Monthly Archives: July 2019

July 31 The Lifeline to Freedom

Scripture Reading: James 1:12–17

Key Verse: James 1:12

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

Satan cannot have your soul, so he wants nothing more than to ruin your fellowship with the Lord and to sidetrack your walk and your witness.

James, Jesus’ half-brother, describes the destructive progression Satan sets in motion through temptation: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14–15 nasb).

We can be carried away and lured to go beyond the limits of our God-given desires and interests. Our own lust can conceive and give birth to sin. But this birth is not one involving life. Rather, it brings forth death.

Jesus, however, is a God of hope. While it sometimes seems as if Satan is throwing everything in his formidable arsenal at us, we can trust in God’s Word and believe Him when He tells us that He is faithful. He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, in His power, to withstand. God will always give us the opportunity to escape. He always honors His Word. And He is always trustworthy.

The key to overcoming temptation is simple obedience. At times, that may seem impossible. But keep in mind that what is impossible with man is possible with God (Matthew 19:26). The Bible says that He will make a way of escape. The lifeline to freedom forever will be there. It is simply a matter of whether we are willing to grab hold.

Dear Lord, I thank You that You will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able. Thank You that the lifeline to freedom is available to me today as I reject temptation.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 31 Spiritual Blindness

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:3–6

Key Verses: Matthew 13:15–16

“For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.

When telling of his conversion experience, the apostle Paul always included the footnote that he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews.”

The people of Paul’s day understood exactly what he was trying to convey. His terminology gave evidence that he was a well-educated Jewish purebred.

From the time of his birth, Paul was taught to think within the confines of the Law of Moses. As a young man, he spent his days in the synagogue where he studied under Gamaliel, one of history’s greatest Jewish scholars.

His debates among Stoic philosophers underscored his vast knowledge. But in reality, Paul was quite blind. Mentally he might have been on the borderline of brilliance, but spiritually he lived in darkness. Only Jesus Christ could provide Paul with an education that would change not only his own life, but the lives of all who followed his teaching.

God’s true wisdom and knowledge cannot be found in a human textbook. You may have a “degree of degrees”; but until you sit in God’s classroom, you are living in spiritual blindness. Ask God to remove the scales from your eyes that may keep you in spiritual blindness. Open your heart to study His Word, and you will find the key to true understanding.

Dear heavenly Father, I can’t make this journey if I cannot see the way. Let the light of Your Word clear up my spiritual blindness. Remove the scales from my eyes.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 31 In Difficult Times

Scripture reading: Psalm 4:1–8

Key verse: Psalm 4:5

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,

And put your trust in the Lord.

In her book Abiding in Christ, Cynthia Heald writes about her journey of faith during difficult times:

The wise counsel of Proverbs 3:5–6 has been in my heart for over twenty–five years. Although it has become an old friend, its encouragement continues to be fresh and new in my life.

During a recent struggle, it seemed that the Lord was saying to me, “Do you trust Me?” My response was, “Yes, Lord, I trust You. But can’t You rephrase the question: Do you trust Me to work everything out so that you are happy? I think I could really trust You then.”

But the Lord was steadfast: the issue was my unconditional trust. No strings attached, no negotiating, no promises.

In a deeper way, I began to understand what it means to trust God with all my heart. There is no room for bargaining for what I think is best, only implicit confidence and patience in His plan.

The Scriptures do not guarantee that all will be well according to our human perspective. They do, however, promise that God will work all things for our good. As we learn to trust Him no matter what, He develops within us a deeply rooted confidence in Him. This confidence enables us to lean on His understanding and His ways of working in our lives.

Is God asking you to trust Him unconditionally?

Dear heavenly Father, let me trust You unconditionally—even in difficult times.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 222). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Gospel Coalition Writer/Speaker Comes Out in Full Support of Gay Marriage — Christian Research Network

“The Gospel Coalition believes in Gilson so much that not only is she a contributor at TGC, she is promoted in TGC as an upcoming speaker at TGC Women’s Training Network conference. The Women’s Training Network is The Gospel Coalition’s attempt to undermine Biblical Complementarianism.”

(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen)  A Gospel Coalition writer and conference speaker has come out in full support of gay marriage at a Cru Conference of college students. She is scheduled to speak at another TGC Conference in September and is a part of TGC Women’s Training Network.

Cru, which serendipitously took Christ out of their name as part of a 2012 re-branding effort, is spreading the Social Gospel to college students instead of the real Gospel and is promoting pro-sodomy sentiments instead of doing evangelism.

Reformation Charlotte wrote about aspects of this in yesterday’s post, Campus Crusade for Christ Teaching Kids that It’s Okay to Be Gay.

The tweet is actually a quotation from Rachel Gilson. Gilson, Reformation Charlotte failed to mention (they’re busy) is a contributor to The Gospel Coalition. We wrote about Gilson in a 2018 post entitled The Gospel Coalition Says Church Should Be ‘Safe Space’ for Homosexuals. In that article for TGC, Gilson demanded that church prioritize the comfort of gays in the church (over their spiritual conviction).  View article →

Research

The Gospel Coalition

Progressive Christianity

via Gospel Coalition Writer/Speaker Comes Out in Full Support of Gay Marriage — Christian Research Network

Oops! MSNBC Post-Debate Poll Finds Only Around 27% of Voters Support Their Open Borders, ‘Free’ Healthcare, Reparations Agenda — The Gateway Pundit

MSNBC asked voters on Tuesday after the first CNN Democratic Presidential Debate what they thought about the Democrat platform for 2020.

What they found was that a VAST MAJORITY of Americans reject their insanity.

Only around 27% of Americans agree with Democrats on:

** Medicare for all (41%)
** Decriminalizing border crossings — Open Borders (27%)
** Free healthcare for illegals (33%)
** Reparations (27%)

Thank God.
Americans are not buying their crazy positions.

What a freak show.

via Oops! MSNBC Post-Debate Poll Finds Only Around 27% of Voters Support Their Open Borders, ‘Free’ Healthcare, Reparations Agenda — The Gateway Pundit

July 31, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

13. Here the Prophet takes away from the Israelites the hope of pardon, and declares that it was all over with them, for God had now resolved to destroy them. For as God everywhere declares himself to be ready and inclined to pardon, hypocrites hope that God will be propitious to them; and entertaining this vain confidence, they despise his threatenings and boldly rise up against him. Hence the Prophet here shows, that God would hereafter be inexorable to them, because they had too long pertinaciously abused his patience. Woe to them! he says, for they have withdrawn from me: desolation to them! for they have acted perfidiously towards me. There is then no reason, says the Prophet, for them to delude themselves in future with vain confidence, as they have hitherto done; for this has been once for all determined by God—to inflict on them his extreme vengeance, for their defection deserves this.

He then adds, I will redeem them, and they have spoken his against me. They who render the first word in the future tense, think that the Prophet asks a question, “Shall I redeem them? for they have spoken lies against me:” and they think it to be an indefinite mode of speaking—“Should I redeem them, men of no faith; for what good should I do by such kindness?” Others give this exposition—“Though I wished to redeem them, yet I found that this would not be beneficial nor just, because they speak lies against me;” as though God did not express here what he had done, but what he had wished to do. But the past tense is not unsuitable to this place; and we know how common and familiar to the Hebrews was the change of tenses. The meaning, then, will be, “I have redeemed them, and they have spoken lies against me;” that is, “I have often delivered them from death, when they were in extreme peril; but they have not changed their disposition; nay, they have deprived me of the praise due for their deliverance, and they have lived in no way better after their deliverance. Since, then, I have hitherto conferred my benefits to no good purpose, nothing now remains but that I must destroy them.” And this seems to me to be the Prophet’s meaning.

He then declares, in the first clause, that they hoped for mercy in vain from God, because their ultimate destruction was decreed. Then follows the reason for this, because they had foolishly and impiously abused the favour of God, inasmuch as, having been redeemed by him, they yet went on in their own wickedness, and even acted perfidiously towards God, while yet they pretended to act differently. Since, then, there was no change for the better, God now shows that he would spend his favour no longer on men so impious. Now this place teaches how intolerable is our ingratitude, when, after having been redeemed by the Lord, we keep not the faith pledged to him, and which he requires from us; for God is our deliverer on this condition, that we be wholly devoted to him. For he who has been redeemed ought not so to live, as if he had a right to himself and to his own will; but he ought to be wholly dependent on his Redeemer. If, then, we thus act perfidiously towards God, after having been delivered by his grace, we shall be guilty of such impiety and perfidiousness as deserve a twofold vengeance: and this is what the Prophet here teaches.

We indeed know how mercifully God had spared the people of Israel: after they had fallen away into superstitious worship, and had also violated their faith to the posterity of David, the Lord did not yet cease to show to that people many favours notwithstanding their unworthiness. We know also, that under Jeroboam prosperity had attended them beyond all human expectation. But they yet hardened themselves more and more in their wickedness, so far were they from returning to the right way. [1]


13 Verse 13 is one of two places in the book where a cry of woe is pronounced upon Israel (the other is 9:12). It is a rhetorical device used by prophets to call attention to calamity and to lament, and such a cry fits a situation in which a heedless Israel stands culpable before YHWH. The initial basis for Hosea’s “woe” is explicated in the first two bicola of the verse:

A

 

B

 

woe …

they have strayed (nādad)

 

devastation (šōd)

they have rebelled (pāšaʿ).

 

In the bicola the “woe” is reinforced by “devastation,” and the verbs “stray” and “rebel” play the same role.

The use of the verb rebel may have political nuance. It can be used for those who revolt against a political overlord (1 Kgs. 12:19; 2 Kgs. 1:1; 8:20). The connotation of rebelling against an authority or breaking faith with someone carries over to its use in the theological sense of spurning God or rejecting divine instruction. This is the way the term is used in 8:1.

Verse 13 concludes with a colon expressing a supposed condition (that YHWH would redeem Israel) that sadly will not come to pass. The people are portrayed yet a third time in v. 13 in negative terms as speaking “lies” (kĕzābîm). It is also a word that Hosea uses elsewhere (12:1 [MT 2]).[2]


7:13 / Woe in verse 13 clearly marks off verses 13–16 as a separate oracle. Woes were pronounced over those who were doomed or who were already dead, and so this oracle is an announcement from Yahweh that Israel is doomed to die. The reason for the announcement gathers up the two primary sins for which Israel is condemned throughout the book of Hosea: the sin of apostasy, in turning to worship the baals, and the sin of rebellion, in relying on politics and other nations for deliverance (see the introduction).

The depth of Israel’s perfidy is emphasized by the contrasts drawn in the Hebrew:

verse 13c: “I [emphasized with a separate pronoun] would redeem them, but they [again emphasized with a separate pronoun] spoke against me lies.”

verse 15: “And I [emphasized] trained them, I strengthened their arms, but me they regarded as evil.”

The verb rebelled in verse 13b is from the Hebrew pāšaʿ, is frequently found in the prophetic writings, and is the strongest term used for sin in the ot. It is a political term, indicating refusal to submit to authority, e.g., rebellion against a king (cf. 1 Kgs. 12:19). Thus God here accuses Israel of denying his lordship, of being subversive in his kingdom. But the fact that God is Lord over Israel makes judgment on this rebellion necessary, for if God overlooked such revolt, he would not be Israel’s Lord.

God wants to redeem Israel. That is, he wants to buy Israel back from religious slavery to Baal and political slavery to foreign nations. Both hold Israel captive, encompassing the people with a spirit of harlotry (4:12; 5:4) and of adultery (7:4). But when God would redeem his people, they speak lies against God. The term “lies” probably refers to Israel’s false identification of Yahweh with the fertility gods and is intended to characterize what follows in verse 14.[3]


13. fled—as birds from their nest (Pr 27:8; Is 16:2).

me—who both could and would have healed them (Ho 7:1), had they applied to Me.

redeemed them—from Egypt and their other enemies (Mic 6:4).

lies—(Ps 78:36; Je 3:10). Pretending to be My worshippers, when they all the while worshipped idols (Ho 7:14; Ho 12:1); also defrauding Me of the glory of their deliverance, and ascribing it and their other blessings to idols [Calvin].[4]


Ver. 13.—Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction (margin, spoil) unto them! because they have transgressed against me. Of these exclamations, the first is general and indefinite, the second is specific and precise. The thought of coming chastisement calls forth the exclamation of woe; while the second exclamation fixes the character and explains the nature of that woe denounced. In neither case does יְהִי or יָבֹא need to be supplied; the opposite expression is שָׁלוֹם לָהֶם or בְּלָכָה לָהֶם. In assigning the reason, there is a retrospective reference to the figures of the two immediately preceding verses. The word נָדַד with min is employed in relation to birds which, when scared from their nest, fly away. Kimchi thinks it applies to the abstention or withdrawal of the Israelites from Divine service in the national sanctuary in Jerusalem. His comment is: “They fly from me, from the service of the house of my sanctuary, to the service of the calves; and this is a breach of faith and defection from me.” The LXX. translate the beginning of the second clause freely by δειλαῖοι εἰσὶν, equivalent to “they are cowards;” and Jerome by “miseri (maticulose) erunt, et semper timentis ac formidantes.” The cause assigned is their breaking covenant with God, which is expressed by פָּשַׁע, literally, “to break away from,” “tear one’s self loose from.” Though I have redeemed them. This first part of the last clause is rendered (1) as a past by some, as Jerome, who refers it to the redemption from Egypt; thus also the Chaldee: “And I was their Deliverer.” Rosenmüller approves of this, but, instead of restricting it to the deliverance from Egypt, includes their recent deliverance from the Syrians by Jeroboam II. It is (2) better rendered in a voluntative or optative sense: “I would (should like) to redeem them, but they speak lies against (or, concerning) me.” The verb ’ephdem cannot with any propriety be taken for a preterite. Yet they have spoken lies against me; rather, but they on their part have spoken lies concerning me. The prophet had already charged them with lying at ver. 3, and previously at ch. 4:2; but their lies were not confined to their intercourse or dealings with their fellow-men; they spoke lies against or, as the preposition sometimes signifies, concerning God. The lies in question included, no doubt, a denial of his essential Deity or sole Divinity; of his power or willingness either to protect or punish. Or they might consist in their falsehood in drawing near to God with their lips without either true faith or real affection in their hearts; some were directly opposed to the claims of Jehovah, some insincere in his service, and others turned aside to the idolatry of the calves—all, with probably some honourable exceptions, had proved false to his covenant with Israel. The last clause has been taken (3) independently by Ewald, without any considerable alteration of the sense: “I, for my part, would redeem them, but they, on their side, speak lies against me.” Other acceptations, (a) interrogative and (b) conditional, evidently mistake the sense. The whole clause is correctly explained by Kimchi thus: “It was in my heart to redeem them out of their distress; but they speak lies against me, while they say that I know nothing nor exercise any providential care over their actions, whether their actions are good or bad. Therefore I have withdrawn my providential oversight, and have hidden my face from them, and they shall be consumed.”[5]


7:13. This brief unit begins on an ominous note. Woe (’ôy) suggests impending doom (cf. Num. 21:29; Jer. 4:13, 31, “alas”; 48:46), as the next sentence (cf. Destruction to them) clearly shows. The basis for judgment was Israel’s rebellion (cf. Hosea 8:1; 13:16) against the Lord (because they have strayed from Me and because they have rebelled against Me). Despite His desire to save them (God said, I long to redeem them), they had spoken lies against Him. The word for “redeem” (pāḏâh) is used frequently to describe the deliverance from Egypt (cf. Deut. 7:8; 9:26; 13:5; 15:15; 24:18; 2 Sam. 7:23; Ps. 78:42; Micah 6:4). Mays aptly comments, “The God of the Exodus is unchanged in His will, but because of Israel’s lies there will be no exodus’ from the Assyrian danger” (Hosea, p. 111). In this context “lies” probably refers to Israel’s practical denial of God’s redemptive ability, expressed through her attempts to find security through other nations.[6]


7:13 — “ … Though I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me.”

How do we speak lies against our Redeemer? We lie when we say that He has forgotten about us, that He doesn’t keep His promises, that He plays favorites. Such lies bring us nothing but pain.[7]


7:13 redeem. This term from commercial law meaning “buy back” (Lev. 27:27–31) is used also of Israel’s deliverance from bondage (13:14; Ex. 15:13; Deut. 7:8; 9:26; Mic. 6:4).

lies. This may refer to the false ideas about the Lord that had been imported into Israel’s religion, to insincere words of repentance (6:1–3), or more generally to the broken promises of the covenant.[8]


7:13 The section that begins in 6:1 with a call to return to the Lord and be healed ends here with a lament that Israel had done just the opposite. Woe to them is a declaration of coming judgment (9:12; Is 3:9; Jr 50:27; Jd 11). The term for fled is often used of birds (Is 16:2; Jr 4:25) and can also refer to restless wandering (Pr 27:8). Israel could flee from God in rebellion, but they could not escape destruction. The phrase I want to redeem can also be translated “I redeemed,” referring to the exodus (Dt 7:8; 9:26; Mc 6:4). God’s deliverance should cause his people to declare the truth about him.[9]


[1] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 1, pp. 267–268). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[2] Dearman, J. A. (2010). The Book of Hosea (p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Achtemeier, E. (2012). Minor Prophets I. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 60–61). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 656). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Hosea (p. 207). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Chisholm, R. B., Jr. (1985). Hosea. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 1395–1396). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ho 7:13). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[8] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1246). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[9] Clendenen, E. R. (2017). Hosea. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1359). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

July 31, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump’s repeated calls for easier monetary policy may not
be what’s driving the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates on Wednesday.

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and rival Kamala Harris will
stage a rematch of last month’s explosive debate confrontation during Round
2 on Wednesday, with a re-energized Biden promising a more aggressive
approach.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders offered an unabashed defense of their
progressive policies during a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, as
their more moderate rivals criticized their proposals as unrealistic and
politically untenable.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would look to cut defense costs
in future budgets after ramping up military spending during his first 2-1/2
years in office.

California’s Democratic governor signed a law on Tuesday requiring U.S.
presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns before they
can appear on the state’s ballot, a move aimed squarely at Republican
President Donald Trump.

Ethiopia’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday to open up the country’s
financial sector to an estimated five million citizens living abroad or
with dual nationality, including allowing them to buy shares in local banks
and start lending businesses.

The European Union ended a standoff with Italy over African immigration on
Wednesday, agreeing to take 116 asylum-seekers rescued at sea last week but
denied permission to go ashore by the country’s right-wing interior
minister.

Employees at 11 restaurants and shops in Beijing selling halal products and
visited by Reuters in recent days said officials had told them to remove
images associated with Islam, such as the crescent moon and the word
“halal” written in Arabic, from signs. The campaign has included the
removal of Middle Eastern-style domes on many mosques around the country in
favor of Chinese-style pagodas.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday,
the South Korean military said, only days after it launched two similar
missiles intended to pressure South Korea and the United States to stop
upcoming military drills.

AP Top Stories

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will set up a system allowing
Americans to legally and safely import lower-cost prescription drugs from
Canada for the first time, reversing years of opposition from federal
health authorities amid a public outcry over high prices for
life-sustaining medications.

A roadside bomb tore through a bus in western Afghanistan on Wednesday,
killing at least 32 people, including children, a provincial official said.

A Ukrainian court has ordered the seizure of a Russian tanker stopped last
week over its alleged involvement in a Ukrainian-Russian naval clash last
year.

An Afghan soldier was responsible for the killing of two American troops a
day earlier, an official told AFP Tuesday, in what appears to be the latest
example of an insider attack.

Russian investigators on Tuesday launched a probe into “mass unrest”, a
crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison, after thousands took to the
streets at the weekend to demand fair elections.

Nicaragua granted citizenship Tuesday to former Salvadoran President
Mauricio Funes, who has been in the country under political asylum since
2016 and is wanted back home on allegations of illicit enrichment and
embezzlement.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday restored federal protections
to grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, abiding by a
court ruling last year that removal of the bears’ threatened status
violated the Endangered Species Act.

President Donald Trump granted five full pardons Monday to John Richard
Bubala, Roy Wayne McKeever, Rodney Takumi, Michael Tedesco and Chalmer Lee
Williams. The president decided each man was worthy of Executive Grants of
Clemency after “a careful review of the files” of each individual. The full
pardons restore federal rights to the men, including the rights to vote and
bear arms.

BBC

Two mothers in Chicago have been killed in a drive-by shooting as they
stood on a street corner in an effort to deter gun violence.

Hong Kong is now in its eighth week of street protests, which began with
opposition to a controversial extradition bill but have spiraled into wider
opposition to the government and Beijing. As the situation grows yet more
tense, the impact is also being felt overseas, particularly among the
hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese and Hong Kong students studying
in Australia.

A second person has died of Ebola on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s
border with Rwanda, raising fears the deadly illness could spread.

The leader of a South Korean doomsday cult has been sentenced to six years
in jail for holding her followers captive in Fiji and subjecting them to
violence.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has warned staff to prepare for job cuts in
the coming weeks, saying the airline has 900 too many pilots and cabin
crew.

WND

Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh is urging voters to keep an eye out for the
Obamas as the 2020 election approaches because the former first couple
believes they still have something to accomplish. That Michelle Obama would
enter the Democratic race hasn’t been ruled out. I wouldn’t know what
percentage to attach to it, a number like 75 percent, 80, I don’t know, but
there’s a decent percentage chance that she gets in this. But not in the
middle of this fray,” he said.

David Gelernter, a famed Yale University professor, has publicly renounced
his belief in Darwin’s theory, calling it a “beautiful idea” that has been
effectively disproven.” The professor is famous for predicting the World
Wide Web.


Mid-Day Snapshot · July 31, 2019

The Foundation

“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” —Thomas Jefferson (1823)

Demo Debate 3: Left vs. Far Left

The party’s “moderates” made what might be a last stand against the socialists.


Trump’s Economic Policies Raise Wages for 99%

Americans’ wages are increasing across the board, a new economic report finds.


Leftist Snopes ‘Fact-Checkers’ Hit Conservative Satire Site

The Babylon Bee is satire. Someone should tell the humorless leftists who can’t take a joke.


China Aims to Block Trump Reelection

Beijing is working to prevent the president from winning as a means by which to win the trade war.


Corps Values

Recent misdeeds by military personnel prompt question about rot in the ranks.


Mr. President, Is Baltimore That Bad?

Actually, it’s probably worse than Trump declared in his widely panned tweets.


Video: Free Stuff 2020

Presidential candidates promise expensive new programs. John Stossel adds up the cost.


Video: Trump Campaign Video Slamming ‘The Squad’

The president takes on the Gang of Four by artfully using their own words against them.



Today’s Opinion

Rebecca Hagelin
‘The Squad’ Video Reveals Dark Underbelly That Kellyanne Conway Described
Star Parker
Ownership, Not Government Spending, Will Shrink Wealth Gap
Michelle Malkin
Freedom of Assembly Under Fire
Jonah Goldberg
Congressional Impeachment Show Needs to Be Canceled
Walter E. Williams
Being a Racist Is Easy Today
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday Top News Executive Summary

Democrat debate, California ballot law, prescription reform, transhumanism, and more.


Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Jim Geraghty, Arthur Brooks, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and more.



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

News – 7/31/2019

New Ebola case diagnosed in DR Congo’s Goma: health official
A new case of Ebola has been registered in the eastern DR Congo city of Goma, a key transport hub, a Congolese health official said on Tuesday, as the virus death toll rose to 1,790. It is the second case of Ebola detected in the lakeside city of more than two million people, close to the Rwanda border.

‘Amateur’ Capital One Hack Stuns Security Community
The massive data breach at Capital One appeared to be an unsophisticated attack from a single hacker, raising questions about the security of the financial system and insider threats to cloud computing. “The biggest surprise is the amateur nature of the attack,” said John Dickson of the security consultancy Denim Group.

“California Should Be Embarrassed” – State Passes Law Banning Trump From Ballot Unless Tax Returns Released
On Tuesday, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill requiring President Trump to either release his tax returns or he won’t appear on the ballot in the state.

Jeffrey Epstein Will Be Murdered by “Powerful Friends,” Lawyer Warns
Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer who represented three women during the criminal proceedings against billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein over a decade ago, says Epstein’s attempted suicide last week was likely an attempted hit by someone close to him. “I do question whether it was a true suicide attempt. I mean how do you choke yourself? It doesn’t make any sense,” Kuvin told The Sun newspaper. “There are reports someone came after him but that could just be because he’s a pedophile. Those types of individuals don’t last long in prison.” Kuvin’s warning mirrors what conservative author Ann Coulter said last week when she urged the Bureau of Prisons to move Epstein to a Super Max facility so that “the people who want him dead” won’t be able to hide their role in his child sex crimes.

Turkey expects US to end its support to PKK/YPG
Turkish defense minister has told his U.S. counterpart over a phone call that Turkey expects the U.S. to completely end its support to the PKK/YPG terrorist group. Hulusi Akar said Turkey would be obliged to create a safe zone on its own in case the two countries failed to find a common ground, according to a statement released by the National Defense Ministry on July 29.

President Trump Meets with Pastors about Inner City Problems: Alveda King Says ‘We Have a President Who’s Listening’
The employment rates are up in every community, including the black community. The historically black colleges and universities under this president are being blessed. The babies in the womb. The sick and poor and elderly are being blessed. We have an opportunity to continue to be blessed, and we have a president who’s listening. And I was glad to pray with him today.” -Alveda King

John Ratcliffe: AG William Barr will deliver justice to any Obama officials who committed crimes
A top Republican investigator said accountability is coming for any of those individuals who may have committed crimes during the Trump-Russia investigation. With the Justice Department conducting a review of that operation, Rep. John Ratcliffe said during a Fox News interview Sunday that he trusts Attorney General William Barr and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to provide answers. And while Ratcliffe said he does not want to prematurely accuse any specific person of a crime — as Democrats have done with President Trump — he stressed that it is clear crimes were committed by people during the Obama administration, including government officials.

The coming of persecution for Christian Americans
the Washington Examiner reported that Pastor Andrew Brunson said he was “astounded at the speed with which the U.S. is imploding” and that he predicts persecution of Christians will follow. Brunson is the evangelical Presbyterian missionary to Turkey who spent two years in a Turkish prison. Brunson made his remarks about the coming of persecution for American Christians during an interview at the Western Conservative Summit, held every year by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.

End Times Complacency Spreading Through The Church
Coming on the heels of World War II, the rebirth of Israel, the Six Day War, and widespread societal upheaval, many were convinced the rapture would take place before the end of the decade. But the 1970’s came and went, and Jesus did not return. Then, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, numerous bible prophecy books with titles like “Countdown to Armageddon” and “Final Warning” sold all over the world. Yet Jesus didn’t come. End Times Burnout, The Bible Said This Would Happen.

Trump to host Arab leaders at peace summit before Israeli election – report
The Trump administration will host an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit at Camp David before Israel’s September elections…Jared Kushner is planning to…invite the Arab leaders during his trip to the Middle East which starts on Thursday with a stop in Jerusalem. The summit…at Camp David…President Donald Trump will lay out his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in general terms, the Wednesday report said.

Zarif: Iran to reduce nuclear deal commitments unless Europe protects it
Iran is set to further cut its commitments to its international nuclear deal unless its European partners move to protect it from U.S. sanctions by ensuring it can sell oil and receive income, its foreign minister told state television on Wednesday. “Under current circumstances and if no action is taken (by the Europeans) we will take the next step (in cutting commitments),” Mohammad Javad Zarif said…

China orders Arabic, Muslim symbols taken down in Beijing
Authorities in the Chinese capital have ordered halal restaurants and food stalls to remove Arabic script and symbols associated with Islam from their signs, part of an expanding national effort to “Sinicize” its Muslim population. Employees at 11 restaurants and shops in Beijing selling halal products …said officials had told them to remove images associated with Islam, such as the crescent moon and the word “halal” written in Arabic, from signs.

Ebola crisis: Second case confirmed in DR Congo border city of Goma
A second case of Ebola has been detected on Democratic Republic of Congo’s border with Rwanda, raising fears the deadly illness could spread. The case was confirmed in the city of Goma, home to two million people, authorities said. More than 1,600 people have died of Ebola in DR Congo since the outbreak began in August 2018 but those have been in more remote areas.

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles in second missile launch in a week
North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, according to South Korea’s military, the second such launch in a week. The two missiles were launched from the Wonsan area early on Wednesday. Last week’s launch was the first such action since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in June.

ISIS Warns of Terror Strikes in San Francisco, New York, London
The ISIS terrorist organization is threatening to launch new attacks in San Francisco, New York, and London, according to new warning messages posted on the group’s social media channels. The messages…feature the three cities and call for adherents of the terror group’s radical ideology to “kill them all,” according to copies of the warnings obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI, a group that monitors jihadi networks.

America’s Housing Affordability Crisis Spreads to the Heartland
Low mortgage rates and thriving employment should be the recipe for a strong housing market. Instead, they’re deepening America’s affordability crisis. What began on the coasts, in areas like New York and San Francisco, is now radiating into the nation’s heartland, as well as to cities from Las Vegas to Charleston, South Carolina. Entry-level buyers are scrambling to purchase homes that are in short supply, sending values soaring.

Neuroscientists decode brain speech signals into written text
Doctors have turned the brain signals for speech into written sentences in a research project that aims to transform how patients with severe disabilities communicate in the future. The breakthrough is the first to demonstrate how the intention to say specific words can be extracted from brain activity and converted into text rapidly enough to keep pace with natural conversation.

Egyptian, Jordanian leaders meet ahead of Kushner’s visit
Jordan’s King Abdullah ll met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to arrive at a united position on the Trump Administration’s proposed plan to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Just days before an American team is set to visit the Middle East, the two leaders met in Cairo to discuss “relations between the two countries and ways to promote levels of joint cooperation,” according to a statement from the Jordanian government.

Swiss Funding Freeze in Wake of UNRWA Corruption Allegations Piles On Palestinian Refugee Agency’s Woes
Switzerland confirmed on Tuesday that it was temporarily freezing funding for UNRWA — the United Nations agency dedicated solely to Palestinian refugees and their descendants — following the emergence of an internal report that accused the agency’s top management of systematic corruption and abuse.

Bipartisan Senate bill to inquire about creation of US-Israel cyber-security center
U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced Tuesday a bill to require the U.S. State Department to investigate potential benefits of establishing a joint U.S.-Israel cybersecurity center.

“California Should Be Embarrassed” – State Passes Law Banning Trump From Ballot Unless Tax Returns Released
“… it’s unconstitutional and it opens up the possibility for states to load up more requirements on candidates in future elections. ”

Pompeo: US will maintain Strait of Hormuz, as Iran continues to reject talks
“We are gonna keep it open,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “Countries from all across the world who have a vested interest in keeping those waterways open will participate.”

40 Percent of Americans Believe in Creationism and Reject Evolution, Gallup Poll Finds
The nation’s universities and the mainstream media may be promoting evolution, but a large percentage of Americans still isn’t buying it. Forty percent of Americans say they believe “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so,” according to a Gallup poll released July 26. It is an increase from 38 percent in 2017, the last time Gallup asked the question.

Pakistani Christian in hiding because of blasphemy accusations pleads with UN to help
A Pakistani Christian refugee accused of blasphemy is facing renewed death threats after his location in Thailand was revealed on social media this month. But he and his family continue to face hurdles in their years-long effort for resettlement with no end in sight.

California Lawmakers Pass Resolution Blaming Religious People for High Suicide Rates in the LGBT Community
Lawmakers in California have passed a resolution that singles out the state’s religious communities and forces them to fully support LGBT individuals.

Black Moon is coming Wednesday: What that means
We’ve seen all kinds of interesting phases of the Moon, from “Super blood Moons” to “full worm supermoons” to even the stunning Strawberry Moon.

Crackdown Coming? China Gathers Forces On Hong Kong Border Amid Unrest
Comes after Beijing charged that unrest is “creation of the US”


Headlines – 7/31/2019

Trump to lead peace conference at Camp David with Arab leaders before Israeli election, during which he will outline his peace plan

Greenblatt and Hook: Israeli-Palestinian peace would be Iran’s worst nightmare

Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ Is Getting Even Better for Israel

Abbas: Israel destroying all opportunities for peace

PA premier: Without a two-state solution, Israel will suffer ‘demographic death’

US envoy: Trump peace plan will encourage Palestinian ‘autonomy’

Egypt muzzles media on US peace plan

Ocasio-Cortez Suggests Palestinians ‘Have No Choice But to Riot’ Against Israel

Netanyahu’s West Bank plan: 6,000 settlement homes, 700 Palestinian homes

Swiss Funding Freeze in Wake of UNRWA Corruption Allegations Piles On Palestinian Refugee Agency’s Woes

Israel’s UN envoy urges world to defund UNRWA over alleged misconduct

Israeli Embassy in Finland Vandalized

Church of the Apostles discovered near Sea of Galilee, archaeologists say

Israel said to hit Iranian sites in Iraq, expanding strikes on missile shipments

Iraq is on the brink of an abyss again – ISIS is working on a comeback

ISIS urges followers to carry out attacks in major Western cities

Trump to hold off on tightening limits on Iran’s nuclear work

U.S. Struggles to Get Help from Europe As Iran Plans Military Moves with Russia, Seeks Support from China

Trump asks Germany to help protect vessels in Gulf

Pompeo: US will maintain Strait of Hormuz, as Iran continues to reject talks

Iran, UAE to hold maritime security talks

Zarif: Iran will cut nuclear deal commitments further unless Europe acts

Bus strikes roadside bomb in Afghanistan, 32 killed, including children

UN says more Afghan civilians killed in 2019 by Afghan, U.S. and allied forces than terror groups

Sri Lanka gives free visa to boost tourism after bomb blasts

North Korea fires unidentified projectiles for second time in week

China Covertly Subverting Trump Reelection

Brazilian prisoners seen playing soccer with rivals’ severed heads

Judge dismisses DNC hacking lawsuit against Trump team, says claims ‘entirely divorced from the facts’

Trump: Tweeting is ‘my only form of defense’

California Requires Trump to Release Tax Returns for Spot on Primary Ballot

2020 Democrats keep shifting left. Moderates fret they’ll shift even further at next debate

Elizabeth Warren says Trump is advancing ‘environmental racism,’ ‘economic racism,’ ‘health care racism’

Trump prods Federal Reserve to make ‘large’ cut to interest rates

Political pressure complicates Fed’s expected rate cut

America’s Housing Affordability Crisis Spreads to the Heartland

Capital One Breach Casts Shadow Over Cloud Security

Hacked Highways? Connected Cars Could Gridlock Entire Cities, Study Warns

US issues hacking security alert for small planes

Drone makes first commercial delivery in The Bahamas

Forget props and fixed wings. New bio-inspired drones mimic birds, bats and bugs.

Israeli Seismologist Warns of Fatal Earthquakes Resulting from Water Drills Up North

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near La Libertad, El Salvador

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ile Hunter, New Caledonia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Gazion, Greece

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Okhotsk, Russia

Karangetang volcano in Indonesia erupts to 25,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 24,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 22,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Kerinci volcano in Indonesia erupts to 15,000ft

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

Two hurricanes, one a Category 4, are moving toward Hawaii

Hurricane Center gives tropical wave in the Atlantic 40% chance of becoming cyclone

Minnesota Weather: Temperatures Dip To 37 Degrees In International Falls, Breaking 121-Year-Old Record

Report: Never Mind the Rain, Drought is Possible in Caribbean

Siberian Wildfires Swell to Crimea-Sized Area, Authorities Say Extinguishing Them Is ‘Pointless’

A-listers flock to Google summit in private jets, mega yachts to talk climate change

China’s pig herd predicted to shrink by 50% due to swine fever

Human-animal hybrids to be developed in Japan after ban controversially lifted

Planned Parenthood and ACLU sue Missouri over 8-week abortion ban

Now Even Funerals Are Livestreamed – and Families Are Grateful

California Lawmakers Pass Resolution Blaming Religious People for High Suicide Rates in the LGBT Community

Weightlifter Hubbard becomes lightning rod for criticism of transgender policy

Woman accused of urinating on potatoes at Walmart turns herself in: report


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Judgment: The biblical explanation for insanity, evil, and disintegration of human souls

The Disappearance of Justice, Truth, and Whatever Glue Had Once Held Us Together

Willow Creek publicly closes chapter on Bill Hybels with call for him to ‘repent’ as needed

Southern Baptist Blog Says, “Trump is Racist” And You Should Not Vote for Him

Jury finds Katy Perry’s hit ‘Dark Horse’ copied Christian rap song ‘Joyful Noise’

Campus Crusade For Christ Teaching Kids That It’s Okay to be Gay

More churches are checking the national sex offender registry. Is it helping?

Montana – Ten Commandments Park Vandalized

Too busy for church? There’s an app for that

British police pay $3,000 to street preacher for wrong arrest, taking away Bible

Boko Haram Suspected in Funeral Attack that Killed 65


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

July 31 Will You Answer the Call?

scripture reading: Luke 24:44–51
key verse: Acts 1:8

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

For a moment he studied the crowd moving toward the front of the church. Then with sweaty palms and a nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach, he stepped out into the aisle. As he walked to the front of the church, the words of “Have Thine Own Way” comforted him.

Standing at the altar, he suddenly felt a small hand slip inside his. In looking down he saw the face of his seven–year–old daughter. “I will go for Jesus, too, Daddy,” she said and beamed a smile. As he lifted his eyes, he saw his wife holding their eighteen–month–old son. She said, “Darling, we’ll all go for Him.” He knew the moment meant total surrender to the will of God.

But so much had happened in the past. So many tears. So many words spoken in haste and anger. Could Jesus see past the years spent in sin and denial? Could God really be calling them to carry the light of His gospel halfway around the world?

Yes. God uses people with hearts turned toward Him. Past sins and failures are forgiven. He abides in the immediacy of the moment. When we open our hearts in obedient faith to His will, He uses us. Jesus has a job for you to do, and no one else can take your place.

Will you go for Him? Will you answer His call?

Yes, Lord, I’ll answer the call. I’ll leave the past behind. Send me. Use me. I’m ready to go.[1]


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

31 july (1859) 365 Days with Spurgeon

The meek and lowly One

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek, and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30

suggested further reading: Matthew 21:1–17

Christ on earth was a king; but there was nothing about him of the exclusive pomp of kings, which excludes the common people from their society. Look at the eastern king Ahasuerus, sitting on his throne. He is considered by his people as a superior being. None may come in unto the king, unless he is called for. Should he venture to pass the circle, the guards will slay him, unless the king stretches out the golden sceptre. Even Esther, his beloved wife, is afraid to draw near, and must put her life in her hand, if she comes into the presence of the king uncalled. Christ is a king; but where is his pomp? Where the janitor that keeps his door, and thrusts away the poor? Where the soldiers that ride on either side of his chariot to screen the monarch from the sight of poverty? See thy King, O Sion! He comes, he comes in royal pomp! Behold, Judah, behold thy King cometh! But how cometh he? “Meek and lowly, riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.” And who are his attendants? See, the young children, boys and girls! They cry, “Hosannah! Hosannah! Hosannah!” And who are they that wait upon him? His poor disciples. They pull the branches from the trees; they cast their garments in the street, and there he rides on—Judah’s royal king. His courtiers are the poor; his pomp is that tribute which grateful hearts delight to offer. O sinners, will you not come to Christ? There is nothing in him to keep you back. You need not say, like Esther did of old, “I will go in unto the king, and if I perish, I perish.” Come and welcome! Come and welcome! Christ is more ready to receive you than you are to come to him. Come to the King!

for meditation: The character of the King should be reflected in the character of his subjects (Matthew 5:3, 5, 10). 3 John 9, 10 describes exactly what is not called for!

sermon no. 265[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 219). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

31 JULY 365 Days with Calvin

Defining our Nature

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

suggested further reading: Genesis 3

It may be useful to note here the differences between Christ and Adam. First, by Adam’s sin we are not condemned through imputation alone, as though we were punished only for the sin of another. Rather, we suffer his punishment because we ourselves are also guilty. As our nature is polluted in Adam, we are regarded by God as having committed sin. But through the righteousness of Christ, we are restored in a different way to salvation; for it is not accepted for us because it is in us, but because we possess Christ himself with all his blessings given to us through the bountiful kindness of the Father. Hence the gift of righteousness is not something that God endows us with, as some absurdly explain, but is a free imputation of righteousness. In this, the apostle plainly declares what he understands by the word grace.

Second, the benefit of Christ does not come to all men. Adam has involved his whole race in condemnation, the reason for which is indeed evident. As the curse we derive from Adam is conveyed to us by nature, it is no wonder that it includes all of humanity. But if we are to participate in the grace of Christ, we must be engrafted in him by faith. To partake of the miserable inheritance of sin, it is enough for us to be human, for sin dwells in all flesh and blood. But to enjoy the righteousness of Christ, it is necessary for us to become believers, for participation in him is attained only by faith.

for meditation: Thomas Goodwin pictured two giants who represent mankind: one is Adam and one is Christ. Every single person is hooked to the belt of one of these two giants. By nature, we are all hooked onto the belt of the first Adam. His fall became our fall. Paul teaches us in Romans 5 that the guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to us and the pollution of his sin is inherited by us. By grace, the Holy Spirit unhooks us from the belt of the first Adam by regeneration and hooks us onto the belt of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ. Christ then becomes our representative head with the Father, and we, by grace, learn to live out of him. To whose belt are you hooked now?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 231). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.