Daily Archives: May 22, 2019

May 22 Requirements for Answered Prayer

Scripture Reading: Psalm 66:1–18

Key Verse: Psalm 66:18

If I regard iniquity in my heart,

The Lord will not hear.

Is there something in your life that you have prayed for repeatedly? Perhaps your prayers are for a mended relationship, a job offer, or healing. Whatever your need may be, the Bible provides us with five requirements for answered prayer.

  1. Complete dependence on Christ as the only grounds upon which we can claim blessing (John 14:13–14). We cannot rely on our personal merit for answered prayer. Instead, we must trust in Jesus alone.
  2. Separation from all known sin (Psalm 66:18). If we continue in sin, God will not answer our prayers. To do so would be to condone our sinfulness.
  3. Faith in God’s word of promise (Hebrews 11:6). It is important to understand the difference between God’s unconditional and conditional promises, and which ones are affected by our obedience.
  4. Asking in accordance with His will (1 John 5). We must pray in God’s will for our prayers to be answered. To know His heart, we must consult His Word and pray.
  5. Persistence in our request (Luke 18:1–8). God wants us to continue in prayer until our request is answered or until He says, “I have something better.” God is willing to answer our prayers, and He asks us to come boldly before the throne.

Cleanse my heart, Lord, of wrongdoing, so that I can surrender to Your will in prayer and depend completely on Your grace.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 149). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 22 Your Family’s Defense

Scripture Reading: Psalm 140:1–8

Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

You don’t fight real wars with popguns, and you don’t fight the devil with mere determination or resolve. God provides our families’ defense against Satan. If we are to succeed, we must take up His weapons.

Pray for each member of your family every day. Ask God to surround each one with His supernatural hedge of protection against the tactics of the evil one. Call out their names before God, thanking Him that they are inscribed on the palm of His hand.

Especially pray the Word of God. Find Scriptures that pertain to your particular problems, and pray those Scriptures to God. It is the truth of God, and the truth always defeats the lies of Satan.

Resist the devil in the name of Jesus. Through your union with Christ, you have been given victory over the enemy. Jesus defeated Satan through His sinless life, His atoning death, and His triumphant resurrection. Satan is a vanquished foe. Though he still puts up a vicious fight, you can overcome him through the power of Jesus Christ.

Rebuke the devil in Christ’s name, command him to flee, and stand firm. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your family members and leave no room for the devil to set up shop.

Dear heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I rebuke the power of the enemy over my family and command him to flee! Holy Spirit, fill each member of my family so that there is no room for Satan to operate.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 149). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 22 A Taste of Heaven

Scripture reading: Revelation 21:1–8

Key verse: Revelation 7:11

All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.

Some dear saints long for a glimpse of heaven. The apostle John had this very experience. Momentarily, God allowed John to taste the goodness of His heavenly presence while remaining on earth. What an honor for a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Heaven is a place of worship and praise. The overwhelming scene that opened before John’s eyes was one of true glory. John wrote: “When I saw [Jesus], I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death’ ” (Rev. 1:17–18).

The emotion that swept through John as he saw the risen Savior and Lord was one of awesome fear and worship. It was not fear as we experience it in everyday life. Instead, it was a reverent fear that recognized the power and strength of almighty God.

When you are called to stand in God’s presence, life on earth and all its troubles will seem small and insignificant. There will be only one issue at hand—the need to bow down and worship the Savior.

You can enjoy a taste of heavenly worship here and now. Enter God’s presence with a grateful heart as you meditate on the goodness of His affections toward you.

Thank You for Your goodness to me, Lord. As I enter into Your presence to worship today, give me a taste of what awaits me in heaven.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 149). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Why Was Mueller Investigation Needed If Witnesses Are Asked To Testify Again? | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Jennie Taer via SaraCarter.com,

On May 17, 2017 Robert Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel to investigate alleged coordination efforts between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. On March 22, 2019 he delivered his report final report to Attorney General William Barr.

Over the course of his probe, Mueller brought 199 charges against 34 people and three companies, including six of Trump’s former advisers and associates.

How much did the Mueller Investigation cost?

During these 22 months of investigation, Mueller’s team have filed 3 expense reports, with a fourth one coming soon. The first three reports totaled approximately $6.8 million, $10 million and $8.5 million, respectively. So the last one, if comparable to the others, would make the final dollar amount of Mueller’s probe between $32 million and $35 million.

Despite Mueller’s extensive investigation and its conclusions, democrats in Congress are pursuing multiple investigations on the same subjects previously investigated by the Special Counsel.

Rep. Mark Meadows questioned “what on earth was the point of a taxpayer funded special counsel if we’re going to demand every witness testify again – after the case is already closed?

And President Trump agrees…Everybody, including me, thought that when the 40 Million Dollar Mueller Report was released with No Collusion and No Obstruction (of a crime caused by others), that was the end. But no, the Democrats want to keep it going in an effort to help them in 2020. Bad for the Country!

Source: Why Was Mueller Investigation Needed If Witnesses Are Asked To Testify Again?

For Democrats, the Party’s Over — National Review

The idea that anyone ever nominated by a serious American political party would collude with a foreign power to rig a presidential election is insane.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D, N.Y.) are joined by other Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

They now must choose between ignominiously dropping their impeachment effort and embarrassingly pursuing it.

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the offense of obstruction of justice in his four-page summary of the Mueller report: a corrupt act for corrupt purposes in contemplation of a legal proceeding. The attorney general, William Barr, the then deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, and the Justice Department counsel concurred that none of the elements was present in the conduct of the president as recounted by Mueller. The dream died, except in the febrile imagination of the Democrats, who launched an unfounded attack on the attorney general’s integrity. Everyone knows that the prospects of a successful move to impeach and remove the president from office by two thirds of the Senate finding that he has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors, as the Constitution requires, are less than zero.

The turn of the tables has been exquisite and complete. The idea that anyone ever nominated by a serious American political party would collude with a foreign power to rig a presidential election is insane. No one, not even a scoundrel such as Aaron Burr or a third-party naif such as Henry Wallace, would have dreamt of such a thing. But in their desperation and denial after the unimaginable victory of someone pledged to clean out the entire political class that has ruled America since the Reagan years, the Democrats paid $10 million for a false dossier on Trump, corrupted and politicized the intelligence services and the FBI, set up an echo chamber of self-verification with the national media Trump had already reviled as dishonest, and provoked the creation of a special counsel to look into Trump–Russian collusion. The Republican congressional leaders sat on their hands to see if the leader none of them had supported would be impeached, and the Democrats and their scripted media choristers smugly carped and waited like noisy crocodiles for their victim to be reduced to inert helplessness. Guess what.

Mueller did his best, with a character assassination of the president from selected Star Chamber testimony of no legal relevance and an attempt to pull the pin on a damp grenade by citing a series of legally innocuous facts and declaring an inability to exonerate for obstruction, though collusion with Russia was hopeless. Mueller knew that that was not his brief — no one had asked him to do anything except state whether or not there was valid reason to impeach the president. His spurious and cowardly recitation of legal fineries that fulfill none of the requirements for obstruction combined with a sorrowful statement of inability to exonerate on that charge is, in fact, an exoneration. It was the best Mueller, a slab-faced Trump-hater who assembled a famished wolf-pack of pathological Trump-haters as his investigative team, could do: He failed the Democratic lynch mob because he couldn’t find any evidence, and he failed the country in not producing a fully honest and impartial report. The Democrats are left at a crossroads: keep swinging like punch-drunk prizefighters lashing out when they hear the bell of a passing streetcar, or abandon the impeachment ship while there is still room in the lifeboats.

The president has won his spurs with his own party. While they waited as mute and spineless spectators, he wrestled the Russian-collusion leopard off his back and slew it. He is right to stonewall the Democratic House committees on their much-touted blizzard of subpoenas. The porcine judiciary chairman, Jerry Nadler, a virulent enemy of Trump for 30 years, splutters with righteousness, but he has no legal right nor the decisive political support to start all over again after Mueller has come up empty-handed. President Truman determined in reference to the House Un-American Affairs Committee, and President Eisenhower stated in reference to the various Joseph R. McCarthy hearings, that they would not tolerate any federal executive-branch employee’s being subpoenaed about any advice they gave the president, that they would accept and honor no such subpoenas, and that anyone who responded to such subpoenas would be fired at once. This was established pre-Watergate practice and is sound law. No one should imagine that Nadler is more virtuous than McCarthy or the other red-baiters.

Finally, the nation is recovering from the Watergate assassination. Richard Nixon opposed Truman’s position but loyally supported Eisenhower when he served him as vice president, in the same position Truman had taken, and he was instrumental in the censure of McCarthy. He assumed when he was president that he could define executive discretion as Truman and Eisenhower had. He completely mishandled the Watergate investigation. He forgot that any District of Columbia jury was bound to convict Republicans of anything, forgot the dangers of the plea-bargain system as it had evolved, and forgot that the Senate could ignore lawyer–client privilege in the case of a useful turncoat such as John Dean (who still inflicts his contemptible opinions on the country at the behest of the Trump-hating media). There is still thoroughly insufficient evidence to establish that Nixon participated in the spontaneous semi-conspiracy that developed in Nixon’s entourage to obstruct justice, and then the perjury of a number of his subordinates in the administration and in the Republican organization.

Nixon’s assailants have lived ever since off his confusion over the impeachment threat, which had never been seriously considered in respect of a president since the failure to remove Andrew Johnson in 1868. (This explains the frequent surfacing on our television screens, like a reptilian monster of the deep, of Carl Bernstein peddling his nonsense about a “constitutional crisis” arising from the president’s alleged mental incapacity.) Nixon recognized too late what he had allowed to happen; impeachment was unthinkable, and as a fierce American patriot he was ashamed of embarrassing the presidency and determined to spare the country a Senate trial, and therefore withdrew. Unfortunately, as some of us foresaw, the process temporarily resulted in an addiction to impeachment by both parties as a destructive trick to emasculate a president, a perverted mutation of a parliamentary non-confidence motion.

The response of the executive branch to this threat has evolved and become more resourceful, like immunity to an affliction after recurrences of it. Where President Nixon spared the country the agony after it had made probably terminal inroads, President Reagan in the Iran-Contra affair, a minor matter involving a popular president near the end of his term, with plausible deniability, just said “I don’t recall,” and it passed. President Clinton, as Whitewater was transmogrified into the blue dress and likely perjury to a grand jury, fought it out, and his opponents got a 50–50 split on one count, but did not come close to removal. Now, finally, comes a president armed with a decisive legal and political advantage who is happy to meet his accusers and massacre them if they charge. If Speaker Pelosi can’t restrain the far-left imbeciles from voting impeachment, they will not even hold the Democrats in the Senate. There is no evidence to convict this president of anything, and the country will be outraged.

The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. They must put up or shut up, impeach or back down. The president has called their bluff and the game is about to end, either an embarrassing defeat for the Democrats or political annihilation. Pelosi is no galvanizing leader, but she is a cagey veteran. She has tried to warn her more-furious caucus members of what they are getting into but is obviously having trouble controlling her partisans. I assume contemplation of what awaits will induce the House Democrats to opt for a trip to the woodshed over the political gallows, but it would be impetuous to bet a five-cent cigar on their collective judgment. Their attempt at regicide has failed completely; it’s still a bit of a long shot, but they might just manage suicide, not from justified conscientious shame, but out of witless antagonism. One way or the other, the papier-mâché Damoclean sword of impeachment will disintegrate just as the prominent Democrats who grievously abused their offices in trying to destroy Trump get ready for their own trials. Both sides come to bat in this legal game, and the Democrats have struck out.

via For Democrats, the Party’s Over — National Review

President Trump Delivers Remarks After Meeting With Pelosi and Schumer… — The Last Refuge

President Trump was scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for a discussion over an infrastructure spending bill.  However, after partisan remarks by Nancy Pelosi accusing President Trump of a cover-up, any hope of negotiating an infrastructure bill collapsed.  President Trump is angered:

via President Trump Delivers Remarks After Meeting With Pelosi and Schumer… — The Last Refuge

The Deep State’s ‘Insurance Policy’ Was Obstruction – But President Trump Never Obstructed and Crushed Obama’s Deep State! — The Gateway Pundit

The Deep State players in the FBI left a clue of their plans when they called what they were doing an ‘Insurance Policy’.  Their plans were to catch President Trump obstructing their fraudulent investigation.  But the President outsmarted them and by not obstructing ended their soft coup!

As previously reported, a portion of the approximately 10,000 texts messages sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page were released in 2017. Among the messages is an exchange revealing Strzok and Page discussed an ‘insurance policy,’ against a Trump presidency.

The text from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page said this:

I want to believe the path u threw out 4 consideration in Andy’s office-that there’s no way he gets elected-but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.It’s like an insurance policy in unlikely event u die be4 you’re 40.”

There has been much speculation as to what exactly the insurance policy was that Strzok and Page were discussing.  Some suspect that it was the fake dossier created by former MI6 Agent and Trump hater Christopher Steele that the FBI used to obtain the warrant to spy on the Trump campaign and administration via a Carter Page warrant.

Others suggest that the insurance policy may have been the Mueller investigation.  It may have been all of the above that were created to take the focus off of Obama’s crimes and the Deep State.

But what we believe is that the ‘insurance policy’ most likely was the attempt to frame the President and lure him into an obstruction charge.

This makes sense when you review the activities that led up to today.  For starters, Obama’s Deep State and its leaders in the FBI, DOJ, State Department and CIA were all working overtime to obtain the FISA warrant to spy on Trump.  Hillary Clinton was tied to the Uranium One scandal and she was also skating by after the bogus investigation into her emails.  Obama and Hillary had to do something so they decided to go on the attack and frame Donald Trump.

They started by spying on candidate Trump and his team.  They did this across Europe and in the United States.  They even spied on Trump in Trump Tower in New York City. But President Trump found this out and tweeted about it in the first months of his administration –

Next the Deep State set in motion the most corrupt actions in US history.  They fed fake news to the media who gladly repeated it.  All of it was anti-Trump propaganda.  They leaked information to the press, some real and much fake, that added to the media’s Trump frenzy.

They used the US Intel apparatus to spy on the President and his team.  The next big move was to get the President’s Attorney General to recuse himself from just about everything and then encourage the DOJ to hire their corrupt guy to run the DOJ, Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy AG.  Rosenstein did a masterful job in redacting anything that Congress would ask for related to their coup, so much so that he was soon known as Rod Redactenstein.

Rosenstein’s major move though was to create the Mueller Special Counsel.  But what’s most telling is the manner in which they did this and nearly every criminal action that they took that followed.

Mueller and his team were as conflicted as any gang in US history.  They all were related to the Hillary campaign, gave money to her campaign or both.  These people were more conflicted than any group in history.  They should have never been put together.  This was part of the Deep State’s tactics, to make the team so incredibly conflicted that Trump would have to intervene, but he did not.

Mueller was conflicted as well.  He had a conflict with Trump in the past and the President suggested that he be replaced according to the Mueller report.  But Mueller was never replaced.

The investigation was not based on a crime, which is required by law.  The President had every right to fight the legitimacy of the investigation based on this or the fact that the scope of the investigation was broader than the law permits.  But the President did not take this to court.  The truth is the President could have argued the legitimacy of the investigation on numerous counts, but he did not.

The Mueller team obtained documents from the Trump team related to his transition.  This was in spite of the Trump team providing the Mueller investigation everything they asked for.  This was a material breach of trust and an act that questioned the Special Counsel’s legitimacy again.  The material used from this was arguably tainted (fruit from the poisonous tree) but Trump never took this to court.

The Mueller team questioned the President’s White House Council for hours.  This took could have been stopped by the President at any time claiming an executive privilege but he did not stop it.  The President never once claimed executive privilege throughout the entire ordeal.

They next went after the President’s personal attorney.  To hell with attorney – client privilege!  They raided his place in the early morning hours and took information that was used against the attorney for things not even closely related to the investigation.

The set up and indicted the President’s ally and friend General Mike Flynn.  They did the same with other individuals who worked with the President, some working for free like George Papadopoulos.

They brought crimes to the court for Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, the whole time ignoring that Manafort worked with Hillary’s Campaign Manager, John Podesta.  They ignored all of Hillary’s crimes.

They went after the President’s son, Don Jr, and set him up with some Russians during the campaign.  They held him for hours answering questions related to this set up.  They threatened indicting younger Don and the President did not obstruct!

Obama’s Deep State coup did all they could to encourage the President for obstruction, but instead of buying into their corrupt acts, and rightly stopping the fraudulent investigation, the President held tight.

The President did not obstruct.  Eventually President Trump replaced worthless and perhaps complicit Attorney General Sessions with a man able to stand up to the Deep State actors and it was soon over.

The insurance policy was the Deep State’s attempt to get the President on obstruction, in spite of the fact that there was no collusion.  The Deep State lost.  Now it’s time to review their actions and bring them to justice.  Drain the Swamp!

via The Deep State’s ‘Insurance Policy’ Was Obstruction – But President Trump Never Obstructed and Crushed Obama’s Deep State! — The Gateway Pundit

May 22, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Salvation Is by Love

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (2:4)

Salvation is from sin and by love. God’s mercy is plousios, rich, overabounding, without measure, unlimited. The problem with reconciliation is not on the Lord’s side. The two words but God show where the initiative was in providing the power of salvation. His great desire is to be rejoined with the creatures He made in His own image and for His own glory. The rebellion and rejection is on man’s side. Because He was rich in mercy toward us and had great love for us, He provided a way for us to return to Him. In Romans 11:32 the apostle Paul focuses on this same issue in saying, “God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.” His purpose in so doing is given in verse 36: “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (emphasis added).

Salvation for God’s glory is by the motivation and power of God’s great love. God is intrinsically kind, merciful, and loving. And in His love He reaches out to vile, sinful, rebellious, depraved, destitute, and condemned human beings and offers them salvation and all the eternal blessings it brings. Man’s rebellion is therefore not only against God’s lordship and law but against His love.

If a person were driving down the street and carelessly ran down and killed a child, he probably would be arrested, tried, fined, and imprisoned for involuntary manslaughter. But after he paid the fine and served the sentence he would be free and guiltless before the law in regard to that crime. But paying his penalty before the law would do nothing to restore the life of the child or alleviate the grief of the parents. The offense against them was on an immeasurably deeper level. The only way a relationship between the parents and the man who killed their child could be established or restored would be for the parents to offer forgiveness. No matter how much the man might want to do so, he could not produce reconciliation from his side. Only the one offended can offer forgiveness, and only forgiveness can bring reconciliation.

Though greatly offended and sinned against (as depicted in the parable of Matt. 18:23–35), because of God’s rich … mercy and His great love He offered forgiveness and reconciliation to us as He does to every repentant sinner. Though in their sin and rebellion all men participated in the wickedness of Jesus’ crucifixion, God’s mercy and love provide a way for them to participate in the righteousness of His crucifixion. “I know what you are and what you have done,” He says; “but because of My great love for you, your penalty has been paid, My law’s judgment against you has been satisfied, through the work of My Son on your behalf. For His sake I offer you forgiveness. To come to Me you need only to come to Him.” Not only did He love enough to forgive but also enough to die for the very ones who had offended Him. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Compassionate love for those who do not deserve it makes salvation possible.

Salvation Is into Life

even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (2:5)

Above all else, a dead person needs to be made alive. That is what salvation gives—spiritual life. To encourage believers who doubt the power of Christ in their lives, Paul reminds them that if God was powerful and loving enough to give them spiritual life together with Christ, He is certainly able to sustain that life. The power that raised us out of sin and death and made us alive (aorist tense) together with Christ (cf. Rom. 6:1–7) is the same power that continues to energize every part of our Christian living (Rom. 6:11–13). The we may emphasize the linking of the Jew with the Gentile “you” in verse 1. Both are in sin and may receive mercy to be made alive in Christ.

When we became Christians we were no longer alienated from the life of God. We became spiritually alive through union with the death and resurrection of Christ and thereby for the first time became sensitive to God. Paul calls it walking in “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). For the first time we could understand spiritual truth and desire spiritual things. Because we now have God’s nature, we now can seek godly things, “the things above” rather than “the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2). That is what results from being alive together with Christ. “We shall also live with Him” (Rom. 6:8) says the apostle, and our new life is indistinguishable from His life lived in us (Gal. 2:20). In Christ we cannot help but be pleasing to God.[1]

But God

Ephesians 2:4–5

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

It is customary in preparing English translations of the New Testament to rearrange the Greek phrases. This is appropriate, because English syntax is different from Greek syntax and the rearrangements present better for the English mind what the Greek is saying. Still, I wish the translators of the New International Version had not rearranged the phrases of Ephesians 2:4. For in the Greek text this classical statement of the gospel begins with the two words “but God,” and that dramatic beginning is weakened when the words “because of his great love for us” are interposed.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones rightly says in his commentary, “These two words, in and of themselves, in a sense contain the whole of the gospel.” They tell what God has done, how God has intervened in what otherwise was an utterly hopeless situation. Before God’s intervention we were as Ephesians 2:1–3 describes us: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”

This is a deplorable, desperate, heinous condition. “But God!” The intervention of those words and what they represent make all the difference.

I want to ask four questions as I seek to expound these words: (1) Who is this God? (2) What has he done? (3) Why has he done it? and (4) What must I then do?

Who is This God?

It is important that we begin by discussing the nature of the God about whom Paul writes, for there are different ideas of God and not all ideas of who he is fill the bill. Many people think of God as a benevolent but nevertheless basically weak being. He would like to help us (and does somewhat), but he cannot do much. He is limited by evil and controlled by circumstances. Others think of God as powerful, but as distant and austere. He could help, but he does not care. People have thousands of conflicting and inadequate ideas about God. But the God about whom Paul is writing is not the God of this type of human imagining. He is the God of the Bible, the God of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the God Paul has already presented gloriously in the first chapter.

What do we know about this God? We know a number of things.

  1. God is sovereign. The most important thing that can be said about the God of the Bible is that God is sovereign. In fact if God is not sovereign, God is not God. Sovereignty means rule, so to say that God is sovereign is to say that God rules his creation. He made it, and he is in control of it. Nothing occurs without his permission. Nothing ever rises up to surprise him. What God has ordained from the beginning comes to pass. Because he knows this, Paul can speak as he does in the first chapter. For here he is not merely talking about what God has done in the past. That might be established merely by observation. He is also talking about the future, showing that God is at work to exalt Jesus as head of all things and subject everything to him. Paul speaks positively and certainly about the future because God is in control of it just as he has controlled the past. The future is certain because the all-powerful, sovereign God determines it.
  2. God is holy. Nothing is more apparent in Paul’s opening description of God’s great plan of salvation, unfolding over the ages, than that God is a moral God. He is not indifferent to issues of right and wrong, justice and injustice, righteousness and sin. On the contrary, it is because of his opposition to everything sinful that his great plan of salvation was devised and is being executed. Sin will be punished; righteousness will be exalted in his universe.
  3. God is full of wrath against sin. This point flows from God’s holiness. It is the outworking of his holiness against all that is opposed to it. This is why our condition is so frightful. Paul describes us as being “dead in [our] transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1). That is bad, of course. But it would not be frightful apart from God’s wrath against those transgressions. Apart from wrath we might simply conclude that this is just the way things are. God is God; we are people. He is holy; we are not holy. Let God go his way, and we will go ours. Ah, but it does not work like that. God does not simply take his own path. This is his universe. He is the holy God, and our sin has introduced a foul blemish into it. He is opposed to sin and is determined to stamp it out.

This is the God of the Bible and of the Lord Jesus Christ, the God about whom Paul is writing. This God is what we need, though we do not know it in our sinful state. Instead of coming to him to find new life and righteousness, we run from him to wickedness and spiritual death.

What Has God Done?

But God! It is wonderful to discover that although we run from God, preferring wickedness and death to righteousness and life, God has not run from us. Instead, he has come to us, and has done for us precisely what needed to be done. In a word, he has saved us. He has rescued us from the desperate, deplorable condition described at the beginning of the chapter.

When we were discussing the state of men and women before God intervenes to save them, I pointed out that our position as sinners (apart from God) is hopeless for three reasons. First, we are “dead in [our] transgressions and sins.” This means that we are no more able to help ourselves spiritually than a corpse is able to improve its condition. Even when the gospel is preached we are no more able to respond to it than a corpse can respond to a command to get up—unless God speaks the command. Dead means hopeless. When a person dies, the struggle is over. Second, we are enslaved by sin. This spiritual death is a strange thing. Although we are dead in sin so far as our ability to respond to God is concerned, we are nevertheless alive enough to be quite active in the practice of wickedness. In fact, we are enslaved to wicked practices. We are enslaved to sin. Third, we are under God’s just sentence for our transgressions so that, as Paul says, we are “by nature objects of wrath” (v. 3).

But God! Here is where the beauty and wonder of the Christian gospel comes in. We were hopelessly lost in wickedness. But God has intervened to save us, and he has saved us by intervening sovereignly and righteously in each of these areas.

Notice how this works out. We were dead in sins, but God “made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (v. 5). As I suggested at the close of the last chapter, our experience as Christians is like that of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. We were dead to any godly influence. But God can awaken the dead, and that is what he has done for us. Like Lazarus, we have heard the Lord calling us to “come out” (John 11:43); his voice brought forth life in us, and we have responded, emerging wonderfully from our spiritual tomb. Now life is no longer as it was. Life is itself new, and in addition we have a new Master and a new standard of righteous living to pursue.

Again, not only were we dead in our sins; we were also enslaved by them. Even though we might have desired to do better, we could not. Instead our struggles to escape only drew us down, plunging us deeper and deeper into sin’s quicksand. But God! God has not only called us back to life; he has also, Paul writes, “raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (v. 6). There are no slaves in heaven. So if we have been raised up with Christ and been made to sit in the heavenly realms in him, it is as free men and women. Sin’s shackles have been broken, and we are freed to act righteously and serve God effectively in this world.

Third, God has dealt with the wrath question. In our sins we are indeed “objects of wrath” (v. 3). But since Jesus has suffered in our place for our sin and we have been delivered from it, we are no longer under wrath. Instead we are objects of “the incomparable riches of [God’s] grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (v. 7).

John R. W. Stott puts it like this: “These two monosyllables [‘but God’] set against the desperate condition of fallen mankind the gracious initiative and sovereign action of God. We were the objects of his wrath, but God out of the great love with which he loved us had mercy upon us. We were dead, and dead men do not rise, but God made us alive with Christ. We were slaves, in a situation of dishonour and powerlessness, but God has raised us with Christ and set us at his own right hand, in a position of honour and power. Thus God has taken action to reverse our condition in sin.”

The words “but God” show what God has done. Besides, they draw our thoughts to God and encourage us to trust him in all things.

Am I ignorant of God? Indeed, I am. “ ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9–10).

Am I tempted to sin? Indeed, I am. “Temptation … is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13, kjv).

Am I foolish, weak, ignoble? Yes, that too. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor. 1:27–29).

Have I been the victim of other people’s sin and ill will? Probably, or at least I will be sooner or later. Still I will be able to say, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done” (Gen. 50:20).

May I put it quite simply? If you understand those two words—“but God”—they will save your soul. If you recall them daily and live by them, they will transform your life completely.

Why Did God Do It?

The third question I want to ask is: Why? Why did God do all that Paul and these other passages tell us he has done? There is only one answer: grace. He has done this because it has pleased him to do it. I say “one answer.” Yet, strictly speaking, Paul expresses the thought not with one but with four words.

  1. Love (v. 4). God has done this, Paul says, “because of his great love for us.” C. S. Lewis described this love by saying, “God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creations in order that he may love and perfect them. He creates the universe, already foreseeing—or should we say ‘seeing’? there are no tenses in God—the buzzing cloud of flies about the cross, the flayed back pressed against the uneven stake, the nails driven through the mesial nerves, the repeated torture of back and arms as it is time after time, for breath’s sake, hitched up.… Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves.”
  2. Mercy (v. 4). Mercy is related to love; it flows from it. But mercy has the sense of favor being shown to those who deserve the precise opposite. If nothing but a proper code of rewards and retribution were followed, sinners would receive God’s wrath. That they do not is because God is merciful. Instead of condemning them, as he had every right to do, he reached out and saved them through the death of Jesus Christ.
  3. Grace (v. 5). This is the word that seems chiefly to have been on Paul’s mind, for he repeats it in an almost identical sentence in the latter half of this same paragraph. Verse 5 says, “It is by grace you have been saved.” Verses 8 and 9 say similarly, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Grace means that there is no cause in us why God should have acted as he did. We think the opposite. We think God owes us something. Even after we become Christians we often find ourselves thinking in these terms. “Certainly God owes everyone at least a chance,” we say. Or when God fails to do something we think he should do, we say, “It just isn’t fair.” So long as we think that way we do not understand grace. Grace is God’s favor to the utterly undeserving.
  4. Kindness (v. 7). Compared to the others this word seems a bit weak, but it is not. It flows from the character of God, who is not weak. Kindness means much in our daily living as believers. In the course of our lives we often sin grievously and foolishly. But God does not strike us down when we do. He does not turn on us. Instead he is astonishingly kind. He protects us from the worst of sin’s consequences, and he speaks softly to draw us back onto the path of obedience and virtue.

Why has God acted thus? Paul’s answer is that God is love, mercy, grace, and kindness. God acts this way because that is what he is. We can only marvel that he is love, mercy, grace, and kindness in addition to being sovereign, holy, and full of wrath against sin. We praise him for it.

What Must I Do?

We are saved by God’s grace alone, but once we are saved, we inevitably want to serve the one who has been so loving to us. Are you still unsaved? If so, let this utterly unmerited love of God in Jesus Christ move and woo you. In Romans we read, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Are you already a believer? If so, let this great love of God move you to the heights of consecration and activity. The hymn writer said,

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

This is what John Calvin had in mind as he drew to the close of his exposition of these verses. He summarized wisely, “Now let us cast ourselves down before the majesty of our good God with acknowledgment of our faults, praying him to make us so to feel them that it makes us not only confess three or four of them, but also go back even to our birth and acknowledge that there is nothing but sin in us, and that there is no way for us to be reconciled to our God, but by the blood, death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“And therefore as often as we feel any regrets to turn aside from the grace of God, and to cite us before his judgment seat, let us have no other refuge than the sacrifice by which our Lord Jesus Christ has made atonement between God and us. And whenever we are weak, let us desire him to remedy it by his Holy Spirit, which is the means that he has ordained to make us partakers of all his gracious gifts. And let us so continue in the same that we may be an example to others and labour to draw them with us to the faith and unity of the doctrine, and by our life and good conversation show that we have not in vain gone to so good a school as that of the Son of God.”[2]

His Merciful Love: His Motive (2:4–5)

Paul first describes God’s reason for saving his people even though they are originally dead and are by nature objects of his wrath. Why does God make us spiritually alive? Paul answers, “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive …” (Eph. 2:4–5). This love is not toward the innocent. God expresses his love to those who were disobedient, who by nature followed the ways of the world and of Satan. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

John Van Tholen was a Christian Reformed Church pastor in Rochester, New York, who was diagnosed with a very dangerous cancer. Invoking the truths of God’s sovereign mercy from Paul’s letters, Pastor Van Tholen reflected on what this struggle with cancer meant in the process of making him more aware of the glory of God’s provision:

Paul writes that “while we were still weak Christ died for the ungodly.” He wants us to marvel at the Christ of the Gospel, who comes to us in our weakness and need. Making sure we get the point, Paul uses the word (“still”) twice … in a repetitious and ungrammatical piling up of his meaning. “Still while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.…”

I’m physically weak, but that is not my main weakness.…

While we were still weak … still sinners, still enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. I find it unfathomable that God’s love propelled him to reach into our world with such scandalous grace, such a way out, such hope.

No doubt God has done it, because there is no hope to be found anywhere else.

This beautiful truth of God’s unconditional love is the heart of the gospel that becomes most dear to us when by God’s grace we see our own weakness so clearly that we know that there is nothing in us that warrants God’s love. Time and again I have heard words of consternation from those whose sin is so plain to them that they believe God should not love them; the high school student whose dating life has become promiscuous; the churchman whose marriage is falling apart due to his own hardness; the seminarian who, despite his aspirations and location, is still caught in a cyclic web of addiction and guilt; the young mother who doubts that she can treat her children better than her mother treated her. Over and over, in these situations, I have heard desperate souls saying, “Because of what I have done, because of who I am, God should not love me.” And these words are true. On the basis of justice alone, a holy God should not love the sinful. Yet, having dispensed his justice in the judgment of his Son, our God not only delights to extend us his mercy, but by his power he enables us to respond to his love.[3]

4. But God, who is rich in mercy. Now follows the second member of the sentence, the substance of which is, that God had delivered the Ephesians from the destruction to which they were formerly liable; but the words which he employs are different. God, who is rich in mercy, hath quickened you together with Christ. The meaning is, that there is no other life than that which is breathed into us by Christ: so that we begin to live only when we are ingrafted into him, and enjoy the same life with himself. This enables us to see what the apostle formerly meant by death, for that death and this resurrection are brought into contrast. To be made partakers of the life of the Son of God,—to be quickened by one Spirit, is an inestimable privilege.

On this ground he praises the mercy of God, meaning by its riches, that it had been poured out in a singularly large and abundant manner. The whole of our salvation is here ascribed to the mercy of God. But he presently adds, for his great love wherewith he loved us. This is a still more express declaration, that all was owing to undeserved goodness; for he declares that God was moved by this single consideration. “Herein,” says John, “is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.—We love him because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10, 19.)

5. Even when we were dead in sin. These words have the same emphasis as similar expressions in another Epistle. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.—But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:6, 8.) Whether the words, by grace ye are saved, have been inserted by another hand, I know not; but, as they are perfectly agreeable to the context, I am quite willing to receive them as written by Paul. They shew us that he always feels as if he had not sufficiently proclaimed the riches of Divine grace, and accordingly expresses, by a variety of terms, the same truth, that everything connected with our salvation ought to be ascribed to God as its author. And certainly he who duly weighs the ingratitude of men will not complain that this parenthesis is superfluous.[4]

4 Swiftly Paul adds the good news: “But” (de) God has acted to remedy human hopelessness, for God is rich in mercy. “Mercy” (eleos, GK 1799), also translated as “compassion” or “pity,” occurs seventy-eight times in the NT, twenty-six of those in Paul’s letters. In the LXX it dominantly translated the Hebrew ḥesed (GK 2876)—God’s covenantal faithfulness to his undeserving people. In the Gospels the sick appeal to Jesus for mercy—that he show kindness by healing (e.g., Mk 10:47–48 par.). This unmerited, compassionate commitment motivates God’s rescue effort for his disobedient, wayward creatures (cf. Tit 3:5). God has decided to have mercy on all people, Jews and Gentiles (cf. Ro 11:32). In the next verses here, Paul characterizes this divine motivation as “grace” (vv. 5, 7–8).

God’s “great love” forms the second basis for his rescue of humanity. Paul commonly situates God’s actions for his people in his great love (Ro 5:5, 8; 8:39; Eph 5:2, 25). In 1:4 we saw that love was the motivation for God’s pretemporal determination to adopt his people. Here we find a kind of Semitic redundancy, where Paul uses the verb and noun together: “on account of the great love [with] which he loved us” (Paul uses both the noun agapē, GK 27, and the verb agapaō, GK 26). Not elegant in a literal translation, but the point emerges forcefully.

5 Now we discover what God’s mercy and love motivated him to do: he raised to life with Christ us who were dead in transgressions (cf. v. 1). Paul does not assert that all the dead ones will live—only “us.” In 1:20 Paul rehearsed God’s great power in bringing Jesus back to physical life. Jesus had been physically dead, and God raised him from among the dead and installed him on his heavenly throne at God’s right hand. Now we learn here that much more was riding on Jesus’ resurrection than simply the restoration of his own physical life. We who were spiritually dead were “made alive with” Christ, a composite verb prefixed with the preposition “with” (syn), which occurs only here and at Colossians 2:13 and later Christian writings dependent on these verses. In other words, those “with Christ” were raised with Christ (this redundancy being Paul’s). To relieve the redundancy, some aver that the verb might indicate “with each other,” anticipating vv. 11–22 (so Barth, 1:222). “In Christ” we were raised to a life together with other believers. Though attractive, this is unlikely: the parallel to Colossians 2:13, the essential meaning of the verb, and the pervasive concept of corporate solidarity probably point only to union “with Christ.” We participated in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and it means we too live now. Though our physical resurrection awaits the end of the age, again Paul has brought eschatology into the present. What will happen physically has already happened spiritually, since we are “in Christ.” Formerly “dead,” we now live. Formerly dominated by the power center of the world system, we now live through the power of the Holy Spirit (1:13, 18–19).

In a brief parenthesis (repeated in v. 8) that switches back to second person “you,” Paul appends a third motivation for God’s action and then describes the event with an extremely loaded term. “Grace,” along with mercy and love, moved God to “save.” The dative case chariti (GK 5921) points to cause; grace is the basis and reason God saved. Paul pinpointed God’s grace in 1:2, 6–7, already identifying it as the motivation behind God’s decision to grant redemption and to forgive sins. This connecting of salvation and grace reflects a rare combination for Paul (see 2 Ti 1:9; Tit 2:11).

Because of God’s grace, “you have been saved” (here Paul uses the verbal form sōzō, GK 5392, the cognate of the noun for salvation he used in 1:13). Though the salvation word group can convey the physical sense of “rescue,” “deliver,” or “preserve,” the theological meaning most interests readers of Paul, who uses it to convey the grand sense of God’s rescue of his people from their sinful condition. Jesus received his very name—which means “Yahweh saves”—“because he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). Paul’s apostolic mission was to use all available means to “save some” (1 Co 9:22), because “God was pleased … to save those who believe” (1 Co 1:21). Paul assured his readers in Ephesians 1:13 that, because they believed the good news of salvation, God rescued them—he saved them. The good news shouts out that God saves through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead those dead in sin. Here and in v. 8 Paul employs the perfect tense of “save,” the most heavily marked Greek tense (and rarely used for “save” elsewhere and never by Paul; see Mk 5:34 par.; 10:52 par.; Lk 7:50). In so doing, he emphasizes the ongoing consequences in the present of God’s action to save. Not only did God save them, but believers enjoy the ongoing results of that salvation. They live in a saved condition.[5]

4  When Paul speaks of the results of one man’s disobedience, he also tells how humanity can be delivered from the damnosa hereditas incurred thereby through the obedience of another man, which brings righteousness and life to those who are united to him (Rom. 5:18–21). Essentially the same thought is expressed here, but in different language. There is a way of release from the hopelessness of existence in alienation from God—an existence which is no better than death—and it is provided by God, because he is “rich in mercy.” This characterization of God is frequent in the OT: he “abounds in mercy” (Exod. 34:6; Ps. 103:8; Jon. 4:2, etc.); indeed, he “delights in mercy” (Mic. 7:18). With his mercy is conjoined his love: “the great love with which he loved us”—Gentiles and Jews together. The pronoun “us” here is comprehensive, not exclusive—not “us in distinction from you” but “us together with you,” “all of us alike.” Men and women owe their salvation to the mercy and love of God. “God shows his love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

5  We were dead through our trespasses, says Paul (Jews and Gentiles alike), but from that state of death God brought us to life with Christ. Paul does teach elsewhere that believers in Christ “have been brought from death to life” with him (e.g., in Rom. 6:13), but there the death from which they have been brought to life is their death with Christ. Through faith-union with him they have died with him to their old existence and come alive with him to a new existence. “If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him” (Rom. 6:8). Similarly in Colossians, “you were raised with Christ” (3:1) is the sequel to “you died with Christ” (2:20). But in Ephesians to be raised with Christ is the sequel to being spiritually dead—to death through trespasses rather than to death with Christ. This, of course, is in line with general NT language: “this my son was dead, and is alive again” (Luke 15:24); “he who hears my word and believes him who sent me … has passed from death to life” (John 5:24). But it departs from distinctively Pauline usage.

The affirmation that salvation is entirely dependent on divine grace is, however, totally in agreement with Paul’s thought. Men and women who have no hope or possibility of winning God’s approval by effort or merit of their own “are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). Paul prefers to speak of being justified; salvation is a more general term, denoting more particularly deliverance from the adverse judgment of God to be meted out at the end-time. If believers are here and now justified by the blood of Christ, “much more shall we be saved from the (coming) wrath through him” (Rom. 5:9). In Paul’s thought, salvation for the most part belongs to the future: it is “nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Rom. 13:11). In one place, indeed, it is spoken of in the past tense, but even there its collocation with hope gives it a future reference: “by hope we were saved” (Rom. 8:24). Here, however, salvation is something accomplished and experienced; it has much the same force as justification has in the capital epistles: “it is by grace that you have been saved” (perfect tense). The statement is parenthetical here: it anticipates the fuller assertion of v. 8. But that people who were dead in sin should be granted a share in Christ’s resurrection life is such a demonstration of divine grace that it calls for an immediate tribute to that grace.[6]

2:4–5 / From the perversity of humanity as disobedient sinners deserving God’s wrath, the apostle turns, in sharp contrast, to the mercy and love of God. God’s mercy proceeds from his love and is his way of reaching out to those totally undeserving. We were, he claims, dead in transgressions. However, the good news of the gospel is that God has acted decisively in Christ to correct that situation. And finally, in 2:5, one finds the verb that has kept the reader in suspense since the beginning of 2:1: Those who were spiritually dead (2:1) have become the recipients of God’s mercy and love in that he made us alive with Christ.

This action of God is the first of three experiences that the believer has in union with Christ. Literally, it reads that God’s love and mercy have “made us alive together with Christ” (synezōopoiēsen), stressing the intimate union believers have with the Lord. All three verbs—“brought us to life,” “raised us up,” and “to rule with him”—are compound verbs prefixed with the Greek preposition syn, which means “together with.” These terms express that the believer shares these experiences with Christ and thus with everyone else in the body of Christ. Believers who “die” or are “buried” with Christ (Rom. 6:4, 6, 8; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:10; Col. 2:12), also are made alive (Eph. 2:5), raised (Rom. 6:4; Eph. 2:6; Col. 2:12) and enthroned (Eph. 2:6; Col. 3:1).

There is no significant theological distinction between being “made alive” and “raised” with Christ. Both terms vividly contrast with the state of spiritual death that was mentioned earlier. In the Greek text (cf. rsv, niv) the phrase it is by grace you have been saved appears as a parenthesis and receives no further explanation until 2:8. Grace is God’s unmerited favor to humanity, and reference to it here is a sharp reminder that the change from death to life is due entirely to God’s initiative and not human action. Saved, apparently, is equivalent to being brought to life with Christ. It appears in the perfect passive form as you have been saved (sesōsmenoi)—the tense in Greek that describes a present state that has resulted from a past action. Salvation, therefore, is an accomplished fact (fait accompli), and its effects are continuous upon the believer.[7]

4. God, who is richGreek “(as) being rich in mercy.”

for—that is, “because of His great love.” This was the special ground of God’s saving us; as “rich in mercy” (compare Eph 2:7; 1:7; Ro 2:4; 10:12) was the general ground. “Mercy takes away misery; love confers salvation” [Bengel].

  1. dead in sins—The best reading is in the Greek, “dead in our (literally, ‘the’) trespasses.”

quickened—“vivified” spiritually, and consequences hereafter, corporally. There must be a spiritual resurrection of the soul before there can be a comfortable resurrection of the body [Pearson] (Jn 11:25, 26; Ro 8:11).

together with Christ—The Head being seated at God’s right hand, the body also sits there with Him [Chrysostom]. We are already seated there IN Him (“in Christ Jesus,” Eph 2:6), and hereafter shall be seated by Him; IN Him already as in our Head, which is the ground of our hope; by Him hereafter, as by the conferring cause, when hope shall be swallowed up in fruition [Pearson]. What God wrought in Christ, He wrought (by the very fact) in all united to Christ, and one with Him.

by grace ye are savedGreek, “Ye are in a saved state.” Not merely “ye are being saved,” but ye “are passed from death unto life” (Jn 5:24). Salvation is to the Christian not a thing to be waited for hereafter, but already realized (1 Jn 3:14). The parenthetic introduction of this clause here (compare Eph 2:8) is a burst of Paul’s feeling, and in order to make the Ephesians feel that grace from first to last is the sole source of salvation; hence, too, he says “ye,” not “we.”[8]

Ver. 4.—But God, being rich in mercy. The preceding verses convey the idea of a rushing towards inevitable ruin—towards some frightful cataract, when all help from man is hopeless. Man’s extremity becomes God’s opportunity. The “but” is very emphatic, and wonderfully reverses the picture. The sovereignty of God is very apparent, on its gracious side. It interposes to rescue those who would otherwise plunge into irretrievable ruin. We have here the filling up of that Divine saying, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.” The genesis of salvation is declared to be in two of God’s attributes, of which the first is mercy, or compassion. God has a tender, yearning feeling towards men brought to misery by their own sins. And this feeling is not shallow or spare—he is rich in mercy. It is an exuberant, full flowing feeling in God (“Thy mercy … is in the heavens,” Ps. 36:5), and may therefore be appealed to trustfully. For his great love wherewith he loved us. The other attribute from which the plan of salvation sprang is God’s love. Love is more than compassion. Compassion may be confined to the breast, but love goes forth in active beneficence. It makes common cause with its object. It cannot rest till its object is put right. Two expressions are used intensifying this Divine love: (1) his great love; (2) love with which he loved us; the verb of love governing the noun of love makes the idea rich and strong. This view of the exuberance of the Divine attributes from which salvation has its rise is in harmony with the whole character of the Epistle.

Ver. 5.—Even when we were dead in our sins. Repeated from ver. 1, in order to set in its true light the declaration that follows of what God did for us to make more emphatic the free and sovereign mercy of God. Though sin is the abominable thing which he hates, loathsome to him in the last degree, he did not turn from us when we were immersed in it; nor did he wait till we began to move towards him: he began to influence us even when we were dead. Made us alive together with Christ (συνεζωοποίησε ττ Χριστῷ). Made us alive with the life which is in Christ and which flows from Christ. A parallel is run between the way in which God’s power operated on the body of Christ, and the way in which it operates on the souls of believers in him in respect of (1) the quickening; (2) the raising up from the grave; (3) the seating of them in heavenly places. The Father, having “given to the Son to have life in himself,” and “the Son quickening whom he will” (John 6:21, 26), by God’s decree we were first quickened by him, made partakers of Christ’s life (John 11:25; comp. John 14:19; 15:5; Col. 3:4; Gal. 2:20, etc.). All the life we had lost was restored—the life forfeited by transgression, the life of a calm and well-ordered heart, the sublime life of fellowship with God. By grace have ye been saved. This is a parenthetical clause, more fully dwelt on in ver. 8, thrown in here abruptly by the apostle in the fulness of his heart, to throw light on this great wonder—that Christ should impart his own life to souls dead in sin. Grace in opposition to human merit is at the root of the whole arrangement; free, undeserved mercy. It is not anything that God is bound to by the necessity of his nature. It is the result of his will, not of his nature. Had it not been for his good pleasure, salvation had never been. “Saved” is the past participle (σεσωσμένοι), denoting, not the act of being saved, but the fact of having been saved. Salvation in a real sense is a present possession. When we are one with Christ we are justified freely by God’s grace, our trespasses are all forgiven. The spirit of new moral life has been given to us; we are made alive to God. But while salvation is a present attainment in a real sense, its full realization is future, for that includes perfect holiness, and also the glorification of the body. In this sense salvation is to come (Rom. 8:24; 13:11).[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (pp. 58–59). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1988). Ephesians: an expositional commentary (pp. 51–56). Grand Rapids, MI: Ministry Resources Library.

[3] Chapell, B. (2009). Ephesians. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (pp. 81–83). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[4] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (pp. 224–225). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 67–68). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[6] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 285–286). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[7] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (pp. 179–180). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[8] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 345). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ephesians (p. 62). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Demanding To Know Why He Allowed President Trump To Get Elected, Dems Subpoena God — The Babylon Bee

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Trying to get to the bottom of how and why President Trump was elected, House Democrats issued a subpoena to the Almighty God to force Him to testify in Congress Wednesday.

While House leadership was quick to clarify that they don’t believe in the God of the Bible per se, they said they had to explore “all possible avenues” in their exhaustive search for an answer as to why Trump was put in the White House.

“We’re not sure if God is out there or if there’s some great positive spiritual energy holding up the cosmos,” said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “But whoever he or she or xe is, we will interrogate them. We will not allow God to get off the hook for His collusion in bending all of human history to His irresistible will.”

After the Lord, who sits in the heavens and does all He pleases, did not show up at their hearing, Democrats were seen eating KFC to mock Him for being “a chicken” and issued a stern warning.

“These subpoenas are not optional,” said Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler. “When the Congress of the United States commands you to appear, you appear. I don’t care if you are the Lord of all creation. Trump is in the White House, and we will get answers.”

via Demanding To Know Why He Allowed President Trump To Get Elected, Dems Subpoena God — The Babylon Bee

While the SBC Falls Apart, Top Leader Ponders the Existence of Space Aliens — Christian Research Network

“While this is all going on, Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission — arguably the most influential Evangelical organization in the world– rants and raves about a new YouTube channel he’s started where he discusses things like Enneagrams and Space Aliens. Seriously?”

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  Someone pinch me, please. Are we still living in reality? Sometimes you just have to sit back, take a deep breath, and try to wrap your head around the insanity that surrounds the current day. Like, seriously, what is going on? Have people lost their minds?

The current state of the Evangelical Church, particularly the Southern Baptist Convention, is dire — hanging on by a thread. In fact, many have argued that the ship has completely sailed and the SBC has reached a point of no return. I tend to agree with that sentiment. The Convention is plagued with feminism, social justice has wreaked havoc and destroyed churches from the foundation up, and those grievous sins — the ones we thought would never overtake us — are now knocking at the door and its desire is for us all. View article →


Russell Moore

The Enneagram

New Age Movement

via While the SBC Falls Apart, Top Leader Ponders the Existence of Space Aliens — Christian Research Network

What happens when we die? Is there a resurrection? Is there a Heaven and a Hell?


Bible study that hits the spot Bible study that hits the spot

One of the questions that everyone should ask themselves is “what happens to me when I die?” Well, I’m an evangelical Protestant Christian, and I think that view of the world is correct according to logic and evidence. Well, I found an article on this that provides the philosophical theology perspective, from Dr. William Lane Craig. You can’t do better than him.

He writes:

The first and most fundamental truth that we must hold on to is that the biblical hope of immortality is physical, bodily resurrection. I repeat: The biblical hope for immortality is physical, bodily resurrection. The biblical hope is not that the soul will someday be separated from the body and fly off to heaven and be forever with God in heaven in this disembodied existence. That’s actually a very Greek understanding of the afterlife, from the Greek philosophers like…

View original post 946 more words

James McDonald Under Investigation for Soliciting Murder for Hire — The Messed Up Church

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

— 1 Timothy 4:16

Chicago Radio Host & a Former Bodyguard Say James MacDonald Asked Them to Arrange Murders

I always remember the day well over ten years ago when the news broke of the head of the National Evangelical Association being forced to admit a decades long relationship with a male prostitute who he routinely did crystal meth with. Ted Haggard was the lead pastor of a congregation well in excess of 10,000 people and was the most vocal evangelical voice against homosexuality. The hypocrisy was a stench in the church that day and when I went to my local church that week my pastor, who intended well, only discussed it in terms of warning us not to judge.



That was when I first realized how strong the cult of personality purpose driven pastor framework was. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church requires a cult of personality pastor. A fantastic orator who captures the hearts and minds of his listeners and draws them back each week to hand over their 10% and keep the seeker friendly industrial complex strong. For the record, Ted Haggard currently operates a new church since 2010 in the same state, because you know; restoration or something.

This is not to pick on Haggard, as he was just a microcosm of a recurring problem and I don’t mean sin. We are all sinful creatures. I am speaking about the fact that those in church seem more protective over the racket than the cause of Christ. Please do not start preaching forgiveness either. We can forgive and realize that someone has permanently compromised their ability to fulfill the pastoral qualifications listed in the Bible. We can root for someone to be restored to their walk but not their pulpit. Mark Driscoll once bragged, in a sermon, about the pile of dead bodies he was leaving in his wake as leader of the 10,000 + congregation at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. A few years later he was caught using $250,000 in tithe monies to cheat the New York Times Best Seller list. Then he was thrown out of the Acts 29 Network, which he had founded! Just when his hand-picked board was going to discipline him, he pretended that God told him to leave and he abandoned his church. One year later he was preaching and soon after that he was pastoring again in Arizona. Oh, and he got a new book published by the folks at Charisma House, proof that they’ll publish anybody. Here he is peddling stuff on Daystar.


This is not to pick on just Driscoll, because the list is practically endless. It is about Kong Hee defrauding his congregation of $50 million dollars. It is about John Gray and his $200,000 Lamborghini hush money payment to satiate his wife regarding his alleged affairs. It is about Israel Houghton winning a Dove Award for music he wrote while cheating on his wife or the man who wrote healer to cover up his pornography addiction by pretending he had cancer. It is about Bob Coy and James Baker.


Now it is also about James MacDonald.

I have written a couple times about the MacDonald empire being on fire but now the story has jumped off a cliff and threatens to take us with it, if we for once do not stand up as a church and say no more. No more do we accept these failings at the expense of those seeking God and the sheep directly affected.

For the uninitiated, MacDonald was an international pastoral figure. I used to receive his daily word in my inbox daily. I did not know that he was running his church into financial ruin to the reported tune of $70 million in debt, while collecting a $350,000 salary (in 2009). Public gambling problems. Publicly calling three elders who demanded accountability, “Satanic to the core.” All of this and he was still the (very confident) pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel.

Check out this video from only about 5 years ago where Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald put their egomania on full display, while they brag about their gigantic churches in front of Mark Dever:

James MacDonald had been deflecting criticism and maintaining power better than his megachurch buddy Mark Driscoll. That is until tapes recently emerged with MacDonald threatening to place child pornography on the computer of Harold Smith, the CEO of Christianity Today. Mr. Smith’s sin? He covered the story of MacDonald and told the truth. Finally, James MacDonald was fired. He left the same kind of mess in his wake that Driscoll and Haggard did before him, only now the story gets worse.

Two separate people, one of which was a close associate of MacDonald, have come forward to police to say that James McDonald asked them to hire a hit man to kill his former son in law. McDonald even offered one of the men to help bury the body. Now everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence but where there is this much smoke, something is usually on fire.


The McDonald story serves as a stark reminder why we should never deify a pastor or preacher. It does not matter how great a speaker they are. The Apostle Paul actually teaches us that fancy speech empties the cross of its power. It is time beloved to start following the Bible when it comes to pastoral oversight. The key verses are some of the wisdom Paul imparted to his protege’ Timothy. He was setting out to be the new pastor at Ephesus and Paul warns him to guard only two things — his life and his doctrine. Ironically, these are two areas we seemingly never hold our pastors responsible for. Try correcting the teaching of someone’s favorite pastor and just watch. The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: You know Pastor X teaches Heresy A

Follower: Why are you trying to divide the body of Christ?

Me: You know Romans 16:17 teaches us that division comes into the body through false teaching, not those who point it out.

Follower: Well, that’s YOUR interpretation.

Me: I didn’t interpret that verse; I read it.

Follower: Well, God hates a lying tongue and he who sows discord among the brethren

Me: I agree, Pastor X should stop both practices.

Follower: I know his heart, you don’t. He loves Jesus!

Me: I do not need to know his heart, only evaluate his teaching. If he loved Jesus so much he would preach His word correctly.

Follower: Judge not!

Me: You have got to be kidding me…

In all seriousness, if it is not excusing false doctrine then we turn a blind eye towards the other area: his life. MacDonald hand-picked his board but how in the world does the leadership of any church allow $70 million of debt to accrue? How did the Mars Hill Board allow the $250K expense of tithe monies for a personal book promotion? In a local church we watched as a pastor stole the memberships of people who had faithfully served for decades because he accused them of not tithing! Yet everyone showed up the following week and raised their hands as if nothing happened. Pastoral abuse of the sheep? Nothing to see here. A 40% salary increase for the pastor (as MacDonald received in 2009)? Perfectly normal. Unbiblical covenant agreements? Where do I sign?

Enough beloved. I have heard well intended congregants pretend it has nothing to do with them and we must stop this nonsense. Maybe James MacDonald did not try to hire a hitman. Twice. From two different people. It matters not because his empire started smoldering years ago. When the first billows of smoke hit the horizon, all of the cult of personality followers turned a blind eye to the key verse today. Not my pastor!

Yes, your pastor.

I pray next time we at least pull the fire alarm instead of watching the whole thing burn to the ground wondering what happened.

Rev. Anthony.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

— James 3:1

“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of a brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those on the outside. Remove the evil person from among you.”

— 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

Mancow Muller: Pastor James MacDonald ‘Wanted To Hire Hitman’

James MacDonald fights over firing, assets of Harvest Bible Chapel amid murder-for-hire allegations


via James McDonald Under Investigation for Soliciting Murder for Hire — The Messed Up Church

Here’s What the Bible Says About Racism — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

by Jim Denison

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”

—Nelson Mandela

Trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Williams was in charge of the emergency room at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital on July 7, 2016.

That night, fourteen police officers were shot in the line of duty; five of them died. It was the deadliest attack on law enforcement in the United States since September 11, 2001.

Seven of the officers were brought to Parkland. Dr. Williams choked back tears as he described how three of them died at the hospital: “I think about it every day, that I was unable to save those cops when they came in that night.”

But there’s more to his story. As an African American, he has a unique perspective.

Dr. Williams told the Associated Press that he has been stopped by police over the years and was afraid each time that he could be killed. At one traffic stop, he ended up “spread eagle” on the hood of the cruiser. A few years ago, he was stopped by an officer and questioned as he stood outside his apartment complex waiting for a ride to the airport.

After describing his grief over the officers who died, Dr. Williams made this statement: “I want the Dallas Police Department to see I support you. I defend you. I will care for you. That doesn’t mean I will not fear you. That doesn’t mean that when you approach me, I will not have a visceral reaction and start worrying about my personal safety.”

In his Associated Press interview, Dr. Williams said he couldn’t help but wonder why he was working that night. He was in Parkland’s emergency room only because of a last-minute schedule change.

He said, “I wonder if this was the reason that in the midst of all this racial tension and dead black men and violence against cops—was I the one put there to experience this and tell my story and get the conversation started?”

Racism in America

According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 42 percent of Americans worry a “great deal” about race relations in the US, up 7 percent from 2016 and a record high in Gallup’s seventeen-year polling trend. It was the third straight year Americans said they increasingly worry about this issue.

A generation after the 1954 Brown school desegregation decision, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, racial discrimination continues in our country. According to the FBI, 57 percent of hate crimes are racially motivated. Hate groups are active in every state in America.

Racism and indigenous Americans

The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”

By this definition, mistreating people of a particular race is “racism” to the degree that the perpetrator considers his or her victims to be racially inferior. We find such attitudes on the part of Anglos toward non-Anglos since Europeans first landed in the New World.

Many European explorers characterized the indigenous peoples they encountered as “heathen” and considered their race and culture to be inferior by nature. Many claimed that such people could be transformed by the introduction of Christianity and European customs.

One colonist described native Americans as “having little of Humanitie but shape, ignorant of Civilitie, of Arts, of Religion; more brutish than the beasts they hunt, more wild and unmanly than the unmanned wild Countrey, which they range rather than inhabite; captivated also to Satans tyranny in foolish pieties, mad impieties, wicked idlenesse, busie and bloudy wickednesse.”

Racism and Africans

Many who supported the enslavement of Africans likewise viewed them as inferior to white people.

An Anglican minister in Barbados claimed that “Negro’s were Beasts, and had no more Souls than Beasts.” Africans were considered intellectually and morally inferior to whites; some declared that they were descended from apes.

Such horrific claims were used to justify the system of chattel slavery (the personal ownership of a slave) that enslaved millions of Africans. Many slaveholders convinced themselves that slaves, due to their supposedly inferior nature, were better off and better cared for in bondage than in freedom.

This racist ideology led directly to America’s “original sin,” the institution of slavery in the New World. The first group of African slaves—four men and women—arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Planters quickly realized that enormous profits could be gained from importing enslaved laborers.

Africans could be made to work much longer and harder in the fields. Since they were so far from Africa, they could not easily escape and return home. In addition, African slaves came from a variety of nations and cultures and thus could not easily communicate with each other to organize resistance.

Most slaves came from West Africa, where some tribal leaders were willing to capture and sell other Africans for profit. Slaves became especially important to the economy of the South, where the climate and topography were more suitable for tobacco and cotton plantations.

By 1860, the United States was divided into “slave” and “free” states. That year, census takers counted 3,950,540 slaves in America.

While the Declaration of Independence claimed that “all men are created equal,” the US Constitution determined that enslaved persons would be counted as “three-fifths of all other Persons” for purposes of government representation and taxation (Article I, Section II, Paragraph III).

The Constitution permitted importing slaves until 1808, with a tax of $10 per slave (Article I, Section IX, Clause I). And it required those living in free states to return escaped slaves to their owners (Article IV, Section II, Clause III).

Slavery was legal in America until 1865 and the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment (1868) guaranteed the same rights to all male citizens; the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) made it illegal to deprive any eligible citizen of the right to vote, regardless of color.

However, segregation in schools was not made illegal until Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Jim Crow laws enforcing racial segregation were overturned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Racism and Asians

Asian immigrants have faced racial prejudice in the US as well. Those who came to America to work in mines, farms, and railroads were willing to accept lower wages, which enraged white residents.

As a result, Asians became the victims of riots and attacks. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the 1924 Asian Exclusion Act barred additional immigration. These acts also declared Asians ineligible for citizenship, which meant they could not own land.

Racism today

Studies show that racism persists in America:

  • People with “black-sounding names” had to send out 50 percent more job applications than people with “white-sounding names” to get a callback.
  • A black man is three times more likely to be searched at a traffic stop and six times more likely to go to jail than a white man.
  • If a black person kills a white person, he or she is twice as likely to receive the death sentence as a white person who kills a black person.
  • Blacks serve up to 20 percent more time in prison than white people for the same crimes.
  • Blacks are 38 percent more likely to be sentenced to death than white people for the same crimes.

Racism persists in America’s churches as well:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was right: Sunday morning worship services are still the most segregated hour in America.

Slavery in the Bible

When my family moved to Atlanta in 1994, we quickly fell in love with the Old South. Being from Texas, I thought something was historical if it happened while Tom Landry was coach of the Cowboys. Southern history goes back to the Revolutionary War and colonial times. I was especially fascinated by the Civil War (though Southerners will say that “there was nothing civil about it”).

But there’s a dark side to the story. While traveling one day in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, my wife and I came upon a “slave-trading warehouse.” This was the horrific place where slaves were brought to America on ships and then sold at market in chains.

I can still remember the crumbling limestone building and my revulsion upon seeing it. I believe that racism is the greatest sin in America, the failure which keeps us from addressing our other failures. Racism makes crime in south Dallas a “black” problem and drug abuse in north Dallas a “white” problem when they’re both our problems.

Given our tragic history with racism, thinking about the subject of slavery in the Bible is a bit repugnant for most of us. However, since many say the Bible was wrong on this issue, we must discuss this painful subject briefly.

Slavery in the Old Testament

It is an unfortunate fact that slavery was an accepted part of life in the ancient world. No early society or literature questioned its existence or necessity.

People in Old Testament times became slaves in a variety of ways: they were born to enslaved parents (Genesis 17:23), purchased as slaves (Genesis 37:28), or sold themselves to pay a debt (Leviticus 25:39–55). Breaking into a home was punished by enslavement (Exodus 22:3), and prisoners of war were commonly enslaved (Joel 3:6). The children of Israel enslaved the Canaanites they conquered in the Promised Land (Judges 1:28).

Slaves in Israel were considered property to be bought and sold (Exodus 21:32). However, they were granted protection against murder, permanent injury, or undue physical labor (Exodus 21:202623:12). Hebrew household slaves were included at religious meals (Exodus 12:44). Such privileges and protections were extremely rare in the ancient world.

But why did the Old Testament not condemn this practice?

In many ways, it did. There were several ways a Hebrew slave could be freed (a process called “manumission”). An individual could be purchased and set free (Exodus 21:8). A slave permanently injured by his master was to be set free (Exodus 21:26). Hebrews were to be held as slaves for no longer than six years (Deuteronomy 15:12). The Jubilee Year, which occurred every forty-nine years, was to free all Israelite slaves (Leviticus 25:50).

But still we ask: Why did the Old Testament sanction this practice at all? Its rules minimized this evil, protected slaves from physical harm, and provided for their eventual freedom. But the New Testament gives us God’s complete word on the subject.

Slavery in the New Testament

In the Old Testament era, people were enslaved primarily through war. But in the first century AD, the procreation of slaves swelled their numbers enormously. And many people actually sold themselves into slavery to improve their lives.

Owning and using people as slaves was so common in the Roman Empire that not a single Roman writer condemned the practice. But this acceptance of slavery would begin to change with the growth and influence of Christianity. Slavery in the Roman era was dramatically different from the despicable practice in American history. If you walked through any first-century Roman city, you would not be able to tell most slaves from free people. Slaves performed manual labor, but they were also doctors, nurses, household managers, and intellectuals. They managed finances and cities. They were often given an excellent education at the expense of their owners, with the result that philosophers and tutors were typically slaves.

Even more amazing to us, it was common for people to sell themselves into slavery to secure such privileges. A person who wanted to be a Roman citizen could sell himself to a citizen and then purchase his freedom. For many people, slavery was more a process than a condition.

While there is no doubt that many slaves were abused physically, sexually, and socially, many were part of the more privileged strata of society. The total dependence of the Roman economy upon the labor of slaves made it impossible for the ancient world to conceive of abolishing this institution. If an economist were to propose that we refuse all goods and services imported from outside America, we’d be equally surprised.

As a result, no New Testament writer attempted to end slavery itself, as this was not possible in their time. But several other facts should be noted as well.

One: Paul abolished all racial and social discrimination for Christians:

In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26–28).

Every believer is our sister or brother. None in the Christian family are to be viewed as slaves.

Two: Free Christians viewed slaves as their equal.

Paul appealed to Philemon to see his slave, Onesimus, “no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother” (Philemon 16).

Clement, a friend of Paul, wrote in his letter to the Corinthians (ca. AD 90), “We know many among ourselves who have given themselves up to bonds, in order that they might ransom others. Many, too, have surrendered themselves to slavery, that with the price which they received for themselves, they might provide food for others” (ch. 55). Ignatius (died AD 107) wrote to Polycarp: “Do not despise either male or female slaves, yet neither let them be puffed up with conceit, but rather let them submit themselves the more, for the glory of God, that they may obtain from God a better liberty.”

Three: The New Testament church gave those who were enslaved a family and a home.

This was one reason why so many of the earliest believers were slaves. Pastors and church leaders came from the ranks both of slaves and free. Christians made no distinction between the two, for their Father welcomed all as his children.

Four: Not a single New Testament leader owned slaves, even though many had the resources to purchase them.

Their example inspired William Wilberforce and countless other Christians to do all they could to abolish slavery, and we thank God that they were successful.

Racism and the Bible

The Bible clearly condemns all forms of racism and views every person as equally valuable. Let’s look at what God’s word says about our subject, then we’ll consider some common questions people ask about the Scriptures and racism.

Six theological facts

One: We are all created by God.

The human story begins in Genesis 1, where God “created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (v. 27). Every person is created intentionally by God in his own divine image. Thus, every person is sacred and equally valuable. Every form of racism, by definition, is to be rejected.

Two: We are all descended from the same parents.

Every human being is descended from Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28). As a result, “The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).

As Scripture notes, the Lord “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). Because of the Flood, all of humanity can trace our ancestry to Noah as well (Genesis 9:1).

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post

via Here’s What the Bible Says About Racism — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Addicted to Sex: Planned Parenthood’s Goal for Children

Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America

Public schools in America allow Planned Parenthood access to the youngest of children in order to push their hyper-sexual, destructive agenda. They justify perversion and deceptively use terms like health, science, and “age appropriate;” and with the help of your tax dollars, they’re exposing kids to pornography, homosexuality, sexual experimentation and of course, abortion as they normalize unrestrained sex.

It’s no surprise public school children are getting hooked on sex.

Following the same business model as a drug dealer, Planned Parenthood’s goal is to make sex addicts. With the help of Hollywood, pop-culture, music, and the education system, this godless worldview has already led to tragically high numbers of abortions among teenage girls and young women. And what happens when sex between boys and girls doesn’t lead to pregnancies? Planned Parenthood also makes money offering testing services for STD’s.

First, they introduce obscene sex-ed materials encouraging risky sexual behavior in…

View original post 386 more words

Mueller Changed Everything — Christian Research Network

“Anticipation is also building for the release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the department’s handling of the case. It is probably not a coincidence that some Obama-era intelligence figures are now pointing fingers at each other over their reliance on the so-called Steele dossier, a collection of unsubstantiated allegations against the president compiled by a former British spy on behalf of the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

(Byron York – Townhall)   From now on, the Trump-Russia affair — the investigation that dominated the first years of Donald Trump’s presidency — will be divided into two parts: before and after the release of Robert Mueller’s report….

Before the special counsel’s findings were made public last month, the president’s adversaries were on the offensive. Now, they are playing defense.

The change is due to one simple fact: Mueller could not establish that there was a conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to fix the 2016 election. The special counsel’s office interviewed 500 witnesses, issued 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search-and-seizure warrants and obtained nearly 300 records of electronic communications, and still could not establish the one thing that mattered most in the investigation.

Without a judgment that a conspiracy — or collusion, in the popular phrasing — took place, everything else in the Trump-Russia affair began to shrink in significance.  View article →

via Mueller Changed Everything — Christian Research Network

GOOGLE Engineer Blows Whistle on the Internet Giant’s “HUNT FOR CHRISTIANS”

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

If you have been accused of being “paranoid” about the Internet being biased against Christians and Conservatives – now you can face your Leftist accusers with PROOF!

The Culture of Left Wing ‘Outrage Mobs’

Thanks to an employee whistle blower, we now have proof  that the bias against Conservatives and Christians is REAL.

Google engineer goes public, spills beans on ‘hunt’ for Christians

Says company ‘outrage mobs’ forcing him out

In an open letter distributed Tuesday, a Google software engineer described a company culture of left-wing “outrage mobs” who use the tech giant’s anonymous bias-reporting channels to shut down conservative social and political thought.  (Emphasis added)

He claimed that in March, the company offered him a severance package to leave, with an implied threat that it would find a pretext to fire him if he refused.

In 2017, Google employee James Damore was fired after writing a memo accusing the…

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May 22, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. officials who briefed Congress about Iran on Tuesday sought to convince lawmakers that President Donald Trump’s administration wants to deter Tehran’s aggression, not attack the Islamic republic, members of Congress said.

Democrats in Congress will press U.S. President Donald Trump at a White House meeting on Wednesday for details on how to pay for a massive boost in U.S. infrastructure spending after agreeing in April to try to win approval of a $2 trillion package.

The House Intelligence Committee pulled back on Wednesday from threats to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department agreed to turn over materials relating to an investigation into Russian election interference.

Abortion-rights campaigners, including Democrats seeking their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, rallied at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to protest new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

Demonstrations over the outcome of last month’s presidential election gripped the heart of Indonesia’s capital on Wednesday after an overnight face-off between police and protesters in which Jakarta’s governor said six people were killed.

New allegations the Syrian government is using chemical weapons must be looked into, the French foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state media on Wednesday, as the U.S.-China trade war took a mounting toll on tech giant Huawei.

The Trump administration is studying how proposed tariff increases on Chinese imports will affect consumers and is at least a month away from enacting them, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it is partnering with walking robots maker Agility Robotics to assist self-driving delivery vans drop packages at the doorsteps of people’s homes.

Half of all Americans believe that the United States will go to war with Iran “within the next few years,” according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Tuesday amid increased tensions between the two countries.

AP Top Stories

A major Texas border station has been temporarily closed due to a fever outbreak, officials said, one day after a Guatemalan teenager diagnosed with flu at the facility died in immigration custody.

U.S. officials who briefed Congress about Iran on Tuesday sought to convince lawmakers that President Donald Trump’s administration wants to deter Tehran’s aggression, not attack the Islamic republic, members of Congress said.

Some 22 million people are in the path of the severe weather system that was expected to move across Texas and Louisiana into Alabama and as far north as Iowa and Nebraska on Tuesday. A second storm system was brewing and could hit the same southern region of the country later this week. “The whole area is in the bull’s eye, with more rounds of severe storms possible.”

The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing’s control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war.

Libya is on the brink of a civil war that could “lead to the permanent division of the country,” a top U.N. official warned the Security Council on Tuesday as he urged the world body to stop countries that were fueling the conflict with weapons.

Iraq is planning to send urgent delegations to the United States and Iran, its prime minister said Tuesday, as Baghdad seeks to rein in soaring tensions between its top allies.

Serbia introduced new prison sentences of life without parole, drawing criticism from the opposition and human-rights advocates who say they violate European norms.

Gunmen have cut off the main water pipeline to Libya’s besieged capital, Tripoli, spelling more misery for residents already reeling from weeks of fighting. The United Nations said the water blockage was a possible war crime.

Islamic extremists exploded a suicide car bomb and killed at least nine people, including Somalia’s former foreign minister, near the presidential palace in the capital on Wednesday, police said.

The United Nations human rights office called on U.S. authorities on Tuesday to ensure that women have access to safe abortions, saying bans lead to risky underground abortions that can endanger a woman’s life.


Six people have been killed and 200 injured during mass rallies in Jakarta against the re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

US Democrats have demanded an inquiry after a 16-year-old migrant died on Monday at a detention center on the border with Mexico. Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vásquez is the fifth child to die after being held since December.


Judicial Watch, which has obtained thousands of government documents exposed Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, now is going to court to obtain a copy of the FBI’s list of possible “statutory violations” by the former secretary of state.

A school district in Washington state has dropped its special policy promoting Ramadan, according to a legal team that sent officials a cease-and-desist letter regarding the specialized accommodations for Muslims.

A new survey finds that about 3 in 4 prefer traveling by car than by plane – even if it means a painstakingly longer trip.

Mid-Day Snapshot · May 22, 2019

The Foundation

“One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one.” —James Madison (1788)

Trump Impeachment: Put Up or Shut Up

Pelosi holds her party back from action on impeachment while she continues to preach the narrative.

Anti-Trump Judges Again Block DACA Repeal

This judicial activism is meant solely to obstruct Trump’s agenda, not uphold the law.

Most Democrats Are Clueless About Socialism

A new Gallup poll shows that too many Americans are buying Democrat lies.

ESPN Admits Mixing Politics With Sports Was a Mistake

The sports network plans to once again focus on sports sans any overt political commentary.

Pardons for the Troops?

Service members and investigators must live up to high standards of conduct and justice.

Margaret Sanger — Rolling Over in Her Grave

Planned Parenthood’s founder targeted black and urban communities to control “human weeds.”

Video: Money, Money, Money

Stossel on a new documentary revealing how stable currency leads to prosperity.

Video: AOC and Bernie Sanders Are Going Postal

You have a high credit card rate? Don’t worry! Socialists are coming to the rescue.

Today’s Opinion

Ben Shapiro
No, Abortion Isn’t a Constitutional Right
Walter E. Williams
Socialist Promises
Marc A. Thiessen
Trump’s Iran Sanctions Are Working. But It’ll Take More to Topple the Regime.
Michelle Malkin
DUH: HUD Housing Should Put Americans First
Tony Perkins
Republican Defects, Then Deflects, on Equality Act
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Electoral College subversion, Trump’s quid pro quo, debt bomb, witch hunt expands, and more.

Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from AOC, Ilhan Omar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Beto O’Rourke, and more.

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 – 5/22/2019

Americans are in the midst of a dangerously uncivil Civil War
“The Nazi cartoons are back.” “It’s 1932 all over again.” “Never again shall Arabs control Jerusalem.” “Tlaib and Omar are intentionally mainstreaming anti-Semitic memes just as Hitler did in the lead up to World War 2.” Why are Jews still voting for the Democratic Party?” “Omar should kiss the ground here, the country that rescued her. She wants Sharia law, go back to where it is, don’t bring it here.” “Why are Jews hiding when their people are being demonized?” “The progressives are lost. The Anti-Semitism is out of control, it is a serious situation.” “Such blatant evil cannot be denied and it must be faced.”

Unseasonable extreme heatwave expected to hit the country
The Health Ministry warned in a statement that low humidity and high winds are expected with temperatures predicted to soar above 40 degrees Celsius (above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) in most parts of the country. It said that several measures should be taken to avoid any health risks.

Unusual May Snow in Colorado, the Rockies
Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari has the latest on the big, unusual snow that hit the Rockies in late May. (video)

Severe Thunderstorms and Flash Flooding to Remain Threats in Plains and Midwest Into Late-Week
Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain will continue to impact parts of the Plains and Midwest into late-week with damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes and flash flooding. (video)

‘Totally devastated’: Major Christian broadcaster suffers catastrophic firebombing
The Jerusalem studios of Daystar were completely destroyed over the weekend during a weekend arson attack.“Reduced to a pile of rubble and ashes,” said network owner Marcus Lamb. “I’m certain the enemy thought this attack would be fatal to our efforts to share the Gospel across Israel. But as usual, he’s wrong. What the devil meant for evil, God will use for our good.” He indicated police have two working theories concerning possible motivation. The first is the firebombing was religiously motivated since “the TV station is Christian and it’s Ramadan, and Muslims are upset and blah, blah, blah,”

DOJ threatens war with Congress over Mueller report
Democrats are infuriated that the Mueller report found the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. But now, the Washington Examiner reports, Justice Department officials are warning House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., that if the House moves to punish Barr, the DOJ no longer with cooperate on make more of the Mueller report available.

Lawsuit seeks ‘chart of the statutory violations’ by Hillary Clinton
Fitton said that now that the Mueller investigation has ended, “the FBI has the time and manpower to focus on an investigation of Clinton unencumbered” by former FBI Director James Comey, former Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page “and their anti-Trump colleagues.” Judicial Watch said it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department for “draft copies of FBI charts containing information on potential ‘statutory violations’ committed by Hillary Clinton in the former secretary of state’s use of a non-secure, non-government email server to conduct government business.”

Antifa Organizer Ordered To Pay Legal Fees Over ‘Unreasonable, Frivolous’ Lawsuit
A San Francisco judge on Wednesday ordered a Berkeley Antifa organizer to pay Judicial Watch $22,000 in legal fees and $4,000 in litigation costs, while her co-plaintiffs were ordered to pay $1,000 each to the conservative legal watchdog. Judge Vince Chhabria, an Obama appointee, called Yvette Felarca’s lawsuit against Berkeley Unified – in which Judicial Watch was named as a party – “frivolous” and “unreasonable.”

Yes, our US troops were ordered to ignore Afghan pedophiles raping little boys
American soldiers are being punished for blowing the whistle on the systematic rape and enslavement of young boys at the hands of brutal Afghan Muslim military officials. On Thursday, Obama administration flacks went out of their way to downplay Afghan child rape as “abhorrent,” but “fundamentally” a local “law-enforcement matter.” This is the price the innocents pay for blind multiculturalism.

Japan tells the UN they will NOT take in any refugees, saying the needs of their own citizens come BEFORE the needs of Muslim migrants
Japan’s prime minister said that his nation needs to attend to its own demographic challenges posed by falling birth rates and an aging population before opening its doors to refugees.

Catholic Cardinal Burke: It’s ‘responsible’ for Christian nations to resist ‘large-scale Muslim immigration’
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see what’s happened, for instance, in Europe, in countries like France and Germany and also here in Italy. And it’s also happening in the United States.” Burke cited a book called No Go Zones which, he said, “records places in the United States where, in fact, Muslim immigrants have set up their own legal order.” “In other words, they resist the legitimate authority of the state,” he continued. This suggests to the cardinal, then, that resisting mass immigration by Muslims into one’s country is a laudable act of patriotism. “So to be opposed to large-scale Muslim immigration is … a responsible exercise of one’s patriotism,” he said.

Turkey sees improvement in F-35 talks with U.S. but prepares for sanctions
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said he sees an improvement in talks with the United States over the purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems and U.S. F-35 fighter jets, but added that Ankara was also preparing for potential U.S. sanctions. Turkey and the United States are at odds over Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems.

UAE, Saudi Arabia to attend U.S. peace conference in Bahrain
The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday said it welcomed a June 25 to 26 “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop hosted in Bahrain in cooperation with the United States. The Trump administration has cast the conference as an overture to its own plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The UAE also announced its support for the workshop and its participation in it with a delegation, Emirates News Agency (WAM) said later on Wednesday.

U.S. suspects Syrian government may be using chemical weapons
The United States sees signs the Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack on Sunday in northwest Syria, the State Department said on Tuesday, warning that Washington and its allies would respond “quickly and appropriately” if this were proven. “Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria…

US: deal ‘not only economic’; Bahrain: workshop ‘serves no other purporse’
A day after the US and Bahrain jointly issued a communique announcing an “economic workshop” in Manama in June – the first phase in the Trump administration’s rollout of its long-awaited peace plan – the US stressed that the “deal of the century” was not just an economic one, while Bahrain underlined that this particular meeting was.

Indonesia post-election protests leave six dead
Six people have been killed and 200 injured during mass rallies against the re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Indonesian police confirmed the death toll based on reports from hospitals. They said the cause of the deaths was being investigated. The national police chief has said the public should not assume police were responsible.

Yemen war: UN appeals to Houthi rebels over aid
The UN says food aid is being diverted by some corrupt and uncooperative officials in Houthi-held areas of Yemen, where millions of people are believed to be on the verge of famine. David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), told the BBC the agency’s efforts to reach people in need were being repeatedly blocked. He said he hoped “good Houthi leaders” would prevail over the corrupt ones.

Nevada passes National Popular Vote bill in bid to upend Electoral College
The Nevada Senate approved Tuesday a National Popular Vote bill on a party-line vote, sending the legislation aimed at upending the Electoral College to the governor. Assembly Bill 186, which passed the Senate on a 12-8 vote, would bring Nevada into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement between participating states to cast their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote.

Why Is the Pentagon Interested in UFOs?
U.S. Navy pilots and sailors won’t be considered crazy for reporting unidentified flying objects, under new rules meant to encourage them to keep track of what they see. Yet just a few years ago, the Pentagon reportedly shut down another official program that investigated UFO sightings. What has changed? Is the U.S. military finally coming around to the idea that alien spacecraft are visiting our planet?

Israel hit by extreme heatwave and worst is yet to come
Israel on Wednesday is expected to be hit by an extreme heatwave that will reign supreme throughout the country over the coming weekend. According to Meteo-Tech meteorological company, while in northern and central Israel the weather will be very hot, in the south of the country (and in the Sea of Galilee region) the temperatures will reach extreme heights.

Israel expands Gaza fishing zone amid reports of six-month truce
Israel said Tuesday it has expanded the fishing zone off the Gaza coast from 22km (12 nautical miles) to 28km (15 nautical miles) in order to avoid “a humanitarian deterioration of the Strip.” The announcement comes just hours after both Israel and Hamas denied reports that they had reached a six-month ceasefire, although the expansion of the fishing zone is the first stage of such a truce.

U.S. south ‘still under the gun’ after deadly storms
A storm system that blasted the U.S. South was weakening on Tuesday but another was on its way after thunderstorms and tornadoes left a swath of destruction, killed at least two people and tore up a NASCAR grandstand. More than 30 tornadoes struck on Monday and Tuesday from Texas, Oklahoma and across the southern plains into Missouri, said meteorologists with the National Weather Service.

May snow wallops Denver area and many other places across the US
Only several days ahead of Memorial Day weekend — the unofficial start of summer — heavy snow pounded the Denver area Monday evening into Tuesday morning. Many in Colorado were disappointed to find a heavy blanket of snow outside their windows.

From Texas to Oklahoma, more than 40 tornadoes touch down
More powerful storms are building in the southern Plains where five and a half million people are under a threat of severe weather. Tornadoes touched down in several states over the weekend. School is canceled Monday for more than 150,000 kids around Oklahoma City where the biggest threat is right now. David Begnaud reports.

40 000 troops on standby as extremely heavy rain hits Taiwan, debris flow warnings issued for 214 streams
Extremely heavy and heavy rain warnings are in place in most of Taiwan on Monday, May 20, 2019. Warnings against debris flows were issued for 214 streams. The country’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) has placed 39 000 soldiers on standby to help residents deal with potential disasters.

Yes, our US troops were ordered to ignore Afghan pedophiles raping little boys
American soldiers are being punished for blowing the whistle on the systematic rape and enslavement of young boys at the hands of brutal Afghan Muslim military officials.

Dunkin’ Do Nots: Don’t Mix Coffee with Politics
When shoppers are barraged with Converse’s 11-year-old drag kid and Target is busy funneling money to an LGBT indoctrination factory, it’s a relief to see that some companies refused to get caught up in radical politics. Over at Dunkin’ Donuts, executives have decided to distinguish themselves another way: by staying neutral.

Watch Australia Because Their Government’s Tyranny Is Coming Here
Australia is disappearing the rights of its citizens to the point where the country is soon going to indistinguishable from Communist China. It is almost as if the PM of Australia is modeling his government after the Communist Chinese government. Some think Australia is a beta test for what is coming to America. Bad’day Mate!

Medial fascism: Vaccine pushers also believe the government can FORCE you to undergo chemotherapy
Medical fascism is on the rise in America as left-wing medical tyrants push mandatory vaccines and mandatory chemotherapy on the masses, even while they are screaming that the government should “get your hands off my body” when it comes to abortions.

False Teacher Beth Moore Wants To Tear Down Biblical Womanhood And ‘Throw Off The Shackles’ Of The Apostle Paul’s Commands On The Operation Of The New Testament Church
Beth Moore is another one of the many end times female false teachers who are really motivational speakers who really want to be preachers who really want to be men. She started out innocently enough, teaching the bible to women, then somewhere along the way, she changed. Drastically. In 2019, we find her leading a full-on frontal assault on both biblical womanhood and what the Bible says is the role for women who want to serve in the church to play. She has gotten so bad, in fact, that we have made her a full-time resident of the Church at Laodicea.

U.S. school fails Christian student for refusing Islamic prayer
The declarations could have been made by an imam in a mosque sermon. “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.” “Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.” Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”

Ilhan Omar in U.S. illegally? Serious lawsuit seeks answer
Former Justice Department prosecutor and Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, who previously petitioned the Department of Homeland Security and the House of Representatives to investigate Rep. Ihlan Omar, D-Minn., to determine her eligibility for naturalization, now has gone to court.

Geologist: A Yellowstone Eruption “Would Destroy Most Of America”
Zaba is importantly not predicting that the volcano is going to erupt soon, but simply stating that it does have the power to destroy humanity and life as we know it…

Headlines – 5/22/2019

Power to the Shekel: Israel’s Currency Is One of the World’s Strongest, Again

UAE welcomes ‘Peace to Prosperity’ economic workshop hosted in Bahrain with US

Bahrain Stresses Commitment to Palestinian State After Backlash Over U.S.-led Peace Conference

Saudi Arabia confirms ministerial participation in Bahrain economic workshop

Bahrain defends decision to host White House Mideast meeting

Abbas aide: U.S. peace plan will fail without Palestinian statehood

Pro-Palestinians urge LA mayor to apologize for backing Jerusalem embassy move

Israel okays armored cars for PA security forces, to settlers’ chagrin

Remains of Second Temple-era Jews reburied after their West Bank tombs damaged

German Holocaust archive puts millions of documents online

Knesset meeting on lifting limits on ministers turns angry, sees walkout

PM said set to nix immunity law, focus on High Court override to avoid charges

In bid for cutting-edge spy tech, Mossad expands scope of investment arm

U.S. Says Signs Syria May Be Using Chemical Weapons, Warns of Quick Response

Turkey says it will not withdraw posts in Syria after government attacks

UN envoy: Islamic State revival in Iraq must be prevented

UN envoy warns of ‘long and bloody war’ in Libya

Water supply restored for millions in Libya, averting crisis

Yemen’s Houthis Say They Launched Second Drone Attack on Airport in Saudi Arabia

How Yemen’s Iran-backed Rebels Weaponized Drones Against Saudi Arabia

Houthi drone attacks in Saudi ‘show new level of sophistication’

Saudi cabinet calls on international community to stand firm against Iran regime

Europe will not succumb to Iran ultimatums, says French finance minister

Iraq to send teams to Tehran, Washington to ‘halt tension’

US Senator Graham: Attacks on ships in Middle East coordinated by Iran

Trump officials to Congress: Goal is deterring Iran, not war

Mattis says ‘Iran’s behavior must change’

Iran ‘threat’ has diminished, says US defense secretary

Half of all Americans believe that US will go to war with Iran “within the next few years,” new poll finds

Merkel, Macron and Putin discuss Iran situation

Putin, Merkel and Macron Discuss Eastern Ukraine Crisis in Phone Call

Russia raises alarm about extremist militants in Afghanistan

Russian bombers fly near Alaska coast, US military says

Turkey sent personnel for S-400 training in Russia, but says US talks improving

Turkey has until next month to cancel a messy multibillion-dollar Russian arms deal or face harsh US penalties

Risk of nuclear war now highest since WW2, U.N. arms research chief says

Nigerian pastor, 16 worshipers kidnapped by gunmen who stormed choir practice

Indonesian police arrest at least 20 amid post-election violence

Britain’s May offers ‘new deal’ to try to break Brexit deadlock

Macron’s top Brexit aide: UK must not ‘export its political crisis’ to Europe

Three million people have fled Venezuela since 2015: UN

Trump warns of ‘response’ for Mexico failing to adequately stop migrants

Democratic impeachment calls swell as McGahn defies subpoena

Rep. Cohen: ’80-90 percent’ of Dems on House Judiciary Committee ready to push for Trump impeachment

Angry Dem says Trump ‘raping the country,’ as impeachment push nears critical mass

Trump impeachment call from Rep. Amash ‘very disturbing,’ Kevin McCarthy says

Hannity says new Russia probe evidence will prove Democrats were ‘blinded by rage’

Trump prods Nadler, Schiff to probe ‘Crooked Hillary’ and ‘phony’ Russia investigation

The USPS Tests Out Self-Driving Trucks for Hauling Mail

How robots and your smart fridge can keep you out of a nursing home

Why Is the Pentagon Interested in UFOs?

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Bamboo Flat, India

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the West Chile Rise

5.1 magnitude earthuquake hits near Lluta, Peru

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Bunobogu, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near El Aguilar, Argentina

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 28,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 18,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

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

Denver Weather: City Sees Biggest Late May Snow In 44 Years

Dozens of tornados slam Midwest as floodwaters rise; at least 2 dead

Israel hit by extreme heatwave and worst is yet to come

Canada Court: Doctors Must Euthanize, Abort, or Refer

Daily duels over abortion outside Alabama clinics

Black Christian leaders protest new Planned Parenthood in Charlotte, lament ‘silent genocide’

Republican Preacher Runs Shocking Blog Post About Pete Buttigieg, Claims Gay People Die Younger Than ‘Normal People’

‘Save Chick-fil-A Bill’ Passes Texas House, Banning Religious Discrimination

Polish Towns Go ‘LGBT Free’ Ahead of Bitter European Election Campaign

1 in 10 Young Protestants Have Left a Church Over Abuse

Apostasy Watch Daily News

The Equality Act Would Turn America Upside Down

Prophecies Of John Knox

The Vatican’s 100 Curses Against “Protestant” Christian Believers

Surprising No One, “Revoice” Conference Pastor Comes Out As Queer

The “Constitutional Right” to Dismember the Unborn

Nutty “prophet” Mark Taylor claims Trump will soon invoke martial law

Nigerian pastor, 16 worshipers kidnapped by gunmen who stormed choir practice

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


May 22 Overcoming Sexual Temptation

scripture reading: Genesis 39
key verses: Genesis 39:9, 12

“There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” … She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.

“Just say no” is a familiar echo in the war on drugs, but it has done little to reduce narcotic use. It does not work with sexual temptation either.

God warns you in the Scriptures that you cannot handle sexual temptation with mere determination or self–discipline. Rather, He provides two clear principles of defense against sensual onslaught.

The first principle is preventive: express daily devotion to Jesus Christ. You cannot simply say no. That leaves a vacuum. For the Christian, that void is always filled with an affirmative yes to Jesus Christ: “Yes, Lord, I do love You and want to follow You. I do realize my frailty and ask You to deliver me from temptation. I am committed to You.” This everyday exercise takes up the shield of faith and withstands Satan’s ploys.

The second principle is simple: flee temptation and avoid the source. Joseph did. You must do the same. Do not go out to lunch with your secretary. Do not meet your boss for a late night meeting. Do not visit a local hangout.

Joseph loved God too much to sin against Him (Gen. 39:9). He also fled at the peak of temptation. Both principles still work.

I love You, Lord. I want to follow You. I realize my frailty and ask You to deliver me from temptation. Help me avoid its source because of my love for You.[1]

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

22 may (1859) 365 Days with Spurgeon

A psalm of remembrance

“We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” 1 John 4:16

suggested further reading: Habakkuk 3:16–19

“Hast thou considered my servant Job?” “Ah,” says Satan, “he serves thee now, but thou hast set a hedge about him and blessed him, let me but touch him.” Now he has come down to you, and he has afflicted you in your estate, afflicted you in your family, and at last he has afflicted you in your body. Shall Satan be the conqueror? Shall grace give way? O my dear brother, stand up now and say once more, once for all, “I tell thee, Satan, the grace of God is more than a match for thee; he is with me, and in all this I will not utter one word against the Lord my God. He doeth all things well—well, even now, and I do rejoice in him.” The Lord is always pleased with his children when they can stand up for him when circumstances seem to belie him. Here come the witnesses into court. The devil says, “Soul, God has forgotten thee, I will bring in my witness.” First he summons your debts—a long bill of losses. “There,” says he “would God suffer you to fall thus, if he loved you?” Then he brings in your children—either their death, or their disobedience, or something worse, and says, “Would the Lord suffer these things to come upon you, if he loved you?” At last he brings in your poor tottering body, and all your doubts and fears, and the hidings of Jehovah’s face. “Ah,” says the devil, “do you believe that God loves you now?” Oh, it is noble, if you are able to stand forth and say to all these witnesses, “I hear what you have to say, let God be true, and every man and everything be a liar. I believe none of you. You all say, God does not love me; but he does, and if the witnesses against his love were multiplied a hundredfold, yet still would I say, “I know whom I have believed.”

for meditation: The question is bound to be asked sooner or later (Psalm 42:3, 10). The apostle Paul gives the greatest answer (Romans 8:35–39).

sermon no. 253[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 149). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Why it is important not to conflate prophecy and teaching in discussions about women preaching — Denny Burk

evangelical debates over women in ministry, two biblical texts have always stood as a prima facie obstacle to the egalitarian view:

1 Timothy 2:12 “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.”
1 Corinthians 14:34 “The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.”

At first blush, these two texts seem to settle the matter in favor of the complementarian position. After all, this is the sense adopted in the vast majority of English translations. How could they all be wrong? Clearly Paul does not intend for women to be teaching/preaching within the church, right?

Egalitarians have marshaled a variety of exegetical arguments against this prima facie reading. They argue that, despite appearances, Paul doesn’t really mean to shut down women from exercising their teaching/preaching gifts in the gathered assembly. Egalitarians point out that Paul clearly understood women to be gifted teachers (e.g., Acts 18:26; Titus 2:3). Moreover, the very same book that enjoins female silence also allows for women to prophesy to the entire church (1 Corinthians 11:5). These female prophets—along with their Old Testament counterparts like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah—demonstrate that whatever Paul means in 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34, he can’t mean to impose a universal ban on women teaching in the gathered assembly. He must mean something else.

One of the major problems with the egalitarian argument at this point is that it conflates the gifts of prophecy and teaching. For example, Gordon Fee writes:

It seems altogether likely that Paul intends “praying and prophesying” to be not exclusive of other forms of ministry but representative of ministry in general. And since “prophets” precedes “teachers” in the ranking in 1 Corinthians 12:28 and prophesying is grouped with teaching, revelation and knowledge in 1 Corinthians 14:6, one may legitimately assume that women and men together shared in all these expressions of Spirit gifting, including teaching, in the gathered assembly.1

Fee’s logic here is clear. Because Paul allows women to prophesy to the gathered assembly and because prophecy is a greater gift than teaching, then certainly he would allow women to teach as well.

This account of things, however, misses the fact that Paul treats prophecy and teaching as two different gifts and that he therefore regulates them differently in his churches. Paul never issues a blanket prohibition on female prophecy in any of his letters, but he does on female teaching. Why is that?

To answer that question, we have to understand what the difference between prophecy and teaching is. The gift of prophecy consists in spontaneous utterance inspired by the Spirit. Prophecy therefore consists of divine revelation. The gift of teaching, however, is different. Teaching does not consist in new revelation but in instruction based on revelation that has already been given.2

This difference between teaching and prophecy is crucial because the gift of teaching is not merely passing along information from one person to another. The gift of teaching in Paul’s writings has a certain content and mode. The content of the gift of teaching is the authoritative apostolic deposit, which is now inscribed for us in the New Testament (Col. 2:7; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Tim. 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:2).3 This teaching therefore is done in the imperative mood. It contains explanation, but it also includes commands and prohibitions. For that reason, it is alwaysauthoritative because it instructs people what they are to believe and to do.4

1 Timothy 4:11, “Command and teach these things.”
2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

It is very clear that when Paul has the gift of teaching in mind, he is thinking of instruction given in the imperative mood. As Douglas Moo concludes, “teaching always has this restrictive sense of authoritative doctrinal instruction.”5

That is why Paul issues the prohibition that he does in 1 Timothy 2:12. Women must not teach men. Why? Because of the order of creation (1 Timothy 2:13). The role of leader in the first marriage was Adam’s. His leadership was established in part on the basis that God created him first (a principle of primogeniture). The order of creation establishes male headship in marriage (cf. 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23), and a woman teaching and exercising authority overturns this order. After all, how can a wife submit to her husband if she is telling him what to do when she preaches? Avoiding this potential conflict is the reason why Paul bases the gender norms for teaching upon the gender norms for marriage.

This also explains why Paul commands women to be silent in 1 Corinthians 14:34-36. Paul is not commanding absolute silence, or else he would be contradicting his allowance of female prophesying in 1 Corinthians 11:5. No, Paul is specifically commanding female silence during the judgment of prophecies.6 What happens if a husband prophesies, and his wife is a prophet as well? Is the husband supposed to be subject to his wife during the judgment of prophecies? Are husbands and wives supposed to suspend male headship during corporate worship? Paul’s answer to that question is a clear no.

Paul does not want anything to happen during corporate worship or in any other setting that would upset the headship principle that he so carefully exhorted his readers to obey in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. For that reason, Paul enjoins women to refrain from the judgment of prophecies. He’s not commanding an absolute silence on the part of women. Indeed he expects them to be praying and prophesying. He does, however, command them to be silent whenever prophesies are being judged. And the women are to do so out of deference to male headship.

Notice that the explanation in verse 34 indicates that headship is indeed the issue: “The women… should be in submission…” The Greek word translated as “submission” is the same one from verse 32. A woman cannot be subject to her husband while simultaneously expecting him to submit to her judgments about his prophecy. To avoid this conflict, Paul says that while women may prophesy, they may not participate in the judgment of prophesies. In this case, the judgment of prophecies is tantamount to teaching, which Paul absolutely prohibits in 1 Timothy 2:12.

What is the bottom line here? The fact of female prophecy in the Old and New Testaments is no argument in favor of female teaching/preaching. The gifts of prophecy and teaching are distinct in Paul’s writings, and Paul therefore regulates them differently. While Paul allows women to prophesy in the presence of men, he does not allow them to teach men (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34-36).


1 Gordon D. Fee, “Praying and Prophesying in the Assemblies” in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothius, Gordan D. Fee (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004), 149.

2 Thomas R. Schreiner, Spiritual Gifts: What They Are & Why They Matter (Nashville: B&H, 2018), 21.

3 Douglas Moo, “What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 185.

4 Indeed the standard lexicon for the Greek New Testament says that the word translated as teach means “to tell someone what to do” (BDAG, s.v. ???????).

5 Douglas Moo, “What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?,” 185.

6 D. A. Carson, “Silent in the Churches” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 151-53.

via Why it is important not to conflate prophecy and teaching in discussions about women preaching — Denny Burk