Daily Archives: April 10, 2019

April 10 The Message of Eternal Life

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:50–58

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:54

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

If you knew for certain that this life was all there was, it would affect your thinking substantially. It would change the way you make decisions, big and small.

The truth is that many people in this world live by the cliché, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will die.” Earthly death, however, is not the end. Rather, on the other side of our physical death is eternity. Our Lord declared the message of eternal life several times throughout His ministry. Why is this such a vital promise to the believer?

  • Jesus wanted His followers to know for certain that they are secure in Him forever. This means that death is nothing to be feared. Instead, our departure from earth is the moment of our entrance into His eternal presence.
  • The Lord wanted to give His children hope in the face of death. The most common question in the minds of funeral attendees is, “Will I see him again?” Jesus did not want to leave His people unaware; He gave them the assurance necessary to endure the loss of a loved one.
  • Jesus wanted to inspire every believer to be faithful until death. Because we know we will have to give an account to the Lord for our lives, we can live with the end in mind. Temptations to sin are then measured by the question, “Will God approve of this?”

Jesus conquered death so that we can enter into God’s eternal presence. Because we do not have to fear tomorrow, we can more fully rejoice in Him today.

I rejoice, Lord, that because You conquered death, I, too, shall live.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 105). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 10 God’s Gift to You

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18–25

Key Verse: Colossians 1:20

By Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

From the disciples’ point of view the Cross seemed ridiculous. In fact, no one understood why Jesus submitted to such treatment. They could not comprehend what He was doing for them. For years, they prayed for Messiah to come. However, their idea of a Savior was something far from what they saw in Jesus. The man they had hoped would come was one of military might. He would put to rest once and for all the nagging pursuit of the Roman government and, for that matter, everyone else who troubled God’s chosen people.

But God’s purposes seldom revolve around human strength and ability. Instead, He tells us to deny ourselves, to take up His cross, and to follow Him. This inherently leads to the crucified life—a life where Christ reigns. It also is a life that mirrors our Lord’s example while teaching us to focus the attitude of our hearts on God and His will alone.

Christ’s only focus was to do the will of the Father. You cannot save yourself. Any human effort or striving to reach some point of holiness outside acknowledging what Christ did for you at Calvary is done in vain.

The Cross is God’s gift to you. It was something Jesus did out of love. His greatest desire is to have you beside Him for all eternity. This Easter allow the cross of Christ to find its place deep within your life as you celebrate His resurrection.

Almighty God, thank You for the gift of the Cross. Let the cross of Christ find its place deep within my life as I celebrate the Resurrection this season.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 105). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

World Faces “Uphill Battle” With Average IQ Of Just 82! | Zero Hedge

“Could do better”…

Authored by James Thompson via The Unz Review,

David Becker has released a new version of the World’s IQ. Each country has a score showing the cognitive abilities of their citizens, this being a blend of genetics and the environment of each country, particularly as regards education and health. The world’s global score is 82. This is 12th percentile rank on the Greenwich Mean Intelligence benchmark of IQ 100. As school teachers used to say in end of year reports: “Could do better”.

What does IQ 82 mean in practical terms? The account below gives the achievements as shown in Western economies, with free education and usually free healthcare, and will need to be adjusted for other economies, probably downwards to account for poorer educational systems and the burdens of ill health.

Here, in broad terms, are descriptions of those in the IQ 75 (5th percentile) to IQ 90 (25th percentile) range.


Tribe 2 “Uphill Battle”

These are the next 20% of the population in terms of ability. They would be 2,000 citizens in the town of 10,000 inhabitants. Learning is somewhat faster, and achievements are of better quality. Learning varies from the slow pace, simple materials and careful supervision already mentioned previously, to very explicit, hands-on training. They tend to credulity, belief in god and superstition. They can locate the intersection of two streets on a map, identify two features in a newspaper sports story, perhaps calculate the total cost of purchases listed in a catalogue, and draw inferences from two identifiable facts and deal with some distractors.

Vocabularies are somewhat larger, computation includes some multiplication and division. In terms of reading they will enjoy a little more depth in terms of content. Employment opportunities include simple assembly and packaging tasks, food preparation, assistant roles in caring professions. They can use some checklists, and procedural guides. The armed services will probably not recruit them, because many of them will take too long to train.

They have a 21% lower survival up to age 76 (Whalley&Deary 2001). They have about a 50% greater risk of hospitalization for schizophrenia, mood disorder, and alcohol-related disorders (Gale et al. 2010) and for personality disorders (Moran et al. 2009) with more self-reported psychological distress (Gale et al. 2009) and with a greater risk of vascular dementia (McGurn et al. 2008).

They will probably have fast lifestyles, with restricted planning and savings. They have more accidents than average, probably twice as many motor vehicle accidents than average. In IQ terms they are between 75 and 90.

As a rule of thumb we can say that in the US the average male at IQ 82 would be earning very roughly $43,000 (in 2011 dollars) as compared with $ 63,500 for men of average intelligence. Naturally, this would be far more than in other countries of the world, but shows the nature of the market penalty for low ability.

Another take on the meaning of intelligence, this post by Anatoly Karlin looks at individual maths test items, and links each item to what it might mean for impact on the economy.


For example, here is a level 3 item, which would already be causing trouble to some at the 12th percentile.

There has been a lot of animus against country intelligence scores. As explained before, data quality varies between countries. You already knew that, because if countries really differ in intelligence, that will show in the way they conduct themselves. Some countries will do forward planning, and others will do less. Some will conduct regular censuses and surveys, and others won’t. Some countries may have people who are more willing to cheat than other countries.


Becker has made a number of improvements, all of which are listed in his published spreadsheets. To my mind the best addition is to have an additional column where country IQs are given corrected for sample size and data quality.

The database also includes intelligence estimates derived from scholastic attainment tests. Yes, these ought to be different from intelligence test results, for both practical and theoretical reasons, but in fact they are remarkably similar at the country level. In the chart at the bottom of this post the scores shown are intelligence test results supplemented by PISA and TIMSS scholastic scores, which increases the numbers of countries for which estimates can be given.

Naturally, country level data may obscure regional differences, and caste, tribe, class and religious differences. These are matters of granularity. Some countries are homogenous as regards talent (China may be in this category) others are not (India).

Country IQs may explain how that country conducts its affairs. Intellectual assessments ought to have explanatory value, thus leading to greater wealth, and discrepancies need to be investigated and explained. Two main sources of economic discrepancy are tourism and natural resources: the presence of either can inflate economies which lack human capital.

Another attack on country intelligence comparisons relates to idea that cultures differ so much that standard international assessments are impossible. This is a perilous argument, since if it is truly the case that a particular national culture does not understand the notion of progressions and sequences, or the basics of arithmetic, then there is a temptation to avoid the country completely, at least as regards investment. Indeed, if this were true one should never fly on a national airline of such a country, or drive a car on such a country’s roads.

Here are the key links to Becker’s latest update.

There are many points of interest.

The deleterious effects of consanguineous marriage are shown here:

As you know, I don’t do policy, but it would be good to give wider publicity to this graph.

The results for individual countries vary somewhat according to the method used, but these are probably the very best estimates, mostly using psychometric tests but supplementing them with closely correlated maths and science attainment tests, which increases accuracy and country coverage.

This list is useful and you may find it worth printing out. It would fit nicely on the back of a door. Yes, it mixes environmental and genetic effects, but it gives you a rule of thumb as to what countries, on average, are capable of doing. It can be expected that rising standards of living will boost results, though the rate of intellectual improvement has been slow in many newly rich countries despite more education funding. Convergence with European levels might be within 80 to 300 years. Each country will have cognitive elites, though by absolute international standards they will be fewer in countries with lower ability.

Have a look at Becker’s detailed databases, and start testing your hypotheses.
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-10/world-faces-uphill-battle-average-iq-just-82

ANOTHER Caravan Forms in Honduras – Nearly 1,000 More Migrants Headed to US Amid Border Crisis — The Gateway Pundit

Another caravan of nearly 1,000 people formed in Honduras Tuesday night with plans to march northbound to the United States to claim asylum.

This caravan will be right behind the “mother of all caravans” that is currently en route to the US border.

“There are more than 800, almost a thousand,” a police official told AFP.

One of the migrants in the new caravan said, “We are done with this government, there is no work.”

There is a huge crisis at the US-Mexico border with record number of illegal aliens flooding into the United States.

Asylum seekers are being released into communities because of dangerous “catch and release” policies.

No doubt these caravans of illegals are being funded by open border zealots looking to destroy US sovereignty.

The caravans are full of military-aged males from all over the world — we have no idea who is embedded in the caravans — dangerous Islamic terrorists and MS-13 gang members are known to be traveling with Hondurans headed to the US.

Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said that in his sector alone, border agents have captured people trying to enter the country illegally frommore than 50 different countries, including Turkey, China, Bangladesh, Egypt and Romania. “People are traveling across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the U.S., using the same pathways as the Central Americans,” he told lawmakers.

“Karisch noted that Border Patrol has apprehended more families illegally crossing the border in the first five months of fiscal 2019 than during all of fiscal 2018,” Fox News reported. “Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended more than 76,000 migrants across the border in February and said it was on track to apprehend more than 100,000 in March. In the Rio Grande Valley alone, Karisch said that at current pace, they would have more than 260,000 apprehensions in his sector by the end of fiscal 2019. There were 162,000 in RGV last year. He also said that his agents apprehend, on average, 1,000 people a day.”

President Trump declared a national emergency in February to secure funding for a border wall, however, the insanely dangerous asylum laws are causing the biggest surge of illegal aliens flooding over the border.

DHS Chief Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out on Sunday and more heads are expected to roll soon.

via ANOTHER Caravan Forms in Honduras – Nearly 1,000 More Migrants Headed to US Amid Border Crisis — The Gateway Pundit

KA-CHING! Socialist Bernie Sanders, Who Owns Three Houses, Admits He’s a Millionaire — The Gateway Pundit

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont, has revealed that he is a millionaire, in part because of his book, “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In.”

Sanders, who was beaten in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries by Hillary Clinton, made the announcement in advance of his release of 10 years worth of tax returns (when his net worth will become public, anyway). Of course, he didn’t release his own returns last time around, but now that he’s hoping to go against President Trump, he’s seeking to make the issue more prominent.

“On the day in the very immediate future, certainly before April 15, we release ours, I hope that Donald Trump will do exactly the same. We are going to release 10 years of our tax returns, and we hope that on that day Donald Trump will do the same,” he told The New York Times.

And the socialist said becoming a millionaire in the great capitalist center of the world is pretty easy. “I wrote a best-selling book,” he told the Times. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

But Sanders defended himself against comparisons with Trump.

“Not being a billionaire, not having investments in Saudi Arabia, wherever he has investments, all over the world, mine will be a little bit more boring,” he said.

Senators make $174,000 a year, so it’s remarkable that Sanders could save enough to become a millionaire. On the other hand, that salary makes him a 4 Percenter, putting him in the top 4 percent of all incomes in the U.S. Plus, he’s been in Congress — first as a House member and then in the Senate — since shortly before there was electricity, so if he was frugal, he could amass a small fortune.

And he has, apparently. Vermont magazine “Seven Days” reported in 2016 that Sanders and his wife bought a four-bedroom house on the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont — with 500 feet of lake frontage — for about $600,000. The Sanders own at least three houses, with another in Burlington, Vermont, and one on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Nice work if you can get it.

Sanders talks about taxing everyone to death as he pushes for free everything for everybody — free health care, free college tuition, even free money in the form of universal basic income, in which the government collects taxpayer money and redistributes it.

What’s hilarious is that Sanders has been railing at Trump, but the socialist paid a much lower percentage in taxes than the evil 1 Percenter Trump.

When MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow got her hands on some tax forms, she devoted most of a program in 2017 to Trump’s two-page 1040 form from 2005. The documents showed Trump wrote off $100 million in business losses and paid $38 million in federal income taxes on adjusted income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent.

Sanders, the champion of The Little Man, paid $27,653 in federal income taxes in 2014 – an effective federal tax rate of 13.5 percent!

As always with the Democrats, it’s do as I say, not as I do.

via KA-CHING! Socialist Bernie Sanders, Who Owns Three Houses, Admits He’s a Millionaire — The Gateway Pundit

Chinese City Offers $1,500 USD Reward for Snitching on Christians — Faithwire

The Chinese government is increasing its crackdown on Christians by actually rewarding citizens that report Christians to the government.

Guangzhou has become the first city to offer up to $1,500 USD to any Chinese citizen that reports “illegal religious activities,” like underground churches or Bible studies, which was recently announced by their ethnic and religious affairs department.

According to the South China Morning Post, the city’s crackdown has come down hardest on unregistered Protestant churches. The government has also demolished Catholic churches, Buddhist temples and Muslim mosques that were not government-approved.

Not only can informants earn between 5,000 and 10,000 Chinese yuan for reporting a religious leader who is not Chinese, but they can also receive 3,000 to 5,000 yuan for reporting a foreign religious group, and 100 to 3,000 yuan for reporting local religious gatherings.

Ying Fuk-Tsang, who is the director of the Divinity School of Chung Chi College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the crackdown is more common than people think and allows for strict social control.

“This will compress the survival space of house churches,” he told the Morning Post. “Not only will they have to deal with the official crackdown but now also the threat from their neighbors.”

The path to sinicization

Over the past year, the Chinese government has cracked down on Christian practices, while giving more freedom to grassroots officials to implement their own power over religious practitioners, shutting down small religious gatherings and implementing strong penalties against Christians.

As Faithwire previously reported, in January, a document was issued to a city in the Shanxi Province by the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs that would regulate “church-free zones” near Chinese schools.

The plan, officially known as the “Implementation Plan on the Special Governance of Private Christian Gathering Sites,” not only created mandatory “church-free zones,” but also required churches to give the names of youth members to the local government.

The city in the Shanxi Province was not the only one affected by this ruling, as a similar document was issued to the Henan Province. It reads, in part:

All private Christian gathering sites around universities and colleges, as well as on-campus activity sites, are to be shut down in accordance with the law. Criticism and [re]education of participating teachers and students is to be carried out by the school authorities.

In September, the Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) proposed legislation to further regulate Christian activity on their already regulated internet, Christianity Today reported.

This type of law would prohibit things like online church services, which would be detrimental to Christians in China who already have extremely limited opportunities to hear the Word of God.

In August 2018, Radio Free Asia, a group that tracks and follows free speech in Asia, reported that the Christians in China were facing the “most systematic suppression of Christianity in China since religious freedom was written into the constitution in 1982.”

This news, as startling as it was, came as no surprise, as President Xi Jinping has been extremely open about his desire to repress the spread of the Christian faith. In 2016, Xi said, “We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means.”

There has been a steady increase in persecution from local governments over the past couple of years, with various cities implementing rules against all religious gatherings.

In May 2018, Wenzhou and Shaoxing, two cities in the eastern province, banned all forms of religious gatherings — including Bible studies, prayer meetings and church services. Not only this, but they also called for citizens to renounce their faith, especially those who believe in Jesus Christ.

As the plight of Chinese Christians seems to only grow worse over time, Western Christians can do their part by praying for the protection and perseverance of the faithful and their families as they continue to proclaim the Gospel in a hostile land.

via Chinese City Offers $1,500 USD Reward for Snitching on Christians — Faithwire

Barr Confirms Multiple Intel Agencies Implicated In Anti-Trump Spy Operation — The Federalist

‘I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,’ Barr said.

“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Attorney General William Barr told a Senate committee on Wednesday morning. Barr’s comments came in the context of potential Justice Department reviews of the Trump-Russia investigation and how it began in 2016.

While it is important that the top law enforcement in the United States publicly acknowledged that the Obama administration and its intelligence agencies surveilled its domestic political opponents during the heat of a presidential election, it is what he said next that was most startling: that the CIA and other federal agencies in addition to the FBI may have been involved. “I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,” he said.

The FBI, which has incredibly friendly relations with the media, has taken the brunt of the public outcry against the anti-Trump operation. That project included the use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, national security letters, human informants, and strategic leaking to craft a narrative of treasonous collusion with Russia to steal an election from Hillary Clinton. It even included leaks of classified records from former FBI director James Comey, which he said was done for the purpose of launching a special counsel investigation as retaliation for his firing.

There have always been indications that the operation went far beyond the FBI, however. For example, former CIA director John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor, separately briefed Sen. Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) about the operation. Reid understood that move was undertaken so he could publicize the Russia investigation to influence the ongoing presidential election campaign.

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN contributor, admitted to discussions with media outlets about the investigation. The U.S. embassy in London was used contrary to established protocol to funnel hearsay that was used as a pretext to officially launch a wide-ranging investigation against the entire Trump orbit. Clinton-connected officials in the State Department were also used to disseminate unverified gossip and allegations about Trump throughout the federal government.

The use of covert individuals to surreptitiously obtain information on private American citizens and share it with the government is the most obvious publicly known indication that agencies beyond the FBI may have been intimately involved in the operation. It is clearly possible that every single instance of intelligence collection was done entirely by the FBI without any assistance from any other federal intelligence agency. However, that has not been determined by any investigative body.

The use of Stefan Halper, for example, a London-based American academic with longstanding ties to the FBI, CIA, and Defense Department, raises serious questions about whether CIA assets or resources were used against American citizens. Following Nixon-era domestic spying abuses by the U.S. intelligence community, oversight bodies restricted the authority of the CIA to spy on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

Numerous Trump affiliates were lured to meetings overseas that were then used as the basis for domestic intelligence collection. The formal launch of an enterprise investigation against the Trump campaign was opened following a report that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign advisor, had told a foreign diplomat in London about another overseas meeting during which he was told Russians had dirt on Clinton.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake is representative of the media’s award-winning complicity in furthering a baseless conspiracy theory of Russian collusion and concealing the troubling behavior of their most prized sources:

It is discrediting to Blake to cite Clapper, a man who famously lied to Congressabout the mass surveillance of American citizens, as a trustworthy source of information on the government’s domestic spying operations. The media’s attempt to claim that the covert surveillance of and collection of information on American citizens tied to the Trump campaign does not constitute “spying” is as absurd today as it was when they first started attempting to claim that a year ago after it was revealed that the FBI had used an overseas intelligence asset in its anti-Trump operation.

The Times headline about the use of government agents to secretly gather evidence against the Trump campaign was — hand to God — “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.”

It’s also false to pretend that the surveillance only occurred against Carter Page and only after he left the campaign, referring to the year-long FISA warrant the FBI and DOJ used against the innocent American citizen using discredited Clinton-campaign research as a basis. That’s wrong on multiple counts. According to The New York Times’ government leakers:

The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.

Furthermore, even Page’s FISA surveillance allowed U.S. authorities to surveil not just Page but those he was in contact with, including campaign officials, and to search electronic communications sent and received long before the FISA warrant application was initially approved.

The fact of the matter is that federal intelligence agencies spied on a rival political campaign. They illegally leaked information about that surveillance. They abused their authority to at best undermine the duly elected president and at worst to attempt a soft coup against him. They did so with the near-total cooperation of the American media establishment.

This is a scandal of epic proportions. It is one that threatens the foundations of constitutional government. It is a direct attack on American democracy.

If it is true, as the Washington Post asserts, that democracy dies in darkness, then every single improper deed done under the cloak of secrecy must be fully brought to light. The only way to restore the definitively lost credibility of the FBI and other intelligence agencies is through a thorough investigation of what happened, who was involved, and how they will be held accountable.

via Barr Confirms Multiple Intel Agencies Implicated In Anti-Trump Spy Operation — The Federalist

April 10 Divine Representation

Scripture reading: Romans 5:12–21

Key verse: Romans 5:18

Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Located in Washington, D.C., are one hundred U.S. senators and 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Each represents the voting constituency of his or her home state. Some representatives from small districts represent only thousands of voters, while senators from large states—such as California and New York—represent many millions. Because they are our elected state officials, their votes legally represent their constituencies. For the record, their votes are our votes.

In a way this is how identification works. Jesus was not only our substitute on the cross, dying for us, but He was also our representative. John Stott, in his book The Cross, defines a representative as “one who acts on behalf of another in such a way as to involve the other in his action … As our representative, He [Christ] did what we, by being united to Him, have also done: We have died and risen with Him.”

In His death, burial, and resurrection, Christ represented the entire human race. We are identified with Him, and we receive the merits of Christ’s work when we place our faith in Him and His redemptive labor. We are freed from the guilt and penalty of sin (died with Him) and empowered to live (risen with Him) an overcoming life.

Jesus, thank You for representing me in Your death, burial, and resurrection. I praise You that I am a beneficiary of your redemptive labor, freed from the guilt and penalty of sin and empowered to live an overcoming life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 105). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Four ways that Uncle Sam will respond to its $75 trillion insolvency | The Daily Bell

Article Image

via Sovereignman.com

Last week I told you that the US government recently reported a negative net worth of MINUS $75 TRILLION.

That’s not a type-o. According to the Treasury Department’s annual financial report for Fiscal Year 2018 (which they just published last week), the US government is hopelessly bankrupt.

Now, I’m not talking about this trying to stoke fear and panic.

Quite the opposite– I’m hoping that this conversation results in calm optimism. But the point is that it’s an important conversation to have… because a number as large as $75 trillion absolutely has consequences.

To believe that any nation can be so desperately insolvent without suffering any negative impact is just plain foolish.

Debts have to be paid. Obligations have to be met. So at some point, with numbers these gruesome, something has to break down.

This is not a dire prediction or wild conspiracy theory. It’s an arithmetic certainty.

Remember, this isn’t even my analysis. The government itself acknowledges its $75 trillion insolvency. The Social Security Administration acknowledges that its trust funds will run out of money in 15 years.

This is happening. So let’s take a look at the government’s very narrow playbook:

1) Ignore the problem

Politicians are already acting as if nothing is wrong.

Sure, occasionally you’ll hear someone complain about the debt, or there will be a debt ceiling showdown. But no serious alarm bells are ringing.

And because they don’t make a big deal over the debt, no one else does either. Everyone just goes along as if there’s not a problem.

2) Raise taxes

This is HIGHLY likely because it’s the most politically palatable option. The Bolsheviks are already coming to power under a mandate to soak the rich. They want wealth taxes, dramatically higher income taxes, corporate taxes, surtaxes, etc.

Problem is– it won’t help.

Since the end of World War II, tax rates in the United States have been all over the board. Back in the 1960s, the wealthiest paid a highest marginal rate of 90%! Now the highest is 37%.

During that period, corporate, individual, and capital gain rates have bounced around like a drunken pinball.

Yet throughout it all, despite how high or low tax rates have been set, overall tax REVENUE (measured as a percentage of GDP) has been more or less the same.

US tax revenue averages out to be about 17.7% of GDP, year in, year out, regardless of what actual tax rates are.

In other words, the US government’s ‘slice’ of the economic pie is about 17.7%, plus/minus a very narrow range.

In Fiscal Year 2018, for example, the federal government’s tax revenue was 18.0% of GDP.

Point is, they could jack up tax rates to the moon… but actual tax REVENUE won’t budge at all.

You’d think that they would recognize this– that eight decades of tax data would make them think– “Gee, if we can’t increase our slice of the pie, why don’t we just try to make the pie bigger…”

But no. They fall back on the same old ‘soak the rich’ mentality, because it gets them elected.

3) Default

Since raising taxes won’t actually fix anything, their next move is to default.

This could mean either defaulting on their creditors, i.e. people who own the debt… or defaulting on their obligations to taxpayers (like Social Security).

And as I said earlier, that’s already happening.

In 2018 annual report, the Social Security Administration stated that its trust funds will run out of money in 2034, just 15 years away.

After that, they’ll have no choice but to dramatically cut benefits for current and future Social Security recipients.

Imagine paying into the system for your entire life under a promise that you’ll receive certain benefits, only to have that promise broken. That constitutes a default. And it’s already in the works.

Defaulting on creditors is a tricky one.

The top owners of US debt are as follows:

  • Social Security Administration: yes it’s true, Social Security is the top US debt holder. So if Uncle Sam defaults on Social Security, that program is even more royally screwed.
  • Federal Reserve: The Fed owns trillions of dollars worth of US debt. So if Uncle Sam defaults, it would wipe out the Fed’s solvency and create an epic currency crisis for the US dollar.
  • Foreign Creditors like China: If the Fed defaults on the Chinese, it would create a global financial crisis, as nearly all foreigners would dump their US bonds. Borrowing costs would skyrocket as a result, bankrupting the government.

None of those is a good option, which leads to…

4) Inflation

For thousands of years, governments in financial distress resorted to debasing their currencies and creating inflation in order to make ends meet.

Governments really like inflation, because it slowly reduces the value of the debt that they’ve borrowed.

And because inflation is so gradual (around 3% annually), no one kicks up much of a fuss, even though it steals prosperity year after year.

So most likely they’ll continue to print money in an attempt to create inflation and inflate the debt away.

These are all things that a reasonable person should plan on: higher taxes, higher inflation, default on Social Security, etc.

And again, this is based on the government’s own data.

But it’s not anything to fear– there are plenty of solutions.

It certainly makes sense, for example, to consider owning some inflation-proof assets: gold and silver, real estate (including foreign property), shares of a well-managed, high cash-flow business, etc.

Those assets will do well against inflation.

It also makes sense to create a robust retirement structure like a solo 401(k) or SEP IRA so that you’re not as dependent on Social Security… because that reckoning day is absolutely coming.

The government is practically giving us a date to circle on our calendars. Failing to plan for it is insane.

source: https://www.thedailybell.com/all-articles/news-analysis/four-ways-that-uncle-sam-will-respond-to-its-75-trillion-insolvency/

Google blacklisting independent news sites

A report alleges tech giant Google manually manipulated special search engine results, blacklisting certain websites. RT America’s Manila Chan turns to investigative journalist Ben Swann to decipher this report. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore #News Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/ Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/ Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America

Bernie Sanders Advocates For Separate Socialisms For Poor People And Rich People — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—As presidential candidate Bernie Sanders prepares to release his tax returns that reveal he is now a millionaire, he has clarified his views on socialism.

“I do very much believe in socialism,” Bernie Sanders told the press. “Inequality is a huge problem. But I never said I believed in only one socialism. I think we need separate socialisms for rich people like me and for poor people.”

Sanders then further explained by focusing on one of his big targets: billionaires. “Billionaires have way more money than me, a meager millionaire,” he continued. “That’s unfair. We need to make things more equal by giving me some of their millions. But you can’t give those millions to poor people; they wouldn’t know what to do with them, as they never wrote a bestselling book and only own one or fewer houses. So instead they should split among themselves the meager thousands and hundreds that they’re more used to.”

Sanders described his two socialisms — one for rich people and one for poor people — as “separate but equal” except for “money-wise.”

“So now everyone will be happy and more equal — but equal in their own groups,” Sanders further explained. “So I hope everyone will continue to support me, but please, stay off my property.” He then quickly corrected himself. “Properties.”

via Bernie Sanders Advocates For Separate Socialisms For Poor People And Rich People — The Babylon Bee

April 10, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Great Commission: Proclaiming Forgiveness

(Luke 24:44–49)

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (24:44–49)

This section of Luke’s gospel sweeps from the beginning of revelation in Genesis to the end of redemptive history, viewing the mural of salvation from start to finish. The primary emphasis of the Lord’s words here is found in verse 47, where He declared that repentance and forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name.

The passage is Luke’s account of the Great Commission (cf. Matt. 28:19–20), the Lord’s mandate for the church to proclaim the saving truth of the “glorious gospel of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11). That mandate is for all believers throughout all history, not merely those who heard the Lord speak these words. The gospel of Luke ends by putting the reader in the same position as the apostles and the disciples; everyone who names the name of Jesus Christ is responsible to proclaim the truth. The baton has been passed down from generation to generation, and it is our responsibility to pass it on to the next generation.

To fulfill the Lord’s command to spread the gospel around the world is the overarching, all-consuming purpose of the church. Everything else, including understanding and teaching sound doctrine, worship, fellowship, prayer, pursuing holiness, and engaging in Christian service, is important and beneficial. But to do all of those things and not proclaim the gospel is to reject the purpose for which those elements exist. They are not the goal, but rather the means to accomplishing the goal of proclaiming the gospel and undergirding that proclamation with lives of credibility and integrity.

But while believers are responsible for evangelizing the lost, God is the one who ultimately seeks them. From the garden, where God called to Adam after the fall (Gen. 3:9), to the final invitation in Revelation 22:17, God has sought sinners. The goal of human history is God’s redeeming men and women to bring them to glory as a bride for His Son, whom they will serve, honor, and worship forever.

In its conclusion, Luke’s gospel proves what it claimed in the beginning. The angel declared to Mary that the son she would bear would be the Son of God (1:35). Jesus’ life, miracles, power over demons, teaching, and resurrection demonstrated that He was. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, gave a Spirit-inspired prophecy in which he declared that the Messiah would accomplish redemption for His people through the forgiveness of their sins (1:77). Jesus Christ came, suffered, died, rose again the third day, and provided that forgiveness for all who believe in Him.

This penultimate section of Luke’s gospel, which launches the history of the proclamation of the gospel, presents seven elements of the gospel mandate given to the church. It is biblical as to its foundation, historical as to its accomplishment, transformational as to its provision, Christological as to its appropriation, global as to its extent, personal as to its agency, and supernatural as to its power.

The Gospel is Biblical as to Its Foundation

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (24:44–45)

As noted in previous chapters of this volume, the Jewish people expected the Messiah to be a triumphant conqueror, not one who would suffer and die. To preach the gospel to them, the disciples would have to convince them from the Old Testament both that Jesus was the Messiah and that the Messiah had to die.

But they were woefully unprepared for that task. They had demonstrated a lack of understanding of the Old Testament and had failed miserably to comprehend most of what Jesus said to them. That was true even when He said it to them in simple, clear straightforward terms. The disciples had been subject all their lives to an inadequate, if not downright false, interpretation of the Old Testament by their rabbis. As a result, they were in no position to rightly interpret the Old Testament and needed someone to instruct them rightly. They required a total correction of their theology and hermeneutics as well as a clear understanding that Christianity was not a repudiation of Old Testament Judaism, but the fulfillment of it.

Despite Christ’s repeated teaching on the subject of His death and resurrection (cf. Luke 9:22, 44–45; 18:31, 34; 24:6–8), the disciples still did not grasp the truth. He therefore reminded them of His words which He spoke to them while He was still with them during His earthly ministry; that all things which are written about Him in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms (the threefold division of the Old Testament) must be fulfilled. Those were the Old Testament truths about Messiah that the disciples would have to believe wholeheartedly if they were to convince the Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah. The Law of Moses was the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy); the Prophets included both the former prophets (the historical books beginning with Joshua) and the later prophets (the major prophets; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Lamentations, and the minor prophets; Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi); the Psalms represented the wisdom literature (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon).

Their evangelism was to be biblically based, so they needed clear understanding of the Scriptures related to Christ. The Old Testament promised the Messiah would come through the line of Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3; cf. Gal. 3:16), the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; cf. Rev. 5:5), and the line of David (2 Sam. 7). Isaiah 7:14 predicted that He would be born of a virgin; Micah 5:2 that He would be born in Bethlehem. He would be betrayed by a close, trusted friend (Ps. 41:9); He would be beaten, spit on, and have His beard pulled out (Isa. 50:6; Mic. 5:1); the soldiers would gamble for His clothing (Ps. 22:18); He would be crucified (Ps. 22) and pierced (Zech. 12:10); His death would be vicarious (Isa. 53), and He would rise from the dead (Isa. 53:10; Ps. 16:8–11). The Christ of gospel history did not invent Himself, nor is He the invention of some people in the first century. He is the unmistakable fulfillment of divine prophecy.

Jesus opened their minds to understand those Scriptures and many other prophecies that were fulfilled in His first coming. As He had earlier done for the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He gave them a sweeping messianic interpretation of the Old Testament. The disciples for the first time understood the messianic meaning of the Old Testament prophecies and used them immediately in their own interpretation of events (Acts 1:15–20), as well as their preaching and evangelism. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter cited Joel 2:28–32 and Psalm 16:8–11, among others (Acts 2:14–36; cf. 4:23–26). Addressing the Sanhedrin, Peter cited Psalm 118:22 (Acts 4:10–11). Both Stephen (Acts 7) and Philip (Acts 8:26–35) employed sweeping features of the Old Testament in their evangelism, as did the apostle Paul (Acts 13:16–41; 17:1–3; 28:25–27). The disciples undoubtedly experienced the same passionate stirring of their hearts as did the two at Emmaus (Luke 24:32) and were eager to proclaim the Scriptures and their fulfillment as He had taught them. But not yet. Jesus instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came to empower them for that task (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4–5, 8).

The Gospel is Historical as to Its Accomplishment

and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, (24:46)

It was written in the Old Testament that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that is exactly what happened. The resurrection was not mythological, or legendary; it was not a mystical or spiritual idea, but an event that happened in real, space-time history (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3–8). In fact, there is no better attested fact or event in ancient history than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is Transformational as to Its Provision

and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed (24:47a)

The gracious, eternal provision of the gospel is the forgiveness of sins purchased by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and confirmed by His resurrection (Rom. 4:25). Forgiveness is a constant theme in Luke’s gospel. Zacharias prophesied that God would “give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:77). John the Baptist’s ministry involved “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (3:3). Jesus said to a paralytic, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you” (5:20) and to a sinful woman, “Your sins have been forgiven” (7:48). He commanded believers to pray, “Forgive us our sins” (11:4), and while on the cross prayed, “Father, forgive them” (23:34).

The apostles understood the importance of forgiveness and proclaimed it. On the Day of Pentecost Peter said to the crowd, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Later he declared to the Sanhedrin, “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30). He said to those gathered in Cornelius’s house, “Of [Jesus] all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43). Paul told those gathered in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through [Christ] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you” (13:38).

Forgiveness of sins is available only to those who repent. Repentance is the foundational biblical, spiritual act that moves the heart in the direction of salvation. It is turning from sin’s presence, power, dominance, and consequences to righteousness. Repentance involves a desire to leave sin behind and pursue righteousness. It is not simply feeling bad about one’s circumstances, or condition, or the consequences that resulted from one’s sins, but mourning over the reality of sin. Repentance is prompted by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), who came to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and is granted by God (2 Tim. 2:25; cf. Acts 11:18).

The attitude of repentance is seen in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:1–11). To be repentant is to be spiritually bankrupt, to know that one is poor, to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to mourn over one’s wretchedness, and consequently be humbled by that condition. The promise to the believing penitent person is that God will grant forgiveness of sin, because Christ has provided the sacrifice that pays the penalty for sin.

The Gospel Is Christological as to Its Appropriation

in His name (24:47b)

Forgiveness of sin is available only through Jesus Christ, since “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). His name is a metonym for His person (cf. Luke 9:48) and represents all that He is. To proclaim in the name of Jesus that there is forgiveness of sin is to do so consistent with who He is in all His fullness.

The apostles did everything in the name of Christ, which is the only source of God’s power. After healing the lame man at the temple (Acts 3:1–8) Peter said to the astonished crowd, “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all” (v. 16; cf. 4:10). The early church also baptized in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16), suffered for His name (Acts 5:41; 9:15–16; 21:13), and evangelized in His name (3 John 7). It is no wonder, then, that Christians were known as those who called on the name of Jesus (Acts 9:14, 21).

The Gospel Is Global as to Its Extent

to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (24:47c)

The Old Testament teaches not only that Messiah would suffer and die, rise from the dead, and have repentance proclaimed in His name, but also that the gospel message of forgiveness in His name would be proclaimed to all the nations.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus had sent the apostles not to the Samaritans or Gentiles (Matt. 10:5), but only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (v. 6). The Lord said of His own ministry, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). Consequently, the Jerusalem church initially was reluctant to evangelize the Gentiles or Samaritans. But when persecution forced the believers to flee Jerusalem, some went to Samaria (Acts 8:1–2), and “Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them” (v. 5). Gentile evangelism, however, did not take place until Peter’s vision (Acts 10:9–16) caused him to realize that “God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (vv. 34–35). After some initial misgivings (Acts 11:1–3), the Jerusalem church accepted Peter’s preaching the gospel to Gentiles, and the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:1–21) formally decided that Gentiles could be saved without first becoming Jewish proselytes and following Jewish ritual. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13), wrote,

Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, “Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name.” (Rom. 15:8–9)

Because of their ultimate rejection of Him, Israel had been cut off (Rom. 11) and left desolate (Luke 13:35) and facing the destruction that would come in a.d. 70 (Matt. 24:1–2). The time had arrived in God’s plan of redemption to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.

Gentile salvation was not a new reality, however. The Old Testament clearly declares that Gentiles would be saved. In Genesis 22:18 God said to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” In his prayer at the dedication of the temple Solomon prayed,

Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake (for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name. (1 Kings 8:41–43)

Isaiah wrote,

Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (2:2–3)

Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. (45:22)

It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth. (49:6)

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (60:1–3)

Joel added, “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls” (2:32; cf. Rom. 10:13), and Micah wrote,

And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (4:1–2)

The global command to reach the entire world extends the responsibility for evangelism from the apostles and disciples to all believers.

The Gospel Is Personal as to Its Agency

You are witnesses of these things. (24:48)

God has chosen to use exclusively human witnesses as His means of proclaiming the gospel in the present age, unlike the “angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people” (Rev. 14:6), who will also proclaim the gospel during the tribulation. Those witnesses were first of all the apostles and the rest of the early church, as the book of Acts indicates (1:8; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39; 13:31; 22:15; 26:16), and by extension all believers throughout church history, since the apostles did not travel to the “remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Gospel Is Supernatural as to Its Power

And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (24:49)

Though believers are gospel witnesses, the gospel does not advance by human power, creativity, ingenuity, or zeal. “The weapons of our warfare,” Paul wrote, “are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Cor. 10:4). Therefore the Lord told the disciples that He would be sending forth the promise of the Father upon them. In the meantime, they were to stay in the city of Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. The promise of the Father that would grant them divine power to witness is the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Both the Old Testament (Ezek. 36:27; 37:14; 39:29; Joel 2:28–29) and Jesus (John 14:16–17; 20:22) promised the coming of the Holy Spirit, through whose indwelling Jesus is also with believers (Matt. 28:20). Since all Christians are indwelt by the Spirit (Rom. 8:9), all are empowered for effective witness. The question is, how faithful will they be?[1]

The Easter Sermon of Jesus Christ

Luke 24:44–48

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:45–47)

Easter was over. The women had made their early journey to find the empty tomb. Peter had raced to see the grave clothes. Cleopas and his companion had walked to Emmaus with Jesus, as it turned out, and then back to Jerusalem with their hearts on fire. Jesus himself had suddenly appeared among his disciples, showing them his hands and feet. It was the day of resurrection—the first of all Easters—and it filled the disciples with so much joy they could hardly believe it.

Now it was time for Jesus to do what he loved to do as much as anything in the world: preach the gospel of his saving grace (see Luke 4:43). Maybe Jesus did this on the same night that he appeared to his disciples. What seems more likely, though, is that there is a gap in Luke 24 between verse 43 and verse 44, between Easter evening and all the teaching Jesus did in the following weeks. Luke 24 almost gives the impression that Jesus went back to heaven the same day he rose from the dead. But he was with his disciples for forty days between his resurrection and his ascension, as Luke said himself in Acts 1:3. So presumably the end of chapter 24 is a summary of what he taught during those weeks—one long sermon to explain Easter Sunday, everything that led up to it, and everything that would follow.

When Jesus says “while I was still with you” in verse 44, he is hinting that he is about to leave his disciples. But before he goes, he has something supremely important to do, and that is to prepare them to reach the world. The destiny of humanity depended on their faithful witness, so at the end of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus briefed them on their mission to the world.

A Biblical Sermon

Only Luke records the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ, in which he preached the gospel of his own resurrection and its implications for the world. It was a biblical, Christ-centered, evangelistic, missionary sermon.

To begin with, Jesus preached a biblical sermon, in which he proclaimed the gospel promise from the Old Testament. Jesus wanted to give his disciples a complete course in biblical interpretation. He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).

One time-honored principle for public speaking is to start by telling people what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and finally tell them what you told them. Jesus followed that principle here. Back in Nazareth he had begun his public ministry by preaching the good news of the kingdom from the prophet Isaiah. He kept preaching that gospel message throughout his earthly ministry. Now, in his last sermon, Jesus wanted to tell his disciples again what he had told them before. When he said “these are my words,” he was referring to everything he had taught his disciples.

This time they were finally ready to hear what he had to say. Jesus had always told them that he would die and rise again, but the disciples had never really understood what he was talking about. Things were different now, though, because they were in the very presence of the crucified and risen Christ. So they were ready to understand the gospel and its implications for the world, as well as their own call to gospel ministry. “Don’t you see,” Jesus could say to them now, “this is what I was talking about. What I did on the cross and through the empty tomb was the outworking of everything I have ever taught you.”

What Jesus taught came right out of the Bible, which is where his sermon begins: with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. In briefing his disciples on their mission to the world, Jesus does not begin with their personal spiritual experience. He does not even begin with the physical reality of his own resurrection. Rather, he begins the same place that we should always begin everything in life: with the Word of God. As Kent Hughes comments, Jesus “did not want them to rest their belief in his resurrection on their personal experience alone. He was not interested in their becoming an esoteric coterie, an elite group with a special knowledge of Christ. Resting their faith on a miracle was not sufficient. He wanted them to ground their experience of his resurrection on the massive testimony and perspective of Scripture.” Thus the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ is a biblical sermon.

The way Jesus refers to the Bible here is by calling it the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. This is the way many Jews referred to the three traditional parts of the Hebrew Scriptures. For them, the Law was the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The Prophets included the Major and Minor Prophets, and also the historical books, like Samuel and Chronicles. The Psalms referred not only to Israel’s hymnbook, but also to other writings in the wisdom literature, like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Thus talking about “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” was really a shorthand way of referring to the whole Old Testament.

Jesus based his life and ministry on everything those writings said about his saving work. In fact, Jesus said that everything in the Bible was about him. What an audacious claim to make! What right did Jesus have to say that everything in the Bible is all about him? Who does he think he is anyway? Jesus knows who he is: the Son of God and the Savior of the world, and therefore the fulfillment of every promise that God has ever made to his people. Jesus Christ is the key to understanding the Old Testament. To know the Old Testament truly is to know Jesus, and to know Jesus, one has to know the Old Testament.

Jesus used every part of the Old Testament in his own ministry. He taught his disciples many things that were written about him in Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Jesus used the Law of Moses right at the beginning of the Gospel, when he was tempted in the wilderness and answered the devil by quoting directly from Deuteronomy (Luke 4:1–11; cf. Deut. 6:13, 16; 8:3). Jesus also used the Prophets, starting with his very first sermon (Luke 4:17–21; cf. Isa. 61:1–2) and including many specific fulfillments of their prophecies. For example, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he was fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy of a king coming “humble and mounted on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9). Then Jesus often taught from the Psalms. He did it the very week that he was crucified, using Psalm 110 to prove that the Christ is both David’s son and David’s Lord (see Luke 20:41–44).

Jesus taught this way because he knew that all these Scriptures had to come true. Everything written about him “must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44), he said, and the word “must” expressed a divine necessity. The life of Jesus was governed by the prophecies and promises of the Word of God. In order for God to fulfill his plan—and in order for us to be saved—Jesus had to come into the world the way he came, live the way he lived, die the way he died, and rise again the way he rose again. It all had to happen the way the Bible said it would happen, the way it was promised in the Scriptures. To show this, Jesus preached a biblical sermon at the end of Easter.

A Christ-Centered Sermon

Jesus also preached a Christ-centered sermon, as any biblical sermon ought to be. The main thing that Jesus had taught his disciples—from the Old Testament—was the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Christ. In other words, he preached the gospel, because these are the two basic facts of the gospel: the dying and the rising of the Savior whom God promised. In his Easter sermon, Jesus preached that same gospel again: “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead’ ” (Luke 24:45–46). The gospel promise that was given in the Old Testament—the promise of the Christ—finds its fulfillment in Jesus and his saving work.

These were all things that Jesus had told his disciples before. He said: “The Son of Man must suffer many things … and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22). He said: “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.… After flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise” (Luke 18:31, 33). But even though Jesus said these things, the disciples did not understand them. When he said the Son of Man would be delivered over to death, “they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it” (Luke 9:45). Similarly, when he prophesied his death and his resurrection on the third day, “they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said” (Luke 18:34). The minds of the disciples were closed to the gospel.

We should not be surprised, therefore, when people have trouble understanding the gospel or believing in Jesus today. It did not seem all that important to the disciples at first either. They really did not understand what Jesus was talking about.

Then Jesus actually did what he always said that he would do: he offered his body for suffering unto death, and then on the third day he rose again. At that point one might think that the disciples would believe the gospel. Yet they still did not understand! When Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection, they thought they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:37), not a living Savior. Somehow they were still missing something.

What made the difference for these disciples? How did they ever start trusting in the cross and believing in the empty tomb? Luke tells us that Jesus “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45; cf. 24:32). What these men needed—what everyone needs—is the mind-opening work of God. Christianity is rational, but understanding the gospel is not merely intellectual. It takes a work of God for anyone to know Jesus in a saving way. The Bible says that “the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). It does not matter how smart we are; we will never understand the message of God’s salvation unless and until God enables us to understand it. This is what Jesus did for his disciples, and what he will do for anyone who sincerely asks him for understanding: he will open our minds to see his salvation.

Knowing Jesus is the work of God the Holy Spirit—a work he does when the Bible is preached in a Christ-centered way. Notice that when his disciples had trouble understanding what he was saying from the Scriptures, Jesus did not decide to try some other method. He did not say, “The Bible must be too hard for them to understand; I need to find some other way to communicate.” On the contrary, Jesus knew that God does his saving work by the Word. So he went back to the same Scriptures he had always preached, and preached them again. Here is an example for our own evangelism, in which we should always trust the Word to do the real work of our witness.

Jesus preached Christ from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. Maybe he turned to Exodus 12 and talked about the Passover, and how an offering of blood saved people from death. Or maybe he quoted Leviticus 16 and preached about the sacrifice that was sprinkled on the mercy seat to atone for all his people’s sins. Then he might have turned to one of the prophets, like Isaiah, who said that the Savior would be stricken, smitten, and afflicted, that he would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (see Isa. 53). Or perhaps Jesus preached Psalm 22—the song he quoted from the cross when he was dying a God-forsaken death. But wherever he turned in the Scriptures, Jesus preached the sufferings and death of the Christ.

That is not all he preached, however. Jesus also preached the resurrection of the Christ. Maybe he preached it from the story of Moses and the burning bush, where God styled himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of the living, and not the dead (Exod. 3:1–6; cf. Luke 20:37–38). Or maybe he preached the resurrection from the prophet Jonah, who came back on the third day (see Jonah 1:17), or from Hosea, who said, “on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him” (Hos. 6:2). Jesus also preached the resurrection from passages like Psalm 16, where the Christ said, “You will not abandon me to the grave” (Ps. 16:10 niv; cf. Acts 2:25–32).

When Jesus preached his Easter sermon, he preached Christ crucified and Christ risen, Christ suffering and dying and rising again. He preached Christ from all the Scriptures, opening minds to understand the basic facts of his saving gospel. Jesus did what was prophesied, and then he preached what he had done—his saving work in human history. This is the basic message of the whole Bible: Jesus the Christ suffered and died and rose again.

An Evangelistic Sermon

If we believe the gospel, as promised in the Scriptures and accomplished by the Christ, then we must repent of our sin. This too was part of the Easter preaching of Jesus Christ. His biblical, Christ-centered sermon was also an evangelistic sermon—a sermon that called people to respond by repenting and receiving forgiveness for their sins. Jesus thus ended his ministry the same way he began it: by preaching repentance (see Matt. 4:17).

The biblical gospel is more than a set of facts. We need to know that Jesus died and rose again, of course, but we also need to understand what those facts mean and respond to them in a saving and believing way. This too was promised in the Scriptures. The same Old Testament that promised the sufferings and the resurrection of the Christ, also promised repentance and forgiveness. “Thus it is written,” Jesus said, “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name” (Luke 24:47).

This could be proved from almost any page in the Bible. It is not just this text or that text which proclaims repentance and the forgiveness of sins; it is the whole message of the Old Testament. Ever since Adam and Eve committed the first sin, God has been calling his people to repentance. The biblical prophets were forever telling the people of God to turn away from sin. “Let the wicked forsake his way,” they said, “and the unrighteous man his thoughts” (Isa. 55:7). The very best men and women of God show us how to repent by their example. “Have mercy on me, O God,” said King David. “Against you, you only, have I sinned” (Ps. 51:1, 4).

God did have mercy—not only on David, but on every penitent sinner. This too is the message of the Old Testament: God freely offers forgiveness to anyone who is truly sorry for sin. “As far as the east is from the west,” David testified, “so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12). The prophet who told the wicked man to forsake his way also said, “let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:7). “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,” the Scripture says, “but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

Now repentance and forgiveness are to be preached in the name of Jesus, or on the name of Jesus—on the basis of what he has done on the cross and through the empty tomb. This is how we know that the ancient promise is true, that by the saving grace of gospel repentance, all our sins will be forgiven. We are sure of this because Jesus went to the cross for us, and said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). We are forgiven “through the merit and the mediation of Christ.” We know that his sacrifice has been accepted because God raised him from the dead. It is not only the crucifixion that guarantees our forgiveness, but also the resurrection.

The way for us to respond is to repent and believe, and then we too will be forgiven. Here is how a little old verse for children describes what it means for us to repent:

Repentance is to leave

The things we loved before,

And to show that we in earnest grieve

By doing so no more.

Leaving the things we loved before takes courage, and also humility—the humility to admit that God cannot accept us just the way we are, but that we need to be forgiven. A good illustration of penitent humility comes from the ancient traditions of the Luo tribe in Tanzania. When a tribe member commits a serious crime, he has violated the community covenant and is banished from his village for life. He will go somewhere else, maybe for decades. But when he grows old, he will ask if he can return to his fathers and come home to die in his own village. There is only one way for the sinner to return, only one way to undo the evil that he has done: a sacred ritual of atonement. A low opening is made in the village wall, opposite the entrance. Then a lamb is sacrificed, and as the man confesses his crime, its blood is sprinkled on him for cleansing. This takes place outside the walls of the village. But once the sacrifice has been made and the blood has been sprinkled, the man is allowed to come inside, stooping low to enter in humility before being welcomed into his father’s house.

So it is for anyone who wants to enter the family of God. We must bow in humility. We must confess the wrong that we have done. We must believe in the power of the sacrificial blood that Jesus sprinkled on the cross. Then we will be fully forgiven and warmly welcomed into the Father’s house.

A Missionary Sermon

This message of repentance and forgiveness is for everyone in the whole world, which is why Jesus ended his biblical, Christ-centered, evangelistic sermon by turning it into a missionary sermon. First we believe the gospel for ourselves, confessing our own sin and trusting Jesus with our own faith. Next we proclaim that gospel message to others. So Jesus told his disciples that repentance and forgiveness should be preached in his name “to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Then he said, “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48). Like all the resurrection stories in Luke, this one ends with witness (see Luke 24:9–10, 33–35).

Thus the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ is a missionary sermon for the world. This had been God’s plan from the beginning. He was never the God of the Jews only; he had always had a heart for the world. This too was “written in the Scriptures.” The same Old Testament that said the Christ would suffer and rise again, and that promised repentance and forgiveness, also said that this saving gospel would be preached throughout the world. It would start in Jerusalem, of course, because that is where Jesus died and rose again, and also because that is what the Scripture promised (see Isa. 2:3; Joel 3:16). But the gospel would go from Jerusalem to the nations.

We see this missionary promise in every part of the Old Testament. We see it in the Law of Moses, which promised that God would bless all nations through the son of Abraham (see Gen. 12:2–3; 17:1–7; cf. Gal. 3:16, 29). We see it in the Prophets, who said, “I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6). We see it perhaps most clearly in the Psalms. Psalm 22, the same psalm that prophesied that Christ would suffer a God-forsaken death, also made this promise: “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you” (Ps. 22:27). We find the same global promise in many of the praise psalms: “The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (Ps. 98:2; cf. 96:3; 97:6; 100:1).

So it was written. The Old Testament promises of God included the missionary age of the church. If anyone understood the global reach of the gospel it was Luke. Since the beginning of this book, he has been preparing us to see that salvation is for all nations. He announced that Jesus came to bring peace on earth (Luke 2:14), that his salvation would be for all peoples (Luke 2:31), that it would be a light for the Gentiles (Luke 2:32). Luke quoted Old Testament stories about Gentiles coming to faith, like Naaman the Syrian, or the widow of Zarephath (Luke 4:25–27). He also told us stories about Gentiles coming to Jesus, like the Roman centurion with the dying servant (Luke 7:1–9).

Now the time had come for all the ancient promises to be fulfilled. Just as it was promised that the Christ would suffer and rise again, so it was promised that forgiveness would be preached to all nations. As far as the plan of God and the fulfillment of Scripture are concerned, the missionary work of the church is as necessary and as important as the cross itself, and as the empty tomb. The Bible thus teaches three great redemptive acts in history: the cross, the resurrection, and the missionary work of the church. The ancient promises to the nations must be fulfilled. As Spurgeon said, “there was a divine necessity that Christ should die, and an equally imperative must that he should arise again from the dead; but there is an equally absolute necessity that Jesus should be preached to every creature under heaven.” Therefore Jesus sent his apostles out on their mission to the world, which was really his mission to the world. This is why Jesus had invested so much of himself in these men, to the point of death. His plan all along was for these apostles to go global with the gospel. As eyewitnesses of the resurrection, they would preach repentance and forgiveness to all nations, through the crucified and risen Christ.

This is exactly what the apostles did: they shared Christ everywhere. Their story is told in the book of Acts, which is volume two of Luke’s collected writings—the sequel to his Gospel. In Acts we read that starting from Jerusalem the apostles went out into the world with the gospel. Again and again we are told that they were witnesses for Jesus (e.g., Acts 1:8; 2:32; 5:32), as Jesus said they would be.

The apostles witnessed the same way that Jesus preached. Their sermons were biblical. They did not preach merely on the basis of their personal experience (which they sometimes did and could do better than anyone). Instead, they also (and primarily) preached from the Old Testament (e.g., Acts 2:17–28; 13:26–41). Their sermons were Christ-centered; the apostles were always preaching the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “You crucified him,” they said, “but God raised him up” (see Acts 2:23–24, 32; cf. 17:2–3). Their sermons were evangelistic. They said, “Repent … in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (see Acts 2:38). They preached this way to Gentiles as well as to Jews, for Jesus had told them to preach to all nations (see Acts 13:47–48; 17:30). Although it is true that we do not have the full text of Jesus’ Easter sermon in the Gospel of Luke, there is a sense in which the notes from that sermon are scattered throughout the New Testament, for it is the same message that the apostles always preached.

Today we continue to carry out that mission by multiplying gospel ministry to the world. Through the work of the church, and through the faithful ministry of Christian missionaries, repentance and forgiveness are proclaimed everywhere in the name of Jesus. Every time someone preaches a biblical sermon that gives people the gospel and calls them to repent for the forgiveness of their sins, the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ is preached all over again—his global, universal, missionary gospel.

We too are called to be witnesses. We are not eyewitnesses, of course, because we have not seen the risen Christ the way the apostles saw him. But we are witnesses nonetheless. We have heard the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ. We know the gospel message of the cross and the empty tomb. We believe God’s promise of the forgiveness of sins. So now we are the ones who carry the message of the apostles wherever we go in the world. Paul Beasley-Murray said, “The task of every disciple—and not just of every preacher—is to interpret the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus for others, and in doing so to spell out the gospel offer of forgiveness and the gospel demand for repentance.”

When we think of the nations, we should not think only of people who live far away. The “nations” includes all the people who are outside the family of God, who do not yet believe that Jesus died for them on the cross, or that their sins can be forgiven. In fact, some of the people who are farthest away from God are the people who are closest to us. Who will be their witness?

After almost a decade of going to the same barber, I finally had the perfect chance to share the gospel. My friend’s mother-in-law had died the week before, and he had been deeply affected by something strange that happened in her final days. The woman had pancreatic cancer and against every medical expectation she had lingered in extremis for weeks. The barber knew why: she was not ready to die, so she kept herself alive by sheer force of will. For days she lay on her hospital bed, seemingly unresponsive. Then suddenly she sat up with a loud cry, turned her head, and moved her arm wildly. Everyone in the room was shocked. They were also deeply troubled, for to some of them it seemed that she was fending off a demon—a demon that was trying to capture her soul.

My barber wanted to know what I thought about what had happened (because I was a “priest,” he said, I was the person to ask). I told him that the passage from this life to the next is a great mystery, and that I did not have any opinion about what had happened to his mother-in-law. But I told him that I did know how to be ready to die and go to heaven:

“By trying to be a good person, right?” the barber said.

“No,” I said, “I’m sure that none of us can really be good enough for God. All we need to do is believe in Jesus.”

“But what does that mean?” he wanted to know—the kind of question that sometimes we have to wait a decade before we get a chance to answer.

“It means believing that Jesus died on the cross,” I said, “and believing that he rose again from the dead.” Immediately the barber said that he believed all of that. Then I said, “And it means telling God that you are sorry for your sins, and asking him to forgive you for Jesus’ sake.”

My friend did not say whether he was ready to repent or not; the conversation moved on, as it often does when we start talking about sin. But without repentance no one will ever see the kingdom of God. It is not enough simply to believe the basic facts of the gospel—that Jesus died and rose again. We also need to apply those facts to ourselves by saying, “Dear God, I am sorry that I am such a sinner. Please forgive me for Jesus’ sake.”

Anyone who repents and believes in Jesus’ name will be forgiven. This is the promise of God, as it was made in the Old Testament Scriptures, preached in the Easter sermon of Jesus Christ, and given to all people everywhere—every one of us.[2]

48. And you are witnesses of those things. He does not yet commission them to preach the gospel, but only reminds them to what service he has appointed them, that they may prepare themselves for it in due time. He holds out this, partly as a consolation to soothe their grief, and partly as a spur to correct their sloth. Conscious of their recent departure from their Master, they must have been in a state of dejection; and here, contrary to all expectation, Christ bestows on them incredible honour, enjoining them to publish to the whole world the message of eternal salvation. In this manner he not only restores them to their former condition, but by the extent of this new favour he utterly obliterates the recollection of their heinous crimes; but at the same time, as I have said, he stimulates them, that they may not be so slow and dilatory in reference to the faith of which they were appointed to be preachers.[3]

46–49 This statement from the mouth of the risen Lord combines three elements: (1) the death and resurrection of Jesus, (2) preaching to the Gentiles, and (3) the promise of the Spirit. The significance of the presence of these elements in one statement is that now the age of the church is connected to the life and ministry of Jesus. As Jesus himself participates in the unfolding of God’s plan of salvation, the apostles (i.e., the church) will likewise participate in this great act of salvation history (cf. Jacques Dupont, “La portée christologique de l’évangélisation des nations d’après Lc 24,47,” in J. Gnilka, Neues Testament und Kirche [Freiburg: Herder, 1974], 126). With reference to the OT, these verses provide both a review of the gospel material and a preview for the events to come in the second volume of the Lukan corpus.

46 The formula “on the third day” (cf. v. 7) goes back to the first passion prediction (9:22). For the suffering of Jesus, one can point to Isaiah 53:7–8 (cf. Ac 8:32–33). For the resurrection, see the references in Isaiah 55:3 (cf. Ac 13:34) and Psalm 16:10 (Ac 13:35).

47 Even the widespread preaching of repentance and forgiveness was predicted in the OT (cf. Ac 26:23). Jewish authorities in the first centuries of our era debated whether or not they should engage in active proselytization; and some cited OT passages, especially in Isaiah, that referred to the coming of the Gentiles to the Lord. Such Scriptures as Isaiah 42:6 and 49:6 may underlie v. 47 here (cf. Ac 13:47; see Pao, 84–86). The fulfillment began in Acts 2:38: “Repent … for the forgiveness.” Gentiles heard these words in Acts 10:43 and 17:30 (cf. Paul’s commission, Ac 26:17–18). The idea of reaching the Gentiles is certainly prominent in Luke (e.g., the mission to the Seventy or Seventy-two, probably representing the nations of the world [10:1]; see comments there), and this naturally finds its continuation in Acts. The connection between the call to repentance and the mission to the nations/Gentiles represents a new way by which the people of God can be defined (Guy D. Nave Jr., The Role and Function of Repentance in Luke-Acts [Academia Biblica 4; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002], 206–24). Also, the place of Jerusalem as the base of the mission accords with Luke’s constant featuring of that city (cf. Isa 2:3; 51:4).

48–49 Here Luke stresses the role of “witnesses,” and he will do so again in the parallel passage in Acts 1:8. The term “witnesses” only appears twice in Luke (11:48 and 24:48), but it becomes a critical term in the narrative of Acts (e.g., 1:8, 22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 10:39; 13:31; 26:16; cf. Marion L. Soards, The Speeches in Acts [Louisville, Ky.: Westminster, 1994], 194–200). In the OT, the people of Israel were called to be witnesses (e.g., Isa 43:10); their failure to be faithful witnesses (e.g., Isa 6:9–10) anticipates the arrival of the new age, when God will work in a new way among his people.

The pronouns hymeis (“you”) in v. 48, egō (“I”) in v. 49, and hymeis (“you”) again as the subject of “stay” in v. 49 (omitted by the NIV) are emphatic and in contrast to one another. What the Father “promised” (v. 49) is the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:4–5; 2:16–17), who was indeed the promised “power” (Ac 1:8). This “power from on high” (ex hypsous dynamin; cf. Isa 32:15) has been known in Luke from the very beginning of his narrative. The Son of God was conceived in Mary when she was overshadowed by the “power of the Most High” (dynamis hypsistou, 1:35).[4]

The Scriptures opened, and further directives (24:44–49)

These verses contain three things:

he taught them from the scriptures and opened their understanding (vv. 44, 45). How vital it is, not only to be instructed but spiritually enlightened. Too often we stress one or the other. For this reason, scriptural teaching and preaching must be accompanied by prayer that God would open the hearts of the hearers.

he instructed them as to the point of the cross. It brings eternal life, through the pathway of repentance and forgiveness of sins. This was to be their message to all nations ‘beginning at Jerusalem’ (vv. 46, 47). Christ regarded this as central to the message of the gospel.

he told them that they were witnesses of these things. Proclamation would be made, but they had to wait. He wanted nothing done in the flesh. They had been witnesses before (see Luke 9:1–6); yet for this task they would need greater help. Jesus told them to wait ‘until you are endued with power from on high’ (vv. 48, 49).[5]

24:44–49 / The main point that Jesus makes in v. 44 is that there really is nothing new or unexpected in his resurrection on the third day. This is so for two reasons: (1) While he was still with them he had told them of these things. This is especially seen in the passion predictions (9:22, 44; 18:31–33), particularly that of 9:22 and 18:33 where he predicted the resurrection on the third day. (2) The disciples should understand the events of Jesus’ passion and resurrection because they are foretold in Scripture (i.e., the ot). This time all three parts of the ot are referred to (not just two parts, as in v. 27 above): the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. The Psalms should be understood as referring to the third division of the Hebrew Bible usually known as the “Writings.” Here this third division is referred to simply as the Psalms, probably because of all the Writings, the Psalms yielded the greatest relevance for a christological interpretation of the ot. This is evident in the allusions to the lament Psalms (Psalms 22, 31, and 69) in the Lucan passion account (see 23:26–43).

Verse 45 demonstrates that Jesus had to enable his disciples to interpret Scripture and thus to be able to see in it the things relevant to Christ. In Pauline terms, the disciples have been given “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). This new understanding will make it possible for the disciples to glean christological truths from Scripture. A dramatic illustration of this new hermeneutical insight is mirrored in Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:14–39, where Peter cites a variety of Scriptures and applies them to the experience of Christ and the earliest Christians.

But what are the apostles of Christ to know? The Risen One goes on to explain in v. 46 that the following is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. But where in the ot are such things written? Fitzmyer (p. 1581) remarks: “It is impossible to find any of these elements precisely in the ot, either that the Messiah shall suffer, or that he is to arise, or that it will happen on the third day.” Fitzmyer is correct in noting that nowhere in the ot are such things stated precisely. But if they were, then the disciples would scarcely have been in need of having their minds opened to a new and deeper understanding of the Scriptures. Judging by the preaching in the Book of Acts, the ot’s relationship to these aspects of Jesus the Messiah’s experience is anything but obvious.

Also judging by which texts of Scripture are actually cited in the Lucan writings, we may infer which passages are in mind in v. 46. With reference to the need of the Messiah to suffer, the Lucan Jesus probably has in mind Isaiah 53, a portion of which is cited by the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8:26–39 and applied to Jesus by Philip the Evangelist. When approached by Philip, the Ethiopian was reading Isa. 53:7–8: “As a sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before its shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken up from the earth” (as cited in Acts 8:32–33, rsv). Since this ot text is actually cited in one of the Lucan writings and explicitly applied to Jesus of Nazareth (see Acts 8:35), it is quite reasonable to suppose that this is at least one of the ot passages understood as indicating that the Christ will suffer and die.

Also found in Acts is the quotation of an ot passage which was understood as a promise that the Christ will … rise from the dead. In his Pentecost sermon Peter cites Ps. 16:8–11, in which the Psalmist, understood as David, the father of the Messiah (or Christ), declares: “For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption” (Ps. 16:10, as cited in Acts 2:27, rsv). The Lucan Paul also would later quote this ot text (Acts 13:35). According to the Lucan Peter’s interpretation, this text has come to fulfillment in Jesus’ physical death and resurrection. Since David’s body is yet in its grave, this passage could not refer to him. Because Jesus has left his grave, the passage must refer to him instead (see Acts 2:29–32).

Finally, there are allusions to ot writings in Luke’s Gospel that may explain the necessity of the Christ to rise from the dead on the third day. One text that immediately comes to mind is the Jonah typology in Luke 11:29–32, where Jesus promises the evil people of his day no “miracle” (or sign) except the “sign of Jonah” (11:29). In his parallel passage, Matthew (12:39–41) states: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” It might be objected that it is only in the Matthean version that reference to “three days” is found. This is true, but the possibility does remain that Luke had seen the fuller version of the saying, since in all likelihood the saying was part of the sayings source common to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is also quite possible, however, that Luke 24:46 is actually alluding to Hos. 6:2: “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him” (rsv). This may be the very Scripture that Paul has in mind when he states: “… he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:4, rsv). That this similar formulation occurs in Paul indicates that the “third day” tradition was known prior to the time of Luke’s writing.

But Jesus goes on to say in v. 47 that repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. This verse is part of the thought that had begun in v. 46, and so it likewise is part of what is “written” in Scripture. Again we may ask where in Scripture is there the command to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins … to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem? At least two ot passages are quoted in Acts that may have made up part of the scriptural testimony presupposed in Luke 24:47. In Acts 2:21 Peter quotes Joel 2:32: “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Although the verse seems to be making a universal appeal, in the context of the Pentecost sermon, however, only Jews are addressed (both those of Palestine and those of the Diaspora). However, when Paul cites this same text in Rom. 10:13 his context indicates a universal meaning: both Jew and Gentile can freely call upon the name of the Lord. Another ot passage quoted in Acts applies to Gentiles as well. In Acts 13:47 the Lucan Paul quotes Isa. 49:6: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” The Greek word “ends” is the same as that in Acts 1:8 and 13:47. The idea of this proclamation “beginning at Jerusalem” could come from an ot text such as Isa. 2:2–3, where it is prophesied that “It shall come to pass in the latter days that … all the nations … and many peoples shall come.… For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (rsv; cf. also Mic. 4:1–2). Other ot texts used in early Christian circles that suggest that the Gentiles will have a part among God’s people include Hos. 1:10 and 2:23, both of which are cited by Paul in Rom. 9:24–26. See also Paul’s use of Isa. 65:1 in Rom. 10:20 and his use of Ps. 18:49; Deut. 32:43; Ps. 117:1; and Isa. 11:10 in Rom. 15:9–12.

Verses 48–49 are brief summaries of what will be more fully treated in Acts 1:6–2:4. In v. 48 Jesus tells his disciples that they are witnesses of these things (see Acts 1:8). They are witnesses of his entire public ministry, his passion, and now, most importantly, his resurrection. But the idea of being witnesses is not a passive one. They are to become proclaimers of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Theirs will be an active ministry of outreach to all nations. This active ministry, however, can only be accomplished through the power from on high with which, Jesus instructs his disciples, they will be clothed. This power, as we discover in Acts 1:8 and 2:2–4, is the Holy Spirit.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2014). Luke 18–24 (pp. 439–448). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Ryken, P. G. (2009). Luke. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (Vol. 2, pp. 677–689). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 3, p. 378). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Liefeld, W. L., & Pao, D. W. (2007). Luke. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 352–353). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Childress, G. (2006). Opening up Luke’s Gospel (p. 216). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[6] Evans, C. A. (1990). Luke (pp. 357–360). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

TRUMP UNLOADS ON DEEP STATE! Mueller Probe an Attempted Coup! TREASON! Bad People — We Fight Back Because We Know How Illegal This Was! — The Gateway Pundit


President Trump paused to speak to reporters on Wednesday before his flight to Texas.

The President unloaded on the deep state and Mueller probe of 18 angry Democrats.

Trump called the deep state tactics an attempted coup – treason — BAD PEOPLE!

President Trump did not hold back!

President Trump: After wasting all of this money and all of this time with people who were haters. People that worked on the Hillary Clinton Foundation, people who were absolutely haters of Trump. They found no collusion. What has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. And hopefully that’s where people are going now. And it’s very interesting. It was an illegal investigation. It was started illegally. Everything about it was crooked. Every single thing about it. There were dirty cops. These were bad people. You look at McCabe and Comey and you look at Lisa and Peter Strzok. These were bad people. And this was an attempted coup. This was an attempted take down of a president. And we beat them. We beat them.

via TRUMP UNLOADS ON DEEP STATE! Mueller Probe an Attempted Coup! TREASON! Bad People — We Fight Back Because We Know How Illegal This Was! — The Gateway Pundit

Barr Says Spying on 2016 Trump Campaign by Obama Administration Did Occur (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a Senate hearing Wednesday that he believes Trump’s campaign was spied on during the 2016 election.

“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016,” Barr said.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said to Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation… I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal.” Barr added after Democrat hack Shaheen asked why he would be investigating the spying by Obama’s corrupt officials.

“Congress is usually very concerned about intel agencies & law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane. We have a lot of rules about that,” Barr said scolding Shaheen.

Barr said there is a “basis” for his concern, but he did not elaborate.


via Barr Says Spying on 2016 Trump Campaign by Obama Administration Did Occur (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Progressives Officially Redefine ‘Hate Speech’ As ‘Speech We Do Not Like’ — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—A coalition of groups and organizations has come together to officially redefine hate speech as “speech we don’t like.”

The coalition included several dictionaries, the SPLC, the majority of colleges and universities in the nation, several Big Tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, and the Democratic Party. Representatives from each of these groups came together at Harvard University to vote on and ratify the proposal officially changing the definition of “hate speech” to “speech we don’t like.”

“A lot of people are getting the wrong idea about hate speech,” a representative from Instagram said. “They believe hate speech actually has to be hateful to qualify. So I think we need to clarify terms here. For instance, we just deleted a post that a lot of progressives did not like. It wasn’t hateful or anything, but they did not like it.”

The Instagram rep then displayed this slide of the post they had deleted:

“See, we said it was hate speech, but this confused people because it wasn’t actually hateful. So I move that we immediately change the definition of hate speech to ‘speech you do not like.'”

After the motion passed, dictionaries quickly updated their definitions to read:

  • Hate speech – (noun) – speech you do not like or speech that offends you in any way // That guy said he disagrees with me. What awful hate speech!

At publishing time, the coalition had clarified that this definition does not apply to conservatives.

via Progressives Officially Redefine ‘Hate Speech’ As ‘Speech We Do Not Like’ — The Babylon Bee

April 10, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Trump held steady in his refusal to publicly release his tax returns, despite mounting pressure in Congress that is likely to spur a legal battle for the documents.

Chief executives of some of the largest U.S. banks appeared before Congress on Wednesday, giving lawmakers their first opportunity to grill the lenders since the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

President Trump’s administration stepped up pressure on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday, raising the likelihood that he might fire more senior officials as the agency struggles with a surge of immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Facebook and Alphabet’s Google unit defended their efforts to remove hate speech from social media sites amid questions from lawmakers in an appearance before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Two U.S. senators introduced a bill on Tuesday to ban online social media companies like Facebook and Twitter from tricking consumers into giving up their personal data.

Cuba’s national assembly is set to enact the new constitution on Wednesday, allowing the government to launch a modest update of its centrally planned single party system with dozens of laws expected on everything from the economy to political structures.

Soldiers were heavily deployed around a sit-in outside Sudan’s defense ministry on Wednesday, as several thousand protesters danced, sang and chanted slogans calling on President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a clear path to re-election on Wednesday, with religious-rightist parties set to hand him a parliamentary majority despite a close contest against his main centrist challenger, a vote tally showed.

Turkey warned on Wednesday that it could buy jets and additional air defense systems from Russia if it cannot get Patriot missile shields and F-35 jets from Washington, raising the prospect of ever deeper defense ties between Moscow and a NATO member.

A shipyard in northern England that builds Britain’s new generation of nuclear submarines was evacuated on Wednesday but the atomic safety regulator said there had been no nuclear incident.

AP Top Stories

An international scientific team on Wednesday announced a milestone in astrophysics – the first-ever photo of a black hole – using a global network of telescopes to gain insight into celestial objects with gravitational fields so strong no matter or light can escape.

Federal agents on Tuesday broke up a billion dollar Medicare scam that peddled unneeded orthopedic braces to hundreds of thousands of seniors. Two dozen people were charged, including doctors accused of writing bogus prescriptions.

The Department of Defense awarded its first contracts to two companies for construction of a barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a notice posted on the DOD’s website.

Countries disrupted by conflict and political instability often underestimate economic downturns as well as the strength of subsequent recoveries, according to new International Monetary Fund research based on nighttime light levels captured by satellite imagery.

The Vatican is working on a papal document that would establish procedures for Catholics to report bishops suspected of sexual abuse or negligence in sexual abuse cases.

Boko Haram fighters attacked the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu for the first time since late 2014, residents said, after troops forced thousands to flee a village across the state border because of a planned military offensive.

China’s state planner wants to eliminate bitcoin mining in the country, according to a draft list of industrial activities the agency is seeking to stop in a sign of growing government pressure on the cryptocurrency sector.

Austria wants its citizens who have fought for Islamic State to be tried in U.N.-style tribunals in the Middle East rather than brought home for prosecution, it said on Wednesday.

SpaceX now says that Falcon Heavy will likely launch tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10th. Today’s would-be launch was scrubbed due to inclement weather, but Wednesday’s forecast is looking a lot more favorable, and we might finally get to see SpaceX’s mega-rocket take flight for a second time.


The first home delivery drone service has been launched in Australia, after years of test flights. Wing, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, will deliver takeaway food, coffee and medicines by drone to about 100 homes in Canberra.

Tasmania has become Australia’s first state to make it legally optional to list gender on birth certificates. The bill also removes a condition that had required transgender people to have surgery before their gender was recognized.

A petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding that visiting a prostitute be made illegal. Some 42,000 young people have added their signatures, which means the issue will be debated by politicians in a country that has some of the most relaxed laws around paying for sex. “I am priceless” is the name of the social media-led campaign. Activists want buyers to be penalized, under the so-called Nordic model.


Attorney General William Barr has established an investigative team that he intends to use to look into the origins of an FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh is getting pushback from students at Baylor University, a Christian university in Texas, for a speech he is scheduled to give Tuesday night defending the Christian values of protecting life, marriage, and gender.

Bitcoin creation has joined a list of activities facing a ban in China. “Virtual currency mining activities [including] the production process of Bitcoin” to a list of industries that could be shut down.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 10, 2019

The Foundation

“In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” —George Washington (1796)

Pollaganda: Why Americans Don’t Think They Got a Tax Cut

Most people believe something that isn’t true. Blame Leftmedia dezinformatsiya.

Socialist Sanders: Capitalism Made Me a Millionaire!

He also seeks to put pressure on Trump by promising to release his own tax returns.

No, White-Supremacist Violence Is Not a Major Problem

The New York Times peddles a false narrative that violent white extremism is on the rise.

In California, the Inmates Run the Asylum

Taxes, regulations, gun laws, sanctuary status — all of it is getting progressively worse.

Facing Down Russia and China on the African Front

Africa is becoming a key geopolitical battleground, and it’s time for America to get on the field.

‘White’ AmERICA — Your Worst Nightmare

Wherever there are no fathers to protect their children, the pop culture becomes the main influence.

Jordan Peterson on Why Socialism Is Attractive

“The problem with the radical left is that it assumes that all hierarchies are tyrannical.”

Video: Enough Crony Capitalism!

Established businesses, like Facebook, use government to limit competition.

Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Trump Bump
Walter E. Williams
Millennials for Socialism
Ben Shapiro
The Open Borders Agenda Rears Its Ugly Head
John Stossel
Zuckerberg Cronyism
Star Parker
3 Cheers for Betsy DeVos
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Netanyahu perseveres, border crossings surge, Mueller-report countdown, FBI conduct, Medicare scam, and more.

Wednesday Short Cuts

“The lengths people go to defend Omar’s many disturbing comments is really curious — and probably telling.” —David Harsanyi

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 – 4/10/2019

Barr Forms Team To Investigate FBI Malfeasance During 2016 Election
Attorney General William Barr has assembled an internal team at the Justice Department to review controversial counterintelligence decisions made by DOJ and FBI officials – including actions taken in the summer of 2016, according to Bloomberg, which cites a person familiar with the matter. Barr seemingly confirmed the Bloomberg report earlier Tuesday, when he told a House panel “I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016.”

Netanyahu lauds ‘incredible victory’ as exit polls, early results show clear win
And regardless of the horse race between the two major parties, the right-wing bloc was projected to win a majority in the 120-seat Knesset. The results mean Netanyahu will likely sweep back into power for an unprecedented fifth term…

Third Mussolini descendant enters Italian political arena
A third descendant of Italy’s long-time fascist dictator Benito Mussolini is entering the political arena. Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini — Mussolini’s great-grandson, whose name is taken from one of ancient Rome’s most famous rulers — is running as a candidate in European elections for the far-right Brothers of Italy Party. “I see other dangers. The thought police, globalism, the dictatorship of political correctness, uncontrolled immigration a few small financial groups that control everything, Islamic extremism,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Pompeo, in testimony to Senate, refuses to back two-state solution
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday refused to reaffirm American support for a Palestinian state after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to extend Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements. “Ultimately, the Israelis and Palestinians will decide how to resolve this,” Pompeo replied.

Candace Owens blasts Dem lawmaker in ‘hate crimes’ hearing
“Let me be clear the hearing today is not about white nationalism or hate crimes, it is about fear mongering, power and control,” Owens said. “It is a preview of a Democrat 2020 election strategy the same as the Democrat 2016 election strategy.” Owens said the objective “is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims into helping them censor dissenting opinions ultimately to helping them regain control of our countries narrative which they feel that they lost.”

Barr sets Democrat straight on ‘hate crimes’
Barr replied: “As I said in my confirmation hearing. I’m very concerned about hate crimes and intend to vigorously pursue them. The data that I have seen have shown an increase going back to 2013. So I agree with you, they have been increasing. But I have seen no data to say it’s different under the Trump administration.”

German police raid Islamic organizations over suspected Hamas support
German police on Wednesday raided offices belonging to Islamic organizations suspected of financing the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is on the European Union’s terrorism blacklist, the interior ministry said. The ministry said the main targets of the raids were WorldWide Resistance-Help and Ansaar International which are believed to have collected funds for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Tasmania makes it optional to list gender on birth certificates
Tasmania has become Australia’s first state to make it legally optional to list gender on birth certificates. The landmark bill was approved in the state’s lower house on Wednesday, meaning it will become law. It had already been passed in the upper house. The bill also removes a condition that had required transgender people to have surgery before their gender was recognised.

Brexit: Theresa May to make plea for 30 June delay at EU summit
EU leaders are to meet for an emergency summit in Brussels to decide whether to offer the UK another delay to Brexit. Prime Minister Theresa May wants to postpone the date the UK leaves the EU beyond this Friday, until 30 June. But the EU is expected to offer a longer delay, after European Council President Donald Tusk urged the other 27 leaders to back a flexible extension of up to a year – with conditions.

Brazil floods: Deadly torrential rains hit Rio de Janeiro
At least nine people have been killed by flash floods in Rio de Janeiro. The mayor has declared a crisis after the Brazilian city was battered by heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday. More than 31cm of rain (13 inches) fell in some parts of the city within 24 hours, the mayor’s office said. Roads were closed by flooding and fallen trees. Large parts of the city have been affected including Copacabana beach.

Libya crisis: UN warns attacks on civilians may amount to war crimes
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has warned that attacks on civilians in Libya could amount to war crimes. She urged all sides to avoid bloodshed as military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s forces advance on the UN-recognised government in Tripoli. Some 47 people have been killed over the past three days, says the World Health Organization (WHO), as his forces seek to capture the capital.

New York measles emergency declared in Brooklyn
The emergency warning covers certain postcodes in Brooklyn. All residents in the affected areas have been told to get vaccinated or face a fine. There have been 285 cases in the area since 30 September. Of those infected, 246 were children, New York health commissioner Oxiris Barbot said. It is the largest measles outbreak in the city since 1991.

House Dems cancel vote on budget plan amid internal revolt
House Democratic leaders on Tuesday abandoned plans to vote on a key budget measure this week in the face of sharp opposition from both progressives and moderates. The revolt over legislation to set federal spending is a setback for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her deputies on the eve of their 100 day mark in the majority.

U.S. sails massive, F-35-laden warship in disputed South China Sea
In the latest show of military muscle in the South China Sea, the U.S. has apparently sailed its USS Wasp amphibious assault ship near a strategic reef claimed by Beijing and Manila that lies just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine coast. Filipino fishermen near the site known as the Scarborough Shoal initially spotted what appeared to be the massive U.S. vessel on Tuesday, according to ABS-CBN News.

Iranian lawmakers convene with chants of ‘Death to America’
Iranian lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted “Death to America” as they convened Tuesday for an open session of parliament after the White House designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization. President Hassan Rouhani declared that the force’s popularity would only surge in the wake of the designation, saying guard members would be dearer “than any other time in the hearts of Iranian nation.”

Denver Weather: 60-Degree Drop In 36 Hours With Heavy Snow On The Way
A major weather change will arrive over the next 24 hours with temperatures falling by up to 60 degrees in Denver and on the eastern plains of Colorado…we’ll see everything from showers and thunderstorms with some small hail…to heavy, wet snow developing tomorrow…the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for South Larimer, Arapahoe, Adams, Southwest Weld, Elbert, Douglas, Broomfield, and Denver counties for Wednesday.

Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at the same time

Solid, liquid, gas … and something else? While most of us learn about just three states of matter in elementary school, physicists have discovered several exotic varieties that can exist under extreme temperature and pressure conditions. Now, a team has used a type of artificial intelligence to confirm the existence of a bizarre new state of matter, one in which potassium atoms exhibit properties of both a solid and a liquid at the same time.

Chinese cops send people to ‘concentration camps’ if they’re found with Facebook on phones during random stop and searches
COPS are sending people to “concentration camps” if they’re found with Facebook on their phones during random stop and searches in China, it is claimed. Western social media is banned in China’s Xinjiang region where police are accused of seizing residents’ phones and installing spyware. Offenders are said to be sent to “re-education” camps to clamp down on social media use.

Barr Forms Team To Investigate FBI Malfeasance During 2016 Election
“It’s what we’ve been calling for.” -Rep. Jim Jordan

Germany gives $426,037 to Muslim group calling for Israel’s destruction
After a series of exposés in Germany’s top selling paper Bild, the newspaper reported on Thursday that the interior ministry announced in a letter the stoppage of funds for the Shi’ite umbrella organization. Institutions in Hamburg that are controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei fall under the rubric of the organization.

Crosses Covered Up In Italian Cemetery to Avoid Offending ‘Other Religions’
Crosses on graves in a cemetery in Pieve di Cento, Italy, have been covered up with black cloth to avoid offending other religions, according to reports.

Netanyahu Declares ‘Incredible Victory’ As Revised Exit Polls Indicate Clear Path to Election Win
According to a new report from the well-known organization, Clarion Project — which describes itself as “a non-profit organization that educates the public about the dangers of radical Islam” and upon whose advisory board frequent Fox News contributor and Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, sits — a private Islamic school in Dearborn, Michigan has unusually close ties with supporters of the fanatical Iranian regime and its Lebanon-based proxy terrorist group, Hezbollah.

Notre Dame President Rejects Calls for Internet Porn Filter
University of Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins has rejected calls to install an Internet filter on campus that would block pornography.

Rising Gay Democratic Star Pete Buttigieg Says That Christianity ‘Must Move To A More Inclusive Vision’ To Accommodate The LGBTQP Community
Gay mayor Pete Buttigieg is on the warpath, and the main target in his sights in vice president Mike Pence, right behind that is the biblical model of Christianity. Buttigieg says that it’s time to more on from that old model, to something that is more ‘inclusive’ and ‘humane’. Why? Because the bible is against the LGBTQ+P for pedophile lifestyle, and Mayor Pete is not happy with that.

As Israelis Prepare To Go To The Polls, Benjamin Netanyahu Stands On The Cusp Of History As The Man Who Brought Israel Into The Modern Era
Israel is 2019 is an abundantly prosperous nation with an incredible military and is a hub of global technological innovation. Israel’s relationship with the world’s most powerful country, the United States, is currently at an all-time-high. Despite the ongoing regional conflicts, Israel stands as a beacon of hope and democracy in the Middle East. And the lion’s share of the credit for all that belongs to Benjamin Netanyahu.

Warm Weather Sparks Out Of Control Chicago Shooting Spree
Twenty four people were shot in 24 hours in Chicago…

Headlines – 4/10/2019

Netanyahu Declares ‘Incredible Victory’ As Revised Exit Polls Indicate Clear Path to Election Win

Amid fog of polls, Gantz vows to be next leader, PM says he’s in coalition talks

Israeli exit polls are just as unreliable as American ones

Netanyahu and his chief rival both claim victory in squeaker of Israeli election

Netanyahu, the divisive force of nature who refused to be beaten

Israel Election 2019: Nearly All Right-wing Parties Declare They Will Recommend Netanyahu to Form Coalition

Arabs blast ‘racist’ Likud scheme to install cameras at polling stations

Top Palestinian official: Israelis voted to ‘maintain the status quo’

Palestinian president hopes for peace after Israeli elections

After election, all eyes on Trump to respond to Netanyahu’s annexation gambit

Pompeo refuses to back two-state solution after Netanyahu pledge

Lebanon Fears for Disputed Territory With Israel After Trump’s Golan Recognition

Iran’s President Khamenei calls U.S. blacklisting of Guards a ‘vicious move’

Iranian lawmakers convene with chants of ‘Death to America’

Iranian Guards commander tells U.S. Navy warships to keep distance: ISNA

Iran names new UN ambassador as tensions rise with Washington

Iraq says it tried to stop US from blacklisting Iran corps

Bomb kills eight in Syrian city of Raqqa, a liberated Islamic State stronghold

Russia, Turkey will continue efforts to establish peace in Syria: Putin

How Putin Built a Ragtag Empire of Tyrants and Failing States

Why Russia Is Standing By Sudan’s Bashir

UN postpones Libya national conference amid fighting in Tripoli

Libya crisis: UN warns attacks on civilians may amount to war crimes

Libya crisis: UK officials anxious as blame is laid at doors of Gulf allies

2,000 flee Nigeria village ahead of army offensive against Boko Haram

Trump praises ‘great job’ by Egypt’s controversial president

Erdogan’s party to seek rerun of Istanbul election

UK arms sales are factor in humanitarian crisis in Yemen, court hears

State Department Identifies And Bans 16 People With ‘Roles’ In Khashoggi Killing

Fear stalks Kashmir, one of the most militarized frontiers on the planet

Iran Follows Russia to Venezuela, but U.S. Military Sees China As ‘True Threat’

Missing Japanese F-35 poses major security headache for US if it falls into Russian or Chinese hands

Putin: Russia knows Mueller probe ‘a mountain gave birth to a mouse’

US attorney general ready to release Mueller report ‘within a week’

Barr assembles ‘team’ to look into counterintelligence investigation on Trump campaign in 2016, official says

Comey memos contained far more sensitive info than previously known, FBI filing reveals

EU warms to Brexit extension as UK MPs approve May’s request

Facebook is partnering with a big UK newspaper to publish sponsored articles downplaying ‘technofears’ and praising the company

Facebook keeps advertisers addicted after a year of scandals

Watch Israel’s historic moon landing live April 11

6.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Hualian, Taiwan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Vao, New Caledonia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Mosquera, Colombia

Small 3.0 earthquake off coast of Long Island, N.Y., felt in Central N.J. and as far away as Maryland

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 33,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Denver will be 80 degrees today. Then, it will snow tomorrow, with the potential for a bomb cyclone to generate

Powerful Storm Threatens More Misery in Flood-Hit Midwest

At least six dead in ‘absolutely abnormal’ Rio flooding – 13 inches of water reportedly fell on the city in 24 hours

Streets buried underwater as Rio de Janeiro floods

Deadly flooding in Rio de Janeiro triggers state of emergency

Ominous green cloud towers over town as storm stirs up rare pollen haboob

Candida auris: What to know about the deadly superbug fungus posing a “serious global health threat”

N.Y.C. Mayor Declares Public Health Emergency Over ultra-Orthodox Measles Outbreak

NYC orders mandatory vaccines for community or face $1,000 fine

Pediatricians telling parents to vaccinate kids, or go somewhere else

Missouri bill would bar discrimination for not vaccinating

Lindsey Graham introduces bill which would ban abortions after 20 weeks

Texas Senate Passes Bill Stopping Infanticide, Requiring Medical Care for Babies Born Alive After Abortions

Euthanasia Becoming ‘Default Way to Die’ in Belgium

Pete Buttigieg: How a young, gay mayor became a Democratic star

Historic venue’s ban on same-sex weddings prompts outcry

Nuns sexually abusing minors could become next Catholic Church scandal, experts say

French priest’s 150-year-old heart being venerated in NYC

Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

This blog is an aggregator of news and information that we believe will provide articles that will keep people informed about current trends, current events, discussions and movements taking place within our church and culture.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107,material here is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

An article and/or blog post link doesn’t necessarily mean that there is agreement or approval with all the views and opinions expressed within the linked article/posting. Caution is also warranted with regards to the advertisements and links that are embedded within the headline linked article.

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther


April 10 The Enemy’s Power Is Broken

scripture reading: 1 John 1:8–2:2
key verse: Romans 6:6

Our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

As Christians, we often become discouraged when tempted by sinful habits we thought were eliminated at the point of our salvation. The truth is, we still live in a fallen world under the influence of Satan.

Because you are a child of God, the enemy no longer holds the title to your life. Spiritually you are seated in heaven with Christ (Col. 3:3). However, this does not free you from the strife of Satan’s disastrous intentions. Salvation only shifts his goal for your life from one of eternal death to one of ineffectiveness.

The enemy wants to render you useless in your witness and testimony for Jesus Christ. Sin is his favorite weapon because he knows it damages your relationship with God. However, the Cross eternally broke the power of sin. You no longer have to yield to its temptation. The only way to handle sin is to put it in subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ. The key to overcoming it lies in living daily in the light of God’s Word.

When temptations come, remember the enemy’s power has been broken. Jesus is your strong Advocate before the Father. Confess your sins, claim His forgiveness, and continue your life in the light of His grace.

Jesus, You are my Advocate before the Father. I confess my sin, claim Your forgiveness, and thank You that I can continue in the light of Your grace.[1]

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

10 april (1859) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The best of masters

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” John 14:27

suggested further reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:23–28

It is the same with the world at this day. Everyone greets us in writing with a “Dear sir,” or a “My dear sir,” and concludes with “Yours very truly,” and “Yours sincerely.” We call all “friends,” and if we meet but casually we express the utmost anxiety with regard to one another’s health, and we carefully enquire after each other’s families; when perhaps we shall no sooner have passed by the person than we shall forget his existence, and certainly shall entertain no anxious thoughts with regard to his welfare, nor any loving remembrance of him. The world gives very largely when it gives compliments. Oh, what blessings would descend upon all our heads, if the blessings uttered could be blessings bestowed. Even when the “Good bye” is given, which translated means, “God be with you”—if that could be but true, and if God could be with us, in answer to that prayer, so little understood, how rich might we be! But alas! the way of the world is, “Be ye warmed and filled;” but it has not that which should warm, nor that which should fill. It is a world of words; high-sounding, empty, all-deceiving words. Now this is not so with Christ. If he says “Peace be with you,” his benediction is most true and full of sweet sincerity. He left his own peace in heaven, that he might give the peace which he enjoyed with his Father, to us in this world of sorrow, for thus he puts it, “My peace I give unto you.” Christ, when he blesses, blesses not in word only, but in deed. The lips of truth cannot promise more than the hands of love will surely give. He gives not in compliment. Furthermore, even when the world’s wishes of peace are sincere, what are they but mere wishes?

for meditation: Greetings and best wishes from the lips of a Christian should be modelled on Christ, not the world. Do you go in for the “polite lie” or are your concerns for others genuine (Philippians 2:20; 3 John 2)?

sermon no. 247[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 107). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

10 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

Guided to Safety

The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Isaiah 26:7

suggested further reading: Psalm 119:1–16

Let us commit ourselves to God and follow him as our leader, and we shall be guided in safety. Though snares and artifices, strategies of the devil and wicked men, and innumerable dangers may surround us, God will enable us to escape. We will feel what the prophet says here, that our ways, even amid deep chasms, are made plain, so that there is no obstacle to hinder our progress.

Indeed, experience shows that if we are not led by God’s guidance, we will not be able to push our way along rugged roads, for so great is our weakness that we shall scarcely advance a single step without stumbling at the smallest stone that comes in our way. Satan and wicked men not only entangle and delay us by many perplexities and small difficulties, but also cause us sometimes to encounter high mounds and deep pits, which even the whole world would be unable to avoid.

It is therefore proper for us to acknowledge how much we need heavenly direction. We should confess with Jeremiah, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).

In vain, therefore, do men form plans and deliberate and decide about their ways, if God does not stretch out his hand. But he holds it out to the righteous and takes peculiar care of them. While the providence of God extends to all, and while God supplies the needs of young ravens and sparrows and of the smallest animals, yet he has a special fatherly kindness toward the godly and delivers them out of dangers and difficulties.

for meditation: Consider how powerless we are in so many trials—sickness, economic woes, death, war—and in temptations such as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We should have very little trouble in acknowledging our need for the Lord to guide us in his paths! How has God guided you in his ways and kept you in safety recently? Ask for his aid again today.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 119). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

04/10/19 Promises — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Joshua 18-19, Luke 8:40-9:6

It’s another one of those verses that you sometimes skim over—but when you really pause to read it, it’s packed with power. And, sometimes it’s the simplest verse that grabs your attention that way.

In today’s Old Testament reading, Joshua records that the Lord gave to His people all the land He had once promised them, and He also gave them rest from their enemies. Then, the last verse of Joshua 21 says, “None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled” (Josh 21:45)—and that’s the verse that gives me great confidence today.

God kept His promises to His people. All of them. Not a one did He not fulfill.

He may have done it in unexpected ways and in unexpected times, but He kept His Word. All of it.

He still does the same today. So, I live without fear today because I know His Word that He will never leave us or abandon us (Heb 13:5). His promise and presence are all I need.

PRAYER: “God, thank You for always keeping Your promises. I love You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 22-24, Luke 9:37-62

via 04/10/19 Promises — ChuckLawless.com