Daily Archives: June 2, 2019

June 2 Walking by Faith

Scripture Reading: Psalm 27:11–14

Key Verse: Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

In our excitement to see God work in our lives, we oftentimes forget that He knows the big picture, and He also knows what is best for us. Our zeal, apart from His divine knowledge, can send us racing into the unknown, when it’s best for us to wait upon Him for guidance.

However, learning to walk by faith teaches us to stand firm while awaiting God’s direction. Our mentality that places a disproportionate amount of emphasis on works can incite us to go forward. We forget that some of our greatest personal growth as believers, and the preparation necessary for God’s next step in our lives, takes place in the stillness of our hearts.

David believed strongly that waiting upon God was vital to walking in His ways. In fact, twice in one verse, he implored us to wait: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 nasb).

While we are anxious to tackle the next obstacle thrust in our path, God knows that we need time to grow—time learning to trust in Him—in order to conquer that obstacle. As we discover that our strength truly comes from God alone, we will wait patiently; for we understand that a deep faith in Him trusts that, with Him alone, we will succeed in walking victoriously by faith.

Lord, thank You for being there in the still, quiet places. Please calm my racing heart so that I may have the patience to wait and hear Your voice.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 161). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

“The Conditions of Discipleship,” by Oswald Chambers — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

In Luke 14, Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also….And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me….So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

If the closest relationships of a disciple’s life conflict with the claims of Jesus Christ, then our Lord requires instant obedience to Himself. Discipleship means personal, passionate devotion to a Person — our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a vast difference between devotion to a person and devotion to principles or to a cause. Our Lord never proclaimed a cause — He proclaimed personal devotion to Himself. To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ.

No one on earth has this passionate love for the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Spirit has given it to him. We may admire, respect, and revere Him, but we cannot love Him on our own. The only One who truly loves the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and it is He who has “poured out in our hearts” the very “love of God.” Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ.

via “The Conditions of Discipleship,” by Oswald Chambers — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

June 2 Nothing Happens by Chance

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:28–29

Key Verse: Isaiah 55:8

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

An earthen dam breaks, sending thousands of gallons of water rushing down a rocky ravine. In the wake of the flood lies a sleeping Bible college community. After the waters recede, thirty–nine people are reported dead and countless others injured. Can God possibly be in this senseless tragedy?

God is indeed in everything. If anything is beyond His reach, then He cannot be God. Everything abides under His control, and He promised to work all things together in such a fashion that good comes out of them.

Almost fifteen years later, the tiny Bible school is now a thriving Christian college with twice the enrollment as before the tragedy. The trial that had the potential to devastate God’s plan became a pathway to stronger faith.

Pain and suffering are a natural part of life. In times of intense testing we learn of God’s undivided love and devotion toward us.

Nothing happens by chance with God. He always has a purpose in mind when He allows us to be tested. Sometimes it is to refine us. Sometimes it is to draw us to a closer walk with Him.

Whatever you are facing today, God knows the extent of your sorrow. Place your trust completely in Him, and He will help you bear the weight of your adversity.

Thank You, Lord, that nothing happens by chance. You always have a divine purpose in mind when You allow me to be tested. Let my adversities refine me and draw me closer to You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 161). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 2 A Supernatural Change Agent

Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:17–29

Key verse: Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Long before the pounding of hammers and buzzing of saws come to a residential or commercial building site, the contractor has an architectural blueprint in hand. Pipes, nails, shingles, studs, joists, ceilings, rooms, windows—in essence, the entire finished product—merely follow the detailed rendering.

Our growth as Christians has this one striking similarity: our measurable, visible behavior inevitably follows our mental blueprint. What we do and what others see are expressions of our mind-sets.

That is why Jesus said obviously identifiable acts such as murder, theft, and adultery stem from an inner evil. The thought precedes the act. Thus, real change proceeds from the inside out, from our thinking to our living.

You must abandon the world’s bent toward greed and self-protection. You can no longer trust old habits that have cut deep thought patterns into your psychological and emotional grid systems.

Christ’s death for your sins makes possible not just a new destiny but a radically new outlook on all of life. Your mind must be made wholly new each day. Such transformation begins, continues, and ends through the daily intake of God’s supernatural change agent—divine truth.

Change me from the inside out, dear Lord. Use Your supernatural change agent of divine truth to make me a new creature in You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 161). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The History And Results Of America’s Disastrous Public School System | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Justin Spears via The Foundation for Economic Education,

All across the nation, students are being prodded like cattle into classrooms, and the one-size-fits-all approach is failing them.

There is a popular saying that “the proof is in the pudding.” In the first part of this article set, my colleague Mike Margeson spelled out the historical roots of the American schooling system. He clearly laid out the blueprint that men like Horace Mann used to build a system that does anything but “educates.” Factor in that trillions of dollars have been spent on schooling, and it makes it even harder to justify.

A Broken System

Yet we continue to hear the “Red for Ed” crowd scream for more funding. Here in the state of Indiana, the superintendent of public education is leading an assault on the state legislature for a meager 2 percent increase in state funding. Many educators are characterizing this as a decrease in funding! In no other walk of life would we continue to pour so many resources into a failed system. If you had any doubt about this after reading Part One, let me present you with some facts.

In what was one of many fiery speaking engagements, the late John Taylor Gatto delivered a line that has resonated with me as I have studied the effects the public schooling system has on children. In this particular speech, Gatto was recounting the story of Jaime Escalante, the educator who successfully taught calculus at Garfield High School in Los Angeles yet was forced to resign.

As he finishes describing the trials and fate of Escalante, Gatto explains that above racism and other forms of bigotry is the embedded idea that what really occurred was a deliberate attempt to stop genuine learning. Earlier in the speech, Gatto laid out a compelling case of how and why schooling is meant to keep citizens ignorant. This success at an inner city school was not going to be tolerated by the establishment. He implored his listeners to understand the real problem and to quit “fencing with shadows.”

Flushing Money Down the Drain

So what does this mean? Throughout history, compulsory schooling has consistently been viewed as not only progressive but also in need of reform. The most common method of reform has been to throw piles of money at the problem. According to the Department of Education’s (DOE) website, the DOE spent an estimated $69.4 billion in 2017. Compare that to the initial $2.9 billion ($23 billion adjusted for inflation) budgeted under the Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965.

To put this into context, education spending as a percent of gross domestic product has gone from 2.6 percent in the 1950s to 6.1 percent as recently as 2010. This is just a look at federal spending; each state also allocates a portion of their budget to education, with California leading the way at over $72 million. Finally, we have seen a tremendous amount of private capital injected to help reform schools. Institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have invested billions of dollars in education. All this spending must be yielding better results, right? Let’s take a look.

Contrary to what those in public education will tell you, the system is flush with cash, which generates very few positive results. Take New York as an example. The state was front and center in the reform battle during President Obama’s Race to the Top (RTT) initiative. Leading up to the controversial dash for cash, the city had been experiencing an education overhaul, including battles over charters and a knock-down fight with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Board of Education chief, Joel Klein, and the powerful unions. The state was seeing an infusion of Wall Street cash backing charters, which were being throttled by state Democrats and union bosses.

In addition to the almost $700 million in RTT funds and the $61.4 million spent at the state level, the city of New York saw millions of dollars invested from groups like Democrats for Education Reform (DFER). So what are the results of these investments? According to Cornell University’s NYC Education Data program, less than half of all eighth graders in the state are proficient in English language arts and math. We see this same type of result across the country.

Indeed, these results do not stack up well internationally, either. A 2015 Organization for Economic Cooperation Development report shows just how far behind American students are falling. The average score for 15-year-olds in math, language, and science on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) test for the US was 470. Only Mexico (402), Chile (423) and Turkey (420) had lower scores. Thirty-one other nations had scores higher than the US, with Japan leading the way at 532.

Where to Look for Solutions

Why, in 2019, after all the money spent and all the reforms that have been instituted, are we still seeing such horrific results in our schools? The answer is much simpler than it has been made out to be: The system is broken. There is no remedy to fix this system. It is fundamentally flawed. The famous saying that you cannot fix a problem with the same mind that created it rings so true. So if reform will not work, what are we to do?

Again, the answer is simple: unschool. First, let’s be clear—charters and virtual schools are not desired long-term outcomes. They are soft variants of the current system, and while they may show growth in the short-term, in the long run, they still stifle learning due to government regulation. There are many methods for accomplishing the goal of unschooling. Some systems are already in place, such as homeschooling. Another great model is the Sudbury School. This is a democratic system of education that allows students the autonomy to determine their own paths of learning.

All across the nation, students are being prodded like cattle into classrooms, and the one-size-fits-all approach is failing them. They are bored and uninterested, and we blame them. We tell them and their parents that there is something medically wrong with them—that they need medication and counseling. This ought to weigh on the minds of every adult in America as cruel and abusive. Only systems that return power, and ultimately the desire to learn in children, will suffice. We need more educators like John Taylor Gatto to speak up and have the courage to buck the system. We need more leaders like Kerry McDonald and Dr. Peter Gray, who have led the charge in researching and promoting the unschooling model. Until that time, we will keep fencing with shadows.

Source: The History And Results Of America’s Disastrous Public School System

Mike Pompeo & Henry Kissinger attend mysterious Bilderberg 2019 (VIDEO) | RT – Daily news

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his predecessor, Henry Kissinger, have arrived in Switzerland for the 67th annual mysterious Bilderberg conference.

Source: Mike Pompeo & Henry Kissinger attend mysterious Bilderberg 2019 (VIDEO)

Snowden: “Most Effective Means Of Social Control In The History Of Our Species” Now In Place | Zero Hedge

Article Image
https://www.zerohedge.com by Andrea Germanos

Authored by Andrea Germanos via Common Dreams

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Thursday that people in systems of power have exploited the human desire to connect in order to create systems of mass surveillance.

Snowden appeared at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia via livestream from Moscow to give a keynote address for the Canadian university’s Open Dialogue Series.

Right now, he said, humanity is in a sort of “atomic moment” in the field of computer science. “We’re in the midst of the greatest redistribution of power since the Industrial Revolution, and this is happening because technology has provided a new capability,” Snowden said.

Image source: Laura Poitras

“It’s related to influence that reaches everyone in every place,” he said. “It has no regard for borders. Its reach is unlimited, if you will, but its safeguards are not.” Without such defenses, technology is able to affect human behavior.

Institutions can “monitor and record private activities of people on a scale that’s broad enough that we can say it’s close to all-powerful,” said Snowden. They do this through “new platforms and algorithms,” through which “they’re able to shift our behavior. In some cases they’re able to predict our decisions—and also nudge them—to different outcomes. And they do this by exploiting the human need for belonging.”

“We don’t sign up for this,” he added, dismissing the notion that people know exactly what they are getting into with social media platforms like Facebook.

“How many of you who have a Facebook account actually read the terms of service?” Snowden asked. “Everything has hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal jargon that we’re not qualified to read and assess—and yet they’re considered to be binding upon us.”

“It is through this sort of unholy connection of technology and sort of an unusual interpretation of contract law,” he continued, “that these institutions have been able to transform this greatest virtue of humanity—which is this desire to interact and to connect and to cooperate and to share—to transform all of that into a weakness.”

“And now,” he added, “these institutions, which are both commercial and governmental, have built upon that and… have structuralized that and entrenched it to where it has become now the most effective means of social control in the history of our species.

“Maybe you’ve heard about it,” Snowden said. “This is mass surveillance.”

* * *

Listen to Snowden’s full remarks below. (He begins speaking around the 25-minute mark.)

Proceeds from the event went to the Montreal-based organization For the Refugees, which is working to obtain refugee status in Canada for the three families who sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong when he fled the U.S. to avoid being charged with violations under the Espionage Act.

Two of Snowden’s “guardian angels” arrived in Canada in March. The other five are still stuck in Hong Kong, the organization says, where they face the threat of deportation to their home countries of Sri Lanka and the Philippines, where they could face continued threats of persecution, torture, and possible death.

Every month it costs over $7,500 to support the seven Snowden refugees in Hong Kong and Canada. All of those funds come from small-dollar online donations. Want to help? https://t.co/bnkgzEnI6X

— For the Refugees (@4TheRefugees) May 30, 2019

Snowden, in his remarks Thursday, said, “I owe them a debt that I’ll never be able to repay.”


9-in-10 Aliens Released Not Showing Up to Court…

Source: 9-in-10 Aliens Released Not Showing Up to Court…

Palestinians say “hell no” to Trump peace team’s economic conference. But three Arab states say “yes.” This is a very big deal. Here’s why. (My new column for The Jerusalem Post.)

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog


(Washington, D.C.) — Here are excerpts from my new column. To read the full column, please click here.

“Palestinians say ‘hell no’ to Trump economic parley”

Historic, tectonic shifts are underway in the Middle East. Many Americans and Europeans are convinced President Donald Trump’s long-awaited and highly controversial peace plan has no chance of success. But they are utterly missing the point. Yes, the Palestinians are hardening their position against peace with Israel, but the Gulf Arab states are steadily warming toward peace with the Jewish state.

Consider the latest developments.

On June 25 and 26, Trump’s advisers will host a conference to roll out the first section of their peace plan. Specifically, they will unveil their proposals to vastly improve the Palestinian economy and the living conditions of every Arab – Muslim and Christian – in the West Bank and Gaza.

No foreign ministers are invited, only finance…

View original post 330 more words

June 1-2, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

News – 6/1/2019

Top Palestinian Business Professionals to avoid Bahrain
US President Donald Trump’s Mideast team is back in the region trying to garner support for the White House’s planned economic “workshop” scheduled to be held in Manama, Bahrain, June 25-26. The team consists of Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner; Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s negotiator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and Brian Hook, the special US representative for Iran.

Nasrallah: Trump’s Peace Plan is unjust and it is our duty to oppose it
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech on the occasion of International Jerusalem Day that “in the past 40 years, the enemies of Jerusalem have been betting that they we will ignore it or about forget it, but year after year we find that people still express great interest.” “We have seen large demonstrations in several countries around the world and the demonstration of one million in Iran,” he said…

US ends special trade treatment for India amid tariff dispute
The US will end preferential trade status for India next week, President Donald Trump has confirmed amid a deepening row over protectionism. India had been the largest beneficiary of a scheme that allows some goods to enter the US duty-free. However that status will end on Wednesday, Mr Trump said. In March he announced that it would be revoked because India had failed to provide adequate access to its markets, but Mr Trump gave no date.

Mexico ‘won’t be provoked by US’ over migrant row
Mexico’s president has insisted his government will not be provoked, after President Donald Trump announced escalating tariffs on all goods unless Mexico curbed illegal migration. Andrés Manuel López Obrador described Mr Trump’s slogan “America First” as a fallacy and said universal justice was more important than borders. Stock markets saw sharp losses following Mr Trump’s announcement.

Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google
The Justice Department is gearing up for an antitrust investigation of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, a move that could present a major new layer of regulatory scrutiny for the search giant, according to people familiar with the matter. The department’s antitrust division in recent weeks has been laying the groundwork for the probe, the people said.

Facebook lawyer says users ‘have no expectation of privacy’
A lawyer for Facebook argued in court Wednesday that the social media site’s users “have no expectation of privacy.” According to Law360, Facebook attorney Orin Snyder made the comment while defending the company against a class-action lawsuit over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” Snyder said.

G20 digital tax takes step closer
Global efforts to impose a unified tax policy on Google, Facebook and other internet giants have cleared a major hurdle ahead of a G20 summit in Japan, officials said Friday. The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that 129 countries had signed off on a roadmap to grab a fairer tax share of the companies’ booming sales.

Gov. Newsom Welcomes Women Seeking An Abortion To Come To California
Governor Gavin Newsom took a step Friday to support women’s rights to have an abortion and even indicated women can come to California to have one if they want. Newsom signed Friday what he calls a “Proclamation on Reproductive Freedom.” He says it reaffirms the state’s commitment to protecting women’s reproductive choices, educates Californians about their rights to reproductive freedom, and welcomes women to the state to exercise that right.

Is Vermin Infestation Making People Sick At Downtown LAPD Station?
An infestation of vermin at a building in Downtown Los Angeles is allegedly making people sick. CBS2’KCAL9’s Sara Donchey reports that the people getting sick are work at one of LAPD’s stations. LAPD’s Central Division is in the heart of Skid Row. It appears the troubled areas problems are, in this case, stemming from inside the building.

The richest 10% of households now represent 70% of all U.S. wealth
The rich are getting richer. It is a refrain that has certainly been uttered before, and likely will again, as Deutsche Bank Securities’ chief economist points out that the gap between the haves and have-nots in the U.S. is, indeed, widening. Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Sløk says…the richest 10% of U.S. households representing 70% of all U.S. wealth in 2018, compared with 60% in 1989, according to a recent study by researchers at the Federal Reserve.

Mysterious flashes of light observed on the moon’s surface
Scientists have launched a bid to observe and understand mysterious flashes of light on the surface of the moon. The ‘transient luminous lunar phenomena’ occur several times a week and illuminate parts of the moon’s landscape for a brief period of time before disappearing. Sometimes, a reverse effect which causes the lunar surface to darken has also been observed.

Border Patrol holding 900 at facility fit for 125 in situation that ‘could turn violent’
A government watchdog is warning of a potentially “violent” situation at one Border Patrol station on the U.S.-Mexico border where migrants are held in unsafe conditions. Even so, Homeland Security officials are not planning changes anytime soon. The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General released a report Friday that found “dangerous overcrowding” among adults being held at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center in West Texas.

FIFTY House Democrats and 1 lone Republican are now calling for Trump’s impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still isn’t ready to impeach Donald Trump but 50 members of her Democratic caucus – and one lone Republican – are out for the president’s political blood. Outside liberal groups say it’s time too, but even after special counsel Robert Mueller essentially called on Congress to pick up where his investigation left off, Pelosi isn’t budging.

Beijing warns US not to underestimate Chinese military
Beijing warned Friday that the US should not underestimate China’s military as the top defence officials from both countries met on the sidelines of a security forum. As Beijing and Washington vie for influence in a region hosting potential flashpoints such as the South China Sea, Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Strait, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan met Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe for 20 minutes Friday.

US Catholic Church reports big rise in sex-abuse allegations
Quantifying its vast sex-abuse crisis, the U.S. Roman Catholic Church said Friday that allegations of child sex abuse by clerics more than doubled in its latest 12-month reporting period, and that its spending on victim compensation and child protection surged above $300 million. During the period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, 1,385 adults came forward with 1,455 allegations of abuse…

North Korea’s Kim visits factories linked to missile launches
The factories have innocuous names, but analysts say several ostensibly civilian facilities visited by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently are also used to build ballistic missile launchers and other weapons. On Saturday North Korea state news agency KCNA released reports of Kim providing “field guidance” at a number of factories and cities, without specifying when the visits occurred.

UK scientists create tiny shape-shifting ‘surgeon’ robots that can make cuts from within the human body
Tiny shape-shifting robots that can make precise cuts within the human body and one day replace surgeons are being developed by scientists in Edinburgh. A team at Heriot-Watt University is starting a project to manufacture the robots, which will be as small as 1 millimetre in diameter, using shape memory alloy. Thanks to this material, the robots will be able to change their shape in response to temperature, contracting to fit into tight spaces…

Disgruntled city worker kills 12 in Virginia beach resort; suspect also killed
A disgruntled public utility employee opened fire with a handgun on co-workers at a municipal building in Virginia on Friday afternoon, killing 12 people and wounding at least four before he was fatally shot by police, authorities said. The mass shooting in the coastal resort of Virginia Beach was the deadliest instance of U.S. gun violence since November 2018, when a dozen people were slain at a Los Angeles-area bar and grill…

U.S. begins collecting higher tariffs on Chinese goods arriving by sea
The United States began collecting higher, 25% tariffs on many Chinese goods arriving in U.S. seaports on Saturday morning in an intensification of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies and drawing retaliation from Beijing. U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the tariff increase on a$200 billion list of Chinese goods on May 10, but had allowed a grace period for sea-borne cargoes that departed China before that date…

Trump to formally launch 2020 campaign on June 18 in Orlando, Florida
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday he will be formally launching his 2020 re-election campaign on June 18 in Florida, beginning what may prove to be a difficult bid for another four years at the White House. In a tweet, Trump said he would hold a rally with his wife, Melania, Vice President Mike Pence and Pence’s wife Karen at the 20,000-seat Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. “Join us for this historic rally!” he wrote.

Headlines – 6/1/2019

Iran leaders mock Trump peace plan as thousands rally on anti-Israel Quds Day

Protesters in Iran, Iraq burn Israel, US flags on ‘Quds Day’

Lebanon’s Hezbollah vows to confront U.S. Middle East plan

Palestinians say U.S. ‘deal of the century’ will finish off their state

Final Islamic Summit communique reiterates Palestinians’ right to statehood

Dutch foreign minister defends diplomat promoting ‘one-state solution’

With new elections in Israel, Trump’s peace plan hits another hitch – time is working against the proposal

‘Obstacle to Peace’: EU Condemns Israeli Plans for New East Jerusalem Construction

OIC summit condemns any decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Jerusalem to host ‘unprecedented’ Israel-Russian-US security summit

260,000 Muslims pray peacefully at Al-Aqsa Mosque after terror attack

After backlash, Chicago school pulls support for ‘Teaching Palestine’ course

NY police say hate crimes nearly doubled in 2019, with most anti-Semitic

Far-left California Democrats want to link Israeli gov’t to Pittsburgh massacre

In Germany, Pompeo voices concern over kippa warning to Jews

In first, Dutch government calls fighting anti-Semitism a national priority

Lebanese parliament speaker tells crude anti-Semitic joke during interview

Ehud Barak says Netanyahu is ‘finished,’ predicts Likud will turn on him

Trump and Bibi’s Bad Week – They’re both at war with those who would investigate them. But are they winning or losing?

Turkey, Russia face conflicts over Syria’s push into Idlib

US-led coalition: 1,300 civilians killed in air strikes on ISIS

Hackers take down Iranian social security website

Nasrallah says Hezbollah has no factories for precision missiles

Hezbollah chief warns US that war against Iran would engulf region

UN atomic watchdog raises questions of Iran’s centrifuge use

UN atomic agency says Iran nuclear stockpiles growing, but still within limits

Seeking to isolate Iran, Saudi king draws Muslim leaders to Mecca summit

King Salman: We will confront aggressive threats and acts of sabotage

Houthi leader chants “death to America” after advocating for peace

30 Years After Tiananmen Protests, ‘The Fight Is Still Going On For China’

Beijing warns US not to underestimate Chinese military

The US-China trade war just sparked a $14.6 billion exodus from emerging markets

Carmakers See $18 Billion Wiped Out by Trump’s Mexico Threat

China won when Trump blindsided Mexico with tariffs, says former Mexican ambassador to China

Stocks suffer worst May since 2010 as Trump threatens tariffs on Mexico

Trump lifts curbs on E15 gasoline to help farmers, angering Big Oil

Hollywood celebrities react to Mueller statement, ramp up calls for Trump’s impeachment

Barr has not received ‘satisfactory’ answers from intelligence community in Russia probe origins review

Adam Schiff calls on Dan Coats to tell him if William Barr declassifies over intelligence community objections

Attorney General William Barr: The FBI crossed ‘a serious red line’ by investigating Trump’s campaign

AG Barr breaks with Trump, says he does not think Obama-era officials committed treason

Julian Assange not fit to stand trial, subjected to ‘psychological torture’: UN expert

Not the Onion: Hillary to deliver keynote at cyber security summit

Trump administration to ask most US visa applicants for social media information

Facebook lawyer says users ‘have no expectation of privacy’

G20 digital tax takes step closer

Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google

The richest 10% of households now represent 70% of all U.S. wealth

6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits near Tomatlan, Mexico

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Korce, Albania

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Korce, Albania

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 30,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 27,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Florida Panhandle still recovering from Cat 5 storm as hurricane season gets underway

As hurricane season begins, 95 percent of Harvey flood protection damage unrepaired

Water content of Colorado’s snowpack raises flood concerns, with levels peaking at 728 percent in the San Juans

‘It’s Never Done This’: Arkansas River Keeps Flooding, Testing Levees And Patience

May 2019 could be historic month for tornadoes after unprecedented twister streak finally ends at 13 days

Scientists Splice Spider Gene Into Fungus to Kill Mosquitoes

UK scientists create tiny shape-shifting ‘surgeon’ robots that can make cuts from within the human body

Concerns over exaggerated health claims prompt FDA hearing on effects of CBD products

Gov. Newsom Welcomes Women Seeking An Abortion To Come To California

Missouri’s last abortion clinic will remain open after judge issues temporary order

Rush Limbaugh unloads on Disney, says it’s hypocritical about Georgia abortion law

Trump recognizes LGBTQ Pride Month for first time

Homophobic Philippines President Says He ‘Cured’ Himself of Being Gay

Russia cuts Rocketman scenes citing ‘homosexual propaganda’ law

Could Prostitution Be Next to Be Decriminalized?

US Catholic Church reports big rise in sex-abuse allegations

‘Today is Virginia Beach’s darkest hour:’ 12 killed in shooting at municipal complex; assailant dead

News – 6/2/2019

Major Israeli Airstrikes Kill Up To 10 Pro-Assad Forces In Pre-dawn Raid
Israeli media citing 7 of those were Iran and Hezbollah “foreign fighters”

In case you missed it: Massive tornadoes pulverize central US; record-breaking heat wave scorches Southeast
Capping a month marked by severe weather, May’s final week featured the fall of numerous tornado-related records and even more cities and counties left devastated in the wake of those destructive twisters.

Tropical threat may brew in Gulf of Mexico as Atlantic hurricane season officially begins
Tropical threat may brew in Gulf of Mexico as Atlantic hurricane season officially begins. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway and the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is being monitored for potential tropical activity into early week.

William Barr determined to unravel truth behind Russia lie
Here are some nuclear-grade examples of what the AG has to say: “So it was bogus, this whole idea that Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.” “It’s hard to read some of the [FBI] texts and not feel that there was gross bias at work, and they’re appalling.” “The use of foreign-intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it’s a serious red line that’s been crossed.” “The media reaction is strange. Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is.” “One of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that . . . From my perspective the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.” There’s much more, making the interview, on top of other things Barr has said, like Christmas, July 4th and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. A new era in Washington has begun. Hallelujah!

Louisiana’s Democratic governor signs abortion ban into law
With his signature, Gov. John Bel Edwards made Louisiana the fifth state to enact a law prohibiting abortion when a baby’s heartbeat is detected, joining Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia. Alabama’s gone further, outlawing virtually all abortions .

“It’s All A Fraud”: Deceptive Edits Found In Mueller Report
“This is why we need all backup and source documentation for the #muellerdossier released publicly.”

Arabs riot as Jews are allowed to enter Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day
Following the report that Jews will be allowed to enter the Temple Mount for Jerusalem Day, riots broke out on the Temple Mount on Sunday, according to the Police Spokesperson’s Unit. The commander of the Jerusalem district, Maj.-Gen. Doron Yedid, ordered the police to enter the Temple Mount and take care of the rioters. As the police attempted to enter the place, Arab worshipers began throwing stones, chairs and other objects at the forces.

Thousands flock holy sites to participate in Jerusalem Day prayers – watch
Thousands…arrived for a festive prayer at the Western Wall plaza to mark Jerusalem Day on Sunday…Jerusalem Day marks Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Day War, which saw the 55th Paratroopers Brigade, commanded by Col. Motta Gur break through the Jordanian defenses and take the Old City and east Jerusalem. “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” was Gur’s famous cry that marked the beginning of Israeli rule over a united Jerusalem.

Government warnings can’t turn back migrants from Guatemala
Dressed in a bright orange shirt, Francisco Gomez yells and uses his arms to vigorously direct the myriad souped-up buses at the crossroads known as Cuatro Caminos, or Four Roads. This is the busy roadway one local called “the last adios” — where every day hundreds of Guatemalan migrants from the country’s impoverished western highlands begin their 1,000-mile-plus journey to the US border.

Mexican president hints at migration concessions to avoid Trump tariffs
Mexico’s president on Saturday hinted his country could tighten migration controls to defuse U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, and said he expected “good results” from talks planned in Washington next week. Trump said on Thursday he will apply the tariffs on June 10 if Mexico does not halt the flow of illegal immigration, largely from Central America, across the U.S.-Mexican border.

…Kenneth Copeland appears unhinged in interview where he defends his $760million fortune and says he needs to use THREE private jets because ‘demonic environment on commercial flights are not good for a preacher’
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland has appeared in a bizarre interview where he defends using three private jets to travel the world after previously claiming he didn’t want to fly commercial with ‘demons’. The 82-year-old’s chat with Inside Edition features him angrily pointing and staring the interviewer in one of the instances where he flares up after being confronted about his lavish lifestyle.

Pro- and anti-Israel demonstrations face off in Berlin
Hundreds of people, including prominent German politicians and members of the Jewish community, were protesting Saturday against a larger, anti-Israel rally in Berlin. Police in the German capital kept the competing protests on Saturday apart. The annual al-Quds — Arabic for Jerusalem — march against Israel drew more than 1,000 participants, with some chanting “Palestine will be reborn!” or “Free Gaza!” Others waved Iranian flags.

China and U.S. clash again on trade and regional security
China and the United States clashed again this weekend on trade and security, accusing each other of destabilizing the region and potentially the world. Speaking on Sunday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Asia’s premier defense summit, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe warned the United States not to meddle in security disputes over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Iran warns any clash in the Gulf would push oil prices above $100
U.S. military vessels in the Gulf are within range of Iranian missiles, a top military aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday, warning any clash between the two countries would push oil prices above $100 a barrel. Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers…

Arkansas River Keeps Flooding, Testing Levees And Residents’ Patience
The Arkansas River just keeps rising. The usually placid tributary of the Mississippi has become a bloated torrent carrying entire trees downstream, drowning riverfront property and halting commerce for hundreds of miles.

The Migrant Surge Has Knocked The Sense Out Of Some New Mexicans
Confirming Americans’ darkest suspicions, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted last week that “100 percent” of adults illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are being released into the country.

Abortionists – Cruel and Brutal Defenders of Infanticide and the most Sadistic Racists on Earth
In January of 2018 Christian Headlines published an article by Shane Idleman in which the author was shaken when he read what the New York legislature did after passing their unlimited abortion law. Idleman said “I could not believe what I was reading: People actually applauded the slaughtering of children. Was I having a dream . . . a nightmare? Was this real?”

Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo And Jared Kushner Head To Bilderberg 2019 To Discuss The Coming ‘New Strategic Order’ With The Global Elites
When I saw the headline for this article on Drudge today, I  laughed out loud, I truly did. Why the very idea of Mike Pompeo, who just a few weeks ago was in a church in Texas talking about the Rapture, attending the annual super-secret Bilderberg meeting was ludicrous. Bilderberg is where the Illuminati plots out their plans for global domination. So what was Mike Pompeo there to talk about? Nothing less than the coming New World Order, that’s what. And who was coming along to keep Pompeo company?

LOGAN ACT! Former Obama Officials Admit They’re Secretly Talking To The Iranians
So, remember when President Trump accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of violating the Logan Act for speaking with the Iranians?  Yeah, CNN did a fact check piece. It’s funny because when Republican Senators wrote a letterto the leaders of Iran warning them that if a Democrat fails to succeed the Obama presidency in 2016, a Republican president could nuke this shoddy Iran Deal.

Bubonic Plague ‘Likely’ Already Present In Los Angeles
The city, with a population topping four million and a broader metropolitan area with many millions more, is awash in massive problems — overcrowding, lack of housing, and high demand for free services among them. But other far more serious problems are lurking, Dr. Drew Pinksy said on Thursday.

Former Obama Officials Helping Iran To Outmaneuver The United States
“Their strategy was to divide and isolate the Trump administration just as the Trump administration was trying to re-establish deterrence with Iran.”

Headlines – 6/2/2019

Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Faces a Crossroads After Coalition Talks in Israel Crumble

Massive police presence to try to keep Jerusalem Day peace

Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters, counter-protesters face off in Berlin

IDF: 2 projectiles fired at Mt. Hermon from Syria; no injuries reported

IDF strikes Syria, killing 3, after rockets fired at Golan Heights

Explosions rock Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, killing 10

Hezbollah chief: Israel will ‘pay the price’ if US goes to war with Iran

Khomeini’s legacy still looms over Iran, 30 years after his death

IRGC prepares air defenses ahead of anniversary of Khomeini’s death

Iranian MP to propose bill banning nuclear weapons

Iran president says Islamic Republic won’t be ‘bullied’ into US talks

Rohani Says Iran May Be Willing to Hold Talks if U.S. Shows ‘Respect,’ Local Media Reports

Hezbollah’s chief says a US strike against Iran will spur regional conflict, leading American forces to be ‘annihilated’

Pompeo, Kushner visit Bilderberg elite event as US Iran policies raise concerns

How U.S. Sanctions Over Russia’s S-400 Missile System Could Badly Rattle Turkey

Scores injured in blasts at Russian military plant

One dead, 10 wounded as shots fired in Sudan capital

Chinese dissidents are being executed for their organs, former hospital worker says

North Korea’s Kim visits factories linked to missile launches

S. Korea urges restraint after North’s missile test

US’ top North Korea diplomat ‘doesn’t know’ if Kim executed official over Trump summit

Protesters set fire to U.S. Embassy in Honduras in second day of demonstrations

Venezuela healthcare collapse: Four children die in same hospital this month

Trump tells UK to ‘walk away’ if EU does not give what it wants in Brexit

Brexit chaos has lost London its spot as the world’s top financial center

London mayor compares Trump to fascist dictators

2020 Dem Elizabeth Warren proposes law saying a president can be indicted

The Supreme Court could intervene in attempt to remove Trump from office, Dershowitz says

Franklin Graham: Trump’s enemies will hurt America, could spark civil war if impeached

Mike Huckabee: Howling at the moon does not change basic Mueller findings

A Disturbing Glimpse Into The Manufacturing of Fake News

A new credit bubble gets ready to burst

China Targets FedEx in ‘Warning’ to U.S.

China warns Canada of ‘consequences’ of helping US

UFOs pose ‘vital national security issue’: ex-defense official

After SpaceX Starlink Launch, a Fear of Satellites That Outnumber All Visible Stars

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits the Central Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Pondaguitan, Philippines

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Padangsidempuan, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Iwo Jima, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Luwuk, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano erupts to 25,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Ibu volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Italy’s Mount Etna spews lava in new phase of eruptions

Tropical threat may brew in Gulf of Mexico as Atlantic hurricane season officially begins

Arkansas city trying to save homes in effort to stem flow of massive flooding

Historically delayed planting season, commodity prices rising, U.S.

Japan’s deadly heatwave would have been impossible without climate change

Megafire grows to 568,000 acres in Alberta, Canada, shrouding in smoke Calgary, Edmonton and turning sunsets RED in the US

Euthanasia expert invents death pod with ‘die button’ that kills victims ‘within minutes’

World’s ‘smallest surviving baby boy’ discharged from hospital in Tokyo

Penny Nance: World’s tiniest surviving preemie shows abortion isn’t in line with science or common sense

Abortion Rights Groups See Northern Ireland’s Film Industry as Boycott Target

‘Blinded By Evil’ – Robert Jeffress Blasts Disney For Georgia Abortion Law Boycott Threat

Illinois abortion bill establishing woman’s ‘fundamental right’ to procedure wins Senate approval

Abortion seekers welcome in California, governor says, as pro-life measures gain elsewhere in US

Colorado’s Jared Polis, nation’s 1st gay governor, signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

Trump’s Celebration of L.G.B.T. Rights Is Met With Criticism

Commentary: We Orthodox Jews desperately need gay rabbis

50 years after Stonewall Inn, US Jewish institutions take pride in LGBTQ support

Rats at the police station, filth on L.A. streets – scenes from the collapse of a city that’s lost control

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


Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo And Jared Kushner Head To Bilderberg 2019 To Discuss The Coming ‘New Strategic Order’ With The Global Elites — Now The End Begins

The Americans have come to Bilderberg in force this year. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Saturday afternoon in a motorcade so long it stretched halfway back to Geneva. He’ll be sharing his thoughts on “A New Strategic Order” with the head of NATO, two prime ministers, the German foreign minister, the King of Holland, and any number of finance bosses and billionaires, many of them from the world of tech.

When I saw the headline for this article on Drudge today, I  laughed out loud, I truly did. Why the very idea of Mike Pompeo, who just a few weeks ago was in a church in Texas talking about the Rapture, attending the annual super-secret Bilderberg meeting was ludicrous. Bilderberg is where the Illuminati plots out their plans for global domination. So what was Mike Pompeo there to talk about? Nothing less than the coming New World Order, that’s what. And who was coming along to keep Pompeo company? Why, look, it’s Jared Kushner, Central Casting’s go-to guy when people are looking to audition for the role of Antichrist in the next installment of ‘Left Behind‘. Except this is no novel, and it’s actually happening.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 (KJV)

Watching all this end times activity assemble itself is like watching someone who is overfilling a water balloon. It gets bigger, and bigger and bigger, and you are unable to look away because you don’t want to miss the spectacular moment when the whole thing explodes. That is, from a prophecy perspective, what we are seeing right now. We are making the transition from the pages of end times novels to the pages of scripture where the end times are unfolding in front of us. Whatever you do don’t look away, this is one explosion you do not want to miss.

Pompeo and Kushner head to Bilderberg Meeting, a mysterious gathering of the global elite

FROM NEWSWEEK: A slew of Silicon Valley luminaries are attending this year’s elite transatlantic conference at a heavily-guarded five-star hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva. They include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who is making his first appearance at the secretive summit, and his fellow Microsoft board member, Reid Hoffman, who’s a regular face at the Bilderberg buffet.

The White House is making itself felt at this year’s conference, by sending along not only Pompeo, but Trump’s deal making diplomat son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and two members of his National Security Council. Not to be outdone, the Pentagon has sent two senior officials: their top military strategist and the technical director for AI.

As the war machine gets smarter, and every last bit of weaponry becomes AI-enhanced, the lines between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon start to get awfully blurry. Sniff this year’s Bilderberg and you can smell this new kind of war: “cyber threats” and “the weaponization of social media” are on the agenda. And around the table are the head of GCHQ and the director of NATO’s new StratCom Centre of Excellence, which spearheads “digital engagement” and psychological warfare.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on a weeklong trip to Europe where he is raising sensitive issues with national leaders — from Iranian missiles to Chinese technology to the economic collapse of Venezuela — but the most colorful conversations could take place this weekend out of public earshot in a secretive conclave at a Swiss lakeside resort. In Montreux, on the eastern shore of Lake Geneva, political and business leaders from Western nations are gathering for the 67th Bilderberg Meeting, an annual forum in which participants agree not to reveal exactly what was said or who said it. It is a shadow version of Davos, the elite annual winter conference in the Swiss Alps that President Trump has attended once but has also criticized. source

This blurring of tech and war takes physical form in some of the participants at Bilderberg. Longtime conference insider and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt chairs the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board and also heads up the new National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Two other members of the Defense Innovation Board are here in Montreux: Reid Hoffman, and the psychologist Adam M. Grant.

The Meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, which states that participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s) nor of any other participant may be revealed.

According to the group, this is this year’s agenda:

1. A Stable Strategic Order

2. What Next for Europe?

3. Climate Change and Sustainability

4. China

5. Russia

6. The Future of Capitalism

7. Brexit

8. The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

9. The Weaponization of Social Media

10. The Importance of Space

11. Cyber Threats

As can be seen, the members will be discussing (plotting?) with regard to issues of the day that seem to be moving in a direction away from freedom. source

Alongside Schmidt on the Bilderberg steering committee are yet another two tech billionaires, Alex Karp and Peter Thiel. Karp is the CEO of Palantir, a shady data-analytics company which has just won a massive $800 million Pentagon battlefield intelligence contract. Palantir was set up in 2004 by Peter Thiel with backing from the CIA. Thiel, who was a co-founder of PayPal, is a director of Facebook and is high tech’s most vocal supporter of Donald Trump.


Truly it boggles the mind what Donald Trump would think about his poor innocent son-in-law wandering into the murky world of Bilderberg, with its prime ministers and billionaire investors strategizing behind closed doors with Pentagon officials and NATO chiefs, all under the watchful eye of Goldman Sachs International.

And not just Goldman Sachs. In Montreux, as ever, there’s a healthy number of high-finance bosses, including the chairmen of HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Santander and the CEOs of AXA and Credit Suisse. But as the movement in Bilderberg towards AI and tech continues, you can see within the group a fault line opening up between Wall Street and Silicon Valley. READ MORE

Switzerland: Pompeo and Kissinger join Bilderberg Group meet in Montreux

The Bilderberg Group met for its 67th Annual Conference in Montreux on Saturday and were joined by the likes of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of his predecessors Henry Kissinger. French Minister Bruno Le Maire and relevant business personalities such as the former chairman of Google Eric Emerson Schmidt were also seen arriving at luxurious Montreux Palace. The Bilderberg Meeting was first established in 1954 by Price Bernhard of the Netherlands and seeks to promote dialogue between North America and Europe under the so-called ‘Chatham House Rule’ debating system.

via Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo And Jared Kushner Head To Bilderberg 2019 To Discuss The Coming ‘New Strategic Order’ With The Global Elites — Now The End Begins

June 2, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
people who have my teaching in their heart;
you must not fear the reproach of men,
or be terrified because of their abuse.
8 For a moth will eat them like garments;
a moth will devour them like wool,
but my righteousness will be forever,
and my salvation for ⌊generation after generation⌋.

Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Is 51:7–8). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

7. Hearken to me. Because wicked men, when they enjoy prosperity, laugh at our faith, and ridicule our distresses and afflictions, on this account the Prophet exhorts believers to patience, that they may not dread their reproaches or be dismayed by their slanders. The reason assigned is, that their prosperity shall not be of long duration. Whatever may be their insolent boasting, they are already pronounced (verse 8) to be the food of moths and worms; while God holds in his hand the salvation of believers, from which they appear to be thrown to the greatest possible distance. Here we ought again to observe the repetition of the word Hearken. This is now the third time that the Lord demands a “hearing;” because, when we tremble with anxiety on account of our distresses, it is with the greatest difficulty that we rely on his promises, and therefore we need to be often roused and stimulated, till we have conquered every difficulty.

Ye that know righteousness. Here he does not address unbelievers, but those who “know righteousness;” because, though they do not intentionally reject the word of God, yet they often shut the door against his “righteousness,” so that it does not reach them, when, under the influence of adversity, they shut their ears and almost despair. In order therefore that they may receive the promises, and that they may admit consolation, the Prophet stirs up and arouses them.

A people in whose heart is my law. We must attend to the train of thought. First, he describes what kind of people the Lord wishes to have, namely, “those who know righteousness;” and next he explains what is the nature of this knowledge, that is, when the people have “the law” fixed and deeply rooted in their hearts. Without the word of the Lord there can be no “righteousness.” No laws of men, however well framed, will lead us to true righteousness, of which they may indeed give us a feeble idea, but which they never can justly describe. At the same time, he shews in what manner we ought to make progress in the law of the Lord; namely, by embracing it with the heart; for the seat of the law is not in the brain, but in the heart, that, being imbued with heavenly doctrine, we may be altogether renewed.

8. But my righteousness shall continually endure. Because the believing servants of God must endure many reproaches and slanders from the enemies of the word, the Prophet exhorts and encourages them to bear it courageously. It frequently happens that we are more deeply moved by the contumely and insults of men than by fire and sword; but we ought to reckon it praise and glory to be the object of their contempt and abhorrence. True valour springs from this consideration, that, although the world reject us as “filth and offscourings,” (1 Cor. 4:13,) God holds us in estimation; because we maintain the same cause with himself. Let us with Moses, therefore, “prefer the reproach of Christ to the treasures of the Egyptians.” (Heb. 11:26.) Let us rejoice with the Apostles, who “departed from the council glad and joyful, because they were accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus.” (Acts 5:41.)

And my salvation for ever and ever. Because the death of wicked men would yield to us small consolation, if we were not saved, he shews what will be our condition, namely, that we shall never be left destitute of “God’s righteousness and salvation.” But the comparison may appear to be inappropriate, when he contrasts the destruction of the wicked with his righteousness. Far more clearly and suitably it might have been thus expressed: “though the reprobate indulge in mirth, yet they shall speedily perish; but believers, though they appear to be dead, shall live.” Again, because he makes no mention of us, and commends only the eternity of God’s righteousness, it may be objected, that to us who are almost overwhelmed this is of no avail. But by these words the Prophet instructs us, that in our afflictions we ought to seek consolation from the thought, that our health and salvation are, as it were, shut up in God; for, so long as men trust or rely on themselves, they cannot cherish any good hope that does not speedily decay; and therefore we ought to turn our hearts to God, whose “mercy endureth from everlasting to everlasting on them that fear him,” as David says, “and his righteousness to children’s children.” (Psalm 103:17.)

Because salvation is founded on the goodness of God, Isaiah reminds us of it, that men may be reduced to nothing, and that confidence may be placed in God alone. The meaning may be thus summed up, “Salvation is in God, that by it he may preserve, not himself, but us; righteousness is in God, that he may display it for our defence and preservation.” Accordingly, from the eternity of God’s “salvation and righteousness” we ought to infer that the servants of God cannot possibly perish; which agrees with the passage quoted a little before from David, “Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. The children of thy servants shall dwell, and their posterity shall be established for ever.” (Psalm 102:27, 28.) Thus we see how he applies this eternity to the children of God, who do not subsist in themselves, but in God, and have the foundation of their salvation in him.[1]

7–8 These verses open with a call identical in substance, though not in language, with v. 1. Here, as in vv. 4–5, there is a close link between righteousness and the law of God, for the law publishes God’s right way for people. The heart is where God’s law should be (cf. Dt 30:14), and, of course, the new covenant pledges that it will be written there (Jer 31:31–34). The prophet assumes that the righteous in the land will experience antagonism from the wicked, which can be copiously illustrated from the Psalter and finds its ultimate illustration in human antagonism to the Christ-Servant of God. Like the visible universe (v. 8; cf. v. 6), the wicked will perish. The only abiding realities in God’s new order are his own righteousness and salvation. Verse 8b repeats this assurance from v. 6.[2]

7–8 The call to listen in the third strophe combines something of the calls from each of the previous two. On the one hand the people are described as those who have a concern for ethical righteousness in the light of God’s revealed instruction (tôrâ). But they do not merely seek for this (v. 1)—they “know” it. God’s instruction is in their heart. Truly, these are God’s people (v. 4). As John the Baptist was to say many years later, God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones (Matt. 3:9); the issue is not genetics but obedience (for the same point, see Isa. 56:3–5). know and in their hearts are apt parallels, because the knowledge of which the Bible speaks is rarely an abstract knowledge, but rather a knowledge born of personal experience and behavior. So also, to take something to heart is not merely to feel warmly about that thing, but to act out that to which one is personally, deeply committed. Thus these are persons who have, in modern parlance, “internalized” the teachings of Scripture, persons for whom the whole of their lives is shaped by a glad determination to live out the life of God.34

As 50:10 made plain, such persons, fearing God and listening to his Servant, will certainly find themselves at odds with a fallen world. The reproach and the revilings of the world are stated not as possibilities but as givens. It cannot be otherwise. To those who have rejected God’s light, the biblical understanding of life is not just foolishness—it is evil (5:20–21). But given that fact, how are believers to cope with it? In one sense, this is what this entire segment has been about. When faced with the evil of the world, the seeming delay in the fulfillment of God’s promises, and the mockery and hatred of a sinful world, believers should remember the evidence of God’s faithfulness in history (vv. 1–3). They should recognize that God is not some local deity who is but a projection from creation; rather, he is the Creator, whose promises of salvation will outlast the cosmos (vv. 4–6), and they should know that those who reproach and revile them, like all that has not partaken of the permanence of God, are doomed to the slow destruction from which none who have made this world their God can ever escape.

Not only is the language here that of 50:9 (and 51:6), but so is the idea. Those who revile the Servant and accuse him of wrongdoing condemn themselves to a slow and certain destruction. Those who listen to (obey) the Servant may stand in the same relation to those who reproach them. By obeying him, they have come to partake of that righteousness which will be forever, and of that salvation which will be to every generation. dismayed (Heb. tēḥāttû) is the same root that was translated “rendered ineffectual” at the end of v. 6. The sense is of being neutralized, powerless. The believer need not be neutralized by the opposition of the passing world. Those who have made it and its gods ultimate have chosen the way of time: the moth and the insect. Those who have made God and his Servant ultimate have chosen the way of permanence, certainty, and joy.[3]

51:7–8 / The third exhortation to listen introduces a third description of the audience. They are people who know tsedeq, people who recognize Yahweh’s saving intention, who know what is right. They are people who have received the revelation of Yahweh’s purpose, or law. Once again, the fact that Yahweh has to bid them to listen hints at a certain irony in the description, and the exhortation that follows underlines the irony. These people who know about that purpose and claim to believe in it are actually as fearful as other peoples (again, cf. 41:1–7). So the passage comes to a climax with a reminder of the exhortation not to be afraid, and of the reasons for confidence (cf. 41:8–16). As the reminder of Yahweh’s worldwide concern (vv. 4–6) takes up the concern of the testimony in 49:1–6, so this reminder of the possibility of standing firm under pressure also takes up the testimony in 50:4–9. The prophet has proved it is possible. The same theological considerations, the same promises, make it possible for them to stand firm as well. The argument from the future, the promise of what will be, complements the argument from the past found in verses 1–3.[4]

Ver. 7.—Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness. The highest grade of faithfulness is here addressed—not those who “seek” (ver. 1), but those who have found—who “know righteousness,” and have the “law” of God in their “hearts.” Such persons may still be liable to one weakness—they may “fear the reproach of men.” The prophet exhorts them to put aside this fear, remembering (1) the nothingness of humanity, and (2) the eternity and imperishableness of God’s judgments.

Ver. 8.—The moth shall eat them (comp. ch. 50:9). If men themselves never wholly pass away (see the comment on ver. 6), yet it is otherwise with their judgments. These perish absolutely, disappear, and are utterly forgotten.[5]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 4, pp. 72–74). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Grogan, G. W. (2008). Isaiah. In T. Longman III, Garland David E. (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs–Isaiah (Revised Edition) (Vol. 6, p. 790). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 338–339). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Goldingay, J. (2012). Isaiah. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 294). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 2, p. 260). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Sunday’s Hymn: Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God — Rebecca Writes

Come, let us to the Lord our God
With contrite hearts return;
Our God is gracious, nor will leave
The desolate to mourn.

His voice commands the tempest forth,
And stills the stormy wave;
And, though his arm be strong to smite,
‘Tis also strong to save.

Long hath the night of sorrow reigned;
The dawn shall bring us light:
God shall appear, and we shall rise
With gladness in his sight.

Our hearts, if God we seek to know,
Shall know him, and rejoice;
His coming like the morn shall be,
Like morning songs his voice.

As dew upon the tender herb,
Diffusing fragrance round,
As show’rs that usher in the spring,
And cheer the thirsty ground;

So shall his presence bless our souls,
And shed a joyful light;
That hallowed morn shall chase away
The sorrows of the night.

—John Morrison


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

via Sunday’s Hymn: Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God — Rebecca Writes

June 2 Self–Inflicted Pain

scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:12–16
key verse: Hebrews 10:17

Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

“Be easy on others and hard on yourself” is an old saying. To a degree, that commonsense proverb rings true. But when it comes to forgiveness, it can be misapplied.

What if you are the one responsible for a divorce? What if you are the one who spread malicious gossip about another—gossip that proved false? What if you lost your temper and struck your mate?

An inability to forgive yourself can lead to a severe character disorder, plunging you ever deeper into discouragement, bitterness, and hopelessness.

If anyone had a reason to judge himself harshly, it was the apostle Paul. He was a killer, persecutor, and enemy of the church. What if Paul had allowed his past to haunt him after his dramatic conversion to Christ? Could he possibly have shared Christ so boldly and persistently?

And remember David’s sin. What if he had dwelt on his sin with Bathsheba? Could he have been “a man after God’s own heart”?

In each case, their refusal to forgive themselves would have damaged their lives and ministry. Being hard on yourself when it comes to forgiveness is a setup for a lifetime of self–inflicted pain.

Dear Lord, I have experienced much pain simply because I refused to forgive myself. I do that now, Father. I forgive myself, even as You have forgiven me.[1]

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

2 june (preached 3 june 1855) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The church of Christ

“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26

suggested further reading: Psalm 67

The object of God in choosing a people before all worlds, was not only to save that people, but through them to confer essential benefits upon the whole human race. When he chose Abraham he did not elect him simply to be God’s friend, and the recipient of peculiar privileges; but he chose him to make him, as it were, the conservator of truth. He was to be the ark in which the truth should be hidden. He was to be the keeper of the covenant on behalf of the whole world; and when God chooses any men by his sovereign electing grace, and makes them Christ’s, he does it not only for their own sake, that they may be saved, but for the world’s sake. For know ye not that “ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” “Ye are the salt of the earth;” and when God makes you salt, it is not only that you may have salt in yourselves, but that like salt you may preserve the whole mass. If he makes you leaven it is that like the little leaven you may leaven the whole lump. Salvation is not a selfish thing; God does not give it for us to keep to ourselves, but that we may thereby be made the means of blessing to others; and the great day shall declare that there is not a man living on the surface of the earth but has received a blessing in some way or the other through God’s gift of the gospel. The very keeping of the wicked in life, and granting of the reprieve, was purchased with the death of Jesus and through his sufferings and death the temporal blessings which both we and they enjoy are bestowed on us. The gospel was sent that it might first bless those that embrace it, and then expand, so as to make them a blessing to the whole human race.

for meditation: God kept his promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:2, 3). Has God blessed you? In what ways are you passing on the blessing to others?

sermon no. 28[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 160). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

2 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

Opening Up to God’s Promises

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. Luke 1:45

suggested further reading: 1 Kings 8:14–21

The truth of God does not depend on the will of men. God always remains true to his promises even if the whole world of unbelievers and liars attempts to ruin his veracity. Yet, as unbelievers are unworthy to obtain the fruit of the promises, so Scripture teaches us that by faith alone these promises are powerful for our salvation.

God offers his benefits indiscriminately to all, and faith opens its bosom to receive them, while unbelief allows them to pass out of reach. If there was any unbelief in Mary, that could not have prevented God from accomplishing his work in another way that he chose. But Mary is called “blessed” because she received by faith the blessing offered to her. That opened up the way to God for its accomplishment. Unbelief, on the other hand, shuts the gate and restrains God’s hand from working so those who refuse the praise due to its power may not feel its saving effect.

We must observe also the relationship between the Word and faith. For we learn that, in the act of believing, we give assent to God, who speaks to us and holds for certain what he has promised that he will do for us. From the Lord has the same meaning as the common expression “on the part of God,” for the promise brought by the angel proceeded from God alone. Hence we see that whether God uses the efforts of angels or of men, he wishes equal honor to be paid to his Word as if he were visibly descending from above.

for meditation: How daunting the promises of God are sometimes, especially when they are so far beyond our expectations. Yet faith does not question how those blessings come but opens itself to the one who promised them, receiving what God gives with an open hand. How are we, by grace, opening ourselves to what God might accomplish in us? How can we forfeit great blessings through unbelief?[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 172). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Human Suffering and God’s Presence – Part Two — CultureWatch

In Part One of this article I looked at the issue of suffering as found in the Old Testament, and the wonderful truth that God promises to be with us in our suffering. He may not always deliver us from our hardships and trials, but he does say that he will not abandon us while we are in them.

This same truth can be found in the New Testament. In it this theme carries over in many ways. A number of passages can be appealed to here. Let me mention just a few. In the book of Acts for example we find a story somewhat similar to the Daniel story that we discussed earlier.

Because of his bold gospel proclamation, Stephen faces stiff opposition and is tried by the Jews (Acts 6-7). Notice how he was not delivered from his stoning, but the presence of God is especially highlighted in the conclusion to the account (7:55-56): “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’.”

Just after this we hear about his stoning (vv. 57-60). Given that we read about how Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12), several suggestions have been made about why he is standing here. One is that he stood to receive Stephen.

The other is that Jesus stands to defend him as in a court of law. As James Montgomery Boice reminds us, there are really two different trials being mentioned here:

If this is the case, then what Stephen caught a glimpse of was that second and much greater trial in which he was involved. Up to this moment, he had only been able to see the earthly trial. He was condemned by the earthly court. But at the moment of his death he caught a glimpse of that greater, heavenly trial, in which he was acquitted. In this trial the Lord Jesus Christ took his side, pleaded his case, and prevailed. Perhaps he said something like this to the Father: “Stephen is my follower. He is confessing me. I am going to take him with me into heaven forever.” I find that immensely encouraging.

Here we have the first record of a Christian martyr. God did not deliver him from his fate, but he certainly was with him in it. We find similar things in the Christian Hall of Fame as found in Hebrews 11. I always like to compare and contrast two verses there.

In Heb. 11:34 we read about the great heroes of the faith who were spared the edge of the sword. But in Heb. 11:37 we read about great heroes of the faith who died by the edge of the sword! Some escaped death and some did not. Both were known as saints with great faith, and in both cases God was fully with them.

We have various incidents of both outcomes occurring in the Old Testament. For example, Elijah escaped the wrath of Jezebel (1 Kings 19:10), but Uriah was killed by the sword (Jer. 26;23). As F. F. Bruce comments, “By faith one lived, and by faith the other died. So too in the apostolic age Herod Agrippa I ‘killed James the brother of John with the sword’ (Acts 12:2); but when he tried to do the same to Peter, Peter escaped his hands.”

So we have no guarantees that we will always be exempt from suffering, persecution and trials. But we do have the promise of God that he is present with us in these hardships. As George Guthrie reminds us, biblical faith may have a variety of outcomes: some positive and some negative:

Faith can also involve being tortured, mocked, beaten, destitute, stoned, put in prison, generally mistreated, and even mutilated. These do not fit easily into the “see all the wonderful things God wants to do in my life” gospel of modern, Western Christianity. Yet the picture is biblical. Our application of this passage must point out that faithful people sometimes do not see “results” in this life.

But God is always with us nonetheless, just as he promised. The presence of suffering and difficulty in our lives does not mean the absence of God’s presence. Quite the opposite: Scripture often links our sufferings with the fact that we really are with Christ, and he with us.

In this regard, one final passage is worth looking at. In Romans 8 we read much about suffering. Let me offer just part of it here (vv. 16-18): “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

This takes things to a whole new level. It is one thing to say that God is with us in our sufferings. But here Paul says that in some mysterious way we actually share in the sufferings of Christ. And it is an indication that we are indeed his children. Plenty of ink has been spilled on this text. Let me offer just a few thoughts from several important commentators.

I quite like how James Montgomery Boice introduces this passage and the problem of suffering: “But why should Paul introduce the idea of suffering, of all things – and at this point? None of us would do it. If we were trying to assure Christians that they really are Christians and their salvation is secure, suffering is probably the last thing we would mention. We think of it in the ‘problem’ category.”

Yes modern, superficial Christianity sees an utter disconnect here. But not Paul nor the other New Testament writers. Suffering is a sure sign of God being with us. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is a sure guide here. At the end of his seventh volume (of 14) on Romans, he says this about Rom. 8:17:

There is this unity in Christ; we share the blessings, but we share the sufferings also. It is the picture of the Head and the body once more. That, then, is the argument. If you are suffering as a Christian, and because you are a Christian, it is one of the surest proofs you can ever have of the fact that you are a child of God, and if a child, then an heir, an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Christ. . . . The argument is inevitable; if we are suffering as Christians it is an absolute proof that we belong to Him, that we are therefore joint-heirs with Him. So we must look at our sufferings in that way.

And this is just one of a number of passages which say that we somehow suffer with Christ, that we share in his afflictions. There is a real unity here between Christ the sufferer and Christians who suffer. Joseph Fitzmyer, commenting on Romans 8:14-17, puts it this way:

“The suffering now endured must always be seen as a participation in the suffering of Jesus himself, in what he has already suffered. Christian suffering is never an individual, lonely experience; Jesus has suffered before, and Christian suffering is only the overflow of his (see Col 1:24).”

Or as Michael Bird puts it,

Christians participate in Christ’s sufferings in two ways. First, in baptism they have entered into the story of the cross and made it their own story (see Rom 6:4-6). Second, suffering for the sake of Christ is the inevitable result of uniting oneself with the crucified Lord, where shame, scorn, abuse, and even persecution may follow (see Phil 1:29; 3:10; 2 Cor 1:5). Witherington sums things up eloquently: “One must follow the path Christ followed to glory, the path of self-sacrifice, or suffering with him and for him in the cause for which he suffered.” In sum, sonship sets Christians on the path to glory; yet such a path takes us under the shadow of the cross, into the waters of baptism, and through many trials of despair as we track toward our final destination.”

Such is our oneness with Christ: Jesus was not delivered from his hour of trial, and believers are not to expect anything different. Of course the sufferings of Christ are unique. But, as Burkhard Gartner notes, “Christ’s vicarious suffering means, however, for his followers not deliverance from earthly suffering, but deliverance for earthly suffering.”

So knowing that God is with us in our sufferings is elevated in the New Testament. Our sufferings as believers become proof that we are indeed united with Christ and we share in the heavenly inheritance. Incredibly, we even share in the afflictions and sufferings of Christ.

Modern gospels pushing ‘your best life now’ and happiness and prosperity have little time for such truths, but we must nonetheless side with Scripture here. It is the path of suffering that the Son of God took, and that is to be our path as well.

Knowing these vital truths means we will not see suffering and hardship as indications of God’s absence or displeasure with us, but of his presence and his love for us. All the great saints have known these realities. Let me close with two important quotes from someone who has known great suffering, but who has also known the presence of the Lord so very deeply, Elisabeth Elliot:

“God will never disappoint us… If deep in our hearts we suspect that God does not love us and cannot manage our affairs as well as we can, we certainly will not submit to His discipline. …To the unbeliever the fact of suffering only convinces him that God is not to be trusted, does not love us. To the believer, the opposite is true.”

“I could not feel the truth of God’s love for me at that time. What it felt like was that God had dealt me a cruel blow, as with a whip. But underneath all those raging emotions the truth lay. A lifetime of knowing Him had laid a strong foundation that quietly supported me.… I knew with my mind and heart what went deeper than my pain—that Jesus showed us once and for all what He is like and what kind of love He has for us, by dying on the Cross. And that is fact. History. Nothing, no circumstance, no matter how hard or painful can change that. He has showed us His character once and for all. Our circumstances are not the window through which we understand His love, but rather we must view our circumstances through His love.”

Part One of this article is found here: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/06/01/human-suffering-and-gods-presence-part-one/

via Human Suffering and God’s Presence – Part Two — CultureWatch