Daily Archives: June 15, 2019

June 15 Healthy Faith

Scripture Reading: Psalm 100:1–5

Key Verses: Psalm 100:3–4

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

In Psalm 100:3–4, words of praise flowed from David’s heart like a river pulsing down a mountain. David truly adored God. We know this because Matthew 12:34 teaches, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (nasb). If David’s heart were not filled with immense love for God, he would not have been able to express himself so eloquently.

Even when David faced immense pressures, he was able to place his hope in God. It was through small steps of worshiping God in the difficulties that his adoration of the Lord grew to overflowing.

When you speak about the Lord, do you praise Him with all your heart? What flows from your mouth may be an indication as to the health of your faith. Are you able to proclaim gladly that the Lord is God?

Is there a flaw in your faith? Then praise Him. Once you allow the spring of praise to course in your heart, it will continue to grow until it overflows through you. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise and watch Him bring something truly beautiful from your faith.

Lord, I often forget that the words from my mouth are the first place some people hear evidence of You at work. Let it be a receptacle of praise for You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 174). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 15 Working Through Problems

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:31–34

Key Verse: Psalm 118:6

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Christians face the same dilemmas that everyone else does.

Christian soldiers in the Middle East must confront the same enemy as non-Christians. Believers in the business world must deal with the same volatile economic pressures as nonbelievers. Christians must encounter the same moral temptations as the unsaved.

Understanding that our faith does not eliminate our problems, we can, however, have a tremendous advantage in working through them.

Because we are Christians, God is “for us” (Rom. 8:31 nasb). We never face a circumstance without God’s help and participating presence. God is intimately involved in our situations.

Because we are Christians, God will “freely give us all things” (Rom. 8:32 nasb). God does not withhold our needs in times of trouble. He will comfort, lead, and sustain us. We have His unlimited resources to draw upon in our difficulty.

Because we are Christians, we have Christ who “also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:34 nasb). We may not know how or what to pray. But the Son of God is always praying on our behalf, presenting us before the heavenly Father on a constant basis.

What reassurance! Troubles? Yes. Hopelessness? Never!

Father God, how I rejoice that You are in me! I never face a circumstance without Your help and presence. Thank You for Your intimate involvement in every situation of my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 174). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 15 Sinning After Salvation

Scripture reading: Galatians 6:7–9

Key verse: Romans 6:2

Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

When we understand the grounds for salvation (the cross of Christ) and the eternal security it brings, the inevitable question is: Can we then sin freely? Paul’s reply to such wrong thinking is clear: “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Rom. 6:2).

Sin is a curse to all believers. Our new relationship as children of God should radically alter our view of sin and our participation in it. Why? Although the penalty of sin, which is death, has been removed for the Christian, sin still has severe consequences for those who engage in it.

  • The adulterer will be shamed by his family.
  • The abusive parent will experience the pain of emotionally alienated children.
  • We will reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).

That law is in effect for Christian and unbeliever alike. The consequences of sin are as severe as ever. Though the Christian will not experience eternal death, he can experience a living death on earth if he sins habitually.

When you sin, you position yourself under the Lord’s discipline, which can be painful, though He administers it with a loving, not angry, hand. Sin is always destructive; you can never get away with it.

Forgive me of my sins, dear Lord. Cleanse me. Set me free. Help me not to become weighed down again with the yoke of bondage.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 174). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 15, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

13. Behold, my servant shall have prosperous success. After having spoken of the restoration of the Church, Isaiah passes on to Christ, in whom all things are gathered together. Some explain ישכיל (yăshkīl) to mean shall “deal prudently;” but, as it is immediately added that he shall be exalted, the context appears to demand that we shall rather understand it to denote “prosperous success,” for שכל (shākăl) also signifies “to be prosperous.” He speaks, therefore, of the prosperity of the Church; and as this was not visible, he draws their attention to the supreme King, by whom all things shall be restored, and bids them wait for him. And here we ought carefully to observe the contrasts which the Prophet lays down; for the mightiness of this king whom the Lord will exalt is contrasted by him with the wretched and debased condition of the people, who were almost in despair. He promises that this king will be the head of the people, so that under him as the leader the people shall flourish, though they be now in a state of the deepest affliction and wretchedness; because he shall have a prosperous course.

He calls Christ “his Servant,” on account of the office committed to him. Christ ought not to be regarded as a private individual, but as holding the office to which the Father has appointed him, to be leader of the people and restorer of all things; so that whatever he affirms concerning himself we ought to understand as belonging also to us. Christ has been given to us, and therefore to us also belongs his ministry, for the Prophet might have said, in a single word, that Christ will be exalted and will be highly honoured; but, by giving to him the title of “Servant,” he means that he will be exalted for our sake.[1]

13 Behold, my servant introduces the new section with the same words as the first discussion of the Servant in 42:1. Here, as there, Behold serves not only as a stylistic element to mark the beginning of a new segment but also as a call to pay attention to this one who is going to be described. Here is the one through whom Israel’s covenant will be restored and through whom light will come to the nations. Thus it is not surprising that verbs of seeing and attending to are prominent in the first two stanzas (52:15; 53:1–3). If what this passage says about this man’s capacity for taking away sin is true, then by all means we should fix every bit of our attention on him.

accomplish his purpose. śkl is usually translated “be wise” or “prosper,” but neither of those translations gathers up the full sense of the context here: to act with such wisdom that one’s efforts will be successful (cf. Josh. 1:8; Jer. 10:21). Thus the text is not saying that the Servant will merely be a wise man. Even more so, it is not saying that the Servant will be a rich man. Rather, it is saying that he will both know and do the right things in order to accomplish the purpose for which he was called (Isa. 42:1; 49:2–3; 50:7–9). Whatever the intervening intimations of failure might be (49:4), the Servant and the world should know that he will not fail.

In consequence of the servant’s success in his mission, he will be high and lifted up, and very exalted. One must not overlook the significance of these words. “High and lifted up” (rwm and nśʾ) are used in combination four times in this book (and no place else in the OT). In the other three places (6:1; 33:10; 57:15) they describe God. Whom do they describe here? The same point may be made concerning exalted. The section 2:6–22 speaks forcefully against every exaltation of the human; v. 17 says that God will humble the exaltation of man, so that only God will be lifted up. Is it here, then, being said that the nation of Israel will be exalted to the place of God? Is it a prophet of Israel? In each case the answer must be no. This is the Messiah or no one. Paul’s great hymn in Phil. 2:5–11 is almost certainly a reflection on this passage (“taking the form of a slave, … he humbled himself”), and his declaration that God has “highly exalted” Jesus (v. 9) gives us his understanding of the referent here.[2]

13. Here the fifty-third chapter ought to begin, and the fifty-second chapter end with Is 52:12. This section, from here to end of the fifty-third chapter settles the controversy with the Jews, if Messiah be the person meant; and with infidels, if written by Isaiah, or at any time before Christ. The correspondence with the life and death of Jesus Christ is so minute, that it could not have resulted from conjecture or accident. An impostor could not have shaped the course of events so as to have made his character and life appear to be a fulfilment of it. The writing is, moreover, declaredly prophetic. The quotations of it in the New Testament show: (1) that it was, before the time of Jesus, a recognized part of the Old Testament; (2) that it refers to Messiah (Mt 8:17; Mk 15:28; Lu 22:37; Jn 12:38; Ac 8:28–35; Ro 10:16; 1 Pe 2:21–25). The indirect allusions to it still more clearly prove the Messianic interpretation; so universal was that interpretation, that it is simply referred to in connection with the atoning virtue of His death, without being formally quoted (Mk 9:12; Ro 4:25; 1 Co 15:3; 2 Co 5:21; 1 Pe 1:19; 2:21–25; 1 Jn 3:5). The genuineness of the passage is certain; for the Jews would not have forged it, since it is opposed to their notion of Messiah, as a triumphant temporal prince. The Christians could not have forged it; for the Jews, the enemies of Christianity, are “our librarians” [Paley]. The Jews try to evade its force by the figment of two Messiahs, one a suffering Messiah (Ben Joseph), the other a triumphant Messiah (Ben David). Hillel maintained that Messiah has already come in the person of Hezekiah. Buxtorf states that many of the modern Rabbins believe that He has been come a good while, but will not manifest Himself because of the sins of the Jews. But the ancient Jews, as the Chaldee paraphrast, Jonathan, refer it to Messiah; so the Medrasch Tauchuma (a commentary on the Pentateuch); also Rabbi Moses Haddarschan (see Hengstenberg, Christology of the Old Testament). Some explain it of the Jewish people, either in the Babylonish exile, or in their present sufferings and dispersion. Others, the pious portion of the nation taken collectively, whose sufferings made a vicarious satisfaction for the ungodly. Others, Isaiah, or Jeremiah [Gesenius], the prophets collectively. But an individual is plainly described: he suffers voluntarily, innocently, patiently, and as the efficient cause of the righteousness of His people, which holds good of none other but Messiah (Is 53:4–6, 9, 11; contrast Je 20:7; 15:10–21; Ps 137:8, 9). Is 53:9 can hold good of none other. The objection that the sufferings (Is 53:1–10) referred to are represented as past, the glorification alone as future (Is 52:13–15) arises from not seeing that the prophet takes his stand in the midst of the scenes which he describes as future. The greater nearness of the first advent, and the interval between it and the second, are implied by the use of the past tense as to the first, the future as to the second.

Behold—awakening attention to the striking picture of Messiah that follows (compare Jn 19:5, 14).

my servant—Messiah (Is 42:1).

deal prudently—rather, “prosper” [Gesenius] as the parallel clause favors (Is 53:10). Or, uniting both meanings, “shall reign well” [Hengstenberg]. This verse sets forth in the beginning the ultimate issue of His sufferings, the description of which follows: the conclusion (Is 53:12) corresponds; the section (Is 52:13; 53:12) begins as it ends with His final glory.

extolled—elevated (Mk 16:19; Eph 1:20–22; 1 Pe 3:22).[3]

Ver. 13.—My Servant shall deal prudently; rather, shall deal wisely; i.e. shall so act throughout his mission as to secure it the most complete success. “Wisdom is justified of her children,” and of none so entirely justified as of him “in whom were all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid away” (Col. 2:3). Exalted and extolled; or, high and lifted up—the same expressions as are used of the Almighty in ch. 6:1 and 57:15. Even there, however, seems to the prophet not enough; so he adds, “and exalted exceedingly” (comp. ch. 53:10–12 and Phil. 2:6–9).[4]

13 ישׂכיל עבדי, “my servant succeeds.” This optimistic assertion is typical of ones made in the Vision about the work of emperors chosen to do YHWH’s work, from Tiglath-Pileser through Cyrus. It is especially true of the Persians. God chose unlikely men for the task, those not necessarily in line for the throne. This was true of Cyrus and of Darius, and it will be true of Artaxerxes. They gained the seat of power, then each decreed that the temple in Jerusalem be built (Ezra 1–6). Here the unlikely successor who has now established himself on the throne of the Persian Empire is introduced in Jerusalem.

Baltzer (395–96) notes that this verse exalts the servant three times: he will rise, he will be carried up, and he will be very high. He compares this to the depiction of Moses in Deut 34 where Moses climbs a mountain, dies, and is buried there. He also notes other exaltation texts including those in the Testament of Moses.[5]

Startled at the Servant’s exaltation (Isa. 52:13). The Servant suffered and died, but He did not remain dead. He was “exalted and extolled, and [made] very high.” The phrase “deal prudently” means “to be successful in one’s endeavor.” What looked to men like a humiliating defeat was in the eyes of God a great victory (Col. 2:15). “I have glorified Thee on the earth,” He told His Father; “I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4).

Jesus was not only raised from the dead, but His body was glorified. He ascended to heaven where He sat at the right hand of the Father. He has all authority (Matt. 28:18) because all things have been put under His feet (Eph. 1:20–23). There is no one in the universe higher than Jesus. What an astonishment to those who esteemed Him the lowest of the low. (See Phil. 2:1–11.)[6]

52:13. Two important points are made in this verse: the Servant will act wisely, doing what the Lord wants Him to do, and He will be … highly exalted. His being lifted up refers not to the kind of death He died on the cross, but to His being exalted at God’s right hand (Phil. 2:9; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22).[7]

52:13 Jehovah’s Servant dealt prudently throughout His earthly ministry. He was exalted in Resurrection, lifted up in Ascension, and made very high in glory at God’s right hand.[8]

52:13 Exalted and extolled and be very high may refer to three successive events, describing the Servant’s resurrection, ascension, and glorification (Rom. 4:24, 25). Or the three phrases might simply emphasize the great exaltation of the Lord’s servant (Phil. 2:9–11).[9]

52:13 high … lifted up … exalted. Ultimately, when the Servant rules over His kingdom, He will receive international recognition for the effectiveness of His reign (cf. Phil 2:9).[10]

52:13 act wisely. Succeed at his task (cf. ESV footnote). high and lifted up. See note on 6:1. In John 12:38–41, John brings the vision of Isaiah 6 together with the fourth Servant Song and says that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory; this repeated phrase justifies John’s reading.

52:13 Exaltation of the servant, the Messiah, follows his suffering (v. 14; 53:3–9; see note on 51:17).[11]

52:13 my Yahweh begins to speak again. This section in vv. 13–15 is a prologue about what the Servant will accomplish and what will happen to him in 53:1–12.

servant In 49:3, the Servant of Yahweh has inherited the role of God’s people, the entire identity of the people of Israel. He is acting on their behalf—carrying out their vocation.

shall achieve success The Servant will act according to Israel’s wisdom traditions, primarily articulated in the book of Proverbs.

Personified Wisdom in the Old Testament

and he shall be lifted up The Servant shares in Yahweh’s role as the restorer of His people and—within the larger context of Isaiah—is the way Yahweh brings reconciliation.

he shall be very high The Servant is being elevated to the status of a king, in respect and renown. The kings will be astonished at this. See note on v. 14.[12]

52:13 act wisely. The Servant will discern and perform God’s will, and as a result achieve His glorious purpose (Luke 24:26; 1 Pet. 5:10).[13]

[1] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Vol. 4, pp. 106–107). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 378–379). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, pp. 489–490). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1910). Isaiah (Vol. 2, p. 280). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Watts, J. D. W. (2005). Isaiah 34–66 (Revised Edition, Vol. 25, pp. 786–787). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[6] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (p. 134). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1107). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 978). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 862). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[10] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 52:13). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[11] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1337). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[12] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 52:13). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[13] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1028). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

How to Wait for Heaven | Grace to You Blog

Focusing on our eternal inheritance is key to maintaining a proper perspective on Christ’s sufficiency, especially when you’re in the midst of difficult circumstances. That’s not always easy because we’re prone toward selfishness and desiring instant gratification. Advertising fuels that mentality by telling us we can have all we want—and we can have it right now! Of course “having it all” usually means buying on credit whatever product they’re selling. A steady diet of that philosophy has fattened our society with self-indulgence and impatience. People find it difficult to cope with life if they can’t instantly fulfill every desire. They want to eliminate any discomfort, difficulty, injustice, or deprivation immediately.

Scripture responds with two revolutionary concepts: heavenly-mindedness and delayed gratification. Heavenly-mindedness is taking our eyes off the world’s offerings for fulfillment and focusing instead on God’s sufficient provision for our satisfaction. It’s what Jesus meant when He instructed us to make the Father’s kingdom our first priority (Matthew 6:33). It’s what Paul meant when he told us to set our minds on the things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). And it’s what John meant when he said, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world” (1 John 2:15).

Delayed gratification is simply deferring to God’s will and God’s timing—the essence of patience. All of His promises will be fulfilled, His righteousness and authority will be fully realized, His Son and His saints will be fully vindicated—but in His time, not ours. Many of the difficulties we experience will not be resolved in this life because His purposes transcend our temporal situations. So there’s no point in running impatiently for relief to people offering “solutions” that ignore God’s objectives and timetable.

For example, the Holy Spirit encourages persecuted believers:

Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. (James 5:7–8)

I’m sure the dear saints to whom James was writing longed for God’s comfort and justice against their persecutors. But God wanted them to cultivate patience, strength of heart, and a joyful anticipation of Christ’s return. Those are far greater benefits than immediate relief from the difficulties and injustices they faced. God would vindicate them, but in His own time.

Heavenly-minded patience includes looking forward to our eternal inheritance with gratitude to God despite our temporal circumstances. Peter illustrated that principle in his first epistle, which was written to teach us how to live out our faith amid seemingly unbearable trials and persecutions. The emperor Nero had accused the Christians of burning Rome, and the resulting persecution was spreading even as far as Asia Minor, where the recipients of 1 Peter lived.

To help them focus on their eternal inheritance rather than their present difficulties, Peter gave them—and us—a threefold word of encouragement.

Remember Your Calling

We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 2:9). As such we are at odds with Satan’s evil world system and will incur its wrath. Therefore we shouldn’t be surprised or intimidated by threats of persecution. That’s our calling:

You have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:21–23)

Remember to Praise God

Bowing in praise is far better than bowing to pressure. In 1 Peter 1:3–5 Peter says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The main verb “be” (1 Peter 1:3) is implied rather than stated (“Blessed be the God”). The text could be literally translated, “Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In short, the sense of it is “bless God,” which is both a doxology and a command.

For Peter to have to command believers to bless God clearly illustrates the depth of our sinfulness. One of the joys of heaven will be our undiminished capacity to praise God perfectly and incessantly for His saving grace. The song of the redeemed will be on our lips throughout eternity. Yet now we struggle with apathy and familiarity. What an indictment! Praising God for our eternal inheritance should be the constant expression of our hearts, no matter what the temporal situation might be.

Remember Your Inheritance

Focusing on our inheritance is an important key to experiencing joy amid trials. The richness of our inheritance should motivate us to bless God continually. We’re aliens in this world (1 Peter 1:1), but we’re citizens of heaven and recipients of immeasurable blessings in Christ. This temporal world offers nothing in comparison to our imperishable eternal inheritance.

(Adapted from Our Sufficiency in Christ)

Source: How to Wait for Heaven

Doug Casey: The Deep State Is The Source Of All Our Economic Problems | ZeroHedge News

Via CaseyResearch.com,

Doug Casey says we’re well into what he calls the Greater Depression. America is headed for trouble… and it’s critical to know exactly what’s going on. That’s why today’s essay is so important. In it, Doug explains the source behind every negative thing that’s happening right now… and what’s really going on behind the scenes. It’s one of the most educational and entertaining pieces you’ll read all year.

I’d like to address some aspects of the Greater Depression in this essay.

I’m here to tell you that the inevitable became reality in 2008. We’ve had an interlude over the last few years financed by trillions of new currency units.

However, the economic clock on the wall is reading the same time as it was in 2007, and the Black Horsemen of your worst financial nightmares are about to again crash through the doors and end the party. And this time, they won’t be riding children’s ponies, but armored Percherons.

To refresh your memory, let me recount what a depression is.

The best general definition is: A period of time when most people’s standard of living drops significantly. By that definition, the Greater Depression started in 2008, although historians may someday say it began in 1971, when real wages started falling.

It’s also a period of time when distortions and misallocations of capital are liquidated, and when the business cycle, which is caused exclusively by currency debasement, also known as inflation, climaxes. That results in high unemployment, business failures, uncompleted construction, bond defaults, stock market crashes, and the like.

Fortunately, for those who benefit from the status quo, and members of something called the Deep State, the trillions of new currency units delayed the liquidation. But they also ensured it will now happen on a much grander scale.

The Deep State is an extremely powerful network that controls nearly everything around you. You won’t read about it in the news because it controls the news. Politicians won’t talk about it publicly. That would be like a mobster discussing murder and robbery on the 6 o’clock news. You could say the Deep State is hidden, but it’s only hidden in plain sight.

The Deep State is the source of every negative thing that’s happening right now. To survive the coming rough times, it’s essential for you to know what it’s all about.

The State

Now, what causes economic problems? With the exception of natural events like fires, floods, and earthquakes, they’re all caused directly and indirectly by the State, through its wars, taxes, regulations, and inflation.

Yes, yes, I know this is an oversimplification, that human nature is really at fault, and the institution of the State is only a mass dramatization of the psychological aberrations and demons that lie within us all. But we don’t have time to go all the way down the rabbit hole, so let’s just talk about the proximate rather than the ultimate causes of the Greater Depression. And here, I want to talk about the nature of the State, in general, and then something called the Deep State, in particular.

A key takeaway, and I emphasize that because I expect it to otherwise bounce off the programmed psyches of most people, is that the very idea of the State itself is poisonous, evil, and intrinsically destructive. But, like so many bad ideas, people have come to assume it’s part of the cosmic firmament, when it’s really just a monstrous scam. It’s a fraud, like your belief that you have a right to free speech because of the First Amendment, or a right to be armed because of the Second Amendment. No, you don’t. The U.S. Constitution is just an arbitrary piece of paper… entirely apart from the fact the whole thing is now just a dead letter. You have a right to free speech and to be armed because they’re necessary parts of being a free person, not because of what a political document says.

Even though the essence of the State is coercion, people have been taught to love and respect it. Most people think of the State in the quaint light of a grade school civics book. They think it has something to do with “We the People” electing a Jimmy Stewart character to represent them. That ideal has always been a pernicious fiction, because it idealizes, sanitizes, and legitimizes an intrinsically evil and destructive institution, which is based on force. As Mao once said, political power comes out of the barrel of a gun. But things have gone far beyond that. We’re now in the Deep State.

The Deep State

The concept of the Deep State originated in Turkey, which is appropriate, since it’s the heir to the totally corrupt Byzantine and Ottoman empires. And in the best Byzantine manner, the Deep State has insinuated itself throughout the fabric of what once was America. Its tendrils reach from Washington down to every part of civil society. Like a metastasized cancer, it can no longer be easily eradicated.

I used to joke that there was nothing wrong with Washington that 10 megatons on the capital couldn’t cure. But I don’t say that anymore. Partially because it’s too dangerous, but mainly because it’s now untrue. What’s now needed is 10 megatons on the capital, and four more bursts in a quadrant 10 miles out.

In many ways, Washington models itself after another city with a Deep State, ancient Rome. Here’s how a Victorian freethinker, Winwood Reade, accurately described it:

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.

The Deep State controls the political and economic essence of the U.S. This is much more than observing that there’s no real difference between the left and right wings of the Demopublican Party. It’s well known by anyone with any sense (that is, by everybody except the average voter) that although the Republicans say they believe in economic freedom (but don’t), they definitely don’t believe in social freedom. And the Democrats say they believe in social freedom (but don’t), but they definitely don’t believe in economic freedom.

Who Is Part of the Deep State?

The American Deep State is a real, but informal, structure that has arisen to not just profit from, but control, the State.

The Deep State has a life of its own, like the government itself. It’s composed of top-echelon employees of a dozen Praetorian agencies, like the FBI, CIA, and NSA… top generals, admirals, and other military operatives… long-term congressmen and senators… and directors of important regulatory agencies.

But the Deep State is much broader than just the government. It includes the heads of major corporations, all of whom are heavily involved in selling to the State and enabling it. That absolutely includes Silicon Valley, although those guys at least have a sense of humor, evidenced by their “Don’t Be Evil” motto. It also includes all the top people in the Fed, and the heads of all the major banks, brokers, and insurers. Add the presidents and many professors at top universities, which act as Deep State recruiting centers… all the top media figures, of course… and many regulars at things like Bohemian Grove and the Council on Foreign Relations. They epitomize the status quo, held together by power, money, and propaganda.

Altogether, I’ll guess these people number a thousand or so. You might analogize the structure of the Deep State with a huge pack of dogs. The people I’ve just described are the top dogs.

But there are hundreds of thousands more who aren’t at the nexus, but who directly depend on them, have considerable clout, and support the Deep State because it supports them. This includes many of the wealthy, especially those who got that way thanks to their State connections… the 1.5 million people who have top secret clearances (that’s a shocking, but accurate, number)… plus top players in organized crime, especially the illegal drug business, little of which would exist without the State. Plus mid-level types in the police and military, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.

These are what you might call the running dogs.

Beyond that are the scores and scores of millions who depend on things remaining the way they are. Like the 50%-plus of Americans who are net recipients of benefits from the State… the 60 million on Social Security… the 66 million on Medicaid… the 50 million on food stamps… the many millions on hundreds of other programs… the 23 million government employees and most of their families. In fact, let’s include the many millions of average Joes and Janes who are just getting by.

You might call this level of people, the vast majority of the population, whipped dogs. They both love and fear their master, they’ll do as they’re told, and they’ll roll over on their backs and wet themselves if confronted by a top dog or running dog who feels they’re out of line. These three types of dogs make up the vast majority of the U.S. population. I trust you aren’t among them. I consider myself a Lone Wolf in this context and hope you are, too. Unfortunately, however, dogs are enemies of wolves, and tend to hunt them down.

The Deep State is destructive, but it’s great for the people in it. And, like any living organism, its prime directive is: Survive! It survives by indoctrinating the fiction that it’s both good and necessary. However, it’s a parasite that promotes the ridiculous notion that everyone can live at the expense of society.

Is it a conspiracy, headed by a man stroking a white cat? I think not. I find it’s hard enough to get a bunch of friends to agree on what movie to see, much less a bunch of power-hungry miscreants bent on running everyone’s lives. But, on the other hand, the top dogs all know each other, went to the same schools, belong to the same clubs, socialize, and, most important, have common interests, values, and philosophies.

The American Deep State rotates around the Washington Beltway. It imports America’s wealth as tax revenue. A lot of that wealth is consumed there by useless mouths. And then, it exports things that reinforce the Deep State, including wars, fiat currency, and destructive policies. This is unsustainable simply because nothing of value comes out of the city.

Source: Doug Casey: The Deep State Is The Source Of All Our Economic Problems

June 15 Abuse

scripture reading: Psalm 18:16–19
key verse: Psalm 57:1

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.

King Saul spent years consumed with the idea of ending David’s life. At a time when he should have been basking in the blessings of God, Saul was obsessed with one notion—kill the son of Jesse, so Saul’s position as Israel’s king would be secure.

The issue was not a wrongful act or a betrayal by David. It involved Saul’s jealousy and inability to submit to God’s authority. David had to be very careful in his actions. One vengeful act could jeopardize his future as Israel’s king.

By refusing to react to Saul’s anger, David found a place of rest in God’s presence. He was not drawn aside by negative thoughts or feelings of inadequacy, but instead sought strength and refuge under the wings of God (Ps. 91:4).

God did not immediately deliver David. Years passed before he sat on Israel’s throne. Yet God watched over His servant and protected his every move. The process of molding David’s heart into one of godly principle and character began in the brokenness of life.

No matter what you face, God has a plan for you. Ask Him to show you where to go from here. David prayed,

The Lord was my stay.

He brought me forth also into a broad place;

He rescued me, because He delighted in me. (Ps. 18:18–19 nasb)

Father, I know You have a plan for me. Show me where to go from here. Bring me forth into a “broad place” where I can serve You in a greater capacity.[1]

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

Chris Hedges: No future for our grandchildren unless we ‘overthrow corporate power’ (VIDEO)

Corporations motivated by insatiable greed endanger us all and must be stopped before it’s too late, veteran journalist Chris Hedges told RT, warning that future generations will suffer immeasurably unless action is taken now.

Appearing on George Galloway’s political talk show ‘Sputnik’, Hedges decried how the “psychopaths” who run the world’s largest multinational corporations are “hurling us all over a cliff” in the pursuit of “short-term profit.”

We’re going to talk about the destruction of the ecosystem that sustains life. And [that’s] what is happening in the hands of the oligarchic elites in the fossil fuel industry – and let’s not forget the defense industry, the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses is the US military.

Asked by Galloway if their grandchildren will “have a world to live in,” Hedges offered a grim assessment:

“Not unless we – and I don’t use this word lightly – overthrow corporate power. Otherwise it’s very clear that these people will kill us.”

Watch the full interview below:

Source: Chris Hedges: No future for our grandchildren unless we ‘overthrow corporate power’ (VIDEO)

Mother Goddess of The Shack and AA’s “higher power”

The Word Like Fire

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. (Jeremiah 2:11)

Why have so many rejected the Christ of the Bible? Why have so many created a “Christ” of their own understanding? What happened?

This was driven home yet again when an allegedly Christian church decided on Mother’s Day to worship the Mother Goddess. How can this happen? And how can a book like The Shack, with its serpentine assault on the biblical God, be accepted by so many Christians?

I would like to suggest cultural and spiritual amenability to God in any shape or image began long before the unclean spirit moved on  Paul Young to write The Shack. The now deceased Phyllis Tickle, queen of the emergent movement, knew exactly what has happened to the visible church:

“As Phyllis Tickle has…

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Back from the Dead, ISIS Finds New Home and Prepares to Strike the US

The Islamic State may have lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group has grown dramatically and is again preparing to strike on a global scale.

Source: Back from the Dead, ISIS Finds New Home and Prepares to Strike the US

Democrats’ Hypocrisy on ‘Foreign Interference’ — National Review

President Trump talks to reporters at the White House, March 20, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

When a Republican benefits, it’s treason; when Democrats are in charge, the intelligence agencies serve their candidates.

Here’s the main question that arises from Media-Democrat shrieking over President Trump’s twaddle about taking campaign-related information from foreign powers: Is it just silly or actually dangerous?

In our latest episode of Un-reality Government, the president was egged on by — who else? — George Stephanopoulos, a partisan Democrat who is the face of ABC News. When last noticed in an election cycle, the Clinton confidant was setting up Mitt Romney with a question about whether the Constitution permitted the banning of contraceptives. Of course, no one was proposing a ban on contraceptives; the question was strategically planted to seed the Democrats’ War on Women narrative. Common sense, if there were any, would have the administration asking: Why would we give George Stephanopoulos two days of access? If your answer is “Because that worked out so well with Michael Wolff,” pull that résumé together, because there’s surely a White House staff job waiting just for you.

So what did George ask this time? He wanted to know whether, with the lessons of 2016 in mind, the president thought it would be appropriate to let a foreign government “interfere” in our elections by taking from that government information damaging to the opposing candidate.

Naturally, Stephanopoulos did not preface his query with, “You know, the way that Ukrainian parliamentarian who was a source for Hillary’s campaign leaked that oppo about the secret payments to Manafort.” And the president was not swift enough to ask Stephanopoulos for clarification: “You mean, like, an amateur-hour arrangement where I, or my son, take the information directly from Russia? Does it count if I’m smart enough to have my cut-out law firm hire the cut-out grifters from Fusion GPS, and then they do the dirty work of hiring the foreign spy to tap the Russian sources — in their spare time from helping Putin’s cronies beat back the Justice Department?”

In his staccato style, Trump appeared to respond that it would be all right to accept the information (because mere information is “not an interference” in an election); but he left ambiguous whether he’d notify the FBI of the foreign contact: “They have information — I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI — if I thought it was something wrong.”

NOW WATCH: ‘Trump Says ‘Good Chance’ Democrats Will Back Immigration Plan’


The president elaborated with a hypothetical: “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said,] ‘We have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

I know, you’re thinking, “Those sly Norwegians . . .” I found myself wishing that, instead of Norway, the president had reached another 500 miles eastward, to Estonia, for his example. Then he could have made two points to demonstrate the speciousness and hypocrisy of Stephanopoulos’s line of inquiry.

Read more: Democrats’ Hypocrisy on ‘Foreign Interference’ — National Review

“Unfettered Access to Users Data”: Facebook to Introduce Its Cryptocurrency Next Week — Pulpit & Pen

Social media giant Facebook is expected to reveal its new digital cryptocurrency next week, backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others.

The Wall Street Journal reports that social media giant Facebook plans to reveal its new Libra digital cryptocurrency next week with backing from over a dozen other companies. Visa and Mastercard are reportedly quite invested in the currency while other Silicon Valley firms such as PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and Booking.com are fully supporting the currency.

Each of these firms will invest around$10 million to fund further development of the currency and become part of the Libra Association. The association will act as an independent group which will govern the coin independently from Facebook. The involvement of Visa and Mastercard is interesting as cryptocurrency can act as a viable alternative to the services offered by these firms and could be direct competition, some have suggested that the firm’s involvement is an attempt to keep track of Facebook’s currency, while others have implied alternative motivations.

Byrne and Storm lawyer Preston Byrne suggested that the firm’s involvement is due to the greater access they can gain to Facebook’s user data.

Keep in mind that these entities are each paying $10 million for the privilege of running a node aka unlimited access to transactional data. What this announcement *actually* means is that now Visa, MC, PayPal *and* Facebook are *each* getting unfettered access to users’ data. https://t.co/a5g4XPRUVz

— Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) June 13, 2019

Continue reading here.

via “Unfettered Access to Users Data”: Facebook to Introduce Its Cryptocurrency Next Week — Pulpit & Pen

We’re Here, We’re Normal, Fix Us: The Incongruity of Transgenderism — Pulpit & Pen

One of the first major successes of the “gay liberation” movement in the United States was the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the “DSM”). Early activists in the movement knew they would never persuade the public that they were normal as long as doctors said they were sick. The fact that the decision was more political than scientific complicates the history, but the goal was clear.

Like homosexuals, transgender activists have long been offended at the idea that trans people have a “disorder.” As a recent online article puts it, they believe “experiencing gender as different from the one assigned at birth is not a disorder or a disease – but rather a natural variation of human experience.”

Addressing that issue is more complicated for transgender activists than it was for homosexual ones, though. Homosexuals felt no “treatment” for their identity was necessary. However, those who identify as transgender often seek cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgery, to alter their bodies to more closely resemble those of the preferred sex.

They could pay for such procedures themselves, but that’s expensive. So to justify forcing third parties (insurance companies or taxpayers) to pay for these procedures, they need a diagnostic code from the DSM.

They could pay for such procedures themselves, but that’s expensive. So to justify forcing third parties (insurance companies or taxpayers) to pay for these procedures, they need a diagnostic code from the DSM.

At one time, the APA defined merely being transgender—that is, experiencing “an incongruence between assigned sex (i.e., the sex recorded on one’s birth certificate) and gender identity”—as a “gender identity disorder.” In the DSM-5 (2013), the APA did away with the term “gender identity disorder,” and declared such “incongruence” was not a “disorder” at all. However, “the distress that may accompany the incongruence” could be classified as a disorder—now renamed “gender dysphoria.”

This was a partial fulfillment of transgender demands (“Gender incongruence is not a disorder!”), but it meant that if people obtained a “gender dysphoria” diagnosis in order to get hormones or surgery, they would still bear the “stigma” of having a “mental disorder.” Transgender activists and their allies continued to search for a new way of threading that needle.

Continue reading here.

[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Peter Spriggs and originally published at The Federalist. Title changed by P&P.]

via We’re Here, We’re Normal, Fix Us: The Incongruity of Transgenderism — Pulpit & Pen

Scott Klusendorf discusses abortion and euthanasia at the Summit Forum


Scott Klusendorf, President of the Life Training Institute Scott Klusendorf, President of the Life Training Institute

Here’s the video, featuring my favorite pro-life speakers Scott Klusendorf. Scott is the founder and President of the Life Training Institute. LTI’s mission is to make a rigorous, rational defense for pro-life positions with respect to a variety of ethical issues. If you listen to Scott, you will learn a lot, and learn it from someone who has been tested on the battlefield of ideas.

Three topics:

  • right to life of the unborn
  • reproductive technologies
  • end of life questions

40 minutes of guided discussion, 20 minutes of Q&A. This video was apparently recorded in the summer of 2016.


  • the 1-minute case for the pro-life position (excellent)
  • dealing with those who dismiss the pro-life case as religious
  • how and when do people win arguments?
  • how does one get better at discussing moral issues?
  • who are some of the best books to…

View original post 330 more words

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 06/15/2019

‘Slide Into Apostasy’: Top Southern Baptist Leaders Sing Lynyrd Skynyrd Before Thousands of Pastors at ‘Send Luncheon’   Jun 11, 2019 03:41 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Top leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention took to the stage on Monday during the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) “Send Luncheon,” and donning wigs, hats and electric guitars, sang karaoke to the Lynyrd Skynyrd hit “Sweet Home Alabama” for the thousands of pastors who had gathered for the event. Video footage of the performance,…

Continue reading the story

Young Man Tweets for Pride Month: ‘Jesus Brought Me Out of Homosexuality’   Jun 13, 2019 07:55 pm

A young man who has been saved for two years recently generated a firestorm on Twitter after he posted with the hashtag #PrideMonth that Jesus had delivered him from homosexuality and urged readers not to let the world cheat them out of the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. “Jesus brought me out of homosexuality,” wrote the 23-year-old Derrick on June…

Continue reading the story

Pastor Contrasts American Christianity With Fervor of Chinese Christians: ‘I Will Not Pray You Become Like Us’   Jun 13, 2019 06:12 pm

A pastor in Hawaii recently shared a story about his visit to China, where he was taken aback by the authenticity and fervor of Christians in the nation, as compared to what he observes in the United States. Wayne Cordeiro, the pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii, outlined that he went to Hunan Province to train church leaders — 22 in all…

Continue reading the story

Christian Families Going Hungry as Villagers in India Deprive Them of Work, Homes   Jun 10, 2019 12:57 pm

HYDERABAD, India (Morning Star News) – Christians in various villages of Chhattisgarh state, India are going hungry as members of tribal religions deprive them of work and refuse to sell food to them, sources said. In the southern tip of Chhattisgarh state, villagers who practice tribal religion of ancestor and nature worship attacked the homes of three…

Continue reading the story

Oklahoma Teen Slams Baby in Car Seat to Ground, Says He Was Under Influence of Laced Pot   Jun 13, 2019 03:49 pm

EDMOND, Okla. (WGN-TV) — A teenager arrested after he allegedly attacked a baby outside of an Edmond supermarket blames the entire hallucination on laced marijuana. A calm evening trip to the Crest Foods grocery store quickly turned into panic when the teenager began beating on customer’s moving cars. “He literally just picked up the car seat and…

Continue reading the story

US Aid Worker’s Serial Rape of Dozens of Haitian Children Rocks Amish Mennonite-Run Charity   Jun 14, 2019 06:21 pm

BERLIN, Ohio — A U.S.-based aid worker who worked with a Amish Mennonite-run charity in Haiti has fled back to Ohio after it was discovered that he has been sexually abusing boys in the country, with reportedly as many as 40 children being affected. The man, who worked for Christian Aid Ministries (CAM), founded and led by David Troyer, has now admitted that he has…

Continue reading the story

‘Transgender’ Sues Baker Jack Phillips for Not Making Pink, Blue Cake Celebrating ‘Coming Out’ on Birthday   Jun 11, 2019 11:59 am

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — After the State of Colorado dropped its administrative action against Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips for declining to make a pink and blue “birthday cake” celebrating a man’s “coming out as transgender,” the individual who placed the order for the cake has filed his own legal challenge over the matter. “A new lawsuit has been filed…

Continue reading the story

Man Allegedly Abused by Priests Tells Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Other Boys Raped at ‘Satanic’ Parties   Jun 11, 2019 12:57 pm

(BBC News) — A child abuse inquiry witness has told how he and others were raped by priests drink-fuelled sex parties that he characterized as “Satanic.” Dave Sharp also described a catalogue of sexual, physical and emotional violence at St Ninian’s in Falkland, Fife, between 1971 and 1975. Mr. Sharp, from Glasgow, said the abuse had left him with…

Continue reading the story

US Supreme Court Declines Appeal Effort to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ From American Currency   Jun 10, 2019 09:34 pm

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear an appeal alleging that the motto “In God We Trust” printed on American currency violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The nation’s highest court did not comment on why it rejected the petition filed by professing atheist Michael Newdow on behalf of the dozens of plaintiffs he…

Continue reading the story

Four Arrested in Michigan After ‘Red Rose Rescue’ Inside Abortion Facility to Reach Mothers   Jun 08, 2019 05:52 pm

(WJRT) — A pro-life effort Friday morning ended with multiple police agencies arresting four people. The director of the South Lyon based group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society said this isn’t the first time the group’s work has resulted in a heavy police presence. Monica Miller explained two of the four arrested this time spent 32 days behind bars…

Continue reading the story

Weekend Snapshot – Top Stories This Week · June 15, 2019

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Sanders’s Socialist Snake Oil

Bernie’s big speech glossed over the bloody history of socialism in favor of “free stuff.”

Hypocrite Dems Cry Foul Over Foreign Oppo-Research

Remember: It was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that actually paid for foreign “dirt” on Trump.

Trump Policies Lifting Blacks, and They’re Noticing

He won 8% of the black vote in 2016, but that may increase in 2020 due to good policies.

90% of Asylum-Seekers Skip Case Hearings

Acting DHS secretary notes that the border crisis is a “full blown emergency.”

‘Golden State’ Offers Free Health Care for Illegals

To help pay for it, California will begin fining citizens who don’t have health insurance.

Leftmedia: ‘The Recession Is Coming!’

Spinning for the Democrats, whose only hope in 2020 is economic recession.

YouTube Bows to Leftist Anti-Free-Speech Demands

The Left seeks to control online speech, banning, blocking, and demonetizing opponents.

‘Gay’ Flag Displaces Veterans Memorial POW/MIA Flag

It’s “pride month,” which means all manner of shenanigans are happening nationwide.

Mileage Standards and Biofuels Are Both Terrible

These top-down government mandates override the free market and should be scrapped.

Suicide Rises in a Culture of Despair

Lost faith, broken families, and sedentary living are just some of the causes of tragedy.

Courage Is the Missing Millennial Link

Some millennials have summoned the courage to step out of their generation’s jack-boot political dogma.

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.


“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

15 june (1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon


“Thou God seest me.” Genesis 16:13

suggested further reading: Psalm 94:4–11

It were hard to suppose a God who could not see his own creatures; it were difficult in the extreme to imagine a divinity who could not behold the actions of the works of his hands. The word which the Greeks applied to God implied that he was a God who could see. They called him Theos; and they derived that word, if I read rightly, from the root theisthai, to see, because they regarded God as being the all-seeing one, whose eye took in the whole universe at a glance, and whose knowledge extended far beyond that of mortals. God Almighty, from his very essence and nature, must be an Omniscient God. Strike out the thought that he sees me, and you extinguish Deity by a single stroke. There would be no God if that God had no eyes, for a blind God is not God at all. We could not conceive such a one. Stupid as idolaters may be, it is very hard to think that even they had fashioned a blind god: even they have given eyes to their gods, though they see not. Juggernaut, or Jagannatha (a god worshipped in some areas of Hinduism), has eyes stained with blood; and the gods of the ancient Romans had eyes, and some of them were called far-seeing gods. Even the heathen can scarce conceive of a god that has no eyes to see, and certainly we are not so mad as to imagine for a single second that there can be a Deity without the knowledge of everything that is done by man beneath the sun. I say it is as impossible to conceive of a God who did not observe everything, as to conceive of a round square. When we say, “Thou God,” we do, in fact, comprise in the word “God” the idea of a God who sees everything, “Thou God seest me.”

for meditation: The proofs of Jesus’ deity in Mark 2:5–8: He could see faith, forgive sins and perceive the thoughts of the heart. He still can!

sermon no. 85[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 173). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

15 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

Loving our Neighbor

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. Matthew 5:43

suggested further reading: Leviticus 19:9–18

It is astonishing that the scribes in Jesus’ day came to such a point of absurdity that they limited the meaning of the word neighbour to benevolent persons. Nothing is more obvious or certain than that God, in speaking of loving our neighbor, is referring to the entire human race.

Every man by nature is devoted to himself. When we interrupt personal convenience to show acts of kindness, we depart from the kind of action that nature itself dictates. So, to encourage the exercise of loving others, God assures us that all people are our neighbors because they are related to us by nature. Whenever I see another person, I must of necessity behold myself as in a mirror, for that person is “my bone and my flesh” (Gen. 29:14). Though most people tend to break away from this kind of unity, their depravity does not violate the order of nature, for God is the author of brotherly love.

Hence we conclude that the precept of the law, by which we are commanded to love our neighbor, refers to all people. The love that God requires in his law does not look at what a man deserves but extends to the unworthy, the wicked, and the ungrateful. Now we see the true intent of this verse: to show that Christ restores and vindicates us from malicious falsehoods concerning God’s law. He does not introduce a new law but corrects the wicked excesses of the scribes, by which the purity of the divine law had been corrupted.

for meditation: When have you resisted helping people in trouble, saying they brought it on themselves? Have you shunned those who are ungodly or cut off those who are ungrateful? Rather than limiting the law, as the scribes did, let us be challenged by Christ’s teaching to extend love to anyone in need.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 185). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.