Daily Archives: April 23, 2019

April 23 The Heart of the Cross

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:45–54

Key Verse: Exodus 34:6

And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”

Could not God have come up with a better idea for the salvation of man than the Cross?” This question is sometimes posed during debates regarding the purpose for the brutal punishment Jesus endured at Golgotha.

Yet, apart from our human understanding, and in His infinite wisdom, God had a perfect plan for the Cross. The circumstances of the day were never out of His control or in conflict with His will. Instead, the Cross revealed who God is and what He is like—compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (Exodus 34:6).

The Cross also exposed Satan for what he is and, at the same time, took away his power. Though Satan’s final defeat will occur at the end of time, the Cross invalidated the need for a physical payment for sin for those who would accept Christ’s ultimate atoning sacrifice made for us all.

Finally, the Cross unveiled a new covenant relationship with God, which gives all people the opportunity to experience eternity through Jesus Christ. Matthew 27:51 tells us that at the moment of Christ’s death, the temple veil (which had allowed only high priests access to God) was torn in half from top to bottom. This act signified the beginning of a new type of access to God through Jesus Christ, our Intercessor. Was God’s perfect will carried out at the Cross? Yes. Even in death, His love was demonstrated to the world He created to receive His blessings.

Lord, I embrace with my whole heart the covenant that was unveiled at the Cross and signed with Your shed blood.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 23 Love Displayed

Scripture Reading: John 8:1–11

Key Verse: Romans 8:34

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

In his book The Cross of Christ, John R. W. Stott explained how God’s love is consummately displayed in the death of His Son:

First, God gave His Son for us … In sending His own Son, eternally begotten from His own Being, He was not sending a creature, a third party, but giving Himself. The logic of this is inescapable. How could the Father’s love have been demonstrated if He had sent somebody else to us?

Secondly, God gave His Son to die for us … His was to give Himself to the uttermost, to the torture of crucifixion and to the horror of sin-bearing and God forsakenness … For the Sinless One to be made sin, for the Immortal One to die—we have no means of imagining the terror or the pain involved in such experiences.

Thirdly, God gave His Son to die for us, that is to say, for undeserving sinners like us … But God demonstrated His own righteousness for us—His unique love—in this, that He died for sinful, godless, rebellious, and helpless people like us (Romans 5:8).

Never doubt God’s love for you. The pierced hands and feet and speared side are His everlasting display of perfect love.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving Your Son to die for me. Give me a fresh glimpse of the pierced hands and feet, the speared side, that display Your everlasting love.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Research: New Apostolic Reformation — Christian Research Network

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.

Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.

They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (Source)

…NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. … It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams. ~ John MacArthur

Fast Facts:

  • Also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, Charismatic Renewal, Charismania.
  • Its founder was C. Peter Wagner who claims that the Church of the 21st Century will be ruled by Apostles and Prophets. Wagner has anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”
  • Linked with the Kansas City Prophets “who brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever”; likewise Word Faith and Pentecostal movements.
  • Not governed by an official denomination, it is led by alleged apostles and prophets.
  • Teaches that the new apostles and prophets are to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church.
  • Claims there will be a reformation greater in scale than the Protestant Reformation.
  • Claim direct revelation from God and many allege that Jesus and angels visit them in person. Some of them declare that they have visited heaven many times and had conversations with Jesus as well as the Prophets and Apostles.
  • NAR’s extensive mission outreach throughout the globe has caused the astonishing church growth that’s happening in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
  • Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura.
  • Experience oriented theology and based in emotionalism.
  • Steeped in mysticism.

Common Traits

Here are 6 traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents:


We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These “Super Apostles” are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.


Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth.  They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.


Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.


Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in.  Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that’s always just around the corner.

5. “UNITY”

Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement.  Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.

Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon major tenets of the Christian faith:


NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.


The founder of the New Apostolic Reformation is church growth specialist C. Peter Wagner. Wagner served as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Missions until his retirement. Until recently he was president of Global Harvest Ministries and is currently Chancellor emeritus of the Wagner Leadership Institute. Prominent member of the International Council of Apostles Chuck Pierce was his successor.

“Apostles” and “Prophets” and others entrenched in the NAR cult:


John Kelly, Bill Haman, Dutch Sheets, James Goll, John Eckhardt, Jim Laffoon, Jack Deere, Johnny Enlow, Barbara Yoder, Charles Kraft, Bob Beckett, Che Ahn, Naomi Dowdy, Mary Crum, Jack Hayford, John Arnott, Stacy Campbell, Patricia King, Phil Pringle, Yonggi Cho, Beni Johnson, Jen Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Carl Lentz, David Barton, Steven Strang, Robert Stern, Stephen Strader, George Otis, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, George Barna, Mary Glazier, Thomas Muthee, Tom Hess, Samuel Rodriguez, Eddie Smith, Lance Wallnau, Loren Cunningham, Bob Beckett, Os Hillman, Jill Griffith, Francis Oda, Graham Power, Francis Frangipagne, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells, Katherine Ruonala, Lana Vawser, Kong Hee & Sun Ho, Theo Wolmarans, Jennifer LeClaire Ben Fitzgerald, Shawn & Stacie Bolz, Michael Koulianos & Jessica Hinn Koulianos and many others.

Groups include:

Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), American Family Association, Campus Crusade for Christ (cru), Youth With A Mission (YWAM), International Coalition of Apostles, PrayforNetwork, International Transformation Network, Marketplace Leaders, International Coalition of Workplace Ministries, Alpha Course, Renovar (Richard Foster) and many more.

Groups supporting C. Peter Wagner include:

Wagner Leadership Institute, Global Harvest Ministries, World Prayer Center, Global Prayer Movement, Generals International, Fuller Theological Seminary, Council for National Policy, Promise Keepers, Barna Group, World Vision, YWAM, Prison Fellowship and many more.

Leaving the NAR Church:

In a series of blog posts, we take readers beyond the textbook What is the New Apostolic Reformation Movement explanation, into the personal experiences from those who have been there, and what happened when God opened their eyes to the truth. You can read their stories here.

What the Bible says: 

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1

What you can do:

First, pray!  Then, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If your church has any part of the six traits listed above, you’ll want to humbly alert your leaders. We’ve included links below to many of the best research articles, and will keep this list updated.

Helpful articles:


Helpful sites:

Views  expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West

via Research: New Apostolic Reformation — Christian Research Network

Levin: Senior FBI Officials ‘Interfered with Our Election’ More Effectively Than the Russians

Mark Levin.

During the April 21 edition of Life, Liberty & Levin, conservative leader, best selling author, and constitutional scholar Mark Levin explained that senior FBI officials “planted a spy in the Trump administration,” lied to federal courts several times, and “interfered with our election” far more “effectively than the Russians.”

The false narrative about Russia “collusion” was pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama administration, said Levin, who added that the FBI and Justice Department officials who orchestrated this “silent coup” against President Trump “should be charged.” They want to “change the outcome of an election,” he said. “They hate the fact that Donald Trump won in 2016.”

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Our very republic is at stake,” said Levin on his Sunday program on the Fox News Channel. “The separation of powers has broken down. The rule of law has broken down. The media—the media who we rely on—the media have broken down. We have a mob mentality now in this country. At least half the people in the country and the majority in the House of Representatives want to continue with this coup.”

“And why do I call it a coup?” he said.  “Well, now we have the Mueller Report, you’ve been hearing about it for several days. … You should enjoy this, it cost you $35 million. Now, Volume 1 of the Mueller Report is 200 pages. Why did they need 200 pages and $35 million to tell us there was no collusion?”


“There was never any collusion,” said Levin, author of the best selling Liberty and Tyranny. “This collusion issue was pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Obama administration. There are things that have been done in the last three years to candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and President Trump that should not occur in the United States of America.”

“Senior levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — these individuals should be charged,” said Levin. “They’re the ones who interfered with our election even more effectively than the Russians. They are still at it.”

“Senior levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they planted a spy — that’s right, a spy — in the Trump administration,” said the former Justice Department official. “They lied to federal courts not once, but four times — the FISA Court — in order to get a counterintelligence warrant and they got it. And who are they spying on? [Carter] Page? It was a backdoor effort to go after the Trump campaign.”

“You had the Hillary campaign, the Obama administration trying to take out the Republican candidate for president of the United States under their preposterous notion that he was conspiring with Vladimir Putin,” said Levin.

He continued, “Donald Trump has never in his entire life shown a dislike for his country. He loves his country. It is the people who have set this up who despise their country and despise our election system.”

Ex-FBI Director James Comey. (YouTube)

Speaking further about the false claims of “collusion,” Levin said, “You and I knew it from day one that it was phony — phony! But they used federal law enforcement, federal intelligence, and then they appointed a Special Counsel.

“There’s no collusion says the Special Counsel — that takes one sentence. It doesn’t take 200 damn pages. It doesn’t take $35 million. One sentence. “No collusion,” he says, by the president, by the campaign, by his staff, by the White House, by his family, by any American. No collusion.”

Source: Levin: Senior FBI Officials ‘Interfered with Our Election’ More Effectively Than the Russians

April 23 Your Hopes and Dreams

Scripture reading: John 16:23–24

Key verse: Jeremiah 29:11

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Some of the requirements to experiencing God’s best include the following:

An open and willing heart. Before you can experience the blessings of God, you must be open to His love and will for your life. He takes joy in blessing those who love Him. “Ask and you shall receive” were the words Jesus spoke to His disciples. Being open to God’s blessings does not mean just being open to receive something good from Him. It means being willing to receive whatever He sends your way. And in some cases, He may send something that you did not wish to receive. However, you can be sure that every gift is ultimately good and sent from a loving Father who has your best interests in mind.

Obedience. This is a key to receiving and enjoying the goodness of God. Many times the obedience that you exercise is not noticeable to others, but God knows. When you take a step forward in obedience, the Lord always sends His blessings your way.

The ability to dream. God wants you to look forward to His blessings. When you lose the ability to dream and think on the goodness of God, something inside dies. No matter how small your dream for the future appears, refuse to let go of it. Allow God to reshape it if necessary, but always believe in His loving ability to supply answers to your hopes and dreams.

Father, give me an open and willing heart. Make me obedient to Your Word. Give me the ability to dream.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Muslim Columnist ‘Embarrassed’ to Admit Other Muslims, Liberals Have ‘Downplayed’ Christian Persecution — Faithwire

Christians are — by the numbers — the most persecuted demographic around the globe. But if you only listen to those on the left, you might have quite a different and, unfortunately, naive impression.

That’s exactly what Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan, who is Muslim, admitted Monday in a column published one day after a series of deadly bombs went off at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, claiming the lives of nearly 300 people, a handful of whom were Americans.

Hasan wrote he’s “embarrassed to have to admit that in both Muslim and left circles, the issue of Christian persecution has been downplayed and even ignored for far too long.”

The writer referenced a quote from Guardian columnist Giles Fraser, who argued, in the context of Sunday’s terrorist attack, progressives seem to believe Christians “had it coming,” arguing many on the left associate Christianity with political conservatism.

“They associate Christianity with popes and their armies, with crusades and inquisitions, with anti-Semitism, British imperialism, Trump supporters and abortion protesters,” Fraser explained.

What do the numbers say?

According to data from the Pew Research Center, which Hasan referenced in his column, Christians are the No. 1 target of persecution internationally. They face persecution in 144 countries followed by Muslims in 142. The Christian nonprofit watchdog Open Doors has a running list of the top 50 countries in which Christians experience “high levels of persecution.”

My colleague Will Maule has compiled a list of deadly attacks on Christians, all but one of which happened in the first four months of 2019. Yet if you reach back in your recent memory, it’s unlikely you’ll remember these bloody assaults, because rarely do they garner the kind of attention from the mainstream media they undoubtedly deserve.

What Hasan admitted bothers him most about the data is the fact that, with the exception of North Korea (No. 1) and India (No. 10), seven of the top 10 countries where Christians endure “extreme persecution” are Muslim-majority countries, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List.

“Islamic extremism remains the global, dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list,” Open Doors said in a statement last year to Christianity Today.

Is there a double standard?

This isn’t a dismissal of the incredible inter-religious violence peaceful Muslims around the world face every single day at the hands of radical Islamists. To ignore that would not only be inappropriate, it would also be flat-out ignorant: Muslims are the second most persecuted religious demographic in the world, following very closely behind Christians.

It is, though, noteworthy that despite the nearly unparalleled amount of persecution Christians endure, many of our elected officials, particularly those on the left, don’t seem to muster up for Christ followers the same level of passion they do when our Muslim neighbors face unspeakable and heartbreaking violence.

I’m not suggesting there’s a lack of care from my progressive friends; I think most care deeply about attacks against other human beings, regardless of religious affiliation. I also think Hasan is right to claim Christian persecution has, for whatever reason, even perhaps unintentionally, been “downplayed” by some on the left.

It is perhaps for political reasons (Muslims are an obvious minority in the U.S.) that “Islamophobia” is part of our every day vernacular yet I’d hardly consider “Christophobia” a part of the American lexicon. Whenever any major attacks are unleashed on our Muslim neighbors, we rightly hear condemnations of the incidents followed soon by lectures about Islamophobia in America. I can hardly remember a lecture similarly pointing out the equally real Christophobia.

As Will pointed out, it is refreshing to finally see reporting about the ongoing persecution of Christians around the globe. I can only hope that in the days, weeks, and months to follow, we won’t soon forget the price so many have paid for the faith we freely boast here in the U.S.

via Muslim Columnist ‘Embarrassed’ to Admit Other Muslims, Liberals Have ‘Downplayed’ Christian Persecution — Faithwire

Voting rights for terrorists and rapists, death penalty for unborn babies up to 9 months


Boston Marathon terrorist about to place bomb behind 8-year-old child

Wow. It seems to me that the Democrats had a pretty good chance of competing against Trump in the 2020 election, with their presumed nominee, Bernie Sanders. He’s wildly popular with young people. He’s raising tons of money from rich progressives. All Bernie has to do is just not say anything crazy, and he’ll be competitive. Unfortunately, he can’t control himself.

Here’s a report from the radically-leftist Boston Herald:

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says the right to vote should extend to those in jail — even the Boston Marathon bomber.

“If somebody commits a serious crime — sexual assault, murder — they’re going to be punished,” Sanders said in his CNN town hall talk Monday night. But, “I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”

The majority of convicted criminals would…

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Charismatics, Stop Giving ‘Prophetic Insights’ Into Events AFTER They Happen — Pulpit & Pen

Shawn Bolz, of Bethel Church, gave his ‘prophetic insights’ into the Sri Lanka bombings AFTER they happened

Charismatic ‘Christian’ leaders are thieves and liars. They steal from people their seed-faith offerings and lie about God speaking to them. When world tragedies happen without warning, it’s not time for charismatics to give their prophetic insights. It’s time for them to shut their cotton-picking mouths.

I have no respect or regard for false prophets because God forbids me from showing them any reverence (Deuteronomy 18:20). Aside from the fact that charismatic or Pentecostal preachers (who often claim to be ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’) are mostly all swindlers preaching Word-Faith prosperity theology, engage in parlor-trickery fake healing, and they deny the sufficiency of Scripture by their claim of continued prophecy. Charismaticism is modern day Montanism, a heresy of the ancient church that claimed God still speaks outside his Bible and outside natural revelation.

Last week, I pointed out that not a single charismatic prophet warned the Vatican (or anybody else) about the Notre Dame fire. Not a single “prophet” saw it coming, and yet they were busy giving us their ‘prophetic insights’ into its meaning. Those insights would have been good to have a day before fire consumed the cathedral.

Today, Charisma News – a prominent charismatic news source – has numerous articles from supposed prophets giving their prophetic insights about an event they didn’t predict coming, the Sri Lanka church attacks.

Read more: Charismatics, Stop Giving ‘Prophetic Insights’ Into Events AFTER They Happen — Pulpit & Pen

All For Gaia: Earth Day and Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World — Reformation Charlotte

By: Carl Teichrib

“More than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.” – Earth Day Canada[1]

“Earth is more than just a spaceship. She is our Mother. She gave us life. There is nowhere else to go but to stay and love her.” – Reader’s comment regarding John Kerry’s Earth Day blog.[2]

Just as in olden days, the Earth has become the focal point for worship. In Grecian times the supreme Earth deity was Gaia, also known as the Universal Mother. Sacred oaths were given in her name, and worshippers performed rituals in her honour.[3] One commentator tells us,

“The classic artistic representation of Gaia is a woman emerging breast-high from the earth. The goddess arises but never leaves her planetary body. Visceral rites, including plant, animal, and (presumably ecstatic) human sacrifice as well as unabashed sexual ceremonies were held to adore the goddess’s fecundity.”[4]

In our contemporary era, Earth Day has become the modern celebration of Gaia. Partakers of this event, whether aware of it or not, play off the ancient pagan beliefs of a Universal Mother. Like the sacred oaths taken in her name, today’s Earth Day celebrants sign environmental petitions, make pledges, and announce resolutions in support of Mother Earth. And like the old sacrifices to the deity, today’s Earth Day practitioners offer sacrifices of “good works” to the planet. Not only is the Earth a deity to be venerated, but the Earth itself – as the representative and embodiment of the Goddess – has become a modern day idol.

Do all who engage in Earth Day festivities realize the connections between this event and the ancient pagan deity? Some do, especially those who take a neo-pagan position, but many are unaware, thinking it’s a family-oriented way to engage in environmental conservation (much good is done during Earth Day, such as cleaning up stream beds or planting trees – but that’s not the issue). Motivated by good intentions, scores of individuals (including professing Christians), participate without ever considering what Earth Day is actually about or the philosophies that underpin the movement.

James Coburn, the American actor (deceased in 2002), understood the overt pagan linkages. Consider his 1990 interview with journalist Caryl Matrisciana during the Malibu Beach, Earth Day festival.

Caryl Matrisciana:

“Mr. Coburn, why should we care about Earth Day or Mother Earth?”

James Coburn:

“Mother Earth is our Mother! She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one that we should be praising rather than raping.

I mean all of these people here today are here for one reason: Because they’re concerned about what’s happening to the Earth – what Mankind is doing to the Earth. I mean the negative emotions we carry around, a lot of us, is another contributor to it; it feeds the Moon. [Author’s Note: the Moon is significant in pagan circles.]

What we have to do is be true to ourselves, if we’re true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth. Mother Earth’s going to be bountiful; she’s going to give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.

The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”[5]

When Earth Day was first inaugurated in 1970, Newsweek called the event “a bizarre nationwide rain dance.”[6] The New York Times, however, said it was an idea “whose time has come because life is running out.” Earth, and the race of mankind, needed to be saved “from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”[7]

Now, almost forty years later, corporate sponsorships pay for community Earth Day events. Federal and local governments spend tax dollars in promotion of April 22nd, and a myriad of grassroots organizations add energy to the cause. It’s an event that captures the attention of local and national media outlets, politicians of every stripe, and fuels the imagination of school children everywhere. From the automotive giant Toyota[8] to every urban center in North America, from the United Nations to the National Council of Churches[9] – Earth Day is far more than a bizarre rain dance; it’s a platform for global citizenship and Earth loyalties.

Read more: All For Gaia: Earth Day and Total Transformation for a Post-Christian World — Reformation Charlotte

Audio: Steve Lawson on ‘Liberation Theology’ — Pulpit & Pen

Liberation Theology is a combination of Roman Catholic theology and Marxist socio-political thought. The ideology was originally framed and founded by Jesuit priests in South America who, enamored by Communism, wanted to promote communitarian political thought without embracing the atheism that it usually encompasses.

Liberation Theology turns every kind of social activism into “justice,” and then demands that Christians do justice.

Environmental Justice.

Social Justice.

Reproductive Justice.

Economic Justice.

Animal Justice.

These are all actual terms used by Cultural Marxists to advance their political agenda. Too often, Christians buy into it and frame mercy as justice, which is a Communist trap to pit class against class and cause societal division. You can see Liberation Theology ooze from Tim Keller’s tweet yesterday…

Of course, the devil is in the details and what Keller means by “justice” is the same thing Gustavo Guttierez meant by “justice,” who Keller credits with shaping his worldview in his book, Generous Justice. In short, Keller is for the redistribution of wealth, property, and privilege.

However, other theologians are espousing Biblical ideas rather than political ideologies.

Steve Lawson preached a fantastic sermon on real Liberation Theology. And yes, he calls out the proponents of Liberation Theology while expositing the Scripture like a champ and proclaiming the authentic Gospel while lambasting the false.

You’ve got to take a listen…


via Audio: Steve Lawson on ‘Liberation Theology’ — Pulpit & Pen

April 23, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

His Priest

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. (6:19–20)

God gave Abraham the security of His Person, His purpose, and His pledge. All these He also gives to us who have believed in Christ. But He gives us yet another, His Priest. As our High Priest, Jesus serves as the anchor of our souls, the One who will forever keep us from drifting away from God.

Jesus’ entering within the veil signifies His entering the Holy of Holies, where the sacrifice of atonement was made. Under the Old Covenant it was made yearly by the high priest. Under the New is has been made once for all time by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Our anchored soul is, in God’s mind, already secure within the veil, secure within His eternal sanctuary. When Jesus entered the heavenly Holy of Holies, he did not leave after the sacrifice as did the Aaronic high priests, but “He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). In other words, Jesus remains there forever as Guardian of our souls. Such absolute security is almost incomprehensible. Not only are our souls anchored within the impregnable, inviolable heavenly sanctuary, but our Savior, Jesus Christ, stands guard over them as well! How can the Christian’s security be described as anything but eternal? Truly we can trust God and His Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, with our souls. That is good cause to come all the way to salvation and to enjoy its security.[1]

19. As an anchor, &c. It is a striking likeness when he compares faith leaning on God’s word to an anchor; for doubtless, as long as we sojourn in this world, we stand not on firm ground, but are tossed here and there as it were in the midst of the sea, and that indeed very turbulent; for Satan is incessantly stirring up innumerable storms, which would immediately upset and sink our vessel, were we not to cast our anchor fast in the deep. For nowhere a haven appears to our eyes, but wherever we look water alone is in view; yea, waves also arise and threaten us; but as the anchor is cast through the waters into a dark and unseen place, and while it lies hid there, keeps the vessel beaten by the waves from being overwhelmed; so must our hope be fixed on the invisible God. There is this difference,—the anchor is cast downwards into the sea, for it has the earth as its bottom; but our hope rises upwards and soars aloft, for in the world it finds nothing on which it can stand, nor ought it to cleave to created things, but to rest on God alone. As the cable also by which the anchor is suspended joins the vessel with the earth through a long and dark intermediate space, so the truth of God is a bond to connect us with himself, so that no distance of place and no darkness can prevent us from cleaving to him. Thus when united to God, though we must struggle with continual storms, we are yet beyond the peril of shipwreck. Hence he says, that this anchor is sure and stedfast, or safe and firm. It may indeed be that by the violence of the waves the anchor may be plucked off, or the cable be broken, or the beaten ship be torn to pieces. This happens on the sea; but the power of God to sustain us is wholly different, and so also is the strength of hope and the firmness of his word.

Which entereth into that, or those things, &c. As we have said, until faith reaches to God, it finds nothing but what is unstable and evanescent; it is hence necessary for it to penetrate even into heaven. But as the Apostle is speaking to the Jews, he alludes to the ancient Tabernacle, and says, that they ought not to abide in those things which are seen, but to penetrate into the inmost recesses, which lie hid within the veil, as though he had said, that all the external and ancient figures and shadows were to be passed over, in order that faith might be fixed on Christ alone.

And carefully ought this reasoning to be observed,—that as Christ has entered into heaven, so faith ought to be directed there also: for we are hence taught that faith should look nowhere else. And doubtless it is in vain for men to seek God in his own majesty, for it is too far removed from them; but Christ stretches forth his hand to us, that he may lead us to heaven. And this was shadowed forth formerly under the Law; for the high priest entered the holy of holies, not in his own name only, but also in that of the people, inasmuch as he bare in a manner the twelve tribes on his breast and on his shoulders; for as a memorial for them twelve stones were wrought on the breastplate, and on the two onyx stones on his shoulders were engraved their names, so that in the person of one man all entered into the sanctuary together. Rightly then does the Apostle speak, when he reminds them that our high priest has entered into heaven; for he has not entered only for himself, but also for us. There is therefore no reason to fear that access to heaven will be closed up against our faith, as it is never disjoined from Christ. And as it becomes us to follow Christ who is gone before, he is therefore called our Forerunner, or precursor.[2]

19 The metaphors now pile up in rich confusion. Already in v. 18, we are “refugees” who “take hold of” the hope set before us (perhaps the language of claiming sanctuary; cf. 1 Ki 1:50; 2:28, taking hold of the horns of the altar). Now this same hope becomes an anchor that “enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” (Grammatically it could be the “hope” rather than the “anchor” that enters, but since the anchor represents the hope, this makes little difference to the boldness of the imagery.) There is no need to try to visualize the bizarre picture of refugees holding on to an anchor as it goes through a curtain; the metaphorical sense is clear enough. It is about finding security in the safest place of all, and that place is described in the language of the inner shrine of the OT tabernacle. The anchor is “safe and sound”—it will not slip. And it provides security for the “soul,” a term we have considered at 4:12, where I suggested it may best be taken to refer to “our real, innermost selves.” Here it makes clear that the purpose of all of these physical metaphors is to describe our spiritual security.

20 The metaphor of the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle leads to a further extension of the imagery, and this time one that brings us right back to the main theme of Christ as our high priest. The sanctuary is not just the place where the “anchor” is fixed but also the place where our high priest has gone in “on our behalf,” as the OT high priest went in each year on the Day of Atonement on behalf of the rest of the people to make atonement for their sins. He is identified again by his human name, Jesus, as he was also in 3:1 and 4:14 when his high priestly office was introduced (and cf. the language of “going through” into heaven in 4:14). But unlike the OT high priests, whose privilege of entering the sanctuary was shared with no one else, our high priest has gone in as the “forerunner” (so rightly TNIV; NIV, “who went before us”), a term not used elsewhere in the NT but used in secular Greek especially for the advance guard of an army; it picks up the theme of the “pioneer” in 2:10, and especially as it will be developed in 12:2, where Jesus has run the race ahead of us. Where Jesus has gone, he prepares the way for his people to follow (cf. Jn 14:2–3); and in 10:19–20, we will be exhorted to do so. And his right to enter the sanctuary derives from his status, declared by God’s oath, as a “high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Thus we are brought right back into the “difficult” argument begun at 4:14 and abandoned at 5:10, and this time the author will have no hesitation in developing his thesis from Psalm 110:4. It all hinges on the mysterious figure of Melchizedek.[3]

6:19–20 / Because of the nature of the Christian hope as confident expectation, hope serves as an anchor for the soul, and therefore as that which can counteract the tendency of “drifting away” mentioned in 2:1. Our hope depends entirely on the priestly work of Jesus. This firm and secure hope is said metaphorically to enter the inner sanctuary, by which is meant that such hope involves our free access into the very presence of God. The language behind the curtain (lit., “within the veil”) alludes to Leviticus 16:2, 12 and refers to entering the Holy of Holies (inner sanctuary). This is the first occurrence of imagery that will be vitally important in chapters 9 and 10. Our unrestricted entrance into God’s presence is made possible only by the one who on our behalf has gone before us to prepare the way, who has become a high priest forever. Because of his work as high priest, we all can now go where only the high priest was privileged to go, only once a year. In the order of Melchizedek is another brief allusion to Psalm 110:4, which was first quoted in 5:6 (cf. 7:17). Having again mentioned Melchizedek and Jesus’ high priesthood, the author has come back to the argument he began in chapter 5 but broke off in 5:10.[4]

6:18–20. The strength of God’s promise provided hope and encouragement for the readers of Hebrews. Where did they find this hope?

First, they found it in the complete trustworthiness of God’s Word. When God—who cannot lie—supports his statement with an oath, his followers find hope and encouragement.

Second, they could find it through their own tenacity in seizing the hope that was available. Retaining hope demanded strong action. The readers had drifted along aimlessly. They needed to understand and grasp the promises the Father had offered them. They should flee to Christ for security and protection from the uncertainty of the world.

Third, they found it in a safe and secure anchor—Jesus, our High Priest. We have a firm basis for our hope because Jesus finished his work on earth and continues that work in heaven as our High Priest, carrying us into God’s very presence. He has gone before us as a forerunner and is the assurance of our admission into God’s presence. His prayers for his people guard the church (Heb. 7:25) and give believers the hope of future glorification. Christians find a basis for hope in the completed and continuing work of Jesus.

Fourth, they found it because Christ is our High Priest forever. The fact that we have access to God’s presence forever gives us a firmness for our hope. This is a new idea. The next chapter of Hebrews develops the relationship of Christ as a priest to the priest Melchizedek.

In the summer of 1996, electric power outages twice hit the western United States when high demand and unfortunate accidents combined to trigger massive blackouts. The first failure affected two million customers in fourteen states on July 2. The second blackout affected four million homes in ten states. One spokesman for the power industry said, “Under no circumstance should this [a blackout] happen, let alone twice in one summer.” But it happened. Customers wondered if they could trust their power suppliers when they could not provide uninterrupted service.

Jesus provides uninterrupted access to God’s presence for his children. We will never have an outage of divine power. His presence before God fills us with hope, encouragement, and stamina. With the strength we receive from him we can find the staying power to endure in our Christian commitment. Let us rise up and claim our heritage![5]

19. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

The author, true to form, introduces a certain topic rather briefly in order to explain it fully in subsequent verses. In a brief exhortation he presents the subject hope (6:11); after discussing the absolute dependability of God’s promise to the believer, he explains the significance of hope (6:18–19). Hope, says the writer, is like an anchor; it gives stability and security to the soul.

The imagery is vivid and telling. The author paints a picture of a boat, battered by the waves but held in place by an unseen anchor that clings to the bottom of the sea. So man’s soul, buffeted by winds and waves of doubt, has a secure anchor of hope firmly fixed in Jesus. This anchor gives stability to man’s soul, and that includes “the whole inner life of man with his powers of will, reason, and emotion.”50 We relate to the image of an anchor and express our feelings in the words of Priscilla J. Owens:

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

But the Hebrews of Old Testament times and the Jews of the first century had a dislike for the sea. A reflection of this fact is that the word anchor never occurs in the Old Testament; and only four times in the New Testament, three of which appear in the account of Paul’s shipwreck (Acts 27:29, 30, 40). Therefore the author rather abruptly switches metaphors and mentions the veil of the Most Holy Place. The recipients of the Epistle to the Hebrews were much more attuned to the worship services of tabernacle and temple; they knew the construction of the sanctuary; and the clause “it enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain” was meaningful to them.

The author of the epistle has come to the end of his exhortation that began after he had introduced Jesus as “high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (5:10). He returns to the subject of the high priesthood of Christ with a reference to “the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” The words immediately reminded the readers of the Day of Atonement, when the high priest entered into the presence of God (Lev. 16:2, 12). Moreover, the Hebrews knew from the gospel proclaimed to them that at Jesus’ death the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom, exposing the Most Holy Place to the view of all who were inside the temple. They understood the reference to the inner sanctuary figuratively and associated it with heaven. Already the writer had called attention to this fact when he wrote, “We have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God” (4:14).

20. Where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

Our hope is pinned on Jesus, who has entered the heavenly sanctuary. An anchor lies unseen at the bottom of the sea; our hope lies unseen in the highest heaven. “For in this hope we were saved,” writes Paul. “But hope that is seen is no hope at all” (Rom. 8:24). Our anchor of hope has absolute security in that Jesus in human form, now glorified, has entered heaven. And he has entered heaven in his humanity as a guarantee that we, too, shall be with him. This guarantee is indicated by the phrase who went before us. (In the Greek the equivalent expression is the word prodromos, which means “forerunner.”) He goes ahead and we follow. Also note that the name Jesus and not Christ (5:5) occurs—a distinct reminder of the earthly life of the Lord. Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to heaven and entered the presence of God. As Jesus’ human body has come into God’s presence, so our bodies will enter heaven. That is our hope.

Jesus “has become a high priest forever.” This rather short sentence is filled with meaning.

  1. Jesus has become a high priest. He did not become high priest when he ascended into heaven. Rather, he took his place at the right hand of God the Father because he accomplished his atoning work on the cross. He indeed was the sacrificial Lamb of God offered for the sin of the world; as the writer of Hebrews puts it, “Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people” (9:28).
  2. Jesus has become a high priest. The writer has called Jesus high priest in Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14–15; and 5:5, 10. He will explain the concept high priest in succeeding chapters, but in 6:20 the author stresses that Jesus entered heaven as high priest, as the one who atoned for the sins of God’s people. He opened the door to heaven because of his high-priestly work.
  3. Jesus has become a high priest forever. An Aaronic high priest served in the capacity of high priest for a limited duration. Jesus serves forever. The high priest entered the Most Holy Place once a year. Jesus is in heaven forever. “Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood” (7:24). Constantly he intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24).

By his death on the cross, Jesus fulfilled the responsibilities of the Aaronic priesthood. But as a high priest he had to belong to a different order. The writer of Hebrews showed that according to Psalm 110:4 God designated Jesus as high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek (5:6, 10). The writer will explain this topic in the next few chapters.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 168–169). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 153–154). 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. 88–89). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (pp. 98–99). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, pp. 115–116). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 175–177). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

RenewAmerica Newsletter for April 23, 2019

April 23, 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 22, 2019
IAMTV — Join Dr. Alan Keyes and IAMtv for an evening of Truth and Entertainment. Special Concert with Grammy Award and 13 Time Dove Award Winner… Michael English will be performing his hits!… (more)

April 22, 2019
WES VERNON — Mitt Romney admits Donald Trump has been cleared of charges of obstructing justice. Yet he still says the president makes him “sick,” even though the two men have few disagreements on policy issues…. (more)

April 22, 2019
Alan Keyes says Dems’ agenda of ‘self-willed licentiousness’ will doom it
ALAN KEYES — Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, That rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, “We have made a covenant with death, And with hell, we are at agreement; When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” (Isaiah 28:14-15)… (more)

April 22, 2019
JOAN SWIRSKY — Just a few months ago, in an article entitled “Still the Smartest Guy in the Room,” I wrote the following about President Trump: Well, whaddaya know? In the midterm elections of November 6, 2018, the American people rewarded the president – – for only the third time in almost a hundred years – – with a net gain of three and possibly four Senate seats, lost half the House seats that his predecessor lost, and left the radical leftwing Democrats not rejoicing at their meager gains, but still chomping at the bit to bring down the president who has effectively destroyed everything they believed in, worked for, and thought they achieved over the past 75 years…. (more)

April 22, 2019
At least 207 dead, more than 450 injured in 8 explosions
CNS NEWS — Sri Lanka police declared an overnight curfew after Easter Sunday’s deadly bombing spree targeting churches and five-star hotels. The country’s prime minister confirmed that authorities had received prior warning about the possibility of a terrorist attack…. (more)

April 19, 2019
Frank Ancona shot because he wanted divorce; 42 cats removed from ‘trashed’ house
USA TODAY — The wife of a deceased Ku Klux Klan leader in Missouri admitted in court Friday to his 2017 shooting death after initially saying two years ago that her son was the murderer. Now, she says her son didn’t help commit the homicide. Malissa Ancona, 46, pleaded guilty in St. Francois County Circuit Court in Farmington, Missouri, to second-degree murder in the death of Frank Ancona Jr., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, as well as tampering with evidence and the abandonment of a corpse…. (more)

April 19, 2019
DAILY SIGNAL — Elisha Doerr would not have had an opportunity to attend Wisconsin Lutheran High School, a Milwaukee-based private boarding school, if it weren’t for a school choice program. The school’s excellent curricula and the religious community were valuable to Doerr, 18, who now attends Harvard University and is deciding between majoring in government or computer science…. (more)

April 19, 2019
YOUTUBE — Last year, President Donald Trump delivered an Easter message from the Oval Office that was remarkable in its unprecedented, God-centered message. The timely message, given March 30, 2018, bears repeating this Easter season…. (more)

April 19, 2019
MEDIAITE — Noam Chomsky, the noted progressive scholar, believes Democrats have focused far too much on Russia. And he thinks it might earn them four more years of President Donald Trump. Speaking at a forum in Boston with Amy Goodman, Chomsky stated his view that he always believed there was going to be little to no proof of collusion in the Mueller Report…. (more)

April 19, 2019
THE HILL — The walls were not coming down. They were not closing in. There was, at the end of the day, no evidence whatsoever of any collusion – – and there was nothing but a president frustrated at being wrongly accused and wrongly investigated over a very effective hoax…. (more)

April 19, 2019
‘Blithely…reversed the burden of proof’
WORLDNETDAILY — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which may have cost taxpayers more than $30 million, concluded there was no Trump campaign collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. None whatsoever. But Mueller waffled on the claims of “obstruction.” He listed 10 “episodes” that potentially could be instances of obstruction…. (more)

April 19, 2019
AG accused of being too ‘generous’ to Trump
WORLDNETDAILY — In a refrain that was to be heard countless times by Democrats and media members Thursday, a CBS reporter accused Attorney General William Barr of acting as if he were President Trump’s personal attorney in his recounting of Robert Mueller’s evidence regarding the allegation of obstruction of justice…. (more)

April 19, 2019
CONRAD BLACK — The crisis of the Democrats is becoming more evident each week. Those of us who have been loudly predicting for years that the Russian-collusion argument would be exposed as a defamatory farce, and that the authors of it would eventually pay for it, are bemused at the fallback position of the Trump-haters: that the distinguished attorney general has whitewashed the president in his summary and his decision that there was no obstruction of justice…. (more)

April 19, 2019
CHRON — Federal regulators investigating Facebook for mishandling its users’ personal information have set their sights on the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, exploring his past statements on privacy and weighing whether to seek new, heightened oversight of his leadership…. (more)

April 19, 2019
HEALTH IMPACT NEWS — An Open Letter to Legislators Currently Considering Vaccine Legislation from Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD Dear Legislator: My name is Tetyana Obukhanych. I hold a PhD in Immunology. I am writing this letter in the hope that it will correct several common misperceptions about vaccines in order to help you formulate a fair and balanced understanding that is supported by accepted vaccine theory and new scientific findings. Do unvaccinated children pose a higher threat to the public than the vaccinated?… (more)

April 19, 2019
It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think
THE ATLANTIC — n the early 2000s Terry Mitchell’s dentist retired. For a while, Mitchell, an electrician in his 50s, stopped seeking dental care altogether. But when one of his wisdom teeth began to ache, he started looking for someone new. An acquaintance recommended John Roger Lund, whose practice was a convenient 10-minute walk from Mitchell’s home, in San Jose, California. Lund’s practice was situated in a one-story building with clay roof tiles that housed several dental offices. The interior was a little dated, but not dingy…. (more)

April 18, 2019
WES VERNON — The United States is arguably the most anti-Marxist nation on the planet, though to be sure, we do have our own home-grown variety of hard leftists. The Democrat Party is making moves in that direction. Adding political fuel to that fire is the Marxist family background of a serious Democrat candidate for President of the United States…. (more)

April 18, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — One often hears dire reports in the media about the impending doom of the Christian church. But Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family recently wrote an article in the Federalist that showed such reports may be premature…. (more)

April 18, 2019
PETER LEMISKA — It was only a matter of time. Even President Trump’s most bitter critics have to admit that he has a unique ability to express, usually with unvarnished candor, the innermost thoughts and concerns weighing on the minds of middle-class Americans. His recent suggestion to send the masses of illegal immigrants flooding across our borders to sanctuary cities isn’t new…. (more)

April 18, 2019
Trump, Pence endorse Barr’s announced review

April 18, 2019
FOX NEWS — Many questions have been raised about the political leanings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s staff and their freedom to write whatever they want, former independent counsel Ken Starr says…. (more)

April 18, 2019
Ex-Brit intel officer also funded by Hillary Clinton to create Trump ‘dossier’
WORLDNETDAILY — Washington watchdog Judicial Watch believes the FBI still is covering up information related to the origin of the claim that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia. In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr upset Democrats when he disclosed he believes the Obama administration spied on the 2016 Trump campaign. Barr said he plans to review the matter along with the origins of counter-intelligence probe…. (more)

April 18, 2019
Argue DOJ no longer has excuse of Mueller investigation
WORLDNETDAILY — On the eve of the release of the Mueller report, the Republican chairmen of three Senate committees are asking U.S. Attorney General William Barr to release “highly classified information” the FBI declined to examine as part of the Hillary Clinton email investigation…. (more)

April 17, 2019
NEWSMAX — Outspoken actor James Woods says firebrand freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is a “blessing in disguise” for conservatives in 2020. In a tweet, Woods responded to conservative commentator Mark Levin’s declaration he “won’t be silenced from criticizing America-hating anti-Semite Omar.”… (more)


April 23, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump will make a state visit to the United Kingdom in June, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday, a trip Britain hopes will cement transatlantic relations but one that immediately prompted criticism and promises of protests.

President Donald Trump and his wife will travel to France on June 6, where Trump will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that speeding up the flow of goods on the U.S. border is a matter of urgency and that slowdowns are detrimental to both economies, after bottlenecks have held up trade following a row over migration.

China showed off the first of its new generation of guided missile destroyers as President Xi Jinping reviewed a major naval parade to mark 70 years since the founding of China’s navy.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has refashioned the People’s Liberation Army into a force that is rapidly closing the gap on U.S. firepower – and in some vital areas has surpassed it. American victory over China in a regional war is no longer assured.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on Thursday in the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok to discuss the international standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, a Kremlin official said.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the most consequential cases of its current term, will hear the Trump administration’s bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a plan opponents have called a Republican effort to scare immigrants from taking part in the population count.

The largest Democratic field in the modern U.S. political era is lining up to seek the party’s 2020 presidential nomination – and it is expected to keep growing.

Devastating Easter bombings in Sri Lanka were retaliation for attacks on mosques in New Zealand, a Sri Lankan official said on Tuesday, as Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated blasts that killed 321 people.

Bosnian border police on Tuesday denied mistreating migrants after a video emerged of detainees at a border holding facility in what appeared to be cages.

Oil prices hit their highest since November on Tuesday after Washington announced the end of all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian crude, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran. Brent crude futures rose as high as $74.70, a level not seen since Nov. 1.

AP Top Stories

Yemen’s rebel chief warned that the rebels could launch attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who lead a military coalition against them.

Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S. are finding a much tougher trek than those in previous caravans, meeting unwelcoming townsfolk and a surprise raid by Mexican police and immigration agents who detained hundreds in Mexico’s south.

Iran will close the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway vital for global oil shipments, if the country is prevented from using it, a senior military official said on Monday in what appears to be a response to the U.S. plan to end waivers on Iranian oil exports.

Russia has accused the US of deliberately causing a succession of crippling power cuts in Venezuela as part of a plot to topple its president, Nicolás Maduro, dubbed “Operation Blackout”.

President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cash flow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power.

The United States on Monday offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the finances of Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.

US detention centers that hold migrant parents and children have been nearly empty for months, despite Donald Trump’s administration repeatedly warning that the US-Mexico border is at a “breaking point” because of the surge in Central American families fleeing poverty and violence.

The US Supreme Court said Monday it will take up the question of whether gay and transgender workers are protected by federal law that bars discrimination in the workplace.

A 16-year-old student was paid $100 for the shorn hair, money she’ll use to help her family and buy a cellphone at a time when Venezuela’s sharp economic decline has led to shortages of food and medicine, and hyperinflation has made salaries nearly worthless.


A large-scale pilot of what has been called the world’s first malaria vaccine to give partial protection to children has begun in Malawi.

A woman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who was seriously injured in a traffic accident in 1991 has made a seemingly miraculous recovery after emerging from a 27-year-long coma.

A powerful magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck the main Philippines island of Luzon, killing at least 11 people.


Establishment media long have been reluctant to identify Islam as the source of terrorism while readily labeling those who do as “Islamophobes.” Now, it seems, there’s an unwillingness to identify one of the primary targets of terrorism, Christians, as Christians. Their new word? “Easter worshippers.”

Around half of Americans favor religion playing a greater role in US society, while 18 percent oppose that idea, according to a Pew Research Center study published Monday.

What doctors refer to as “zombie cells,” which develop from cellular stress that’s long known to be involved in the development of cancer and aging, have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease for the first time. The new findings could lead to new treatments that could potentially slow, if not stop the disease altogether.

A preliminary hearing in California to decide whether or not to try two reporters who went undercover to expose the abortion industry’s sale of the body parts of was postponed.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 23, 2019

The Foundation

“To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim.“—James Wilson (1790)

Time to Enforce the Law on Visa Overstays

Trump orders the DOJ and DHS to look for more ways to limit the number of visa overstays.

Warren’s ‘Universal Free College’ Plan Is No Free Lunch

It’s classic Marxism: Take from the rich to pay for government wealth redistribution.

Sanctuary Jurisdictions Are Not Practicing Federalism

The Ninth Circuit Court is the latest to rule against the Trump administration’s enforcement.

Born That Way? Research Says No

Transgenderism’s “born the wrong way” claim is undercutting the homosexual lobby.

How Romney and Trump Were Both Right

Romney’s right about Founding principles, while Trump is correct about the need to fight.

That Eight-Year-Old Ocasio-Cortez Impersonator

Sometimes, we can sum up the American Spirit with humor. This is such a time.

Video: Warren First 2020 Dem to Call For Impeachment

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren talks with Rachel Maddow

Video: Is Denmark Socialist?

The Left references countries like Denmark as “proof” that socialism works. It’s not socialist.

Today’s Opinion

Dennis Prager
Why Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Tweeted About ‘Easter Worshippers’
Rich Lowry
The Impeachment Fantasy
Cal Thomas
They’ve Only Just Begun
Stephen Moore
The Immigrants We Need Most
Hans von Spakovsky
Mueller Report Clearing Trump Should Prompt Congress to Halt Endless Investigations
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Visa abuse, impeachment, entitlement deficits, New York’s “Green New Deal,” Warren’s college-debt gamble, and more.

Tuesday Short Cuts

Delusions of grandeur: “I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

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 – 4/23/2019

Limbaugh: Dem ‘coup’ against Trump not over yet
‘We came as close as a whisker to having Constitution used essentially as toilet paper’. It was a real coup attempt, and it’s not over yet, talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh warned Monday about the Democrats’ use of made-up claims in an opposition research “dossier,” spying on the Trump campaign, the awesome power of the FBI and CIA, and more. “James Comey? John Brennan? James Clapper? Barack Obama? Andrew McCabe? Peter Strzok Smirk? Lisa Page? James Baker? Bill Priestap? The Ohrs, Bruce and Nellie? These people? Hillary Clinton? Glenn Simpson and the law firm of Perkins Coie? These people decided … Donald Trump was unacceptable,” he said.

Passover Snow Falls on Mt. Hermon for First Time in 21st Century
Snow fell on Mount Hermon on Sunday during Passover for the first time in 22 years. With approximately eight inches of snow already on the ground and accumulation set to continue throughout the day, the Hermon ski-resort management closed the site to visitors. Snowfall was also reported in towns in the Golan Heights. The Kinneret, Israel’s primary natural water source, rose from just 16 inches away from the Black Line—the point past which the lake becomes ecologically imbalanced—to 11.25 feet from the Black Line as of April 20. It is now 8.75 feet from its upper limit, after which point it would flood its banks.

ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings
ISIS has claimed responsibility for bombings that left 321 people dead and 375 hospitalized in Sri Lanka. In a statement released by its Amaq news agency, the group said it was targeting citizens of countries bombings its territories and Christians.

Report: Omar Attacked US Soldiers Who Died Fighting In ‘Black Hawk Down’ Operation
A newly unearthed tweet shows Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar attacking the U.S. soldiers who fought and died in the Battle of Mogadishu. Omar’s claim that “thousands of Somalis” were killed by American forces during that battle is wildly false by most expert’s estimations.

Sri Lanka imposes emergency, says international network involved in attacks
Sri Lanka said on Monday it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, which killed 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

Nasrallah warns of war this summer, worries he could be killed – report
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah warned top military commanders in a private meeting this week that there will be a war with Israel this summer and that he may not be around to support them, according to Elijah J. Magnier, a writer for the Kuwaiti Al Rai news. Nasrallah reportedly said that he expects the war to take everybody by surprise, like the 2006 Lebanon War.

U.S. offering $10 million for info on Hezbollah’s financial mechanisms
A new program will offer up to $10 million rewards for information leading to the disruption of the global financial mechanisms of Hezbollah, the US Department of State announced Monday. It is the first time that the department is offering a reward for information regarding Hezbollah’s financial networks. According to “Forbes Israel” piece from December 2017, this is the richest terror organization in the world, with an estimated annual income of $1.1 billion.

US envoy: Hamas must change or leave for the sake of Gazans
Jason Greenblatt, United States Special Representative for International Negotiations, said on Monday, “Hamas has driven the people of Gaza into lives of misery in a bid to stay in power. A recognition of its dismal failure and an honest assessment of reality could pave the way to reconnect Gaza to the world that wants to help. The situation was not caused by the United States; it was caused by Hamas. The United States does not want this situation to continue — but we cannot fix it.”

Report: US headed for 5-year high in measles
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday that 626 cases of measles have been reported in the United States this year, according to CNN. The centers’ website said, “In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels,” the highest number since the illness was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.

Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un expected to discuss possibility of alternative denuclearisation talks
Putin is gearing up for talks with Kim Jong-un today as Moscow seeks to carve out a role for itself in ongoing negotiations over Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities. The Kremlin is concerned about being left out of any US-led deal and is working to implement its own talks. A Russian-led process could see a more phased approach to denuclearisation and some sanctions relief.

Eight dead in Philippines after strong earthquake strikes north of Manila
Swaying buildings in the capital sent thousands of workers fleeing onto the streets, while blackouts were reported in several towns More than 100 flights, including routes to and from Hong Kong and Singapore, cancelled as Clark International Airport is closed because of damage to facilities.

U.S. offering $10 million for info on Hezbollah’s financial mechanisms
A new program will offer up to $10 million in rewards for information leading to the disruption of the global financial mechanisms of Hezbollah, the US Department of State announced… It is the first time that the department is offering a reward for information regarding Hezbollah’s financial networks. According to a…”Forbes Israel” report, Hezbollah is the richest terror organization in the world, with an estimated annual income of $1.1 billion.

Security officials urging Israeli tourists to immediately leave the Sinai
Senior security officials are calling upon Israelis and Passover travelers who defied the anti-terror warning not to go to the Sinai to leave immediately, the Army Radio reported on Tuesday. According to the report, around 30,000 Israelis have traveled there for the Passover break – and according to Globes over 85,00 people will pass through the Taba border, in both directions. This number is over 20% higher than the year before.

Bernie Sanders calls Netanyahu government ‘racist’
US Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday called the Netanyahu government “racist,” at a CNN Town Hall Tuesday night. The comments were made in response to a question of how he would maintain the strong relations between the United States and Israel, despite his criticism. The senator claimed that he is not anti-Israeli and noted that some members of his family live in Israel and he even worked on a kibbutz when he was young.

Philippines earthquake: Eight deaths reported on Luzon
A powerful earthquake has struck the main Philippines island of Luzon, killing at least 11 people. The magnitude 6.1 tremor hit at 17:11 local time (09:11 GMT) on Monday, the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology reports. An airport was seriously damaged and at least two buildings were destroyed.

Churches Have Become The #1 Target For Hate Attacks – An Average Of 105 Every Single Month
The bombings in Sri Lanka have once again put a spotlight on the rising tide of violence against Christians all over the world. According to Open Doors USA, an average of 105 churches and/or Christian buildings are burned or attacked every month. That is more than three per day, and almost all of those attacks get ignored by the mainstream media in the western world.

Tens of thousands attend Jewish Passover blessing at Western Wall
Tens of thousands of people gathered at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Monday for a traditional Jewish blessing for the Passover holiday. Police estimated the crowd at more than 30,000 for the two morning ceremonies. US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, an Orthodox Jew, was among those in attendance, an AFP photographer reported.

Half of Americans back stronger role of religion in society
Around half of Americans favor religion playing a greater role in US society, while 18 percent oppose that idea, according to a Pew Research Center study published Monday. Despite there being a separation of church and state, religion plays a significant part in daily US life: the president traditionally is sworn in using a Bible, while “In God We Trust” is printed on bank notes.

Elon Musk says Neuralink machine that connects human brain to computers ‘coming soon’
Elon Musk has revealed his Neuralink startup is close to announcing the first brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers. The entrepreneur took to Twitter to tell followers the technology would be “coming soon” – though he failed to provide details. Neuralink was set up in 2016 with the ambitious goal of developing hardware to enhance the human brain, however, little about how this will work has been made public.

That mental health app might share your data without telling you
Free apps marketed to people with depression or who want to quit smoking are hemorrhaging user data to third parties like Facebook and Google — but often don’t admit it in their privacy policies, a new study reports. This study is the latest to highlight the potential risks of entrusting sensitive health information to our phones.

Devastating floods leave millions in Iran facing humanitarian crisis
Two weeks since the storms started, relentless rain and flooding throughout Iran has left some 2 million people facing a humanitarian crisis.

The Border Crisis Worsens: Declared State of Emergency in Yuma, AZ.
This reports from the CSS centers on the border crisis and declared state of emergency in Yuma, Arizona. On the border, things are going from bad to worse.

The Mexican Military Is Delivering Drugs Across the Border and Simultaneously Probing US Border Defenses
The mainstream media would actually have America believe that the recent border incursion just an unavoidable and simple accident in just another “no harm-no foul” incident on the southern border, when in fact the exact opposite is true.

Limbaugh: Dem ‘coup’ against Trump not over yet
…“They simply couldn’t allow it to happen. Do you realize this is? We came as close as a whisker to having the Constitution used essentially as toilet paper, and it’s still scary to me how close they came,” he said.

Boom! President Trump Suggests John Kerry Violated Logan Act with Unprecedented Private Meetings with Iranian Regime
President Trump called out former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry for a likely violation of the Logan Act for his working with Iran against the United States.

2020 Democrats Push For Non-New Hampshire Residents To Vote In New Hampshire Election
A handful of Senate Democrats vying for the presidency are rallying around Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in an effort to eliminate a law that prevents college students from voting in the Granite state unless they are permanent residents.

Fresh blast in Sri Lanka as new bombs found near church
No injuries were reported in the blast some 50 meters from the St Anthony’s Shrine, one of three churches targeted in a string of suicide bombs on Sunday that killed nearly 300 people.

Bacteria-hunting kit aims to spot food hazards before they enter our homes
Israel’s Yarok Microbio combines chemicals with AI to identify dangerous bacteria in produce — in the field or in the supply chain, saving lives and costs, startup says

Yellow Vests Clash with Police as Anti-Macron Protesters Rage Over Notre Dame
Yellow Vest protesters clashed with riot police on the streets of Paris on Saturday as the anti-Macron protests raged into their 23rd consecutive weekend.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton tip anti-Christian ‘Easter worshippers’ hats
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton avoided using the word “Christians” while commenting on Twitter about the horrific attacks on — yes, let’s call it what it is, please — Christians on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka that left hundreds dead and injured.

Headlines – 4/23/2019

Far-right slate to offer PM immunity law in exchange for settlement annexation

Politicians call for West Bank sovereignty, tripling number of Hebron Jews

Hamas infiltrated PA security forces, recruited officers as spies – report

Abbas: Trump mocking us, Netanyahu sends aid money to Hamas

Bernie Sanders slams Netanyahu’s government as ‘racist’

Washington man jailed for plans to kill Jews in mass shooting posts more threats

Hundreds gather in former Warsaw Ghetto for first seder since its destruction

Hezbollah chief says Israel’s ground forces unprepared for war

U.S. offers $10 mln reward for information to disrupt Hezbollah finances

US toughens stance on Iran, ending exemptions from oil sanctions

Trump decides not to reissue Iran oil waivers when they expire

Iran Says Ready for U.S. Waivers End, as Guards Threaten to Shut Hormuz

Iran Raises Stakes in U.S. Showdown With Threat to Close Hormuz

Netanyahu on U.S. President Trump: that’s the way to deal with Iran

Saudi Arabia Detains 13 Suspected of Planning Terror Attacks in the Kingdom

Yemen rebels can reach ‘strategic’ targets in Saudi Arabia, UAE, leader says

Kremlin says ‘too early’ to say if it can work with Ukraine’s Zelensky

North Korea’s Kim to meet Putin at crucial diplomatic moment

Sri Lanka, like world, again sees scourge of suicide bombing

Sri Lanka terrorist attacks among world’s worst since 9/11

Death toll in Sri Lanka bombings climbs to 310; 40 suspects arrested

Sri Lanka Victims: Citizens of at Least 12 Countries Killed

Bomb Explodes After Sri Lanka Police Find 87 Bomb Detonators at Bus Station

Sri Lanka military gets special powers after deadly bombings

Tourists flee Sri Lanka, as travel industry faces uncertainty

Sri Lanka social media shutdown part of global discontent with Silicon Valley

Commentary: The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe

In Venezuela, women sell hair as another way to get by

Mexico breaks violence record in first quarter of 2019

Mexico warns of ‘deep concern’ over armed groups on U.S. border

Leader of armed group stopping migrants at U.S.-Mexico border to face federal charges

Leader of armed group at U.S. border boasted of assassination training -FBI

House Democratic leaders urge caution on impeachment as members plot way forward

Dem leaders stress more Trump probes, downplay impeachment

Democrat Kamala Harris joins call for Trump’s impeachment

Ilhan Omar claims US forces killed ‘thousands’ of Somalis during ‘Black Hawk Down’ mission, resurfaced tweet shows

6.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Tutubigan, Philippines

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Gutad, Philippines

Rescuers race to find survivors after Philippine quake kills 15

Earthquake in Philippines collapses building, damages Clark International Airport

Water from rooftop pool falls 600 feet down Manila penthouse during Philippines earthquake

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Visokoi Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Port Hardy, Canada

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Cuajinicuilapa, Mexico

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Miyako, Japan

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Pangai, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near San Antonio de los Cobres, Argentina

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 21,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 13,000ft

New York mayor targets classic skyscrapers with Green New Deal

Starbucks is installing needle-disposal boxes in locations across America following OSHA penalties and worker concerns about drug use in bathrooms

Israeli Health Ministry Orders Local Airlines to Vaccinate Staff Against Measles

Protesters set Peshawar hospital on fire, claim children fell ill due to polio vaccine

Pregnant bridesmaid claims bride asked her to have an abortion before big day: report

US Supreme Court to Decide Whether ‘Sex’ Discrimination in Workplace Includes Homosexuality, Gender Identity

Philadelphia can ban Christian foster agencies who don’t work with gay couples, Appeals Court rules

Orthodox rabbis in Israel send letter of support to bullied transgender teen

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Sola Scripture: Is It Scriptural?

Apocalypse: Why Christian pastor claims ‘doomsday IMMINENT’ – ‘Jesus is coming’

What Does the Bible Mean by ‘Last Days’ and ‘Jesus Coming’?

Slain in the Spirit—Is It a Biblical Practice?

Should I preach the Gospel in a Muslim country?

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


April 23 His Spirit in You

scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 3:7–18
key verse: Galatians 6:15

In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

English author and pastor John R. W. Stott explains the Spirit–controlled life in Basic Christianity:

The more we make a habit of denying the flesh (because of our co–crucifixion) and obeying the Spirit, the more our ugly works of the flesh will disappear and the lovely fruit of the Spirit will take their place.… It is by the Spirit of Christ that we can be transformed into the image of Christ as we look steadfastly towards Him. We, thus, have our part to play in repentance, faith, and discipline; but.… holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit.

William Temple used to illustrate the point this way:

It is not good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it; I can’t. And it is not good showing me the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it; I can’t.

But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like that. And if the Spirit of Jesus could come and live in me, then I could live a life like that. It is not that we should strive to be like Jesus, but that He by His Spirit should come and live in us.

I can’t do it on my own. Come and live in me, Holy Spirit. Empower me to live the life of Christ, to become like Him.[1]

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

23 april (preached 22 april 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

A divine challenge

“Thus saith the Lord, let my people go, that they may serve me.” Exodus 8:1

suggested further reading: James 3:3–6

Moses goes to Pharaoh yet again, and says, “Thus saith the Lord, let my people go, that they may serve me.” And at one time the haughty monarch says he will let some go; at another time he will let them all go, but they are to leave their cattle behind. He will hold on to something; if he cannot have the whole he will have a part. It is wonderful how content the devil is if he can but nibble at a man’s heart. It does not matter about swallowing it whole; only let him nibble and he will be content. Let him but bite at the fag ends and be satisfied, for he is wise enough to know that if a serpent has but an inch of bare flesh to sting, he will poison the whole. When Satan cannot get a great sin in he will let a little one in, like the thief who goes and finds shutters all coated with iron and bolted inside. At last he sees a little window in a chamber. He cannot get in, so he puts a little boy in, that he may go round and open the back door. So the devil has always his little sins to carry about with him to go and open back doors for him, and we let one in and say, “O, it is only a little one.” Yes, but how that little one becomes the ruin of the entire man! Let us take care that the devil does not get a foothold, for if he gets but a foothold, he will get his whole body in and we shall be overcome.

for meditation: Beware of giving Satan a window of opportunity (Ephesians 4:27), it is amazing how much damage can be caused by something apparently little (1 Corinthians 5:6; Hebrews 12:15).

sermon no. 322[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 120). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

23 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

Called to Prophesy

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. Jeremiah 23:21

suggested further reading: 2 Timothy 4:1–8

“If God is the author of my ministry, then I, though alone, am superior to the whole world. If prophets are not called by God, they may increase a hundredfold in number, but what they speak means nothing, for we must believe in God alone.” That is what Jeremiah seems to be saying here. We now see the reason for his saying that the prophets ran but were not sent; that they prophesied but have received no commands from God.

This passage specifically teaches us that no one is worthy of being heard unless he is a true minister of God. Two things are necessary to prove that: a divine call as well as faithfulness and integrity. So we may safely reject anyone who pushes himself forward, pretending to be a prophet, for God alone may claim the right of being heard.

A simple, naked call is not sufficient for a prophet; he who is called must also faithfully labor in prophesying the words of God. Both are mentioned here, for Jeremiah says the prophets ran, though they were not sent; and they prophesied, though they were without a command from God. The same idea is repeated here in two different Hebrew clauses, but the stronger expression is found in the second clause, for sending properly refers to a call, and commanding refers to the execution of the office.

God, in the first place, chooses his prophets and commits to them the office of teaching. Then he commands them what to say, dictating to them, as it were, his message. Thus a prophet may not declare anything he devises but only be a herald of God’s message.

for meditation: When we hear men speak on behalf of God, how can we know that they are true prophets? Jeremiah says we can tell a prophet is true if he is called by God and speaks with faithfulness and integrity only the words of God. Think of that the next time you listen to someone whose reputation appears to be more important than the message of God’s Word. Most importantly, pray for your church leaders daily, that they might simply be heralds of God’s message.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 132). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Tuesday Briefing April 23, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com


 New details emerge about the attacks in Sri Lanka: The challenges of understanding the role of technology and the necessity of conversionist Christianity


 What the response to the Sri Lankan tragedy reveals about secularism in both East Asia and the West


 New Yorkers are still worshiping this Easter, some by going to church and others by going to brunch


 The Supreme Court chooses to take up cases on the application of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964: Is the original meaning of a text binding?




 Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Kill at Least 290; Several Americans Dead, by Uditha Jayasinghe


 Blasts Targeting Christians Kill Hundreds in Sri Lanka, by Dharisha Bastians, Jeffrey Gettleman, and Kai Schultz



 Religious Minorities Across Asia Suffer Amid Surge in Sectarian Politics, by Hannah Beech, Dharisha Bastians, and Kai Schultz


 A Massacre of Christians, by Editorial Board



 Stepping Out on Easter Sunday, by Jenna Wortham


What Does “You are the Light of the World” Mean? — The Cripplegate


“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”  Matthew 5:14-15

It’s fascinating to see what people will do when they think that no one is looking. Every once in a while, especially in this day and age, we get a glimpse of what people are capable of through social media and hidden cameras. Generally speaking, people are less likely to sin when a camera is on them.

Imagine being the woman at the well or being Nathaniel. Here comes Jesus, and He is able to tell them things that only someone who had the ability to know all things could know.  All Jesus told Nathaniel is that He saw him under the fig tree, and Nathaniel responds with, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” The woman at the well becomes an evangelist and declares to people that Jesus was able to tell her “all that she has ever done.”

Imagine the vulnerability they felt. Here they were minding their own business when, all of a sudden, there comes a man who sees them. He knows what they do in secret. He knows everything about them. Suddenly they realize something pretty scary;  there is no such thing as being in alone as long as Jesus is alive. Little did they know is that there is never an instant that they are alone because Jesus sees them at all times.

Jesus is the Light. The Bible is pretty clear about that.

Jesus, Himself, declares this truth over and over again.

Jesus said in John 8:12,

Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

And in John 12:35-37,

So, Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light,so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

In Matthew 5:14 Jesus looks at His disciples and says to them that they are the light of the world.

Related imageHe tells them that they ARE the light of the world. He doesn’t tell them that they should be the light or that they should shine more brightly, but rather that they are already the light. The moment that people believe in the Light (Jesus), they themselves become sons of Light. Of course, believers have no light source in and of themselves. But rather like the moon reflects the sun, we reflect the light of Jesus onto the world around us. We, simply by living holy lives in word and deed, striving to be like our Savior, shine the light of Christ to all the people around us.

The reality is that the world loves the darkness. Like a cockroach that loves the darkness and freaks out when it is exposed to the light, the world hates the light and wants to hide. Of course, I’m not comparing people to cockroaches; okay, maybe just the Pharisees. But the truth is clear when the light is around, people don’t get to do the works that they want to like when the light is off.

Jesus said in John 3:19,

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Obviously, Nathaniel, Zacchaeus and the woman at the well, just to name a few, when their sin was exposed responded with humility, repented, and embraced the light. But that was not the only response Jesus encountered.  In fact, one might say that the most common response was rejection and hate.

Jesus constantly exposed the Pharisees; He could see their hearts and was regularly reading their thoughts. There are several occasions where Jesus tells them what they are thinking and thus exposing the fact that He could see their evil thoughts. The Pharisees were desperately afraid of the crowd and therefore did not act, but eventually, it got to the point where Jesus had been exposed to such an extent that running and hiding were no longer options. They got put in a corner and eventually decided that enough was enough and came back fighting. The problem was simple—the Light was too bright and they wanted the darkness back.

That’s how sin works; it thrives in the darkness. Like bacteria that needs water to live, sin lives off of darkness and grows exponentially. Whenever believers come along and shine the light of Christ, the world is not going to like it. They will be exposed and they will want to either run and hide or in some cases fight back; they did so with Jesus and they will do so with us (John 15:20).

Just like with salt, there is a risk associated with the role of light-bearers. With salt, it was the risk of losing taste. Next week we will see that with light it is the desire of hiding it and keeping it to ourselves. But in the meantime, we must ask this question:

Are you reflecting the light of Christ on the world around you?

Just like we saw with salt, unbelievers should feel uncomfortable sinning around you. Of course, you shouldn’t be obnoxious and angry, but the fact of the matter is that the world God has placed around you should be triggered by your life and your witness. Either they should despise you for following Christ or want to join you in following Him. That’s what the light does–it lights up darkness every single time.

May we be like lamps filling each room we walk into with light until the moment the Lord takes us home to be with Him.

via What Does “You are the Light of the World” Mean? — The Cripplegate

How Do We Know That the Resurrection Happened? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

J. Warner Wallace answers questions about Christianity in his “Think Like a Detective”series on RightNow Media, the “Netflix of Christian Bible Studies”. In this video, J. Warner talks about the central claim of the Christian worldview: The Resurrection of Jesus. How can we be sure that this event ever really happened?

In addition, if your church is subscribed to RightNowMedia, you can watch the Cold-Case Christianity Bible Study or the Forensic Faith Bible Study right now. You can also purchase the DVD set for the Cold-Case Christianity group study (it comes with a facilitator’s guide) along with the Cold-Case Christianity Participant’s Guide.

via How Do We Know That the Resurrection Happened? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity