Daily Archives: April 21, 2019

April 21 Power of the Resurrection

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 53:1–5

Key Verse: Isaiah 53:5

But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

When a dear and faithful servant of the church learned of his terminal illness, he requested that the headstone upon his grave bear the words of 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?” (nasb). This man’s faith allowed him to claim these words before he passed away.

The verses following this passage explain his confidence: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56–57 nasb).

Not only did Jesus bear the weight of our sins upon the cross, He also accepted and withstood the pain of death. In one miraculous event, He changed the process of dying. No longer would His creation have to experience the fear, anguish, and pain associated with death. His sacrifice established a choice for us all—eternal life or eternal death.

Why would someone choose eternal death? We cannot know. Is it so difficult to believe in the power of God and the event of Jesus’ resurrection? For some, it must be.

As you consider the specific events that occurred upon the cross, thank Jesus for freeing you from the pain of death, and pray for those who refuse to acknowledge Him.

Thank You, Lord, that Your resurrection quieted the sting of death and that I have been set free because of Your sacrifice.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Great Apostasy: What Believers Need to Know to Keep Them Safe Part 2

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

I have decided to devote this entire piece to the false “Social Justice Gospel.”

When I think of heretical teachings in our churches, the Social Justice Gospel is by far the most dangerous to true Christianity.  The majority of people who are attracted to this heresy are young and impressionable and most of all NOT grounded in the Word of God.

I just wrote an article recently about  Taylor University, and how the student body had a complete meltdown when told that Vice President Mike Pence would be coming to speak at the graduation ceremony. If you have not read this piece, I will place it here:

“The Gay Student Who Came Out at Taylor University:  Now You’ll Read the REST of the Story”   <click here to read

The Attributes of God

God is Love.  God is Holy.  God is Righteous.  God is Just.

The student body at Taylor…

View original post 1,614 more words

April 21 The Ultimate Victory

Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:13–15

Key Verse: Romans 8:11

If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The cross of Jesus Christ satisfied God’s holy justice by paying the price of sin—death—and it also was the cosmic battleground where Christ won the ultimate victory.

Nineteenth-century Scottish commentator John Eadie wrote, “Our redemption is a work at once of price and of power—of expiation and of conquest. On the cross was the purchase made, and on the cross was the victory gained. The blood which wipes out the sentence against us was there shed, and the death which was the death blow of Satan’s kingdom was there endured.”

Theologian F. F. Bruce added, “As He was suspended there, bound hand and foot to the wood in apparent weakness, they imagined they had Him at their mercy, and flung themselves upon Him with hostile intent … But He grappled with them and mastered them.”

The Christian life is a victorious one. We are triumphant over the power of death, sin, the law, hell, and Satan because the Conqueror, Jesus Christ, has defeated and humiliated them all. Jesus won at Calvary. At the very moment He appeared to lose to the cruelty and prejudice of men, He vanquished every foe.

Master, thank You for victory over death, sin, the law, hell, and Satan. Jesus defeated and humiliated them all. He won the victory for me at Calvary. I praise You![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

NYT: The Tables Have Turned — Time To Investigate The FBI, Steele And The Rest Of The ‘Witch Hunters’ | Zero Hedge

Game over… 

As we now shift from the “witch hunt” against Trump to ‘investigating the investigators’ who spied on him – remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day

We wouldn’t know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign, as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony

We wouldn’t know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had ‘Dirt’ on Hillary Clinton – which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent ‘setup’ would be the genesis of the FBI’s “operation crossfire hurricane” operation against the Trump campaign. 

We wouldn’t know about the role of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting, and hired Nellie Ohr – the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ’s then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion, according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony. 

And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn’t know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign – after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).  

According to the New York Times, the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier. 

[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months — that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove. Mr. Mueller’s report contained over a dozen passing references to the document’s claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.

Now the dossier — financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele — is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries. –NYT

While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ’s Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele’s sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier

Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign

Doubts over the dossier

The FBI’s scramble to vet the dossier’s claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT reportthe FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for “solid corroboration” of his claims. Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence – and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing “fallout” over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving “conflicting advice” on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid. –NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page – while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets. The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey’s briefing to Trump was then used by CNNand BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election. 

Let’s not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower. 

The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier. 

And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones – who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros

Russian tricks?

The Times notes that Steele “has not ruled out” that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier. 

That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump’s presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. “Russia has huge experience in spreading false information,” he said. –NYT

In short, Steele is being given an ‘out’ with this admission.  

A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the “core reporting” in the Steele memos – namely that “Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures,” and that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed “a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump.”

Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it’s clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit. 

The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump’s opponents with a worst-case account of the president’s conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow — which he had not taken up — and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats, and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network. –NYT

And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier’s wild claims of “DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading,” as the Times puts it. 

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let’s see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole. 
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-21/nyt-tables-have-turned-time-investigate-fbi-steele-and-rest-witch-hunters

“I Was The CIA Director – We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole” | Zero Hedge

“We even had entire training courses” — Mike Pompeo unplugged.

Former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long accused WikiLeaks of being a “non-state hostile intelligence agency”, usually manipulated by Russia. Since Pompeo first made this claim as CIA Director in April 2017, countless major US news sources from NPR to CNN to the Washington Post have uncritically repeated the line, smearing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as “Russian agents,” and more broadly using the narrative to stifle independent journalism and government whistleblowers. 

But whether Pompeo or any other current or former CIA director makes such a bombastic claim without offering evidence — such as more recently asserting that China and Russia have “helped destroy” Venezuela through faltering investments, should anyone ever believe a high CIA official? Certainly the mainstream media routinely takes intelligence officials simply at their word, but Pompeo himself recently admitted the CIA is in the business of lying, cheating, and stealing

Last week Mike Pompeo spoke at Texas A&M University, itself long known for being a favored recruiting ground of the CIA, considering too that one of the university’s last presidents, Robert Gates, was CIA chief and later served as Bush and Obama’s Secretary of Defense. 

During the Q&A session, Pompeo boasted that in the CIA both the training and culture are geared toward the following:

“We lied, we cheated, we stole.”

Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster was the only media that seemed to pick up on Pompeo’s words last week, and described it as follows: “that’s not the resume of the Secretary of State… that’s the resume of Satan.”

The former CIA chief and now Secretary of State said the following:

“What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s —  it was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” — Texas A&M University (April 15, 2019) 

Though some level of deception might be expected of spies placed in foreign settings to commit espionage, it’s interesting that Pompeo framed it in terms “the glory of the American experiment” — as if the CIA and government officials treat lying as a great American past time

Certainly Pompeo’s frank admission is something to remember the next time intelligence officials weigh in on anything in front of the US domestic population. 

Another interesting and worrisome remark concerned Pompeo’s vision of diplomacy as Secretary of State: “Diplomacy and military strike go hand in hand,” Pompeo said. “They are indeed intimately related; each relies on the other.”

Here are Pompeo’s full Q&A remarks at Texas A&M last week:

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-21/i-was-cia-director-we-lied-we-cheated-we-stole

1 on 5 kids suffers from mental-health disorder – WND

(STUDYFINDS) — One in five children suffer from a mental disorder — with notable increases in depression and anxiety over the past 30 years — yet less than one-third have had contact with a mental healthcare provider, a new study finds.

Results from the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study actually mirror findings from a similar study conducted in 1983, but this latest version shows a higher proportion of children and youth with disorders have had contact with health providers and in other settings, usually via schools.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2019/04/1-on-5-kids-suffers-from-mental-health-disorder/

‘Russiagate hysteria’: Mueller report media coverages proved false are still uncorrected – YouTube

BuzzFeed says it’s watching out for fake news and partisan spin surrounding Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ report. Readers sent in prime examples – BuzzFeed’s own ‘scoops’ on the Steele dossier and Michael Cohen.

BuzzFeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko tweeted to announce the news of the hunt almost immediately after the report’s release on Thursday, encouraging readers to say something if they see something that would constitute ‘disinformation, hoaxes, conspiracies and hyperpartisan spin surrounding the Mueller report’.

— Read on m.youtube.com/watch

April 21 Seeking God First

Scripture reading: Matthew 14:14–21

Key verse: John 6:26

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”

How many times have you thought: I wish God would bless me? Maybe those words came to you when you were asking God to answer a specific prayer or when you sensed some type of adversity approaching. There are many different ways to receive God’s blessings, but most often we think of it from a material sense. The people who followed Jesus did the same thing.

After feeding the five thousand, Jesus exposed this materialistic attitude: “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26). Many followed the Lord in order to receive something. Their eyes were set on seeing miracles and material provisions. But Jesus wanted them to see Him as the Bread of Life in whom all their needs would be met.

The greatest of all God’s blessings has nothing to do with material wealth and social position, and everything to do with the closeness of His presence. That was why He instructed His disciples by saying, “Seek Me first, and all these things will be added to you.”

Are your eyes set on the Savior because of what He provides or because you love Him? The test of true love is this: abiding with the One you love regardless of anything else. Learn to love Him and Him alone; then all your cares will be satisfied.

Dear Lord, I am not seeking things. I am not pursuing blessings. I am seeking You and You alone.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Things the Media Ignored in the Mueller Report — American Thinker

Was the entire $30 million hoax of an investigation intended not only to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s victory over Hillary, but to cover up Obama’s intelligence failures?

Despite the oceans of pixels, buckets of ink, and hours of  TV and radio coverage respecting the Mueller report, there are two important things underplayed or ignored: the ubiquitous nature of Russian interference from 2014 on, which Obama ignored, and the real target of the witch hunt — General Michael Flynn (and why). To get there, let’s  first quickly review the pre- and post- report major media coverage.

The Ridiculous Press Propagation of the Hoax and Response to the Report

There are countless examples of the media beclowning itself when the left’s dream of a slam-dunk against the president failed. It was like the election night follies all over again.

To quote the satirical Babylon Bee: “CNN: ‘God Allowed the Mueller Report to Test Our Unshakable Faith in Collusion’”

Here are some examples.

CNN’s Jake Tapper indicated it was suspicious that Attorney General William Barr repeated several times that the report found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This after his network touted the notion of collusion hundreds of times over the past two years. As my friend Harry Lewis noted, this repetition   was “not only fair, but essential to driving home [the hostile media’s] malice, stupidity, and folly. Barr did that with great economy.”

At the Barr presser on the report, CBS’s Paula Reid suggested that the attorney general’s summary was too generous to the president. In particular, she questioned his characterization of the Mueller investigation as “unprecedented”. Barr who is clearly no lightweight, responded,

“Is there a precedent for it?”

“Well, no,” conceded Reid.

“Okay so unprecedented is an accurate description, isn’t it.”

”Yeah,” admitted Reid.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but disgraced NBC anchor Brian Williams is certainly a top contender, comparing Barr to Iraq’s former propaganda minister Baghdad Bob.  (You might recall Williams was nabbed making up stories about Hurricane Katrina.)

While most of the media blathered on, caught flatfooted in pushing for years the Clinton fable, not all were suckered in.

Terry Moran of ABC tweeted:

“John Brennan has a lot to answer for — going before the American public for months, cloaked with CIA authority and openly suggesting he’s got secret info, and repeatedly turning in performances like this.”

Glenn Greenwald, no fan of the president, produced what I consider the most detailed, fair response to the Mueller report:

In sum, Democrats and their supporters had the exact prosecutor they all agreed was the embodiment of competence and integrity in Robert Mueller. He assembled a team of prosecutors and investigators that countless media accounts heralded as the most aggressive and adept in the nation. They had subpoena power, the vast surveillance apparatus of the U.S. government at their disposal, a demonstrated willingness to imprison anyone who lied to them, and unlimited time and resources to dig up everything they could.

The result of all of that was that not a single American — whether with the Trump campaign or otherwise — was charged or indicted on the core question of whether there was any conspiracy or coordination with Russia over the election. No Americans were charged or even accused of being controlled by or working at the behest of the Russian government. None of the key White House aides at the center of the controversy who testified for hours and hours – including Donald Trump, Jr. or Jared Kushner — were charged with any crimes of any kind, not even perjury, obstruction of justice or lying to Congress.

These facts are fatal to the conspiracy theorists who have drowned U.S. discourse for almost three years with a dangerous and distracting fixation on a fictitious espionage thriller involved unhinged claims of sexual and financial blackmail, nefarious infiltration of the U.S. Government by familiar foreign villains, and election cheating that empowered an illegitimate President. They got the exact prosecutor and investigation that they wanted, yet he could not establish that any of this happened and, in many cases, established that it did not.

As he noted, here are some of the press accounts obliterated by the report:

  • Paul Manafort never visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy; Guardian reporting otherwise is utterly fake.
  • Buzzfeed’s claim that the President told Michael Cohen to lie about negotiations to build a Trump Tower is Moscow — FAKE.
  • CNN’s claim that Cohen asserted that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting (bruited by Carl Bernstein, Jim Sciutto and Marshall Cohen) — FAKE.
  • Rachel Maddow’s charge that “the Russians may be controlling our government” — FAKE.
  • Claims by Marcy Wheeler (repeated by others, including the Washington Post) that the post-election contacts between Trump and Russia were evidence of a conspiracy — FAKE.

Also FAKE: the Steele Dossier, pee-pee tape stories, secret meetings in Prague, and corrupt financial dealings with Russia going back years before the election.

Claims about the Trump Tower meeting in 2016 fell flat — there was nothing criminal about it.

In Greenwald’s words:

One can debate whether it’s unethical for a presidential campaign to have dirt about its opponent released by a foreign government, though anyone who wants to argue that has to reconcile that with the fact that the DNC had a contractor working with the Ukrainian government to help Hillary Clinton win by feeding them dirt on Trump and Manafort, as well as a paid operative named Christopher Steele (remember him?) working with Russian officials to get dirt on Trump.

In sum, neither during the investigation nor at its conclusion did most of the American press cover itself with glory. Neither did the Democratic Party and the intelligence community. They deserve our scorn for deluding Americans for years, and I predict they will get it. People who are scammed may be loath to acknowledge they were, but they will. Reality bites.

As for Part 2 of the report on obstruction, Mark Levin, John NolteMark Penn, and others were rightfully critical of this long, turgid he-said she-said addition. Mueller has the same mandate as any other prosecutor, if you have the evidence, indict. If not, you have nothing.

Scott Adams, as is his wont, tweeted the perfect response to those still reaching for straws:

“If you find yourself blaming President Trump for almost-sort-of-maybe intending to obstruct a witch hunt you have a mental health crisis not a political opinion.”

There’s ample reason to believe this entire investigation was designed in significant part to cover up the massive failures of Obama and our intelligence community

Read more: Things the Media Ignored in the Mueller Report — American Thinker

Sri Lanka, Jihadist Massacres, and Western Denial — CultureWatch

By now you should have heard about the deadly Islamic attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Mind you, the mainstream media coverage was once again rather thin, but nonetheless the Easter Sunday attacks were some of the worst in quite a while.

And given jihad attacks are a daily occurrence, that is saying something. As of the time of this writing, eight separate but coordinated attacks took place. Casualties are now reaching a thousand: over 200 are dead and some 500 injured. A number of the dead are foreigners.

Religious violence is not new in Sri Lanka. The religious breakdown there is as follows: 70 per cent are Buddhists; 13 per cent are Hindus; 10 per cent are Muslims; and 7 per cent are Christians. While the dust is still settling, various reports are pointing to Islamic terrorism. Says one:

Two of the six attacks that rocked Sri Lanka this morning are reportedly to have been carried out by suicide bombers. The attack at Shangri La hotel was carried out by suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, while Abu Mohammad has been identified as the attacker at the Batticalao church….
http://www.news18.com/news/world/sri-lanka-terror-attack-live-six-blasts-at-churches-hotels-rock-easter-sunday-24-killed-2110779.html

And another slightly earlier report:

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” said the alert. NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that came to notice last year when it was linked to the vandalization of Buddhist statues.
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/04/sri-lanka-foreign-intel-agency-reports-that-muslim-group-was-planning-to-target-churches-with-jihad-suicide-attacks

Again, there are no surprises here. This is Islam in action. This is the work of devout and dedicated Muslims. Slaughtering innocent Christians on their most holy day is par for the course. But the media prefers to ignore all this, or play down the real perpetrators of this violence. For example, on tonight’s television one news broadcast did not even run with the story, but it did have time to do a piece on drag queens.

Even now the media is still being coy on all this, as are plenty of clueless wonders who are also still refusing to face reality. I recently posted on the social media about the alarming rate of Muslim attacks on, and murders of, people around the world. I said this was a daily occurrence. Yet I had one person tell me it certainly could not be literally true that folks are daily being killed. I assured him that it most certainly is true.

I pointed to a 2016 article of mine in which I wrote about there being 30,000 deadly jihad attacks since 9/11. In it I offered these chilling facts and stark numbers: “Just think about the stats here: There have been 5585 days which have passed since the 9/11 attacks. That means on average every single day since then we have experienced around 5.4 jihadist attacks. Over five attacks every day for 15 years running!”
billmuehlenberg.com/2016/12/30/30000-islamic-terror-attacks/

The numbers of course are now even higher: as of today there have been 34,891 deadly Islamic terror attacks since 9/11. That occurred 6,431 days ago. So we are now averaging five and a half such attacks each day since then, It is getting worse.
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Indeed, Christian persecution of all sorts is ratcheting up around the world. While not all of this persecution is the work of Muslims, most of it is. Yet most of the media and our world’s leaders don’t want to even discuss this. One group which monitors all this has recently released a report about it:

A new report by Open Doors has revealed the extent of Christian persecution around the world. The 2019 report reveals the number of Christians experiencing high levels of persecution reached 245 million. Its annual World Watch List details the 50 countries where persecution is at its worst.
http://www.christian.org.uk/news/245-million-christians-suffering-high-levels-of-persecution/

Says Open Doors:

The Christian persecution we read about in Scripture and history books is not a thing of the past. It still exists. Today, in the 21st century, we are living in a time when persecution against Christian believers is the highest in modern history. According to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List—an in-depth investigative report focusing on global Christian persecution—persecution is increasing at an alarming rate. Research for the List indicates that each day, a staggering 11 Christians are killed for their faith in the top 50 countries ranked on the World Watch List.
http://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/11-christians-killed-every-day-for-their-decision-to-follow-jesus/?fbclid=IwAR1qwgkySNLd_KDHj9mmAuZWFUPNQv-Bf-5RT_Bo9glku-VHsdXro8iHD1k

A quick look at their World Watch Map shows how much of this persecution is taking place in Muslim countries: http://www.opendoors.org.au/persecuted-christians/world-watch-list/

Thankfully some politicians are highlighting these grim facts. One English parliamentarian for example can be mentioned here:

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has used an Easter message to express his solidarity with millions of Christians worldwide suffering for their faith. Mr Hunt spoke of his commitment to promoting religious freedom around the world in 40 Lent letters sent out to Christians who have experienced persecution. The first letter was sent to Open Doors founder Brother Andrew. In it, Mr Hunt said it was his “honour” to send the first letter to Brother Andrew, a missionary from the Netherlands who used to smuggle Bibles behind the Iron Curtain.

Mr Hunt praised his “extraordinary and courageous support” for the persecuted church as he recalled reading about Brother Andrew’s story as a child in the book, “God’s Smuggler”. “As a man of faith, free to practise in line with my conscience, I am appalled at the plight of the 245 million Christians worldwide currently facing persecution as a result of their belief,” he said.
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/jeremy-hunt-appalled-by-suffering-of-245-million-christians-persecuted-for-their-faith/132256.htm?fbclid=IwAR0BYEdXf7tcJTHEzzl_Bta74AlGFpt715AlXVzvmC-DBxaYFAQ765H2ZdE

And with the leftist media still living in denial about all these facts – especially after the Christchurch killings – another report helps to put things in perspective:

Aid to the Church in Need, in its latest “Religious Freedom Report”, warned that 300 million Christians, overwhelmingly in the majority-Muslim countries, were subjected to violence, making it “the most persecuted religion in the world.” This makes the odds of a Christian in a majority-Muslim country being murdered by a Muslim – simply for being what he is – approximately one in 70,000. Which means that a Christian living in a majority Muslim country is 143 times more likely to be killed by a Muslim for being a Christian than a Muslim is likely to be killed by a non-Muslim in a Western country for being what he is.
voiceofeurope.com/2019/03/christians-living-in-a-muslim-country-143-times-more-likely-to-be-killed-by-a-muslim-than-vice-versa/

And to share all these gruesome facts is not to claim that only Christians are being slaughtered by the jihadists. Yes, plenty of Muslims are also the victims of Islamic terrorism. Nonetheless, Christians continue to make up a big percentage of their bloodletting.

But let me return to Sri Lanka. Right now there are countless grieving friends and family members of all the victims. We so very much need to lift them up in prayer at this moment. Easter commemorates a time when the forces of darkness sought to do their best to quench the light.

They failed miserably, with an empty grave validating the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. What looked like the triumph of evil proved to be nothing of the sort. Diabolical terrorists may have killed and wounded many this Easter Sunday, but they do not have the last word.

As I penned in an Easter meditation earlier today,

And we also know that one day Christ will return and he will put all his enemies under his feet (Psalm 110:1 – quoted often in the New Testament). Earthly kingdoms will be no more but his eternal Kingdom will remain. As we read in Revelation 11:15, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’”
billmuehlenberg.com/2019/04/21/easter-and-the-nations-he-shall-put-everything-under-his-feet/

Until then we know that Satan and his minions will keep hating on God and his people. By his grace we will continue to stand strong, regardless of the relentless persecution.

via Sri Lanka, Jihadist Massacres, and Western Denial — CultureWatch

April 21, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

His Seat

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. (8:1)

As mentioned before, the Levitical priests never sat down. “And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Heb. 10:11). The priest’s job was never done, because the sacrifices he offered were never permanently effective. They had to be repeated over and over again. In his ministering at the altar, therefore, the priest never rested, because he was never through. No place was provided in the Tabernacle or the Temple for the priests to sit down. The mercy seat in the Holy of Holies was not really a seat at all. In any case, it would have been utterly blasphemous for the high priest (the only person allowed in the Holy of Holies, and then only briefly once a year) to have presumed to sit on the mercy seat, which represented God’s throne and His special presence.

When Jesus Christ offered His sacrifice, however, He sat down (cf. 1:3). He was qualified to sit down because His work was done. Among His last words on the cross were, “It is finished.” He accomplished in one glorious act what all the priests of the Old Covenant had not accomplished and could never have accomplished—forgiveness of men’s sins and thereby their reconciliation with God. What a marvelous and wonderful thing it is. He did it all in one sacrifice, the sacrifice of Himself. As far as our salvation is concerned, He has taken His seat. He has accomplished all that can be accomplished, all that needs to be done. Yet, people are still trying to add to the simple, pure grace of God and salvation by faith, though it is absurd to think that the work of Christ needs anything added to it. The saving effort of our Lord cannot have anything added to it, because it is absolutely perfect.

This truth should have been the most joyous news possible to Jews. Imagine, a final sacrifice, a finished work, so that the high priest could sit down—and at God’s right hand!

The right hand of a monarch symbolized honor, exaltation, and power. To stand at his right hand was honor, but to sit there, supreme honor. Christ sat down at the right hand of the throne of thrones, God’s heavenly, eternal throne.

The idea of sitting at the right hand may have reminded some Jews of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council of seventy elders. This group had both civil and religious authority and acted administratively as well as judicially. Even under Roman rule, the Sanhedrin was allowed considerable power, as evidenced by its role in Jesus’ final arrest and crucifixion. It was a kind of supreme court, and more. When the members sat in judgment, a scribe, or secretary, sat on either side of the presiding judge. The scribe on the left side was responsible for writing condemnations, while the one on the right was responsible for writing acquittals. Jesus said that He came into the world not to condemn but to save (John 3:17). As High Priest, He now sits in the place not only of honor and power but of mercy. He sits there making intercession (Heb. 7:25)—writing acquittals, as it were—for His own.

Jesus Christ has been given the place of honor. He has been ushered into the heavenly Holy of Holies. He has been seated with God on His throne. Even more amazing is that, as believers, we will one day be invited to sit on that same throne. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21).

The book of Hebrews repeatedly reminds us that Christ is at the right hand of God. I think the purpose of these reminders is to assure those who were deprived of the Temple services in Jerusalem that they did not need to fear losing out on what was going on in the symbolic, temporary Holy of Holies. They had the true, perfect, eternal Priest in the real, heavenly Holy of Holies, of which the earthly one was only a poor and soon-passing picture. In the real one, Jesus Christ was ministering and interceding for them. Thus, the crowning argument for the superior priesthood of Jesus Christ is His exaltation into heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand—the place of honor, mercy, and intercession.

A tragic but beautiful story from the book of Acts comes to mind in regard to Jesus’ sitting at God’s right hand. Just before Stephen was taken out of Jerusalem to be stoned to death for preaching so powerfully before the Sanhedrin, “he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). As far as redemption is concerned, Jesus is seated, because He rests from the finished work of redemption. But when one of His own falls into trouble, He stands up, because He takes the position of action. His power and His energy are immediately activated in behalf of His beloved. He is seated as our Redeemer, but is standing as our Helper in time of need.

The fact that Jesus Christ, in all His glory, in all His magnitude, in all His exaltation in heaven, is still preoccupied with ministering to us is awesome, and wonderful, and humbling. He is always serving. He condescends even in His glory now on the throne of God to stand up and minister in our behalf whenever we need Him. He did not receive His majesty as something to be selfishly enjoyed. It is in Jesus Christ that majesty and service are perfectly joined.[1]


1. Now of the things, &c. That readers might know the subject he handles, he reminds them that his object is to prove that Christ’s priesthood, by which that of the law had been abolished, is spiritual. He, indeed, proceeds with the same argument; but as he contends with various reasonings, he introduced this admonition, that he might keep his readers attentive to what he had in view.

He has already shewn that Christ is a high priest; he now contends that his priesthood is celestial. It hence follows, that by his coming the priesthood established by Moses under the law was made void, for it was earthly. And as Christ suffered in the humble condition of his flesh, and having taken the form of a servant, made himself of no reputation in the world, (Phil. 2:7;) the Apostle reminds us of his ascension, by which was removed not only the reproach of the cross, but also of that abject and mean condition which he had assumed together with our flesh; for it is by the power of the Spirit which gloriously appeared in the resurrection and the ascension of Christ, that the dignity of his priesthood is to be estimated. He then reasons thus—“Since Christ has ascended to the right hand of God, that he might reign gloriously in heaven, he is not the minister of the earthly but of the heavenly sanctuary.”[2]


1 TNIV appropriately captures the force of the opening words: “Now the main point of what we are saying is this.” He is drawing out the implications of the argument so far, and the verbal echo “such a high priest” links this verse closely with the conclusion of the preceding chapter, as Ellingworth, 393, neatly explains: “The relation between the two passages is simply: (1) we need such a high priest (7:26–28); (2) we have such a high priest (8:1f.).” “Sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” clearly echoes 1:3, itself based on Psalm 110:1. It is on the basis of Psalm 110:4 that our author has just established Jesus’ priesthood, and now he links this theme with the other main contribution of Psalm 110 to his argument, namely, the declaration that this same person is the “lord” enthroned at God’s right hand. He is thus the heavenly priest-king to whom the priest-king Melchizedek pointed forward. That is what has been established by the argument so far.[3]


8:1 / The point of the argument centers on the actual reality and sufficiency of our high priest. He has been able definitively to accomplish what the levitical priesthood pointed toward in anticipation. He now has assumed his rightful place at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven (this is a circumlocution for “God”; cf. 1:3). Once again the wording alludes to Psalm 110:1. Jesus is where he is because of who he is—both Son (cf. 4:14) and high priest (cf. Ps. 110:4).[4]


8:1. Several chapters of Hebrews have been devoted to discussing the work of Christ as our high priest. Now we come to this succinct summary: Christ serves his people before God by offering a sacrifice for sin.

Christ had sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. This repeats a point already established in 1:3 but now with a clear application to the role of Christ as High Priest. The idea that Christ was seated comes from Psalm 110:1. The act of sitting down suggested that Jesus’ task was done. He had finished his job. By contrast, the priests of Aaron’s line always stood in God’s presence without sitting (see Heb. 10:11). Their act of standing suggested an incomplete task. Jesus had accomplished the work whose completion the priests could only anticipate.

Majesty is a reverent reference to God the Father. The word showed that Christ had assumed a position of dignity, power, and excellence as a result of his faithful work.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 206–208). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 178–179). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 105–106). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, p. 152). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Sunday’s Hymn: There Is a Redeemer — Rebecca Writes

This morning the choir at my church will be singing this song in this arrangement during the service. (We will also celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with two baptisms, a sermon in both Mandarin and English, and lunch with lots of Chinese food.)

 

 

There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One.

Jesus my Redeemer,
Name above all names;
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Hope for sinners slain.

Thank you, O my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

When I stand in glory,
I will see his face;
There I’ll serve my King forever,
In that holy place.

Thank you, O my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

There is a redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy one.

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us your Son,
And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

And leaving your Spirit,
Till the work on earth is done.

—Melody Green © 1969 Sparrow

 

Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: There Is a Redeemer — Rebecca Writes

April 21 The Resource for Guilt

scripture reading: Romans 5:17–21
key verse: Romans 5:17

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Why is the Cross the resource for dealing with guilt? Because all men and women one day will stand before God to have their sins judged. Those who have received God’s pardon by faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice will not be condemned. Those who have not had their guilt removed through the Cross will be condemned for eternity. The Cross is the basis for dealing with guilt.

The ten–year–old who steals a pen in school, the teenager who cheats on a test, the adult who cheats on income tax—all experience certain degrees of guilt.

For believers, that guilt is the work of the Holy Spirit who seeks to convict us. He does not condemn us. His conviction is to bring us back into fellowship with the Savior. That happens when we admit our wrongs, confess our sins to God, and receive His forgiveness.

Will we still endure the consequences? Yes. The ten–year–old may have to stay after class; the teenager may be suspended; the adult may pay a fine or spend time in jail.

Still, forgiveness of your sins restores your relationship with God and releases guilt’s grip on your emotions. Your guilt has been atoned for by Christ, for which you can be eternally grateful.

Convict me, Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Father. Restore my fellowship with You through the blood of Jesus.[1]


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

Have A Blessed Easter — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Christ the Lord is ris’n today. Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high. Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply: Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King. Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now they sting? Alleluia!
Dying once, He all doth save. Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done. Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won. Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise. Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise. Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led. Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head. Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise. Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Alleluia!
Charles Wesley

via Have A Blessed Easter — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Happy Easter 2019! — The Gateway Pundit

Happy Easter!
Hope you have a blessed day!

Matthew 28: 1-7

1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Wishing you and yours a joyous and blessed Easter.

Pray for the persecuted this Easter.

via Happy Easter 2019! — The Gateway Pundit

21 april (preached 22 april 1855) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The carnal mind

“The carnal mind is enmity against God.” Romans 8:7

suggested further reading: Romans 5:6–11

Let me suppose an impossible case for a moment. Let me imagine a man entering heaven without a change of heart. He comes within the gates. He hears a sonnet. He starts! It is to the praise of his enemy. He sees a throne, and on it sits one who is glorious; but it is his enemy. He walks streets of gold, but those streets belong to his enemy. He sees hosts of angels; but those are the servants of his enemy. He is in an enemy’s house; for he is at enmity with God. He could not join the song, for he would not know the tune. There he would stand; silent, motionless; till Christ should say, with a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, “What doest thou here? Enemies at a marriage banquet? Enemies in the children’s house? Enemies in heaven? Get thee gone! Depart ye cursed, into everlasting fire in hell!” Oh! sirs, if the unregenerate man could enter heaven, I mention once more the oft-repeated saying of Whitefield, he would be so unhappy in heaven, that he would ask God to let him run down into hell for shelter. There must be a change, if you consider the future state; for how can enemies to God ever sit down at the banquet of the Lamb? And to conclude, let me remind you—and it is in the text after all—that this change must be worked by a power beyond your own. An enemy may possibly make himself a friend, but enmity cannot. If it be but an adjunct of his nature to be an enemy he may change himself into a friend; but if it is the very essence of his existence to be enmity, positive enmity, enmity cannot change itself. No, there must be something done more than we can accomplish.

for meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ has done for us much more than he commanded his disciples to do for their enemies (Luke 6:27–28).

sermon no. 20[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 118). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

As Christ Burst From The Tomb, So Joy Bursts From Our Hearts — The Outspoken TULIP

Generally speaking, people associate joy with Christmas, not Easter. But then, most people don’t really understand why the celebrate either holiday, do they?

Those of us who love the Lord, however, know that Christ’s resurrection brings ultimate joy! Without His resurrection, His death would have never atoned for our sins, condemning us to a dark and grim eternity.

But praise the Lord, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, conquering death itself and securing life everlasting for everyone who believes in Him! Death couldn’t hold any more than the hearts of His followers can contain the joy of knowing He has risen. Christmas has its own wonderful joys to celebrate, but Resurrection Sunday has a greater joy.

via As Christ Burst From The Tomb, So Joy Bursts From Our Hearts — The Outspoken TULIP