Daily Archives: April 30, 2019

April 30 He Is Alive!

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:9–15

Key Verse: Matthew 28:10

Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

What must it have felt like for the disciples when Jesus died? They had left everything for this man, followed Him for three years, and built all their hopes and dreams on His ideas. Not only that, but they had heard all the incredible things He said. He told them that He “was” even before Abraham lived. He said that He and the Father were one. He declared He was the only way to God. He had told them such amazing things, but now there He was, hanging on a cross, dead. How could this be?

The disciples were confused, scared, mournful, and completely distraught. Only one thing could have turned them around. Only one thing could have breathed new life into their downtrodden spirits. Praise God, that one vital thing came in the cry of an excited friend running toward them, shouting, “He’s alive! He’s alive!” Jesus had conquered death.

Believers oftentimes take this news for granted. It seems so commonplace today to speak of the resurrection of Jesus. Our familiarity, however, must never lessen the impact of the declaration, “He’s alive!”

For mankind, death had always been the final word, the inescapable end. By achieving victory over death, Jesus proved He was whom He claimed to be. By demonstrating His power over man’s greatest fear, He showed Himself to be mankind’s greatest friend, Savior, and Lord.

Does your heart leap when you hear the proclamation of the living Lord? Take the clouded church lenses from your eyes and see the story fresh and new: Jesus is alive!

Lord, my heart leaps with joy when I hear the proclamation of Your resurrection. I rejoice that You died for my sins and that You arose again. I declare to a lost world, You are alive![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 125). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 30 It Is Finished

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 61:1–3

Key Verse: Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The dominant, swelling theme of the Cross is triumph. The almighty shout of “It is finished” declared the victory of God over the power of sin and the devil.

Make no mistake; Christ fought and won the cosmic battle of the ages on a small patch of Jewish ground. The substitutionary death of Christ atoned for our sins. Jesus Himself canceled and paid our sin debt.

The devil and his demons were likewise crushed by Christ at the cross. Satan’s hold on man was shattered, so that we who place our faith in the Savior are released from his dark domain and transferred into the kingdom of God.

Theologian Lewis Chafer wrote, “Christ clearly won a victory over Satan on the cross. In offering salvation to men, Christ fulfilled what was anticipated in Isaiah 61:1, where He is said to have provided freedom for those who were captives.”

The author of Hebrews exclaimed that Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2 nasb).

The anguish of Christ on the cross—the nails, the taunts, the pain, the shame—is part and parcel of eternal conquest.

Be amazed at what God did with hands and feet nailed to a tree.

O God, I am amazed at what You did with hands and feet nailed to a tree. The anguish of Your Son became eternal conquest. Thank You that Satan was defeated at the cross and I am released from his dark domain and transferred into Your kingdom. It is finished![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 125). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 30, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump directed officials to toughen rules for asylum seekers on Monday, including by introducing a fee for their applications and barring those who entered the country illegally from working until their claims are approved.

The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, the White House said on Tuesday, which would bring sanctions against Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement.

President Trump, three of his children and seven of his companies filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial Corp to block the banks from complying with federal subpoenas investigating his financial dealings.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday called for a military uprising to oust President Nicolas Maduro and armed factions clashed at a protest outside a Caracas air base as the country hit a new crisis point.

Brazil’s Foreign Relations Minister Ernesto Araujo said on Tuesday that his country supports a democratic transition in Venezuela, where opposition leader Juan Guaido hours before said he had begun the “final phase” of his plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

The University of Cambridge will conduct a two-year academic study of how much it benefited from the Atlantic slave trade and whether its scholarship reinforced race-based thinking during Britain’s colonial era.

From algorithms to track “dark” ships smuggling stolen crude oil to an online licensing system to undercut corruption, one Nigerian government agency hopes it can use new technology to tackle theft which has cost the country billions.

Across the Midwest, growing numbers of grain farmers are choosing to shed their machinery and find renters for their land, all to stem the financial strain on their families, a dozen leading farm-equipment auction houses told Reuters. As these older grain farmers are retiring, fewer younger people are lining up to replace them. It means fewer customers for seed and chemical companies, fewer machine buyers, and fewer suppliers for grain merchants.

The Chinese navy, which is growing faster than any other major fleet, now controls the seas off its coast. Once dominant, the U.S. and its allies sail warily in these waters. A former U.S. naval officer says China’s advances have caught America napping.

Islamic State remains a potent threat around the world despite reduced capabilities, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday, adding its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had made his latest video appearance in a “remote area”.

AP Top Stories

A group of 147 mainly African refugees, rescued from the Libyan city of Misrata, were flown to an Italian military airport near Rome on Monday for resettlement.

United Airlines has covered cameras installed on in-flight entertainment screens located on the back of some seats on United flights.

France’s most famous Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld on Monday slammed the resurgence of “anti-Jewish hate,” days after a teenage gunman’s deadly attack on a synagogue in California.

The United Nations will grant Mozambique and the Comoros Islands $13 million in emergency funds to help provide food and water and repair damage to infrastructure, the organization said late on Sunday, after the second cyclone in a month slammed into the region.

U.S. forces in Syria have achieved all they can against the Islamic State. Without territory, ISIS will struggle to meet, train and organize attacks. Losing its “caliphate” deprived it of the allure that brought recruits and the professed allegiance of distant jihadists. No real military mission is left for U.S. troops in Syria. ISIS’ remnants in Syria are unlikely to gather where U.S. military forces patrol. Their prospects are poor.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed a bill into law on Tuesday declaring all U.S. forces in the Middle East terrorists and calling the U.S. government a sponsor of terrorism.

Fierce fighting for control of Libya’s capital that has already displaced tens of thousands of people threatens to bring a further worsening of humanitarian conditions, a UN official warned.

The National Rifle Association’s board unanimously re-elected Wayne LaPierre as its chief executive officer and replaced President Oliver North amid an eruption of public squabbling and a probe into the gun-rights group’s nonprofit status.

Travelers on American, Alaska and JetBlue airlines ran into travel trouble Monday during a brief computer outage, the second in a month.

BBC

The US and China are due to begin a fresh round of talks in Beijing on Tuesday as they edge closer to resolving their damaging trade dispute.

French courts have handed down 447 fines in the past eight months under new laws to tackle street harassment of women. The “outrages sexists” law was passed in August 2018, and allows for on-the-spot fines of up to €750 (£650).

WND

A valedictorian at the leading Mormon academic institution, Brigham Young University, announced during his graduation speech he is a “gay son of God.”

A dispute over donated T-shirts sporting a Bible verse that basketball players wore during warm-ups at a New Mexico high school has come to an end with the head coach resigning. Todd Starnes reported the coach allowed his players to wear the donated shirts inscribed with “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” which is taken from Philippians 4:13 in the New Testament.

Gun Owners of California issued a dire warning this week about “pre-crime” legislation to prohibit people likely to commit a crime from owning a gun.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 30, 2019

The Foundation

“The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” —James Madison (1788)

Blacklisting the NRA — And the Second Amendment

The external challenges to the NRA come in a week when the organization was facing internal strife.


While Economy Roars, Leftists Aim for Recession

GDP grew 3.2% in the first quarter, but media polling is driving the narrative.


Deputy AG Rosenstein Resigns Following Rocky Tenure

The often-attacked deputy AG ends his tenure at the DOJ on a strong note.


Grassley to Trump: Drop Tariffs or the Trade Deal Gets It

The senator is largely right on the merits, but the president is invested in his strategy.


Canada Silences Father of Gender Dysphoric Daughter

Judge orders him not to speak against his teen daughter’s decision to seek hormone treatment.


Three Black Men, a White Widow, and BBQ

“We can show the world that it’s all right to be kind.” The quartet had dinner together.


Video: Media Blames Synagogue Attack on Trump

A montage of leftist talkingheads blaming the president for anti-Semitic violence.


Video: Who Are the Racists?

Conservatives are accused of racism by the left on a daily basis. What’s going on?



Today’s Opinion

Tony Perkins
Legal Infanticide: Biggest Mistake Ever
Dennis Prager
Why Most Jews Aren’t Bothered by the Times’ Anti-Semitic Cartoon
Rich Lowry
The 8chan Terrorists
Cal Thomas
The Democrats’ Economy Problem
Stephen Moore
The Carbon Tax Fantasy
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Tuesday Top News Executive Summary

Trump’s subpoena countermove, asylum overhaul, Beto’s green new deal, infrastructure, and more.


Tuesday Short Cuts

“We have … seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel.” —Ron Dermer



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 – 4/30/2019

Congo Ebola cases hit record for most reported in single day
Health experts are expressing growing alarm about the number of people sickened with the Ebola virus who are never reaching treatment centers, allowing the disease to spread to caregivers and countless others. Monday set a new record in this outbreak of 27 confirmed cases in a single day, Congo’s health ministry said. Over the past four days 93 cases had been confirmed.

Demons in the Halls of Congress
The subversives in Congress continue their mayhem. When Keith Ellison was elected to the House from Minnesota’s 5th district in 2006, he became the first Muslim in Congress. Since then, Barack Obama has helped push this forward by allowing tons of Somali immigrants into that Minnesota district, and the result has been the election of the anti-Semite Ilhan Omar. Her outrageous statements about Israel include that the Jewish state “hypnotizes” other nations. This is classic anti-Semitic garbage. Her hatred of Israel is truly over-the-top.

Out of the Ashes: Clash of Civilizations Could Summon New World Religion
Rockefeller-backed Federal Council of Churches pushed “World government”, “Universal system of money” and “Worldwide freedom of immigration” in 1942. The council was told by Dr. William Paton, co-secretary of the World Council of Churches, that “Collectivism is coming, whether we like it or not“ For those paying attention, there is a discernible pattern of social engineering that is directed at the major world religions, particularly Christianity. This is undoubtedly a very complex issue, as there are numerous belief systems and nuanced views of millions of people. What we know is that globalist financed wars and revolutions have fueled illegal immigration and stoked flames of conflict all over the world.

Iran Threatens to Shutter Straits of Hormuz Shipping Route
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping route, in response to U.S. sanctions on the regime, which he labeled as “hostility,” reported the semi-official ISNA news agency. Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah expressed alarm over Bagheri’s remarks. “We are looking at these threats with concern, and hoping as always to distance our region from this tension,” he said, reported the Kuwait News Agency.

US vows to track down remaining ISIS leaders
The US-led coalition against the group will fight across the world to “ensure an enduring defeat of these terrorists and that any leaders who remain are delivered the justice that they deserve,” a State Department spokesman said,

Elections are over; now Israelis notice the Palestinian Authority is collapsing
The outgoing government voted to withhold tax revenues from the Palestinians, in the sum of stipends to families of convicted or killed terrorists; pay cuts to security forces bring frustration; Hamas is making the most of it and in Israel – some are looking for a way out.

Limbaugh: Dems ‘starting to wake up to reality
‘It’s a slow-motion explosion right in front of ’em heading their way’ “I don’t think they can become fully woke, but they’re starting to wake up to reality,” he said. “That the Mueller report was a bomb, the Mueller report was a dud, and that they are not prepared to deal with Trump on any issue of substance. “They put every weapon they have in that Mueller report, in Trump-Russia collusion, and they are slowly awakening to the fact that it has bombed out on them,” he said.

Wealthy Elites Freak Out As Homeless Hordes Take Over West Coast Neighborhoods
For example, let’s talk about what is going on in Los Angeles. No city on the west coast has a bigger problem with homelessness than L.A. does, and many in the homeless population enjoy camping out on the beautiful beaches in the L.A. area at night. But of course many of the elite that paid millions of dollars for beachfront property are not too thrilled about this. Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten was a key symbol of anti-establishment rebellion in the 1970s, but now he is freaking out because homeless people are making life very difficult for him and his wife in Venice Beach, and what he recently told Newsweek’s Paula Froelich is making headlines all over the nation…So how bad will things get when the economy really starts going downhill?

Presidential Candidate: I Cannot Help Myself, I Was Born This way! It’s Gods Fault – Blasphemy!
I am here speaking of self-professed sodomite Christian (No such thing -The Lord and the Devil are not united) Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is unabashedly and unashamedly running for the President of the United States of America. You see, Pete is one that has taken part in what no man has ever in the history of mankind has, in daring the justice of God. They resort to “we were born this way, and we cannot help ourselves, it is Gods fault.”

Army vet-turned jihadi arrested for mass ISIS terror bomb plot in Calif.
The FBI was tipped off to Domingo’s actions when they discovered his online postings where he shared his loyalty to ISIS, his willingness to commit jihad, and called for revenge for the mosque attacks. “America needs another vegas event …[to] give them a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world,” Domingo wrote of the Oct. 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Will Sign Bill Banning Abortions When Baby’s Heartbeat Begins
Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina promised Thursday to sign a bill banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Following the lead of Georgia and other states, the South Carolina House passed the bill Wednesday in a 70-31 vote.

‘The moment is now’: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido leads military uprising
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has taken to the streets with detained activist Leopoldo Lopez and a small contingent of heavily armed soldiers in a military uprising. “This is the moment of all Venezuelans, those in uniform and those who aren’t,” said Lopez in his first public appearance since being detained in 2014 for leading anti-government protests. “Everyone should come to the streets, in peace.”

IDF reduces Gaza fishing zone after rocket from Palestinian Islamic Jihad
The IDF will reduce the fishing zone around the Gaza Strip to six nautical miles on Tuesday following the launch of a missile by Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Monday night , the military announced. According to IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) launched from the al-Attra neighborhood of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza Strip towards into the Mediterranean sea.

Iran seeks way around US sanctions with non-dollar trade
Iran’s Ambassador to London attended a recent meeting where he discussed the use of Europe’s Instrument for Trade and Exchanges (INSTEX) to continue trade despite US sanctions. In the works since the US walked away from the JCPOA Iran Deal, the concept was created by Germany, France and the UK in January. Iranian state media now says INSTEX is ready to conduct transactions.

Rare snowstorm hits Chicago, breaking 109-year-old snow record
An unusually strong late-season snowstorm hit parts of United States on April 27 and 28, 2019, dropping heavy snow and causing hundreds of flights to be canceled.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster Will Sign Bill Banning Abortions When Baby’s Heartbeat Begins
Pro-life Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina promised Thursday to sign a bill banning abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.

Black Monday: South African Farmers Demonstrate Outside U.S. Embassy to Bring Awareness on Epidemic of Farm Attacks and Murder
South Africans demonstrated outside the U.S. embassy in Pretoria Monday, April 29th to raise awareness of the epidemic of farm attacks and murders. There were 13 farm attacks and 3 gruesome murders over the Easter weekend alone.

Adolf Hitler’s Inspiration For The Concentration Camps Was Henry Ford, His Auto Assembly Line, And His Shared Hatred Of The Jewish People
Now imagine, if you can, that you are the person that inspired Adolf Hitler to conceive and then carry this plan out. Can’t do it? I don’t blame you, I can’t either. But American automaker, Ford founder Henry Ford was that inspiration for Hitler. How can this be, you say? It happened because Henry Ford, millionaire industrialist, was also a rabid Jew-hater, and started a newspaper to spread his peculiar brand of antisemitism to the world at large.

NASA Prepares For “Asteroid Apocalypse” With “Planetary Defense” Simulation
NASA is going to be using a simulation of an “asteroid apocalypse” in order to help the space agency prepare for the cataclysmic event. And they are taking it seriously, as disaster planners from FEMA will join NASA for a dress rehearsal of doomsday.

Mexico to Deport 186 Central American Migrants from Shelters near Texas
Mexican authorities began the removal of 186 Central American migrants, including women and children, from this border city. The migrants were sent to Mexico City to board flights to their respective home countries.

The Weather Channel Faces a Storm of Its Own
On April 18, 2019, an unknown ransomware variant knocked The Weather Channel off the air. Fortunately, the interruption time was minimal, totaling approximately 99 minutes. While services were offline, the network played a prerecorded program until they were able to restore their systems.

“Massive” Herpes Outbreak Reported At Coachella Music Festival
People attending the Coachella Music Festival this year are picking up much more than “good vibes” – they are also picking up herpes. According to the herpes tracking app “HerpAlert” there has been a massive outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease in California which is believed to be associated with the Coachella Music Festival.

Sri Lanka Bans Burka for ‘National Security’ Following Easter Sunday Bombings
In the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings, which left hundreds dead after Islamic terrorists targetted Christian worshippers, Sri Lanka has banned all “face coverings” – including burkas and veils – for “national security” reasons, according to reports.

All You Need To Know About The US Measles Outbreak
The United States has recorded a whopping 695 cases of measles in 22 states, its largest outbreak since public health officials in 2000 declared the disease “eradicated” apparently rather prematurely.

Annihilation of Christian Life and People: Where is the Outrage in the West?
Islamic extremists have seen that the West has not mobilized to prevent them from repressing Christians, as if unconsciously there were a strange convergence between our silence and the ethnic cleansing project of the Islamic State, aimed at erasing Christians.

Combat Vet Who Stopped The Synagogue Shooter: ‘I Scared The Hell Out Of Him’
The man who fired a semi-automatic weapon inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego on Saturday froze, dropped his gun and sprinted to his car when he saw Oscar Stewart come barreling toward him, yelling so loud the priest at a neighboring church could hear.


Headlines – 4/30/2019

PA: Form coalition against the ‘Deal of the Century’

How tech is bringing Israelis and Palestinians together

Palestinians Continue to Reject All Israeli-collected Tax Funds, Warn of Economy’s Collapse

Rocket Launched From Gaza Falls in Israel’s Territorial Waters

After cartoon uproar, Israel’s US envoy calls NY Times a ‘cesspool of hostility’

New York Times Prints Another Anti-Israel Cartoon Amid Antisemitism Scandal Rocking Newspaper

UN chief demands that the world step up to stamp out hatred

ISIS leader Baghdadi makes first video appearance in 5 years, emphasizes group’s global reach

US: ISIS leaders to be ‘delivered justice’ after al-baghdadi videotape

Baghdadi is back, but can he salvage ISIS?

Iran says US sanctions on its oil industry will damage market stability

Iranian general: We won’t talk to US under pressure of sanctions

Can Iran close the Strait of Hormuz? Tehran threatens to shut off waterway to one of the world’s most important shipping channels

Sudan’s military, opposition discuss powers of joint council, say sources

Mattis ignored orders from Trump, White House on North Korea, Iran: report

FBI Says It Thwarted Planned ‘Mass Murder’ Terror Attack by War Veteran in Los Angeles

US army vet accused of plotting terror attacks on Nazis, Jews in California

France says it has foiled terrorist act, suspects held in custody

Rod Rosenstein, U.S. deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller, submits resignation

AG William Barr is poised to face grilling over report

Pelosi: Trump obstructing justice ‘on a daily basis’ amid standoff over Barr testimony

Trump team sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One to keep them from turning over financial records to Congress

Trump’s lack of cooperation with Congress sparks impeachment push in House

Tech Lobbyists Push to Defang California’s Landmark Privacy Law

Melting Snow May Have Caused Earthquakes in Mammoth Lakes Area, Research Shows

6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Carlsberg Ridge

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Tual, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tinogasta, Argentina

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

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

UN gives Mozambique $13 million for Cyclone Kenneth damage

Massive floods hit Ottawa – breaking all-time high water records, Canada

Pakistan suspends polio vaccine drive after health worker attacks

Surge in US measles cases leads to extraordinary measures

Measles Scare Delays Flight to NYC; JetBlue Accused of Profiling Orthodox Boy

Fight Over Religious Exemption For Vaccinations Heats Up in Albany

Our antibiotics are no match for superbugs, and it’s a ‘global crisis,’ UN report says

United Methodist Court Upholds Ban on LGBTQ Clergy, Same Sex Marriage


Apostasy Watch Daily News

ike Ratliff – The sword that divides

Social Justice and Biblical Christianity Are Incompatible: Here’s Why, Part 2

Jesus teach me Yoga – Bethel’s holy yoga

XXXchurch Pastor Craig Gross promotes ‘Christian Cannabis,’ says weed makes it easier to worship

Hocus Misfocus: How False Teachers Make Errors Appear Respectable, Safe, and True

Pope Francis Sends Money to Help Support Migrant Caravans Trying to Enter the U.S.


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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 30 Recipients of His Riches

Scripture reading: Ephesians 3:14–21

Key verse: Romans 9:23

That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory.

The apostle Paul wrote the book of Ephesians as a practical guide to the Christian life. It provides rich insight into our position in Christ, the advantages of that relationship, and instructions for protecting ourselves from the enemy’s snares.

However, Paul knew that some of the enemy’s ploys would leak through to engage us in a spiritual battle. A much-used subtlety of Satan is to blind us to the truth of God concerning our heritage in Christ and the riches He has stored up for us.

Paul’s purpose in writing to the Ephesians was to get them to grasp the truth of their position in Christ. He knew once they understood their relationship to God through Jesus Christ, they would begin to live in the power that was theirs through the Holy Spirit. God never meant for us to limp along as wounded Christians struggling to gain victory in life.

The world is in constant competition for wealth and riches in hopes of finding purpose and true meaning. God deposited the unfathomable riches of heaven to your account the moment you placed your trust in His Son. Ask Him to help you claim all He has for you today.

Father, thank You for the unfathomable riches of heaven that You have deposited into my account. I want to claim all You have for me today![1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 125). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

April 30, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

3. And many people shall go. In the former verse he had slightly noticed the reason why Mount Zion would hold so high a rank. It was because all nations would flow to it, as if the rivers were overflowing through the great abundance of waters. He now makes the same statement, and assigns the reason; for it might be asked why various nations flocked to it in crowds from distant lands. He says, therefore, that the desire of serving God was their motive.

The word רבים, (rabbim,) many, implies a contrast; for it means that there will not be, as formerly, but one nation which devotes itself to the worship of the true God, but that those who formerly were strangers and foreigners (Eph. 2:19) will come into the same agreement with them about religion; as if he had said that the Church, which had formerly been, as it were, shut up in a corner, would now be collected from every quarter. By the word many he meant various; for unquestionably he did not intend to weaken the force of what he had said a little before about all nations. Now, though this was never fulfilled, that the nations of the whole world, each of them leaving their native country, made a journey into Judea; yet, because the doctrine of the gospel, by which God hath gathered to himself a Church indiscriminately out of all nations, proceeded from Mount Zion, he justly says that they will come to it who having, with one consent of faith, embraced the covenant of eternal salvation, have been united into one Church. We must also observe the harmony between the figures of the law and that spiritual worship which began to be introduced at the coming of Christ.

And shall say, Come. By these words he first declares that the godly will be filled with such an ardent desire to spread the doctrines of religion, that every one not satisfied with his own calling and his personal knowledge will desire to draw others along with him. And indeed nothing could be more inconsistent with the nature of faith than that deadness which would lead a man to disregard his brethren, and to keep the light of knowledge choked up within his own breast. The greater the eminence above others which any man has received from his calling, so much the more diligently ought he to labour to enlighten others.

This points out to us also the ordinary method of collecting a Church, which is, by the outward voice of men; for though God might bring each person to himself by a secret influence, yet he employs the agency of men, that he may awaken in them an anxiety about the salvation of each other. By this method he likewise strengthens their mutual attachment, and puts to the test their willingness to receive instruction, when every one permits himself to be taught by others.

Next Isaiah shows that those who take upon them the office of teaching and exhorting should not sit down and command others, but should join and walk along with them as companions; as we see that some men are very severe instructors, and eager to urge others forward, who yet do not move a step. But here believers, instead of addressing to their brethren the command, Go up, rather lead the way by their own example. This is the true method, therefore, of profitable teaching, when, by actually performing what we demand, we make it evident that we speak with sincerity and earnestness.

And he will teach us in his ways. He shows, first, that God cannot be worshipped aright until we have been enlightened by doctrine; and, secondly, that God is the only teacher of the Church, on whose lips we ought to hang. Hence it follows that nothing is less acceptable to God than certain foolish and erring services which men call devotion; and likewise, that though he employs the agency of men in teaching, still he reserves this as his own right, that they must utter nothing but his word. Had this rule been followed by those who called themselves teachers of the Church, religion would not have been so shamefully corrupted by a wide and confused diversity of superstitions. Nor is it possible that we shall not be carried away into various errors, where we are tossed about by the opinions of men. Justly, therefore, does Isaiah, when he claims for God alone the power and authority to teach the Church, shut the mouths of all mortals; so that the office of teaching is committed to pastors for no other purpose than that God alone may be heard there. Let those who wish to be reckoned ministers of Christ allow themselves to be regulated by this statement, that they may take nothing away from his authority.

The Hebrew words ויורנו מדרכיו (vĕyorēnū midderāchāiv) may be literally rendered, he will teach us of his ways; which means, “He will show us what his ways are,” or, he will set before us his ways for a perfect instruction.

Next he adds obedience, we will walk in his paths; by which he points out both the object and the result; for the instruction which is delivered to us from the mouth of the Lord is not mere speculation, but directs the course of our life, and leads us to obey him. But we ought also to observe, that the commandments of God are called ways and paths, in order to inform us that they go miserably astray who turn aside from them in the smallest degree. Thus every kind of unlawful liberty is restrained, and all men, from the least even to the greatest, are enjoined to observe this rule of obedience, that they keep themselves within the limits of the word of God.

For out of Zion shall go forth the law. This is an explanation of the former verse, in which he said that Mount Zion will be placed above all mountains; that is, that she will be raised to the highest pitch of honour, when she shall become the fountain of saving doctrine, which shall flow out over the whole world. He calls it the law; but we have elsewhere spoken of the derivation and meaning of this word; for תורה (tōrāh) means instruction, and the most complete of all kinds of instruction is contained in the law. He speaks, therefore, after the manner of the prophets; for since the rule of godliness was to be obtained from the law, they were wont, by a figure of speech, (synecdoche,) in which a part is taken for the whole, to include under the word law all the instruction which God has given; just as under the word altar they include the whole worship of God.

Now, since we know that this prediction was fulfilled, when the preaching of the gospel began at that very place, (for Christ first taught at Jerusalem, and afterwards his doctrine was spread throughout the whole world,) we must not take the word law in a limited sense; for at that time, as to its figures and bondage, it was rather abolished. (Luke 2:46; Mark 16:15; Ezek. 47:1; Luke 24:47.) Hence we conclude that the term is applied, without limitation, to the word of God. And when the prophets say that waters will spring out of the temple to water the whole world, (Ezek. 47:1,) they express metaphorically what Isaiah lays down in plain language; namely, that the source of saving doctrine will be from that place; for out of it the apostles and other teachers spread the gospel through the whole world.

We must observe the reason why the Prophet made these statements. It was, that he might fortify the godly against various changes, which otherwise, on manifold occasions, might have crushed their minds; and therefore it was of great importance to provide against offences, and to fortify the minds of the godly. “Whatever may be the condition of your affairs, and though you should be oppressed by afflictions on all sides, still continue to cherish this assured hope, that the law will go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; for this is an infallible decree of God, which no diversity or change of events will make void.”

How much the godly needed this consolation may be easily inferred from the course of events which immediately followed; for when Judea had been forsaken, the temple destroyed, the worship of God overturned, and the comely order of the Church utterly defaced, while tyranny became more and more oppressive, it was natural that their minds should be discouraged, and that all hope should be thrown away. On the other hand, after the return of the Jews from Babylon, when dreadful superstitions gradually obtained prevalence, and the priests, instead of discharging their office in a lawful manner, grasped at wicked tyranny, what else could have occurred to the minds of the godly than that religion had fallen into neglect, and that the worship of God was entirely laid aside, if they had not been supported by this promise? For there can be no doubt that this temptation, which arose out of internal vices, was more injurious than their banishment into Babylon. So long as they were exiles, they had at least prophets, by whose instruction they were encouraged; but in that state of corruption the good effect of instruction had been lost, and no regard was paid to religion or godliness. But by the aid of this prediction alone the Lord granted to them the support which they needed. For why had the law, which God appeared to have consecrated for himself in his own habitation, been thrown down and basely trampled under foot? Who, then, would have thought not only that it would have a place there, but that it would also reign in all foreign places, and in the most distant regions? On the other hand, the Prophet declares not only that the law will remain in its place, but that it will travel further; by which he means that it will not be confined within its former boundaries, for it will be proclaimed to the Gentiles without distinction.

And undoubtedly this had very great authority and weight with the Apostles, when they knew that they were appointed to perform those things which are here promised. Otherwise they would never have had courage enough to venture to undertake the office, and, in short, would not have been able to endure the burden, especially when the whole world furiously opposed them. But they knew that he by whom this had been promised, and from whom they had received authority to deliver this message, would easily remove every obstacle. It ought also to be observed that we obtain from it a strong confirmation of our faith, when we learn that the doctrine of the gospel came forth out of Zion; because we thence conclude that it is not new, or lately sprung up, but that it is the eternal truth of God, of which a testimony had been given in all ages before it was brought to light.

We also infer that it was necessary that all the ancient ceremonies should be abolished, and that a new form of teaching should be introduced, though the substance of the doctrine continue to be the same; for the law formerly proceeded out of Mount Sinai, (Exod. 19:20,) but now it proceeded out of Zion, and therefore it assumed a new form. Two things, therefore, must be observed; first, that the doctrine of God is the same, and always agrees with itself; that no one may charge God with changeableness, as if he were inconsistent; and though the law of the Lord be now the same that it ever was, yet it came out of Zion with a new garment; secondly, when ceremonies and shadows had been abolished, Christ was revealed, in whom the reality of them is perceived.[1]


2:3 By quoting the people’s words, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, Isaiah vividly depicts their regenerated hearts, since the unregenerate do not seek God (Rom. 3:11). In OT times, only Israel went up to Mount Zion. But in the kingdom age, all nations go up to the glorious temple. Today the Lord Jesus has authority over all nations and gives eternal life to those who trust in Him (Matt. 28:18–20; John 17:2). When the fullness of the Gentiles has come in during this present age (Rom. 11:1–17), the literal dimensions of this present passage will be fulfilled. Then Israel will be grafted in again, and then the nations will come to Zion. Then the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, as King of the earth, will flow from Jerusalem as a beautiful, life-giving nectar.[2]


2:3 — “ … He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths .… ”

God designed a life of faith to be a community affair. He teaches us His ways, so that we can walk in His paths. If you’re trying to go it alone in your faith, you’ll never grow as God wants you to.[3]


2:3 mountain of the Lord. Isaiah frequently calls Mt. Zion the “holy mountain” (11:9; 27:13; 56:7; 57:13; 65:11, 25; 66:20).[4]


2:3 out of Zion. Out of Zion alone; the Gentiles will abandon all other religions for the true God.[5]


2:3 may he teach us part of his ways Judah has turned away from God’s teaching, but one day all the nations will seek it eagerly.

The Hebrew word for “teach” is a verbal form of the word “Torah,” meaning “law” or “instruction.” The book of Proverbs teaches that right living comes from following God’s ways or moral and ethical principles for living (Prov 3:6; 20:24).

instruction shall go out from Zion Divine decrees originated on God’s holy mountain. Similarly, Canaanite mythology has Baal issuing decrees from Mount Zaphon. See note on Isa 1:8; note on v. 2.[6]


2:3 let us go. They encourage one another to worship God from regenerate hearts (John 3:3–8).

out of Zion. The prophet proclaims the new era in which Jews and Gentiles will serve one King (11:10–12; 27:13; 56:3–8; 66:19–23). Zion, or Jerusalem, stands for God’s throne (1:8 note).[7]


2:3 The “law” here is not the ritual or ceremonial law, but God’s design for righteousness.[8]


2:3 The vision anticipates a day when not only Israel but all the nations will stream toward this mountain that represents the presence of God on earth. God had promised Abraham that he would bless the nations through his descendants (Gn 12:1–3). Today the church is composed of people from many different nations who have aligned themselves with God through faith in Christ, thus fulfilling this vision in at least a preliminary way.[9]


[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 1, pp. 93–98). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 808). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[3] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Is 2:3). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 2:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1243). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 2:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[7] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 953). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[8] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 2:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1044). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

April 30 Living the Crucified Life

scripture reading: Romans 7:5–25
key verse: Romans 7:6

Now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Before salvation, you were captive to the sin of envy—wanting what you could not have, desiring what others had. After salvation, you still experience the same problem, but you are all the more miserable because you realize God condemns the sin of covetousness.

The path to victory lies in the purpose and work of the Cross. Because you were crucified with Christ, you are no longer enslaved to sin. Envy has no claim on your new life lived in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

You have been raised with Christ—made a partaker of His resurrection power. By faith in what God accomplished by the Cross, you can put on the new person—alive to God, filled with the Spirit, made in the image of God.

Living the crucified life is a bold act of faith. You may feel envious and be mentally assaulted by it. But now with Christ in you and you in Christ, you have a new source of power to cope with the problem. You can overcome; you can conquer; you can be content.

It is supernatural living—to be experienced, not understood—as you choose to present yourself and your affections to Christ each day as one alive from the dead.

Jealousy and envy have no place in my new life, Lord. Make me content. I want to live the crucified life.[1]


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

30 april (preached 29 april 1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The beginning, increase, and end of the divine life

“Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” Job 8:7

suggested further reading: 2 Corinthians 13:5–9

If thou art saved—though the date be erased—yet do thou rejoice and triumph evermore in the Lord thy God. True, there are some of us who can remember the precise spot where we first found the Saviour. The day will never be forgotten when these eyes looked to the cross of Christ and found their tears all wiped away. But thousands in the fold of Jesus know not when they were brought in; be it enough for them to know they are there. Let them feed upon the pasture, let them lie down beside the still waters, for whether they came by night or by day they did not come at a forbidden hour. Whether they came in youth or in old age, it matters not; all times are acceptable with God, “and whosoever cometh,” come he when he may, “he will in no wise cast out.” Does it not strike you as being very foolish reasoning if you should say in your heart, “I am not converted because I do not know when?” Nay, with such reasoning as that, I could prove that old Rome was never built, because the precise date of her building is unknown; nay, we might declare that the world was never made, for its exact age even the geologist cannot tell us. We might prove that Jesus Christ himself never died, for the precise date on which he expired on the tree is lost beyond recovery; nor doth it signify much to us. We know the world was made, we know that Christ did die, and so you—if you are now reconciled to God, if now your trembling arms are cast around that cross, you too are saved—though the beginning was so small that you cannot tell when it was. Indeed, in living things, it is hard to put the finger upon the beginning.

for meditation: An ongoing Christ-experience in the present without a crisis experience in the past is far more valid than an isolated crisis experience in the past without the evidence of an ongoing Christ-experience in the present.

sermon no. 311[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 127). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

30 APRIL 365 Days with Calvin

Obeying at All Cost

Then they said to Jeremiah, The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God. Jeremiah 42:5–6

suggested further reading: Hebrews 11:1–10

Jeremiah acts as a kind of mediator here, addressing the people in God’s name as though he has been sent from heaven. The people respond by saying they will do whatever God commands. They say even more emphatically: Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God.

In saying this, the people do not suggest that God’s word is wrong or in any way unjust; rather, they use the word good in the sense of being joyful, and evil as being sad or grievous. They ask for nothing more than that God will declare to them what pleases him, to which they will be so submissive that they will refuse him nothing, even if it is contrary to the flesh.

If this declaration proceeds from the heart, it is a testimony of true piety; for the minds of the godly ought so to be framed as to obey God without making any exception, whether he commands what is contrary to their purpose or leads them where they do not wish to go. By contrast, those who wish to make an agreement with God, saying he should require nothing but what is agreeable to them, show that they do not know what it means to serve God.

True obedience of faith requires that we renounce our desires and do not set up our own arguments and wishes against the Word of God. We do not object to what God requires of us, saying it is too hard or not quite agreeable to us. So whether it is good or evil, meaning agreeable to or contrary to the feelings of the flesh, we ought to embrace what God requires and commands. This is the foundational measure of true religion.

for meditation: When God commands us to do something unpleasant, we often try to excuse ourselves from that particular duty, demonstrating the insincerity of our promise. Let us instead strive for the obedience of faith that Calvin talks about and renounce our selfish thoughts.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 139). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Brannon Howse: April 29, 2019 | Worldview Weekend

Guest: Jim Simpson. Topic: Another shooting at a Jewish synagogue and this time it is in San Diego. Topic: Jim joins us today to discuss a new paper he has written for the Center For Security Policy regarding the war on those that speak truth. Topic: Jim explains the connection between Putin of Russia and the groups working to silence conservatives. Topic: We take your calls.   

Download File Here

— Read on www.worldviewweekend.com/radio/audio/brannon-howse-april-29-2019

Tuesday Briefing April 30, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Synagogue shooting in Poway, California: Understanding the evil of Anti-Semitism and the history of Chabad Judaism

PART II

 How the statement from the parents of the synagogue shooting suspect reveals the danger of curiosity in the information age

PART III

 The inerrancy of Scripture is rejected in the USA Today because of the moral revolution: Why Christians must believe that Scripture alone is the final authority for the church

DOWNLOAD MP3

ADDITIONAL READING

PART II

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 Parents say synagogue suspect is part of ‘history of evil’, by Amy Taxin, Christopher Weber, and Michael Balsamo

PART III

— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/04/30/briefing-4-30-19

Peter Schiff Talks Oil And Inflation (Video) | Seeking Alpha

Summary
  • Peter Schiff speaks about rising oil prices, how they relate to inflation and what it could mean for the US economy.
  • He said putting the squeeze on Iranian oil will help other producers such as Saudi Arabia, but ultimately, the US economy will suffer.
  • Peter also said that US policy toward Iran could anger the rest of the world.
  • He pointed out that one of the things that give the US dollar value is the fact that oil-exporting nations price crude in dollars.

By SchiffGold

Peter Schiff recently appeared on RT to talk about rising oil prices, how they relate to inflation and what it could mean for the US economy.

President Trump has been pushing to limit Iranian oil exports as much as possible. Peter said the president needs to get his priorities straight. On the one hand, Trump has complained about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. But one of the main reasons the Fed has given for the “Powell Pause” is that low oil prices have kept inflationary pressures low. Meanwhile, oil prices have risen some 40% since the last time the central bank nudged rates up.

If prices keep rising, they may run out of excuses.”

Peter said putting the squeeze on Iranian oil will help other producers such as Saudi Arabia, but ultimately, the US economy will suffer.

Americans are going to be paying higher prices for their oil. It’s also going to affect the reported rates of inflation because you’ve got prices in headline CPI. You look at the retail sales numbers we just got and the strongest part of it was gasoline because consumers are paying higher prices for gas. Gas prices are going to continue to rise. In fact, if we rise by one more dollar, oil prices will be higher than all but one of the last Fed rate hikes. And in fact, we don’t have much further to go from here for the price of oil to be higher than it was every single time the Fed had raised rates in the past. So, this is going to add additional downward pressure to the US economy while putting upward pressure on the measured rates of inflation, and maybe putting more pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates, which is the last thing Trump wants the Fed to do.”

Peter also said that US policy toward Iran could anger the rest of the world. Other countries don’t like the US telling them whom they can do business with and whom they can’t.

The only reason the US wields this power is because the dollar is the reserve currency and we threaten to cut off access to US dollars in the banking system if other countries don’t do what we say. But these other countries have less motivation to continue this standard.”

Countries like Russia and China have been seeking to minimize their exposure to the US dollar by buying gold. And the EU has even taken steps to minimize the ability of the US to use the dollar as a foreign policy weapon. In September 2018, the EU announced plans to develop a special payment channel to circumvent US economic sanctions and facilitate trade with Iran.

Peter pointed out that one of the things that give the US dollar value is the fact that oil-exporting nations price crude in dollars.

To the extent that we piss them off and they start pricing oil in another currency, or pricing it in gold or something like that, it further weakens the demand for the dollar. And this is coming at a time when we are more dependent than ever on the rest of the world. We are running larger budget deficits than ever in our history. We are running larger trade deficits than ever in our history. And we’re not even in a recession yet, at least technically. So, during this next recession, we are going to be off the charts in the amount of money we’re borrowing from the rest of the world and therefore more dependent than ever on their charity. And this is not a time to be poking that hornet’s nest by reminding them of how much power they’re giving us by agreeing to accept the dollar as a reserve currency and agreeing to price oil in dollars.”

He said Trump will make excuses about why the price of oil is going up to deflect blame. In fact, prices are going up anyway. The restrictions on Iranian imports will just exacerbate that. But Peter said the real problems will start when the dollar finally starts heading lower.

The only thing that was propping up the US dollar over the last several years was the false belief that the Fed was going to be able to normalize interest rates and shrink their balance sheet. Well, the Fed has now admitted they’re not going to do either. So, all of the props that were underlying the dollar have been knocked out, yet the dollar is still up there. It hasn’t collapsed yet. But I think it will when the market recognizes the significance of what happened. And that just going to add more upward to an oil market that’s already going up.”

Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.
— Read on seekingalpha.com/article/4257914-peter-schiff-talks-oil-inflation-video

April 30, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

5:48 — “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

The only way to be “perfect” as the Father is “perfect” is to be clothed, through faith, with the righteousness of Christ. This is necessary, for without holiness “no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).[1]


Be Like Your Heavenly Father

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (5:48)

The sum of all that Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount—in fact, the sum of all He teaches in Scripture—is in those words. The great purpose of salvation, the goal of the gospel, and the great yearning of the heart of God is for all men to become like Him.

Teleios (perfect) basically means to reach an intended end or a completion and is often translated “mature” (1 Cor. 2:6; 14:20; Eph. 4:13; etc.). But the meaning here is obviously that of perfection, because the heavenly Father is the standard. The “sons of [the] Father” (v. 45) are to be perfect, as [their] heavenly Father is perfect. That perfection is absolute perfection.

That perfection is also utterly impossible in man’s own power. To those who wonder how Jesus can demand the impossible, He later says, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). That which God demands, He provides the power to accomplish. Man’s own righteousness is possible, but is so imperfect that it is worthless; God’s righteousness is impossible for the very reason that it is perfect. But the impossible righteousness becomes possible for those who trust in Jesus Christ, because He gives them His righteousness.

That is precisely our Lord’s point in all these illustrations and in the whole sermon—to lead His audience to an overpowering sense of spiritual bankruptcy, to a “beatitude attitude” that shows them their need of a Savior, an enabler who alone can empower them to meet God’s standard of perfection.[2]


Perfecting the Saints

Matthew 5:48

At an early point in the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus Christ taught that if a man is to enter heaven he must possess a greater measure of righteousness than the righteousness possessed by the scribes and the Pharisees, the most religious and respected men of his day. As he taught this doctrine a person might easily have said, “You teach that a man can enter heaven only if his righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. All right, then, how much in excess of their righteousness must the saved man’s righteousness be? If the Pharisees can be credited with having attained seventy or seventy-five percent of the standard, what must our goodness be? Is seventy-six percent sufficient? Or is eighty percent necessary? How good must a saved person be?”

To these questions Jesus now answers with a statement that is devastating to all human attempts to earn heaven, a statement that is meant to turn men to God’s grace and away from all man-made attempts at salvation. Jesus said, in summary of all his previous teaching, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

I believe that this verse is the most important verse in the Sermon on the Mount. It is the climax of the first of the Sermon’s three chapters, and it is the midpoint, the pinnacle, from which much of the later teaching follows. I believe that if you understand this verse, you understand the essence of all that Jesus Christ is teaching. And, what is more, you understand the heart of the Christian gospel and of the Bible generally.

Perfection

What does it mean, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”? What is perfection? The first and the best way to answer this question is by studying the words that are translated “perfection” in the Old and New Testaments.

The first word is tam or tamim. It means to be entirely “without defect” or “without blemish.” Thus, it is used of the sacrificial animals that were to be without blemish and without spot (Exod. 12:5; 29:1; cf. 1 Peter 1:19; Eph. 5:27). It has a negative connotation. The second word is shalem, which means “whole” or “complete.” This word speaks of perfection in a positive sense. Shalem is related to the common Hebrew greeting shalom (“peace”); it suggests the ideas of security, soundness, and well-being. In the New Testament the major word for perfection is teleios. This word means “complete” as when a ship is fitted out perfectly for sea or a legion of soldiers is equipped in all respects for battle. In the moral realm the word means “blameless.”

When these various definitions of the word are put together they show us that God’s standard for a man is complete and utter moral rectitude. He is to have nothing lacking of all that he should be, and he is to have no blemishes. In short, he is to be as blameless as the Lord Jesus Christ.

When we have said this, however, we have also made it clear that no one lives up to this standard. For all men fall short of such perfection, and in doing so they show themselves to be sinners. That is what sin is. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The verb in that verse is a word taken from the practice of archery, and it refers to the arrows of those who fall short of and therefore miss the target. In other words, if the target were to be set up at one end of a football field and all the archers were to line up at the other end of the field and shoot their arrows, the verb would refer to the shots of all those who did not reach the target. That is what all men have done. God’s standard is a bulls-eye, and no one has ever hit it or ever will. All men fall short. Consequently, no one will ever enter heaven by his own efforts.

“Well, then,” you say, “what is a person to do? What am I to do?” The answer is that you must turn away from your own efforts completely and receive instead the perfection which God has already taken steps to provide for you. Nothing that you will ever do will be perfect. Only what God does is perfect. Hence, if you are to reach the perfection which God requires, it must be as the result of his working for you and in you.

God’s Working

In the course of my preparation for this study as I looked up all the verses in the Bible that speak about perfection, I came across a paragraph that I had never noticed before but which was striking to me, chiefly because it makes this point so succinctly. In the eighteenth Psalm David speaks of perfection twice, once of God’s perfection and once of man’s. The point of the verses it that God is responsible for both kinds. In verse 30 David writes, “As for God, his way is perfect.” Then two verses farther on he adds, “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (v. 32). Who is God? God is the One who is perfect. What does he do? God works to perfect sinful men.

Now, how does he do it? The answer to that question is a tremendous answer because it involves the whole counsel of God. It has several parts. First, God begins by perfecting the record. Second, he works at perfecting us in this life. Third, he perfects us completely in all ways at the moment of our death.

How does God work to perfect the record? And what does that mean anyhow? Well, the background to what that means is to be found in the fact that sin consists in far more than what it does merely to the individual sinner. Sin involves others, and sin is an offense to God’s justice. It cannot be ignored or even simply forgiven. It must be dealt with. Consequently, God the Father sent God the Son to die for the sin of others, bearing sin’s penalty and canceling all claims of justice against the sinner forever. This is the meaning of the cross of Jesus Christ. It is not simply an example, still less a meaningless tragedy. It is the place at which God punished sin and canceled its claims against all those who should believe in Jesus. The author of Hebrews speaks of this aspect of God’s work of perfecting his children when he writes, “Because by one sacrifice he [Christ] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Heb. 10:14).

The second way in which God works to perfect the believer is to begin to perfect him more and more in this life. This too is necessary. It is true that the believer has been perfected forever by his faith in Christ in one sense, but it is equally true that he is far from perfect in another sense. Paul knew this. Thus, when he wrote to the Philippians he wrote of two distinct types of perfection. He said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12). And then, practically in the next breath he added, “All of us who are mature should take such a view of things” (Phil. 3:15). Clearly, although he knew that his record had already been cleared before God on the basis of his faith in Christ, he was aware of the practical work of his being perfected that still lay before him.

Each Christian should also find this to be true in his own experience. When a person first believes in Jesus Christ as Savior, he normally has a great sense of joy and gratitude to God for removing the penalty of his sin, the sin that had previously condemned him. He is thankful. He is liberated. At the same time, however—and quite apart from these things—he is still not much different in terms of his natural inclinations and conduct than he was previously. Before he believed the gospel he was filled with many wrong ideas about who God was and what he was like. He was wrong about himself and about what God required of him. He had bad habits. Now he is saved, but many of these wrong ideas and wrong actions remain. What is to happen? Well, he is to begin to learn that many of these things must change. He is to develop a distaste for sin and a hunger for righteousness. In other words, he is to experience the second aspect of God’s work of perfecting.

This does not mean that the man is getting better and better so that the day will come when he will be able to say that he no longer sins. Some Christians must have said this in John’s day, for he wrote to them, saying, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). It means that the man is becoming more and more ready to turn to God for daily and sometimes hourly forgiveness and cleansing.

It is the old principle of the seesaw in theology. It is the principle that if God is up in theology, man is down; and if man is up, God is down. Both can never be up or down at the same time. Some persons have man up and are always talking about how well man is doing, but then they have a very small God because there is not much need of him if a man can manage so well on his own. Others, the ones who know their Bibles, have man down. Then God is everything, and he becomes increasingly wonderful to them. That is what God wants because he knows that as we get lower he will get higher and we will look to him for the help, strength, and encouragement which we so desperately need.

The final stage of God’s work in perfecting the saints is to perfect them completely in the moment of death. It is this fact that transforms death for Christians. Death is an enemy—even the Bible calls it that. But it is also the portal to that total perfection which we will never know in this life. Paul called death “a gain” (Phil. 1:21), and when he compared the life of eternity to the continuation of this life he said that the first was “better by far” (Phil. 1:23). He knew that death brings the believer into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he knew that it results in the believer’s becoming Christ-like. He becomes like Jesus in holiness, knowledge, love, wisdom, humility, obedience, and all his other perfections.

That is salvation. It is past, present, and future; it touches every aspect of our living.

An Inflexible Purpose

I want to present one more verse on this subject. It is a great verse, for it teaches that God’s purposes in this process which I have been describing are absolutely unshakable and that, therefore, what God has begun in the moment of your salvation he will work to continue without interruption throughout life. The verse is Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” In other words, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God already has begun the work of perfecting you; and because God does not change, his purposes will not change. God never begins a thing that he does not intend to finish.

Do you see what that means? For one thing, it means that no one who has believed in Jesus Christ will ever be lost. Were you the one who was responsible for your becoming a Christian? Not at all! It was God. He called you. He straightened out the record. If there was ever a moment in your life in which you seemed to be seeking God, it was only because he was there beforehand moving you to do it. That is why we sing:

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew

He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;

It was not I that found, O Saviour true;

No, I was found of Thee.

God finds us. God calls us. God perfects us. And God never begins a thing that he does not intend to finish.

Second, it means that you will inevitably become like Jesus. What does the verse say? It says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” What is the “good work”? Well, the answer is not given very clearly here in Philippians, but it is given clearly in Romans 8:28–29. Here Paul speaks of God’s great purpose in calling the Christian, which is “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” God is so delighted with Jesus Christ that he has set the whole course of creation and human history in motion just so he could call out a race of sinful human beings, put his life with them, and transform them to be like his Son. The result is that there will then be millions of “Christs” where there was only one before. This does not mean that we shall become divine, of course. The Bible does not teach that. But we shall be like him. We shall be like the Lord Jesus; and we shall be so inevitably, because it is God himself who does the transforming.

The third thing this verse means is that God will not give up in his purpose of making you become like Jesus Christ, even though you may want him to give up. There are times when you will. The day will come in your Christian experience when you will sin and find that you like it. You will say to yourself, “I think I would just like to keep on sinning this way.” What will happen then? The answer is that God will begin to work on you. He will begin to poke you and to prod you and to whittle you, even to knock you around a bit if necessary, until you get out of your sin and back into the way he has marked out for you.

Moreover, the prodding will get rougher and rougher so long as you persist in your own way. Why? Because God must be true to his nature, and his nature is set against sin. He loves you, but he must lead you aright. He must be true to his own purposes, and his great purpose is to make you become like the Lord Jesus.

As far back as in the Book of Hosea there is a picture of how God did this with the Jewish people in Hosea’s day. The people had been disobedient, and God had been forced to judge them for their sin. Yet he continued to love them. So he says that he is going to come to them like a moth, gently, in order to get them back to himself. He says, “I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah” (Hos. 5:12). However, if Israel will not repent says God, then, “I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them” (v. 14). It is a great principle. God is determined to lead you in righteousness. So when you sin, he will deal gently if he can. But he will also deal roughly when he must. In fact, he will even break your life into little pieces if he is forced to do it.

Oh, Christian, learn this lesson, and do not force God to come to you as a roaring and ravaging lion! Learn to recognize the flutterings of the moth—those slight inconveniences, those little failures, that restlessness, that miscarriage of your plans—that warn you of God’s displeasure at your present course of action and of his desire to turn you back to himself. If you learn that, you will go on from strength to strength, and you will rejoice that he who hath begun a good work in you will keep on perfecting it until the day of Jesus Christ.[3]


48. You shall therefore be perfect. This perfection does not mean equality, but relates solely to resemblance. However distant we are from the perfection of God, we are said to be perfect, as he is perfect, when we aim at the same object, which he presents to us in Himself. Should it be thought preferable, we may state it thus. There is no comparison here made between God and us: but the perfection of God means, first, that free and pure kindness, which is not induced by the expectation of gain;—and, secondly, that remarkable goodness, which contends with the malice and ingratitude of men. This appears more clearly from the words of Luke, Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful: for mercy is contrasted with a mercenary regard, which is founded on private advantage.[4]


Conclusion: the demand for perfection (5:48)

48 Some interpret this verse as the conclusion of the last antithesis (vv. 43–47; e.g., Allen, Hendriksen). In that case the perfection advocated is perfection in love. But “perfection” has far broader associations, and it is better to understand v. 48 as the conclusion to the antitheses.

The word teleios (“perfect,” GK 5455) usually reflects tāmîm (“perfect,” GK 9459) in the OT. It can refer to the soundness of sacrificial animals (Ex 12:5) or to thorough commitment to the Lord and therefore uprightness (Ge 6:9; Dt 18:13; 2 Sa 22:26). The Greek word can be rendered “mature” or “full-grown” (1 Co 14:20; Eph 4:13; Heb 5:14; 6:1). Many judge its force to be nonmoral here in v. 48, which becomes an exhortation to total commitment to God (e.g., Bonnard). But this makes for a fairly flat conclusion of the antitheses.

A better understanding of the verse does justice to the word teleios but also notes that the form of the verse is exactly like Leviticus 19:2, with “holy” displaced by “perfect,” possibly due to the influence of Deuteronomy 18:13 (where the NIV renders LXX teleios by “blameless”; cf. Gundry, Use of the Old Testament, 73–74). Nowhere is God directly and absolutely called “perfect” in the OT: he is perfect in knowledge (Job 37:16) or in his way (Ps 18:30), and a man’s name may be “Yahweh is perfect” (so yôtām [Jotham], Jdg 9:5; 2 Ki 15:32). But here for the first time perfection is predicated of God (cf. L. Sabourin, “Why Is God Called ‘Perfect’ in Matthew 5:48?” BZ 24 [1980]: 266–68).

In the light of the preceding verses (vv. 17–47), Jesus is saying that the true direction in which the law has always pointed is not toward mere judicial restraints, concessions arising out of the hardness of human hearts, still less casuistical perversions, nor even to the law of love (contra C. Dietzfelbinger, “Die Antithesen der Bergpredigt im Verständnis des Matthäus,” ZNW 70 [1979]: 1–15; see comments at 22:34–35). No, it pointed rather to all the perfection of God, exemplified by the authoritative interpretation of the law bound up in the preceding antitheses. This perfection Jesus’ disciples must emulate if they are truly followers of him who fulfills the Law and the Prophets (v. 17).

The Qumran community understood perfection in terms of perfect obedience, as measured exclusively by the teachings of their community (1QS 1:8–9, 13; 2:1–2; 4:22–23; 8:9–10). Jesus has transposed this to a higher key, not by reducing the obedience, but by making the standard the perfect heavenly Father. Ronald A. Ward (Royal Theology [London: MMS, 1964], 117–20) points out that in classical and Hellenistic usage teleios can have a static and a dynamic force, “the one appropriate to One Who does not develop, and the other suitable for men who can grow in grace” (p. 119, emphasis his): “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

The gospel writers refer to God as Father only in contexts pertaining to the Messiah or to believers. He is not the Father of all men but the Father of Jesus and the Father of Jesus’ disciples (cf. H. F. D. Sparks, “The Doctrine of the Fatherhood of God in the Gospels,” in Studies in the Gospels [ed. D. E. Nineham; Oxford: Blackwell, 1955], 241–62). Just as in the OT it was the distinctive mark of Israel that they were set apart for God to reflect his character (Lev 19:2; cf. 11:44–45; 20:7, 26), so the messianic community carries on this distinctiveness (cf. 1 Pe 1:16) as the true locus of the people of God (cf. France, Jesus and the Old Testament, 61–62). This must not encourage us to conclude that Jesus teaches that unqualified perfection is already possible for his disciples. He teaches them to acknowledge spiritual bankruptcy (v. 3) and to pray “Forgive us our debts” (6:12). But the perfection of the Father, the true eschatological goal of the law, is what all disciples of Jesus pursue.[5]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Mt 5:48). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 349–350). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 146–151). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 308). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 194–195). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

 

Overcoming Financial Worry, Part 1 B | Grace to You: Radio Podcast

Perhaps no other aspect of life causes people to worry more than their financial situation. But today on “Grace to You,” John MacArthur shows you how you can have freedom from financial worry in his series, “Mastering Your Money.”

cdn.gty.org/podcast/20190430.mp3

04/30/19 Seeking and Saving — ChuckLawless.com

READING:  1 Samuel 14:15-16:23, Luke 18:24-19:10

It was one of the first Bible verses I ever memorized. The first was John 3:16, and the second was Luke 19:10– “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” At the time, I’m sure I focused on the latter part of verse 10 (“to save the lost”). I was a passionate evangelist for Christ, and I told everyone that He had come to save us. We were all lost and hopeless without Christ, but Christ had come to redeem us. This was His mission.

What I didn’t think about much is the first part of verse 10 (“the Son of Man has come to seek . . . the lost”). Jesus was the Son of the God who pursued Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen 3:8), and He, too, pursued Zaccheus: “When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today it is necessary for me to stay at your house’” (Luke 19:5). After all, Jesus had come not for the healthy, but for the sick; He had come to heal sinners (Luke 5:32).

I’m reminded today that Jesus pursued me, too. He was surely instrumental in my family’s move that planted us next door to a Baptist deacon and his family. He raised upmy 12-year old 7th grade classmate who told me the gospel. He never allowed me to ignore what my friend taught me, no matter how hard I fought to do so. He continually knocked on my heart, and He didn’t stop until I turned to Him in faith and repentance as a 13-year old. How grateful I am today that Jesus both sought me and saved me!

PRAYER: “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Samuel 19-20, Luke 19:28-20:8

via 04/30/19 Seeking and Saving — ChuckLawless.com

April 30 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Numbers 7; Psalms 42–43; Song of Songs 5; Hebrews 5

 

song 5:2–16 begins a new unit, with the relationship cooling and at least potentially in jeopardy. Probably the most common interpretation is that this section is part of a dream sequence. Note the opening words: “I slept but my heart was awake”—almost a definition of a dream. Dream or not, the intensity of the relationship is declining. In 5:2 the lover wants to come to the beloved, but her initial response is cool: “I have taken off my robe—must I put it on again? I have washed my feet—must I soil them again?” (5:3)—scarcely the words of passionate expectation and welcome.

These and the following lines can be read on two levels. On the first, the beloved has gone to bed and cannot even be bothered to get up and open the door; she might get her feet dirty. The lover puts his hand through a hole in the door and tries to raise the latch. The beloved has second thoughts. Rather belatedly she drags herself out of bed, now with at least some anticipation, only to open the door and find her lover gone (5:5–6). Disappointed and ashamed, she roams the city looking for him, and this time the night policemen, the “watchers,” beat her up (5:7)—why is unclear, though some have suggested she is making such a commotion that this was the only way they could keep her quiet. On this reading the “daughters of Jerusalem” (5:8–9) are not friends but city girls who are finally persuaded to join the search, which ultimately proves successful.

At the second level, there is a string of double entendres. “Feet” (5:3) sometimes serve as a euphemism for genitals (e.g., the Hebrew of Judg. 3:24; 1 Sam. 24:3; Isa. 7:20; Ezek. 16:25 [KJV; the NIV translation loses the word foot in each instance]; and the parallelism between “wash your feet” and “lie with my wife” in 2 Sam. 11:8, 11). English Bibles often use “latch-opening” or the like in 5:4, but that is certainly not mandated by the relatively rare original—and the rest of the verse, and the next two, suggest a different opening, and arousal on the part of the woman. But by this time the lover, for whatever reason—impatience? disappointment?—is gone.

What shall we make of this? First, all marriages, even the best of marriages, sometimes go through periods of coolness or reserve which, unchecked, could destroy them. Second, dream sequence or not, the way forward is a mutual pursuit of the lover and the beloved, a renewed commitment to the language and self-giving of love. Third, Paul is scarcely less explicit, though more prosaic, when he insists that married Christians, apart from explicit exceptions, are not to deprive their spouses sexually (1 Cor. 7:5; see meditation for February 20).[1]


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

‘Too much money invested in war’: US defense industry drives global military spending spree — RT World News

Global military expenditures reached their peak in 2018, and the driving force behind this increase is the growing appetite of the US military-industrial complex rather than real threats, analysts say.

The world spent $1.8 trillion on its military in 2018, the latest report by the acclaimed Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US and its NATO allies – the self-proclaimed defenders of freedom and democracy – account for more than half of this whopping amount.

Washington’s other close friend Saudi Arabia is the third largest military spender, coming ahead of India.

“A lot of this spending, particularly in the case of Saudi Arabia and India, is for political reasons,” Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst at the Pentagon, told RT. New Delhi and Riyadh seek to “curry favor” with Washington by purchasing the US weapons in hope for concessions in other areas, he explained.

Washington’s NATO allies have seen pressure from the US related to their military spending ever since Donald Trump came to power in the White House. Maloof believes it has less to do with security of the alliance and more with the interests of the US arms manufacturers.

“A lot of that is aimed at trying to help the US defense industry to stay ahead [of their competitors] and hire more people,” he explained, adding that the issue of the military expenditures has a “clear economic dimension.”

In its desire to sate the always-hungry domestic military industrial complex, the US risks escalating tensions on the international arena, analysts warn. Washington’s hawks typically justify the need for ever-increasing military expenditures with some perceived threats from Russia or China, portraying them as war mongers.

“There is no good reason” for larger defense budgets, Ted Seay, a former US diplomat and senior policy consultant with the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), told RT. It is the West’s fear of the perceived ‘Russian threat’ that has in fact led to destabilization on the European continent, he noted.

Also on rt.com

“There are military provocations taking place between NATO and Russia where there should not be any far in the 21th century when there is no logical reason for any confrontation between Europe and Russia,” Seay said.

The former US diplomat also denounced as senseless the NATO “formula”demanding that member states spend two percent of their GDP on defense.

There is not a military situation that necessitates [the likes of] Latvia or Poland to find a solution in greater military spending. It simply does not exist in this age. But there are people who seem to be intent on creating confrontation and encouraging the NATO countries to spend more money with no good reason.

Yet, it is precisely Poland and the Baltic States that top the list of nations with the highest annual defense spending increases in Europe over the recent years.

Poland’s military budget rose by 8.9 per cent in 2018 to $11.6 billion, according to SIPRI, while Latvia upped its military expenditures by staggering 24 percent over the same period. Bulgaria and Ukraine – which is not in NATO – followed closely, increasing their spending by 23 and 21 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, the US and its allies grossly outspend all the nations they perceive as alleged threats. The US expenditures alone accounted for 36 percent of global defense spending while exceeding the expenditures of the next eight largest-spending countries combined in 2018. NATO’s total military spending accounted for 53 percent of the global defense expenditures.

Also on rt.com

China was the only Washington’s perceived rival that made it into top 5 military spenders in 2018. However, Beijing’s defense budget amounted to only a fraction of the US one and accounted for 14 percent of the global military spending.

Russia, meanwhile, came it at number six by spending some $61.4 billion on the military in 2018, following consecutive defense budget cuts in the last two years. However, these facts do not stop the biggest military spender in the world to accuse Moscow of somehow initiating an “arms race.”

Anyway, the latest trends show that the world is unlikely to see easing of tensions on the international arena anytime soon, Seay warns.

“Too many people have too much money invested in war,” he said.

— Read on www.rt.com/news/457868-us-global-military-spending-increase/

Aborted Babies Used to Create Vaccines: Are They Immoral? — Pulpit & Pen

Nazi medical doctors used Jews, the Romani, Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war as lab rats to advance medical science. Upon these human beings, the Nazi doctors experimented by giving head injuries, freezing the subjects, giving malaria, testing various immunizations, testing mustard gas, and subjecting people to high altitudes. Almost all died or suffered debilitating injuries. While almost all empathetic and sentient human beings would oppose such experimentation, their testing was not without positive consequences for the medical community. It turns out, abandoning all medical ethics is good for research.

Today, the modern American medical research and development community is similarly amoral when it comes to using human beings as ingredients for supposed medical cures. Only in America, the human beings we use for medical purposes aren’t Jews or Romani, but babies murdered by their parents and sold to medical research facilities by the hitmen who assassinated them in the womb.

From 2011 through 2014, approximately 97 research institutions (universities and hospitals) received $280 million in federal grants for fetal tissue research from the National Institutes of Health. The most prominent institutions include Yale, the University of California and Massachusetts General Hospital, which is operated by Harvard.

While the United States government has outlawed the sale of dead babies and their tissue to research facilities, under cover video shows that the sale is a common practice. And what is not sold is donated in exchange for industry favors. Essentially, it’s commonplace for researches to traffic in dead babies.

Chiefly, these dead babies are used in research to create vaccines and cure ailments that range from vision problems to neurological disorders, cancer, HIV, and Parkinson’s. Most aborted babies donated to the vaccine industry find their way into vaccines that are injected into the bloodstream of living humans, many of whom are pro-life.

Vaccines for hepatitis A, chickenpox, rabies, and German measles were all created by using cell lines taken from elective abortions performed in the 1960s. When Ebola broke out, researchers claimed that aborted baby tissue was “critical” to the development of a potential Ebola vaccine (it’s since proven useless). For all of these vaccines today, to be clear, they do not contain cells taken from aborted babies, but they do contain components of those fetal cells now included in the vaccines (including cell proteins and measurable portions of DNA).

These are the vaccines taken from aborted baby cell lines…

U.S. approved vaccines from aborted cell lines

Read more: Aborted Babies Used to Create Vaccines: Are They Immoral? — Pulpit & Pen

Donald Trump, the pro-life rabble-rouser? — Reformed Perspective

In April the president of the United States made headlines for a movie he didn’t watch, and didn’t comment on. So what was all the fuss about? He let an “anti-abortion” film be shown in his home.

In the days leading up to the April 12 screening, mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic let their readership know that Gosnell, was going to be shown at the White House. Gosnell is the true-life story of Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortionist who in 2013 was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for babies he killed after they were born.

At the time both the prosecutor and the mainstream media emphasized that the case wasn’t about abortion, but about the murder of born babies. But what makes the film a powerful pro-life argument is the defense offered by Gosnell’s attorney: he argued that what Gosnell did to these babies after birth was not significantly different from what other abortionists were, with the law’s blessing, doing to babies before birth. It wasn’t enough to get his client off, but the argument is sound, and for any of the undecided in the viewing audience his reasoning could be convicting.

President Trump didn’t watch the film, but in the lead-up to the screening he received a lot of criticism. So why did he let Gosnell be shown in the White House? The cynic might say this was a mostly-pain-free way to appease his Christian base – it excited them, and even though it got widespread negative coverage in the mainstream media, that negative coverage was over quite quickly.

But there is another plausible explanation: maybe the former pro-choice Democrat has taken a genuine pro-life turn. If so, then this screening was the president making the deliberate choice to take some heat so an important film could get some much-needed publicity.

To bolster that case, consider two other examples of presidential pro-life agitation from earlier this year. In January he once again spoke, via video, to the tens of thousands attending the Washington DC March for Life. Then in February, in his State of the Union address, he responded pointedly to a just-passed New York abortion bill. He told the millions watching:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days.  Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth.  These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.  And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.  And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth:  all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

This last line is remarkable – it gets at the very core of where our value comes from, and why our worth doesn’t differ, no matter our size, location, or level of development. Our worth doesn’t come from what we can do, but from in Whose Image we are made. Though this is the issue in the abortion debate, it’s almost never heard.

We’re all very aware of this president’s faults, so it is not his body of work we are praising here. And we don’t even need to be convinced Trump is sincerely pro-life to see how his provocative, courageous, and sometimes downright insightful advocacy for the unborn is an example well worth imitating. He is loud. May we be so too.

via Donald Trump, the pro-life rabble-rouser? — Reformed Perspective