Daily Archives: May 6, 2019

May 6 Learning to Pray

Scripture Reading: John 17:1–26

Key Verse: John 17:20

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.

Do you have a friend upon whom you call when you are discouraged or when you have good news to share? Do you have someone with whom you can converse and confide?

Think about this person for a moment. When you speak with him or her, you probably discuss specific information about the concerns, needs, and victories in your life.

This type of pointed conversation with someone who cares about you is not frightening or difficult, is it? Of course not. Unfortunately, many people approach conversation with God with unnecessary apprehension.

Praying to God does not require the use of eloquent language or carefully constructed dialogue. Rather, God simply wants to communicate with you. Prayer should be a natural expression of the feelings, thoughts, and emotions you experience throughout your day.

If you truly desire to develop or enhance your prayer life, begin by talking to God as you would to your trusted friend. He loves to hear from you and is pleased when you reach out to Him. Bring your praises to Him and await His response. Present your concerns and ask for His advice. Lift up your inquiries before God today and seek His wisdom.

Lord, would You teach me to make prayer more of a conversation and less of an exercise? Help me to get past the language part of it and communicate with the heart.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 133). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 6 Resisting the Devil

Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 28:12–17

Key Verse: John 8:44

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

The United States did not win the Persian Gulf War on sheer military strength alone. The commanders, the president’s advisers, and even the president himself spent a great deal of time learning about the enemy. No war is won by brute force. Tactical strategy and in-depth knowledge are always necessary.

If we are going to win the war against Satan and his forces, we must know something about him. For one, he is our adversary, a fallen angel, the prince of this age, and the father of lies. But foremost, he is a defeated foe.

He deceives the body of Christ by coming as an angel of light. He strategically interjects error into our thinking with the purpose of confusing and derailing us in our spiritual walk. Satan’s chief goal is to cause us to doubt God.

The way to oppose him is with the truth of God’s Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you want to win spiritually in this life, begin by memorizing Scripture. Even a single verse can make a big difference when it comes to spiritual warfare. Ask God to reveal any sin in your life. Confess it, and then pray for His strength to turn from it. Dedicate your life to glorifying Him and not the ways of the world.

The enemy will always remind you of times of defeat, but Jesus Christ speaks only of His love and power and victory. You can place your complete hope in Him because He will never fail you.

Master, let Your Word dwell in me richly. Reveal any sin in my life, then give me the strength to turn from it. I dedicate my life to glorifying You and not the ways of the world.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 133). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 6 In Times of Distress

Scripture reading: Psalm 22:1–22

Key verse: Psalm 28:7

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;

Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,

And with my song I will praise Him.

Worship is often associated with cheerful, happy occasions in our lives. Blessed by God, we gladly praise Him for His goodness. However, a review of the Scriptures reveals another aspect of worship that is as important and perhaps more meaningful. In times of distress, trial, and discouragement, that worship is essential to maintain spiritual stability.

  • The Psalms burst with worship of God while the psalmists were in the throes of affliction. When David was up against the wall with no way out, he consistently sang praises after pouring out his heartaches.
  • When Jehoshaphat saw that he was surrounded by militant hordes, God instructed him to arrange a praise service.
  • At the stroke of midnight in a rank jail, Paul and Silas started a sing-along of praise hymns.

Are you depressed? Is your outlook gloomy? Are you in a tight place with no obvious escape route? Right now is the time to turn your heart toward worship. Deliberately overrule your feelings of despondency and heaviness, and worship God.

Nothing is too hard for God, and nothing like worship awakens you to that reality.

Nothing is too hard for You, O God. I worship You right now in spite of my circumstances.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 133). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Facebook SWAT Team Arrests Man For Illegal Possession Of Conservative Views — The Babylon Bee

LA MESA, CA—As part of a widespread crackdown on unacceptable viewpoints on the social network, Facebook sent out its SWAT teams Monday to arrest local man Kent Rogers for illegal possession of conservative views.

After Facebook took out several fringe personalities last week, conservatives thought they were in the clear, but it turns out they were just next on the list.

Rogers’ arrest was part of a broader push against the illegal conservative view trade, which is estimated to affect millions of innocent Americans every year. Facebook SWAT specialists lined up outside his house for an early-morning, no-knock raid after he was caught posting a meme about Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails on his page.

“We booked him on possession of several tons of illicit viewpoints, including the idea that government should be relatively small, Christian values are generally a good thing, and cisgendered males aren’t always bad,” one lieutenant of the Facebook SWAT force said. “Residents of La Mesa can rest easy tonight knowing these ideas are off the streets.”

Proud officers took pictures with their haul, including hundreds of deadly books that question a far-left worldview, a signed picture of Ronald Reagan, and a copy of The Art of the Deal, a banned substance in all 50 states.

Rogers has been booked on the manufacture, possession, and spreading of conservative values.

via Facebook SWAT Team Arrests Man For Illegal Possession Of Conservative Views — The Babylon Bee

The Spirit Bill Johnson wants you to follow — Christian Research Network

“Bethel Redding children’s pastor Seth Dahl claimed that in a vision Christ came to him Jesus picked him up, began to weep, and asked his forgiveness for what another pastor did by hurting him. A false vision then is the Truth – not the Bible. No passage in the Bible shows Christ asking us to forgive Him, He is perfect and sinless, he is God.”

(Let Us Reason)  If one is driving on the wrong side of the road they will get a fine. If the driver continues driving like this his license is taken away. Spiritually speaking, Bill Johnson’s answer is “I’m not on the wrong side of the Road you are.”

His is perfect example calling what is dark as being light.

I say this because many do understand basic Scripture, the word that counters his particular view of Christianity that he with others have made popular.

He says “A powerless Word is the letter not the Spirit. And we all know, ‘The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’” (When Heaven Invades Earth 116).

Did not Jesus say The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. Meaning if you read the word you are reading what the holy Spirit is saying. Didn’t Jesus also say If you love me you will continue in my word?

If one reads further in In 2 Corinthians 3, Paul is speaking of the new covenant compared to the old – the Law, written on tablets of stone. Paul explains further in Romans 7: and 8:2 for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Johnson insinuates the powerless word is the Bible, what is written. That the Spirit overrules the word. There is no such dichotomy presented. The Spirit wrote the word through men so we would ALL have the same instructions throughout the centuries.

But in reality, the Bible is a closed book. Anything I get from the Word without God will not change my life. It is closed to insure that I remain dependent on the Holy Spirit.” (When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles p.93) View article →

Research

Bethel Redding

Bill Johnson

New Apostolic Reformation

via The Spirit Bill Johnson wants you to follow — Christian Research Network

Rachel Held Evans and the Rightness of Post-Mortem Discernment — Pulpit & Pen

Nadia Bolz-Weber, one of the most profane blasphemers in evangelicalism, presided over the deathbed ceremony of Rachel Held Evans.

As in her life, Rachel Held Evans’ was surrounded by heretics and applauded by apostates at her death. She was ‘anointed’ with oil in the hours before her passing by the self-professed “profane bulldyke” and mannish, self-graffitied, vulgar blasphemer, Nadia Bolz-Weber, who better personifies the Grim Reaper than perhaps anyone in a clerical collar. It’s hard to believe that anyone ushered into the world to come by Bolz-Weber would be ushered into the right world.

Perhaps her own tweet conveys this point the best.

RHE tweeted this in reference to her critics, who she said were prejudiced against women.

Evans knows that God is male now. She also knows so much more. The God she expected to see is not the God she now knows.

Evans, who has used her life’s energy to attack the authority and inerrancy of the Scripture, Biblical gender roles and sexual ethics, and commit all kinds of ontological heresies against God, has been eulogized as though a saint after her death by many who criticized her as an enemy of Biblical Christianity during her lifetime.

For many, theological debate is Kabuki theater, where each side has a role to play and even the audience has a part to act out. There are protagonists and antagonists who spar on stage, but go out afterward to celebrate their dramatic endeavors and the show they’ve put on for the masses. This is all basically a more sophisticated version of the showmanship of professional wrestling.

However, some of us religious types view apostasy as a serious matter. Furthermore, some of us think hell is real. Likewise, we think people actually go there. And, we believe that we know what it takes to avoid that place. Ergo, we take theology, you know…seriously and stuff.

Pulpit & Pen ran two articles over the weekend about Rachel Held Evans, one by Greg Smith and one by Seth Dunn. Both pointed out that (this is my paraphrase) she was an apostate, is probably in hell, that we should mourn the loss of her soul, and pray for her family.

We weren’t the only ones to speak the obvious (and to write what most were thinking).

Read more: Rachel Held Evans and the Rightness of Post-Mortem Discernment — Pulpit & Pen

May 6, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

4–5 The reasons for the coming calamity are now given, although they amount to one reason. Yahweh’s total sovereignty over the people inside the covenant relationship had been rejected. The people were sharing their allegiance with other deities. They had forsaken (ʾāzaḇ) Yahweh and made this an alien place. The verb nikkēr, “make alien,” is a vivid and highly suggestive term. The place had been denationalized, so that it could not be recognized as Israelite. It is not certain what this place refers to, but it may have been the temple, where foreign religious practices were introduced from time to time. Ezekiel’s vision in Ezek. 8 depicts a variety of pagan cult practices which seem to have been current at the time of Ezekiel’s exile in 597 b.c. But the reference may be simply to Jerusalem as in v. 3. The whole expression occurs almost verbatim in 2 K. 21:12. In particular, the people were offering up sacrifices qiṭṭēr) to other gods which neither they nor their ancestors had known (cf. Deut. 13:6; 28:64). It would appear that the people as a whole19 were involved in filling the place with the blood of innocents (dam neqiyyîm). The reference is to a cultic practice in which children were offered in the fire as burnt offerings on high places (bāmôṯ) built for Baal (cf. 7:31). Human sacrifice in one form or another was known in the Middle East but especially in Phoenicia and Canaan. It was condemned in Israel at an early stage (cf. Gen. 22:1–19); but it is heard of from time to time, as in the days of Ahaz (2 K. 16:3; cf. Mic. 6:7) and Manasseh (2 K. 21:6). The destruction of the sanctuary in the valley of Ben-hinnom in the days of Josiah is referred to specifically in 2 K. 23:10. Evidently the practice was revived under Jehoiakim, and it was to this that Jeremiah addressed himself. It was a practice of which Yahweh did not approve—a thing I did not ever command, nor did I ever speak of it, nor did it ever enter my mind. It was an affront to Yahweh and a rejection of his sole and total sovereignty over his covenant people. Wanton rejection of their covenant Lord could only result in the operation of the covenant curses.[1]


4-5. The reason is given why God would so severely deal with that place. We indeed know that hypocrites are ever ready with their answer; as soon as God threatens them, they bark and bring forward their evasions. The Prophet then shews that the judgment announced would be just, lest the Jews should pretend that it was extreme.

God first complains that he had been forsaken by them, because they had changed the worship which had been prescribed in his Law. And this is what ought to be carefully considered; for no one would have willingly confessed what Jeremiah charged upon them all; they would have said,—“We have not forsaken God, for we are the children of Abraham; but what we wish to do is to add to his worship; and why should it be deemed a reproach to us, if we are not content with our own simple form of worship, and add various other forms? and we worship God not only in the Temple, but also in this place; and further, we do not spare our own children.” But God shews by one expression that these were frivolous evasions; for he is not acknowledged except what he orders and commands is obediently received. Let us know, that God is forsaken as soon as men turn aside from his pure word, and that all are apostates who turn here and there, and do not follow what God approves.

Then he says that they had alienated the place. God had consecrated to himself the whole of Judea: he would not indeed have sacrifices offered to him in every place; but when the Jews worshipped him, as they were taught by Moses and the prophets, the whole land was as it were an altar and a temple to him. Then God complains that his authority in that part of the suburbs was taken away; as though he had said,—“The whole of Judea is my right and my jurisdiction, and Jerusalem is the royal palace in which I dwell; but ye, deluded beings, do by force take away my right and transfer it to another, as though one gave to a robber a place nigh a royal residence.” Thus God justly complains that they had alienated that place.

But we must remember the reason, which immediately follows, because they had burned incense to Baal. They pretended, no doubt, the name of God; but yet it was a most preposterous superstition, when they worshipped inferior gods, as the Papists do at this day. The word Baal is sometimes used in the singular number by the prophets, and sometimes in the plural: but what is Baal? a patron. They were not content with one patron, but every one desired a patron for himself: hence under the words Baal and Baalim, the prophets characterized all fictitious modes of worship: when they worshipped God’s name, they blended the worship of patrons, who had not been made known to them; hence he adds, They have made incense in it to foreign gods. He afterwards says, that these foreign gods were such as neither they nor their fathers nor their kings knew. By saying that they were gods unknown to their fathers as well as to themselves and to their kings, he no doubt calls their attention to the doctrine of the law, and to the many certain proofs by which they had found that he was the only true God.

The Jews might have raised such an objection as the Papists do at this day,—that their modes of worship were not devised in their time, but that they had derived them from their ancestors. But God regarded as nothing those kings and the fathers, who had long before degenerated from true and genuine religion. It must be here observed, that true knowledge is connected with verity: for they who had first contrived new forms of worship, doubtless followed their own foolish imaginations; as when any one in the present day asks the Papists, why they weary themselves so much with their superstitions, good intention is ever their shield,—“O, we think that this is pleasing to God.” Therefore rightly does God here repudiate their inventions as wholly vain, for they possess nothing solid or permanent. At the same time, he by implication condemns the Jews for rejecting his law, whose authority bad been established among them, so that they ought not to have entertained any doubt: for it would have been the greatest ingratitude to say, “We know not who introduced the Law!” God had indeed sanctioned the law by so many miracles, that it could not have been disputed; and they had also found by many evidences and proofs that he was the only true God. He had then been known by their fathers as well as by their kings, even by David and by all his godly successors. Hence their crime was exaggerated, by seeking for themselves foreign gods.

Now we also see how foolishly the Papists lay hold on this passage and similar passages, in order to commend their abominations by the pretext of antiquity: for vain are their disguises when they say, “O, we have been thus taught by our ancestors, and we have the authority of kings.” But the Prophet here docs not speak of fathers indiscriminately; but by fathers he means those who had embraced the true and pure worship of God, as they had been taught by the law; and those kings were alone worthy of imitation, who had faithfully worshipped God according to the doctrine of the law: and thus he excludes all those fathers and kings who had degenerated from the law of Moses.

He at last adds, that that place was filled with the blood of innocents; for there they killed their children. And by this circumstance Jeremiah again amplifies the wickedness of the people; for they had not only despised God and his law, but also cruelly destroyed their innocent infants; and. thus he proved them guilty not only of impiety and profaneness in vitiating the worship of God, but also of brutal and barbarous savageness in not sparing innocent blood.

PRAYER

Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast been pleased to shew to us the way in which we cannot err, provided we obey thee,—O grant, that we may render ourselves really teachable and ready to obey, and never undertake anything but what we know is approved by thee, nor turn aside on the right hand or on the left; but continue in that form of worship which thou hast prescribed to us in thy word, so that we may be able to bear witness, not only before the world, but before thee and the holy angels, that we obediently follow thee; and may we never blend anything of our own, but with submissive minds worship thee alone, and strive to render ourselves wholly subject to thee, until having at length rendered to thee due service through the whole course of our life, we shall reach that blessed rest which thy Son has procured for us by his own blood.—Amen.[2]


4 The phrase “because they have forsaken me” introduces the indictment against the people because of what they have done. It is similar to phrases in 2:13, 32; 17:13; 18:15, and is explained here in reference to the cult practiced at Topheth; see v 5 below and 7:31–32.

For נכר in the piel, BDB (649b) suggests a sense of profaning or defiling. Certainly the place was profaned and defiled by the presence of a foreign cult. More to the point, the place, a part of Yahweh’s chosen land, was being treated as foreign by the introduction of foreign cult practices. The same root appears in 5:19 (“foreign gods”) and 8:19 (“foreign worthless things [הבל], idols”).

The specifics of the indictment include burning incense to other gods and filling the place with innocent blood. The word describing the burning of incense (piel of קטר) is often used of the worship of other gods or illegal worship. As such the same stem appeared in 18:15. The recurrence of this verb may well mark another link between the two chapters. The mention of innocent blood is made specific in the next verse. The emendation suggested by BHS, omitting the initial waw on ומלאו and moving the athnaḥ to “their fathers,” gives a better balance to the verse. However, the emendation is not necessary. The emendation would have the people guilty of burning incense to foreign gods and the kings guilty of burning their sons (v 6). However, in the closely parallel section in 7:30–32, it is the people of Judah (v 30) who are accused of burning their sons and daughters (v 31).

5 This verse is quite similar to 7:31. The comments made there hold for this passage. There are slight differences in the present passage; here only the sons are mentioned (in 7:31 it is both sons and daughters). Furthermore, this passage adds the phrase “burnt offerings [עלות] for Baal” after the word “fire.” The explanation that these offerings had not been commanded by Yahweh nor desired by him raises the question whether they were performed in Yahweh’s name. Was this a cult site and were the cult practices dedicated to Yahweh or to Baal-Yahweh in a syncretistic manner? The wording of the text seems to indicate an affirmative answer. Yahweh seems to be disavowing any association with the practices, suggesting that the people were making such associations.[3]


[1] Thompson, J. A. (1980). The Book of Jeremiah (pp. 449–450). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Prophet Jeremiah and the Lamentations (Vol. 2, pp. 437–440). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Craigie, P. C. (1998). Jeremiah 1–25 (Vol. 26, pp. 259–260). Dallas, TX: Word, Incorporated.

May 6, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Trump said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should not testify in Congress about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump administration is deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East in response to troubling “indications and warnings” from Iran and to show the United States will retaliate with “unrelenting force” to any attack, national security adviser John Bolton said.

President Donald Trump said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the possibility of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China in what would be a major deal between the globe’s top three atomic powers.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee issued a report citing Attorney General Barr for contempt over a panel subpoena seeking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full unredacted report.

U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders unveiled a plan on Sunday to help family farmers and rural residents, promising to break up corporate agricultural monopolies and invest heavily in social and economic programs in struggling rural communities.

Forty-one people on board a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane were killed Sunday, including two children, after the aircraft caught fire as it made a bumpy emergency landing at a Moscow airport.

Pope Francis said on Monday the plight of suffering immigrants and refugees was “the cross of humanity,” taking up their case for the second consecutive day during a visit to Bulgaria that has put him at odds with the government.

A ceasefire to end a surge of deadly violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel took hold on Monday after hundreds of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed concern over Chinese and Russian investments in the Arctic and called on both countries to act responsibly in the region.

After two days and nights of Israeli shelling and Palestinian rocket fire, Gazans faced a first day of Ramadan overshadowed by funerals and pulling bodies from collapsed buildings.

UNC Charlotte has a behavioral intervention team (BIT) tasked with reviewing reports about troubled students and intervening to prevent harm to themselves or others. Similar teams meet regularly at hundreds of other U.S. universities.

Oil prices fell on Monday after President Trump said he would sharply raise tariffs on Chinese goods this week, risking the derailment of trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.

AP Top Stories

Astronomers have assembled the most all-encompassing image of space ever created. It puts together 16 years of data captured from the Hubble Space Telescope, according to a statement from NASA. All together, the composite is made up of nearly 7,500 individual exposures. Dubbed the “Hubble Legacy Field,” this wide view image shows around 265,000 galaxies. These galaxies go back 13.3 billion years to 500 million years after the big bang, showcasing how they have changed over time. This latest Hubble mosaic consists of around 30 times as many galaxies as previous deep fields did.

The Taliban on Saturday said the gap is narrowing in talks with Washington’s special peace envoy over a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The two sides are continuing to meet in Qatar, where the insurgent movement maintains a political office.

At least seven people were killed and 55 wounded after a Taliban suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car at a police headquarters in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, with officials saying clashes between gunmen and security forces continued.

Boeing Co did not tell U.S. regulators for more than a year that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the 737 MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s, but insisted on Sunday the missing display represented no safety risk.

Warren Buffett said on Monday that a trade war between the United States and China would be “bad for the whole world.” Buffett spoke after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he will raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent beginning on Friday.

Thailand’s newly crowned King Maha Vajiralongkorn made a spectacular public appearance in front of his countrymen Sunday, carried atop a golden palanquin by soldiers in ancient fighting uniforms in a procession through Bangkok’s historic quarter.

Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church appealed for calm and an alcohol ban Monday after clashes between Christians and Muslims in a town scarred by the Easter suicide attacks.

BBC

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has said he is considering asking the US to launch a military intervention in the embattled country.

One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction. Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need for ever more food and energy are the main drivers. These trends can be halted, the study says, but it will take “transformative change” in every aspect of how humans interact with nature.

In a historic first, the 2019 winners of America’s three biggest beauty pageants are all black women. Nia Franklin, 25, became Miss America in September, followed last week by Kaliegh Garris, 18, as Miss Teen USA and Cheslie Kryst, 28, as Miss USA.

Cyclone Fani has caused more than 1,000 homes destroyed and entire villages submerged extensive damage in Bangladesh, despite weakening as it blew north from India. At least five people died and 63 were injured.

WND

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a powerhouse of civil and religious rights advocacy, has joined other groups in denouncing the Equality Act proposed in the Democratic-majority House as a threat to faith. “Essentially, the Equality Act gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.”


Mid-Day Snapshot · May 6, 2019

The Foundation

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favours or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of Commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing with Powers so disposed; in order to give trade a stable course.” —George Washington (1796)

Tariff Strategy: A Long-Needed Corrective Measure

The president is letting China know that he’s serious in his demand for real change to fair trade.


Poynter Pulls List of ‘Unreliable’ News Sites Over Its Unreliability

The list included over 500 mostly right-leaning websites. No bias there.


Why Prescription Drug Prices Are Soaring

Perverse incentives drive higher prices, and millions of Americans are fed up.


GOP Needs to Be More Than ‘Not Democrats’

Enter a Republican budget plan that prioritizes the constitutional functions of the government.


Democrats Cope by Attacking Barr

They call him a liar and plan to vote on holding him in contempt. Clearly, they’re desperate.


Trapped in Failing Schools

Passing the ESA for Tennessee is our one opportunity to rectify the issues with our education system.


Video: Facebook Purges ‘Dangerous Individuals’

“They’re also saying you’re too dumb to hear it. … Facebook doesn’t trust you.”


Video: Affirmative Action Hurts Minorities

Freedom Toons explains a simple truth about race preferences in America.



Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Jobs Boom
Ken Blackwell
Assertive Trends in U.S.’s Iran Policy Must Continue
Hans von Spakovsky
Against Liberal Assaults, Barr Proves Unflappable
Kathryn Jean Lopez
More Love, Not Less
Todd Starnes
Grade School Bans ‘God Bless America’
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Monday Top News Executive Summary

Iran saber-rattling, China trade talks, new border chief, Trump’s approval rating, Israel-Palestinian cease-fire, and more.


Monday Short Cuts

Delusions of grandeur: “We have Jim Crow sneaking back in.” —Joe Biden



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 – 5/6/2019

Ebola outbreak grows in Congo after health clinic attacks
More than 1,000 people have died from an Ebola outbreak that began in August in Democratic Republic of Congo. The country’s government is working with international aid organizations to contain the deadly disease but their efforts have been challenged by insecurity, including attacks on health clinics.

Mexican villagers beseech volcano goddess for rain, safety
It’s the Day of the Holy Cross, a religious holiday celebrated in many parts of Latin America that marks Byzantine Empress Saint Helena’s search for the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The ceremony at Iztaccíhuatl, though, mixes Catholic traditions with pre-Hispanic rituals and beliefs. The pilgrims sing Catholic hymns and hold Mass to ask the Virgin Mary to forgive their sins

Imam Calls Out Rashida Tlaib/Ilhan Omar for Defending Hamas Rockets
In the wake of a two-day rocket attack by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing approximately 700 rockets at Israel, freshman congressmen Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) made public statements condemning Israel.

Christian Holiday Massacres: The New Norm
Although the Islamic terrorist bombings that rocked Sri Lanka last Easter Sunday—killing more than 300, most inside churches—have shocked many, spectacular terrorist attacks on Easter are much more common than supposed.

Philadelphia Muslim Children Sing About Decapitating Jews
On April 22, 2019, the Muslim American Society Islamic Center in Philadelphia (MAS Philly) uploaded a video of an “Ummah Day” celebration to its Facebook page in which young children wearing Palestinian scarves sang: “Glorious steeds call us and lead us [to] the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The blood of martyrs protects us … Take us, oh ships … until we reach our shores and crush the treacherous ones … Flow, oh rivers of martyrs!”

Trump Taps ‘True Believer’ to Head ICE
President Donald Trump is tapping a former border patrol chief who served in the Obama administration to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the AP reports. Trump tweets that Mark Morgan “will be joining the Trump Administration as the head of our hard working men and women of ICE.” He added: “Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!” The announcement comes amid a shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security triggered by the president’s frustration with the increasing number of migrants at the border.

Bolton Announces Carrier Strike Group Deployed In “Message” To Iran
The White House’s sending the USS Abraham Lincoln to the region, likely first near Qatar, makes the potential for a major incident leading to direct exchange of fire between the US and Iran now much more likely.

Study: 42 million Americans look to Bible for answers
The “State of the Bible” study conducted by the Barna Group and commissioned by the American Bible Society found 48 percent engage three or four times a year by using, listening to, watching, praying or using Bible text outside of a church service. Significantly, the study shows that 21 million new people are looking to the Bible for wisdom and guidance this year.

Pence: We stand by our great ally Israel
“We strongly condemn the attacks in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Israel has the absolute right to defend itself & the U.S. stands by our great ally Israel,” Pence tweeted.

IDF Prepares to Answer Netanyahu’s Call to “Deal Hard Blow” to Gaza Terror Groups
Almost 500 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza in less than 24 hours, beginning around 9:30 am on Saturday. The IDF responded by hitting over 220 military targets in Gaza with airstrikes and tank fire, killing at least two terrorists.

NASA Prepares For Asteroid Armageddon With Simulation Exercises
NASA, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and their international partners are conducting planetary defense exercises for a potential asteroid impact. The “Armageddon” exercise (not the official name) is a simulation in preparation for disaster management planning for a potential asteroid impact and determination of possible ways to the response.

MN Health Education Mandate Tied to Planned Parenthood Ignites Explosive Debate on Minnesota House Floor
There were fireworks on the Minnesota House floor on April 23rd. Buried deep within the Omnibus Education Finance bill (HF2400) is a two page mandate requiring “Sexual Health Education” curriculum, aka Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE). The language in the bill mandates CSE must be taught in every Minnesota public and charter school beginning as young as kindergarten.

Death Toll Rises to Three as Rocket Attacks Continue
Over 500 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Saturday morning. The sirens reached as far as Bet Shemesh, 12 miles west of Jerusalem, and Beersheba, 26 miles from the border with Gaza. The Iron Dome missile-protection system was claimed to have a 90 percent success rate, intercepting approximately 100 rockets.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have first phone call since Mueller report findings
US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have discussed what Mr Trump again dismissed as the “Russian Hoax” in their first known phone call since the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election meddling. Mr Putin chuckled about Mr Mueller’s findings, Mr Trump said. During their conversation on Friday, which the White House and Kremlin said lasted more than an hour,…

Anti-CRISPR molecules discovered that can block the gene editing technology
CRISPR technologies are undoubtedly becoming increasingly precise, but alongside enhanced precision is also the necessity for developing ways to inhibit or block the process – an anti-CRISPR molecule, if you will. New work from the Broad Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has presented a study that homes in on small molecules that may have the ability to safely block the CRISPR gene editing process.

Cyclone Fani: More than 1,000 Bangladesh homes destroyed
Cyclone Fani has caused extensive damage in Bangladesh, despite weakening as it blew north from India. More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and entire villages submerged in the South Asian country. At least five people died and 63 were injured.

Flooding from Michigan to the South damages homes, sends Mississippi River to 157-year-high in Davenport, Iowa
The Mississippi River ticked above levels reached in 1993 in Davenport, Iowa, the highest level there in 157 years. The city’s downtown area remained under water Friday, days after a temporary levee gave way. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Thursday for Wayne County. At least 3,000 homes have been damaged in Wayne County from flooding.

Pedophilia Being Taught As “Sexual Orientation” in California Schools
That is according to a top official for California’s Brea Olinda School District, who admitted to parents that it was being done — and that it would continue, despite the outrage. The implications are mind-blowing.

“Mass Sterilization”: Kenyan Doctors Find Anti-fertility Agent in UN Tetanus Vaccine
The HCG antigen is used in anti-fertility vaccines, but was found present in tetanus vaccines targeted to young girls and women of childbearing age. Dr. Ngare, spokesman for the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, stated in a bulletin released November 4:

Ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Gaza officials -report – Arab-Israeli Conflict
Palestinian officials said an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement was reached with Israel on Monday to end a recent surge of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel.

USS Lincoln strike group deployed to send Iran ‘clear and unmistakable’ message, Bolton says
The U.S. is sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in order “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime,” National Security Adviser John Bolton announced Sunday night.

Swedish Doctor Says Deadly Parasitic Disease Has Doubled Since Muslim Refugee Wave
An infectious diseases doctor has warned that the number of cases in Sweden of Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease which can lead to death, has doubled since the 2015 migrant wave.

After 500 are fired at Israel, the IDF sends massive reinforcements to the Gaza border and prepares for war
IDF bolsters forces in south. 8 terrorists eliminated in attacks by Air Force, while Gazan mother, daughter killed by Hamas fire.

San Francisco Sues to Overturn New Trump Rules and Force Doctors and Nurses to Do Abortions
The city of San Francisco has filed a lawsuit to overturn new pro-life regulations the Trump Administration put into place yesterday. The lawsuit could ultimately force doctors and nurses to kill babies in abortions or to refer women to abortion practitioners who will.

As Israel Prepares For A ‘Ground Invasion’ Of The Gaza Strip, Netanyahu Says Hamas Will Pay A ‘Heavy Price’ For Killing 4 Israelis
As I write this, it is 7:51 PM EST here in the state of Florida, and it is 2:51 AM in the sovereign nation of Israel. As the sun rises over the middle east in a little under 3 hours from now at 5:52 AM, Israel tanks will already have parked on the Gaza Strip border, waiting orders to enter into Gaza to root out Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists.

YouTube’s Sinister Pedophile Community Continues To Flourish
YouTube has cracked down on the comment sections of videos featuring minors in them — sort of. Many videos that have young children in them still have comment sections and are still being used to exploit children.

Trump Administration Announces Protection For Religious Health Care Providers’ Conscientious Objections
The Trump administration announced a new rule on Thursday, protecting the right of doctors, nurses, insurers, and hospitals to opt out of providing services that conflict with their religious beliefs such as abortion or assisted suicide.

Facebook Is Involved In Activities That Every Christian Would Find Dangerous 
Facebook is involved in activities that every Christian would find objectionable. What is it?

Senate Dems Delete Embarrassing Poll Showing 70% Prefer Kavanaugh Over RBG
Well that didn’t work out as planned…


Headlines – 5/6/2019

Hamas, Islamic Jihad: ‘We’re close to open war with Israel’

Hamas said seeking ceasefire; Palestinian Islamic Jihad warns of all-out war

Hamas says it doesn’t want a new war with Israel amid a UN call for restraint

Ceasefire reached after Hamas, Islamic Jihad fire 700 rockets at Israel

Rocket fire continues despite reports of progress toward ceasefire

A premeditated Ramadan offensive – Hamas leader Sinwar took a calculated risk by telling his operatives to launch rockets on Israel even while he was away in Cairo

Iron Dome hits 90% of rockets aimed at populated areas

Terror groups say ‘battle’ to continue until Israel gives in to their demands

IDF eliminates terrorist behind Iranian funding of Hamas

Targeted killings begin as security cabinet directs IDF to intensify strikes

Ilhan Omar defends Palestinians after terrorists rain down rockets on Israel

‘Enough is enough!’: Attacks on Israel ‘unconscionable,’ US envoys tell PM

Pompeo: Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself, Hope Cease-fire Will Be Restored

Trump to Palestinians in Gaza: ‘End the violence and work towards peace’

Abbas’ deputy: We will thwart ‘Deal of the Century’

Bible is Jewish deed to Land of Israel, settlement envoy tells UNSC

EU laments the ‘unspeakable suffering’ Gaza rockets inflict on Israelis

At least 28 people died in bloody Israel-Gaza attacks, signaling a violent resurgence for the first time in years

Ashdod man killed by rocket, raising death toll to 4, amid massive bombardment

Ashkelon father of four buried as Gaza conflict rumbles in background

Amid rocket fire, Israel shuts Tamar offshore gas field as precaution

IDF says it thwarted a Hamas cyber attack during weekend battle

Israeli Security Agencies Say Foiled Major Hamas Cyber Attack on Vital Infrastructure This Weekend

Amidror: Iran behind the Gaza escalation

Iran using all resources to sell oil in ‘grey market’: deputy minister

Iran grapples with sanctions in wake of US nuclear pullout

US deploying carrier and bomber task force in response to ‘troubling’ Iran actions

US sends aircraft carrier to Middle East, warns Iran of ‘unrelenting force’

USS Lincoln strike group deployed to send Iran ‘clear and unmistakable’ message, Bolton says

Turkey Says It Will Not Bow to U.S. Sanctions Over S-400 Deal

Turkey builds border wall inside Syria

Qatar tourism official says no visas for Egyptians, describes them as ‘enemies’

Libyan officials say 200 people have been killed in recent fighting

UN calls for week-long Libya Ramadan truce

Ramadan moon sighted in Saudi Arabia, holy month begins on Monday

Saudi King Salman calls for tolerance, moderation in Ramadan message

Taliban suicide bomber leads attack on an Afghan police HQ, 20 injured

Thirteen killed in Taliban attack on Afghan police compound

Pakistan says Indian fire kills two civilians in Kashmir

Trump Shrugs Off North Korean Weapons Test as Administration Seeks New Talks

US destroyers sail in disputed South China Sea

Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics after Easter attacks

Sri Lanka town under curfew after religious violence

Philippines: World’s Top Internet User Taps Fake News Busters for Elections

Trump attacks social media companies after Facebook bans

Trump Retweets Far-right, 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Recently Banned From Facebook

Trump reverses course, says Mueller ‘should not testify’ before Congress

‘Hung jury’: Public remains divided over Mueller probe in new NBC/WSJ poll

Venezuela crisis: Guaido ‘considering asking US for military intervention’

Venezuela to strip immunity from lawmakers who backed coup bid

41 dead in Russian plane blaze disaster

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Santa Praxedes, Philippines

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Bengkulu, Indonesia

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Kainantu, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Amahusu, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

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

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Cyclone “Fani” forced one of the biggest human evacuations in history

India cyclone kills at least 33, hundreds of thousands homeless

Resistant ‘superbug’ hitting hospitals in N.Y., N.J. should be declared public health emergency, lawmaker says

Germany mulls fines to boost measles vaccination rates

Brunei says it won’t enforce gay death penalty after backlash

Buttigieg, husband meet with Jimmy Carter, sit in on Sunday school class


Apostasy Watch Daily News

The American Church and the New Dark Ages

Dr. Michael Brown — Shilling for the NAR Yet Again

Investigation Shows Televangelists Living Lavish Lifestyles

The Spirit Bill Johnson wants you to follow

Rachel Held Evans, the Hugely Popular Christian Writer Is Dead at 37

Deaths of Cedar Hill pastor, family in suspicious house fire ruled murder-suicide

Laurel man who served as Maryland pastor heading to prison on child porn charges

Thousands Pack NYC’s Times Square for ‘Alive from New York’ to Witness Live 4D Ultrasound

Buttigieg, husband attend Jimmy Carter’s Sunday school class

Ancient 3,000-year-old tablet suggests Biblical king may have existed

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels’


Truth2Freedom Blog Disclaimer

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

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

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

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

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

 

Oliver Thomas @USATODAY Says the American Church Got it Wrong on Gay People—And He’s Right — Canon Fodder

By now, many readers will have seen (or even read) the rather brazen op-ed piece in USA Today by retired mainline pastor, Oliver Thomas. In short, the article argues that the American church has been wrong about gay people because they’ve been wrong about something else. The church has been wrong about the Bible.

Turns out the Bible is not true after all.

So, argues Thomas, once we get that pesky Bible out of the picture, we are free to approve homosexuality as right and good. And once we do that, then our churches—which have been bleeding members for years—will finally grow again.

Of course, Thomas is not the first one to try to make Christianity compatible with homosexuality. But, most others try to do it by arguing that we’ve merely misunderstood the Bible. Once we interpret it rightly, it turns out the Bible is actually for homosexuality.

But not Thomas. His argument is much more simple: the Bible just got it wrong.

While Thomas’ argument is much more honest (I appreciate the fact that he just admits the Bible does not approve of homosexuality) it also much more brazen. Basically, he’s arguing everyone in the history of the Judeo-Christian movement is wrong: the Bible, all of the history of Judaism, all of the history of Christianity, Moses, Paul, and, yes, even Jesus.  All of them are wrong.

He states: “We have learned some things that the ancients — including Moses and Paul — simply did not know. Not even Jesus.”

But now, in the last generation, Thomas finally got it right.

Needless to say, that is a bold argument. And it will take a lot to back it up.  So, how does Thomas get there?  Basically he has three arguments against the Bible:

Mistakes, Mistakes, Mistakes

Thomas’ main argument against the Bible is a simple one: “[The Scriptures] were written by men, and those men made mistakes.”

In other words, the Bible has errors.

Of course, this is not a new argument at all, but a rather old one. And one that has been answered since the very beginning of the church, and by countless scholars since.

Thomas acknowledges none of the backstory here, but merely trots out three examples of contradictions that he thinks settle the case. It’s almost like the mere mention of a difficult passage will make the Bible’s authority disappear in a vapor. Nothing to see here.

But, the Bible is a bit more resilient than that. And brushing aside its authority is not nearly so neat and easy. Scholars have answered the three objections he raises numerous times over.

For instance, Thomas repeats the stock claim that John and the Synoptics put the crucifixion on different days. But, the evidence for this is rather thin, coming down to a dispute about the word pascha in John 18:28 that by no means proves what Thomas thinks it does. (For a response, see D.A. Carson, John, 589-590).

Unfortunately, such charges are more easy to make than to refute. Those looking for a reason to reject the Bible are rarely eager to explore whether the charges are actually true.

Christians Don’t Follow the Bible Anyway

Thomas’ second argument is that we don’t need to worry about what the Bible says because Christians don’t really follow it anyway.

He states: “We don’t impose the death penalty on adulterers, Sabbath breakers and rebellious children. Nor do we chase women from God’s house because they are menstruating or exclude men because of their physical handicaps.”

It is clear that Thomas is unaware of the fallacious nature of this argument, despite how commonly it is invoked.  But, even the most basic Bible teaching highlights the fact that the Bible is in two testaments for a reason.  Under the new covenant, Christ has fulfilled and satisfied the purity laws required under the Mosaic economy.  Thus we no longer are obligated to do many OT things, such as get circumcised, follow certain food laws, etc.

In addition, the church is not a geo-political nation like Israel.  With the inclusion of the Gentiles, it is universal, global in scope. Thus, the church does not, and should not, have the legal/political prerogative to execute anyone. It’s authority is spiritual.

This is just basic stuff—Christian Theology 101, if you will.  Either Thomas is unaware of it, or intentionally does not mention it.  Neither option is a good one.

The Bible Teaches Morally Objectionable Things

Thomas is quick to pivot from homosexuality to racism, arguing that the Bible advocates slavery (among many other awful things): “But Southerners had Scripture on their side. Slaves were admonished to submit to their masters in the writings of both Peter and Paul. The Hebrew Scriptures likewise considered slavery as part of the divine order.”

Once again, Thomas is quick to utilize arguments that are repeatedly used in popular culture.  After all, such arguments make good soundbites. But, the reality is much more complex.

By no means does the Bible condone/promote slavery, as is so often claimed.  Thomas takes the word “slave” in the Bible and anachronistically reads back Civil War-era slavery into the text.  For a more balanced and nuanced treatment, see this article by Gavin Ortlund.

But, there is a bigger problem here for Thomas. His complaint about the Bible and slavery is a moral one.  Essentially, his argument is that the Bible’s teaching is morally defective.

Fair enough, but Thomas must then answer a more foundational question: Where does he get his moral standards from?  If the Bible fails to live up to a moral code, then what is this moral code? And why should we think it is absolute?

Of course, Thomas could simply say that the Bible fails to live up to his personal moral code.  But that is not an argument. For his argument to work, the Bible has to do more than just fail to please Oliver Thomas.  The Bible has to be objectively wrong.

This is a bigger problem than one might first think. After all, the entire op-ed piece engages in a good deal of ethical finger-wagging. Thomas is chiding (quite severely) the church for its moral failures.  To make such a claim, you better have some moral code to back it up.

But, what is Thomas left with?  He threw the Bible under the bus, along with Moses, Paul, and even Jesus.

One gets the impression that all Thomas is left with is himself for a moral standard.  And needless to say, that is not an adequate foundation for the arguments he’s making

Conclusion

In the end, Thomas’ op-ed is high on rhetoric and over-used cultural arguments against the Bible.  But, it seems short on deep reflection and engagement with the complex issues.

Ironically, Thomas began his article with a lament: “A sad thing is happening in America. The church is killing itself.”

In this way, Thomas is right. The church is killing itself, if by the “church” one means the mainline denominations who have abandoned biblical authority. Indeed, statistics have shown, plainly and incontrovertibly, that the mainline denominations are dying and the bible-believing ones are growing.

Thomas thinks abandoning biblical authority will fix the problem. On the contrary, it is the past abandonment of biblical authority by the mainline denominations that is the problem.

via Oliver Thomas @USATODAY Says the American Church Got it Wrong on Gay People—And He’s Right — Canon Fodder

NOT OVER: As Ceasefire Goes Into Effect, Netanyahu Says Gaza Campaign Not Over And Israel Is Preparing To Continue Fight Against Hamas — Now The End Begins

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday commented on reports of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal in Gaza, after two days of fighting in which four Israelis were killed, saying that Israel was readying for further confrontations with terrorist groups in the coastal enclave.

As we told you yesterday, it is no coincidence of any kind that the United States is sending over the USS Abraham Lincoln to the Middle East to deal with some vague, non-specific “Iranian threat’ at exactly the same time Hamas wants a ceasefire. Netanyahu has zero intentions of letting this one go after Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets killed 4 Israelis over the weekend.

“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalm 121:4,5,8 (KJV)

And why should he? The Israelis elected Netanyahu to keep them safe, and to do what needs to be done to protect their borders. That is the main job of any elected leader in any nation on the face of the earth. And with an ally like President Trump in the White House, providing the backup, there will never again be a better time to wipe out Hamas than right here and right now. Netanyahu is well aware of that, Trump is aware of that and guess what? Hamas, the PIJ and Iran are well aware of it also. Game on.

As ceasefire goes into effect, Netanyahu says Gaza campaign not over

FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: “Over the past two days, we have hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force, attacking over 350 targets and terrorist leaders and activists, and destroying terrorist infrastructure,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“The campaign is not over and requires patience and judgment. We are preparing to continue,” the prime minister added. “The goal was and remains to ensure the peace and security of the residents of the south. I send condolences to the families and wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.”

A spokesperson for Hamas similarly said, in response to the prime minister’s statement, that although the recent flareup in violence had come to an end, the wider conflict would continue.

“The resistance managed to deter the IDF,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, according to the Kan public broadcaster, referring to the Gaza terror groups. “Our message is that this round is over, but the conflict will not end until we regain our rights.”

The ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza terror groups went into effect at 4:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, ending two days of intense fighting that saw more than 600 rockets fired at Israel and four Israeli civilians killed.

Over two days, in response to the rocket fire, the Israeli military conducted hundreds of strikes from the air and land, including one highly unusual targeted killing of a terrorist operative who the IDF said funneled money from Iran to terror groups in the Strip.

Palestinian medical officials reported 29 dead since Friday, including at least 11 terrorists, The Times of Israel confirmed. The Israeli government refused to confirm the reported truce, apparently so as to avoid publicly acknowledging its negotiations with terrorist groups. However, the military announced that, as of 7 a.m., it was lifting all security restrictions that had been in place in the south during the fighting, and that schools would be allowed to open, indicating that a ceasefire had indeed been reached. READ MORE

via NOT OVER: As Ceasefire Goes Into Effect, Netanyahu Says Gaza Campaign Not Over And Israel Is Preparing To Continue Fight Against Hamas — Now The End Begins

Gospel Coalition Editor, Southern Baptist Official, Calls For Impeachment of Trump — Christian Research Network

“Regarding Carter’s accusation of “attempting to obstruct justice,” attempting to obstruct justice is not a crime (and therefore cannot qualify as a high crime or misdemeanor), and neither did Mueller’s now-closed investigation accuse Trump of obstruction of justice. This has, by and large, been a liberal MSM-driven conspiracy theory that has been widely debunked.”

(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen)  A prominent official with two power evangelical organizations is calling for the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

These two organizations, The Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) share a good deal of the same board members and contributors….

Both organizations are funded heavily by globalist leftist billionaires (TGC by James Riady, and the ERLC by George Soros). TGC was co-founded by a Marxist, Tim Keller, and the ERLC is run by a communitarian, Russell Moore. Both organizations share Joe Carter as an editor and employee.

Joe Carter, responding in a Facebook thread by Robert Gagnon in which Gagnon took him to task for an absurd article at TGC in which Carter claimed using the term Cultural Marxist is anti-Semitic, called for the impeachment of our the current POTUS.  View article →

Research

Progressive Christianity

via Gospel Coalition Editor, Southern Baptist Official, Calls For Impeachment of Trump — Christian Research Network

May 6 A Conqueror in Christ

scripture reading: Romans 8:35–39
key verse: Galatians 5:17

The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

When asked who their greatest enemy is, most believers would say Satan. He is literally public enemy number one and will continue to rage and battle until Christ throws him into the everlasting lake of fire in hell (Rev. 20:10).

The devil, however, is not the only adversary on whom you must keep a watchful eye. Within the context of this overarching spiritual conflict are two less infamous, but equally notable foes.

Galatians 5:17 identifies your internal enemy: “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (nasb). These sinful desires cannot control you now, yet they still pack a powerful punch in your mind and emotions.

Externally your very position in Christ sets you at odds with the entire world system (1 John 2:15–17). People who don’t know Him as Savior have different values, ideals, and moral codes.

Even though at times you may feel surrounded by more enemies than you can name, you are never defeated (Rom. 8:35–39). In the turbulence today and the tough times ahead, remember that you are a conqueror in Christ.

Sometimes I feel surrounded by the enemy, Lord. In tough times help me remember I am a conqueror in Christ. I am an overcomer.[1]


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

6 may (1860) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Terrible convictions and gentle drawings

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” Psalm 32:3, 4

suggested further reading: Acts 16:11–34

I have met with at least a score of persons who found Christ and then mourned their sins more afterwards than they did before. Their convictions have been more terrible after they have known their interest in Christ than they were at first. They have seen the evil after they have escaped from it; they had been plucked out of the miry clay, and their feet set on a rock, and then afterwards they have seen more fully the depth of that horrible pit out of which they have been snatched. It is not true that all who are saved suffer these convictions and terrors; there are a considerable number who are drawn by the cords of love and the bands of a man. There are some who, like Lydia, have their hearts opened not by the crowbar of conviction, but by the picklock of divine grace. Sweetly drawn, almost silently enchanted by the loveliness of Jesus, they say, “Draw me, and I will run after thee.” And now you ask me the question—“Why has God brought me to himself in this gentle manner?” Again I say—there are some questions better unanswered than answered; God knows best the reason why he does not give you these terrors; leave that question with him. But I may tell you an anecdote. There was a man once who had never felt these terrors, and he thought within himself—“I never can believe I am a Christian unless I do.” So he prayed to God that he might feel them, and he did feel them, and what do you think is his testimony? He says, “Never, never do that, for the result was fearful in the extreme.” If he had but known what he was asking for, he would not have asked for anything so foolish.

for meditation: The important thing is not how we are brought to Christ, but that we are brought to Christ. The wind sometimes blows fiercely; sometimes it blows gently (John 3:8). But we should not presume upon God’s kindness, forbearance and patience—they lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

sermon no. 313[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 133). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

6 MAY 365 Days with Calvin

Inciting God’s Wrath

Therefore thus saith the Lord God; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Ezekiel 15:6

suggested further reading: Matthew 3:7–12

As often as we are favored with God’s gifts, by which we approach him and overcome the world, we ought also to remember what we were before God took us up. Acknowledging our original condition will erode all arrogance and prevent us from being ungrateful to God.

But that is not sufficient; we must also recognize that not only has God’s free grace raised us to such a height, but it also sustains us. Thus our continued state of grace is not because of our efforts but depends only on his will. Remembering our origin ought to humble us but also impress on us the sense of our infirmity. From this we learn that we cannot persevere unless God daily, yes, even momentarily, strengthens us and follows us with his favor.

Finally, if God afflicts or chastises us with his rod, we should know that he chooses this means to beat out of us the foolish confidence by which we deceive ourselves. We thus ought to diligently weigh the meaning of the phrase “the wood of the vine is useless when it is torn up,” especially when dry. For although profane nations perish, yet it is not surprising that God’s judgments will be even more severe toward the reprobate who are members of the church and have been enriched with spiritual gifts, yet who persist in unbelief.

The punishment of such ingratitude will make us an example to others, so that the whole world may be astonished at such dreadful signs of God’s anger. The Jews will become such objects of God’s wrath that they will cause hissing and abhorrence in the nations around them. They will be an astonishment and curse to the profane nations.

for meditation: The judgments that God will exact on those who belong to his church but are not true members are a terrifying prospect! The discipline that he uses to humble our pride is to be welcomed. It may be painful, but it reminds us that we owe everything to God’s grace.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 145). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Brutal: WSJ, National Review Editorials Slam Democrats’ Phony Fuming at Attorney General Barr

“Lack of Judgment and Seriousness.”

Brutal: WSJ, National Review Editorials Slam Democrats' Phony Fuming at Attorney General Barr

In a pair of house editorials that echoed a number of my central themes and points from yesterday, the right-leaning editors of the Wall Street Journal and National Review defended Attorney General William Barr from the Left’s scurrilous and desperate attacks against him, lambasting Democrats for their hysterical overreach. And with the liberal publications like the Washington Postand the New York Times predictably amplifying the Democratic line today, it’s officially confirmed that yesterday’s hearings provided no game-changers.  Let’s start with the Journal:

— Read on townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2019/05/02/wsj-editorial-democrats-phony-fuming-at-barr-n2545749

Disciples of false teachers, their anger, and what we can learn from this opportunity — The End Time

The fiercer the reaction, the deeper the hold satan has on his false teacher and her followers. We’ve seen the rabid ferocity of those who follow Beth Moore. When their idol is touched, her people come from out of the woodwork to pile on to the person attempting to bring light to Moore’s followers.

The same recently happened with Rachel Held Evans. My obituary contained mention of the fact that RHE had lived the life an an apostate, causing vitriol to pour from the lips of her many followers.

It’s important not to simply shae our heads adn go tut-tut, and walk away. I like to process an event and try to find a positive meaning from it. So that is what this essay is. Perhaps others may find it helpful.

These are a few of the names I was directly called:

wrong
gross
unkind
unloving
disgusting
opportunist
cruel
arrogant
horrid
disgraceful
insensitive
hypocrite
nasty
judgmental
condescending
Pharisee
poisonous
heathen
unsaved
good only for compost
evil
abomination
hellspawn (my personal favorite, lol)
b**ch

I asked the angry people tweeting me to cut and paste the allegedly objectionable portions of my essay, with an earnest promise that I’d take a look at it. Not one, not one person, acceded to my request. Very few even shared a Bible verse, to my recollection. I was called to be tolerant, but by the lengthy list above, you can see that their call for loving tolerance was simply a double standard, as they were anything but.

Anahn E. Moo® @anahnemoo made the following observation:

Every post, tweet, and article I’ve read by born-again Christians who are discussing the very likely state of RHE’s soul have been loving, gentle, mournful, and prayerful.
Every response by her worshipers have been vile and hateful, often laced with profanity and blasphemy.

This was a typical tweet from a #RHE devotee. There were literally hundreds on Saturday. Mainly they went like this, if I can summarize the general vein:

“RHE taught love & grace and tolerance, you horrid, poisonous hellspawn who speaks lies! I pray that you, judgmental, nasty Pharisee that you are, will find the grace that we all have, thanks to Rachel our prophet’s teaching”. This is a compilation of actual tweets.

Some of these people I chose to engage with, and I had success with one or two. One I blocked immediately, (the curse word lady). Two or three others I engaged with a bit then muted. The rest I shared the Gospel, attempted to be gracious, and let the hateful words slide off my back while offering either verses or pleasantries. One lady I did get a huge kick out of, her comment stood out. See below.

hellspawn

With so many tweeting and commenting, how did I know which to mute, block, or engage? That is a discussion I’ll enter into below. For now, I believe I can make an axiom out of this: the deeper the false teacher is in satan, the more vitriolic her followers’ response will be to anyone claiming she is false. Alternately, the longer satan has had a ‘spy’ in his clutches, having infiltrated a body of believers, the harder satan hangs on to her. (cf Revelation 2:20). His job is to use the false teacher to make slaves and draw away the unwary from Christ.

Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery— (Galatians 2:4).

These spies infiltrate the body and then promote false teachings, to which the fleshly gravitate. They accumulate these teachers for themselves, heaping them up because these false teachers suit their lusts.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3).

Neither the false teacher nor their followers will want to let go. The false teacher is enjoying popularity and money, the fleshly followers enjoy having their desires indulged.

Their ferocity is always at-the-ready:

Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6).

Their ferociousness is always bubbling just below the surface. Upon the slightest touch, it spews immediately and with a savagery that astounds the more polite and civil members of society. This is as true in real life as it is online, I’ve experienced both.

The ‘dogs’ verse evokes a mental image of stray, skinny, mangy, hungry dogs roaming in packs, but when you try to pet them, they turn snarling with foaming lips and tear you limb from limb.

We know that the world’s systems are under satan’s thumb. (2 Corinthians 4:4). Entertainment, politics, media, secular organizations all serve satan’s agenda, not Christ’s. We have seen where Christian movie makers and actors are blacklisted or whose reputations are destroyed, simply for either speaking as ambassadors of Jesus or for making movies that reflect His precepts.

We’ve seen in politics, especially in the realms of pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality, people that flood the public square with satan’s agenda and how they pile on on to those who oppose it. Even death threats and physical violence has been done against people exercising their right to freely speak their conservative beliefs in the public arenas.

We’ve seen the media taken over by the liberal journalists, who go to any lengths to preserve and present satan’s reality and publish even lies through their print or broadcast mediums.

In my past experience as a journalist I’ve experienced how the liberal media works when I opposed the lies. They decide on a target. In one case they had decided on three targets for a certain smear campaign, but decided three was too unwieldy so then they focused their attention on one person alone, funneling all their hostility onto him. Next, they decide what to say against their selected target, and lies work just as well or even better than the truth. Finally, they tag-team the target with their talking points. They do not alter it and they do not vary their talking points, knowing that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will stick. They do this with a savagery and a brutality that is relentless and breathtaking.

Events such as these are instructive, I find. Even more so is when the Christian stands against satan’s lies when opposing a false teacher. How is it instructive? The false teacher’s followers are masquerading as penitent, polite, grace filled people, therefore they are hard to spot. But when their idol is touched, that thin veneer is stripped away quickly. This is helpful. With little effort we can quickly see who the mission field is. False converts are hard to spot normally, but when they come out in full force, well, there they are.

False teachers are a problem and have been since the beginning. Their followers are often like marauding hordes intent on destruction (of character, reputation of the body itself). In fact, in John 16:2 (NAS) we read,

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.”

They think they are doing right, protecting their false teacher so fiercely.

By the number of verses in the New Testament dealing with the fact that false teachers will exist, and that their many followers will cling to lies, we know we must be on guard and act as salt and light to their dying hearts.

Now it is the job of the Christian to determine which disciples of false teachers to engage with and which to turn away from. The Bible suggests various approaches.

For example, Jude 1:22-23 says to engage,

have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; and to still others, show mercy tempered with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.

James says to engage,

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, (James 5:19).

Titus 3:10 says to warn a divisive man once then twice, (but then then have no more to do with him, because foolish controversies edify no one.)

In other cases we are not to engage with a follower of a false teacher or a false teacher herself. We are told to simply mark and avoid, (Romans 16:17), told to close the door to the false teacher, not even allowing him or her into our homes. (2 John 1:10).

Other times we are also told not to associate:

Take note of anyone who does not obey the instructions we have given in this letter. Do not associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

By the number of verses that exhort the believer to do certain things or not to do certain things when encountering a false teacher and/or her converts, it’s obvious that care and prayer must be involved. Is this a case where I must engage? Or simply mark and avoid? Is this a case where I have mercy on those who doubt, or is it a case where the doubt is so entrenched that I must close the door to them?

The level of their anger will be a first indication of how far to go in engaging them. The list of angry words above is put in a level of order from (IMO) mild to hot. (AKA wanderers from the truth) it’s obvious that care and prayer must be involved.

Remember, the hate directed toward you is not directed toward you particularly, it’s directed toward Jesus. It is not a situation to decry, but it is in fact an opportunity. Wayward believers have just revealed themselves. What to do? Not all, but some are the mission field. The level of their anger will be a first indication of how far to go in engaging them. The list of angry words above is put in a level of order from (IMO) mild to hot.

We can engage with scripture, share the Gospel, or simply behave in ways the world does not expect (salt & light, grace & truth).

Other times we mark and avoid. Praying to the Holy Spirit will guide you as to what to do, when. Remember, His ministry is to point to Jesus and the Spirit is even more concerned than you are for Jesus’ name, your edification and growth, and the false believer’s soul (whether it demonstrates God’s justice in perdition or in His grace in heaven).

Be well and wise, soldier, and march onward.

————————————————-

Further reading:

False prophets and their methods, by Adrian Rogers

Wretched: Christians must get over their fear of pointing out false teachers

Why do false teachers have so many followers?

via Disciples of false teachers, their anger, and what we can learn from this opportunity — The End Time

May 6, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

17-18. The Prophet declares now at large what that rest would be of which he had spoken; it would be even this—that he would not cease to rejoice in God, even in the greatest afflictions. He indeed foresees how grievous the impending punishment would be, and he warns also and arouses the faithful, that they might perceive the approaching judgment of God. He says, Flourish shall not the fig, and no fruit shall be on the vines; fail shall the olive. First, the fig shall not flourish; then, the fields shall produce nothing; and lastly, the cattle and the sheep shall fail. Though the figs produce fruit without flowering, it is not yet an improper use of פרח, perech, which means strictly to bud. He means that the desolation of the land was nigh at hand, and that the people would be reduced to extreme poverty. But it was an instance of rare virtue, to be able to rejoice in the Lord, when occasions of sorrow met him on every side.

The Prophet then teaches us what advantage it is to the faithful seasonably to submit to God, and to entertain serious fear when he threatens them, and when he summons them to judgment; and he shows that though they might perish a hundred times, they would yet not perish, for the Lord would ever supply them with occasions of joy, and would also cherish this joy within, so as to enable them to rise above all their adversities. Though, then, the land was threatened with famine, and though no food would be supplied to them, they would yet be able always to rejoice in the God of their salvation; for they would know him to be their Father, though for a time he severely chastised them. This is a delineation of that rest of which he made mention before.

The import of the whole is—“Though neither the figs, nor the vines, nor the olives, produce any fruit, and though the field be barren, though no food be given, yet I will rejoice in my God;” that is, our joy shall not depend on outward prosperity; for though the Lord may afflict us in an extreme degree, there will yet be always some consolation to sustain our minds, that they may not succumb under evils so grievous; for we are fully persuaded, that our salvation is in God’s hand, and that he is its faithful guardian. We shall, therefore, rest quietly, though heaven and earth were rolled together, and all places were full of confusion; yea, though God fulminated from heaven, we shall yet be in a tranquil state of mind, looking for his gratuitous salvation.

We now perceive more clearly, that the sorrow produced by the sense of our guilt is recommended to us on account of its advantage; for nothing is worse than to provoke God’s wrath to destroy us; and nothing is better than to anticipate it, so that the Lord himself may comfort us. We shall not always escape, for he may apparently treat us with severity; but though we may not be exempt from punishment, yet while he intends to humble us, he will give us reasons to rejoice: and then in his own time he will mitigate his severity, and by the effects will show himself propitious to us. Nevertheless, during the time when want or famine, or any other affliction, is to be borne, he will render us joyful with this one consolation, for, relying on his promises, we shall look for him as the God of our salvation. Hence, on one side Habakkuk sets the desolation of the land; and on the other, the inward joy which the faithful never fail to possess, for they are upheld by the perpetual favour of God. And thus he warns, as I have said, the children of God, that they might be prepared to bear want and famine, and calmly to submit to God’s chastisements; for had he not exhorted them as he did, they might have failed a hundred times.

We may hence gather a most useful doctrine,—That whenever signs of God’s wrath meet us in outward things, this remedy remains to us—to consider what God is to us inwardly; for the inward joy, which faith brings to us, can overcome all fears, terrors, sorrows and anxieties.

But we must notice what follows, In the God of my salvation: for sorrow would soon absorb all our thoughts, except God were present as our preserver. But how does he appear as such to the faithful? even when they estimate not his love by external things, but strengthen themselves by embracing the promise of his mercy, and never doubt but that he will be propitious to them; for it is impossible but that he will remember mercy even while he is angry.[1]


17 Divine judgment strikes the basic sources of Israel’s agricultural economy. From the beginning, her prosperity was dependent on obedience to the covenant and on the Lord’s consequent blessing (Lev 26:3–5, 10; Dt 28:2–14). Conversely, when Israel’s corporate life was marked by disobedience and disloyalty to the covenant, the Lord’s chastening followed, normally through natural and military disasters (Lev 26:14–33; Dt 28:16–17, 22–24, 30–31, 38–42; cf. Dt 11:16–17; Isa 7:23–25; Hos 2:12; Joel 1:7–12; Am 4:6–9; Hag 1:6–11; 2:16–19). In this graphic vision of a devastated economy, Habakkuk acknowledges his nation’s apostasy and sets himself to face the inevitability of judgment (cf. 1:2, 4, 12; 3:2, 16). In an agricultural society, the devastation described will be total.

18 The patient faith demonstrated in v. 16 reaches full expression in this verse. The parallel verbs affirming Habakkuk’s joy (ʿālaz, “rejoice”; gîl, “be joyful”) are frequently used in the Psalter to reveal the psalmists’ confidence, often in the face of adversity (e.g., Pss 13:5; 16:8–10; 21:1, 6–7; 31:6–7; 32:10–11; cf. Isa 25:9; Joel 2:21, 23). For Habakkuk as for the psalmists, it is “God” himself and his intervention as “Savior” (yēšaʿ) that motivate his longing and his joyful attaining. The Babylonians, by contrast, “gloat” (ʿālaṣ [v. 14], possibly an alternative spelling of ʿālaz) to “devour the wretched” (v. 14) and “rejoice” (gîl, 1:15) over their prey. Their god is, in truth, their stomach, and their destiny is destruction (cf. Php 3:19).

The basis of Habakkuk’s faith, as of Paul’s, is first God himself as revealed in his covenantal promises. The covenant that promised the invasion and devastation of vv. 16–17 also gives assurance of restoration to God’s favor and presence (cf. Dt 30:1–10; 32:34–43); it is for this joy set before him that Habakkuk can set his face to confront and endure even the most devastating affliction.[2]


3:17–19 / Habakkuk’s last verses expand further on that attitude to which he is committed in the meantime, and which he wants to commend to his hearers. The experiences he describes in verse 17 might be metaphors for adversity, but they are the kinds of things that happen when an army invades another country. The necessity to forbid the destruction of fruit trees in war (Deut. 20:19–20) reflects the fact that this was common practice, through carelessness or as a deliberate act of hostility. And an invading army will likewise kill and eat a country’s animals, without any thought for its future. Habakkuk can imagine the country going through this; and it does, when Babylon invades it. Or perhaps Habakkuk imagines things getting worse as natural disaster adds to military invasion, so that he is portraying a possible “worst-case scenario” (Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, p. 157).

There is again no yet in verse 18, though the niv does convey the effect of the language describing the transition from verse 17 (see additional note). There is an odd thing about being an Israelite (or a Christian). It means being able to continue to rejoice or exult or be triumphant (ʿalaz) and be joyful when there is no visible reason for that. Habakkuk intends to begin that exulting and rejoicing now—the verbs are cohortative. And this is because he is exulting and rejoicing in God my Savior, literally in “the God of my deliverance.” Habakkuk thus picks up another of the “deliverance” family of words (cf. vv. 8 [where niv has “victorious”] and 13). The fact that (as his vision has assured him) Yahweh as the God who delivers is committed to acting in deliverance, delivering the people, and delivering the anointed king means that Habakkuk can exult and rejoice now. One does not wait for the event of deliverance to take place before beginning to smile about it.

To put it another way, the sovereign Lord is my strength (v. 19a). Literally, Habakkuk speaks of “Yahweh my master” (ʾadonay). Habakkuk is only a servant, but what matters is whose servant you are. If you are the servant of a powerful master, this puts you in a very strong position in life. Habakkuk can leap about with the confidence and agility of a deer climbing the rocks, like the king who gives his testimony in Psalm 18:33. Yet that king does so on the basis of Yahweh having actually delivered him. Habakkuk makes his confession on the basis of Yahweh’s mere promise. He knows that people who wait for Yahweh find new strength even before they see what they wait for (Isa. 40:31).

Whether adversity takes the form of imperial oppression or natural disaster, the prophet has become convinced that they are not the end of the story. Yahweh will bring him and his people out the other side of these troubles. A time of exultation and rejoicing will come. Habakkuk is not envisaging an eschatological deliverance in the sense of a far-off event that he will not see, but a deliverance that he will experience.

In the event, the fall of Babylon in 539 b.c. almost certainly did not happen within Habakkuk’s lifetime, but it did happen. A prophet has to live with Yahweh’s decisions about when a vision finds fulfillment. Perhaps one consideration that helps him do this is the very fact that (like most prophecies) his vision is not a wholly novel one. It constitutes a reassertion of Yahweh’s known pattern of activity. Its restraint in referring to Babylon by name (as Nahum is restrained in his references to Assyria) is a symbol of that. The pattern it speaks of has obtained before, not least in Babylon’s own defeat of Assyria, within Habakkuk’s lifetime. It will recur. Habakkuk knows that whether he himself sees its next embodiment is not so important. It will need to be repeated again and again over coming millennia.

The footnote (v. 19b), similar to a phrase from a psalm heading (e.g., Pss. 4; 6), is a reminder of the fact that this prayer-poem was a song used in worship, and as such it seeks to draw people into the kind of statement of faith that the preceding lines offer. During some periods, maybe during Habakkuk’s day and certainly over succeeding decades and centuries, people’s present experience was of the kind described in verse 17. This did not mean they stopped rejoicing and exulting.[3]


3:17. Habakkuk knew the coming invasion would lead to devastation and starvation. He outlined the loss of major sources of food in a brief sketch: fig would not blossom; no grapes on the vines; olive crop and grain in the fields would produce no food; even the flock[s] of sheep and goats, as well as cattle, would die—be cut off. Nothing would be left.

3:18. But in a remarkable statement of faith and trust, Habakkuk pledged to exult in the Lord and rejoice in the God of my salvation. This is a personal statement of relationship and confidence in the Lord, expressed in the parallel ideas of exulting (cf. Pss 18:7; 68:4; 149:5; Zph 3:14) and rejoicing (cf. Pss 9:14; 30:1; 31:7; 40:16). These emotions are not centered on circumstances but, on the contrary, they are focused on the Lord, who is the source of his salvation and strength. No matter what the circumstances, the prophet was determined to trust in God and rejoice in the midst of whatever the Lord allowed to come. He was fully confident in God’s ability to move His people through judgment to deliverance.[4]


3:17. The prophet’s weakened physical state contrasted with his incredibly strong spiritual state. Habakkuk outlined the worst possible consequences: complete failure of crops (figs, grapes, olives, and grain-on which the nation depended for food) and total loss of sheep and cattle. Even in the midst of absolute ruin and abject famine (which came when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem, Lam. 2:12, 20, 4:4, 9–10; 5:17–18), the prophet was prepared to trust God. He realized that inner peace did not depend on outward prosperity.

3:18. Habakkuk did not state that he would merely endure in the hour of distress. He said he would rejoice in the Lord and be joyful. God is the inexhaustible source and infinite supply of joy. God my Savior is literally, “the God of my salvation” (’ělōhê yiš‘i; the same Heb. words are in Pss. 18:46; 25:5). Far too many people keep trying to buy joy, but happiness is not found in circumstances. Joy is available to everyone, even to those stripped of every material possession, for joy is to be found in a Person. It comes through an intimate and personal relationship with the Lord, so that even those in the worst circumstances can smile.[5]


3:18 — Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

How should we respond when our situation seems dire, even hopeless? What should we do when God appears silent, even uninterested? Oftentimes, trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees.

Life Examples:

Habakkuk
Trusting God in the Dark

Hab. 3:17–19

We trust God to accomplish what He promises us in His Word. But the real battle of faith comes when He appears not to respond to our trust.

What should we do when God appears to have ignored our request? Will we continue to rely upon Him despite the disappointment? Or will we blaze our own path and turn away from the Lord in discouragement?

The prophet Habakkuk demonstrated the essence of true faith: to continue to trust in the Lord’s wisdom and faithfulness, even when He seems inactive, or worse, uncaring.

In difficult times, faith becomes a matter of devoted allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we have confidence in Him regardless of the circumstances? Do we cling to God and His Word despite the silence? Can we say, along with Habakkuk, that although all our resources and reserves vanish, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord” (Hab. 3:18)?.[6]


3:17, 18 I will exult in the Lord. If everything that was normal and predictable collapsed, the prophet would still rejoice. Obedience to the covenant was a requisite element to the enjoyment of agricultural and pastoral prosperity (Dt 28:1–14). Though disobedience would initiate the covenant curses (Dt 28:31–34, 49–51), the prophet affirmed his commitment to the Lord; his longing and joyful desire was for God Himself.[7]


3:17, 18 Even when crops and herds fail (a horrifying thought in the context of an agricultural economy), and society lives with hunger and poverty, Habakkuk’s trusting expectation will not be crushed. Hope and trust transform his fear of the future into the desire to rejoice always in God his Savior (Rom. 8:35–39).[8]


[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 4, pp. 173–175). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Armerding, C. E. (2008). Habakkuk. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition) (Vol. 8, p. 647). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Goldingay, J., & Scalise, P. J. (2012). Minor Prophets II. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 85–87). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Rydelnik, M. A. (2014). Habakkuk. In The moody bible commentary (p. 1394). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[5] Blue, J. R. (1985). Habakkuk. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1521). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Hab 3:18–19). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[7] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Hab 3:17). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1314). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

United States Deploys USS Abraham Lincoln With Bomber Strike Force To Middle East After Hearing Iran Planned Attack On US Forces In Region — Now The End Begins

The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to clear indications that Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, said a U.S. official.

Well this was quite the surprise tonight. As a very shaky ceasefire is called between Israel and Hamas, the United States makes the stunning announcement that we are sending over the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber attack squad to the Middle East after threats from Iran.

Maybe it’s just me, but perhaps, and this is only a guess, but maybe Netanyahu is planning an all-out assault on Haza in Gaza, not a ceasefire, and President Trump is sending over some pretty substantial backup just in case? Because the timing of sending the Lincoln over is suspicious to say the least. But that’s my guess, let’s see what the next few hours bring.

Aircraft carrier sent to Middle East after indications Iran planned attack on US forces

FROM ABC NEWS: Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed to the Middle East in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

white-house-press-release-may-5-2019-iran-uss-abraham-lincoln

A statement from National Security Adviser John Bolton said the military deployments were intended “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” the statement continued.

A U.S. official told ABC News that the U.S. military deployments were in response to “clear indications” that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were preparing for a possible attack on U.S. forces in the region either on land or at sea.

The official said that the decision to send the forces to the Middle East was made Sunday. “The movement of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln to the region was expedited and it was ordered there effective immediately,” said the official. READ MORE

Air Power Demo • USS Abraham Lincoln

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 participate in an air power demonstration with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72). The deployed strike group include staffs, ships and aircraft of Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG-12), Destroyer Squadron 2 (DESRON-2), USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and Carrier Air Wing 7 (CVW-7); as well as Alvaro de Bazan-class Frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez (F-104).

via United States Deploys USS Abraham Lincoln With Bomber Strike Force To Middle East After Hearing Iran Planned Attack On US Forces In Region — Now The End Begins