Daily Archives: July 7, 2019

July 7 Totally Accepted

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:1–10

Key Verse: 1 John 4:10

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

While we would like to think that we can avoid rejection from the world, we cannot. However, it is not the world that will save us from ourselves—it is our heavenly Father. And His acceptance is eternal.

Perhaps we feel rejected because someone strongly dislikes what we thought was a good idea. Or maybe rejection comes from our kids or our parents. We struggle to understand why they refuse to accept us.

Whenever those feelings persist, we must recognize and refute them. Jesus understands our feelings of rejection. However, it was His death and resurrection that led to our eternal acceptance. Once we refute those feelings of rejection, it is important to affirm what God speaks over us. In His unfailing love for us, God says this:

  • We are unconditionally loved. He never leaves or forsakes His children. He will forever stand by us.
  • We are completely forgiven. God does not hold our sins over our heads. “This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10 nasb).
  • We are totally accepted. Gaining God’s acceptance is simple: accept His love and forgiveness for our lives. We are complete in Christ. Our searching ends once we enter into relationship with the Lord. Nothing else will ever satisfy us like He does.

Lord, I sometimes feel rejected by people in my life. But I know that in You I have received unconditional love and acceptance.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 198). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 7 Pride

Scripture Reading: Daniel 4

Key Verses: Psalm 73:21–22

My heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.

Nebuchadnezzar thought he had it all. He didn’t need God; he ruled all of Babylon, and all of its finery was at his absolute disposal.

The disturbing dream that Daniel interpreted for him had not come true; he certainly wasn’t living as an animal yet. He stood on the roof of his palace, soaking in the scenery with pleasure. He said aloud with pride: “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built?” (Dan. 4:30 nasb).

The moment the words left his mouth, Nebuchadnezzar knew he’d gone too far. He felt himself drop to his knees. He scrambled about on all fours and ate grass like a cow. No one would come near the wild man with shaggy hair and fingernails like sharp birds’ claws.

Seven years later, at the end of the punishment period God prescribed, the king looked up at the heavens and began giving praise to God. For the once proud ruler, recognizing the truth of God’s sovereignty brought him literal freedom from his beastly affliction.

When you do not acknowledge the Lord’s right to use your life and possessions as He sees fit, God is grieved. Because He loves you, He wants you to honor Him and be submissive to His plans. The king who learned the hard way grasped a tough lesson: “His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Dan. 4:37 nasb).

Precious Lord, take it—this plague of pride. I want to be set free from it because it is one of the things You hate. Let me walk humbly before You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 198). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

July 7 The Fatherhood of God

Scripture reading: Hebrews 12:7–11

Key verse: 1 John 3:1

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

  1. J. I. Packer writes of the significance of the fatherhood of God in his book Knowing God:

“If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child and having God as his father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity well at all.”

Christianity is about family relationship. Once estranged from the fatherly love and presence of God, the believer is adopted into God’s household and interacts with holy God as his heavenly Father. No other religion in the world offers this endearing personal affection.

When you come to God in prayer, you approach a Father who hears the heartbeat of His children and delights in giving them good and wholesome gifts (Matt. 6:6; 7:11).

Your basic needs for a productive, meaningful life on earth are provided by a gracious, caring Father who promises to provide for you, freeing you from distracting worry and draining fears (Matt. 6:24–34). Correction and discipline for the times you sin and err are administered not by a stern celestial sergeant, but a firm, loving, and wise Father who seeks your best interests (Heb. 12:7–11). The great love of the Father is amazingly yours.

Heavenly Father, help me respond properly to Your correction and discipline. Thank You for Your love that seeks my best interests.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 198). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

AOC responds after Newt Gingrich calls her a ‘profoundly vicious, cruel’ liar in scathing op-ed | Conservative News Today

(FILE PHOTO by video screenshots)

Socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken offense to being labeled a liar over her confirmed lies.

On Friday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich published a scathing op-ed excoriating her for lying about virtually everything.

“It took Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s visit to the border — and her dishonest comments afterward — to help me understand how profoundly vicious, cruel and dishonest she is,” he wrote.

“When you look at the larger picture, it is clear that Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is eager and determined to undermine and destroy America as we have known it. When your goals are that radical, lying is simply part of the game. When you despise American values and find the American people ‘deplorable’ and contemptible, lying is perfectly natural.”

The op-ed was published days after AOC and her freshmen peers stormed through several U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facilitates along the border like they owned the place and proceeded to propagate a hash of easily debunked lies about what they’d allegedly seen.

In response to Gingrich’s piece, MSNBC talking head Joe Scarborough suggested that the piece was an indictment of President Donald Trump, not the young congresswoman.

“While trying to attack ⁦@AOC⁩, Newt unwittingly writes a scathing indictment of Donald J. Trump,” he wrote in a tweet shortly after the publication of the former House speaker’s piece.

While trying to attack ⁦@AOC⁩, Newt unwittingly writes a scathing indictment of Donald J. Trump:

“When your goals are that radical, lying is simply part of the game. When you despise American values, lying is perfectly natural.”


— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) July 5, 2019

The tweet was disingenuous, given that unlike Ocasio-Cortez’s goals — which include abolishing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and basically dismantling American society — the president’s agenda is fairly moderate. Even the far-left blog HuffPost has admitted that Trump’s been “governing like a traditional Republican,” not some insane radical.

AOC picked up on and retweeted Scarborough’s tweet shortly thereafter. She made sure to include a sarcastic, disingenuous reply of her own.

Ah yes, now Newt & the GOP are resorting to calling me a liar,” she wrote.”Who else do they call liars? – 96% of scientists who agree on climate change – Millions of Americans they locked up in the War on Drugs – #MeToo survivors.”

So I’ll take it as a compliment. Thanks.

Ah yes, now Newt & the GOP are resorting to calling me a liar.

Who else do they call liars?
– 96% of scientists who agree on climate change
– Millions of Americans they locked up in the War on Drugs
#MeToo survivors

So I’ll take it as a compliment. Thanks. https://t.co/2AXUz5zave

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 5, 2019

This was a clear-cut attempt to conflate wildly separate issues — and a poor attempt, at that.

Regarding scientists, nobody on the right has accused them of being liars. What they have done is push back on the claim by left-wing activists that 97 percent (not 96 percent) of scientists believe climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

Regarding the war on drugs, Republican President Donald Trump is responsible is responsible for signing into law the First Step Act, a bill “aimed at righting racial disparities in drug sentencing,” according to The New York Times.

And regarding #MeToo survivors, a plethora of alleged survivors have in fact been proven to be liars or hucksters, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

As for the president’s latest accuser, E. Jean Carroll, she destroyed her own credibility by making increasingly wild statements, including the claim that Americans think rape is sexy and the unapologetic admission that she used to sexually harass deceased former Fox News boss Roger Ailes.

What AOC has done is taken three separate issues completely out of context and used them to try and discredit the right’s accusation that she’s a liar. Much like every other lie she’s told, it seems so disingenuous.

-“96% of scientists” is a misleading statistics from a SMALL sample size

-Dem favorite Kamala Harris kept inmates locked up over petty drug crimes for cheap labor

And YOUR party made a joke out of sexual assault by using false accusations to take down people you disagree with

— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) July 5, 2019

This, of course, is her whole shtick, as noted last week by conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh.

“After a while, your gig gets old, your schtick no longer shocks, and so you have to keep crossing new lines,” he explained on his program this Wednesday. “And that’s all she’s doing. She’s addicted to getting noticed.”

“Now she runs down there and starts trashing and lying about conditions at the border,” Limbaugh continued. “And the people who administer the people who come into this country illegally. Flat-out lies that the detainees are being forced to drink out of toilets.”

As demonstrated by CBP Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent Roy Villareal in a video uploaded to Twitter on Thursday, detained illegal aliens are not being forced to drink water from toilets. Nor is there anything wrong with the sink water they have access to while in detention:


Limbaugh’s point about Ocasio-Cortez’s “gig” getting old was that she’s been lying from the very beginning. It’s a point that was echoed by former Navy SEAL Rep. Dan Crenshaw during a Fox News interview last Tuesday.

“She’s getting bolder with her lies. … Remember, first there was no crisis at all,” he said to host Martha MacCallum. “Then it was a manufactured crisis, then it was a crisis completely created by Trump, then there were concentration camps, then people are Nazis. Now she’s saying border patrol agents harassed her and forced migrants to drink out of toilets.”

“This is insanity!” he added.

Listen to the whole interview below:

The bottom line is that Ocasio-Cortez is a liar — and no amount of snarky remarks and disingenuous conflations will alter this easily verifiable fact.

Source: AOC responds after Newt Gingrich calls her a ‘profoundly vicious, cruel’ liar in scathing op-ed

Friend of Presidents and Rock Stars: 3 Things to Know About Jeffrey Epstein Amid New Sex Charges | Sputnik International

66-year-old hedge fund manager and convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein was arrested Saturday on multiple counts of alleged sex trafficking and abuse of minors. The billionaire, who received a slap on the wrist sentence for his previous conviction, and is seen by many as a symbol of the corruption of the US criminal justice system.

Little Black Book of Presidents, Rock Stars and Royalty

The list of politicians, monarchs, and celebrities who once called Epstein friends or attended his parties is staggering, with 97 pages from an address book submitted in court in 2015 including the names, phone numbers, home addresses and email addresses of some of the most powerful and influential people in the world.

Featuring prominently in the contact details was former US President Bill Clinton and members of his staff, for whom Epstein had a total of 21 numbers. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who had a public friendship with Epstein, was also on this list, with 16 separate phone numbers for the prince and another 18 for Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson.

Donald Trump’s ex-wife Ivana and daughter Ivanka were also listed in Epstein’s phonebook, with Trump himself known to have attended parties at the billionaire’s estates in the 1990s. In 2002, Trump told New York Magazine Epstein was “a lot of fun to be with” and that “he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

Prince Andrew is seen with Virginia Roberts during a visit to New York with Andrew’s friend and alleged “pimp” Jeffrey Epstein

Other high-profile names in the book included members of the Kennedy family, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles, former US senator George Mitchell, billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson and Rupert Murdoch, designer Tom Ford, rock stars Mick Jagger and Courtney Love, movie stars Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, Elizabeth Hurley, journalist Barbara Walters, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, along with many others.

Some celebrities, including journalists Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos and film director Woody Allen, were known to have attended parties hosted by Epstein even after he was released from jail following his sex crimes conviction in 2008. In 2015, flight logs from Epstein’s private plane, which made regular trips to his private island in the US Virgin Islands, were shown to have flown in other big names to the billionaire’s homes, including well-known attorney Alan Dershowitz, model Naomi Campbell, and former Treasury Secretary and Harvard president Larry Summers.

Slap on the Wrist Jail Term

In 2008, Epstein made a plea deal with Florida prosecutors, pleading guilty to soliciting prostitution from a single underage girl and sentenced to 18 months in prison following a years-long FBI investigation. He went on to serve only 13 months of the sentence, was allowed to leave jail six days a week for work, and was held at a private wing of his Florida prison. After his release, he was subject to a year of house arrest, but allowed to fly back and forth to and from his properties along the Eastern Seaboard.

More Allegations Emerge, Along With Plea Deal Details

In 2015, a 31-year-old woman named Virginia Roberts signed a sworn affidavit stating that she had been held as a ‘sex slave’ by Epstein between 1999 and 2002, beginning when she was 17 years old, and that she had been peddled by the billionaire to several of his friends, including Prince Andrew and Dershowitz. After months of media controversy, Epstein made an out-of-court settlement with Roberts, who accused the FBI of a “major cover-up” to protect Epstein and his friends.

In late 2018, the Miami Herald published a groundbreaking investigation accusing Secretary of Labour Alexander Acosta, who served as the US Attorney for Southern Florida during Epstein’s plea-bargaining negotiations in 2008, of lenient treatment in the billionaire’s plea deal and incarceration.

According to the Herald, Acosta “didn’t just buckle under pressure from Epstein’s lawyers” during the 2008 plea deal agreement, but “worked with them to contain the case –even as the FBI was uncovering evidence of a wider sex trafficking operation.”

Crucially, the newspaper noted, the deal enabled Epstein to avoid federal charges, immunized all co-conspirators from prosecution, and allowed him to settle lawsuits from his close to three dozen alleged victims. Before the deal was reached, the FBI reportedly compiled a 53-page indictment on Epstein’s sex crimes which would have been enough to send him to prison for life.

Donald Trump speaking of his longtime friend Jeffrey Epstein in 2002: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It’s even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” pic.twitter.com/93DktcH9ln

— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) 7 июля 2019 г.


In early 2019, the Department of Justice announced an investigation into the Epstein case, ruling his non-prosecution agreement unconstitutional. Late last month, the DoJ ultimately rejected efforts to throw the plea deal out, upholding its validity.

However, on Saturday night, Epstein was arrested in New York and accused of the trafficking and abuse of dozens of girls he knew were underage at his homes in New York State and Florida between 2002 and 2005. The new indictment against him will be opened in court on Monday.

Attorney David Boies, who represents several of Epstein’s accusers, said Saturday’s arrest has “been a long time coming,” and that it is “an important step toward getting justice for the many victims of Mr. Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise.”

Source: Friend of Presidents and Rock Stars: 3 Things to Know About Jeffrey Epstein Amid New Sex Charges

Report: Christians persecuted in 3 of 4 nations globally | WND

There are some 197 countries around the world.

And in 144 of them, Christians are persecuted, according to a report commissioned by the British government.

There is widespread evidence showing that “today, Christians constitute by far the most widely persecuted religion,” the report said.

It found that “Christians have been harassed in more countries than any other religious group and have suffered harassment in many of the heavily Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”

There are some 245 million Christians living in the top 50 countries for persecution and they suffer “high levels” or worse. Previously, only one country, North Korea, was classified as having “extreme” persecution. Now there are 11 countries.

Turkish journalist Uzay Bulut, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, noted “persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims; it is about their religion.”

In Africa, he said, “various Islamist groups and individuals are attacking and attempting to annihilate Christians for being Christian. If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority.”

The British report is the “Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians.”

The FCO is the nation’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The bishop, the Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, explained: “The Independent Review was announced at Christmas and this Interim Report is published in the Easter season. Both of these great festivals remind us that weakness and vulnerability are at the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ was born into poverty and laid in a feeding-trough. He died as a victim of persecution himself. Given that, it is hardly surprising that many of his followers today count among the weakest and most vulnerable people on the planet. It is to them, to their needs and to their support, that this Interim Report is dedicated.”

He wrote that in addition to Christians being the most targeted, “the evidence suggests that acts of violence and other intimidation against Christians are becoming more widespread.”

The report said that “in some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguable coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide.”

It said the “eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of ‘the sword’ or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, northeast Nigeria and the Philippines.”

“An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of church buildings and church symbols,” the report said.

“The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the church’s structure and leadership. Where these and other incidents meet the tests of genocide, governments will be required to bring perpetrators to justice, aid victims and take preventative measures for the future.”

Christianity, in fact, “now faces the possibility of being wiped out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back further. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent, in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today.”

In some parts of the world, “extrajudicial killings and the enforced and involuntary disappearance of Christians are also widespread,” the report said.

Bulut cited the destruction of a Christian school by Muslims in Uganda, a church in Niger burned by Muslims and terror attacks in Burkina Faso that left 29 Christians dead.

In one incident, the assailants “asked the Christians to convert to Islam but the pastor and the others refused.”

“They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”

He said that terrorist groups are not the only sources of persecution in Africa as many Muslim governments and individuals also target Christians.

Source: Report: Christians persecuted in 3 of 4 nations globally

The Once Red State Of Texas Is Now Purple And On Its Way To Turning Blue As Gays, Transgenders And Illegal Immigrant Voters Having Huge Impact — Now The End Begins

A powerful combination of sociological and demographic forces are propelling Texas from one of the reddest states in the union into a swing blue state.

I am old enough to remember when California was a rock-solid Red State that helped usher Ronald Reagan into the White House back in 1980, and yes, Reagan was the first person I ever voted for. But here in the 21st century, California is a dystopian Liberal state that more and more is coming to resemble a Third World country than the fabled Golden State lauded in stories, songs and movies. You find that a lot in states that are dominated by Liberals and Leftist policies. Now Texas, already a purple state, is flirting with finishing the job of putting lace on the cowboy’s britches.

When Liberals take power, things get bad pretty fast. We’ve already reported to you how California is trying to pass ACR-99, which would make telling gay people about the Bible a crime. Right now, California middle schools are teaching 10-year olds how to use condoms and engage in sodomy. Both the Democrats and the LGBTQ+ are making huge gains in the Lone Star State. If Texas continues its downward trajectory, Trump will have his work cut out for him in 2020.

Dallas to install LGBTQ-themed rainbow crosswalks in Oak Lawn

Ten rainbow crosswalks are set to come to Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood, the historic heart of the city’s LGBTQ scene. The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the crosswalk project as a small part of $1.4 million in street improvements on Cedar Springs Road between Douglas and Oak Lawn avenues.

But the colorful walkways will send a big message, said council member Omar Narvaez, who is openly gay.

“We will be showing not just the residents of Dallas but the entire world that the city of Dallas is a welcoming community,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano, who represents Oak Lawn, said the street improvements also will include a gateway monument that identifies the neighborhood with rainbow lights. Cedar Springs has long served as the city’s safe space for LGBTQ residents. Until this year, the road was home to the city’s pride parade. READ MORE

Texas May Be ‘Blue Enough’ To Give Trump Trouble In 2020

FROM THE HILL: There is a significant and growing probability that Texas will become the most consequential swing state in presidential and senatorial elections to come. A campaign in the Lone Star State could cost President Trump the White House next year, even if Texas voters will ultimately choose him.

A powerful combination of demographic forces are propelling Texas from one of the reddest states in the union into a swing state. Democrats will likely make an outside play in Texas ahead of 2020, along with a full run for its projected 41 electoral votes. Texas also stands to gain three seats in Congress after the next census, making it a crucial state for both parties.

Texas demographics today are strikingly similar to those of California in 1990, before Democrats began their seven to nothing streak of Golden State victories in presidential races. Like California in 1990, the Texas population currently hovers around 29 million and is changing rapidly in light of heavy immigration from Mexico. The second generation children of Mexican immigrants have played a major role in keeping California out of Republican reach. This same transformation is taking root in Texas.

Immigration has already had a very tangible impact on Texas politics. While illegal immigrants cannot vote, their children born in the United States are indeed citizens and make up a significant share of the new generation of voters in the southern state. There are around 35 percent of Texans under the age of 18 who are the children of immigrants, a figure that has nearly doubled in the last 30 years. This carries weight.

Young Texas voters overwhelmingly turned out for Beto O’Rourke over incumbent Ted Cruz in the Senate race last year. O’Rourke beat Cruz with 18 year olds to 24 year olds by a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent and with 25 year olds to 29 year olds by a margin of 73 percent to 26 percent. O’Rourke also outperformed the traditional edge Democrats already have among Texas Latino voters by a wide margin of 64 percent to 35 percent.

With these second generation Mexican Americans strongly supporting Democrats at the polls, Texas changing to a purple state could not happen at a more inconvenient time for Trump. His margin in the state in 2016 was the smallest for a Republican nominee since the poor showing of Bob Dole in Texas in 1996. Considering the immense and enduring new wave of left leaning voters that O’Rourke attracted, there is a real chance that Texas will be close enough in 2020 that Republicans cannot take it for granted. READ MORE

Tucker: Voter fraud benefits Democrats, why they want Texas

via The Once Red State Of Texas Is Now Purple And On Its Way To Turning Blue As Gays, Transgenders And Illegal Immigrant Voters Having Huge Impact — Now The End Begins

ABC Hides Trump Approval Surge With Voters, Says He’s in Trouble | Weasel Zippers


Of course. Didn’t they say he was in trouble in October 2016?

Via Newsbusters:

Overnight, ABC News and The Washington Post released a poll that they probably didn’t want to see. According to their findings, President Trump’s job approval rating surged five points among “voting age Americans” to 44 percent since April, the highest their poll had ever uncovered. But, there was even better news for the President that went unreported during ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday.

In The Post’s reporting on the poll, they admitted that “among registered voters” Trump’s job approval also surged five points to 47 percent, while Trump’s disapproval fell four points to 50 percent. The distinction between the two numbers was that the latter regarded the people more likely to vote in an election.

Despite that five-point jump, ABC was intent on spinning the rest of the findings as a bad sign for the President going forward. According to correspondent Rachel Scott:

Keep reading…

Source: ABC Hides Trump Approval Surge With Voters, Says He’s in Trouble

Bill Clinton Flew On Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ More Than 2 Dozen Times | The Federalist Papers

If President Donald Trump decides to get out of politics someday he could have a future in the predictions game.

After the arrest of convicted pedophile and alleged sex slave trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on Saturday many are wondering what involvement, if any, former President Bill Clinton had.

But President Trump is not wondering, because, at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, he made his prediction when asked about the former president.

“Nice guy, got a lot of problems coming up, in my opinion, with the famous island with Jeffrey Epstein,” he said at the event.

Epstein’s arrest came after a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Wednesday decided to uncover the details of his sordid sex secrets, The New York Daily News reported.

An Appeals Court has ordered that potentially explosive documents linked to the Jeffrey Epstein case be unsealed, while asking the media to “exercise restraint.”

In a 27-page decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the public’s right of access to court papers overrides the privacy concerns of certain individuals.

The records will not be made public immediately. Mystery litigants in favor of keeping them sealed have roughly two weeks to file a formal request asking that all the 2nd Circuit judges consider their arguments.

Should Epstein serve life in prison?

The documents were filed in a mostly-secret case pitting alleged Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre against the multi-millionaire’s alleged madam, Ghislane Maxwell.

The contentious case is believed to feature salacious allegations about the sex habits of Epstein’s famous friends. The disgraced hedge fund manager once socialized with the likes of Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen and President Trump. He was allowed to plead guilty in 2008 to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution, despite evidence of an international sex trafficking operation.

The decision and arrest came more than a decade after Epstein got a sweetheart deal to avoid major prison time for his crimes.

But what many have overlooked is that former President Bill Clinton, along with celebrities like Kevin Spacey, were on Epstein’s plane, named the Lolita Express more than two dozens times.

And what is more, when they took the plane to Epstein’s private island, the former president ditched his Secret Service protection, Fox News reported.

“[T]rips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including ‘Tatiana,’” it said.

“The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”

“Bill Clinton … associated with a man like Jeffrey Epstein, who everyone in New York, certainly within his inner circles, knew was a pedophile,” Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking spokesperson Conchita Sarnoff said. “Why would a former president associate with a man like that?

Source: Bill Clinton Flew On Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’ More Than 2 Dozen Times

Friend of the Clintons or Trump’s pal? Media war erupts after Epstein’s arrest | RT

Billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on fresh sex trafficking charges has ignited a media war, with outlets on each side of the spectrum rushing to tie their political opponents to the notorious pedophile.

Having already served 13 months in an ‘open-door’ prison for abusing scores of underage girls after striking a non-prosecution agreement in 2007, Epstein was arrested in New York on Saturday evening. Facing one count of sex trafficking of minors and another of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, the 66-year-old could serve up to 45 years behind bars if convicted.

The sealed indictment reportedly details a litany of molestation, abuse, and trafficking of dozens of girls, some as young as 14.

Also on rt.com Billionaire Epstein arrested on child sex trafficking charges, faces 45 years in prison – report

A rich and connected man, Epstein rubbed shoulders with presidents, business moguls, Hollywood stars, and even British royalty. In the wake of his arrest, partisan media outlets jumped at the chance to tie their opponents to the disgraced billionaire.

Left-leaning Newsweek called Epstein a “longtime friend” of President Donald Trump, while Raw Story called him a “Trump pal.”The Independent described him as a “former friend of Trump,” while the Huffington Post highlighted a 2002 quote by Trump calling Epstein a “terrific guy” who likes his women “on the younger side.”

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” – Donald Trump, 2002 https://t.co/3pbKrcFdn6

— Tim O’Brien (@TimOBrien) July 7, 2019

The sex offender was a regular at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club for several years. Trump also reportedly hitched a ride from Florida to New York at least once on his private jet, according to a 2009 deposition from Epstein’s brother Mark. Though Trump’s legal team have insisted the president knew nothing of his horrifying behavior, Trump barred his supposed “friend” from Mar-a-Lago after he discovered “Epstein sexually assaulted an underage girl at the club,” according to court documents filed by Florida lawyer Bradley Edwards.

After news broke on Saturday, the right had accusations of their own. In a mirror image of the left’s coverage, PJ Media called Epstein “Bill Clinton’s billionaire friend.” Fox News also described him as “friends” with Bill Clinton, while the Gateway Pundit went a step further, claiming without evidence that Epstein flew Clinton to “Orgy Island,” a private island off the coast of Puerto Rico where the billionaire allegedly carried out much of his abuse.

A host of conservative commentators on Twitter also shouted the connection.

A lot of Epstein supporters are saying that Trump was Epstein’s friend.

But they won’t follow up their tweets that Clinton flew down to Orgy Island with Epstein

Trump did not. LOL.

— 🔥 Wayne Dupree 🔥 (@WayneDupreeShow) July 7, 2019

Epstein connections are wild.

Court filings say Trump banned Jeffrey Epstein from Mar-a-Lago because Epstein sexually assaulted a minor.

Bill Clinton flew on Epstein’s plane 26x during the time period Jeffrey’s arrested for trafficking during, many times without Secret Service.

— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) July 7, 2019

Stories of Clinton’s supposedly sordid connection with Epstein have circulated on the right for years. Fox News revealed in 2016 that Clinton had flown on Epstein’s jet – dubbed the “Lolita Express,” at least 26 times, reportedly ditching his secret service detail for at least five of these flights. A former pilot told a Florida court in 2009 that Clinton had indeed flown on the plane “ten or twenty times,” while one of Epstein’s alleged accomplices pleaded the fifth when asked if she had seen Clinton aboard the Boeing 727.

Such allegations surfaced during the 2016 presidential race. In a bid to throw dirt at Hillary Clinton, then-Chairman of the Republican National Convention Reince Priebus demanded records of Bill Clinton’s encounters with the sex criminal.

Also on rt.com Feds broke law in hush-hush Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking plea deal, Florida judge rules

“When you hang out with a guy who has a reputation like Jeffrey Epstein, multiple times, on private jets, on weekends, on trips, on places at least where it’s been reported not very good things happen, it would be good to know what our former president was doing,” Priebus told Bloomberg in 2015.

For the moment, Epstein’s downfall has not brought with it any household names from the worlds of politics, business, and entertainment. However, as the case against him progresses, the embattled pedophile could come under pressure to give up friends on either side to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison.

Source: Friend of the Clintons or Trump’s pal? Media war erupts after Epstein’s arrest

Sunday Talks – Cuccinelli: “Pool For Deportation Removal Exceeds One Million People”… — The Last Refuge

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, battles through the manipulative ‘open-border’ narrative of CBS Margaret Brennan to discuss ICE removals, border conditions, and asylum laws:


How the heck did never-Trump leader Ken Cuccinelli end up with a position in this administration? This is the same guy who tried to lead a 2016 convention effort to change the rules and remove Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

via Sunday Talks – Cuccinelli: “Pool For Deportation Removal Exceeds One Million People”… — The Last Refuge

Epstein Was Banned From Mar-a-Lago Club After Soliciting Teen, Trump Provided Info Against Epstein To Lawyer For Victims | Weasel Zippers

With the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein, it’s prompting some to look at the association he had with people like Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

Yes, Trump knew Epstein, he was a neighbor and hung out at Mar-a-Lago. But there were some fundamental facts being left out of the equation.

When Epstein apparently tried to solicit a Mar-a-Lago employee who was around 18 years old, Trump/Mar-a-Lago banned him, according to Page Six in 2007.

Meanwhile, the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach last night confirmed a Web site report that Epstein has been banned there. “He would use the spa to try to procure girls. But one of them, a masseuse about 18 years old, he tried to get her to do things,” a source told us. “Her father found out about it and went absolutely ape-[bleep]. Epstein’s not allowed back.”

And when the lawyer for some of the victims, Brad Edwards was subpoenaing people and trying to get information, he said Trump was one of the only people who voluntarily talked to him in 2009, provided information and helped him in the case against Epstein.

You can see the lawyer here, starting around 5:44, talking about how Trump helped him and the victims.

“He is the only person who picked up the phone and said, ‘Let’s just talk, I’ll give you as much time as you want, I’ll tell you what you need to know and was very helpful in the information that he gave and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever. But had good information, that checked out and that helped us.”

According to Radar Online, Edwards said it was obvious Trump wasn’t involved.

“During the conversation, Mr. Trump was open and forthright,” Edwards said. “I cannot discuss the substance of the conversation. But I will say that it was obvious to me that he was in no way involved in any untoward activity.”

Meanwhile, logs show that Bill Clinton rode on the ‘Lolita Express’ at least 26 times.

Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

And Virginia Roberts, who is one of Epstein’s alleged victims, said she saw Clinton at Epstein’s estate on Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the place some have referred to as “Orgy Island.” According to Fox, the logs do not show anything about Clinton going to the island.

Source: Epstein Was Banned From Mar-a-Lago Club After Soliciting Teen, Trump Provided Info Against Epstein To Lawyer For Victims

The Langugage of God: Earthquakes

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata
This is an updated version of an essay I published in June 2010.

In looking at ways God has spoken to us in the past and of the ways He has promised to speak to us in the future, we discover God’s vocabulary. Among other ways that He has spoken to us, part of His language included fire and brimstone, hail, lightning, and earthquakes. The writer of Hebrews wrote in verses 1:1-2, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”

God has promised to speak to us again via earthquakes and this article explores the ways the LORD shakes us when He wants our attention.

Here is Ray Comfort’s response…

View original post 1,216 more words

July 7, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

“So Send I You”

John 20:21

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

The last two chapters of John contain what I have called “the real last words of Christ.” Spoken after the resurrection, as opposed to those more commonly discussed words spoken from the cross, they are words of encouragement, instruction, and promise: “Peace be with you” (20:19); “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (20:21); “Receive the Holy Spirit” (20:22); “Stop doubting and believe” (20:27); “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (20:29); “Feed my sheep” (21:16–17: cf. v. 15); “Follow me” (21:19; cf. v. 22).

Our text contains the second of these last words, though, as we will note, it follows quite closely upon the first and leads to the third. It is John’s version of the Great Commission.

The Great Commission occurs five times in the New Testament, once at the end of each of the four Gospels and once in the opening chapter of Acts. The repetition is significant. Anything God says is important; if something is repeated more than once, it is especially important. Besides, in each case the emphasis is different. Matthew emphasizes the authority of the Lord. Standing on a mountain, presumably looking out over numerous towns and villages, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (28:18–19). In Mark the emphasis is on the final judgment: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; but whoever does not will be condemned” (16:16). Luke presents the commission as the fulfillment of prophecy: “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day; and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (24:46–47). Acts presents a program for world evangelization: “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (1:8).

These words are drawn from a variety of circumstances and were spoken to a variety of people. John’s version is unique in that it is probably the first expression of this command and links our commissioning to the prior commissioning of our Lord.

Peace Be with You

John’s words are linked to the first of the seven last words, which occurs just two verses before. Lest we miss this connection, John repeats it in the verse which is our text. The full text says, “Peace be with you. As my Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

This is not accidental. In fact, the reason is apparent. It is simply that we must ourselves have peace, both inwardly and outwardly, before we can effectively preach the gospel of peace to others. There are two kinds of peace involved here, as we saw in our last study. The first is peace with God achieved by the death of the Lord on our behalf. In ourselves we are not at peace with God. We are at war with God. But Christ has made peace by bearing the punishment due us for our sins. In bestowing this peace he provides us with forgiveness of sins and the assurance of it. The second peace is the peace of God. The disciples were cowering in an upper room. They were afraid, but Jesus told them to have no fear but rather to be of good courage. They were in hiding, but he told them to abandon their shelter and go out into the world as his missionaries. Christ’s words seem to be the opposite of the disciples’ experience. But they are reasonable because of who it is who speaks them. He is the risen Lord. He was arrested, beaten, crucified. But he rose again. It is as the One who has been triumphant over death and sin that he now speaks peace to his followers.

John Stott writes of this passage, “We learn then that the Church’s very first need, before it can begin to engage in evangelism, is an experience and an assurance of Christ’s peace—peace of conscience through his death that banishes sin, peace of mind through his resurrection that banishes doubt.… Once we are glad that we have seen the Lord, and once we have clearly recognized him as our crucified and risen Savior, then nothing and no one will be able to silence us.”

Into the World

The gift of peace is not the characteristic emphasis of this verse, however. Instead, as we have already indicated, the emphasis is on the connection between our commissioning and the commissioning of the Lord Jesus Christ by his Father. These words are a command to evangelize, but they are more than this; they establish a pattern for us as we evangelize. The key words are “as” and “so”—“As my Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” They mean that our mission in the world is to be patterned on Christ’s. He was the first missionary; our labors are to be conducted like his.

But what does that mean specifically? The first thing it means is that, as Jesus was sent “into the world,” so also are we sent “into the world.” This context is not made explicit in John 20, but it is clearly stated in that verse from Christ’s high priestly prayer which is a close parallel to it. There Jesus says, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). This is the principle of incarnation, the principle of becoming one with those we would help. Think how significant it is that Jesus came “into the world.” It means that he did not stay in heaven, though he certainly could have. It means that he did not shout words of salvation to us from the safety of heaven’s ramparts. Having determined to come down to us, he did not even then come in the effulgence of his divine glory but rather divested himself of that glory and appeared in humble form. In fact, he did not even appear in a human disguise, which is what the Gnostics taught, but actually became a human being, just like us. He was born; he grew; he suffered; eventually he died.

That is what it means to come “into the world.” Since this is the way Jesus came into the world, this is the way we are to come also. We are to become one with those to whom we are sent. If we do not, we fail in carrying out the spirit even if not the letter of the Lord’s commission.

Most of us are guilty at precisely this point, and the evangelical church in particular is guilty. We have retreated from the world rather than invading the world. We have retreated to the suburbs or whatever our equivalent may be. Schools, churches, magazines, institutions, individuals—many have done this. They have retreated to where it is nice or safe or nonthreatening, and as far as one can tell from their actions, what they are actually saying is that the world can go to hell. Shame on us! We spend millions of dollars to send faithful women and men overseas to tell the Good News there. But we will not go to our cities or neighbors if to do so costs us comfort or prestige.

Here is John Stott’s statement of the problem. “I personally believe that our failure to obey the implications of this command is the greatest weakness of evangelical Christians in the field of evangelism today. We do not identify. We believe so strongly (and rightly) in proclamation, that we tend to proclaim our message from a distance. We sometimes appear like people who shout advice to drowning men from the safety of the seashore. We do not dive in to rescue them. We are afraid of getting wet, and indeed of greater perils than this. But Jesus Christ did not broadcast salvation from the sky. He visited us in great humility.… We cannot give up preaching, for proclamation is of the essence of salvation. Yet true evangelism, evangelism that is modeled on the ministry of Jesus, is not proclamation without identification any more than it is identification without proclamation. Evangelism involves both together.”

Stott continues, “Frankly, this is my own greatest dilemma and problem as a parish minister. I love to preach the Gospel—to those who will listen to it. I find no greater joy in any ministerial activity than in the exposition of God’s Word, whether to believers or to unbelievers, who come to Church (or even to open-air services) to hear it. But how are we to identify with the people of the parish who will not hear? That is the problem. How can we become so one with secular men and women, as Christ became one with us, that we express and demonstrate our love for them, and win a right to share with them the good news of Christ?”

Do not think that I have a simple answer to this. I do not. I am ready to confess that this is also a great problem (and failure) for me as well. But while I do not know the full answer, I do know this: We are not really fulfilling the Great Commission until we live with, befriend, love, and enter into the experiences of those to whom we are sent.

If we are going to go into the world as Christ was in the world, we are going to have to learn how to become friends with unbelievers and then work out the issues of life by their side.

To Save Sinners

The second area in which our mission is to be patterned on the mission of Jesus is its purpose. We are sent into the world as Christ was sent into the world—that is context. But why are we sent into the world?—that is purpose. It is seen in Paul’s solemn affirmation to Timothy: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Tim. 1:15). Christ came into the world to save sinners. And so must we, if we would be faithful to his commission.

This can be applied profitably on two levels. First, our purpose must actually be to see others saved and not merely to fulfill our duty as witnesses by unloading a certain presentation of the gospel on them. It is true that we cannot save anyone and that our duty in one sense is simply to be Christ’s witnesses. We are to share the gospel with others whether they believe or not, knowing that ultimately the drawing of the unbeliever to Christ is God’s doing. But this does not mean that we have no interest in whether or not they will believe or that we should not use every means at our disposal to see that they do. Do we talk too much? Perhaps. But it can never be that we overidentify or overwork while waiting for Christ to be formed in others by God.

Jesus said, “No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44). But that did not prevent him from doing everything in his power to teach others and persuade them of the truth of the gospel.

The second way in which the verse may be applied is by stressing the word “sinners.” In the first case, we stressed the word “save” (“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”). Now we must say, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Those who consider themselves theologians may be raising the objection, “But aren’t all of us sinners?” Of course, that is true. But I remember as well that our Lord once said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matt. 9:13). Jesus had been eating in the house of Matthew, the tax collector, and many of Matthew’s low friends had come to eat with him. The Pharisees had rebuked Jesus for associating with such people. They thought that it was beneath his dignity as a distinguished rabbi. Jesus did not buy this line of reasoning. Instead, he taught that it was precisely to such persons that he was sent.

That is what I am talking about. I am saying that if we would go into the world as Christ went into the world, we must go to such people. Someone has defined a banker as a man who lends money to those who can prove they do not need it and refuses to lend money to those who do. That may be an unfair appraisal of the banking industry, but it is accurate where the philosophy of the world is concerned. The world gives to those who can give back—with interest. It expends praise, kindness, and generosity on those who do not need them. But this is not Christ’s way. He went to the bankrupt. If this is his way, it must be ours also.

What would Jesus say if he were here to instruct us? He would say, “When you invite someone to dinner, invite someone who will not be able to invite you back.” He would say, “Feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe him who has nothing; visit the prisoner. None of these are in a position to return the favor.”

There is one more thing that comes from Paul’s statement. It is an explanation of why we do not naturally think as Christ thinks. Notice that when Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” he went on to add “of whom I am chief.” Jesus came to save sinners. Paul likewise went to sinners, and the reason Paul went is that he knew he was one of them. In fact, he was the chief. That suggests why we do not go. We think we are better than others and are concerned to maintain our position. We feel that we would have to stoop to save sinners, and we do not want to do it. Jesus had to stoop. He laid a real glory aside in order to become man and die for our salvation (Phil. 2:5–8). We do not have to stoop. We are beggars among beggars. Our task is that of one beggar telling another where to find bread. When we get that into our heads we will actually go to those who really need us and help them as the Lord did.

Glorified in Them

Not only is our mission to be like that of the Lord in its context and purpose, it is to be like his in its goal as well. What is that goal? Well, in John 17, in the midst of that prayer in which the Lord intercedes for us in regard to the lives we are to live in this world, Jesus said first, “I have brought you glory on earth,” and then a little later added, “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them” (vv. 4, 10). These verses and others teach that the ultimate goal of Jesus’ coming was to glorify the Father, that is, to make his glory known. Then, because our goal is to be patterned on his, they likewise teach that we are to glorify Jesus by our thoughts, words, and actions.

This is our mission: (1) We are to go into the world, as Jesus entered into the world; (2) We are to go so that people might be saved through faith in him; (3) We are to glorify Christ, as he glorified the Father.

Some years ago Peter K. Haile, assistant headmaster of the Stony Brook School on Long Island, told a story that illustrates this point and gives a closing challenge. He had a missionary friend, a woman doctor, who went to India on rather short notice because of a pressing need in a certain hospital. She had not had time to go to language school but instead was put to work in the hospital immediately, where she spoke through an interpreter. After she had been there a while she wrote to the Hailes expressing frustration and discouragement. She had been trying to show love and gentleness to the people, but they did not seem to be responding. She asked them to pray about it. A few weeks later another letter came, this time saying that she had discovered what the problem was. It was the translator. She had been loving, but he was apparently a rude, arrogant fellow who never conveyed her concern for the patients at all. He was a barrier to her message.

We are interpreters of the Lord Jesus Christ in this world. What is the picture of Jesus that others have through our speech and actions? What picture do they have of him in me? Do they see his glory? Or do they see my lack of concern, pride, and impatience? May God make us interpreters for Christ who present him as he truly is.[1]

The Crucified Christ Preaching

John 20:19–21

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)

Preachers have long celebrated the seven sayings of Jesus spoken on the cross, sometimes referring to these as the last words of our Lord. That description is misleading, however, since Jesus had much to say after he rose from the grave. For this reason, some commentators speak of the “real last words of Christ,” the statements recorded by John during Jesus’ postresurrection appearances in chapters 20 and 21. These sayings include Jesus’ benediction of peace (John 20:19–21), John’s version of the Great Commission (20:21), Jesus’ command for Thomas to believe (20:27), Christ’s benediction on those who will believe without having seen him (20:29), his command for the disciples to “feed my sheep” (21:17), and his final exhortation to “follow me” (21:19). These are all vitally important sayings of the Lord, all the more so because of their having been spoken in the period after Christ’s resurrection.

Important as the postresurrection sayings are, Jesus’ own emphasis was expressed not in words but actions: “he showed them his hands and his side” (John 20:20; see also 20:27). A similar emphasis on the cross is seen in Luke’s record of Jesus’ ministry to the downcast Emmaus road disciples. Jesus urged them: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26).

By noting Jesus’ emphasis, we are helped to understand the relationship of the resurrection to the crucifixion. It is the resurrected and living Christ who comes with power to bring us to faith. That faith is to be focused on his atoning death, which Jesus presents as the source of every blessing to those who believe. This priority is found throughout the New Testament. Paul summed up the apostles’ ministry, saying, “We preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). How appropriate, then, that in his record of Jesus’ postresurrection ministry, John presents our Lord as the crucified Christ preaching.

Christ in the Midst

Having focused in the previous passage on the events of the resurrection morning, John now advances to the evening of that most pivotal of days. “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week” (John 20:19), John tells us about Jesus’ appearance to the gathered disciples and the cross-centered message that Jesus brought.

Speaking of the resurrection Sunday, the disciples unwittingly began a practice that Christians observe today: meeting together on the first day—the resurrection day—of the week. Luke’s parallel account informs us that included in this gathering were “the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,” presumably including the faithful women. Also included were the two Emmaus road disciples, who had returned to Jerusalem after conversing with Jesus on the road. They reported: “ ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:33–35).

We can imagine the amazed wonder and confusion that marked this gathering. John’s eyewitness record specifies that the doors were “locked … for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19). So violent were the impressions of the crucifixion that even this gathering to hear reports from those who had seen Jesus alive was marked with fear and dread. Might they be arrested—especially now that Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb—and might they suffer a similar fate as their Lord? Still, merely gathering as Jesus’ disciples was an act of faith. John Calvin comments: “This example is worthy of notice; for, though they are less courageous than they ought to have been still they do not give way to their weakness … but they gather courage so as to remain together.” Many Christians today, living under government persecution, continue to meet secretly and in fear. They, like the disciples gathered on the resurrection Sunday, will find that Christ cannot be kept from joining his people in their need.

It is not hard to imagine these disciples casting anxious glances at the locked door, perhaps starting at passing footfalls in the street. A knock at the door announced the Emmaus road disciples, who then gave their remarkable account of conversing with Jesus and hearing his scriptural explanation for the cross and resurrection. Luke says that it was while this report was being made that the most amazing visitor of all arrived. John writes: “Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’ ” (John 20:19).

The clear impression given by John’s account is that Jesus appeared to the disciples without entering the door. This would be impossible for a normal human body, but Jesus now possessed a gloriously resurrected body. This same body, having earlier passed through the graveclothes in the tomb, appeared among the disciples seemingly out of thin air. F. B. Meyer summarizes the facts: “He was not subject to all the laws that govern our physical life. He could pass freely through unopened doors, and at will He could manifest Himself, speak, stand, and walk, or subject Himself to physical sense.”

Luke’s Gospel specifies that Jesus’ resurrected form was a true, though marvelously transformed, physical body. He notes that the disciples “were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit” (Luke 24:37), so Jesus showed them his hands and feet to prove that this was the same body that had been crucified. “Touch me, and see,” he said. “For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (24:39). Jesus even ate a piece of broiled fish to prove that his body was real. This being the case, any theory of Christ’s resurrection body that considers it to have lost a finite, human form is disproved. The Gospels’ evidence rules out, for instance, the Roman Catholic idea that Jesus’ body took on such divine attributes as infinity, which is necessary to the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, whereby millions of people may eat Jesus’ literal flesh in the ritual of the Mass.

Furthermore, there is an organic connection between Christ’s postresurrection body and the bodies that we will possess after Christ returns. In his first letter, John says that in our resurrection, “we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). Paul states that our raised bodies, having borne the curse of sin in Adam, will in Christ bear resurrection glory: “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49). Believers do not receive new bodies in the resurrection, but rather our old, corrupt, and mortal bodies are gloriously renewed, Paul describing them with words such as “imperishable … glory … power … a spiritual body … [and] immortal” (1 Cor. 15:42–45, 53).

Jesus appeared not only to prove that he was raised and living, but also to deliver a message: “Peace be with you” (John 20:19). The traditional Hebrew greeting, shalom, offered the blessing of God’s rich peace. Coming from Jesus’ lips on this occasion, the blessing of peace brought relief to the disciples. Since their last gathering, perhaps in this same room, the disciples had failed Jesus miserably. Peter had denied him, and the others had forsaken him. Would Jesus now reject them or subject them to bitter reproach? A. W. Pink writes: “Well might He have said, ‘Shame upon you!’ But, instead He says, ‘Peace be unto you.’ He would remove from their hearts all fear which His sudden and unannounced appearance might have occasioned.… Having put away their sins He could now remove their fears.”

Having appeared and spoken his benediction of peace, Jesus “showed them his hands and his side” (John 20:20). Showing his wounds proved that this glorious visitor was the very Lord they had known and seen crucified. George Beasley-Murray comments that “the Crucified is the risen Lord, in the fullest sense of the term, and the risen Lord is the Crucified, the flesh and blood Redeemer, whose real death and real resurrection accomplished salvation.”

The Source of Peace

It is noteworthy that Jesus’ resurrection did not remove the marks of crucifixion from his body. Jesus considered these wounds to be a vital part of his resurrection glory and essential for his saving ministry for his people. George Hutcheson comments: “Christ, even in his exaltation, looks upon his sufferings for his people as his crown and glory; therefore did he rise again with his pierced hands and side … and retained these prints … in his state of exaltation.” Having presented these wounds to his followers, Jesus pointed out three glorious realities that flow to his people through his atoning death.

First, Jesus announced the blessing of peace for those who believe in him. “Peace be with you,” he said in greeting the disciples. Jesus then “showed them his hands and his side” and repeated his words of blessing, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19–21). Before departing for the cross, Jesus had promised, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (14:27). Now Jesus shows what he has done to provide that peace. Jesus’ “Peace be with you” on Easter evening is the counterpart to his words, “It is finished,” spoken on the cross.

Through his sacrificial death in our place, Jesus provides peace with God through the forgiveness of our sins. The marks on Christ’s body proclaimed that God’s just wrath against our sins has been satisfied by Jesus’ death. In biblical terms, Jesus offered a propitiation on our behalf: that is, the cross exhausted the fury of God’s holy anger toward our sins, receiving the full punishment that we deserved by our violations of God’s law. Paul expressed these truths in the pivotal statement of his letter to the Romans: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom. 3:23–25).

The book of Revelation, in which John opened a window for us to see the worship of heaven, presents Christ’s saving death as the defining act by which God’s saving reign of peace is forever established. John describes the hushed awe of mighty angels as Jesus appears in glory as “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6). Falling on their faces, the heavenly congregation sings rapturously before the Lamb of God: “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (5:9). Heaven had wept at the breaking of God’s peace through sin, but now heaven rejoices because there is peace with God for sinners through the atoning blood of his holy Son. Here on earth we have equal reasons to rejoice in the wounds that Jesus displayed to his disciples. Paul explained that since we are justified through faith in God’s Son, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

In addition to affording us peace with God, Jesus’ death offers believers the peace of God to dwell in our hearts. This is what Jesus had in mind when he promised his disciples, “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27). This is God’s own peace dwelling in our souls. Paul wrote of this blessing as belonging to believers who turn to God in prayer: “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). Jesus’ peace is not like that of the world—“Not as the world gives do I give to you,” he said (John 14:27). To the world, peace is merely the temporary cessation of hostility. A fragile truce is the only kind of peace known to the nations of our world, and often even our closest personal relationships are corrupted by sin. In contrast, Jesus offers a divine peace that comes from knowing that our acceptance in God’s love has been secured by Jesus’ sacrifice and that God’s blessing of spiritual provision has been secured through our union with Christ in faith.

Do you know the peace that flows from Christ’s wounds on the cross? If you have not looked to Jesus in faith, trusting his blood to cleanse your sins, then you have no legitimate hope for peace with God and no access to the peace that God gives through the ministry of his Word and in prayer. “Peace be with you,” Jesus declared to his disciples, showing forth the wounds of his cross. Having died for sin, Jesus offers everyone his peace through faith in his atoning blood.

The Source of Joy

Verse 20 speaks of a second blessing that flows from Jesus’ wounds and results from the peace that he gives: the blessing of joy. John recounts: “He showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” The disciples rejoiced both in the proof that Jesus was alive through his resurrection and in the display of the wounds that had redeemed them from their sins.

It is important for Christians to live with godly joy. We are to embrace all of God’s saving gifts and give God glory through our rejoicing in his grace. Paul wrote that we can even “rejoice in our sufferings,” since we know that in Christ our suffering leads to endurance, “and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” all “because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:3–5).

It is Christ’s intention that those who know their sins forgiven by his cross should live with great joy in the Lord. The situation for most Christians today, however, is illustrated by a king who commanded his subjects to come to his palace and bring their best bags. His subjects were confused and alarmed, wondering why the king wanted their bags. Many of them, resenting the command, brought their smallest bags or even bags filled with large holes. When they arrived at the palace, however, the king did not take their bags from them but invited them to enter his treasury and fill their bags with gold to take home. Those who had brought their largest bags to offer the king went home with an abundance of treasure, while those who came resentfully went home with little from the king. This is how it works for Christians coming to God and his gift of peace and joy. Those who withhold themselves from God gain little of his treasures, while those who open wide their lives for the praise and service of God end up greatly enriched with an abundance of rejoicing.

John’s brief statement shows how we can find the joy that Jesus offers. Jesus had offered peace and showed his followers the wounds of his cross. “Then,” John says, “the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20). The Puritan Thomas Goodwin writes that “when a believer, though but by faith, seeth the Lord Jesus Christ … it begets a joy which is unspeakable.… All the joys in this world are mean things, things that men shall be ashamed of, but this … is a magnific joy … full of glory.” It was the sight, by faith, of Christ and his peace-winning wounds that sent Charles Wesley’s heart soaring in song:

Arise, my soul, arise, shake off your guilty fears;

The bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears:

Before the throne my Surety stands, before the throne my Surety stands,

My name is written on his hands.

The Source of Mission

The third consequence of Christ’s atoning death is the commissioning of his disciples to the missionary work of his gospel. “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you’ ” (John 20:21). We should see this as a natural progression of Christ’s saving work in a sinner’s life. His atonement grants peace, and that peace fills a Christian with supernatural joy. It is out of that joy that we go to the world, bearing the news of Christ’s peace to everyone that we can.

The question is sometimes raised: what gives Christians the right to go about proclaiming their Savior’s message and calling others to reject their former beliefs so as to trust in Jesus? The answer is that Christ has commissioned his followers to proclaim his gospel to the world, calling all to faith in him. As he was sent by the Father, now believers are sent by Jesus to proclaim his gospel to the world. Leon Morris writes: “The church … is a group of people who have been saved by Christ’s saving death and resurrection and who, on the basis of that death and resurrection have been commissioned to bring the message of salvation to sinners everywhere.”

Some think that since John says that believers are sent by Jesus “as the Father has sent me” (John 20:21), then Christians are to model our ministry on the kinds of miracles that Jesus performed, or at least on social activism that is designed to implement his ethics. It is true, of course, that good deeds and works of mercy should commend our witness, yet the Gospels place their emphasis on our proclaiming the message of Jesus and his salvation. Luke’s version of the commission that Jesus gave elaborates on what he did and what we now are to do: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46–47). Atoning death and life-giving resurrection are Christ’s chief works. Our chief work is to proclaim the forgiveness and renewal that Christ offers to all who believe.

There is, however, an important consideration for us in the word sent. Jesus was sent into the world, and now he has sent believers into the world. We therefore dare not stand aloof from the world or be unconcerned for its troubles. Christians are to be involved in the world as life-preserving salt, and we are to shine in the midst of the world with the saving light of Jesus’ gospel (see Matt. 5:13–16). By his incarnation, Jesus identified with the world into which he came, without entering into its sin. Then, by his atonement, Jesus proclaimed his gospel of salvation. We are likewise to identify with the world and be involved in its life, without participating in sin. Having loved the lost, we are then to proclaim Jesus as the only true hope of peace and joy, offering a dying world life in his name.

How does God make missionaries out of the kind of self-centered and spiritually hesitant people who come to salvation through faith? The answer is found in our passage. As peace and joy result from Christ’s atoning death, so also does grateful rejoicing in the cross motivate Christians and make us effective as gospel witnesses.

An illustration of how God makes true witnesses is seen in the book of Jonah. Jonah’s book begins with God’s commissioning of the prophet in a way similar to Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples. “Arise,” God said, “go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it” (Jonah 1:2). Nineveh was the most wicked city of that age, and Jonah so resented God’s command to preach there that he rebelled and fled. God pursued Jonah and struck the ship on which he was fleeing with a great storm. The prophet ended up being thrown overboard into the sea to drown. God, who was orchestrating all this, arranged for Jonah to be swallowed by a great fish so that he would not die. There in the darkness of that hellish watery sepulcher, Jonah realized his sin and turned to the Lord in faith. “Salvation belongs to the Lord!” he cried in praise (Jonah 2:9). God then had the great fish spit Jonah out onto dry land, so that his experience served as an example of saving death and resurrection.

Having experienced God’s grace for himself, Jonah was now willing to obey God. God gave him the same instructions as before, but with one small and vitally important modification. Whereas the Lord had previously commanded Jonah to go to the great and wicked city of Nineveh and call out “against” it, now God called him to the same place, yet this time to preach “to” it. Jonah shows that anyone can preach against sin, but only those who have rejoiced over the wounds of Christ’s death can preach to sinners in the power of God’s grace. We will likewise proclaim Christ’s salvation to our world, as he proclaimed it to us, if our hearts are gripped with wonder for the marvel of God’s grace and if we are made glad by seeing the Lord and the marks that show how he died for our sins.

This informs us, finally, of the message that Christians are to bear to the world on Christ’s behalf. John’s record presents the crucified Christ preaching, and the apostle Paul declares in response: “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23). This means that in the same manner that Jesus presented himself to the fearful disciples, we bear to the world a message of divine peace and joy through atoning mercy. “Peace be with you,” Jesus said to his disciples, holding forth his hands and pointing to the wound in his side. To an unbelieving world, we lovingly offer a peace that it has never known: peace with God through the forgiveness of sins achieved by Christ’s death and the peace of God as Christ’s Spirit lives within the hearts of all who believe, who thus were made glad “when they saw the Lord.”[2]

Christ’s Appearance to Ten of the Disciples

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (20:19–23)

The scene now shifts to the evening on that very resurrection Sunday (for a discussion of the significance of the first day of the week, see the exposition of 20:1 in the previous chapter of this volume). The disciples (minus Thomas) had gathered together in an unspecified location (possibly the upper room in Jerusalem, scene of the Last Supper) and the doors were shut (the Gk. verb can also mean “locked”). The disciples were in hiding for fear of the Jews, expecting any minute that the temple police would arrive to end this whole movement by arresting them. The authorities had executed their Master, and not unreasonably they feared they would be next.

Suddenly, something happened that was far more startling than the arrival of the temple police: Jesus came and stood in their midst. The locked doors were no deterrent to Him; His glorified resurrection body simply passed through the walls. The words He spoke to them, “Peace be with you” (cf. 14:27), were intended to calm and reassure the terrified disciples, who thought they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:37; cf. Matt. 14:26). They also complemented His words on the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), since it was His work on the cross that brought about peace between God and His people (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14–18). To reassure them that it was really Him, Jesus showed them both His hands and His side. Luke records that He said to them, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). Recognizing Him at last, the disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord—but not before He offered a conclusive proof that He was not a spirit by eating a piece of broiled fish (Luke 24:41–43).

With the disciples at last convinced that He had risen from the dead, the Lord proceeded to give them instructions and promise them empowerment. In a preview of the Great Commission He would give them later in Galilee (Matt. 28:19–20), Jesus charged the disciples, “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (cf. 17:18). Having formally commissioned the disciples, Christ ceremonially empowered them as a pledge of the power they were actually to receive on Pentecost forty days later (Acts 2:1–4). Signifying that coming reality, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This was a purely symbolic and prophetic act, reminiscent of the vivid object lessons frequently employed by Old Testament prophets to illustrate their messages (cf. Jer. 13:1–9; 19:1–11; Ezek. 4:1–4). In other words, Christ did not through this puff of breath actually and literally impart the Spirit in His fullness to them; rather, He declared in a visible figure what would happen to them at Pentecost.

Ten of the original Twelve were present. Judas was already dead by his own treacherous hand (Matt. 27:5). Thomas was the only other member of the original Twelve not present here. These disciples, of course, were already regenerate men (John 15:3). So the fact that they still were waiting to receive the Holy Spirit indicates that the Spirit’s relationship to individual believers in the new covenant era is profoundly different from His Old Testament ministry. Under the new covenant, every believer is permanently indwelt (1 Cor. 6:19), empowered (Acts 1:8), and gifted (1 Cor. 12:4–11) by the Holy Spirit. Under the old covenant, the Holy Spirit’s ministry to individual saints was not so universally personal and prominent. Jesus’ actions here indicated the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that was about to occur, completing the transition between the two covenants.

The Gospels are clear that heretofore “the Spirit was not yet given” (cf. John 7:39)—meaning that the new era had not yet been inaugurated. It is likewise clear that the Holy Spirit’s new covenant work did not actually commence until Pentecost. All of Scripture affirms the chronology. Jesus Himself expressly said the Spirit would not be given until after His ascension (John 16:17). But “when He ascended on high … He gave gifts to men” (Eph. 4:8; cf. Ps. 68:18). The Spirit was “poured out upon us from on high” (Isa. 32:15). In fact, on the very day of His ascension, Jesus told the apostles to wait for the Spirit to come upon them (Acts 1:8). When they finally did receive the Holy Spirit, the result was an immediate, public, and dramatic outpouring of miraculous power (Acts 2:33).

When Jesus breathed on them at this point, however, it was a powerful illustration, rich with meaning—because the Holy Spirit is pictured in Ezekiel 37:9–14 as God’s breath. So the gesture was an emphatic affirmation of Christ’s deity, making His own breath emblematic of the breath of God. It was also reminiscent of the way God first “breathed into [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life” (Gen. 2:7)—thus picturing the impartation of new life through regeneration (the second birth), which under the new covenant is always accompanied by the impartation of the Spirit (Ezek. 36:26–27). The simple act of breathing on the disciples was thus a meaningful emblem on multiple levels. Since then, every Christian has received the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation (Rom. 8:9).

As part of their witness to Him, the disciples would have His authority delegated to them. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them,” Jesus told them, but “if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” This verse has been misinterpreted by Roman Catholics to mean that the Roman Catholic Church has had the apostles’ authority to forgive sins passed down to it. But Scripture teaches that God alone can forgive sins (Mark 2:7; cf. Dan. 9:9). Nor does the New Testament record any instances of the apostles (or anyone else) absolving people of their sins. Further, this promise was not made to the apostles alone, since others were also present (Luke 24:33). What Christ was actually saying is that any Christian can declare that those who genuinely repent and believe the gospel will have their sins forgiven by God. On the other hand, they can warn that those who reject Jesus Christ will die in their sins (8:24; Heb. 10:26–27).

This was not new information to the disciples, since the Lord had spoken very similar words long before in Caesarea Philippi: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:19).

Here Jesus spoke of the delegated authority of believers. He told Peter, the Twelve, and by extension all believers, that they had the authority to declare who is bound in sin and who is loosed from sin. He said believers have the “keys of the kingdom,” the realm of salvation, because they have the gospel truth that saves (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18–25). Christians can declare that a sinner is forgiven or unforgiven based on how that sinner responds to the gospel of salvation.

The church’s authority to tell someone that he is forgiven or that he is still in sin comes directly from the Word of God. In Matthew 18:15–20, the Lord taught His disciples (and by extension all believers) that if a professing believer refuses to turn from his or her sin, even after being privately confronted (vv. 15–16) and publicly rebuked (v. 17), then the church is commanded to treat that individual as an unbeliever. Those within the church have both the authority and the obligation to call the sinning brother back to repentance (vv. 18–20), and to let him know that because of his blatant disregard for the Word of God, he has subsequently forfeited fellowship with the people of God. The reality is that he may not be a child of God at all (John 8:42; 14:15; 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 John 2:3–6).

Believers have the authority to do this because God has given them His Word as the supreme standard by which to judge. Their authority does not come from anything within them; it is not founded on their own personal righteousness, spiritual giftedness, or ecclesiastical position. Instead it comes from the authoritative Word of God.

That which the Scriptures affirm, Christians can dogmatically and unhesitatingly affirm; that which the Scriptures denounce, Christians can authoritatively and unapologetically denounce. Believers do not decide what is right or wrong, but they are to declare with boldness that which God has clearly revealed in His Word. Because the Scriptures present sin as an affront to God, His people must be faithful to confront it. Insofar as their judgment corresponds to the Scriptures, they can be certain that it harmonizes with God’s judgment in heaven.

When people reject the saving message of the gospel, denying the person and work of Jesus Christ, the church has divine authority, based on the revealed Word of God, to tell them that they will perish in hell unless they repent (Luke 13:1–5; cf. John 3:18; 1 Cor. 16:22). Conversely, when people profess faith in Christ as their Savior and Lord, the church can affirm that profession, if it is genuine, with equal confidence—based on passages like Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

The church’s authority comes from the Scriptures. Because Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22; 5:23), the Word of Christ (Col. 3:16) is the supreme authority within the church. When believers act and speak in accord with His Word, they can do so knowing that He stands in agreement with them.[3]

21. Jesus saith to them again, Peace be to you. This second salutation appears to me to have no other object than that the Lord should receive such a degree of attention as was due to the greatness and importance of the subjects on which he was about to speak.

As the Father hath sent me. By these words, Christ, as it were, instals them in the office to which he had previously appointed them. True, they had been already sent throughout Judea, but only as heralds, to issue a command that the supreme Teacher should be heard, and not as Apostles, to execute a perpetual office of teaching. But now the Lord ordains them to be his ambassadors, to establish his kingdom in the world. Let it therefore be held by us as an ascertained truth, that the Apostles were now, for the first time, appointed to be ordinary ministers of the Gospel.

His words amount to a declaration, that hitherto he has discharged the office of a Teacher, and that, having finished his course, he now confers on them the same office; for he means that the Father appointed him to be a Teacher on this condition, that he should be employed, for a time, in pointing out the way to others, and should, afterwards, put those persons in his room to supply his absence. For this reason Paul says that he gave some, apostles; some, evangelists; some, pastors, to govern the Church till the end of the world, (Eph. 4:11.) Christ therefore testifies, first, that, though he held a temporary office of teaching, still the preaching of the Gospel is not for a short time, but will be perpetual. Again, that his doctrine may not have less authority in the mouth of the Apostles, he bids them succeed to that office which he has received from his Father, places them in his room, and bestows on them the same authority; and it was proper that their ministry should be ratified in this manner, for they were unknown persons and of mean condition. Moreover, though they had the highest splendour and dignity, yet we know that all that belongs to men does not approach to the excellence of faith.

It is not without reason, therefore, that Christ communicates to his Apostles the authority which he received from the Father, that thus he may declare that the preaching of the Gospel was committed to him, not by human authority, but by the command of God. But he does not substitute them in his room, in such a manner as to resign to them the highest authority as a teacher, which the Father intended to be vested in him alone. He therefore continues, and will eternally continue to be, the only Teacher of the Church; but there is only this difference, that he spoke with his mouth so long as he dwelt on earth, but now speaks by the Apostles. The succession or substitution, therefore, is of such a nature that it takes nothing from Christ, but his authority remains full and entire, and his honour unimpaired; for that decree by which we are enjoined to hear him, and not others, cannot be set aside: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him, (Matth. 17:5.) In short, Christ intended here to adorn the doctrine of the Gospel and not men.

It ought likewise to be observed, that the only subject which is handled in this passage is the preaching of the Gospel; for Christ does not send his Apostles to atone for sins, and to procure justification, as he was sent by the Father. Accordingly, he makes no allusion in this passage to anything which is peculiar to himself, but only appoints ministers and pastors to govern the Church; and on this condition, that he alone keeps possession of the whole power, while they claim nothing for themselves but the ministry.[4]

21 The disciples are “overjoyed” when they grasp that the one standing before them is, in reality, the Lord. Morris, 845 n. 49, notes that the aorist (echarēsan, GK 5897) may point to the sudden joy that came over them when they realized it was Jesus. Jesus repeats his greeting (cf. v. 19) and adds, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (cf. 17:18). The mission of the church grows out of the mission of Christ. It is a continuation of what God purposed when he sent his Son on the mission of redemption. As he went, so also do we go. His mission determines the mission of the church and provides it with direction and motivation.[5]

21 Now comes Jesus’ commissioning of his disciples. He repeats the greeting, “Peace be with you,” the repetition giving it emphasis. It may not be fanciful to think of this peace thus emphasized as the peace that comes as the result of his death and resurrection (cf. 14:27). After all, he has just shown them his hands and side with their marks of his passion. The thought that the Father has sent the Son is one of the master thoughts of this Gospel; it is repeated over and over. Thus it is not surprising that it comes out once more in this solemn moment. Now, as Jesus has brought to its consummation the task that he came to accomplish, the task that the Father laid upon him, he sends his followers into the world. The charge is given added solemnity from being linked thus to the mission of the Son: their mission proceeds from his. It is only because he has thus accomplished his mission, and indeed precisely because he has accomplished it, that they are sent into the world. The link between his mission and theirs is emphasized. The thought is very similar to that in the prayer of 17:18, though characteristically there are slight changes in the wording.[6]

21 Jesus repeats the greeting of peace: “Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you. Just as the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ ” The added words are something he has not said to them explicitly before, yet they come as no surprise to the reader, who has heard him acknowledge to the Father in prayer, “Just as you sent me into the world, I also sent them into the world” (17:18). Nor can the disciples themselves be surprised, for their mission was everywhere presupposed in Jesus’ last discourses. For example, “a slave is not greater than his lord, nor is a messenger greater than the person who sent him” (13:16), and “the person who receives whomever I send receives me, and the person who receives me receives the One who sent me” (13:20, both prefaced by “Amen, amen, I say to you”); also “You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit, and that your fruit might last” (15:16), and the section that follows on how they will be treated in the world (15:18–25). The salutation, “Peace to you,” is all the more necessary in the face of what they will encounter in the course of their mission (see 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you so that in me you might have peace”).[7]

Ver. 21.—Therefore [Jesus] said unto them again, Peace be unto you. With added emphasis, and in obvious reference to his valedictory discourse, he gave to them the essence of his own sublime repose, the blending of an infinite joy with a measureless sorrow; the equilibrium that springs from the spirit mastering the flesh. Not an ecstatic rapture, nor a joy that would make their life on earth insupportable by its contrast with their abiding frame of mind; but peace—“the peace of God, which passeth understanding.” The first “peace” gave to all who were assembled a new revelation; the second “peace,” a summons to service. The Lord added the memorable words, As the Father hath sent me (ἀπέσταλκε, hath sent me on a special commission), I also send you (πέμπω, charge you to go forth and accomplish this commission of mine); see Westcott’s excursus on the New Testament usage of the two verbs, which does much to justify these shades of meaning. Both verbs are used of both the mission of the Son and the mission of believers, but in the two senses, (1) that sometimes the special service on which be or they are sent is emphasized by the use of ἀποστέλλω; and (2) that at other times the simple mission or sending forth is the dominant idea when πέμπω is employed. Thus in ch. 4:38 the Lord says, “I sent (ἀπέστειλα) you to reap that on which ye bestowed no labour;” and ch. 17:18 (see note) the same word is appropriately used twice—for the Lord’s own commission, and also for the commission of the disciples. Then, it seems to point back to an event in their history and the work done already and before Christ’s death for the world. Now the disciples have a new conception of Christ and of his work, and they must go forth to fulfil it. This usage of ἀποστέλλω is more or less conspicuous in ch. 1:6; 3:28; 5:33; 18:24. πέμπω is used often to describe the Father’s mission of the Son, the mission of the Comforter, and the mission of the disciples (ch. 13:20; 14:26; 16:7). Mouton says, “Ἀποστέλλω means ‘commission’ and πέμπω ‘mission.’ With the first word our thoughts turn to the ‘special embassy;’ with the second, to the authority of the ‘ambassador’ and the obedience of the sent” Another peculiarity of this passage is that the Lord uses the perfect tense, ἀπέσταλκε rather than the aorist used elsewhere, suggesting a complete commission on his own side, whose meaning and effects are still in operation. Those who have received this revelation are to become at once witnesses to the fact of his resurrection, agents and organs of his Spirit. Moulton suggests that πέμπω is used in order to enforce the physical separation between the Lord and his disciples; and that we cannot overlook in the similarity of the ideas the difference in the manner of the sending, by the Saviour of the disciples, from the manner in which the Son had been sent by the Father. Christ came forth from the eternal companionship of the Father, in the fact of his incarnation, taking humanity up into his eternal substance. The disciples were sent forth by the risen Lord, who had called them by grace into fellowship with himself, and who equipped them for his service. The difference in these two methods of sending is as conspicuous as the resemblance.[8]

21 Each Gospel ends with a commission of the risen Lord. The forms of these commissions are given by the Evangelists, who convey their content with emphases that accord with their own insights and situations. This manifestly applies to the compressed version of the commission made known by our Evangelist, not least by reason of its echo of 17:18. It is introduced by the repeated greeting, “Peace to you”; the Lord had already bequeathed his peace to his disciples in prospect of his impending death (14:27), and now he communicates it as he sends them to proclaim its accomplishment for all and gift to all. The special contribution made by the Evangelist in this form of the commission is indicated in two words, “As … so.…” “As the Father … so the Son.” The sending of the Son into the world by the Father is a constant theme of this Gospel. It reflects in measure the principle of Jewish authorization “One who is sent is as he who sends him.” In the person of the Son, in his words and deeds, the Father himself is present, his words declared and his actions performed. The time has now come for the disciples to go forth into the world as the representatives of the Lord; thereby the declaration of 13:20 will become operative as men and women receive the Christ in the mission of the disciples and the God and Father who sent him. This concept, however, is deepened in two respects. The mission of the Son has not finished with his “lifting up” to heaven. “As the Father has sent me” implies a sending in the past that continues to hold good in the present. Such is the force of the Greek perfect tense, and Westcott perceived this long ago: “The mission of Christ is here regarded not in the point of its historical fulfilment (sent), but in the permanence of its effects (hath sent). The form of the fulfilment of Christ’s mission was now to be changed, but the mission. Itself was still continued and still effective. The apostles were commissioned to carry on Christ’s work, and not to begin a new one” (2:349–50). That insight has been freshly appreciated by recent scholars. The risen Lord does not hand over his mission to his disciples and leave them to it; “he only gives the disciples a share in it … with the assistance of the Paraclete” (Schnackenburg, 3:324). It is this setting that is presupposed in the striking words of 14:12–14: the disciples go forth to their mission and seek the Lord’s aid therein, and in response to their prayers he will do through them “greater things” than in the days of his flesh, “that the Father may be glorified in the Son”—in the powerful mission that he continues! The second point of added depth is the link established in the juxtaposition of the declaration of mission and the bestowal of the Spirit. The Paraclete-Spirit was promised earlier to the disciples, assuring them that they would thereby be enabled to carry out their task of witness in a hostile world (see especially 15:25–26; 16:8–11). The risen Lord, in associating his disciples with his continuing mission in the world, bestows the Spirit, through whom his own ministry in the flesh was carried out in the power of God.

This interpretation, shared by most exegetes, is severely modified by P. Seidensticker, who understands v 21 in the light of v 23. Admitting that “this sending of Jesus by the Father is all-encompassing,” he adds, “the pericope, however, views it mainly as conveying special authority to forgive sins.” In his conviction the motif of forgiveness is not to be linked with the picture of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels, for love of sinners is not the characteristic of the Fourth Gospel but rather the exaltation of the Revealer; the saying of Jesus (in v 21) is spoken within the fellowship of the disciples and does not extend beyond the area of the Church: “It answers to a pastoral concern of the Johannine churches.” “While Matt 28:16 f., ff. has understood the universal spread of the Church as the decisive content of the sending of Jesus, the Johannine church concentrates on its own spiritual life in the fellowship with Christ and God” (Die Auferstehung Jesu in der Botschaft der Evangelisten, 132). The rooting of the commission of the disciples in the mission of Jesus to the world alone suffices to put this view out of court, for the Son was sent with a revelation and for a redemption to be accomplished for the whole world, as cardinal utterances like 1:29; 3:16; and 12:31–32 show. Moreover, the Spirit who is given with the commission is the Spirit who is to testify with and through the disciples to the world that is not only beyond the Church, but hostile to it, and at times actively opposed to it. Seidensticker has interpreted v 21 in the light of v 23; it would appear methodologically more correct to interpret v 23 in the light of vv 21–22.[9]

21. Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. Just as the Father commissioned me, so I am sending you.

To all those present (the ten, the men from Emmaus, and others) Jesus repeats, “Peace to you.” For the meaning see on 20:19. It is not strange that he repeated this word. His sudden appearance had caused instant alarm. Even though that fear had been largely allayed, and rejoicing had taken its place, the gracious words, bestowing peace on those present, could stand repetition.

By adding, “Just as the Father,” etc., Jesus says in substance what he had said before. Hence, see on 17:18 for the explanation. There is, however, one important difference. In the former passage these words were addressed to the Father (“Just as thou didst send me into the world, so have I also sent them into the world”); now they are addressed to the disciples themselves (with a change of verb, which is, however, not very important): “Just as the Father commissioned (one might also translate sent) me, so I am sending you.”

From the fact that there were others in the room besides the ten (Luke 24:33)—the ten had some welcome visitors who were with them (Luke 24:33)—some have concluded that there is nothing official about this sending. But though the words were meant for the entire Church, is it not true that the task of proclaiming the Gospel to the world is, nevertheless, carried out chiefly by means of those who were specially chosen? Through them the entire Church brings God’s message to the world. Needless to say, every believer also has an important duty, namely, the duty of bearing witness joyfully and incessantly.

That Jesus has the ten (and in a sense also the absent apostle, Thomas; hence, the eleven) in mind follows also from the very similar or parallel passage in 17:18, 20. Note: “Just as thou didst send me into the world, so have I also sent them into the world … Neither concerning these only do I make request, but concerning those also who believe in me through their word.” One might paraphrase this: “Just as thou didst send me into the world, so have I also sent these eleven men into the world … Neither concerning these eleven men only do I make request, but concerning those also who believe in me through their word.”

The analogy between the sending of the Son as Mediator and the sending of the apostles has been explained in connection with 17:18. The commissioning authority is the same; the message is the same (nevertheless, there is this difference: Jesus through his atonement makes the message possible; the apostles simply proclaim it!); and the men to whom it is proclaimed are the same. Hence, “just as … so.”[10]

[1] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 1593–1598). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Phillips, R. D. (2014). John. (R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (1st ed., Vol. 2, pp. 655–664). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 380–383). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 2, pp. 265–267). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 648–649). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[6] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (pp. 746–747). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[7] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 1009–1010). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[8] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. John (Vol. 2, p. 473). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[9] Beasley-Murray, G. R. (1999). John (Vol. 36, pp. 379–380). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[10] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, p. 460). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

‘Jesus Week’ Christian event reached thousands in Time Square during LGBT World Pride week | Christian Examiner

(Alma Rivera)Alma Rivera and band worshiping during Jesus Week in Time Square, N.Y., June 29, 2019.

Christian leaders rallied together during Jesus Week held in the heart of New York City at the same time as LGBT pride month, and even though a storm threatened to shut it down the show continued and those in attendance say the spirit of God drew men and women to their knees.

Jesus Week kicked off on May 25 with Christian leaders going into every borough in NYC to pray, help the poor, and minister in schools and troubled neighborhoods. The initiative concluded on June 29 with a large event in Time Square.

A stage was set up on 43rd Street in Manhattan with banners raised pointing people to Christ and urging them to prayer for the city. LGBT World Pride billboards were displayed on many of the neighboring buildings and city officials were concerned that the Christian event would face backlash from LGBT activists. But those involved in organizing the event testified that they had the opposite experience.

“This was the second opportunity we have been given to hold this event at the largest media platform in the world: Time Square,” Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, president of The Dynamic Life, told The Christian Post. “Gospel music transcends culture, age, gender and race. We were trusted by the city to hold our event on the same weekend of [LGBT] World Pride. The event was full of love, testimonies and incredible worship.”

“People from every walk of life joined in the celebration as the quality of great art knocked down all walls of separation,” Salaberrios said. “The unity out there was epic! It was fantastic to represent the Gospel in a way that isn’t always portrayed, which is of Jesus ministering to the masses, not just those already in the church. Our gathering was not political or confrontational. Our event was all the best that Christ offers which attracted me to become a Christian,” he added.

Among the musical guests at Jesus Week was Christian singer Alma Rivera who shared her powerful ministry experience with CP.

“The Jesus Week finale coincided with the [World Pride] events in New York City. The mayor’s office and police were concerned about any potential disruptions to the event. [But] during sound check large crowds gathered and the only disruption that occurred was the thousands of people clapping and enjoying the music,” Rivera told CP on Wednesday.

“What I felt was the presence of God very strong, bringing conviction to the people. I witnessed the power of salvation. While I was singing I was looking at all the billboards with the LGBT advertisements, and it was powerful to worship God in the middle of all of that,” she said.

“A couple of homeless men crossed 7th Avenue to where we were located, walked up to the front by the stage and dropped to their knees crying, giving their lives to Jesus,” Rivera added.

Thousands, including many youth, were engaged in worship and dancing, she recounted. Along with Rivera other artists who participated included Freddy Washington, Eagles’ Wings, and the Nyack choir.

Source: ‘Jesus Week’ Christian event reached thousands in Time Square during LGBT World Pride week

“As You Jump In, They Jump Out” | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

Quick Takes


While the market rallied last week and continues to flirt with all-time highs, not surprisingly, volume was exceedingly light because of the July 4th holiday on Thursday. As Carl Swenlin noted:

” SPY has formed a bearish rising wedge, and the VIX penetrated the upper Bollinger Band, which is short-term bearish. The wedge looks particularly weak because price rose off the bottom of the wedge this week, but it failed to reach the top of the wedge before touching the bottom of the wedge again today.”

With a majority of short-term technical indicators extremely overbought, look for a correction next week. What will be important is that any correction does not fall below the early May highs.

Furthermore, with participation continuing to narrow, it continues to look like the August/September time frame for a larger corrective cycle is still in play.

Such corrective actions would coincide with emergence of risk factors from trade, to disappointment from the Fed, to a disappointing earnings cycle and rising recessionary indications.

This doesn’t mean sell everything and go to cash. It goes suggest carrying some hedges, a higher than normal level of cash, and a rotation into “defensive” positioning will likely remain prudent.


The employment number on Friday was strong as we anticipated. This puts the Federal Reserve in a more difficult position with respect to cutting rates in July. The markets initially sold off on the news but did manage to stage a bit of recovery by late afternoon as “hope” remains high the Fed will cut rates regardless.

However, let’s take a look at a couple of “off the run” indicators about employment.

First, the Fed looks at the 3-month average of employment, still a lagging indication, to smooth out month to month variability. The chart is below:

Clearly, not only has the trend turned lower as of late, but has been weakening since 2015. This is commensurate with a late-stage economic expansion. However, the current weakness has been consistent with previous ebbs and flows of the business cycle and is not currently “weak” enough to suggest cutting rates in July is warranted.

Second, the “quality of jobs” continues to deteriorate as shown by the surge in “multiple part-time job holders.” Per ZeroHedge on Friday:

“While the headline payrolls number was stellar, coming in higher than even the most optimistic Wall Street forecast, one aspect of today’s jobs report that will likely become a major talking point for Democrats and other critics of the Trump economy, is that the number of multiple-jobholders soared from 7.855 million to 8.156 million, a monthly surge of 301,000 – the biggest since July 2018, and an indication that the jobs number was far weaker than the headline represents if one excludes all those workers who represented two jobs to the BLS’ various surveys.”

Lastly, the “birth-death adjustment” is, as we say in Texas, a “load of S***!”

Every month, the BLS adds numerous jobs to the non-seasonally adjusted payroll count to “adjust” for the number of “small businesses” being created each month, which in turns “creates a job.”  (The total number is then seasonally adjusted.)

Here is my problem with the adjustment.

The BLS counts ALL business formations as creating employment. However, in reality, only about 1/5th of businesses created each year actually have an employee. The rest are created for legal purposes like trusts, holding companies, etc. which have no employees whatsoever. This is shown in the chart below which compares the number of businesses started WITH employees from those reported by the BLS. (Notice that beginning in 2014, there is a perfect slope in the advance which is consistent with results from a mathematical projection rather than use of actual data.)

These rather “fictitious” additions to the employee ranks reported each year are not small, but the BLS tends even to overestimate the total number of businesses created each year (employer AND non-employer) by a large amount.

How big of a difference are we talking about?

Well, in the decade between 2006 and 2016 (the latest update from the Census Bureau) the BLS added roughly 7.6 million more employees than were created in new business formations.

This data goes a long way in explaining why, despite record low unemployment, there is a record number of workers outside the labor force, 25% of households are on some form of government benefit, wages remain suppressedand the explosion of the “wealth gap.” 

However, while this data should concern you about the real strength of the economy, it is NOT data the Fed considers with respect to monetary policy decisions.

Volatility Warning

In the past we have spoken of the high-levels of complacency by investors in the market. As my friend Doug Kass recently pointed out, there are a litany of things investors should be concerned about:

  • The U.S./China trade negotiations last weekend didn’t “move the ball forward.” The outcome was just as expected with no promise of a substantive deal in the near future. (The two sides remain quite far apart with regard to the core issues of intellectual property and technology transfer, among other debated items).
  • The future U.S./China trade negotiations will not produce tangible results over the next 12 months.
  • Global cooperation and coordination is at an all-time low
  • Uncertainty of trade policy and the destruction of the post World War II political and economic order (in an increasingly flat and interconnected world) is consequential to future worldwide economic growth.
  • The precipitous drop in global bond yields is a sign of an imminent contraction (relative to consensus expectations) in global economic and U.S. corporate profit growth.
  • There is a lack of “natural share price discovery” in the face of monumental shifts in market structure (from active to passing investing.)
  • The dominance of products and strategies that worship at the altar of price momentum raise the risk of a major “Flash Crash.”
  • We are currently in an “earnings recession.”
  • Unbridled fiscal spending has adverse consequences.
  • There is over $12 trillion of sovereign debt having negative yields.
  • Large levels of debt in the system raised the risk of a credit-related event if something “breaks.”
  • The Federal Reserve (and other central bankers) can not catalyze economic activity (by lowering rates) from current low levels (“pushing on a string.”
  • The current low level of interest rates are an important factor in holding down business fixed investment.
  • Current consensus economic and profit growth expectations will not be met in 2019-20.
  • GDP growth cannot exceed the rate of labor growth and productivity.
  • The recent downturn in high frequency economic data will be market impactful at some point. 

Yet, despite all of this, implied volatility is flirting with record low levels.

As the old saying goes: “What could possibly go wrong?”

As You Jump In, They Are Jumping Out

As the S&P climbs toward 3,000, individuals are clamoring to get in. Interestingly, while retail investors are chasing stocks, institutions continue to “de-risk” as $6.3B was allocated to bonds and $15.1B was pulled out of equities. The net result was a new record to date totaling $229B flowing into bonds, with $154B was pulled out of equities, according to Zerohedge.

“As BofA’s Michael Hartnett writes, there is now a record disconnect between flows & returns in 2019, with only 2016 a similar year in terms of outflows/returns.”

So, how is it that stocks remain near record highs? The primary culprit, as discussed previously, remains corporate buybacks which remain the primary source of market support in 2019. This is especially the case after US banks announced $129 bn in buybacks over the next 4 quarters.

Buybacks, according to BofA, are on pace for a record at $43B so far this year versus just $75B for the entirety of 2018. This suggests a record of over $1 trillion in S&P 500 buybacks for 2019.

Of course, the only reason retail investors own stocks at all is because the media tells them to.

After all, if you aren’t at the “casino table” you are missing out. Right?

One thing you might want to ask yourself, if you indeed believe the former, is why “rich people,” own more bonds than stocks generally speaking?

If buybacks are indeed supporting market performance, it is worth noting that such support can be turned off like a water spigot. 

Which means someone is going to be left “holding the bag.”

Just make sure it isn’t you.

Source: “As You Jump In, They Jump Out”

Netanyahu Compares Iran’s Uranium Enrichment ‘Small Step’ With Nazis’ March Into Rhineland in 1936

Tehran announced Sunday that its uranium enrichment levels would soon surpass limits set in the 2015 nuclear deal, and said that Iran would continue to reduce its commitments to the nuclear deal every 60 days until the deal’s other signatories meet their commitments.

Source: Netanyahu Compares Iran’s Uranium Enrichment ‘Small Step’ With Nazis’ March Into Rhineland in 1936

Russian Sailors “Averted Planetary Catastrophe” During Nuclear Submarine Accident | ZeroHedge News

A high-ranking Russian military official says that 14 sailors who died in a recent fire aboard a nuclear submarine averted a “planetary catastrophe” before they perished.

While speaking at a funeral for the fallen servicemen, the official did not elaborate on what they did to avert said catastrophe, as the entire incident remains shrouded in mystery, according to Russian news outlet Open Media

“Today we are escorting the crew of a research deep-water apparatus, who died while performing a combat mission in the cold waters of the Barents Sea. 14 dead, 14 lives. At the cost of their lives, they saved the lives of their comrades, saved the ship, did not allow a planetary catastrophe,” he said.

The Russian government has faced accusations of a cover up following the fatal accident – refusing to reveal the submarine’s name and mission under the guise of state secrets, while delaying other information such as the date of the accident itself, and the fact that the vessel was nuclear powered.

According to The Independent, “Several sources have identified the vessel as the A-31, or the Losharik submersible; a nuclear-powered unarmed vessel capable of deep sea missions. Its exact design is shrouded in secrecy, but it is believed to be an experimental 70m-long craft operating in conjunction with a larger mothership submarine. Developed over 15 years beginning in 1988, it is described as the Russian military’s most advanced deep water vessel.”

Local news agency Severpost reported that the smaller submarine was likely tethered to the larger Podmoskovye atomic submarine when it emerged from the Barents Sea at the mouth of the Kola Bay.

Citing an unnamed fisherman, the publication claimed the submarine was travelling quickly back towards base, but without obvious signs of distress. –The Independent

Russia’s defense ministry has labeled the 14 dead servicemen “Heroes of Russia.” They were buried in the Serafimov cemetery in St. Petersburg near a monument to the 118 Russians killed in the Kursk nuclear submarine disaster in 2000.

Source: Russian Sailors “Averted Planetary Catastrophe” During Nuclear Submarine Accident

Prosecutor in 2009 Epstein Case Said Donald Trump Was the ONLY ONE Who Helped Him — The Gateway Pundit

An attorney who represented the victims of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assault said that in 2009, the only person that helped him was then citizen Donald Trump.

Prosecuting attorney Bradley Edwards was interviewed in December 2018 in Palm Beach, Florida shortly after settling a court case he had with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The Palm Beach Daily News reported at that time –

The #MeToo movement may have finally caught up with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The 65-year-old politically-connected money manager on Tuesday admitted he sued Bradley Edwards to punish the attorney for successfully representing young women who claim Epstein sexually assaulted them at his Palm Beach mansion more than a decade ago.

>>RELATED: Read Jeffrey Epstein’s full apology

Epstein’s admission, his apology and his payment of an undisclosed amount of money to Edwards brought an abrupt end to what promised to be a salacious trial minutes before it was to begin in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

After the settlement was announced, attorney Edwards was interviewed outside the courthouse.   He shared much about the case and then answered the interviewer’s question about whether Donald Trump was somehow related to the case since Epstein was a reportedly a friend of Trump (at the 5:00 mark – emphasis added) –

Question from reporter: Our current President has had relationships with Epstein in the past and there are those, Katy Johnson and maybe other victims who’ve accused Trump of being involved in things like this.

In my experience, Trump supporters will not listen to anything along those lines.  Obviously we’re not in the court of law here right now, but are those claims, although that case was dropped, it was dropped before it went to court.  In your opinion as a lawyer, in your experience is there anything you can say as to the validity of those claims and whether there will be anything more about that?

Edwards: Nothing at all.  The only thing that I can say about President Trump is that he is the only person who, in 2009 when I served a lot of subpoenas on a lot of people, or at least gave notice to some pretty connected people, that I want to talk to them, is the only person who picked up the phone and said, let’s just talk.  I’ll give you as much time as you want.  I’ll tell you what you need to know, and was very helpful, in the information that he gave, and gave no indication whatsoever that he was involved in anything untoward whatsoever, but had good information.  That checked out and that helped us and we didn’t have to take a deposition of him in 2009.

Reporter:  Do you have any information on James Patterson’s claims that Trump had Epstein kicked out of Mar-a-logo?

Edwards: I definitely have heard that. I definitely have heard that and I don’t know if it was Trump himself as opposed to a manager…

Donald Trump knew Jeffrey Epstein.  He helped prosecutors who represented victims of Epstein and he reportedly kicked Epstein out of Mar-a-Lago.

Hat tip Lyndy

via Prosecutor in 2009 Epstein Case Said Donald Trump Was the ONLY ONE Who Helped Him — The Gateway Pundit

Far Left Democrat Christine Pelosi: Quite Likely “Some of Our Faves” Are Implicated in Epstein Case — The Gateway Pundit

Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein

Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on Saturday in New York for sex trafficking of minors, reported The Daily Beast.

NBC NEWS: Four sources with direct knowledge of the matter say that Jeffrey Epstein was taken into custody today in New York after arriving from an overseas flight.

He faces federal sex trafficking charges.

Following Epstein’s arrest Christine Pelosi, daughter of far left Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tweeted out her concern about her “faves” being caught up in the child sex abuse scandal.

So did Ms. Pelosi know about this abuse of little girls by her “faves”?

Attorney Harmeet Dhillon weighed in.

via Far Left Democrat Christine Pelosi: Quite Likely “Some of Our Faves” Are Implicated in Epstein Case — The Gateway Pundit