Daily Archives: April 16, 2019

April 16 God’s Amazing Love

Scripture Reading: Psalm 139:1–18

Key Verse: Psalm 139:13

For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

In The Gift for All People, Max Lucado describes the event of the Cross in this way:

Christ came to earth for one reason: to give His life as a ransom for you, me, for all of us. He sacrificed Himself to give us a second chance. He would have gone to any lengths to do so. And He did. He went to the cross, where man’s utter despair collided with God’s unbending grace. And in that moment when God’s great gift was complete, the compassionate Christ showed the world the cost of His gift.

As you strengthen your relationship with Jesus, you will begin to understand the amazing truth that He died specifically for you. Though His sacrifice freed the world from the penalty of sin, Jesus was intimately familiar with you as an individual as He accepted and fulfilled His sentence of death upon the cross.

The Bible tells us that God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). That means that when He sent His Son to die on the cross over two thousand years ago, God knew you and included the sins you would commit in the future among those to be forgiven.

What a beautiful gift! What a reason to rejoice! Yet so many people take Christ’s sacrificial death for granted. In the holy Easter season, take time to thank Him for His amazing love that is demonstrated to us all each day.

Father, I am speechless at the thought that You knew who I was when You sent Your Son to die for me. Thank You for loving me that much.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 111). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 16 Christ Is What His Cross Is

Scripture Reading: John 1:19–29

Key Verse: Revelation 5:9

They sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”

Something about the sight of blood strikes a sober chord in man. Whether it’s media images of bloodstained clothing or an accident with badly wounded victims, the visual aspect of spilled blood graphically reminds us of death’s reality.

When the Bible speaks of Christ’s poured-out blood, it is invariably linked with His sacrificial death on Calvary for our sins. The writer of Hebrews went to great lengths to portray Christ as God’s all-sufficient sacrifice. Apart from Christ’s shed blood, there is no gospel, no forgiveness, no justification, no sanctification. The blood of Christ, His death, satisfies God’s justice and provides the means for reconciliation between sinful man and holy God.

  1. T. Forsyth, a Scottish clergyman, wrote in the Cruciality of the Cross: “Christ is to us just what His cross is. All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what He did there. Christ, I repeat, is to us just what His cross is. You do not understand Christ till you understand His cross.”

The cross of Christ is His death. His death is His shed blood. His shed blood is the only acceptable payment for sin and the only way of access to holy God.

Lord Jesus, Your blood is the only acceptable payment for sin. It is the only access I have to a holy God. I come Your way.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 111). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Top 10 Best Easter Songs — Michelle Lesley

 

There are so many great Easter hymns and worship songs out there. After all, how can a songwriter go wrong proclaiming the glorious truth of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? It was hard to narrow it down to my ten favorites, but I gave it a shot.

(Please note- I am not familiar with all of these musicians. Their presence here is not an endorsement of any unbiblical theology any of them may hold to. Please thoroughly vet the doctrine of any Christian musician you choose to follow and make sure it matches up with Scripture.)

1. Jesus Paid it All– Nominated by my 11 year old son, who said in the car on the way home from church, “They need to do ‘Jesus Paid it All’ next week, because it is a very appropriate Easter song.”

 

2. Arise My Love– The grave could not hold the King!

 

3. Low in the Grave He Lay– You’re not really a Southern Baptist unless your church does this one every Easter. Bonus- I’ve never heard this song in Korean(?), but this choir does a lovely job.

 

4. The Old Rugged Cross– What a precious song this is and what a beautiful job this gentleman does on it.

 

5. Sunday’s On the Way– The resurrection is not an allegory for your personal problems coming to an end. Other than that, this is pure 80’s “in your face, Devil!” CCM awesomeness.

 

6. The Wonderful Cross– Who ever thought something so horrific could be so beautiful? But it is.

 

7. Man of Sorrows, What a Name– Hallelujah, what a Savior!

 

8. He’s Alive– The resurrection through the eyes of Peter. Oh how sweet it must have been for him to see Jesus alive again.

 

9. I’ve Just Seen Jesus– I love singing this one with my husband.

 

10. Christ the Lord is Risen Today– He is not dead. He is alive. We have this hope in Jesus Christ! This arrangement is such a nice blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Happy Easter everyone!

via Top 10 Best Easter Songs — Michelle Lesley

April 16 Loving Acceptance

Scripture reading: John 15:12–19

Key verse: John 15:16

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

The youngster ran out the door to join his friends. Twenty minutes later he was back. “I thought you were meeting your friends down at the ball field,” his mother commented. But before he could answer, she noticed the look of hurt on his face and asked, “Honey, what happened?”

“Mom, they didn’t choose me to play on either one of their teams. Nobody likes me.” This disappointment may seem trivial from an adult’s perspective, but it’s not. Rejection can leave a person feeling left out and disillusioned. Such an incident has the power to shape one’s personality and self-image.

“I’m sorry you weren’t chosen,” replied the boy’s mother. “Sometimes things happen that are hurtful, but always remember you mean a lot to me and your dad.”

One of the greatest needs of our society is the need to belong. We want to know we matter to someone else. How we choose to meet this need is critical to our sense of self-worth and to our relationship with God.

Jesus Christ holds the greatest amount of acceptance you could ever hope to find. No matter what turns your life has taken or who has rejected you, God promises to love and accept you when you come to Him. And the fact remains that He will always choose you to be on His team!

Dear Lord, please heal the emotional scars left by rejection. Thank You for loving and accepting me just as I am.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 111). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 16, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Proof of Faith

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also received him back as a type. (11:17–19)

The proof of Abraham’s faith was his willingness to give back to God everything he had, including the son of promise, whom he had miraculously received because of his faith. After all the waiting and wondering, the son had been given by God. Then, before the son was grown, God asked for him back, and Abraham obeyed. Abraham knew that the covenant, which could only be fulfilled through Isaac, was unconditional. He knew, therefore, that God would do whatever was necessary, including raising Isaac from the dead, to keep His covenant. He considered that God is able to raise men even from the dead. The thought of sacrificing Isaac must have grieved Abraham terribly, but he knew that he would have his son back. He knew that God would not, in fact could not, take his son away permanently, or else He would have to go back on His own word, which is impossible.

If Noah illustrates the duration of faith, Abraham shows the depth of faith. In tremendous, monumental faith Abraham brought Isaac to the top of Mt. Moriah and prepared to offer him to God. He believed in resurrection from the dead even before God revealed the doctrine. He had to believe in resurrection, because, if God allowed him to carry out the command to sacrifice Isaac, resurrection was the only way God could keep His promise.

As it turned out, because he did not actually die, Isaac became only a type of the resurrection. He was offered but he was not slain. God provided a substitute. It was the fact that Abraham offered up Isaac that proved his faith. The final standard of faith, its real proof, is willingness to sacrifice. “If anyone wishes to come after Me,” Jesus commands, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24). “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1).

When John Bunyan was in jail for preaching the gospel, he was deeply concerned about his family. He was particularly grieved about his little blind daughter, for whom he had a special love. He wrote, “I saw in this condition I was a man who was pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and children. Yet, thought I, I must do it; I must do it. The dearest idol I have known, what err that idol be, help me to tear it from Thy throne and worship only Thee.”

The patriarchs, therefore, held to the five great standards of faith: its pilgrimage, in separation from the world; its patience, in waiting for God to work; its power, in doing the impossible; its positiveness, in focusing on God’s eternal promise; and its proof, in obedient sacrifice.[1]


Faith Tested

Hebrews 11:17–19

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your off-spring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (Heb. 11:17–19)

In Genesis 22 we read that God came to Abraham and tested him. This marks the fifth time that Genesis records God appearing to Abraham. The first occurred in chapter 12, God’s initial call to Abraham. In chapter 15 God came and promised Abraham descendants like stars in the sky. Then in chapter 17 God came to redirect Abraham back to the path of faith he had departed in his encounter with Hagar. And in chapter 18 the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham and Sarah to announce the birth of the child of promise, and to deal with the problem of sin in Sodom and Gomorrah. In the first of these encounters, God called Abraham to faith; in the second and third encounters God strengthened his faith; in the fourth encounter God rewarded his faith. Now, in the fifth and last of these significant encounters between Abraham and the Lord, that faith would be tested by the most difficult of commands.

The New Testament confirms that God tests the faith of his people. In 1 Peter 1 the apostle speaks of various trials and then adds, “These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7). God’s purpose is the strengthening of faith by trial, the proving of faith by means of tests that God himself provides.

Abraham’s Faith Tested

God tested Abraham with the greatest trial imaginable: “[God] said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you’ ” (Gen. 22:2).

In the first place, this was a trial of Abraham’s devotion to the Lord. Devotion to God is at the heart of his law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). The proof of love is always found in the willingness to sacrifice. God tested Abraham not merely by asking for a sacrifice, or even a great sacrifice, but the sacrifice of that which Abraham held most dear: his covenant heir, Isaac. The test of our Christian devotion always involves this, that we love not so much the gifts—great as they are—but the Giver himself above all. The question is always whether we are willing to make God first—indeed, whether we are willing to make him everything. John Owen writes: “God says to us, ‘My son, give me your heart’ (Prov. 23:26). And God commands us to love him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27). This is the response God wants from us in return for his love to us.… This is love, that God loves us first, and then we love him in response to his love.”

We might wonder if God has the right to demand such singular devotion. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Arthur Pink explains:

The Lord has an absolute claim upon us, upon all that we have. As our Maker and Sovereign He has the right to demand from us anything He pleases, and whatsoever He requires we must yield. All that we have comes from Him, and must be held for Him, and at His disposal.… The bounty of God should encourage us to surrender freely whatever He calls for, for none ever lose by giving up anything to God.

We can expect God to test our devotion to him in great or small ways. We will be challenged to sacrifice or subordinate our careers to his will. Or perhaps it will be a relationship that is dear to us, but that cannot abide with our higher devotion to Jesus Christ. It may be money; it may be a certain self-image or a lifestyle; it can be practically anything. God tests our faith in terms of our willingness to sacrifice for him, and in this manner he also protects us from the idolatry to which our hearts are so inherently prone. Even good things he has given us, such as Isaac, this child of God’s promise, God demands that we place back into his hand, always holding everything as a trust on behalf of the Giver and Possessor of all things.

Second, this was a trial of Abraham’s spiritual understanding. We see this in verses 17–18: “He who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’ ” God had made great and surpassing promises to Abraham—possession of the land, offspring like the sand on the seashore, all the nations blessed through him—all to be fulfilled through this very son Isaac, whom God now commanded him to sacrifice.

We can see how vexing this would have been. God’s promise seemed to be pitted against God’s command. If God was to be faithful to his promises to Abraham, then Isaac must live; but if God’s command was to be obeyed, then Isaac must die. It seemed to be so inconsistent, so internally contradictory. None of us ever receive this particular command from God, since Abraham was fulfilling a unique role in history, but God may call us to obey him in a way that seems spiritually counterproductive to ourselves or our projects. Like Abraham we will have to summon up the spiritual understanding needed to obey God’s Word.

Third, it was a trial of Abraham’s knowledge of God and trust in him. I say this because of the horror of what was involved in this command. Abraham was to strike his own son dead. Furthermore, it was “his only son.” This was not strictly true, for Isaac was not the only living son; the point is that he was the one child of the promise, the one heir of the covenant. William Lane writes, “When Abraham obeyed God’s mandate to leave Ur, he simply gave up his past. But when he was summoned to Mount Moriah to deliver his own son to God, he was asked to surrender his future as well.”

Additionally, Genesis 22:2 reminds us of Abraham’s deep love for this son: “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love.” This was godly and appropriate love, and no doubt an intimate and intense love from a father to his son and heir. The mere thought of plunging a knife into his chest must have been terrible for Abraham, much more so the act itself. Obedience required that Abraham know God and trust him with unshakable confidence.

A Great Problem for Faith

Abraham passed the test by obeying God. Hebrews 11:17 simply tells us, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac.” The Genesis account is considerably fuller:

So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here am I, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. (Gen. 22:3–10)

This remarkable account raises some significant questions. How does faith overcome the natural objections to this command? How does faith pass this kind of test? I want to offer four answers, beginning with this: faith kneels before God in humble submission.

Abraham must surely have had a long night before setting out with his son for the place of sacrifice. Surely he must have reflected on the staggering demand God had made, and also on God’s right to make it. He must have thought about how much he loved Isaac, and also about his devotion to the Lord. While unable to reason through all the problems, he must have knelt before God, trusted him, and asked for grace to obey. It is worth pointing out that this greatest test occurred at the end of his life’s journey of faith. Abraham’s success here is the product of earlier and lesser trials, many of which he failed, as God honed and refined his character and his faith. Having received this command, Abraham must have reckoned that God’s will was higher than his own will. “Thy will and not mine be done,” he must have prayed, perhaps with tears at the thought of what that required. Abraham’s faith humbly knelt before God and thus was able to obey God’s command.

However much difficulty this test caused for Abraham, the account of it has tried the faith of many more people. Many people read these verses and recoil from the God who speaks in them. How could a good God ask a father to kill his son? Many therefore reject the Bible on the grounds of this supposedly twisted use of divine authority. Moralists reject God, but existentialists reject Abraham, finding his faith impossible to embrace. The classic example is Søren Kierkegaard, whose book Fear and Trembling demanded to know how Abraham could be sure it was really God speaking to him; how could a father really do what Abraham went ahead and did? Surely this is not the kind of faith a decent authentic existentialist wants to emulate today!

How would Abraham respond to that line of reasoning? Surely he would have replied that he was a creature before the Creator. Abraham worshiped God as God and therefore did not think to place himself in the position of judge of the Most High and Lord of heaven. Abraham’s faith was rooted in conscious humility; his faith knelt before the throne of a God he would no longer dare to judge.

Occasionally I find myself talking with someone who is disturbed about a subject like this test of Abraham’s faith, or God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus, or the Bible’s teaching on the eternal bodily punishment of sinners in hell. Inevitably, from the person’s perspective, what God is doing is a terrible thing. How can a good God do something that is so wrong?

From the perspective of their humanism, people with these questions are never going to receive an acceptable answer. Humanism is the belief, so ingrained in us all, that what is best for the greatest number of humans is ultimately the yardstick of all good. But God is not a humanist; he is a theist! God does not think that the greatest good for man is the greatest good. He thinks that the glory of his own name is paramount. He thinks that the manifestation of his justice and his holiness and, yes, his love is worth more than all the stars in the sky.

When it comes to such disturbing matters as the command God gave to Abraham, our humanism will never be satisfied. God does not intend to satisfy our humanism, but to drive us out from it. God is not going to satisfy our queries in judgment of him; God will not accept a position on the witness stand, while we presume to sit on the bench. It is only on our knees before a true God that we will receive and be able to accept satisfactory answers to questions like those regarding Abraham’s test. Abraham was no longer a humanist; all his years exercising faith had taught him to kneel humbly before the Lord and put his trust in him.

In asking how Abraham resolved his problems and passed this test of faith, the second explanation is that the faith that receives God’s promises must also obey God’s commands. We see more than a hint of this in our Hebrews passage. Who obeyed God’s command? “He who had received the promises” (Heb. 11:17).

The same faith that receives and relies upon God’s Word in the promise is obligated to receive and obey God’s Word in the command. It is the same God and the same Word. This is what Job said to his wife, when she urged him to complain about what God had allowed to happen to him: “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Faith accepts both promise and precept, commands and comforts, Christ as Lord as well as Christ as Savior, knowing that the one cannot be had without the other. Faith knows that the path of safety and of blessing is also the path of obedience. Arthur Pink writes, “Spiritual faith does not pick and choose: it fears God as well as loves Him.”

Some may object that in this case the promise and the command stand in stark opposition. The command can be obeyed only by undermining the promise. The answer to that objection is that the faith that obeys God’s command leaves the means of the promise’s fulfillment to God. If God has commanded it, then God knows what he is doing and is able to work it out for good. Indeed, this is one of the striking differences between the one who believes in God and the one who believes in self. Those who trust in God do not find their solace in being able to solve the puzzle by adding up their own mental arithmetic. The Christian finds peace when he knows what God has revealed and commanded; even without understanding, his faith accepts it as true because it comes from God.

In short, we believe that God knows better than we do. He has more and better information, even infinite data compared to our slim sample size. God also has an infinitely higher capacity for processing and ordering that information. Furthermore, God does all this without sin, whereas the Christian realizes that sin has infected all the circuit boards of his own mental computer. Thus the believer is glad to trust God when he has spoken, having in his Word an infinitely better and surer guide than even our own powers of reason.

The third explanation follows from this. On the one hand, faith obeys even without answers; but we also must observe that faith gains understanding through God’s Word. God tested not only Abraham’s devotion, but also his spiritual understanding. Part of the reason he was able to succeed in this test was the answers he found in what God had already revealed.

This, too, is something that Hebrews makes clear: “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead” (Heb. 11:19). This was not autonomous, unbelieving reason, but faithful reasoning from what God had revealed. This faith explains Abraham’s willingness to take his beloved son’s life. He believed that God could raise him back to life from the dead. This statement in Hebrews is not found in the Genesis account, but it is proved there. Genesis 22:5 tells us that when Abraham arrived at the appointed place he said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” Notice what he said: “We will come back.”

Where, then, did Abraham get the idea that if he killed his son God would raise him from the grave? First, he must have realized that God’s promise required that Isaac be alive. If Isaac had to be alive and yet had to be killed, then God had to raise him from the dead. This logic makes sense, but surely there is something more. Remember the circumstances of Isaac’s conception and birth, when Sarah was far beyond child-bearing age, all in a manner promised and predicted and produced by the power of God. All of this surely made clear to Abraham that God has power over life, and if he has power over life then he has power over death as well. This was the ultimate answer to Abraham’s problem, as it is for all of our problems. With the knowledge of God’s power to take and give life, Abraham was able to obey.

Abraham’s understanding came from faithful reflection on what God had earlier revealed about himself. Abraham did not have the Bible, none of which had yet been written, but he did have personal experience with God. We do have the Bible, God’s very Word and revelation, and our faith will find power to obey by learning and understanding God’s ways through the study of his Word.

Finally, and surely this is the most significant explanation, Abraham was able to obey because he knew and trusted God. Because he had really come to know God, Abraham was able to trust him completely, to rely upon the Lord as his God, and to honor him by obeying. Philip Hughes explains:

Because he enjoyed a proper relationship with God Abraham knew that God is altogether holy and just and loving and that he cannot be untrue to himself; and he realized that it was not for him, a sinful, finite creature, to query the word of his infinite Creator.… This trial, in fact, so far from shaking Abraham’s faith, actually served to establish it, for through it the unchangeable character of God’s purpose and the impossibility that God should prove false to his promise became more than ever the great motivating realities to him.

This doesn’t mean that it was easy for Abraham to obey. Abraham must have died a thousand deaths during the three days’ march to the place where he would sacrifice the son he loved. But it does mean he was able to obey by faith, and it will mean that for you if you come to know God, to study and understand his attributes, to realize that because he is holy then all his motives are holy, and that because he is almighty nothing lies beyond his ability to save. Because God is good, as Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (niv). “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead” (Heb. 11:19 niv), and a God like that was worthy of his trust, as he is of our own.

The Parable of the Offered Son

Verse 19 concludes by saying, “Figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” This tells us how the story ended. As they walked up the mount, Isaac asked his father about the lamb for the burnt offering. “Where is the lamb?” he asked. To this, Abraham gave a provocative answer: “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (Gen. 22:8). This shows us how much Abraham was able to understand, even though he lived at such a primitive time in redemptive history.

Genesis tells us how God provided for Abraham. As his knife began the deadly arc that would end Isaac’s life:

The angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (Gen. 22:11–14)

It is on the basis of this account that Hebrews concludes, “Figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” Isaac did not die and have to be resurrected, but God spared his life and honored Abraham’s faith.

Christians have long seen the episode atop Mount Moriah as a picture of God’s provision of another sacrifice, the true sacrifice and Lamb of God. “Where is the lamb?” asked Isaac, just as the whole of the Old Testament asked that same question. Years later, in the Israelite priesthood, lamb after lamb was slain day after day at the temple. Yet all the while everyone knew that mere animals could not really take away sin. “Where is the true lamb?” the priests and people must often have asked. The answer was finally given by the last prophet of the old dispensation, John the Baptist, who saw Jesus walking along the Jordan and cried out, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).

It is interesting to note that the Greek text in Hebrews 11:19 does not say that Isaac’s deliverance was “figuratively speaking” like a resurrection. The word it uses is “parable,” so that verse 19 literally reads, “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and as a parable, he did receive Isaac back from death.” Christians have long understood this to mean that Isaac’s death illustrated and pointed forward to another death, the true death that takes away our sin.

Indeed, the parallels are striking. Abraham was a father asked to sacrifice his son. We noted earlier that the expression “one and only son” doesn’t exactly fit here, although Isaac was singular as the child of promise. But perhaps the real purpose of the phrase is to point us to another Father who did give his one and only Son as a sacrifice. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

There is considerably more to this. Isaac carried wood for the offering on his back, just as Jesus Christ would later carry his cross to his own place of sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac’s journey through the valley of the shadow of death totaled three days, and for three days Jesus Christ lay in the tomb before he, as Isaac prefigures, was raised by the power of God. Clement of Alexandria, writing in the second century a.d., sees Isaac’s deliverance as “an intimation of the divinity of the Lord … for Jesus rose again after his burial, having suffered no harm, like Isaac released from sacrifice.” Indeed, some Christians see the ram in the thicket as a symbol of Christ’s human nature, offered up to death for us, and Isaac as a symbol of Christ’s divine nature, which though taken to the place of death is not allowed to die.

These are interesting—indeed, more than provocative—parallels. But if we add them up, what does it mean for us? We considered earlier the revulsion people experience at the idea of a father being commanded to offer up his son to death. What, then, do we think of a Father who does this voluntarily, as God has done? If this repulses us, it is only because we have forgotten or denied the essential fact of our situation, that we are sinners before a holy God. Only by bowing before God will we ever make sense of a passage like this, but now we must add that we can grasp it only by confessing the guilt of our sin and our need of a lamb to die like this for us. We must be the ones who cry out, “Where is the lamb? Where is the lamb for me?”

If we will cry for the lamb in faith, we will discover in God’s Word the amazing fact that God the Father gave his one and only Son out of love for us. Romans 3:25 tells us, “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood” (niv). Speaking of Jesus, Paul writes, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). As Paul also says, all of this is “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6).

The key to accepting God’s Word is to realize that God’s glory is higher than man’s good. But here we find that in reality, for sinners, God’s glory is also the source of our good, namely, our redemption in Christ’s blood and the forgiveness of our sins. If this does not change our way of thinking about a Father offering up his Son, then I suppose nothing ever will. In the cross of Jesus Christ we find what Paul described as “what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of] the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:18–19). That is the love that calls us to faith in God.

Therefore, whenever God tests our faith, trying our devotion to him, whenever God calls on us to say, “Your will be done,” let us remember Jesus Christ, who faced his death on a cross for us with similar words. With blood-tinged drops of sweat upon his brow, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).

How great was Abraham’s joy upon the mount. He named it for what had happened there, calling the place “The Lord will provide.” We look back with greater joy to another mount, where another Lamb was slain in our place, and we name it “The Lord has provided.” Therefore, whenever God tests our faith, whenever he imposes his sovereign rights, we remember that he is a God who has purchased for us a free salvation, a full forgiveness, a costly redemption at the price of his own Son’s life. As Peter Lewis wrote: “The faith of Abraham may inspire us but it is the faith of Jesus that saves us, the Son who ‘humbled himself and became obedient unto death—even death on a cross’ (Phil. 2:8). There is no atonement on Moriah but on Golgotha there is a once-for-all and perfect sacrifice for sin; it was what was done there that saves Abraham and Isaac and you and me.” It saves us, that is, if we turn to that Father and to his Son in faith, eager to receive what he has promised and willing to obey his Word, because we have come to know his love and trust his grace.[2]


17. By faith Abraham, &c. He proceeds with the history of Abraham, and relates the offering up of his son; and it was a singular instance of firmness, so that there is hardly another like it to be found. Hence for the sake of enhancing it, he adds, when he was tempted, or tried. Abraham had indeed already proved what he was, by many trials; yet as this trial surpassed every other, so the Apostle would have it to be regarded above all his trials. It is then as though he had said, “The highest excellency of Abraham was the sacrificing of his son:” for God is said to have then in an especial manner tried him. And yet this act flowed from faith; then Abraham had nothing more excellent than faith, which brought forth such extraordinary fruit.

The word, tempted or tried, means no other thing than proved. What James says, that we are not tempted by God, is to be understood differently, (Jas. 1:13;) he means that God does not tempt us to do evil; for he testifies that this is really done by every man’s own lust. At the same time he says not that God does not try our integrity and obedience, though God does not thus search us, as if he knew not otherwise what is hid in our hearts; nay, God wants no probation that he may know us; but when he brings us to the light, that we may by our works shew what was before hid, he is said to try or prove us; and then that which is made openly manifest, is said to be made known to God. For it is a very usual and frequent mode of speaking in Scripture, that what is peculiar to men is ascribed to God.

The sacrificing of Isaac is to be estimated according to the purpose of the heart: for it was not owing to Abraham that he did not actually perform what he was commanded to do. His resolution to obey was then the same, as though he had actually sacrificed his son.

And offered up his only-begotten Son, &c. By these various circumstances, the Apostle intended to shew, how great and how severe the trial of Abraham was; and there are still other things related by Moses, which had the same tendency. Abraham was commanded to take his own son, his only begotten and beloved son Isaac, to lead to the place, which was afterwards to be shewn to him, and there to sacrifice him with his own hands. These tender words God seems to have designedly accumulated, that he might pierce the inmost heart of the holy man, as with so many wounds; and then that he might more severely try him, he commanded him to go a three days’ journey. How sharp, must we think, was his anguish to have continually before his eyes his own son, whom he had already resolved to put to a bloody death! As they were coming to the place, Isaac pierced his breast with yet a new wound, by asking him, “Where is the victim?” The death of a son, under any circumstances, must have been very grievous, a bloody death would have still caused a greater sorrow; but when he was bidden to slay his own,—that indeed must have been too dreadful for a father’s heart to endure; and he must have been a thousand times disabled, had not faith raised up his heart above the world. It is not then without reason, that the Apostle records that he was then tried.

It may, however, be asked, why is Isaac called the only begotten, for Ishmael was born before him and was still living. To this the answer is, that by God’s express command he was driven from the family, so that he was accounted as one dead, at least, he held no place among Abraham’s children.

And he that received the promises, &c. All the things we have hitherto related, however deeply they must have wounded the heart of Abraham, yet they were but slight wounds compared with this trial, when he was commanded, after having received the promises, to slay his son Isaac; for all the promises were founded on this declaration, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” (Gen. 21:12;) for when this foundation was taken away, no hope of blessing or of grace remained. Here nothing earthly was the matter at issue, but the eternal salvation of Abraham, yea, of the whole world. Into what straits must the holy man have been brought when it came to his mind, that the hope of eternal life was to be extinguished in the person of his son? And yet by faith he emerged above all these thoughts, so as to execute what he was commanded. Since it was a marvellous fortitude to struggle through so many and so great obstacles, justly is the highest praise awarded to faith, for it was by faith alone that Abraham continued invincible.

But here arises no small difficulty, How is it that Abraham’s faith is praised when it departs from the promise? for as obedience proceeds from faith, so faith from the promise; then when Abraham was without the promise, his faith must have necessarily fallen to the ground. But the death of Isaac, as it has been already said, must have been the death as it were of all the promises; for Isaac is not to be considered as a common man, but as one who had Christ included in him. This question, which would have been otherwise difficult to be solved, the Apostle explains by adding immediately, that Abraham ascribed this honour to God, that he was able to raise his son again from the dead. He then did not renounce the promise given to him, but extended its power and its truth beyond the life of his son; for he did not limit God’s power to so narrow bounds as to tie it to Isaac when dead, or to extinguish it. Thus he retained the promise, because he bound not God’s power to Isaac’s life, but felt persuaded that it would be efficacious in his ashes when dead no less than in him while alive and breathing.[3]


17 The NIV’s “was about to sacrifice” represents the Greek imperfect tense “was sacrificing,” which can have the sense of setting out to do what was not in fact completed. The tenses carefully reflect the OT story in which Abraham “offered” his son (perfect tense of the same verb) but was not allowed to go through with the sacrifice.

19 The Greek phrase ἐν͂ͅ παραβολή, en parabolē, “figuratively speaking” (GK 4130), may be intended to convey not just that the language is nonliteral but more specifically that the author is thinking typologically (cf. his use of παραβολή, parabolē, in 9:9) of Isaac’s binding for sacrifice and restoration as pointing forward to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ—a typological link that the NT does not develop but that was exploited in early Christian writing.[4]


11:17–18 / The author’s language in v. 17 is close to the language of Gen. 22. “The binding of Isaac” is referred to in some Jewish liturgies for the New Year. For allusions to this story, see also Sir. 44:20; Wisd. of Sol. 10:5; 4 Macc. 16:20 (cf. 13:12). The reference to only son may reflect indirect influence of the Christology of the early church, in which of course the title was very important. Paul may build upon Gen. 22 in Rom. 8:32 and some have thought that John 8:56 may have this story in mind (cf. John 3:16). The word for one and only son (monogenēs) does not occur in the Genesis narrative according to the lxx. There (Gen. 22:2) Isaac is referred to as “son … whom you love” (or “beloved,” agapētos), a closely related word and an apparently alternative translation of the same Hebrew word. The use of the expression “only son” in reference to Christ occurs only in the Johannine literature of the nt. (For “beloved son,” see Mark 1:11; 9:7; 12:6, and parallels.) Isaac, of course, was not Abraham’s only son—but he was the only son of Sarah and the only son of the so-called line of promise as the next verse unequivocally points out. He was therefore the unique son. James (2:21f.) also refers to Abraham’s offering of Isaac as an example of one whose “faith was made complete by what he did.” For Isaac as a type of Christ in early Christian literature (e.g., Barnabas 7:3), see references in Hughes, pp. 485f. The Greek verb about to sacrifice (prospherō) can also be described as an inceptive imperfect tense, “he began to offer,” without completing the deed. The promises again connote not simply those of a temporal quality, but more particularly the transcendent expectations they foreshadowed. See note on 4:1. On the importance of the present passage for the author’s perspective, see J. Swetnam, Jesus and Isaac: A Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the Light of the Aqedah (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1981).[5]


Abraham’s submission (11:17–19)

In Jewish tradition Abraham was said to have been tested by God on ten different occasions. Here the letter focuses on the occasion when he was ordered to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. At a time when Abraham must have been bewildered by God’s command, he continued to believe and refused to act in any way other than the Lord had told him. It seemed ridiculous to offer up his only son when, after all, the child had been God’s promised gift. The Lord had assured him that it would be through his child that the promised grace would begin to be established: Through Isaac shall your descendants be named. God now seemed to be going back on his word, but Abraham was determined to do what the Lord God required. He held on to the truth of God’s promise, believing that if Isaac had to be killed as the sacrificial victim, then God would raise him from the dead to fulfil his ultimate purposes. Abraham refused to put limits to either his obedience or God’s power. He maintained his faith in the creative power of God (11:3) and his word (4:12). The saving event was an eloquent parable. Isaac was received back from the verge of death, a sign of God’s unfailing provision in the moment of man’s desperate need.[6]


11:17–19. These verses illustrate the faith of Abraham in his readiness to sacrifice Isaac (see Gen. 22:1–10). The test lay in the conflict between the divine promise that Isaac was the heir and the commandment of God to put him to death. Abraham chose to believe that God’s promise could not fail and obeyed accordingly.

How could Abraham sacrifice Isaac when God had designated Isaac as the child of promise? Abraham could easily have questioned the guidance from God to offer Isaac. Even though he had never seen a resurrection, he came to the view that God was going to raise Isaac from the dead after the sacrifice had been completed (see Gen. 22:5). Abraham’s faith ascended to the level of a resurrection, and God restored Isaac to him as one snatched unexpectedly from the dead.[7]


17. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18. even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19. Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.

Genesis 22 contains the story of Abraham’s greatest test of faith. This story reveals Abraham’s readiness to obey God at the expense of Isaac, to cling to God’s promises even though obedience to God’s command would nullify it, and to believe that God would raise Isaac from the dead. We note three points.

  • Obedience

Abraham’s faith had triumphed when God directed him to the land of the promise and when God gave him Isaac, the son of the promise. But had Abraham reached a plateau of faith? Was his faith dormant and inactive? Would Abraham be able to submit to a much greater test of faith? Would he be willing to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God?

The writer of Hebrews says that God tested Abraham and implies that the test lasted from the moment God called him to sacrifice Isaac on one of the mountains of Moriah until the angel of the Lord stopped him from slaying Isaac. God tested Abraham to see whether the patriarch’s love for God was stronger than his fatherly love for his son Isaac. Therefore, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son at a place far removed from where they lived. Presumably Sarah may not have been informed about God’s command to sacrifice Isaac.

If God had taken Isaac’s life by natural or even accidental death, Abraham’s faith would have been severely tested. But God asked Abraham to take Isaac and with his own hands kill his son for a sacrifice to God. Job could say, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (1:21); but Abraham would have to say, “The Lord has given me a son and wants me to give him back as a sacrifice.”

Abraham obeyed. He fully complied with God’s request. In fact, if God had not intervened, Isaac would have been killed. Abraham showed his unwavering faith in God in humble obedience to God’s word. He demonstrated his love for God above anyone else, even his son Isaac.

  • Promise

That Abraham responded not in blind faith and slavish obedience is clear from the second part of verse 17 and verse 18. Abraham had received God’s promises, especially this word: “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned” (Gen. 21:12; also see Rom. 9:7). Abraham knew that in Isaac the promise of the multitude of descendants would be fulfilled. Descendants of Isaac would include all the spiritual offspring of Abraham. Thus, with the death of Isaac, the line of believers would be terminated.

The author of Hebrews writes that Abraham “was about to sacrifice his one and only son” (v. 17). Certainly Abraham had Ishmael, but this son belonged to the Egyptian servant Hagar. Isaac, not Ishmael, was the heir, the son of the promise. If Isaac’s life were to end, the salvation of the world would not take place. For through Isaac, God’s promise of salvation would come to realization. Actually, the promise remained in effect, for God prevented Abraham from terminating Isaac’s life and from nullifying the promise. Abraham was about to kill his son, but God said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Gen. 22:12).

  • Power

In genuine faith Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead. He knew that God’s power is unlimited and that God can make that which is dead come back to life. Abraham himself had experienced that: he who was “as good as dead” (Heb. 11:12) was able to procreate a son through God’s power. Abraham’s faith reached a mountaintop of trust in God when he said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen. 22:5). He knew that Isaac would return with him. He believed that God would give life to the dead (Rom. 4:17), even though no one as yet had been raised from death.

Of course, Isaac did not die, someone may say, and therefore a resurrection from the dead did not take place. The author of Hebrews anticipates this observation, and to avoid any misunderstanding he adds the phrase that is translated as “and figuratively speaking.” Because Abraham’s obedience was complete, Isaac had no way of escape. Only God’s direct intervention saved his life, and thus “figuratively speaking” he was brought back to life.

What is the meaning of the expression figuratively speaking? Is Isaac a figure of Jesus Christ? Both have the designation one and only son. Both were appointed to be a sacrifice, except that for Isaac a ram served as substitute. Commentators in the early church and the Middle Ages were apt to see a parallel between Isaac and Christ and to say that Isaac prefigured Christ.

However, a word of caution is in order. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews nowhere regards “the sacrifice and salvation of Isaac as a type of Christ’s death and resurrection,” and “the idea is nowhere found in the New Testament.” No one disputes the well-known truth that the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. But we ought to avoid making a writer say more than he intends to convey.

The conclusion of this matter is that the author of Hebrews stresses the unique faith of Abraham. By faith Abraham offered his son Isaac and received him back from the dead. The writer implies that Isaac actually never died, and therefore the incident must be understood figuratively and not literally. In this sense Abraham received Isaac back from death.[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 335–336). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Phillips, R. D. (2006). Hebrews. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 469–480). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 286–288). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 161). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[5] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 197–198). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Brown, R. (1988). The message of Hebrews: Christ above all (pp. 211–212). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[7] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, p. 202). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 327–329). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

We’ve Seen This Happen Before The Last 3 Recessions…And Now It Is The Worst It Has Ever Been | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Since the last financial crisis, we have witnessed the greatest corporate debt binge in U.S. history. 

 

Corporate debt has more than doubled since then, and it is now sitting at a grand total of more than 9 trillion dollars.  Of course there have been other colossal corporate debt binges throughout our history, and they all ended badly.  In fact, the ratio of corporate debt to U.S. GDP rose above 40 percent prior to each of the last three recessions, but this time around we have found a way to top that.  According to Forbes, the ratio of nonfinancial corporate debt to U.S. GDP is now nearly 50 percent…

Since the last recession, nonfinancial corporate debt has ballooned to more than $9 trillion as of November 2018, which is nearly half of U.S. GDP. As you can see below, each recession going back to the mid-1980s coincided with elevated debt-to-GDP levels—most notably the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the 2000 dot-com bubble and the early ’90s slowdown.

You can see the chart they are talking about right here, and it clearly shows that each of the last three recessions coincided with the bursting of an enormous corporate debt bubble.

This time around the corporate debt bubble is larger than it has ever been before, and risky corporate debt has been growing faster than any other category

Through 2023, as much as $4.88 trillion of this debt is scheduled to mature. And because of higher rates, many companies are increasingly having difficulty making interest payments on their debt, which is growing faster than the U.S. economy, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

On top of that, the very fastest-growing type of debt is riskier BBB-rated bonds—just one step up from “junk.” This is literally the junkiest corporate bond environment we’ve ever seen.

Needless to say, the stage is set for a corporate debt meltdown of epic proportions.

What makes this debt bubble even worse is the way that our big corporations have been spending the money that they are borrowing.

Instead of spending the money to build factories, hire workers and expand their businesses, our big corporations have been spending more money on stock buybacks than anything else.

Every year, publicly traded corporations spend hundreds of billions of dollarsbuying back their own stocks from shareholders, and much of that is being done with borrowed money.

For example, in recent years General Motors has spent nearly 14 billion dollars on stock buybacks.  And that number certainly sounds quite impressive until you learn that General Electric has spent a whopping 40 billion dollars on stock buybacks.

Sadly, both corporate behemoths are now absolutely drowning in debt as a result of their foolishness.

In the final analysis, borrowing money to fund stock buybacks is little more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme.  In their endless greed, corporate executives are cannibalizing their own companies because it makes some people wealthier in the short-term.

And now this giant corporate debt bubble has reached a bursting point, and there is no way that this story is going to end well.

Meanwhile, another financial bubble of epic proportions is also getting a lot of attention these days.  If you are not familiar with “shadow banking”, here is a pretty good explanation from CNBC

Nonbank lending, an industry that played a central role in the financial crisis, has been expanding rapidly and is still posing risks should credit conditions deteriorate.

Often called “shadow banking” — a term the industry does not embrace — these institutions helped fuel the crisis by providing lending to underqualified borrowers and by financing some of the exotic investment instruments that collapsed when subprime mortgages fell apart.

This kind of lending has absolutely exploded all over the globe since the last recession, and it has now become a 52 trillion dollar bubble

In the years since the crisis, global shadow banks have seen their assets grow to $52 trillion, a 75% jump from the level in 2010, the year after the crisis ended. The asset level is through 2017, according to bond ratings agency DBRS, citing data from the Financial Stability Board.

Who is going to pick up the pieces when a big chunk of those debts start going bad during the next financial crisis?

Never before in human history have we seen so much debt.  Government debt is at all-time record levels all over the world, corporate debt is wildly out of control and consumer debt continues to surge.

A system that requires debt levels to grow at a much faster pace than the overall global economy is growing to maintain itself is a fundamentally flawed system.

But that is what we are facing.  If global debt growth fell to zero, the global economy would instantly plunge into a horrific depression.  The only way to keep the game going is to keep expanding the debt bubble, and the larger it becomes the worse the future crash will be.

Most of us have been in this system for our entire lives, and so most of us don’t even realize that it is possible to have a financial system that is not based on debt.  This is one of the reasons why I get so frustrated with the financially-illiterate politicians who insist that everything will be just fine if we just tweak our current system a little bit.

No, everything is not going to be just fine.  In fact, we have perfectly set the stage for the worst financial meltdown in human history.

At this point nobody has put forth a plan to fundamentally change the system, and there is no way out.

All that is left to do is to keep this current bubble going for as long as humanly possible, and then to duck and cover when disaster finally strikes.

Source: We’ve Seen This Happen Before The Last 3 Recessions…And Now It Is The Worst It Has Ever Been

Four Things Protestants Should Consider Regarding the Burning of Notre Dame — Pulpit & Pen

“The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 7:25

The world watched in horror last night as Notre Dame – the iconic Roman Catholic Cathedral in Paris – burned. Notre Dame de Paris, or Our Lady of Paris, is named after the idol that Papists fashioned after the mother of Jesus. When construction started in 1163, it was born out of the same heart of idolatry that caused the disciples to consider building temples to Elijah and Moses, only to hear God’s voice from Heaven and emphasized Jesus, saying “this is my son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5). Only in 1163, no voice spoke from Heaven and the atrocious House of Idols was built.

The construction of the Museum of Idolatry took hundreds of years, primarily by money people gave to get their relatives out of the hock of purgatory or to atone for their own sins through indulgences. Brick upon brick, that monstrosity is built upon funds received in exchange for soul-damning simony.

After being installed as a ‘Temple of Reason’ during the Enlightenment, the building was handed back over to the Romanist church by the brutal conquerer, Napoleon Bonaparte. In exchange, the Pope of Rome – Pope Pius VII – decreed Napoleon emperor. It was a trade of wealth for power, one not altogether unlike the pact made between the Romanist Church and Satan himself.

People around the world lamented the torching of Notre Dame, including notable Protestants who were saddened by the loss of what they see as an ebenezer of Western Civilization. Whether the fire was set by Islamicists, happenstance, or God Himself, Protestants should consider four things to help construct a thoughtful and Biblical response to the ash heap and its inevitable restoration.

First, Protestants should pray for those who were personally affected by the fire and physically confronted with the flames. These include anyone who might have been inside and suffered the threat of physical harm, passers-by, or anyone else who had to endure a real-life Dante’s Inferno up and until this morning when most of the flames were finally extinguished. We would hope and pray that no one comes to an untimely demise, least alone those who are misled by idolatrous and pagan superstitions.

Second, remember that we should not gloat in our enemies’ demise or misfortune, as Proverbs 24:17 reminds us, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.” However, this does not mean that we cannot use this moment to preach the truth (whether it is in season or out of season – 2 Timothy 4:2). When Jesus’ teaching was interrupted in Luke 13 with the news that a tower had fallen in Siloam and that blood was shed in the temple, he used it an opportunity to preach, saying, “And unless ye repent, ye all shall likewise perish.”

Third, God hates idolatry and he despises Notre Dame. The religion of the papacy is the religion of the devil.

As our Confession of Faith (the 1689 London Baptist Confession) says…

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

The Pope calls himself Holy Father, a term reserved for God alone (John 10:36-37, Matthew 23:9). The Pope calls himself the Head of the Church, term reserved for Christ alone (Ephesians 1:22). The Pope calls himself the Vicar of Christ, a term reserved for the Holy Spirit alone (John 14:7-16). Catholic cathedrals are medieval monuments to the spirit of Babel, creating spires by which to scale Heaven and cast God from his throne.

God hates idolatry. He despises it.

Although the Romanists have removed the Second Commandment from their numbering of the Decalogue, yet it remains in the Word of God…

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands[b of those who love me and keep my commandments.

God despises the use of relics, icons, and idols. And yet, Notre Dame is a monument to idolatry. In the midst of the flames, priests raced into the flames to rescue their idols from fire.

Our God is not one who needs to be rescued from the flames. He talks out of the burning flame and walks among the fire.

As Proclaiming the Gospel said earlier…

“While it was sad to see such a historic landmark on fire, I could not help but reflect on what the Notre Dame Cathedral actually represents. For over 800 years it has been a place where Roman Catholic priests have committed the most serious sin of idolatry by lifting up a wafer and worshipping it as the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ. Notre Dame also represents the center of Roman Catholicism in France, whose members slaughtered approximately 100,000 Bible-believing Christians on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. The reason for the massacre of so many Protestant Huguenots was utterly appalling! It was because the Roman Catholic religion feared it was losing control over the souls of men who were being set free by the Word of God (John 8:31-32).

It was also at Notre Dame that Pope Pius X beatified Joan of Arc, France’s most famous Catholic martyr, after a previous “infallible” pope condemned her as a heretic. The Cathedral also hosted fake relics said to be the crown of thorns worn by Christ and a piece of wood that was part of His cross. How tragic it is to see Catholics venerate fake relics of Christ while paying little attention to His infallible, inspired, authoritative Word that brings forth life to those who believe it.”

Protestants have never esteemed this building, and the last people to do it great damage were French Calvinists who bravely overturned and removed their idols (more on that in a forthcoming article).

Fourth, we don’t know what caused the flames and we should be slow to attribute blame to either God or to Islamic extremists. The latest reports from Paris officials indicate there’s no proof yet that this blaze was voluntarily set. But then again, one should expect nothing less from Paris in their soft-handed treatment to Islamic extremism. Unless there was hard proof, you could not expect the Parisians to cast aspersions upon Islam.

Likewise, if we attribute the flames to God Almighty (something that would completely be within his nature to do to pagan temples), we might have a hard time explaining why he used Islamic extremists to do it if it turns out that’s how the fire started. Although God has repeatedly used the enemies of his people to destroy the enemies of his people, this is not a context easily explainable to a culture ignorant of Scriptural history.

Rather, it should suffice us to say that whatever the cause of the fire, we as Protestants shall not mourn the loss of idols, while we do not condone terrorism or acts of violence. And either way, the destruction of Notre Dame is fully within the bounds of God’s providence, for God asks Amos 3:6 asks, “Does calamity come upon a city and it was not I who caused it?”

via Four Things Protestants Should Consider Regarding the Burning of Notre Dame — Pulpit & Pen

Good Riddance to the Notre Dame Cathedral — Reformation Charlotte

…the Notre Dame Cathedral was a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and it’s history isn’t really that bright. The history of the Roman Catholic Church is one of violence against the saints. Literally, millions (some estimates as high as 65 million, though unlikely quite that high) were killed at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church during the inquisition. The Roman Catholic Church has stood in opposition to the bride of Christ since its inception. It is not a Christian organization.

The Notre Dame Cathedral was initially constructed in the 12th century AD under Pope Alexander III. The Cathedral has experienced much warfare and has changed hands between different cults and religious organizations on a few occasions, ultimately remaining under the control of the Roman Catholic Church. The Cathedral was adorned in with idols and demonic statues which bore great witness to the god the Roman Catholic Church serves — Satan.

Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.

Isaiah 2:8

It is reported that during the fire, some of the relics and statues have been saved and transported to another location. It is unclear as to which ones were saved, but one thing is for certain, Roman Catholic relics have been used to enslave people to the Roman Catholic Church and keep them in bondage for nearly 2000 years.

via Good Riddance to the Notre Dame Cathedral — Reformation Charlotte

April 16, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

The U.S. Congress has strong arguments for obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns, but first faces a long court battle that could extend into the 2020 presidential election.

Top Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday demanded documents from the Trump administration over a White House proposal to release migrants from detention and transport them to “sanctuary cities.”

In the crowded field of Democrats jockeying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has raised more money than his rivals, with more of it coming from small-dollar donors and more from outside his home state.

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders released 10 years of tax returns on Monday, providing details of his growing status as a millionaire fueled by a sharp jump in income from book royalties since his losing 2016 White House run.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has hired the largest campaign staff in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, quickly building a payroll that far exceeds her Democratic rivals.

Attorney General William Barr plans on Thursday morning to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and contacts between Moscow and President Donald Trump’s campaign, the Justice Department said.

Police have arrested more than 120 people in two days of protests after climate-change activists blocked some of London’s most important junctions including Oxford Circus and Marble Arch, causing traffic chaos.

India’s election commission on Monday banned a Hindu state chief minister from campaigning for three days after anti-Muslim comments in an election that will end next month.

The fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident, French prosecutors said on Tuesday after firefighters doused the last flames in the ruins overnight and the nation grieved for the destruction of one of its symbols.

AP Top Stories

Women will be included for the first time in the Taliban delegation to peace talks in Qatar this month, the movement’s main spokesman said on Monday, ahead of the latest round of meetings aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.

The Satanic Temple has launched a legal challenge to Missouri laws requiring women to wait three days before undergoing an abortion.

The U.S. is ready to apply new sanctions on Venezuela’s leadership, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, as the government steps up pressure on Nicolas Maduro to relinquish power and allow new elections to be held.

The U.S. terrorism label for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect on Monday, amid a battle between the Trump administration and some in Congress over waivers on oil and nuclear sanctions that are due to expire or be extended early next month.

Libya is on the verge of an all-out war involving a rogues’ gallery of militias, many of which are little more than criminal gangs armed with heavy weapons.

A team of three Associated Press journalists won a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting Monday for their work documenting torture, graft and starvation in Yemen’s brutal civil war.

Aretha Franklin is still getting R-E-S-P-E-C-T after death: The Queen of Soul received the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor Monday, becoming the first individual woman to earn a special citation prize since the honor was first awarded in 1930.

Prosecutors in Sicily have placed Italy’s prime minister and three senior members of his government under investigation for false imprisonment over the detention of 47 migrants who were prevented from disembarking from an NGO rescue ship.

A community of Syrians who converted to Christianity from Islam is growing in Kobani, a town besieged by Islamic State for months, and where the tide turned against the militants four years ago.

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory is closely monitoring Mauna Loa because conditions have risen to levels comparable to a more active period between 2014 and 2017.

Iran’s supreme leader on Monday approved the use of special emergency funds to deal with damage from major flooding that has killed at least 76 people and injured more than 1,000 over the past several weeks.

The Gulf state of Bahrain Tuesday jailed 138 people and revoked their citizenship for plotting to form a “terror” group with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the public prosecutor said.

BBC

Scientists have found that a secluded region in the Pyrenees Mountains – previously considered pristine wilderness – is covered with airborne microplastics.

The number of measles cases reported worldwide in the first three months of 2019 has quadrupled compared with the same time last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Africa had witnessed the most dramatic rise – up 700%.

The Chinese billionaire and co-founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba has continued to argue for a 9am to 9pm working day, and a six-day week. Jack Ma’s backing for the so-called “996 system” is being hotly debated in the Chinese media.

WND

Social-media users with Muslim names are celebrating the catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday.

Seven abortion businesses across New Jersey are up for sale because of their owner’s incompetency, and pro-life leaders hope no one will buy them.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 16, 2019

The Foundation

“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.” —John Jay (1784)

Notre Dame: Metaphor for Western Christianity

A cathedral that stood for nearly 900 years is a symbol in more ways than one.


Tax Freedom Day Is a Little Earlier This Year

Americans’ biggest financial expenditure — by a long shot — is taxes.


Assange Was Not Right

WikiLeaks founder is an anti-American lawbreaker and he should pay for his crimes.


Trump’s Sanctuary Strategy

Let me briefly remind you of what President Trump has tried to do on immigration.


Witness Pulls Gun, Stops Kidnapping of 11-Year-Old Girl

A stranger saved a girl from being kidnapped, thanks to a firearm.


Video: The House ‘Hate Crimes and White Nationalism’ Hearing

Matt Christiansen evaluates Jerry Nadler’s top lies on the issue.


Video: Preferred Pronouns or Prison

“He.” “She.” “They.” Have you ever given a moment’s thought to your everyday use of these pronouns?



Today’s Opinion

Dennis Prager
Notre Dame: An Omen
Cal Thomas
Flooding the Sanctuary Zones
Stephen Moore
Is America Running Out of Workers?
James Shott
Robert Barr Joins Robert Mueller on the Democrats’ Wall of Shame
Tony Perkins
Critics Are Deficient in Understanding Military Transgender Policy
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Notre Dame fire, Mueller report, Bill Weld, Sanders’s tax returns, soda tax, social-justice pandering, and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

“Look for facebook’s stock to plunge today since the Boss has quit it.” —Twitter parody account @AOCpress



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 – 4/16/2019

Passover Offering Reenactment
On Mondy evening, approximately 1,000 people gathered on a rooftop promenade in the Old City of Jerusalem to witness a reenactment of the Passover sacrifice. [Photo Spread]

Why is a black man throwing a small white child off the third floor of a Minnesota mall not a bigger story?
Photos of the 5-year-old child named Landen who was flung from the balcony of the Mall of America have surfaced. The attacker, Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, is a black man, and the child who was critically injured and fighting for his life is white. But interestingly the news media has not reported on the race of the attacker and the victim and has not labeled it a hate crime.

International Union of Muslim Scholars urges imams around the world to preach violent jihad against Israel
the Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Resurrection Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, and if a Jew hided behind a rock or a tree, the rock or tree will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…’ This explains clearly that the path to liberating Al-Aqsa Mosque begins with the actual worship of Allah, submission to Him alone, and obedience to His precepts…”

Islamic attacks against Jews and Christians in France are rising at a staggering rate – police do nothing
The number of anti-religious attacks against Jews and Christians in France continues to rise, while attacks against Muslims are at their lowest for 9 years. According to a group that studies hate crime attacks against Christians, February was the worst month for attacks on Christian churches since they began collecting data.

Less Border Security Brings More Disease to America
there is another problem that apparently must not be spoken: high-volume, unstructured immigration brings with it infectious diseases that are a threat to all Americans.

Record Crime In Mexico: 8500 Homicides In First Quarter Of 2019
As President Trump declared a national emergency over the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border, our southern neighbor Mexico is on track to record its most violent year on record, according to security experts.

Illinois Lawmaker Files Bill to Separate Chicago from Illinois, Creating 51st State
The bill is being cosponsored by Republican C.D. Davidsmeyer, the representative for the 100th House District in Jacksonville, a city in Morgan County, Illinois, in the central west area of the Land of Lincoln. HR0101 was initially introduced by state Rep. Brad Halbrook, who insisted that Chicago is at the forefront of launching a full-frontal assault on the values the rest of the state holds.

Trump warns Putin of US umbrella over Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that the Russians were quietly strengthened in their three-year policy of non-interference by a message from President Donald Trump to President Vladimir Putin through back-channels. Putin was warned to continue to turn a blind eye to Israeli raids on Iranian targets in Syria. The message implied that the Israeli Air Force was for the first time operating under an American aerial umbrella.

Muslims celebrate as blaze destroys Notre Dame
Social-media users with Muslim names are celebrating the catastrophic fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday. …while there was no indication that the Notre Dame fire is related to terrorism, a YouTube algorithm designed to combat fake news and conspiracy theories equated the Paris catastrophe with the 9/11 New York City terror attacks.

Escape of the elites
Anyone who can, is leaving the Gaza strip. Some in Israel may consider this a positive development but let there be no illusion. Gaza is losing its intellectuals, its professionals and it’s wealthy and is left on the verge of chaos.

Human brains could be connected to the internet in ‘next few decades,’ scientists predict
Known as the “Human Brain/Cloud Interface” (B/CI), researchers at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California have suggested that nanorobots could be implanted into the human body and connect to a network in real-time. “These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier, and precisely autoposition themselves among, or even within brain cells,”

French man stabs neighbor because he ‘wanted to kill a Jew’
The victim, a 58-year-old man, was stabbed 15 times in his stomach and face. He was injured in the liver and gallbladder and underwent surgery, according to the report. He was saved by a friend, who was with him at the time of the assault, who came between the victim and the attacker. The attacker, 18, told witnesses that he “wanted to kill a Jew.” According to the report, the victim is not Jewish.

Bolton applauded U.S. and Israel security partnership
“Great meeting with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat today,” Bolton tweeted. “The close United States-Israel strategic partnership reflects the tremendous strength of the ties between our governments and the citizens of our two allied countries.”

Scientists drill into white graphene to create artificial atom
By drilling holes into a thin two-dimensional sheet of hexagonal boron nitride with a gallium-focused ion beam, scientists have created artificial atoms that generate single photons, which work in air and room temperature.

President Rivlin Begins Consultations to Form New Coalition Government
Rivlin met with each of the parties at his Jerusalem residence and received their recommendations for a candidate to form and lead the next government.

Belarusian, N. Korea Missile Engineers Among Casualties in IAF Strike on Syria
According to Western intelligence services, Israel’s airstrike on the Scientific Studies and Research Center in the Syrian town of Masyaf, Saturday, may have killed more than just Iranian and Syrian military officers. Debkafile – an English language Israeli military intelligence website – claimed that missile scientists from both Belarus and North Korea were employed in different departments in the large industrial complex.

Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France—and Officials Don’t Know Why
France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration.

Bombshell! As Promised, Defiant Assange Dumps ALL Wikileaks Files – MORE Shall Be Revealed – Find Files Here!
This is absolutely incredible and for those who actually do investigative journalism, this is going to be source material for possibly years to come.  As co-founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange was arrested and dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he stated the files would be dumped, and unlike the state-controlled media, you could bank on him following through with what he said.

Proud Canadians protest perverted new coin celebrating decriminalization of homosexual sex acts
Canadians demonstrated in Ottawa today at the country’s Royal Mint against a new coin to be released in the coming weeks that commemorates the decriminalization of homosexual sex acts.

Democrat Legislator Offers Amendment to Specifically Kill Black Babies in Abortion
Abortion advocates tried unsuccessfully to weaken Ohio’s heartbeat bill with a series of amendments this week, including one that would have allowed only African American unborn babies to be aborted.

Israeli scientists successfully print human heart
Scientists at Tel Aviv University unveil ‘first’ 3D print of heart with human tissue, vessels.

Significant Natural Gas Discovery Made Off Israel’s Shore, Further Cementing It As Energy Superpower
The newly-found gas will be added to the previously discovered gas fields increasing Israel’s energy independence.

Islamic attacks against Jews and Christians in France are rising at a staggering rate – police do nothing
The number of anti-religious attacks against Jews and Christians in France continues to rise, while attacks against Muslims are at their lowest for 9 years.

German intelligence chief says 2,240 Islamic jihadis now in Germany who can “can launch an attack anytime”
Haldenwang “warned against an increasing threat posed by the return of ‘Islamic State’ (IS) jihadis from Syria and northern Iraq.”

Forget Iran & Saudi Arabia, China Dominates The World Executions League Table
China is the world’s top executioner by far and it’s believed that thousands of people are put to death every despite accurate figures remaining a state secret…

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has gone up in flames
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, but BBC quotes officials saying it could be linked to renovation work.

Notre Dame Cathedral is Burning
During the Holiest Week in the Liturgical calendar, Notre Dame Cathedral is in flames. Suspicions arise as to what, or who, started the fire.

Are We Living In the Last Days?
Are we living in the last days. This is a fascinating interview with Richard Ruhling. This exchange will make you stop and wonder if these are the last days that are foretold in the Book of Revelations? Make this go viral.

Creepy: Netflix Employs Practicing Wiccans To Fact-Check ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’
In case you ever wondered why the Netflix reboot of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” seemed so eerily satanic, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the streaming service employs actual Wiccans to ensure maximum accuracy.

No child will be left unindoctrinated
….We are seeing an explosion of children and young adults, coming out of government-run schools, confused about everything including their gender

State Department Veteran: Iraq Wrecked Me For Nothing
“Most everything that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan has gone un-investigated, unheard of, or unpunished. Ancient History…”


Headlines – 4/16/2019

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque Fire Burns at the Same Time As Flames Engulf Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

‘Allah est grand’: Muslims laugh as blaze destroys Notre Dame cathedral

World expresses horror, sorrow as Paris gem Notre Dame damaged by blaze

Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact – Smoke rises around the alter in front of the cross

Twelve French Churches Attacked, Vandalized in One Week

Merkel Stresses Need for Two-state Solution to Netanyahu Following Annexation Pledge

Israel’s Netanyahu, facing indictment, sets out to build a coalition that will stand by him

Liberman backs Netanyahu for PM, but insists on passage of Haredi draft law

Jerusalem to Demolish Palestinian Homes in ‘Peace Forest’, Let Settlers Build

Fires sparked in south by balloon-borne incendiaries from Gaza

Ocasio-Cortez: Cutting U.S. Military, Economic Aid to Israel Is ‘On the Table’

Greek energy firm hails ‘significant’ natural gas discovery off Israel’s coast

US counterterrorism coordinator leading delegation to Israel

US officially designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group

Sisi could rule Egypt until 2030 under constitutional changes

Saudi Arabia Funds Another Regional Conflict: Libya

Fighting in Libya will create huge number of refugees, PM warns

Fear and despair engulf refugees in Libya’s ‘market of human beings’

African Union threatens to suspend Sudan over coup

Sudanese forces will remain in Yemen, says military council deputy

Appeals and recounts spark frustration as Istanbul vote count enters third week

Turkish Unemployment Rate Is at Its Highest in Nearly a Decade

Turkey: Buying Russian defense system should not trigger US sanctions

Russia blocks news site for anti-Putin graffiti under new law

The Mueller report is coming Thursday with color-coded cuts

Analysis: How Mueller’s hunt for a Russia-Trump conspiracy came up short

Trump maintains ‘no collusion, no obstruction,’ says it’s time to ‘investigate the investigators’ in Russia probe

Trump Again Attacks Ilhan Omar for Being ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘anti-Israel,’ Claims She Controls Pelosi

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quits Facebook, calls social media a ‘public health risk’

Trump sides with Cher after star questions LA’s ability to ‘take care of its own’ amid immigration debate

Venezuela accuses Canada of supporting Trump’s ‘war adventure’

House Democrats subpoena Deutsche Bank in Trump investigation

Tax Day trauma: Paying for our massive national debt

Marine Corps suffers identity crisis in age of cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence

Employee privacy in the US is at stake as corporate surveillance technology monitors workers’ every move

Europe looks to remold internet with new copyright rules

German Data Privacy Commissioner Says Article 13 Inevitably Leads to Filters, Which Inevitably Lead to Internet “Oligopoly”

Pepsi says it’ll use an artificial constellation, hung in the night sky next to the stars, to promote an energy drink

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kirakira, Solomon Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Claveria, Philippines

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Tenggar Caldera volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Cyclone Idai’s death toll over 1,000, hundreds of thousands displaced

Drawings by children show the psychological impact of Cyclone Idai

Two million in need of aid after Iran floods, says Red Crescent

At least 8 people killed after more than 20 tornadoes hit southern U.S.

Chicago sees biggest snowfall this late in the season in more than 50 years

Texas police used DNA technology to identify 2 women found dead in the ’80s and ’90s. Now authorities hope to find their killers.

Israeli researchers print 3D heart from human tissue

Congolese Migrants Monitored for Ebola Along Texas Border, Says Official

Uptick in measles cases causes everything from concern to closures in Jewish areas, institutions

Measles cases rose nearly four-fold in first quarter 2019: WHO

Those born between 1957 and 1989 may not be protected from measles, despite getting vaccine

New York City’s mandatory measles vaccine orders trigger lawsuit from parents

Chinese Police Beat 60 Christians, Close Church and then Bury Bibles

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam Wishes Comedy Hadn’t Changed – ‘We can’t laugh at anybody because it causes offense’


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Regeneration vs. Conversion

Is Rebuilding the Temple the Next Event on the Prophetic Calendar?

Liberals at Evangelical University Cuss, Scream, Throw Hissy Over Mike Pence Invitation to Speak

Rick Warren criticized for hosting Rwanda president at Saddleback Church


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

 

875 Catholic Churches in France Were Vandalized in 2018 by Radical Secularists and Muslims — The Gateway Pundit

For over 850 years, Notre-Dame de Paris survived the French Revolution, two world wars, terror threats and pollution.

But on Monday the historic Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames and nearly destroyed.

It is not yet clear how the fire at Notre Dame started. French officials have not said it was due to arson.

But what is clear is that hundreds of French churches have come under attack in the just the last year.


Saint Sulpice in France caught fire less than a month ago.

According to the UK Sun 875 French churches were vandalized just last year.

Vi Allum Bokhari.

CHURCHES across France have been set on fire and poo smeared on walls as the country’s Christian heritage is said to be under attack from “militant secularism”.

Recent incidents have included a fire in Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, human poo daubed on a wall in Notre-Dame-des-Enfacts in Nimes, and an organ vandalised at Saint-Denis basilica outside Paris.

Some politicians have claimed the country’s Christian heritage is under threat from petty criminals encouraged by “militant secularism”.

Figures released by French police showed that 875 of France’s 42,258 churches were vandalised last year.

A further 129 churches reported thefts from the premises.

The interior ministry said that 59 cemeteries were also vandalised.

The churches were vandalized by radical leftists and Muslims.

via 875 Catholic Churches in France Were Vandalized in 2018 by Radical Secularists and Muslims — The Gateway Pundit

Why Democrats Are So Dangerous — Christian Research Network

How many grade-school students come home crying to their parents that we are all in danger of dying in twelve years if their parents didn’t support the global warming ‘crisis’? What parent out there had to tell their son or daughter that they could not go to school with their Make America Great Again hat lest they be assaulted or ridiculed, not so much by their classmates, but by their teachers?

(Ray DiLorenzo – Canada Free Press)  Democrats are dangerous. They are not your father’s Democrats. They don’t believe in anything your parents believed in. They scream and yell or sit on the floor if they don’t get their way. What was once a small group of radicals in the sixties has now completely taken over the party. I don’t think there is a lucid member left.

While the parents of today’s Democrat leaders worked hard, remembering the depression, many of their children were a bored and spoiled group. They never knew the urgency to leave school at 16 to help put food on the table or defend their very existence from nations like Germany and Japan. Bernie Sanders was kicked out of a commune for not pulling his weight. Who gets kicked out of a commune?

Like children with too much time on their hands, these sixties and seventies types that dominate today’s Democrat Party grew up hating the ‘system’…our form of government and its institutions. They shunned the Church, accusing them of being collaborators in their perceived oppression. Many of them found their answer in drugs, others in free sex or both. The dissolution of any moral code was certainly a sensed improvement for them.  View article →

via Why Democrats Are So Dangerous — Christian Research Network

April 16 The Blood of Christ

scripture reading: John 19:17–37
key verses: 1 Peter 1:18–19

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

The sight of blood can make even the strong queasy. It is not so much the color, odor, or viscosity of blood that kindles such a reaction but the nervous awareness that life itself is at stake. The unstopped flow of blood results in death.

At Golgotha the blood of Christ oozed from His hands, feet, and head. The bright red blood of Christ stained the timber and discolored the ground, visible to all who watched the horror unfold.

But the shedding of Christ’s blood is the one truth on which hangs all of Christianity—Jesus died for our sins. Christ’s spilled blood eventuated in His death; and in death, the Son of God and the Son of man completed His work on earth—to die on our behalf, pay our sin debt by the sacrifice of His life, and provide the pathway to reconciliation between God and us. Jesus’ death enabled God to forgive us of our iniquities by carrying out the punishment of sin—death—on His own Son.

Christ’s holy blood allows the Father to declare you innocent of your sins the moment you believe and receive Jesus as Savior. Christ’s bloody death is the good news that delivers you from eternal death and makes eternal life a treasured gift from God.

There is power in the blood! Thank You, Lord, that its power applies to me! The work is complete in my behalf. I am saved![1]


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

The Progressive Revolution: From Democratic to Liberal to Progressive to Socialist — National Review

President Barack Obama in 2016 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Obama kick-started a cycle that moves ever farther left — even he now seems passé.

Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008 despite, not because of, his most partisan voting record in the Senate. They were once willing to look past his earlier dubious associations with abject anti-Semites such as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former terrorists like Bill Ayers, and unhinged characters such as Father Pfleger. They also averted their eyes from Obama’s often quite offensive commentary, in his autobiography and during the 2008 campaign (e.g., “typical white person” and “they cling to…” speech).

Instead, voters were tired of the Iraq War (which was over for all practical purposes by the time of the November 2008 election).

They were, of course, terrified by the September 2008 financial meltdown (which had been mostly stabilized four months later by the time of the inauguration) and irate at the kid-gloves treatment accorded often conniving banks and investors.

They were convinced that Obama might be healing and transformative as the first African-American president, supposedly only slightly to the left of a far steadier and more qualified Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell. And half the Democrats were already becoming sick of Hillary Clinton once they became reacquainted with her on the 2008 primary-campaign trail.

As is typical of American politics, voters in 2008 also wanted to change the party in power after it had been in the lead for eight years, and the lame-duck president fell out of favor. Voters certainly were underwhelmed by an uninspiring, herky-jerky, mostly incompetent John McCain campaign, notable for his “that’s not who we are” comments and his willingness to “lose nobly.”

Such was the naïve dream.

The reality by 2013 was that voters got an increasing hard-core liberal-progressive revolution that, after Obama’s 2012 reelection, increasingly polarized America over the reach of the federal government, immigration, and race. Scandals at the DOJ and IRS were often political in nature. By summer 2016, the Obama administration had weaponized the intelligence agencies and his own justice department to such a degree that unleashed bureaucrats and appointees actively sought to intervene in a presidential campaign to undermine the opposition candidate and to lay the foundation for sabotaging the incoming president’s transition and administration.

An overregulated economy stagnated, requiring ever more federal intervention and borrowing. Students on campuses lost constitutional protections, especially under the First and Fifth Amendments, as universities finalized their long transformation into indoctrination centers. Obama recalibrated American foreign policy in neutralist fashion, and in a way that made Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia more suspect than Iran, Turkey, or Cuba.

Culturally, diversity replaced affirmative action, on the principle that formerly documented grievances or class status no longer mattered, at least compared with skin color. The real divide was now between a non-white, far greater collective that harbored purported grievances against a reconstituted and much smaller white majority and its “privilege and “supremacy.” When feminists and gays were included in the diverse intersectional bloc of Asians, Latinos, blacks, and immigrants, a supposed new majority of “woke” Americans now would have electoral control over a culpable and soon to become irrelevant minority. The “content of our character” and all that became “inoperative.”

All this was largely the legacy of an otherwise mostly unsuccessful Obama administration whose record was one of massive debt, an ossified economy, decreased sovereignty, increased ethnic and racial tensions, and a confused foreign policy perceived abroad as apologetic and contrite, and therefore useful to rivals and enemies.

The Socialist-Progressive Takeover

Yet Obama had hit on something in his move to the hard left. After he left office, unapologetic leftists were less coy (the old smear of “socialist” was now a term of endearment) and began to extinguish what little was left of Bill Clinton’s old, occasionally moderate Democratic party.

The reelection of Obama had convinced progressives that he had discovered electoral magic: record voter registration, turnout, and block voting of “minorities” that could overcome the old Perot, Reagan Democrat, silent majority, and tea-party dinosaurs in the critical swing states. This chemistry, they thought, would be inherently transferrable even to multimillionaire white establishmentarians like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden (but only if they were reeducated and thus made the necessary confessionals about their own white privilege and shared disdain for “deplorables” and “the dregs of society”).

Suddenly, everything seemed possible as woke activists, à la French Revolution, accelerated the possible into the already passé.

In just a few years, mere acceptance (rather than endorsement) of gay marriage was veritable homophobia. Assimilation and integration were seen as tantamount to cultural appropriation and imperialism. Conservation and market-based encouragement of alternative energy were the appeasement of “climate deniers” and showed a cowardly reluctance to go the full green mile and eventually ban the internal combustion engine. The Kavanaugh hearing, the Covington-kids fiasco, and the Jussie Smollett farce made clear that the Left was no longer liberal but hard-left and fact-free.

Secure borders and deportation of illegal aliens who had committed crimes were themselves humanitarian “crimes.” Building the wall went to stopping the wall to promoting the tearing down of the wall. The notions of affirmation action and disparate impact became Sixties’ relics, when “reparation” was the real goal. Prior street-theater groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter seemed timid anachronisms compared with Antifa and its masked hoodlums who torched and beat up anything in their path.

“Legal but rare” abortion became a sellout position, given that any woman had a right to partial-birth abortion and even infanticide if she so chose. A dream of a 50 percent income-tax rate on top incomes went to talk of 70 percent then to 90 percent and then to a wealth tax as just deserts. To enlarge the electorate, illegal aliens should vote first in local elections, but then why not everywhere? Sixteen-years olds could too, and so why not ex-felons as well? About a $1.5 trillion in student debt should be forgiven — but then tuition should be free for all (as should Medicare).

The appearance and success of the polarizing Donald Trump supercharged the ongoing progressive revolution. The rallying cries of “collusion,” “treason,” and the new “Manchurian candidate” won over any holdout Democrat and seduced the emasculated Never Trump right into becoming useful colluding idiots. The 2018 Democratic midterm victory in the House was not seen in historical context: Trump in fact had fared much better in both the House and Senate in his first midterm than had either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama at that point in their presidencies, both of whom were easily reelected, while mostly centrist candidates had given the Democrats the new House majority.

By spring 2019, we were light years beyond the revolution’s beginning in summer 2008 — and heading into hard-socialist territory and beyond.

Indeed, the once edgy community-organizing Obama himself had become a tragicomical figure. He spent a bit of his post-presidency warning against a “circular firing squad” of Democratic cannibalism but otherwise was hell-bent on becoming worth $100 million in “I built that fashion”—and was never again heard uttering another “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money” sermon.

Socialism and Beyond

Conventional wisdom would warn Democrats that their surrender to pied pipers such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Al Sharpton, Linda Sasour, and other assorted fakers, con artists, anti-Semites, and street actors would lead them all over the proverbial George McGovern and Walter Mondale cliff into the abyss. But such caution is unlikely for a variety of reasons.

One, Democratic candidates now sound a lot more like Bernie Sanders than he ever sounded like them. The new socialists believe that they have altered the nature of the electorate and the manner in which elections are conducted, and that they will continue to do so at an accelerating pace.

Preemptory charges of “voter suppression” have made required prior registration and voter IDs veritable racist crimes, as voter harvesting and fluid same-day registration and voting are the hallmarks of the future, even as open borders change the demography of the nation. Youth, not experience or tenure, is the requisite for progressive revolution, as brontosauruses like Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer struggle to sputter a few shrill socialist platitudes to maintain minimal relevance. Anti-Semitism is not called out by Democrats, because party leaders fear that Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib are not aberrations but now represent 51 percent of the new Democratic party on both Israel and American Jewry.

Two, few leftist revolutionary cycles ever halt in mid course, whether in 1789 France, 1917 Russia, 1946 China, or 1960 Cuba. The philosophy is always that today’s radical is yesterday’s sell-out to be replaced by tomorrow’s genuine far harder leftist — until the limits of reality are reached and the movement either implodes or leads to an authoritarian Napoleon, Lenin, Mao, or Fidel.

The current socialist trajectory is divorced from reality, whether reality mean the critical role of fossil fuels in maintaining civilization, or the historical record of tribalism destroying nations from Rwanda to the Balkans, or the usual story of soft socialism inevitably turning hard and ending in the mass poverty of a North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba.

The End Game

Socialists and hard progressives believe that they already have won about three-fifths of America, defined not by population, polls, or political office, but by cultural clout. They assume that such control will inevitably end in final victory in the Congress and presidency, the same way that that there’s no longer a Republican party to speak of in California and not a single statewide officeholder who is not a Democrat. Seven of 53 House seats are Republican in the California of Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson.

Entertainment and Hollywood are mostly all left-wing and missionary in their progressive zeal. The network news, PBS, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC outnumber talk radio and Fox News.

Most of the major newspapers are progressive. Silicon Valley is harder left still and more audacious in baking ideology into its products from Twitter and Facebook, which censor conservatives, to Google, with its progressive bias in formatting and searches.

The biggest foundations that most fund activists and academics are mostly left-wing. No one believes that the campuses are balanced or even disinterested. Most academics believe that they can be legitimately biased leftward to balance the supposed prejudices of the family, community, and church — noisome cargo that too many of their naïve students bring with them on arrival, which is why they need “cleansing” and “awakening.”

Sports events and reporting are liberal and increasingly avenues to peddle political messages. Corporate America tries to emulate popular culture and thus must adopt left-wing tropes, so it’s trigger-happy in its readiness to shoot down conservatives who are deemed hostile to our shared fated progressive future.

What we are seeing in the Democratic party’s movement to the hard left is not the beginning but the end of a long march. Socialists and progressives believe that control of the Congress, the presidency, and courts is the final missing tessera from their already expansive socialist mosaic.

They believe that the future is theirs. They no longer need to apologize for pushing government-sanctioned redistribution. And with an administrative state that nearly pulled off a coup in the past two years, with 21 trillion dollars in national debt and the courts as de facto progressive legislators, and with an open 2,000-mile border, they may well be right.

via The Progressive Revolution: From Democratic to Liberal to Progressive to Socialist — National Review

RenewAmerica Newsletter for April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019
Fighting for injured workers’ rights
RENEWAMERICA STAFF — In Utah, unethical “insurance medical examiners” hired to deprive injured workers of guaranteed Workers Compensation medical and other benefits are protected by “state policy” from any liability for harm resulting from their fraudulent examinations…. (more)


April 16, 2019
WES VERNON — When you go to the polls and cast your ballot, you are theoretically exercising your right to keep your vote secret if that is your desire. Now it appears the Democrats are making it their business to force you to disclose your political activities beyond what the law already mandates…. (more)

April 16, 2019
ALAN KEYES — Though all members of Congress are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, it’s hard to believe that the Democrats among them have any intention of honoring that oath. In their bid to establish dictatorial, totalitarian, socialist rule in the United States, Democrats all over the country are pushing a plainly anti-constitutional scheme to erase the constitutional method for electing the president of the United States…. (more)

April 16, 2019
If Buttigieg’s lifestyle is moral, Christianity got it wrong for 20 centuries
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN — “(T)here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said Hamlet, who thereby raised some crucial questions: Is moral truth subjective? Does it change with changing times and changing attitudes? Or is there a higher law, a permanent law, God’s law, immutable and eternal, to which man’s law should conform?… (more)


April 16, 2019
DAILY MAIL — French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame with help from the international community after a devastating fire gutted the famous Catholic cathedral last night. Speaking just hours after the roof of the 850-year-old building caved in, Macron said a national fundraising campaign to restore the historic building would be launched today, and he called on the world’s ‘greatest talents’ to help…. (more)


April 16, 2019
INVESTMENT WATCH — The entire world was absolutely shocked by the massive fire that engulfed the Notre Dame cathedral on Monday. We are being told that the structure of the cathedral has been saved, but according to CNN the “entire wooden interior of Notre Dame Cathedral has been lost”. Now that the initial shock of the fire has subsided, the Internet is buzzing with speculation about the origin of the fire. In the end, there are only two options. Either this was an accident, or someone intentionally started the fire. And if the fire was intentionally started, obviously someone had a motive for doing so…. (more)

April 16, 2019
REUTERS — Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, a searing loss for the city and for France. Here are five facts on the Gothic masterpiece that celebrated its 850th jubilee in 2013: – The first stone of the Notre-Dame de Paris (“Our Lady of Paris”) cathedral was laid in 1163 in the reign of Louis VII, as the medieval city of Paris was growing in population and importance, both as a political and economic center of the kingdom of France…. (more)

April 16, 2019
DAILIY SIGNAL — Actions by Justice Department officials in spying on a Donald Trump campaign adviser in 2016 could be a crime or merely an administrative offense, legal experts say. Crimes could include perjury or misleading a court, they say, while disciplinary action for an administrative offense could mean being fired or losing a law license…. (more)

April 16, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — President Trump’s reelection campaign reported over the weekend that it had raised more than $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, beating the combined fundraising hauls of the two top candidates for the Democratic nomination to face him in next year’s general election…. (more)

April 16, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she rejects the socialist ideology recently embraced by the left wing of her caucus and claimed that it does not represent a consensus position within the Democratic party. During an appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, Pelosi told CBS’s Leslie Stahl that the party has not succumbed to socialism despite the fact that all of its top 2020 presidential contenders have endorsed the elimination of the private health-insurance market…. (more)


April 16, 2019
DAILY CALLER — National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd claimed Sunday that it is “absolutely legal” for the federal government to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities. Judd argued during a “Fox & Friends” segment that President Donald Trump’s proposed plan to do just that was “brilliant” and should have been cheered by people on both sides…. (more)

April 14, 2019
DAILY CALLER — Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted on his Monday show that Valerie Jarrett, former adviser to President Barack Obama, doesn’t appear to have sold many copies of her book, despite managing to top the New York Times bestseller list…. (more)

April 14, 2019
Calls hit film that exposes Planned Parenthood ‘propaganda’
WORLDNETDAILY — In an attack on the pro-life community, Google categorized the new hit movie “Unplanned” as “propaganda” for about 12 hours. Who knew that “propaganda” was a movie genre? @Google once again exposing its gross political bias. @UnplannedMovie pic.twitter.com/jOh6TlqQ7C – – Kelsey Bolar (Harkness) (@kelseybolar) April 11, 2019 Kelly Bolar took a screenshot of Google’s designation, “Drama/Propaganda,” and posted it on Twitter…. (more)

April 13, 2019
FACTS WANTED — Legendary Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger underwent successful heart surgery last week, days after announcing the postponement of an upcoming North American tour. The British citizen secured cutting-edge treatment, receiving a transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The surgery took place only days after Jagger complained about chest pains…. (more)

April 12, 2019
LIFE NEWS — Abby Johnson’s powerful conversion story is moving hearts inside the abortion industry. Chuck Konzelman, who is a co-writer/co-director of “Unplanned,” the new film detailing Johnson’s life, said nearly 100 abortion workers have reached out to them in the past few weeks because they are thinking about quitting, The Western Journal reports…. (more)


April 12, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — Thirty years ago, the good guys won the Cold War, yet today we have a frontrunner candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, who is an out-of-the closet socialist. He loved the old Soviet Union so much so that he spent his honeymoon there…. (more)


April 11, 2019
LLOYD MARCUS — It is exciting that my patriot brothers and sisters at Tea Party Express have announced the launch of “Tea Party for Trump.” My first tour on Tea Party Express in 2008 led to me speaking and performing my “American Tea Party Anthem” at over 500 rallies on several national bus tours…. (more)

April 10, 2019
BRYAN FISCHER — Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a rising star in Democrat politics. He’s expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency soon, joining an already crowded field. The buzz about him in Democrat and Talking Snake Media circles is strong. Democrats, faced with a boatload of candidates from geriatrics (Biden and Bernie) to Roman gladiators (Spartacus) to Roman candles (Bobby O’Rourke), are still looking for that one candidate whom they believe can capture the flag…. (more)

April 10, 2019
REUTERS — Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday U.S. intelligence agencies engaged in spying directed at the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and that he would look at whether the surveillance was undertaken legally. “I think spying did occur,” Barr told a Senate hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. … 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…. (more)

April 10, 2019
DAILY CALLER — Attorney General William Barr dropped a bombshell Wednesday, telling a group of senators that he believes spying against the Trump campaign did take place in 2016…. (more)


April 10, 2019
BYRON YORK — Democrats and some in the media expressed shock and outrage when Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election…. (more)

April 10, 2019
NEWSMAX — Surprise presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is gaining ground on political heavyweights Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, at least in New Hampshire, according to a poll released Wednesday…. (more)

April 10, 2019
WCBS — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency on Tuesday and has ordered mandatory vaccinations for people who may have been exposed to the virus in parts of Williamsburg amid a growing measles outbreak…. (more)


April 10, 2019
Muslim congresswoman blasted as ‘anti-American’
WORLDNETDAILY — She has already prompted a House resolution condemning hate in response to her anti-Semitic remarks, and now Muslim U.S. Rep. Ilhan, D-Minn., is again stirring controversy for describing the 9/11 terror attacks as “some people did something.”… (more)


April 10, 2019
Franklin Graham interviews Ashley Bratcher
WORLDNETDAILY — Ashley Bratcher, the actress who plays Planned Parenthood nemesis Abby Johnson in the stunningly successful new movie “Unplanned,” says she knew her performance might trigger Hollywood to blacklist her…. (more)

 

Newspeak Is Nothing New | McAlvany

In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, Big Brother (the reigning dictatorship) changed or redefined the meaning of key words. “War” was called “peace”“slavery” was called “freedom”; all privacy was abolished as Big Brother watched everyone in the name of “transparency”; and even the family friendly term “Big Brother” was in reality a ruthless dictatorship. Big Brother, using doublespeak, changed (redefined) the meaning of many words to the opposite of what they really meant, in order to confuse, then create a climate of acceptance, and finally to do away with every form of liberty that stood in the way of its power. That is exactly what is happening today as the political left redefines many key words and concepts. And it should be remembered that the political left always accuses its opposition of doing exactly what the left is actually doing itself.

Today, speaking out against the government or exposing their false flags is called “conspiracy theory”; to point out the machinations of the globalists or political left is now called “hate speech”; many aspects of patriotism or of our history are now called “white racism”; much of conservative commentary on what the government is actually doing to take our freedoms is now called “fake news”; government surveillance or intrusion on our freedoms is always described as “for our protection”; homosexuality is now called an “alternate lifestyle”; and the terms “liberal,” “leftist,” “socialist,” or “communist” have now been redefined as “progressive.

Today, to be a leftist or espouse the leftist agenda is redefined as “politically correct, and to be conservative or stand for traditional values is defined as being “politically incorrect. Hard left socialism is now redefined as “social democracy. The left’s strategy is really very simple (but effective): It’s all about describing things that are ugly and evil with nice sounding words, and things that are good and positive in negative, ugly, nasty terms.

Speaking out against the immorality of homosexuality is called “homophobia”; to oppose the gay/lesbian/transgender movement is being labeled as a “hate thought or speech”; students as young as kindergarteners are being taught that they can choose to be either a male or female or a “transgender” a word that a few decades ago was not even a part of our vocabulary. Do you remember when the word “gay” meant “happy” and not “homosexual”? Pointing out that someone is a communist is called a “witch hunt. When America lost the Vietnam war, it was called “peace with honor.

Bill Clinton redefined the meaning of “sex” and the media and gullible public went along with it, and a large portion of Americans now live by his example. Now conservatives and those who understand the evil machinations of the political left, the globalists, the controlled media, and the powerful gay/lesbian/transgender movement have been redefined as “the lunatic fringe.Does that describe anyone you know?

And sadly, like the passive sheep of Orwell’s 1984, most Americans are going along with these leftist redefinitions of terms. In the area of economics, real world unemployment is 21.4%, with one third of the labor force unemployed. However, the government blatantly lies and claims (via its redefined calculations) full employment of 3.9%. The terms“employment” and“unemployment” and “job” have been redefined so that if you are unemployed and a discouraged worker, you are no longer counted as unemployed.

The people accept it without questioning. The US middle class is disappearing while the government tells us “it is prospering. They have redefined inflation calculations so real world inflation of almost 10% is called “low inflation at 2.4%. Sadly, the great majority of statistics and pronouncements from the government (like the redefinition of political and social terms) are blatant lies. But as Hitler and Goebbels taught us in the 1930s, “tell a lie, repeat it often enough, and the people will believe it.” It’s called “brainwashing” or “reprogramming.

(Excerpt from McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, September 2018)

Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism — The Federalist

Dedicated Neo-Darwinists often say ‘no serious scientists disagree’ with Darwinism, or ‘only creationists have problems.’ These contentions are increasingly disproven.

While Christians have long challenged Charles Darwin’s theory of undirected evolution, few appreciate the true extent of the challenge beyond the church. Current estimates are that approximately one-third of professional academic biologists who do not believe in intelligent design find Darwin’s theory is inadequate to describe all of the complexity in biology.

Ben Stein documented a crackdown within the academy on criticism of Darwin in his 2008 documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” While this might explain why the public rarely hears of challenges to Neo-Darwinism, the documentary centered on intelligent design. But the growing discontent in academia is from secular naturalists.

Defining evolution is key. At the basic level of change over time, even Young Earth biblical creationists agree. At its most specific level of the common descent of all life on earth from a single ancestor via undirected mutation and natural selection, many legitimately question evolutionary theory as it stands. The word is often used interchangeably without distinction, but even when used technically in academic biologist circles, real skepticism exists about the theory.

Read more: Why One-Third Of Biologists Now Question Darwinism — The Federalist

16 april (preached 15 april 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Christ—our substitute

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

suggested further reading: Isaiah 53:10–12

In no sense is he ever a guilty man, but always is he an accepted and a holy one. What, then, is the meaning of that very forcible expression of my text? We must interpret Scriptural modes of expression by the words of the speakers. We know that our Master once said himself, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood;” he did not mean that the cup was the covenant. He said, “Take, eat, this is my body”—none of us conceives that the bread is the literal flesh and blood of Christ. We take that bread as if it were the body, and it actually represents it. Now, we are to read a passage like this, according to the analogy of faith. Jesus Christ was made by his Father sin for us, that is, he was treated as if he had himself been sin. He was not sin; he was not sinful; he was not guilty; but, he was treated by his Father, as if he had not only been sinful, but as if he had been sin itself. That is a strong expression used here. Not only has he made him to be the substitute for sin, but to be sin. God looked on Christ as if Christ had been sin; not as if he had taken up the sins of his people, or as if they were laid on him, though that were true, but as if he himself had positively been that noxious—that God-hating—that soul-damning thing, called sin. When the judge of all the earth said, “Where is sin?” Christ presented himself. He stood before his Father as if he had been the accumulation of all human guilt; as if he himself were that thing which God cannot endure, but which he must drive from his presence for ever.

for meditation: God regarded Christ crucified just as if he were sin, not Son. The substitutionary atonement is the key which enables the Christian to make use of the description “Just as if I’d never sinned.”

sermon no. 310[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 113). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

16 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

The Overthrow of Tyrants

And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead. Isaiah 37:38

suggested further reading: Malachi 3

It is highly important to behold, as in a picture, the unhappy death of tyrants whom the Lord destroys without the agency of men. For when everything appears to be overthrown by a tyrant’s violence, God exposes the tyrant with all his power to universal scorn. Sennacherib, who comes into Judea with a vast army, returns home with few soldiers. He is led in triumph, as it were, by God as the conqueror. But the matter does not end here, for Sennacherib is slain in the very heart of his own empire, in the metropolis, in the temple itself, where reverence defends the lowest person from the mob. He is slain, not by a foreign enemy, not by a people in a state of sedition, not by traitors, and not by servants, but by his own sons, that the murder might be even more disgraceful.

Observe that insatiable gluttons who freely wallow in the blood of others are often slain by their own followers. They are punished by those from whom they, above all others, ought to be safe. This is more shocking than if they are put to death by strangers. So God punishes the cruelty of those who, in their eagerness to enjoy power, did not spare even the innocent. Even from profane historians we find similar examples in which we may easily behold the judgments of the Lord.

In addition, the insatiable ambition of Sennacherib receives its just reward because, while he is intent on extending his territories, he cannot secure peace in his own family by leading his children to live at peace. Out of this father’s neglect and undue attachment to others, conspiracy arises. Not only is this tyrant slain, but his kingdom also is soon afterwards overthrown. In the meantime, so that his successor might not dare to make any attempt against the Jews, God keeps him busy within the country with internal problems.

for meditation: When have we despaired of tyrannical control over us, thinking we are powerless to combat it? How has God miraculously intervened, toppling evil rulers and opponents by methods we could never have imagined?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 125). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

In the Market with Janet Parshall – The Collapse of Western Civilization — TheWeeFlea.com

This months ‘In the Market’ with Janet Parshall ended up with a common theme – the collapse of Western civilisation as we move away from our Christian foundation. Enjoy

https://www.moodyradio.org/radioplayer.aspx?episode=259722&hour=1

Screenshot 2019-04-16 10.17.40The Death of Democracy,  Media, Prejudice against Christians; the Meritocracy, Ricky Gervais; Jordan Peterson, etc are the subjects discussed.    I cannot help but think that the burning of Notre Dame is symbolic of the wider destruction in  Western culture.  As a bonus here is an excellent response to that from Steve Macalpine. https://stephenmcalpine.com/all-this-useless-beauty/

In the Market – Discussion with Janet Parshall – from Brexit to the Jews

via In the Market with Janet Parshall – The Collapse of Western Civilisation — TheWeeFlea.com