 4:22) and Jubal was making music (Gen. 4:21).”

The conclusion is that, while the earth and universe may indeed be quite old (on the order of billions of years), there is no need to insist that man is millions of years old. His creation by God may be as recent as the genealogies of Genesis seem to indicate.

In God’s Image

When Genesis 1 speaks of the creation of man, as it does several times over, it is not concerned with the time at which he was created. What concerns the author of Genesis is man’s being created “in God’s image.” This is repeated several times: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.…’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” What does this mean? What does it mean to be made in God’s image?

One thing it means is that men and women possess the attributes of personality, as God himself does, but as the animals, plants, and matter do not. To have personality one must possess knowledge, feelings (including religious feelings), and a will. This God has, and so do we. We can say that animals possess a certain kind of personality. But an animal does not reason as men do; it only reacts to certain problems or stimuli. It does not create; it only conforms to certain behavior patterns, even in as elaborate a pattern as constructing a nest, hive, or dam. It does not love; it only reproduces. It does not worship. Personality, in the sense we are speaking of it here, is something that links man to God but does not link either man or God to the rest of creation.

A second element that is involved in man’s being created in the image of God is morality. This includes the two further elements of freedom and responsibility. To be sure, the freedom men and women possess is not absolute. Even in the beginning the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, were not autonomous. They were creatures and were responsible for acknowledging this by their obedience in the matter of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since the fall that freedom has been further restricted so that, as Augustine said, the original posse non peccare (“able not to sin”) has become a non posse non peccare (“not able not to sin”). Still there is a limited freedom for men and women even in their fallen state, and with that there is also moral responsibility. In brief, we do not need to sin as we do or as often as we do. And even when we sin under compulsion (as may sometimes be the case), we still know it is wrong and, thus, inadvertently confess our likeness to God in this as in other areas.

It is relevant to the matter of morality that, when the sanctification of the believer is spoken of as being “renewed in knowledge in the image of [his] Creator” (Col. 3:10) or “conformed to the likeness of his Son” (Rom. 8:29), it is the moral righteousness of the individual that is most in view, though of course this may also refer to the perfection of personality in ways we do not as yet understand fully.

The third element involved in man’s being made in God’s image is spirituality, meaning that man is made for communion with God, who is Spirit (John 4:24), and that this communion is intended to be eternal as God is eternal. Although man shares a body with such forms of life as plants or flowers and a soul with animals, only he possesses a spirit. It is on the level of the spirit that he is aware of God and communes with him.

Here lies our true worth. We are made in God’s image and are therefore valuable to God and others. God loves men and women, as he does not and cannot love the animals, plants, or inanimate matter. Moreover, he feels for them, identifies with them in Christ, grieves for them, and even intervenes in history to make individual men and women into all that he has determined they should be. We get some idea of the special nature of this relationship when we remember that in a similar way the woman, Eve, was made in the image of man. Therefore, though different, Adam saw himself in her and loved her as his companion and corresponding member in the universe. It is not wrong to say that men and women are to God somewhat as the woman is to the man. They are God’s unique and valued companions. In support of this we need only think of the Bible’s teaching concerning Christ as the bridegroom and the church as his bride.

A Shattered Image

In this chapter we have been looking at man as God made him and intends him to be, that is, before the fall or as he will eventually become again in Christ. Although man was made in the image of God, this image has been greatly marred by sin. There are vestiges of the image remaining, but man today is not what God intended. He is a fallen being, and the effects of the fall are seen on each level of his being: in his body, soul, and spirit.

When God gave man the test of the forbidden tree, which was to be a measure of his obedience and responsibility toward the One who had created him, God said, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:16–17). The woman was beguiled by the serpent and ate. She came to Adam; and Adam, who was not beguiled, nevertheless ate of it too, thereby saying to God, “I do not care for all the trees that you have given me; so long as this tree stands here in the midst of the garden it reminds me of my dependence on you, and therefore I hate it; I will eat of it, regardless of the consequences, and die.”

Man’s spirit, that part of him that had communion with God, died instantly. This is clear from the fact that he ran from God when God came to him in the garden. Men and women have been running and hiding ever since. His soul, the seat of his intellect, feelings, and identity, began to die. So people began to lose a sense of who they are, gave vent to bad feelings, and suffered the decay of their intellect. This is the type of decay described by Paul in Romans 1 where we are told that, having rejected God, men inevitably “became futile [in their thinking] and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (vv. 21–23). Eventually even the body died. So it is said of us, “Dust you are and to dust you will return” (Gen. 3:19).

Donald Grey Barnhouse has pictured what happened as a three-story house that was bombed in wartime. The bomb had destroyed the top floor entirely, the debris of which had fallen down into the second floor, severely damaging it. The weight of the two ruined floors produced cracks in the walls of the first floor so that it was doomed to collapse eventually. Thus it was with Adam. His body was the dwelling of the soul, and his spirit was above that. When he fell the spirit was entirely destroyed, the soul ruined, and the body destined to a final collapse.

However, the glory of the gospel is seen at precisely this point, for when God saves a person he saves the whole person, beginning with the spirit, continuing with the soul, and finishing with the body. The salvation of the spirit comes first; for God first establishes contact with the one who has rebelled against him. This is regeneration, the new birth. Second, God works with the soul, renewing it after the image of the perfect man, the Lord Jesus Christ. This work is sanctification. Finally, there is the resurrection in which even the body is redeemed from destruction.

Moreover, God makes a new creation, for he does not merely patch up the old spirit, soul, and body, as if the collapsing house were just being buttressed and given a new coat of paint. God creates a new spirit that is his own Spirit within the individual. He creates a new soul, known as the new man. At last, he creates a new body. This body is like the resurrection body of the Lord Jesus Christ through whom alone we have this salvation.[1]

27. So God created man. The reiterated mention of the image of God is not a vain repetition. For it is a remarkable instance of the Divine goodness which can never be sufficiently proclaimed. And, at the same time, he admonishes us from what excellence we have fallen, that he may excite in us the desire of its recovery. When he soon afterwards adds, that God created them “male and female,” he commends to us that conjugal bond by which the society of mankind is cherished. For this form of speaking, “God created man, male and female created he them,” is of the same force as if he had said, that the man himself was incomplete. Under these circumstances, the woman was added to him as a companion that they both might be one, as he more clearly expresses it in the second chapter. Malachi also means the same thing when he relates, (2:15,) that one man was created by God, whilst, nevertheless, he possessed the fulness of the Spirit. For he there treats of conjugal fidelity, which the Jews were violating by their polygamy. For the purpose of correcting this fault, he calls that pair, consisting of man and woman, which God in the beginning had joined together, one man, in order that every one might learn to be content with his own wife.[2]

26–27 The creation of humankind is set apart from the previous acts of creation by a series of subtle contrasts with the earlier accounts of God’s acts. First, in v. 26, the beginning of the creation of humans is marked by the usual, “And God said.” However, God’s word that follows is not an impersonal (third person) “Let there be”; rather, what is used is the personal (first person) “Let us make.”

Second, throughout the previous narrative each creature is made “according to its own kind” (lemînāh). But the account of the creation of humankind specifically notes that the man and the woman were not made “according to their own kind.” Rather, they were made “in [God’s] image” (beṣalmēnû). They are not merely like themselves, they are also like God; they share a likeness to their Creator.

Third, the creation of humankind is specifically noted as a creation as “male and female” (v. 27). The author has not considered gender an important feature in his account of the creation of the other forms of life, but for humanity it is clearly of considerable importance. Thus the narrative puts heavy stress on the fact that God created man as “male and female.”

Fourth, only humanity has been given dominion in God’s creation. Humankind’s dominion is expressly stated to be over all other living creatures: those of the sky, sea, and land.

Why the author has singled out the creation of humankind in this way? One answer is that the author intends to portray him as a special creature marked off from the rest of God’s works. But the author’s purpose seems to go beyond merely marking humankind as different from the rest of the creatures; the narrative is also intent on showing that humans are like God. As much as they are not like the other creatures, they are to that extent also like God.

Behind the account of the creation of humans in this narrative lies the purpose of the author of Genesis and the Pentateuch. In this broader picture of humankind’s creation, the reader is given a perspective on certain facts that are to serve as the starting point for the larger purposes of the Pentateuch. Humans are creatures. But more than that, they are special creatures. They are made in the image and likeness of God.

There have been many attempts to explain the plural forms: “Let us make [naʿaśeh] man in our image [beṣalmēnû], in our likeness [kidmûtēnû].” Westermann, 1:144–45, summarizes the explanations given for the use of plurals under four headings: (1) the plural is a reference to the Trinity; (2) the plural is a reference to God and the heavenly court of angels; (3) the plural is an attempt to avoid the idea of an immediate resemblance of humans to God; (4) the plural is an expression of deliberation on God’s part while setting out to create humankind.

The singulars in v. 27 (beṣalmō, “in his own image,” and beṣelem ʾelōhîm, “in the image of God”; cf. 5:1) rule out the second explanation (i.e., that the plural refers to a heavenly court of angels), since in the immediate context humans are said to be created “in his image,” with no mention made of humans’ being made in the image of the angels. To this the author adds a further qualification that God made humankind “in the image of God.” This seems to be an intentional refutation of the notion that the plurals in v. 26 refer to the angels.

The third and fourth explanations are both possible within the context, but neither explanation is specifically supported by the context. It is not convincing to point to 11:7 in support of the notion of deliberation, since the use of the plural in that passage is motivated by the chiastic wordplay between the words nabelâh (“let us confuse,” 11:7) and nilbe (“let us make,” 11:3; see J. P. Fokklemann, Narrative Art in Genesis [Assen: Van Gorcum, 1975]). Where we do find unequivocal deliberation (as in 18:17), it is not the plural that is used but the singular: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” As Westermann has stated, the first explanation is “a dogmatic judgment,” though we could add that it is not a judgment that runs counter to the passage itself. However, if we seek an answer from the immediate context, we should turn to the following verse(s) for additional clues.

In v. 27 it is stated twice that humankind was created (bārāʾ) in God’s image, and a third time that humans were created (bārāʾ) “male and female.” The same pattern is found in Genesis 5:1–2a: “When God created [bārāʾ] man … he created [bārāʾ] them male and female.” The singular “man” (ʾādām) is created as a plurality, “male and female” (zākār ûneqēbâ). In a similar way the one God (wayyōʾmer ʾelōhîm, “And God said”) created humanity through an expression of plurality (naʿaśeh ʾādām beṣalmēnû, “Let us make man in our image”). Following this clue, the divine plurality of persons expressed in v. 26 can be seen as an anticipation of the human plurality of persons reflected in man and woman, thus casting human personal relationships in the role of reflecting God’s own personhood.

Could anything be more obvious than to conclude from this clear indication that the image and likeness of the being created by God signifies existence in confrontation, i.e., in this confrontation, in the juxtaposition and conjunction of man and man which is that of male and female, and then to go on to ask against this background in what the original and prototype of the divine existence of the Creator consists? (K. Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1 [New York: Scribner, 1956], 195).[3]

1:27 / The combination of the special term “create” (bara’; v. 1), its threefold repetition, and the phrase image of God conveys that in making humans God reached the goal of creation. “Create,” used elsewhere in the days of creation only with the great creatures of the sea (v. 21), informs us that God was personally involved in the origin of humankind. Man, in the statement God created man (’adam), is a collective standing for all humanity, that is, those God made at the beginning as well as their descendants.

The placement of “the image of God” at the center of a chiastic arrangement stresses its importance, as does the repetition of “the image.” There has been an abundance of scholarly discussion about this evocative phrase, for the text does not explicitly define its meaning. Nevertheless, the way “the image of God” functions in this context and in 9:5–6 gives insight into its significance. It conveys here that humans have the highest position in the created order. As God’s representatives on earth, humans were invested by God with authority to subdue the earth and rule over the animals (v. 28; see P. Bird, “Male and Female He Created Them,” HTR 74 [1981], pp. 129–59, esp. pp. 138, 154).

Genesis 9:5–6 states that every person is inviolate by reason of being made in God’s image. Besides making murder a heinous crime, this text opposes any type of caste or slavery system. Furthermore, the image carries profound moral implications. Both Testaments teach that whatever one person does to another affects God (e.g., Amos 2:7; 1 John 4:20). A person’s manner of interacting with other humans characterizes the way that one relates to God. Moreover, because God made humans in his image, God yearns to redeem those who have disobeyed him by providing the means for them to receive forgiveness and reconciliation.

Male and female he created them. The Hebrew emphasizes the phrase “male and female” by placing it before the verb. This third and final part of the verse contains four important ideas. (a) It ascribes sexuality to God’s design for humans. Thus, an essential aspect of human nature is quite different from God’s nature. An implication of this is that we need to draw on the outstanding qualities found in each gender to have a full view of God. If we imagine God as predominantly male or female, our picture is partial and distorted. (b) This reference to human sexuality sets the stage for God’s blessing humans with fertility and commanding them to populate the earth (v. 28). (c) This phrase establishes the fact that every male and every female is made in God’s image. In the essence of being human there is no qualitative difference between male and female. (d) We learn that God made humans as social creatures who discover their identity and destiny in relationships characterized by rapprochement. “Male and female” conveys that the basic reciprocating human relationship is between a man and a woman (see Gen. 2:21–24). Beyond that basic relationship, humans form communities for sustaining and enriching their lives. Living and working together is thus an integral expression of being in the image of God.

Another one of the many important aspects of being human that this section explores is the ability to handle the word, or language. God recognized this ability at the beginning by blessing humans and giving them instructions (vv. 28–30). God can converse with those in his image, and Scripture is a record of those conversations. Moreover, conversation enables humans to have genuine fellowship with God. This is the basis for God’s calling of Abraham, in which God established a people who would worship him wholeheartedly. Through conversation people also communicate with each other and thereby gain insight into their own identities. Rich personal interchange brings humans great joy, for it flows out of the innermost being, that is, the aspect of humanity that is in the image of God.

In addition, the ability to handle words raises human acts above biological necessity as it enables a person to conceptualize, plan, evaluate, and anticipate. Being cognizant of what they are doing, humans bear responsibility for their deeds. Skill with words also opens the pursuit of wisdom to humans. Words then become an avenue for humans to exercise their creative instincts.[4]

1:26–27. These verses present the final and crowning act of God’s creation. As the seventh creative act in this chapter, God’s creative work is finished. This point is underscored by the fifth and final repetition of the phrase, “And God saw that it was good” (1:25). The presentation of humanity’s creation in v. 27 as a single collective event (God created man … male and female He created them) does not contradict the more specific description of the two-stage process in chap. 2, but is rather intended to emphasize here that the image of God imparted to humanity is equally presented in both sexes.

As to identifying the meaning of that image, it relates to plural language used here (Let Us make man in Our image). This phrase has been interpreted in a variety of ways. First, some believe this is merely a plural of majesty, i.e. God speaking in royal “We.” A second view held is to understand the plurals as reflecting God’s deliberation, as if He were talking to Himself. A third approach is to understand the plurals here as God’s statements to the heavenly court, i.e. the angels. This is least likely since humanity is clearly made in the image of God and not of the angels. Although the first two options seem possible, the most contextually and grammatically tenable explanation of the plural language is that it is an expression of the plural nature of the one true God. That is not to say that this passage is giving a fully expressed statement of the Trinity. Rather, it seems to be saying that even as God is one, He also has a mysterious plural aspect to His essence. And thus, “the singular ‘human being’ is created as a plurality, ‘male and female.’ In a similar way, the one God created humanity through an expression of his plurality.” (John H. Sailhamer, The Pentateuch as Narrative [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992], 95). Thus, the divine plurality anticipates “the human plurality of the man and the woman as a reflection of God’s own personal relationship within Himself” (John H. Sailhamer, NIV Compact Bible Commentary [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994], 13).

The image of God in humanity pertains to the capacity for spiritual relationship. Just as God has the capacity for relationship, so humanity, male and female, have been made to reflect that image and enter into a relationship with their creator. This is also seen in the use of the word the soul. The soul most distinguishes humanity from the rest of created life, for only into man did God breathe in a “living soul” (2:7), and it is only human individuals, regardless of their mental capacity, physical ability, or material circumstances, who by virtue of having a soul can experience spiritual communion or “relationship” with God.[5]

1:26–28 The crown of God’s work was the creation of man in His image and according to His likeness. This means that man was placed on earth as God’s representative, and that He resembles God in certain ways. Just as God is a Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), so man is a tripartite being (spirit, soul, and body). Like God, man has intellect, a moral nature, the power to communicate with others, and an emotional nature that transcends instinct. There is no thought of physical likeness here. In contrast to animals, man is a worshiper, an articulate communicator, and a creator.

There is an allowance for or even an intimation of the Trinity in verse 26: Then God [Elohim, plural] said [singular verb in Hebrew], “Let Us [plural] make man in Our image.…”

The Bible describes the origin of the sexes as a creative act of God. Evolution has never been able to explain how the sexes began. Humanity was commanded to be fruitful and multiply.

God gave man a mandate to subdue creation and have dominion over it—to use it but not abuse it. The modern crises in the earth’s environment are due to man’s greed, selfishness, and carelessness.[6]

[1] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary (pp. 87–93). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Calvin, J., & King, J. (2010). Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (Vol. 1, pp. 96–97). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Sailhamer, J. H. (2008). Genesis. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Genesis–Leviticus (Revised Edition) (Vol. 1, pp. 69–70). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hartley, J. E. (2012). Genesis. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 47–49). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Rydelnik, M., Vanlaningham, M., Barbieri, L. A., Boyle, M., Coakley, J., Dyer, C. H., … Zuber, K. D. (2014). Genesis. In The moody bible commentary (pp. 38–39). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 33). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

40 Days to the Cross: Week of Ash Wednesday – Friday

Confession: Psalm 51:9–12

Hide your face from my sins,

and all my iniquities blot out.

Create a clean heart for me, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and with a willing spirit sustain me.

Reading: Mark 9:2–13

And after six days, Jesus took along Peter and James and John, and led them to a high mountain by themselves alone. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothing became radiant—extremely white, like no cloth refiner on earth can make so white. And Elijah appeared to them together with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! And let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (For he did not know what he should answer, because they were terrified.) And a cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus alone.

And as they were coming down from the mountain, he ordered them that they should tell no one the things that they had seen, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. And they kept the matter to themselves, discussing what this rising from the dead meant. And they asked him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And he said to them, “Elijah indeed does come first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that indeed Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it is written about him.”


If other men cannot read our motives, we ought at least to examine them carefully for ourselves. Day by day, with extreme rigour, must we search our hearts. Motive is vital to the goodness of an action. He who gives his body to be burned might yet lose his soul if his ruling passion were obstinacy and not desire for God’s glory. Self may be sought under many disguises, and a man may be utterly unaware that thus he is losing all acceptance with God.

We must not impute ill motives to others, but we must be equally clear of another more fascinating habit—that of imputing good motives to ourselves. Severity in estimating our own personal character very seldom becomes excessive; our partiality is usually more or less blinding to our judgment. We will not suspect ourselves if we can help it; evidence must be very powerful before it can convince us of being governed by sordid aims. The stream of generosity does not always spring from gratitude to God. Zeal is not at all times the offspring of deep-seated faith. Even devotional habits may be fostered by something other than holy affections. The highest wisdom suggests that we spend much patient and impartial consideration upon a matter so fundamental as the heart’s intent in the actions which it directs. “If your eye is sincere, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt 6:22). Dear reader, stand by your inner springs and watch, and make faithful notes of what you see, lest you be deceived.

—Charles H. Spurgeon

Springs Uncovered


Do you know yourself for who you truly are? This knowledge is not an end in itself, nor does it end with ourselves. Truly knowing ourselves means we are constantly fleeing to Jesus. Set time aside daily to honestly examine the motives of your heart and then turn to God in prayer.[1]

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

John MacArthur’s The Master’s University and Seminary: Still on Academic Probation, and Reported Layoffs

Spiritual Sounding Board

By IslandsEnd – Own work, CC0, Link

On July 18, 2018, the Western Association of Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) sent a letter to Dr. John MacArthur, formally documenting the decision WSCUC made to impose the sanction of probation on The Master’s University and The Master’s Seminary.

The letter detailed the probationary status process:

The Commission has found that The Master’s University and Seminary is not in compliance with WSCUC Standards 1, 2, and 3. Under U.S. Department of Education regulations, when the Commission finds that an institution fails to meet one or more of the Standards of Accreditation, it is required to notify the institution of these findings and give the institution no longer than two years from the date of this action to correct the deficiencies. If an institution has not remedied the deficiencies at the conclusion of this sanction period, the Commission is required, under…

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March 8 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Exodus 19; Luke 22; Job 37; 2 Corinthians 7


sometimes people present paul as if he were a cold intellectual. Why “cold” should be connected with “intellectual,” I am not sure. It certainly does not fit Paul. Obviously, God gave Paul a first-class mind. But he was also a man of passionate intensity.

In 2 Corinthians 7 Paul testifies that, on the one hand, his joy knows no bounds (7:4); on the other hand, this joy has resulted from some news of the Corinthians that Paul received when he went to Macedonia. For on his first arrival in Macedonia, Paul had experienced no rest, but was “harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within” (7:5). But then his fears and conflicts turned to joy when he received the good news about the Corinthians

What prompted this vast transformation in the apostle’s outlook?

(1) Whatever the mechanics, Paul recognizes that the transformation was brought about by God, “who comforts the downcast” (7:6). In this case God brought comfort to Paul by restoring Titus to him, who brought with him some news of the Corinthians.

(2) The news Titus brought was that the Corinthians, however much they had been wounded by Paul’s previous visit and by the painful letter he had sent, had regained their equilibrium. They now longed to see Paul and expressed “ardent concern” for him (7:7). Titus brought the news that the sorrow evoked by Paul’s letter turned out to be a “godly sorrow” in that it led to repentance (7:8–10). Sorrow that generates repentance “leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (7:10). All this news of the Corinthians’ reactions has filled Paul with joy and encouragement.

This indicates, of course, that Paul is intimately involved in the lives of the people to whom he ministers. His own emotions may go up and down as a function of how they relate to him. But what is striking is that Paul avoids two very common traps. (a) Obviously, he avoids the kind of professional distance projected by some ministers as a protective shield. (b) Although his own joys and sorrows are clearly tied to what the Corinthian Christians think of him, that link is not primarily a personal link. When that is the case, the minister loses his prophetic voice and will say and do only what he thinks will maintain the affection of the flock. Paul has felt duty-bound to reprimand the Corinthians, in person and in writing; he has not flinched from that responsibility. His joy that they have returned to him is thus inseparable from his joy that they have returned to faithful allegiance to the Gospel—the heart of his unbounded delight.[1]

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

With Social Justice Warriors in Room, Phil Johnson Rebukes Discernment. Is He Right? — Pulpit & Pen

With the very worst promoters of Social Justice in Reformed Evangelicalism set before him, Phil Johnson chose to use his time in this ShepCon talk to rebuke discernment ministries in abstentia.

It seems odd, for sure.

Nonetheless, listen to Phil’s words. Is he right? Does he rightfully apply the Scripture here? Is the warning or rebuke necessary? Is he correctly handling the Text?

Or is he just upset that the reason for his defense in inviting the Social Justice Warriors to take the stage at ShepCon (that fruitful discussions could be had between the two parties) backfired so dramatically and (frankly) we were proven right?

Or might it be a little bit of both? Could he be both resentful and right at the same time?

Let us cautiously and seriously consider Phil’s words for a time, in prayer and study, with both a mind and a Bible that are open.

Oddly enough, Phil will find discernment ministries more open to fruitful discussion with him than the Social Justice Warriors on the front row at ShepCon.


With Social Justice Warriors in Room, Phil Johnson Rebukes Discernment. Is He Right? — Pulpit & Pen

Alistair Begg: Leadership in the Church — Wretched

Episode 2456

Alistair Begg: Leadership in the Church

Segment 1 (00:00) Mere Christianity basically states we can unhitch the Old Testament from the New Testament. This would cause confusion because the Old Testament is constantly used in the New Testament. The cross doesn’t make sense without the Old Testament. Alistair Begg clips.

Segment 2 (08:04) Deuteronomy 4. God shows his nature through the Old Testament. Paints a picture of the gospel.

Segment 3 (18:23) The sacrificial system of the Old Testament points to the new system of the New Testament. The Old Testament points to Jesus. Alistair Begg clips.

Wretched Surprise! (26:38) Alistair Begg clip. Jesus didn’t need to be convinced into his mission. He was unified in the trinity.

Alistair Begg: Leadership in the Church — Wretched